With two world class resorts boasting nearly 10,000 lift-served skiable acres, all nestled around an historic old mining town, Utah’s ski town of Park City truly is unlike anything in North America. Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain will open this season with new captains at the helm. Deer Valley’s Todd Bennett and Park City’s Deirdra Walsh represent a new generation of resort leaders who bring fresh enthusiasm to their respective mountains, and a keen sense of the uniqueness that has made the Park City community America’s Ski Town. They sat down with Last Chair at the Nelson Cottage at High West Distillery and Saloon Distillery, in the heart of Park City’s Old Town.
Park City's Main Street lit up on a winter night.
Listen and subscribe through your favorite podcasting platform
As a community, Park City dates back to the late 19th century when silver mining made it a boom town. Throughout the early to mid 20th century, miners used skis to get around, often crossing the ridgeline into Big Cottonwood Canyon and back. The present-day Park City Mountain came alive in 1963 with the opening of a full resort, complete with a gondola. Known previously as Snow Park and Frog Hollow, Deer Valley sprang to life in 1981.
Park City’s historic Main Street, nestled between the two resorts, still boasts a 19th century mining town feel with hundreds of restaurants and shops, all within minutes to the two resorts.
Deer Valley’s new leader Todd Bennett grew up in Saranac Lake, N.Y. outside of Lake Placid, learning to ski at tiny Mount Pisgah. He worked a ski job in Colorado for three seasons before heading to an 18-year career with Walt Disney in southern California, looking for any opportunity he could to take ski trips with his family and friends. When the opportunity came up to move to Utah, he took advantage, settling into his new mountain home last summer.
Walsh is a native of St. Louis who came to Park City 18 years ago, learned to snowboard and rose up to a senior leadership role at Park City Mountain overseeing on-mountain dining. She left to run a California resort for a few years but returned home last spring. She brings pride in her company and a great depth of experience on the mountain.
Bennett and Walsh talk about the uniqueness of their resorts, and also that of the community. There are really no other similar models of two separate but adjoining resorts based around a central community core.
Here’s a sample of Last Chair’s episode 4 of season 4 with Park City’s Deirdra Walsh and Deer Valley’s Todd Bennett.
Todd, what was your pathway into skiing as a young boy?
We had a town run hill called Mount Pisgah – one run to the left of a tee bar and one run to the right of a tee bar and 500 vertical feet. That's where I learned to ski, I think at age four. I've always loved skiing. It was just one of those things that honestly was probably a little bit cooler than I was as a kid, and I just loved being around it.
Deirdra, your story is a bit different, right?
Yes. I grew up in the Midwest – I'm from Saint Louis. Our family vacation time was spent camping and always outside so I grew up with this love of the outdoors. In the summers I think my mom would literally send us out the door, lock it behind us, and we couldn't come home until she rang a bell.
Deirdra, what was your first introduction to skiing?
My husband had grown up skiing Stevens Pass, and he said, ‘let's move to Park City together.’ So I had almost no skiing experience until I came out here. He was a snowboarder, so I thought I'd be a cool girlfriend and learn to snowboard as well. My very first lesson was actually right at Park City Mountain in my mid-20s. I fell in love with the sport itself a little bit later in life. And it's been amazing to be a part of the community here and now have my kids grow up with skiing and riding as part of their every day.
Todd, what motivated you to get back into the ski industry?
It was just kind of fortuitous. I saw the opening for Deer Valley come up and I immediately reached out to a number of folks that I knew in the industry. Park City had always been on our list, and I've just always been a passionate skier. So it was something that I wanted. And when that opportunity came up, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to come work at Deer Valley.
Deirdra, how important is the community’s historic mining heritage?
When I think about Park City and that history, the word that always comes to mind is just how authentic this community is around the history that we have, the storytelling, the feeling that when you're on Main Street that these buildings and these neighborhoods and you look up the hill and you see all of these homes, you can't miss the history of this community. And it's really something that I think makes Park City so unique and so special.
Todd, how does Deer Valley Resort see its role in the community?
Community is the right term and it's something that we've talked a lot about with my senior leadership team. We're all here. We're all local. We live in the greater Park City area. And I think not only the history of mining, but the history and the connection with the town and the community is very important to us. And I think that's the responsibility that we have. We are a big employer in Park City. We have a responsibility to be integrated with the community, to listen to the community, to understand the texture because it has changed. It started as a mining community. It has changed more towards travel and tourism. And even now it's continuing to evolve. So I think it's really important for myself and the team to be very in tune. And the best way to do that is to be local and to be engaged as members of the community ourselves.
“Wow, aren't we lucky that so many of us that live in this community on any given day have that kind of choice and options to go out and have an outstanding skiing and riding experience?” - Deirdra Walsh, Park City Mountain
The community of Park City is unique, with both Vail Resorts and Alterra ski areas. What are the distinguishing characteristics of your respective parent companies?
Deirdra: Being part of Vail Resorts for me has been an exceptional personal experience. It's a company that is really focused on employees first. You know, we talk about, you know, the employees don't work for Vail Resorts – they ARE Vail Resorts. And so I think having that point of view has really guided not just me, but I think all of the resort leaders to think about that in decision making, being able to make investments like $175 Million and the employee experience is pretty exceptional. What is really impressive when I think about our company is our point of view on accessibility. We have 41 resorts that make up all of the network. And by way of that, we are able to be in communities that are outside of urban areas like St Louis where I grew up, outside of Chicago, outside of Detroit, that really are creating lifelong skiers in some areas that perhaps they didn't have that accessibility and then now have accessibility into the greater network.
Todd: I'm 90 days into working for Alterra and Deer Valley. But what I’ve noticed already is that Alterra puts a lot of emphasis on the local community and giving the site leaders, such as myself, the flexibility to change and adapt what is needed in our community. So in particular for Deer Valley, number one is very similar to Park City Mountain and Vail Resorts. It's the employee experience. We have to be great employers. We have to create a great place for people to work. Number two is the community and the engagement with the community and how we continue to be great partners and very transparent in the way that we go after that. The third priority for us at Deer Valley, in particular for me, is understanding the history and context. We talked a little bit about that from the mining history, but also the history of Deer Valley and its role within the community for the last 40 plus years. And then the last piece is how do we evolve our service thoughtfully. There's going to be evolution. There's going to be changes to how we deliver service. We just need to make sure that fits with the Deer Valley brand.
Deidra, you’ve lived here for close to 20 years, guests and locals have a lot of options here, don’t they?
