Canada is blessed with some of the best ski and snowboard resorts in the world, but sometimes it’s fun to venture outside of your own backyard. I recently had the chance to spend a few days in Park City, Utah, a quaint town that borders the expansive Wasatch mountain range and features world-renowned ski resorts.
Olympic-level powder and the Sundance Film Festival have put this laidback town on the international map, creating a market for a number of luxurious hotels, residences and A-list amenities. And while the ski and snowboard conditions of Park City’s resorts are fantastic, the après-ski offerings may be even more enticing. Here are a few events you shouldn’t miss, regardless of whether you ski or snowboard beforehand.
1. The Veuve Clicquot Yurt at Montage Deer Valley
Champagne in a luxury yurt is the perfect way to wind down after a day on the slopes, should you want to feel like royalty. Located on the grounds of the ultra-opulent Montage Deer Valley resort, the marigold-coloured yurts of the Veuve Clicquot are decorated to look and feel like a cozy chalet, complete with a fireplace, fur throws, wood rocking chairs and plaid blankets. Sipping Veuve Clicquot bubbly while nibbling on truffle popcorn will surely whet your appetite before heading to your next après experience.
2. The Empire Canyon Lodge’s Fireside Dining Experience
Dinner by a fireplace sounds romantic and magical, doesn’t it? Well, imagine having each course of your buffet-style meal prepared alongside a crackling fire in a grand mountain chalet. And waiting for you back at your table? Another stone fireplace. This is the unforgettable Fireside Dining Experience at Empire Canyon Lodge in Deer Valley, which includes a soup course, mains and cheese raclette with chocolate fondue.
3. The 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Bobsled Track
For those who like to top off a day of skiing and snowboarding with even more adrenaline-pumping action, there’s this hair-raising experience. Helmeted daredevils in driver-led bobsleds can careen down a 1.6km portion of the bobsled track used during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Because of the sheer speed of the adventure (54 exhilarating seconds at 96 kilometres per hour, to be exact), those with neck and back issues are told to sit out. Riders must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 100 pounds, and pay $200 USD for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
4. The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge
Take your post-slope soak up a notch at the Stein Eriksen Lodge spa, where you’ll find hot tubs overlooking the Wasatch mountain range. Choose from a large selection of massage treatments, including a Himalayan Stone Salt massage, a Thai massage, a couple’s massage and a CBD massage (yes, please). Or, if you’re a guest at the hotel, opt for an in-room massage, the ultimate luxury for tired travellers. To take your treatments up to an even more luxurious level, ask to add on a Black Diamond Mask or a Moroccan Oil Scalp Treatment.
5. Dinner and Drinks on Main Street
After a day of crushing moguls, hang up your boots and head to Park City’s historic Main Street for happy hour, appetizers and/or dinner at an array of casual pubs and restaurants. Recommendations here include No Name Saloon, Wasatch Brew Pub and Flanagan’s on Main, to name a few. If you want a higher-end dining experience, head over to 710 Bodega Tapas and Wine, Riverhorse on Main, or Fletcher’s. Keep in mind that for as popular as these establishments can be during ski season, they’re even busier in January and February, when the city’s population balloons from 8,000 to 45,000 during the Sundance Film Festival.
6. The Hot Chocolate Bar at The St. Regis Deer Valley
Nestled at the foot of an ultra-luxurious ski-only resort, the St. Regis hotel does après to perfection. This ski-in/ski-out establishment offers a free hot chocolate bar every day from 3 to 6pm, which kids and adults alike are sure to love. There’s also an outdoor mountain terrace, where guests can enjoy caviar and a raw bar while they warm up alongside the roaring fire garden. Tip: if you happen to be at the hotel’s mountain terrace at 5:30pm, you can catch a champagne sabering, and toast to the day’s activities with a glass of bubbly.
7. The EBS Lounge at Deer Valley
Music and sports lovers will surely enjoy the après at Edgar’s Beer & Spirits Lounge, located on the second floor of the Snow Park Lodge. Live music shows take place on weekends and holidays until 6pm, and televised sports are shown as well. Here, you can toast with beer, wine and cocktails while noshing on turkey chili and other comfort foods.
With activities this enjoyable, we won’t blame you if you decide to skip the skiing and snowboarding at Park City, and head straight for the après instead!
How do you like to unwind after an exciting day on the mountain? Let us know in the comments below!