Those who live or meet in ski towns always seem to know about other great mountain communities. It’s why Coloradoans cross the border to check out the ski slopes, trails, rivers and destinations in Utah and vice versa. As a Colorado native, Park City and Deer Valley have always been on my radar, and I was fortunate to visit last fall with a group of journalists from around the country.
With a huge amount of skiing and snowboarding terrain, Deer Valley’s and Park City’s sweet spot remains winter, so if you are looking for better price points and more availability for lodging and venues, consider summer or fall gatherings. Plus, it opens up a window for using more outdoor venues such as Westgate Park City Resort & Spa’s new rooftop deck that holds up to 152 for dinner and 190 standing. This property, located at the base of Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, is one of the largest in the area with 10,000 square feet of function space and 388 condominium-style guest rooms.
Things to Do
I’m a huge fan of integrating local products and businesses into meetings and events, and the Westgate’s location worked well for a hike with two representatives from Utah-based Altra Footwear wearing Altra trail running shoes. This is a fun idea for an incentive trip or any meeting where gifts and outdoor activities are part of the equation.
The wind didn’t allow us to go up in a hot air balloon as planned in tandem with the Autumn Aloft Festival, but we did get to experience the Candlestick portion of the event, which involved the hot air balloon pilots igniting their gas burners for a cool light show on Park City’s Main Street.
However, one of the neatest things about being on Main Street that night was taking part in a new Gin Experience offered by Alpine Distilling and held at their attractive new space on the lower level of 350 Brasserie. In tandem with a four-course meal and explanations from the restaurant’s chef, we learned about gin, did a tasting and crafted our own gin that was sealed in a bottle so we could take it home.
Spirits weren’t the only things we tasted. Also memorable was the Wine Cellar Experience with a sommelier at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley. We did a blind tasting of four wines amongst a collection of more than 10,000 bottles of wine worth more than $1 million that was followed by a terrific dinner at the hotel’s Glitretind Restaurant.
Our group completed the fun Mine Trap at Escape Room Park City, which incorporates Park City’s mining history, and wandered through Utah Olympic Park’s museum and watched ski jumpers hurling themselves into a large outdoor swimming pool . Although we didn’t have time to take part in all the activities at the park (things like bobsledding, tubing and zip lining), we did experience the Adventure Park at Park City Mountain.
Another activity that planners should consider including in an itinerary is fly fishing. Park City Fly Fishing Guides successfully got our group of eight on the Provo River and built up enough skill and confidence in everyone to catch at least one trout.
When in Rome (or in Park City in this case), do as the Romans do. Park Silly Sunday Market and any festival in a mountain town are a great chance to get to know a community better and feel a part of it.
Where to Stay and Meet
There are plenty of great venues, attractions and lodging properties to consider, names like Hyatt Centric Park City, Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons Village, Waldorf Astoria Park City, Park City Marriott, Hotel Park City, DoubleTree by Hilton Park City, Montage Deer Valley, The Chateaux Deer Valley, Lodges at Deer Valley and The St. Regis Deer Valley.
This is just a sampling of how your group can experience great mountain communities like Park City and Deer Valley.