Wow, aren't we lucky that so many of us that live in this community on any given day have that kind of choice and options to go out and have an outstanding skiing and riding experience? For Park City Mountain, we have Town Lift and and then we have two other base portals. So the way to be able to access the mountain is incredible. To be able to ski up on Park City Mountain, take a run down, have an experience on Main Street and then hop back on Town Lift. I mean, it's unlike any other place. I just feel personally so full of gratitude that this is a community that I get to live in, that our employees get to work in and that our visitors get to come.
Todd, since 1981 Deer Valley has built a really special brand here in Park City. What’s behind that?
What Deer Valley is known for, and what fits with what I felt here as a resident of Park City, is that level of service. That's what (Deer Valley founders) Polly and Edgar Stern really started with and had that vision for. That is something that seamlessly blends with Park City. The locals that I've met have been incredibly open and welcoming to myself and my family. So that's been really, really wonderful. And I think that just fits seamlessly into what Deer Valley is known for, which is welcoming and providing great service.
“We're all here. We're all local. We live in the greater Park City area. And I think not only the history of mining, but the history and the connection with the town and the community is very important to us. And I think that's the responsibility that we have.” - Todd Bennett, Deer Valley Resort
Finally, what is it about skiing and snowboarding that really fuels your passion?
Todd: I've always loved skiing. It's just, you know, the sense of freedom, the sense of the speed that you can get and kind of gravity pulling you downhill is unlike anything that I know of. It's the one consistent hobby activity that I've had my entire life. I've done a lot of different things, but skiing's that one consistent piece. And so when I get this season on top of Stein’s and get to make those first turns down … I'm really looking forward to that.
Deirdra: It is really hard in this world to turn things off. And when I think about those moments that we get to have on the mountain, even when you're with a group or on your own, I think of the solace that it can bring me and the pure joy in those moments. I've probably laughed harder than I ever have with friends on just the chairlift alone, looking at my kids, being goofballs out there and also getting a little nervous as they point and go. But, you know, just to turn off your phone and all the other parts of our lives that seem like they're always turned on, I feel like I get to turn off when I'm on the mountain.
Todd Bennett: Stein’s Way (off Sultan Express in Mayflower area)
Deidra Walsh: Silver Queen (on the Crescent ridgeline above Park City base)
By the Numbers:
Stretching along a 12-mile ridgeline with an historic vintage mining Main Street tucked in the middle, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain offer a unique resort experience unmatched in North America.
Skiable acres: 9,326
Climate and Sustainability: Community Working Together:
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, climate and sustainability are likely foremost on your mind. The same is true of the Park City community, including Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort. The city itself has set ambitious climate goals to have the community net-zero carbon and zero waste by 2030, with a target to have city operations 100% renewable electricity this year. Park City Mountain shares the net-zero goals by 2030 – no waste to landfills and zero net emissions. A solar farm project will provide 100% renewable energy by 2023. Deer Valley Resort is also moving towards a 100% renewable electricity goal by 2030 and presently is using 37% solar. It has also just concluded a full greenhouse gas inventory and is looking at 10% reductions in the next year. The Park City Chamber of Commerce has also taken a proactive approach, developing a Sustainable Tourism Plan to look at how the community as a whole can continue to welcome guests but in a sustainable way.
One of the most popular spots on Main Street, the historic setting of High West distillery is yet another unique offering in the community. During the podcast recording at Nelson Cottage, we sampled two of High West’s unique whiskeys with whiskey ambassador Arianne King.
High West’s Bourbon is one of its sweeter whiskeys featuring 85% corn mash and 15% malted barley, which softens and sweetens the finish. It features hints of baking spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and pairs well with citrus in cocktails to brighten it up. It’s a perfect choice for whiskey sours like a Whiskey Collins.
This is the one that put High West on the map in the 2008 rye revival and is becoming a staple for classic cocktails and cocktail bars as they come back onto the market. It features 95% rye and has been deemed the spiciest whiskey in the world by Whiskey Advocate. It features an interesting eucalyptus mint finish and is ideal for classic cocktails like Manhattans with its high rye content balancing well with citrus or bitters.
Tom Kelly: |00:00:00| It's a beautiful morning here in Park City. We had this mid-October snowfall that blanketed the 12-mile ridgeline above town stretching from Bald Mountain at Deer Valley Resort to Jupiter Peak and on to Murdock Peak at Park City Mountain. And today, we are gathered in a cozy setting here at Nelson Cottage at the High West Distillery in Park City's Old Town. We're recording this podcast episode on Halloween. That's right, Halloween. No one's in costume yet. It may happen later. I want to welcome Todd Bennett from Deer Valley Resort and Deirdra Walsh from Park City Mountain. Thanks for joining us on Last Chair.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:00:46| It's great to be here today, Tom.
Todd Bennett: |00:00:47| Hey, good morning, Tom.
Tom Kelly: |00:00:48| So I've got to ask you, as skiers, we all look up on the ridgeline and we see all that snow and we just want to get out there and get on the boards. And in October, when you get snowfall like this, is this a good thing or is it a hindrance in your pre-season preparations?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:01:06| Oh, this is a great thing. We are prepared for snow every October. Teams are anxious to get up on the hill, start making snow, get everything ready to go. So the timing of the snowfall is really perfect for us right now.
Tom Kelly: |00:01:22| Todd, I was over at Stein Eriksen Lodge this weekend for a fundraising event just looking up at Bald Mountain and it looks like it's ready to go right now.
Todd Bennett: |00:01:30| Yeah, it's looking good up there. A few folks have gone out and skinned and hiked and even taken a couple of turns already. But yeah, we're excited … making a lot of snow right now as well. We've had great cold temperatures, so very excited for opening in about four weeks.
Tom Kelly: |00:01:44| Have either one of you made any turns yet?
Todd Bennett: |00:01:47| Unfortunately, no, I have not made turns.
Tom Kelly: |00:01:49| Yeah. Okay. We need to get you up there. I want to learn a little bit about you. And before we get into your professional lives as the leaders of these two amazing resorts, I'd love to learn a little bit more about how you got into the sport. And Todd, why don't you kick it off? I know you grew up near Lake Placid, and that puts you in contact with the sport at an early age.
Todd Bennett: |00:02:10| Yeah, it sure did. My town, which is Saranac Lake, New York, is about eight miles from Lake Placid. And we had a town run hill called Mount Pisgah. Mount Pisgah had one run to the left of a tee bar and one run to the right of a tee bar and 500 vertical feet. And that's where I learned to ski. I think at age four I started skiing and got my first ski pass at age five. And I've always loved skiing. I mean, it's just one of those things that honestly was probably a little bit cooler than I was as a kid, and I just loved being around it. I was a skier for many years in high school. I switched to snowboarding and after that I ended up going to telemark skiing and now back to alpine. So a big fan. And yeah, I've been skiing I guess now for over 40 years.
