September 20, 2014

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Deer Valley, Utah

Deer Valley, Utah has a fairly recent history.

In February of 1936, the Salt Lake Junior Chamber of Commerce held Park City’s ‘first’ winter carnival on a north-facing hillside at the head of Deer Valley.  The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a number of ski trails, toboggan slides, slalom courses, ski-jumps, and cabins during that winter to encourage annual participation in the festival’s winter sports.  Ten years later, in 1946, two Park City residents decided to build an authentic skiing facility.  It became known as Snow Park and the lifts only ran on weekends bringing in 100 skiers a day and producing minimal profits.  By the early 1950s, although many mines closed, Snow Park continued to operate throughout the winters. In 1958, the United Park City Mines commissioned a study to determine whether the Park City was a viable year-round recreational area.

In 1975, the Royal Street Land Company acquired the rights to develop Deer Valley and within the year unveiled a proposal for a six-phase project that would accommodate 12,000 skiers. It included Snow Park as well as Bald Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain, and Empire Canyon.  In December 1981, Deer Valley resort opened with five chairlifts and thirty rails. By the late 1980s, Deer Valley ski area was recognized as one of the country’s elite skiing areas. Since then, Deer Valley has expanded to open lifts on Flagstaff Mountain, and in 1998, 14 ski lifts with an uphill capacity of 25,600 skiers per hour.

Today, visitors can enjoy six mountains, including Little Baldy Peak, Bald Eagle, Bald Mountain, Flagstaff, Empire Canyon and Lady Morgan. Each offers a variety of skiing terrain and 300 inches of light, dry Utah powder. In 2002, Deer Valley hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games venues including the slalom, mogul and aerial events.

Attractions

Deer Valley and the Park City area frequently host ski and snowboard championships. The Sundance Film Festival, held every January, is the biggest and most well-known event to place in the area.  Deer Valley’s alpine coaster, located at the base of the resort, features toboggan-style cars where the speed is self-controlled via a brake lever. You can ride tandem or go solo.  In summer, visitors can enjoy various musical events. Deer Valley’s outdoor amphitheater hosts various musical events. Enjoy the Utah Symphony & Opera’s Deer Valley Music Festival, Fidelity Investments Park City Jazz Festival, the Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series and free local concerts.

Dining

Consistently rated #1 in food and beverage by readers of SKI Magazine and the Zagat Restaurant Guide, Deer Valley’s offers a variety of dining experiences and is committed to providing the finest food and service.  Although there may not be as many options here as in other destinations, you are sure to find superb meals at every turn.  Deer Valley’s chefs know how to blend fine food and the outdoors together, from gourmet picnic baskets while attending an outdoor concert to a patio lunch after a day of bike riding.  Fare varies from homemade pizzas at Bald Mountain Pizza to four course European meals at Fireside Dining.  One of the area’s premier restaurants is Mariposa, which offers gourmet cuisine and fine wines in an elegant setting.

Shopping

Since Park City is home to the main shopping area, you won’t find too many shops at the Deer Valley ski resort.  You will find shops that offer ski and snowboard equipment, as well as clothing, ski accessories, gifts and souvenirs.