First, I want to thank my high school buddy, Tom Williams, for introducing me to Park City, Utah, in January of 1967 before we joined the Army. That first incredible visit turned into many more visits over the coming years. Then in 1981, I was very fortunate to experience Deer Valley Resort during its inaugural season. It was unlike any other ski resort I had ever come across. Outside of the impeccably manicured slopes, what stood out most for me was the upscale gourmet fare presented ever so beautifully. I truly had never experienced such a fabulous array of food ever before—anywhere. The service that first season was as excellent as it is today, and helped make Deer Valley Resort an instant success in the ski industry. And, believe me, I had skied at many, many resorts.
The other most memorable event that first Deer Valley season was the opportunity to ski with Stein Eriksen, Deer Valley’s first and only director of skiing. It was a real thrill to hit the slopes with such a celebrated Olympic alpine skier.
Fast Forward: February 2002
Deer Valley Resort hosted the freestyle mogul, aerial and alpine slalom events at the Winter Olympics in Park City. They were spectacles to behold, and done in true Deer Valley fashion. It was such an exciting time! The fireworks were fabulous, the pulsating music got people on their feet, the weather was absolutely beautiful, and the snow was incredibly abundant. The best athletes in the world were competing for the Gold. Toni and I were fortunate to meet people from all over the world who came to experience their first Olympics. Oh, by the way, it was then that we became “locals”—we bought our dream home in Park City.
Fast Forward: January 2010
Toni and I are still here in Park City, and we ski at Deer Valley Resort many times every season, always bringing our out-of-town guests to enjoy the mountain. We wholeheartedly concur with the readers of Ski Magazine, who for the last three years have rated Deer Valley the No. 1 ski resort in North America. The bottom line is that every employee gives us a friendly greeting and is more than willing to make our day a great experience on the mountain. It’s wonderful to see everyone smiling. It’s catching, too! The on-mountain service at Deer Valley is above and beyond any other ski resort. Hands down.
The grooming is second to none. Deer Valley Resort also grooms a higher percentage of runs than other resorts. The slopes are manicured to perfection. They could teach other resorts how to get that flawless corduroy. Add this up: 300-plus inches of Utah dry powder annually, 21 chairlifts, six bowls and 100 trails. In 2007, Deer Valley installed the Lady Morgan express chairlift, adding more than 200 acres of skiable terrain and a large gladed area known as Centennial. You can get lost if you want to, and that could be a good thing. With a limited number of skiers allowed on the mountain daily, you’ll find untracked snow all day long if you know where to look. Hooking up with a local on the ski lift is definitely your best bet to finding the Utah powder called “The Greatest Snow on Earth.”
The amazing views from the slopes of Deer Valley on a sunny day will stop you in your tracks. It is absolutely stunning! Every time we ski there, we are very thankful to be living in Park City and so close to Deer Valley. Toni and I meet people from all over the world on the ski lifts. It’s always a unique cultural exchange. When they ask where we live and we say, “Here in Park City,” they always seem a little envious, and we know why. For us, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Being from Seattle and growing up on the Puget Sound near Fisherman’s Terminal, I’m very selective about where I eat “fresh” seafood. Deer Valley’s world famous Seafood Buffet is not to be missed. A favorite of visitors and locals alike, it features seafood flown in fresh daily and beautifully served with style and class. It’s all you can eat, so prepare yourself. Take and enjoy small portions so you can experience it all. There’s everything—sushi, lobster bisque, prime rib, hand-shucked oysters, steamed clams and mussels, incredible pastas, mountains of tiger shrimp, yellowfin tuna, bluenose bass, tender BBQ baby back ribs, beautiful salads, Dung-eness crab and roast duck. The list goes on and on. The baker’s dozen of mouth-watering desserts are made fresh daily in Deer Valley’s own bakery. Need I say more? There are nine other outstanding on-mountain restaurants offering everything from a hot cup of cocoa to elegant dinners paired with the perfect wines to please the most discerning palettes.
Freestyle World Cup
This winter, the world’s top freestyle athletes, those hoping to compete in the Winter Olympics in British Columbia in February, will be competing at Deer Valley’s renowned mogul and aerial courses during the FIS Freestyle World Cup scheduled for January 14-16. The three days of competition and festivities will include a concert and fireworks to enjoy, all for free. It is a very prestigious event.
The On-mountain Experience
The many day lodges at Deer Valley, small to large, are works of art built by craftsmen and each is unique in design. They’re elegant, comfortable, yet casual. Sitting inside, one feels very at ease and laid back, thanks to the impeccable service. People-watching and celeb-spotting at Deer Valley is a fun bonus. I’d tell you about the many celebrities we’ve seen, but we respect their privacy. That’s all I can say about that.
We truly believe Deer Valley is like one big family with a skiing problem. They can’t seem to get enough. Toni and I feel like we’ve been adopted by Deer Valley because they take such good care of us. We hope to see you soon swooshing down the slopes!
Diesel Knudson is publisher and editorial director of RV Life.
IF YOU GO:
It’s a short 35 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport up the mountain to Deer Valley. You can leave home in the morning and be skiing at Deer Valley in the afternoon. For more information on Deer Valley Resort, call (800) 424-3337 or visit deervalley.com.
There is a very upscale RV resort in Park City with a hot tub, heated swimming pool and sweeping panoramic views. It’s called Park City RV Resort and is the only full-service luxury RV Resort in Park City. It welcomes large rigs and has full hookups, shower facilities, free Wi-Fi, pool table, fitness center and clubhouse. Call (435) 649-2535 or visit parkcityrvresort.com for more information.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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