Tom Kelly: |00:02:57| Well, were you a fanatic, a little kid on the slopes?
Todd Bennett: |00:02:59| I was, yeah. I kind of. It was fun. I also think the only broken bones I've had are from skiing my hand when I was six. And. But, you know, it's a fun ... it was a fun experience. You know, it was almost the babysitter really. When we were growing up, my mom would drop me off at the hill and let me know that Mrs. Capeci was at the bottom of the mountain. And if I needed anything and talk to Mrs. Skeptic and I'd be back and she'd be back in four hours.
Tom Kelly: |00:03:27| Awesome. I mean, ski areas worked really well for that. And, yeah, we just don't want to jinx things. Hey, I've never been hurt. I say the same thing. I've never had a major skiing injury.
Tom Kelly: |00:03:38| Deirdra, how about you? How did you get started?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:03:39| Mine's actually quite the opposite of Todd's. I did not grow up skiing and snowboarding whatsoever. I grew up in the Midwest. I'm from Saint Louis, Missouri, and I have a really large family and one of ten kids. And so our family vacation time was spent camping and always outside. And sometimes we drive to Florida. So I grew up with this love of the outdoors. And in the summers I can think of my mom would literally send us out the door, I think lock it behind us. And we couldn't come home until she rang a bell that was outside of our garage door. So I spent hours and hours just really playing in the woods and found my way out to Montana after college. And then I was working for a travel company based in Saint Louis, and that was honestly the first time I had really even had Park City on my radar. This is a great location where groups like to come and visit and met my husband doing that work, and he had grown up skiing Steven's Pass, actually. And he said, Let's move to Park City together. So had almost no skiing experience until I came out here. He was a snowboarder, so I thought I'd be a cool girlfriend and learn to snowboard as well. So my very first lesson was. Actually right at Park City Mountain in my mid twenties. And so I fell in love with the sport itself a little bit later in life. And it's been amazing to be a part of the community here and now have my kids grow up with skiing and riding as part of their every day, but didn't grow up with the sport but certainly love it.
Tom Kelly: |00:05:17| Now when you look back at that time, what was the learning curve like for you? You're starting the sport as an adult? What was the learning curve?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:05:26| Well, I think more than anything it's a little bit you kind of got to like leave your ego at the door a bit, I think at that age. And it wasn't too bad. I think in snowboarding, you know, you end up on your knees or you're behind probably more than you'd really like. But at that time, I actually had a job where I had a lot of free time. So I was up at Park City weekdays and doing laps with friends and hitting Snow Hut for for lunch. So I think that helped for sure.
Tom Kelly: |00:05:57| Good. Well, you've got that old culture from those days, which was great. Let's fast forward to your professional careers and Deirdra, what eventually got you to work in the industry, which I presume was right here at Park City Mountain?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:06:10| It was. I started working for Park City Mountain in 2007 and the career that I had prior to the ski industry was in incentive travel. I worked for a company based out of Saint Louis and one of their trips was out to Park City, and that's eventually what brought my husband and I out here. So I started working for the ski resort in conference sales. So I coordinated weddings and all of the corporate groups that came to the mountain, and that was part of the food and beverage division. And I worked under Jenni Smith at the time. And so I started my career in food and beverage and continued on that from 2007, all the way through 2019, before I had an opportunity to move to Northern California and be the GM of Northstar.
Tom Kelly: |00:06:53| What was that like out there? Quite a different experience than what you have here in an area that actually has a ton of ski areas really close by.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:07:01| A lot of ski areas very close by and an incredible lake that brings millions of visitors. So an incredible, I would say, year round, vibrant visitor economy. What I would describe about California ... running a ski resort there is not normal. It was a very unpredictable weather cycle. It was pretty incredible there. But just a great community. And I think with all the other ski resorts there, a real love of skiing and writing that's really felt in that community.
Tom Kelly: |00:07:41| And the snow, it is different than the Park City snow.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:07:45| It is. Yeah. It's the Sierra cement for sure. So we brought with us from Utah our snow blower. And people laughed at us like, you know, that's not going to work here. And they were right -- that is not the case. You've got to get out there with a professional or put your back really into moving that snow around. But it's great in its own way.
Tom Kelly: |00:08:09| Good. And then, Todd, you had quite a different pathway to eventually find your way into the ski industry.
Todd Bennett: |00:08:15| Yeah, that's right. After college, I did end up working for Vail Mountain. For three years I worked at Vail Mountain in the winters, and Outward Bound in the summers, went back to business school. And then for the past 18 years prior to Deer Valley, I worked for Disney in Southern California and worked in a variety of business planning, business development roles, revenue management. And then the last seven years was in operations. I ran Downtown Disney and then eventually worked at Disney California Adventure.
Tom Kelly: |00:08:44| What motivated you to get back into the ski industry? .
Todd Bennett: |00:08:49| I guess I could say, you know, it was just kind of fortuitous. I saw the opening for Deer Valley come up at the end of December last year and I immediately reached out to a number of folks that I knew in the industry -- folks like Bill Jensen, who I had worked with back in my days at Vail and, you know, pursue the job pretty aggressively. It was a really unique opportunity and a beautiful place here in Park City, a place we wanted to raise our family. Park City had always been on our list, and I've just always been a passionate skier. So it was just a great time, great opportunity. And as a skier, I've skied Deer Valley probably 30 times or so, Utah, maybe 100 days. What a great opportunity. So it was something that I wanted. And when that opportunity came up, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to come work at Deer Valley.
Tom Kelly: |00:09:35| Were you living in Southern California?
Todd Bennett: |00:09:37| That's right, yeah, living in Long Beach, California.
Tom Kelly: |00:09:38| And the family embraced this move up to the mountains.
Todd Bennett: |00:09:41| They did. You know, when I learned it was December 26, 2021, when I learned of the opportunity, I asked my wife that night, I said, 'Hey, you know, we've had Park City on our list of places we'd move. There's a job that I think I'd really like to go after. Would you make the move?' She's like, 'Yeah, I'd definitely consider it.' She grew up in a small town as well. She was an NCAA ski racer at Saint Lawrence University in upstate New York. So she's thrilled to be here.
