By Helen Gienke
Next to its more famous neighbor Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort is nestled in the Wasatch Range in Utah, USA, and consists of 6 interconnected mountains. With unparalleled service and skiing to match, it is a hidden treasure, one that’s worth discovering!
An integral part of the Deer Valley Resort philosophy is the concept of providing the optimum luxury experience. Hence, when Edgar Stern founded the resort, it was primarily a combination of the highest class of guest service, accommodation, and food. At the time of the Stern family’s venture into ski resorts, there was no other resort that provided this service-orientated ski experience. Thanks to their numerous years of experience in hospitality, they were advantageously positioned to create the pinnacle of USA ski resort luxury.
When Deer Valley Resort first opened in 1981 it had five chair lifts, 35 ski runs, and only two lodges on the mountains at Snow Park and Silver Lake. No longer family-run, the next era of Deer Valley is in full swing as it was bought by Alterra, has become an integral member of the IKON pass, and has expanded greatly since those early days.
The on-mountain grooming is unparalleled in the Wasatch ski area, as more equipment is used than in any other resort, meaning the ski experience is smooth and appropriate for all skier levels, types, and ages. Snowmaking at the beginning of a season is important for creating a good base for the slopes, as well as making sure the ski runs are well covered in leaner years. Deer Valley Resort has this covered as they have accumulated 670 acres of snow-making across the resort. Similarly, in order to maintain the quality of the skiing on the slopes, the lift tickets are limited to a sale of around 7,500 a day, making sure slopes are un-crowded and there are plenty of seats at the restaurants for everyone to enjoy an unhurried dining experience. Not only this, but Deer Valley Resort is a ski-only resort, one of the few left in North America, prioritizing the skier experience.
The facts and figures for the resort’s skiing are equally impressive. The total uphill lift capacity of over 50,000 skiers per hour is 50% higher than that of its larger neighbors, encompassing the 21 chair-lifts, including 12 high-speed detachable quads and an enclosed 4-passenger gondola. These lifts will take you across all 2,026 acres of the six mountains: Little Baldy Peak, Bald Eagle, Flagstaff, Bald, Empire, and Lady Morgan. Mountain by the mountain, there is skiing for everyone. Little Baldy Peak, Bald Eagle, and Flagstaff consist of mostly beginner and intermediate run with fewer advanced runs. Baldy, Empire and Lady Morgan mountains have an incredible mix of terrain, which ranges from smooth intermediate runs to the more challenging and exhilarating advanced/expert runs. With six bowls to choose from, you can try the stimulating expert bowls of Empire and Bald Mountain or even the steep chutes of Empire Canyon. And if that wasn’t enough, 930 acres of Deer Valley terrain is dedicated to glades, perfect for tree skiing, waiting to be discovered.
Given its history and ski experience following the line of excellence, naturally, there is guest service to match. Not only is Deer Valley Resort a pioneer in the area of luxury and convenience, but an innovator too. Deer Valley was the first resort to offer many outstanding services including ski valets that carry guests’ ski gear, complimentary parking-lot shuttles, a state-licensed child-care facility, and uniforms for all employees. Taking it one step further, your ski gear can even be stored overnight for free at the bottom of one mountain so you don’t have the weight of carrying your gear! Not only this but there are even on-mountain conveniences that prove Deer Valley Resort’s commitment to the skier experience, such as providing tissues in the lift lines, as well as waterproof ski maps so that those snowy days don’t destroy your aid to negotiating your way around the mountains.
Convenience does not end with guest service, as the accommodation continues this theme. The vast quantity and quality of the on-the-mountain, ski-in ski-out, and accommodation are outstanding. From lodges such as the luxurious Stein Eriksen Residences, which are surrounded by ski runs, to the beautifully contemporary One Empire Pass, whose location next to the Silver Strike chair lift makes for an incredibly easy ski experience.
However, if you are looking for other types of convenience, properties like The Lodges at Deer Valley, and Telemark Homes have their own advantages. The Lodges is the home of the newest restaurant in the resort, The Brass Tag, making dining hassle-free after a hard day on the slopes. Telemark Homes offer space for multiple families, with the added convenience of the complimentary Cadillac-provided transportation to and from the slopes. Whatever your priorities, Deer Valley Resort ski holiday accommodation has something to offer.
Amenities in these Deer Valley properties also serve those looking for a five-star experience. Many accommodations will have private hot tubs, often on an outdoor deck, and include complimentary breakfast and après ski.
Striving for excellence is a well-known facet of Deer Valley Resort, given that it broke into the top three resorts of North America in 1998 and stayed there thereafter, as ranked by the top skiing magazine, SKI. From 2013 onwards, it has won the award for the best guest service in a ski resort in North America every year without fail. On top of this, in 2018 it was awarded the best ski resort overall in North America. Quite something.
Awards aside, the fine dining in Deer Valley Resort also sets the tone for the level of luxury you should expect to encounter. As the #1 restaurant in Utah, as rated by the Zagat Restaurant Guide, Mariposa at Silver Lake offers the best of the culinary arts. Alternatively, take lunch in the beautiful alpine setting of the mid and upper-mountain restaurants. And if this wasn’t enough, order whatever sweet treat your heart desires from the fully functional Deer Valley Resort Bakery and pick up your custom pastry order.
Boutique shopping is something you won’t miss out on, as there is easy complimentary access from most accommodations to the extensive opportunities for shopping as well as après ski, nightlife, and eateries of the town of Park City.
We hope this has given you a taste of what you can expect from a visit to Deer Valley Resort in Utah, America.
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