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5 Reasons to Visit Park City This Winter

Amber Gibson

Contributor

Park City real estate is booming and after a few days in this former silver mining town, you’ll understand why white collar workers from cities on both coasts are fleeing to the mountains. Even if you aren’t planning to move, Park City is your best bet for a luxurious but laidback ski vacation.

It's the largest ski area in the United States

Vail Resorts purchased Park City Mountain Resort in 2014 and made massive improvements to the mountain, including connecting it with neighbouring Canyons Resort via gondola to create the largest ski area in the United States. Part of the Epic Pass, there are 250 kilometres of slopes, eight mountain peaks, seven terrain parks and 14 bowls. More than half of the 300+ trails are suitable for an intermediate level, making the resort exceptionally family friendly. Also in Park City is the more subdued Deer Valley Resort which is exclusively for skiers, with a ban on snowboarding.

This year, mirroring the reopening of other public spaces, Vail Resorts has announced that all guests will be required to wear face coverings to get on the mountain and within resort operations, including in lift lines and riding in lifts and gondolas. Lift tickets will be limited to prioritise pass holders and mountain access will be managed via reservation system to ensure guests have the space they need. Like many other ski resorts, Park City is carefully planning for this upcoming ski season, making sure travellers are prepared and understand the health and safety protocols that are in place to protect themselves and the mountain communities they're visiting.

Park City has the most luxury hotels

With 21 Forbes-rated hotels, restaurants and spas, Park City has the highest concentration of luxury hotels of any ski town in the country. Personally, St. Regis Deer Valley is my favorite with ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort. For longer stays and larger groups, there are 68 hotel condominiums ranging from one to four bedrooms, with native stone fireplaces, chestnut floors and nine-foot ceilings. There are also 34 private residences, including nine brand new residences at Snow Park that debuted November 1, priced from $2.7 million to $7.2 million with heated bathroom floors, multiple fireplaces and spectacular kitchens outfitted with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances plus an under-counter wine refrigerator.

Dinner at RIME Seafood + Steak is the perfect way to wind down after nightly champagne sabrage on the terrace and Remède Spa is the best spa in town when you need a relaxing massage or facial after hitting the slopes. For snowboarders and those who prefer Park City Resort, Waldorf Astoria Park City is conveniently located at the Canyons Village base with similarly well-appointed and spacious accommodations.

You can try bobsledding

During the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Utah Olympic Park was built to host events like ski jumping, skeleton, luge, bobsledding and the Nordic combined. Today, it's one of just two places in the USA where a novice can try bobsledding under the guidance of a professional. After a quick orientation and learning a few basic bobsledding techniques, you'll hop into the Winter Comet Bobsled and with a firm push you're off to the races. It takes around a minute to bank through the turns down the track, and even first-timers can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. Be sure to visit the 2002 Winter Games museum while you're here too.

There's a great food scene

The concentration of diverse, delicious restaurants in Park City can easily rival much larger destinations. Riverhorse on Main is a Park City staple and local favourite for special occasions, most famous for their trio of wild game including North American buffalo, venison and elk with huckleberry sauce and scalloped potatoes. Australia is Park City’s largest international market and new Aussie cafes like Five5eeds and Harvest are serving up great breakfast and lunch options to fuel your outdoor adventures. Start your morning with acai bowls, Malaysian laksa, nourishing toasts or a roasted sweet potato stack, accompanied by a flat white of course.

If you're willing to venture beyond city limits, Heber Valley is an up-and-coming foodie hotspot that's just 20 minutes away along the Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway with breathtaking mountain views. Stock up on cheese for your refrigerator at Heber Valley Artisan Cheese and try a scoop of freshly churned ice cream, but don't ruin your supper. Afterword by Tupelo Park City is the best new restaurant in the region, an ingredient-driven contemporary American spot supporting local farmers and food artisans that just opened this summer by one of Park City's most beloved chefs, Matt Harris.

It's easier than ever to get here

Brand new Salt Lake City International Airport just opened this autumn, remarkably finishing ahead of schedule and under budget. The environmentally focused project has an ambitious LEED Gold goal, designed around one central terminal and efficient security checkpoint, with modern art installations inspired by Utah's topographic beauty and ample natural light. New concourses have gates that accommodate larger aircraft, enabling more non-stop service to long-haul international destinations. From SLC it's just 25 minutes to Park City and there's rarely any traffic.

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