Tom Kelly: |00:10:03| Cool. I want to talk about a little side project a few years ago, and it's crazy to me to think about how you could do this while you're working for Disney. But you actually were one of the creative forces behind the book, The Man behind the Maps, the story of James Niehus, who has done all of these amazing maps. We had him on the podcast here a couple of years ago, got a copy of the book right here on the table. But how did you get into that project?
Todd Bennett: |00:10:30| So a group of friends and I every year would go on ski week. We'd block the week of time. And during that week ... about 24 to 36 hours away from the start of the trip, we'd determine where we'd fly into. So that particular year we flew into Salt Lake here to ski. The end of the trip we had to get up to Whistler, so we knew we had a long drive ahead of us. Skied a couple of days here in the Greater Salt Lake area. Then it was up at Tamarack Mountain in central Idaho, and I was looking at the ski map for Tamarack, and I turned to my buddies and I said, It's the same guy. And they said, 'What are you talking about?' 'It's the same guy. Look at the trees. Look at the signature. Those E's that are the horizontal stripes that he uses for his signature.' And I went to his website. He had a very ... kind of rudimentary first pass website, and I reached out to him. He had an AOL email address, and I reached out to Jim and I said, 'You know, I'd really like a copy of your coffee table book, and if you don't have one, I'd love to help you make one.'
Tom Kelly: |00:11:33| What was his response? I mean, having had him on the podcast and gotten to know him a little bit, he's a fairly conservative guy who just does his art. What was his response to that?
Todd Bennett: |00:11:42| You know, I think I was probably one of many people that had reached out to Jim over the years and said, 'Hey, we should do this.' I think there's probably a level of persistence, you know, once a month, probably reaching back out and then eventually had a chance to meet him in person maybe nine months after the first contact. And so got a chance to meet his wife, Dora. My wife got to meet him and he got to meet my son at the time. And eventually he just said, 'Let's do it, you know, let's give it a try.' I think, you know, he was getting towards the end of his ski map career, and I think the timing was right for him to finally put a kind of an anthology of his work together.
Tom Kelly: |00:12:14| Well, he was inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame a couple of years ago and really a legend. You know, folks, I know that you all look at the trail maps wherever you go and just look at the signature and figure out who did it and get a copy of Man Behind the Maps. It's really quite an amazing book. Let's take a look at each of your resorts. And then as we move along in the podcast, we're going to talk about your resorts being nestled here in this community of Park City. But Todd, why don't you kick it off and just give us a little preview of what we can expect this coming season at Deer Valley.
Todd Bennett: |00:12:43| Yeah, sure. Very excited. Another year of Deer Valley. We've had great opportunity for some natural snow. We've been making a lot of snow over the last couple of weeks, so the team's feeling really good about that. A couple of improvements that … probably the biggest on the surface may not look like a super big improvement, but it is a great improvement for the overall ski experience. We are changing the orientation of the Burns lift. The Burns lift kind of comes out of our beginner ski area and now we'll go up towards the top of St Regis. It is a detachable quad. It features a new first lowering or automatic-lowering safety restraint, and it will also come up at the top. I think that's the first of its kind in North America. But but where it helps with the ski experience is the beginner progression starts at Snow Park and after Snow Park and the magic carpets that you have there, typically folks would go to the top of the mountain and Ski Ontario, that's where the ski school would take you. That's a pretty busy area. But that was the right terrain. By making this change and orientation to the Burns lift, this will allow you to get towards mountaineer, mountaineer, some really, really good beginner terrain that our ski school can leverage. And it also is one of our lower or least busy lifts – the Mountaineer Express. So it's going to change the traffic pattern of the mountain. So we're really excited just to kind of improve the service level, both for the ski school but also for all of our skiers.
Tom Kelly: |00:14:05| Deirdra How about over at Park City Mountain?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:14:08| Yeah, it's a lot of great things coming our way this season. And like we said, Mother Nature, who is often our most fickle business partner, is off to a good start. So that's certainly having everybody be excited about what's to come. Canyons Village has a really exciting project. That village is just an incredible portal to the resort, really guest centric focus, world class amenities over there. And so we are converting our ski beach into a fully heated paver deck, huge fireplaces going in and remodeling Red Tail outdoor patio as well. So that's right between Red Pine gondola, Orange Bubble Express and the top of Frostwood. So really would be a great experience is here has come right off Doc's Run and can go right into apres and sit in the sun and enjoy what we have there. In addition to that, two other really, I think, transformational things happening for the resort. One is our paid parking and our reservation system that we are implementing this season out of Mountain Village two really focuses on that change here. One around paid parking is to really drive the average vehicle occupancy or guest and visitors to take public transit. And then the reservation system is really to have, if you think about the arrival experience, to really spread that out. So instead of everybody waking up and getting up bright and early to have coffee and rush over to the resort, you know, sometimes earlier than 8 a.m. to fight for that parking spot, you'll have a reservation between 8:30 and 1:00, and you can come at any time. So I really think that'll be transformational for not just the arrival experience, but just for people getting around town early in the morning, still with free parking out of Canyons Village, free parking out of Mountain Village after 1:00 and free parking out of Mountain Village if you carpool for four plus people. So definitely a change for everybody, but looking forward to seeing the outcome of that. And then the other thing that's really exciting, I think, in the community and that we are able to be a partner of is Slope side Village which is affordable workforce housing that's based out of the Canyons Village area, the Cabriolet lot. So total of about 1,200 beds that will come online. This is through a partnership with the county and with the developer Columbus Pacific. And we have a master lease on about 440 of those beds. So anything with a new construction, you know, anxiously waiting to see how that timeline is progressing, but confident that we'll have beds certainly before the Christmas holiday hits us here. And just exciting, I think, to see that coming to the community that that volume of beds for our seasonal workforce will really be impactful, not just for the resort but for, I think, the community as a whole.
Tom Kelly: |00:17:02| I just want to touch on that a little bit more and may not be as sexy as putting in new runs or opening new terrain. But right now in every business has this. It's not just the ski industry, but being able to come up with creative solutions for housing is really vital, isn't it?
Todd Bennett: |00:17:18| Absolutely.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:17:19| Yeah. It's incredibly vital. And I think our our communities have really changed in the last few years, not just Park City, but I think most tourist economies have. And so I think we all have to work on this together and be collaborative and creative and really work towards solutions that work for everybody.
Tom Kelly: |00:17:38| You know, I want to talk to a little bit about public transportation. I'm a little bit of a nut on that topic. If anybody wants to talk to me offline, I'll give you all the secret spots you can park and take the bus. But we have two free transit networks in Park City to bring people to the resorts. I'd like to get some thoughts from each of you on the importance of that and what you can do as resorts to really help people get on the bus. I mean, Todd, do you want to kick it off?
