Anyone who has moved to Park City to enjoy the famous Utah powder – especially those of us coming from the East Coast, where “ice” and “skiing” are often synonymous – will readily sing the praises of the three local ski resorts in Park City, the combination of which ensures skiers of every imaginable level and interest can enjoy a day on the slopes. Deer Valley Resort offers an unparalleled level of service; though closed to snowboarders, it boasts some of the finest on-hill dining and a legendary ski school, but it’s the little luxuries like free ski valet and tissue boxes at each lift that earn it rave reviews by visitors and locals, alike. Park City Mountain Resort, the town’s namesake ski area, attracts families and freestylers (the resort is included in the “Shaun White Snowboarding” game for Xbox & PlayStation), with the only night skiing available locally, and a highly-respected ski team that produced Olympic Gold Medal-winning racer Ted Ligety. And Canyons Resort has defied the odds, growing up from its humble origins as Park City West to its current incarnation, offering North America’s first chairlift with heated seats, along with elevated dining options, all the while maintaining its reputation as a snowboard mecca.
But nothing is more affirming than having all three resorts land among the Top 10 in North America for 2013, as ranked by the readers of Ski Magazine. Sure, Deer Valley Resort fell a smidgen from its perennial perch at No. 1 to a still-respectable No. 2, but Park City climbed two full positions to No. 4 and Canyons Resort jumped from No. 16 to No. 10 – no mean feat, considering the competition. What helps these rankings hold water is it’s the readers themselves who have spoken. Not some editor or publisher being swayed by possible advertising dollars, but honest-to-goodness skiers and boarders. Sure, they probably have some prejudices – voting for their local favorite, or voting against a resort based on a single experience that rubbed them the wrong way – but the results support the reality, especially in the case of Canyons, where millions of dollars in improvements has resulted in a complete overhaul of the resort, finally earning some well-deserved recognition after years as the town’s scruffy also-ran.
These accolades for Park City’s three ski areas translate directly into increased positive attention for our town, drawing more visitors and new residents, all of whom add to the richness of our local economy, both figuratively and literally.