For me, skiing has always been about soaking in the whole day, not only enjoying the slopes but the entire scene. I love lounging in lodges, getting cozy with cocoa, enjoying the views—of peaks and people. Nothing tops people-watching on a ski beach at the base of a ski run, or by a fire with an afternoon cocktail. When I envision having the #bestdayever, I think of Deer Valley Resort, not merely because it has been rated the best numerous times, but because I always feel like I am getting treated to a premium experience.
From the delicious and diverse dining to the gorgeous groomers to the guest services—everything special that the resort offers is available to me—just your average middle-aged woman—and to any and every other ticket holder. It’s just what they do.
Feeling like a VIP starts right at the curb, where valets will unload your gear, and load it back up again at the end of the day. These Guest Services Attendants know the mountain and can answer any questions you may have as they direct you to the lifts. Personally, I park at Snow Park, in one of the five free lots, then hop on one of the complimentary shuttles that come around every few minutes. Deer Valley also offers free ski storage, whether you’re there overnight or stowing them for a couple of hours. The attendants will keep your gear secure. When you purchase your lift tickets, be sure to ask about the meeting times and locations for the complimentary tours given by Mountain Hosts. First-time and repeat visitors can get a sneak peek at powder shots and learn how to navigate the mountain, which is uncrowded relative to other resorts, as Deer Valley caps the number of lift tickets it sells.
Skiing can be awkward. Navigating a base village can be like finding a secret passageway in Diagon Alley. Acquiring rentals, getting geared up, disembarking a lift, managing the cold—all of these factors can put a damper on the fun. It’s nice when your day is made easier and you can concentrate on what you came to do: ski!
Starting with gear, Deer Valley® makes renting a breeze, especially if you’re flying in and flying blind. First, you can book online or rent morning-of. There are three convenient locations. Skis too aggressive? You can swap them out. Here’s the lowdown on more convenient features of the resort’s rental program.
Other niceties include something as simple as providing tissues at every lift line. Such a comfort! As is seeing the hosts, positioned by the large maps at the top of every lift, wearing their green jackets and wide smiles, ready to help any guest find her way to a great run, the nearest restroom or Deer Valley’s famous turkey chili (it’s on top of Bald Mountain, by the way, at Snowshoe Tommy’s, or on top of nachos at Edgar’s Beer and Spirits Lounge).
Parking is a breeze at Deer Valley and can be found at both the Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges. At Snow Park, there's a shuttle that drives along the outside of the lot all day so you can save your feet from car to slopes.
Another “little thing” that isn’t a little thing at all, because it takes hard work and experience, are the gloriously groomed runs. Having a carpet of beautiful white corduroy laid out before you, first thing on a ski day, is reason enough to feel like a champ at Deer Valley.
A bad meal on the mountain can ruin a perfect day. I can write with complete confidence that this will never happen at Deer Valley. Bold statement, I realize, but I’ve visited (almost) every dining option on the mountain and sampled a decent percentage of fare and it’s always top-notch. It’s not just a dedication to excellence, led by award-winning, nationally regarded Food and Beverage Director Jodie Rogers, but a constant striving to serve creative, crave-worthy, on-trend food for every mood and mode, from casual cafeteria-style to epic fine dining. Many ingredients are house-made on mountain, such as cheeses, charcuterie, breads, pickles, smoked fish and meats. Why does all this make one feel like a VIP? Because immense care goes into every plate and while this is reflected in the price, not a sip or bite is wasted. It’s worth every penny. Many locals make Deer Valley their “splurge day,” heading up for secret powder stashes, popping in for posh plates and elevated ambiance. Conscientious spenders can pop indoors throughout the day for a hot toddy, a warming bowl of pho, fries topped with chili—all classic ski meals served affordably with the Deer Valley setting included.
The way to do a ski vacation (any vacation for that matter) is to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Make yourself at home, act like a local, peruse the town. The essence of being a VIP is feeling like the world is at your doorstep and Deer Valley goes to great lengths to roll out the proverbial carpet. If you come to stay and play, Deer Valley offers the largest selection of properties in the resort area and the majority are ski-in/ski-out. Ski to breakfast, ski to your private lesson, ski to lunch, ski home for a nap—you get the idea.
Deer Valley is just two miles from downtown Park City, the charming mining-town-turned-ski town that now boasts countless world-class restaurants, museums, nightlife and shopping. You do not need a rental car to get there, as lodging guests of the resort enjoy complimentary Cadillac service anywhere in town. This could come in handy during that little film festival they call Sundance. But as is the case with any vacation planning, call ahead to inquire about and book any services at Deer Valley. Remember, the best VIPs are Very In-Depth Planners.
Words by Pam Olson, paid for by Deer Valley Resort
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