Todd Bennett: |00:18:05| Yeah, sure. I think, you know, there's obviously there's the guests that we would love to get on to mass transit and reduce the traffic burden in Park City. But there's also the employee opportunity. You know, we have both Deirdra and I have a number of employees that need to get to the resort. They need to get to the resort early, and they need either to park or they need to take mass transit. We know there's a bus that's being added to Richardson flat this year, which is great. And we're going to Deer Valley is committed to up to $100,000 of incentives to help employees try that route and get accustomed to that route and keep using that. So we're, I think, both on the guest side, but also just as important on the employee side of encouraging mass transit.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:18:44| I think just to add to that, you know, when I was in California, I talked a lot about the public transit system here in Park City. And I think sometimes when you leave and you come back, you have that much more of an appreciation for, like you said, it's free, the buses are clean, great bus drivers. Overall, the fact that the percentage of those buses that are electric and then the High Valley transit model that many other mountain communities are really emulating, it continues to remind me that Park City is such a hub for these ideas that other communities can learn from and are implementing based on what we're doing here. I think that responsibility for us as the resorts is, is definitely to communicate that this is an option for both guest and for employees. We've been doing a program incentivizing our employees to ride public transit called Ride On, and that's really, I think, been a significant program to stand up for employees. It's incentive based. I think we had employees last year ... went up to $1,000 for this, for carpooling and for driving in van pools. So those kind of programs exist. And I think the more we can spread the word, it's great. I think what we can possibly see out of Richardson's could be another great change for the community. And just thinking about even just carpooling, you know, you set a time, you kind of know where to pick up transit. But also, I think with the changes out of Park City's Mountain Village base or where those opportunities for people to hop in a car with each other and just have fewer cars on the road, that's a great thing for the community and for everybody's experience.
Tom Kelly: |00:20:21| Let's shift gears a little bit, and I want to talk about the characteristics of this community. I mean, we are an historic mining community. We date back to the 19th century, and the community over time has really helped to preserve that. I want you to start on this one, but talk, if you could, about the importance of that and the characteristics of your resort that fits into this community.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:20:42| When I think about Park City in that history, the word that always comes to mind is just how authentic this community is around the history that we have, the storytelling, the feeling that when you're on Main Street that these buildings and these neighborhoods and you look up the hill and you see all of these homes, you can't miss the history of this community. And it's really something that I think makes Park City so unique and so special. And then I think about the connection to certainly to Park City Mountain established in 1963. I think of actually when I joined the resort, the image of John F Kennedy in that moment of signing over some funds to be able to make the ski resort possible here after the change of the boom of mining and then a little bit of a lull there and shifting the economy overall. Now, I had a project up on Park City Mountain that was really special to me, and that's Mid Mountain Lodge. And so the history of Mid Mountain Lodge was built in, I think 1896, and it's originally a boarding house and a mess hall for miners. And actually when you are at the bottom of Bonanza Lift, you can still see the safe that's right there. That's where the original building was. And then it was moved to be in its current location. And we were able to remodel that and really, I think, pay tribute to the history of that building just in the most recent remodel. So there are all these touch points overall if you come to Park City Mountain. We do a Silver to Slopes tour. It's free every day at 10 a.m. You can go out with guides that are so passionate about the history of mining and the history of skiing and how those come together on the hill.
Tom Kelly: |00:22:31| Yeah, it is really amazing. And just a little bit of history to go back to that 1963 time, the old gondola. Deirdra You probably didn't experience the gondola.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:22:41| I did not.
Tom Kelly: |00:22:43| The gondola, by the way, was about a 25 minute ride up to the top. It was that time that you took in that time period of our history. But it was built with a loan from the Kennedy administration, and it was one of the first gondolas ever. So a little bit of history. You can still see some remnants as you're kind of right above the Bonanza Base terminal up on the mountain, you can see the angle station that once existed. Todd, how does Deer Valley take advantage of the characteristics of this community?
Todd Bennett: |00:23:15| Sure. I think community is the right term and it's something that we've talked a lot about with my senior leadership team. We're all we're all here. We're all local. We live in the greater Park City area. And I think not only the history of mining, but the history and the connection with the town and the community is very important to us. And I think that's the responsibility that we have. We are a big employer in Park City. We have a responsibility to be integrated with the community, to listen to the community, to understand the texture, because as you said, it's changed. It started as a mining community. It's changed more towards travel and tourism. And now even now it's continuing to evolve. So I think it's really important for myself and the team to be very in tune. And the best way to do that is to be local and to be engaged as members of the community ourselves.
Tom Kelly: |00:23:59| Yeah, I have a question for each of you. Food items on the mountain are, of course, very important to many of us. And I remember Tod when Alterra came to town in, I think, 2017 to announce the acquisition of Deer Valley. There were a lot of questions on people's minds in the community, but the one that put us probably the most at ease was when the Alterra spokesperson said turkey chili is safe. And I imagine turkey chili is still safe, right?
Todd Bennett: |00:24:26| Turkey chili is safe. You know, I think the great thing about Deer Valley, it's not while we're not changing who we are, even through the Alterra acquisition, we're not changing who we are and we're not going to change what we're known for turkey chili, grooming, our service standards, how we evolve that service will continue to change. But the core of who we are has remained unchanged.
Tom Kelly: |00:24:47| Deirdra, during the pandemic, there were a lot of changes and people had to adjust to a lot of things. And I think like everyone, I adjusted to most everything. But the one thing I never adjusted to is the fact that donuts went away at Cloud Dine. Can we expect that maybe in the future we'll see doughnuts again at Cloud Dine?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:25:02| You can expect that Tom and I will have one waiting for you. Fresh, warm, glazed doughnut the next time that you're up on the hill.
Tom Kelly: |00:25:10| That is such a great restaurant location. I mean, just the panoramic view that you have there, the secluded feeling of being up there and seeing our whole ridgeline. It's just really remarkable. I want to get some thoughts from you, too, about your parent companies. And this is what really makes this community unique, is that we have a Vail Resorts property, we have an ultra property, we have Ikon, we have Epic here. They just started out. And just talk a little bit about your company and what it represents and how Park City Mountain fits into that.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:25:38| Yeah, being part of Vail Resorts for me has been an exceptional personal experience. It's a company that is really focused on employees first. You know, we talk about, you know, the employees don't work for Vail Resorts. They are Vail Resorts. And so I think having that point of view has really guided not just me, but I think all of the resort leaders to think about that in decision making, being able to make investments like $175 Million and the employee experience is pretty exceptional. And I think that's enabled working for a company like Vail Resorts and of the size that we have. I think the other thing that's … I think is really impressive when I think about our company is our point of view on accessibility. And so we have 41 resorts that make up all of the network. And by way of that, we are able to be in communities that are outside of urban areas like Saint Louis where I grew up, outside of Chicago, outside of Detroit, that really are creating lifelong skiers in some areas that perhaps they didn't have that accessibility and then now have accessibility into the greater network. And maybe they'll get a trip out to Colorado and get that experience as well. And really thinking about our price point when it comes to our passes to really drive that accessibility and at the same time creating consistency for our workforce and for our communities as well by having a pass product like we do.
