The appeal of skiing out West has always been hard for this New England girl to wrap my head around. Growing up if you didn’t pack your bags the night before, rise with (or before) the sun, and get your coffee somewhere along the way once places started to open up shop, then you weren’t doing it right. When we started talking about the idea of traveling to Park City for a weekend away in the mountains, I didn’t know my opinions on this would change so drastically.
From the time we arrived at the airport in Salt Lake City and were swooped up by our good friend Alex and his team at RTT Concierge, the trip was off to a seamless start. The winding roads that lead you to Park City are nothing short of captivating. I would catch myself getting lost in the awe of the mountains, realizing I was accidentally removing myself from conversations being had among friends.
Our first stop in town was at the High West Saloon where the double rye makes for one good “Peacemaker”. This tumbler had the perfect blend of Cardamaro, Calvados, allspice, grapefruit, and lime topped with an orange slice. What more of a warm welcome could you ask for?
From here the RTT team lead us to our accommodations in the neighborhood of Canyons Village where we were lucky enough to call “Buffy” home for the weekend. These cleverly named fine ladies make up a group of five Park City Condos available to rent in the neighborhoods of Park City, Canyons Village, and Deer Valley. You are never more than a few minutes walk or drive to any of the town’s most desired locations. These homes come with fully equipped kitchens, access to hot tubs (which was much welcomed after a day on the mountain), and most importantly created the warmest environment to catch up with good friends.
When it came time to hit Park City Mountain Resort we followed the suggestion of RTT Concierge and got our gear from Silver Star Ski & Sport. This place is full of good dudes, awesome gear, authenticity, and has been serving up pure mountain awesomeness since 2008 with a staff that is loaded up with knowledge and smiles. Did I mention that some of the staff members have four legs? On top of working with Todd Fischer (the owner of this rad place), we had the pleasure of meeting Tallulah the customer service manager, and Azalea who is the newest shop dog in training. We popped into the shop, filled out a questionnaire, and were quickly fitted for all the gear we needed for the day. Todd made sure we had all the information we needed about the mountain, and even shared some of his favorite spots to ski. When we returned our skis at the end of the day, we made sure to take a look around at all the killer gear they have in the shop. Need new sunnies for the hilltop? They have them. Realized your jacket isn’t going to cut it this trip? They’ve got them. Need a way to support your new favorite sporting store? They’ve got tons of logo’d up gear to help you out.
We were lucky enough to blindly plan our trip at the same time that the FIS Visa Freestyle International Ski World Cup would be hosted at Deer Valley. We thought about entering, but decided to leave that to the professionals. Taking in the immense amount of talent that these athletes have was extremely humbling. Walking up the hill and passing the AirMed Hellicopter ready to go at moments notice made the suspense of each jump we watched at the aerial finals intense. After the last skier had “flown” we headed back down the mountain to The St. Regis Deer Valley to jump on the funicular and warm up with some hot chocolate by the fire, before switching over to Ginger Margaritas. When questioned how they are just so damn good, our bartender Ashley shared with me that “each Margarita is mixed up with a whole lot of love and topped off with a crystalized ginger rim”.
Our favorite afternoon was spent at the Stein Eriksen Lodge where we had the pleasure of dining off the “Skier’s Buffet” at Glitretind Restaurant. The camaraderie experienced here with skiers coming off the trails to break for lunch and quench their “thirst” made me wish we could spend the rest of the winter camped out at our cozy table by the fire. The same air of friendliness continues down into the Main Street Historic District. This area is home to some unique shops, amazing dining, and some rowdy night life. My favorite dinner, which I would highly recommend, was prepared at Handle. Their chef Briar Handly’s focus on the quality of food being served is second to none. The grilled lemon sprinkled with local salt to accompany their oysters, and the duck liver mousse topped with pomegranate seeds resembled pieces of art. Along with my new favorite restaurant, the Main Street area is home to a few great places to wet your whistle including No Name Saloon, Downstairs, and my personal favorite Rock & Reilly’s (a place that has been troublemaking since 1918). Rock & Reilly’s embraced these New England girls and gave us a warm welcome with a sea full of patrons in Patriot’s gear. During the game the bartenders Tom, “Baby G”, and Matty kept all the fans happy, and looking at the glass half full… or at least at a half full glass.
At the end of the trip when RTT Concierge was transporting us back to the airport, we were recapping and reminiscing on the weekend. The most important thought we had was, “we’ll always have Park City”.
Until next time, stay gangster.