Insider, local knowledge is key if you’re looking to tick off all the must-do activities, see all the highlights and have an authentic experience on your next ski trip. Locals are chock full of ideas and inspiration to make your ski trip unforgettable, so who better to tap for insider guidance, than the local lodging concierges? That’s why we’ve created a new Ski.com Blog series: Concierge Conversations, where you can glean great destination-based tips and recommendations and learn a bit more about some of the area’s top lodging options.
We tapped Concierge and Guest Relations Manager, Sydney Thorson, who’s been at the Montage Deer Valley for two years, to answer a couple questions about her favorite aspects of her homebase and place of work.
A Few of Sydney’s Favorite Things
Ski.com: What drew you to Deer Valley/Park City originally and what has kept you there?
ST: The mountain lifestyle—it is hard to beat living in a year-round destination like Park City. I live for the summers packed with hiking and mountain biking and dream about the winters of skiing and snowboarding.
Ski.com: What are your three favorite things to do in Deer Valley/Park City in the winter?
ST: Nothing can beat a day of skiing at Deer Valley Resort. Between the views, service and perfectly combed groomers, you are lined up for a beautiful day on the mountain. Since I love hiking, snowshoeing has quickly become my next favorite winter activity because you are able to access such beautiful locations which are incredibly tranquil in the winter snow. Some days you do need a nice thrill though and this is where snowmobiling is the perfect activity. Winding through the trees and speeding through the high meadows makes for an unforgettable outing.
Ski.com: In your opinion, what are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about Deer Valley/Park City that visitors should know?
ST: Park City is a booming culinary scene between the many restaurants, local purveyors and fine breweries and distilleries (including the world’s only ski in ski out distillery, High West Distillery). The Annual Park City Food and Wine Festival was named one of the top in the country. Another fantastic event hosted in Park City is Savor the Summit. Main Street is lined with tables for attendees to experience a beautiful summer evening in the mountains enjoying meals from the top restaurants in town. One fun fact about Park City—we have more chefs per capita than Paris!
Park City has an Olympic legacy that has continued far beyond the hosting of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Home to the United State Ski and Snowboard Association as well as Utah Olympic Park, Park City remains headquarters for many prior Olympic medalists as well as athletes –in-training. In the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Park City earned 14 out of the 28 U.S. medals, which would have placed our town in the top 10 in the world for medals if we were our own country. This legacy extends to Deer Valley, which offers guests the chance to be able to ski with some of these local Olympians.
Deer Valley is one of the few remaining resorts that is a skier-only mountain. Although I started as a snowboarder, it only took a few weeks of working in Deer Valley and learning the resort has not only some of the best grooming, but also some of the best secret stashes of powder, that I knew I had to experience this for myself.
Ski.com: What are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about the Montage Deer Valley?
ST: Montage Deer Valley offers a variety of off-mountain programming to enhance our guests’ ski vacations. We have two Canine Ambassadors, Monty and Parker, who greet the guests in the lobby twice a day. They are both Bernese Mountain Dogs and live for the winters, so if you are lucky enough you may be able to catch them playing in the snow. Another fun amenity that is exclusive to our guests is our Powder Park. This is our on-property tubing hill serviced by a magic carpet where families gather to get have a little more fun before cleaning up for dinner. Geared towards adults looking for a nice break during a day of skiing, Montage Deer Valley recently opened the Après Lounge and Beach Club.
Ski.com: If you could only ski or ride one run at the ski resort for the rest of your life, what would it be?
ST: All of the runs at Deer Valley are wonderful, each in their own way. Every peak has its own personality, making it fun to explore to entire mountain each day. That being said, if I could only ski one for the rest of my life it would be Wizard off of Bald Mountain. Wizard is one of those runs that is always great—it doesn’t matter if we haven’t had snow in a few weeks or if we are currently in the midst of a three-foot storm. An added bonus is that it is rarely busy. You are usually one of a few people on the entire run at any given time.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for the local’s scoop on après-ski/dining/nightlife what do you recommend and why?
ST: Last year, Montage debuted the Après Lounge and Beach Club which features Veuve Clicquot and small bites. What better way to take break between runs or end your day than with some caviar and a glass of champagne inside a cozy yurt? The interior is decked out by Gorsuch and has a wood-burning stove, which makes for the perfect place to enjoy après.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for recommendations for family experiences what’s your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?
ST: We suggest starting your evening with our family favorites: nightly s’mores on the Vista Terrace. With five different types of marshmallows, both dark and milk chocolate, paired with hot cocoa, families gather to share their ski stories from the day, over a classic mountain tradition. Following s’mores, the don’t-miss family experience would be Daly’s Pub & Rec, which features a four-lane bowling alley, arcade games, shuffle board, dart boards, and video games, along with a creative gastro-pub menu that is designed for the whole family. This is a perfect place for families to gather for dinner and entertainment with its convenient location within the hotel. If the family is looking to experience Park City, there are endless activities to enjoy in the area including snow shoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and more.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for recommendations for upscale experiences what’s your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?
ST: Fireside Dining is one of the favorites among visitors and locals alike. The restaurant is located in the Empire Lodge, steps away from Montage and features four-course Swiss fare served from the numerous fireplaces throughout. I certainly recommend that you accompany dinner with a horse-drawn sleigh ride to top off the evening or as a break between courses.
Ski.com: What winter event or time of ski season do you look forward to most and why?
ST: The FIS Freestyle World Cup! It is incredible to see the top athletes from around the world compete for the mogul and aerial events right at our home mountain.
Ski.com: What do you think makes your property popular?
ST: The service. Montage Deer Valley has amazing amenities and impressive views, however, the service our associates provide every day truly sets the hotel apart.
Ready to book your stay at the Montage Deer Valley? Our 70 Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free custom quote.