Todd Bennett: |00:27:12| Todd So I'm 90 days into working for Alterra and Deer Valley, but you know what I've known? Noticed already is that Altera puts a lot of emphasis on the local community and giving the site leaders such as myself, the site presidents, the flexibility to change and adapt what is needed in our community. So in particular for Deer Valley, number one is very similar to Park City, Mountain and Vail Resorts. It's the employee experience. We have to be great employers. We have to create a great place for people to work. Number two is the community and the engagement with the community and how we continue to be great partners and very transparent in the way that we go after that. The third priority for us at Deer Valley is in particular for me is understanding the history and context. We talked a little bit about that from the mining history, but also the history of Deer Valley and its role within the community for the last 40 plus years. And then the last piece is how do we evolve our service thoughtfully? There's going to be evolution. There's going to be changes to how we deliver service. We just need to make sure that fits with the Deer Valley brand.
Tom Kelly: |00:28:13| Great. Deirdra and Todd, thank you very much. We're going to take a short break and we're going to be right back. And when we return, we're going to take a close look at the uniqueness of Park City as a ski town right here on Last Chair of the Ski Utah podcast.
Tom Kelly: |00:28:27| Welcome back to Last Chair the Ski Utah podcast. We're here today with the leaders of Park City Mountain and Deer Valley, Deirdra Walsh and Todd Bennett. I want to throw some stats out and talk now about this community as a ski town, formerly a mining town, now a ski town. But some of these stats are really quite astounding. 64 lifts in this community, 433 lift-served ski runs and well over 9,000 skiable acres. This is a big place for skiing. Deirdra, to start out with you, there's a lot of skiing here. There's a lot of skiing at Park City. But if you look at the whole package surrounding this beautiful historic old town that we have literally minutes seconds away from the slopes. Talk about that setting and how unique this really is here in the community of Park City.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:29:19| I think the first thing I think of is, wow, aren't we lucky just based on those stats of so many of us that live in this community on any given day, have that kind of choice and options to go out and have an outstanding skiing and writing experience? I think proximity, you know, for Park City Mountain, we have Town lift and and then we have two other base portals. So the way to be able to access the mountain is incredible. To be able to ski up on Park City Mountain. Take a run down, have an experience on Main Street and then hop back on Town Lift. I mean, it's unlike any other place. And then, like you said earlier, add the kind of snow that we get here. I just feel personally so full of gratitude that this is a community that I get to live in, that our employees get to work in and that our visitors get to come. And then adding in all the amenities that make this community really just exceptional. And then the history of not just mining, but also the Olympics. And so thinking about that, when you're on the mountain and the rich history we have for these amazing athletes that have trained and competed on our hills.
Tom Kelly: |00:30:29| Todd there was skiing back here in the day, and Edgar Stern was the one who really had this concept of adding a little bit more over at what used to be known as Snow Park and developing Deer Valley in the early eighties. Again, how does how does this magnitude surrounding this community, how does that how does Deer Valley fit into that?
Todd Bennett: |00:30:52| You know, I think what Deer Valley is known for and what fits with what I felt here as a resident of Park City is that level of service. And I think that's what Polly and Edgar really kind of started with and had that vision for. And I think that is something that seamlessly blends with Park City. I mean, the locals that I've met and be quickly becoming a local myself have been incredibly open and welcoming to myself and my family. So that's been really, really wonderful. And I think that just fits seamlessly into what Deer Valley is known for, which is welcoming and providing great service.
Tom Kelly: |00:31:26| From an operational perspective, there's a lot of terrain out there. Todd, to start with you, you may not occupy as many miles of that 12 mile ridgeline, but you have five separate mountains over at Deer Valley. Operationally, how challenging is it for you during the winter to manage that and to provide that service to the skiers who come here?
Todd Bennett: |00:31:47| You know, I'm just getting into it. Tom, So, you know, as you know, I'm new in the role, but talking with Steve Graff and the mountain operations team, you know, the big part of it is making sure that we're delivering on our grooming standard. That's something that we're known for and that first, before you can groom, you have to make a lot of snow. And so the team has been very busy both accepting the great snow that we've gotten here in early October. But also we've been making snow every night, sometimes throughout the day, both on the upper and lower mountain. So I think it all starts with that. And we have a great variety of terrain on the mountain, just like most of the mountains here in Utah, where you can start as a beginner, really a new skier altogether. And then we've got some really good, more challenging terrain off Sultan than up on Empire Pass.
Tom Kelly: |00:32:30| Deirdra, same thing. And I want to go back to that standing up at Cloud Dine and looking out at that ridgeline, you have some terrain that is extremely remote. It's lift served access. But to get crews back there, it's not easy and there's a lot of it. So operationally, how do you manage all of that during the peak of the winter?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:32:48| I think if you are in the ski industry, you are no stranger to adversity and to the challenges that you just described based on the vastness of Park City Mountain, 7,300 acres, I think that the way that you're able to operate a mountain of our size successfully, it's all about the team that's around you. It's about making sure that people have a plan that they're safe and that they know that they have a team around them to support them and to go out and execute with excellence on that plan. So, you know, I think of myself as certainly the COO of the resort. But ultimately, it's really about the team that's out there every day, going out and getting after it and being really excited about actually how large the resort is and the expansiveness and sometimes how far out it is. I mean, it's an accomplishment when you are a snowmaker or a groomer and you get to the end of your shift and you really look back and think about everything that you just did that enables this experience of a lifetime for the skiers and snowboarders that come the next day.
Tom Kelly: |00:33:56| Well, let's let's go back to the concept of Old Town and a little bit of the history. We touched on this earlier. Deirdra, how important is the character of historic Main Street with the restaurants and the shops? We're sitting here today at the Nelson Cottage at High West Distillery. You had an experience out in Tahoe and Tahoe maybe has some of those things. But what we have here, it really is unique.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:34:22| It's so unique what we have here, both based on the proximity, but that genuine feeling you have when you are walking on Main Street, when you are going into the shops, when you are at a restaurant and interacting with all of the employees that make this town happen day in and day out, I don't think there's a town that's like this that could ever claim the history that we have here. I think about the Park City Museum, such an incredible attribute that we have to go in and have that right on Main Street. Talk about the old jail, you know, be able to really showcase the incredible history that's here. And you can go up and down Main Street and find those stories time and time again and just appreciate, I think, those opportunities when our guests and our locals alike are really excited about all of the stories that we have here that make this community so special.
Tom Kelly: |00:35:15| Todd Before you took the job here, you said you had skied Deer Valley probably 30 times. And I would imagine that when you think back to your memories, it's not just ripping nice turns off Bald Mountain, but it's those evenings on historic Main Street.
Todd Bennett: |00:35:28| Yeah. And I think a lot of credit should be given to the city and the folks that live here to have preserved Main Street the way it is. You know, as Deirdra said, it's a very unique experience. It's a great pedestrian area and it has so much history and character that you just don't see that in many mountain towns. There's a few out there that certainly have it. Telluride, I think, is another great place and a great town that has that same experience. But most don't. And I think a lot of credit goes to those who worked in the city planning groups and the city staff that had the foresight to make sure that this experience was preserved and thoughtfully done. And that's all rooted in understanding the history and the heritage and the culture. So I think it goes back to what you are talking about, which is a Park City is a very strong community, and it's the action and involvement of the community to make sure things like that continue.
Tom Kelly: |00:36:16| Both resorts have been very instrumental in helping to preserve those mining structures. And I know this occurred just before you got here in July, but the raising of the Daly West headframe, that's the big tower next to Montage was something all of us in the community looked forward to. And it's folks skiing over there this winter. We'll see that ancient, not really ancient, but that old mining structure back in place this winter?
Todd Bennett: |00:36:39| Yeah, I had a chance to go check it out this fall. And what I, what I love the most was Garrett in particular on the team who I was touring on the mountain with, he's in mountain operations. The amount of pride that he had and being a part of that and raising that tower back again. It's really genuine and it's really I think it just speaks to the character of the people that live here and work here and want to be here in Park City and a part of Deer Valley.
Tom Kelly: |00:37:03| Let's take a look into our crystal balls a little bit as best we can, and maybe you can tease us a little bit. But if we look out kind of 2 to 5 years, Todd, what can we expect to see in the works that Deer Valley.
Todd Bennett: |00:37:14| You know, there's a number of projects that are in consideration right now. There's the snow park base area that is under consideration. And we're working with the city right now on figuring out the traffic, kind of the foundation of what that place would be. It's really around the traffic and the parking and all of that. And once we kind of make sure that works and is fits for the community and fits for us, then we can kind of build on top of a village that could have retail, dining, entertainment in addition to some housing as well.
Tom Kelly: |00:37:44| Great. Deirdra at Park City Mountain?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:37:46| Yeah, I wish I could look into that crystal ball and tell you all of our secrets here. Tom. What I would say is, as we think about the future of the resort, is continuing to really invest in infrastructure whenever we can. We know that that's critical to having a world class ski resort, and it's why we continue to make significant capital investments in our resort. Canyons Village really has a lot of opportunity. So I've spent a lot of the last few weeks and months just thinking about the opportunities that we have there and partnership, again, with our our landlord and some great partners out of that base area. So I think ... more to come on what we might see there and continuing to have the focus on Mountain Village as well.
Tom Kelly: |00:38:32| I want to just a couple more closing questions before we wrap it up. I want to talk a little bit about climate and sustainability and if you could speak to that. I think all of us as skiers and snowboarders, this is top of mind. I know it is for the resort industry as well. What things are you looking at in that space and how are you working together with the community on that?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:38:50| Yeah, I think about the stakeholders that we have when we're running a ski resort in Mother Nature and the environment is certainly one of them. We as a company have a commitment to net zero emissions by 2030 and zero waste to landfill by 2030 as well, And we're continuing to make great progress in that across the board. We've already invested $1,000,000 in energy efficiency projects at Park City Mountain, among a lot of other things, including our landfill and our handling of waste overall. So those are some of the big projects that we have. I think it's also the little things that you do every day as a business. And certainly I think from the volume that you see at a place like Park City Mountain, it is taking care of everything, including the gloves that you use in the back of house when you're in the kitchen all the way to your lighting and how you think about that as you operate the ski resort. You know, I'm really impressed and again, so proud to be part of this community where the municipality has also made these really significant commitments as well. I think we all need to do our part together, both the large employers and the municipality as well, and just thrilled to see that their commitment, I think, just really complements the work that we're doing on the mountain as well.
Todd Bennett: |00:40:11| Todd You know, there's a number of initiatives that Deer Valley is taking to reduce carbon and reduce waste. But, you know, we hit on it a little bit earlier. I think a great place for us to continue to do both of those is around mass transportation and figuring out ways both for the employees and for the guests and get the guest per vehicle higher so that not only does it help the environment, but it also helps the overall experience here in town.
Tom Kelly: |00:40:33| Closing question before we get to fresh tracks, you are both great leaders of your resorts. We appreciate the responsibilities that you've taken on. Let's set that aside. When you go up on the mountain and you're ripping a turn down from the top and you're all by yourself in a nice wooded trail, what is it that's special about the sport to you?
Tom Kelly: |00:40:52| Todd?
Todd Bennett: |00:40:54| I've always loved skiing. It's just, you know, the sense of freedom, the sense of the speed that you can get and kind of gravity pulling you downhill is unlike anything that I know of. It's the one consistent hobby activity that I've had my entire life. I've done a lot of different things, but skiing's that one consistent piece. And so when I get this season on top of Stein’s and get to make those first turns down. Stein’s … I'm really looking forward to that.
Tom Kelly: |00:41:20| And you're going to make sure Stein's is open early, right?
Todd Bennett: |00:41:22| That's the goal.
Tom Kelly: |00:41:23| Okay, Deirdra, how about you?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:41:25| I think in what you just described in particular, it is really hard in this world to turn things off. And when I think about those moments that we get to have on the mountain, even when you're with a group or on your own, I think of the solace that it can bring me and the pure joy in those moments. I think you have. I've probably laughed harder than I ever have with friends on just the chairlift alone, looking at my kids, being goofballs out there and also getting a little nervous as they point and go. But, you know, just to turn off your phone and all the other parts of our lives that seem like they're always turned on, I feel like I get to turn off when I'm on the mountain.
Tom Kelly: |00:42:08| You guys describe it very well. We're going to wrap it up with Fresh Tracks. A few specific questions for each of you. Nothing tricky here, but Deirdra let's start out with your favorite run at Park City Mountain.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:42:21| It's got to be Silver Queen. I have so many memories of that run.
Tom Kelly: |00:42:25| Todd Deer Valley?
Todd Bennett: |00:42:25| It's Stein's Way. Yes.
Tom Kelly: |00:42:28| How about to each of you and Todd started out a favorite run out in Utah outside of your own resort.
Todd Bennett: |00:42:36| Favorite run for me would be over at Snowbird. And I'll have to remember the name probably off the Gad Valley. Far skiers left. I can't place the name of it, but I can see it.
Tom Kelly: |00:42:49| Dave will invite you over there and to give you a tour of the mountain. Deirdra, how about you?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:42:52| I love Snowbasin. I have a ton of memories there. Anything off of Strawberry. Probably Main Street, maybe Coyote. Just a great, fun, fast run, Beautiful.
Tom Kelly: |00:43:02| Deirdra, favorite Park City restaurant -- not at your resort.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:43:07| I have to go with Chimayo. That bread! Any day. Any day of the week.
Tom Kelly: |00:43:11| Chimayo, located on Main Street. And Todd.
Todd Bennett: |00:43:14| We're a big fan of Pizza Friday. In my household. Every Friday the kids are looking for the pizza. So Versante Pizza has been great for us.
Tom Kelly: |00:43:21| Awesome. ATodd, you spent a lot of time working at Disney. Do you have a favorite Disney moment?
Todd Bennett: |00:43:31| My favorite? Oh, probably when I was a kid, You know, we would drive from upstate New York down to Orlando to get out of the snow for a couple of weeks. And my favorite moment was probably the Carousel of Progress. And seeing that at Epcot Center, that was like just a quintessential moment. I studied as an engineer. And so to kind of see how stuff works and how things evolve, that was really great.
Tom Kelly: |00:43:54| Cool for both of you. Your favorite on-mountain lunch at your resort. Todd?
Tom Kelly: |00:44:02| And I know this is your first season, but you've been here before, so you must have one.
Todd Bennett: |00:44:06| Yeah, I mean, I probably have to go with Silver Lake, and I'd have to go with the turkey chili.
Tom Kelly: |00:44:12| Good, Deirdra?
Deirdra Walsh: |00:44:12| This is a tricky one for me. I'm probably going to have to go to Mid Mountain Lodge.
Tom Kelly: |00:44:18| Course you do.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:44:19| Yeah. Really? Anything on the menu there. But that place when I'm out of uniform. A drink on the deck. That's got to be it.
Tom Kelly: |00:44:26| By the way, folks, when you're at Park City Mountain and you look at Mid Mountain Lodge, imagine what it was like to haul that building about a mile up the run. It used to be right down at the Bonanza base. That was amazing. Long time ago. Oh, and now to one of our favorite questions here on Last Chair. What is your favorite High West whiskey.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:44:51| I've got to go with the Bourbon. My favorite drink is the dead man's boots. So, love it.
Todd Bennett: |00:44:56| I like the Bourye ... Just as it is.
Tom Kelly: |00:44:59| Nothing like Bourye. Yeah. You can only get it here. And with us to give us a little introduction to the High West product we have in front of us. Arianne King, who is an ambassador for High West. First of all, is that the coolest job?
Arianne King: |00:45:13| That's the coolest job.
Tom Kelly: |00:45:14| Okay, We have two whiskeys we’re tasting here today. Why don't you give us a little intro to each of them?
Arianne King: |00:45:21| Yes, absolutely. So I love that we are early today, but this is actually when our distillers and blending team taste, because it's when our senses are so awake, they'll actually go in before they even have their morning coffee, which is pretty amazing. So I love that we're doing this time of day. We're starting with the bourbon. This is a little bit of our sweeter whiskeys. This is 85% corn mash, 15% malted barley. You'll see malted barley comes into whiskeys because it softens and sweetens the finish when you go through. And the most beautiful thing about this is that we now have been open since 2009. So this bourbon is 2 to 13 years of age and you get that older age as you go through the sip and it gives it that nice, sweet finish to it. I also love if you want to do cocktails, this is the one you want with lemon juice, because it goes really great with that citrus. It's got all those baking spices of cinnamon and clove and nutmeg. Citrus is going to brighten it up. And so you like whiskey sours Whiskey. Collins This is definitely the whiskey you're going to want to go for.
Tom Kelly: |00:46:18| And this is High West bourbon.
Arianne King: |00:46:20| You have bourbon.
Tom Kelly: |00:46:21| And the other?
Arianne King: |00:46:22| The other one is Double Rye. The Double Rye has been really what put us on the map out there. We're known for our ryes. And if you remember, in 2008 there was like the Rye revival. A lot of classic cocktails and cocktail bars are coming back on the market. The double rye named because it's a double whammy. It's a 95% rye content which has been deemed the spiciest whiskey in the world by Whiskey Advocate several times. What that means is that it's got a lot of black pepper and the rye has fennel characteristic. And then we also have a really interesting eucalyptus mint finish to it as well. So this one is one that we use for cocktails, especially classic cocktails like Manhattans or Boulevardier is because the rye content is so high, it doesn't get drowned out by sweet vermouth or citrus or bitters or anything. You're adding into it when you're making your cocktails.
Tom Kelly: |00:47:10| Well, this is a really nice way to start the day. Arianne, thank you so much. Whiskey ambassador for High West. Cheers.
Arianne King: |00:47:17| Cheers. Thank you, Tom.
Tom Kelly: |00:47:18| So, Todd and Deirdra, cheers to you.
Todd Bennett: |00:47:23| Tom, thanks for having us.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:47:24| Thanks for having us.
Tom Kelly: |00:47:34| Wow. Very nice.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:47:35| So good.
Tom Kelly: |00:47:35| It is good. One more question before we leave. My one word question, which always proves to some people, Deirdra, you get to start. In just one word, what does the community of Park City mean to you.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:47:49| Home.
Tom Kelly: |00:47:50| Todd?
Todd Bennett: |00:47:50| I'd go the same, home.
Tom Kelly: |00:47:51| It is home to you. Deirdra Walsh, Todd Bennett, thank you so much for joining us on Last Chair the Ski Utah podcast. We look forward to taking a few runs with you up on the mountain this winter. Thanks a lot.
Deirdra Walsh: |00:48:01| Thank you.
Todd Bennett: |00:48:02| Thanks, Tom.