Christine Grenney

‘Tis the Season to Purchase Your Pass

Though many warm mountain days still lie ahead, fall is prime time for deciding where to ski during the upcoming season. An impressive snowpack during the 2018-19 will assuredly get more folks out on the hills this year, so being strategic as to where to spend those ski or snowboard dollars is imperative if crowded slopes aren’t your thing.

However, while Utah’s liquor laws might be confusing to some, trying to figure out the best opportunities among the newly-minted, multi-resort pass options might be even more challenging to comprehend. While this helpful article from The New York Times manages to unravel the myriad of opportunities that make up the 2019-2020 multi-mountain passes, we’ve also put together the following primer as a resource to help you decide which mountain (or mountains …) calls your name.

It should be noted that discount tickets are available for most resorts (if purchased in advance) at local ski/snowboard shops or Costco, but season passes are usually the best value, as long as you spend a certain number of days on the mountain.

Deer Valley Resort

Photo credit: Deer Valley Resort

The toniest of Utah resorts, the skier-only Deer Valley Resort was consistently ranked as one of the top resorts in North America by Ski Magazine until the periodical eliminated its resort rankings last fall (though Deer Valley still earned a “Best Service” distinction). But for those of us who have chosen to “Ski the Deer Valley Difference®” (yup, the saying is even registered) for years, the ranking was just window dressing to miles of corduroy leading to large servings of world-famous chili. With its recent acquisition by Alterra Mountain Co., Deer Valley’s full season pass options now include certain ski privileges provided by the Ikon Base Pass at 40 resorts, including limited days at Utah resorts Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird.

Full season passes are outlined in the table below, with restrictions regarding the Ikon pass as noted.

Pass Name Through
Adult One (23-64) $2,365 $2,766
Midweek (Mon-Fri)* $1,350 $1,465
Young Adult (13-22) $1,400 $1,695
Child (5-12) $660 $765
Senior (65+)* $1,100 $1,236
Military Season Pass** $1,650 $1,650
Tot Season Pass*** $160 $185
Adaptive Pass* $1,235 $1,235

*Midweek, Senior and Adaptive Season Passes do not receive a complimentary Ikon Base Pass

**Military Season Passes are valid for active, reserve, honorably discharged and retired U.S. Military personnel and their spouse and are non-transferable. A current valid military photo ID for each pass holder must be presented at the time the pass is issued. Honorably discharged members of the military can purchase a military pass by calling 435-645-6626

***Tot Season Passes are not included in the Wasatch Benefit Program

There are also more wallet-friendly options available, such as Midweek Season Passes at just $1,350 (until Oct. 16) good Mondays-Fridays (but not during the Christmas holiday), or via Locals Only® Passes, which provide discounts of up to 40% off the ticket window rate:

Pass Name Pass Price Per-Day Pricing
Adult (18+) 5 Pass
(Valid seven days per week)
$525 $105
Adult Midweek 5 pass
$450 $90
Young Adult (13-22)
5 Pass
$440 $88
Child (5-12) 5 Pass $320 $64

When (weather permitting) the resort opens on Dec. 7, it will be interesting to see the effect of the Ikon Pass as it continues to offer up Deer Valley terrain to more skiers than before.

Park City Mountain

Photo credit: Park City Mountain

As Vail Resorts, Inc., which owns Park City Mountain, continues to resemble Pac Man – gobbling up resorts like blinking ghosts – the value of the company’s Epic Pass continues to grow. New this year, Epic Passholders have access to Snowbasin, Sun Valley and (if you’re in the area) Rusutsu-Japan, providing access to a massive number of resorts across North America and around the world.

But unlike Deer Valley Resort, which limits its number of skiers each day, Park City Mountain does not have a daily limit, sometimes resulting in long lift lines on the busiest days of the season. With the most terrain of any resort in North America, however, there’s plenty of mountain for everyone once you’ve made it past either the Park City or Canyons base areas.

Its cornerstone pass product, the restricted Epic Local pass, includes some blackout dates, but costs just $719 for adults, $579 for teens (ages 13-18) and $379 for children (ages 5-23). While unrestricted full Epic Passes are $969 for ages 13 and older, or $509 for ages 5-12, and offer unlimited riding at Vail’s wholly-owned resorts, with limited days at additional ski areas in Canada, Europe and Peak Resorts in the Northeast (pending regulatory reviews). Little ones through age four can receive a free season pass.

A truly “epic” value when it comes to passes is the Military Epic Pass option, which offers a full, unrestricted pass for just $159 for either active or retired military, with the same price offered to their dependents.

Snowbird, Alta or … Both?

Photo credit: Snowbird

For skiers and snowboarders, alike, Snowbird is hallowed ground, where extreme athletes and every-day cruisers can both find terrain to their liking. However, skiing purists (but not snowboarders) might prefer the Alta-Bird Pass, which offers a great value by allowing unlimited access to both resorts, while the Ikon and Mountain Collective passes provide access to additional ski areas beyond Little Cottonwood Canyon. For those looking to stay at Snowbird, or preferring to combine Alta and the Bird, the pass options are as follows (info on Alta-only passes can be found here):

Pass Type Current Price
(through Sept. 13, 2019)
Summit Adult $1,149
Summit Senior (65+) $799
Summit Young Adult (19-25) $1,249
Summit College/
Medical Resident
Summit Military $739
Summit Teen (13-18) $439
Summit Youth (7-12) $299
Summit Family 4-Pack
(two adults, two kids)
Pass Type Current Price
(through Sept. 13, 2019)
Alta-Bird Adult $1,549
Alta-Bird Senior (65+) $1,299
Alta-Bird Young Adult (18-25) $1,249
Alta-Bird Military $1,249
Alta-Bird Teen (13-17) $619
Alta-Bird Youth (7-12) $459
Alta-Bird Family 4-Pack
(two adults, two kids)
Alta-Bird 6 & Under $89

Ski Utah 5th & 6th Grade Passport

One of the sweetest benefits of living (or just visiting) Utah is the Ski Utah 5th & 6th Grade Passport. At an all-in cost of just $45, 5th Graders can ski or ride three times at EACH of Utah’s resorts – which means a whopping 45 days on the mountain for just $45. The 6th Grade Passport is a little more modest with just on ticket at each mountain, but that’s still 15 days of skiing for just $15. Of course, the kids will likely need an adult to drive them to the mountain, so consider getting the Ski Utah Yeti Pass for $649, and receive on ticket at each of Utah’s 15 resorts to accompany your little shredder on his or her quest to conquer ALL the snow in Utah.

Additional areas to consider in Northern Utah include the budget-friendly Brighton, easy-to-navigate Solitude, charming Sundance and deeply-snowed Snowbasin. But wherever you find your favorite stash of Utah powder, you’ll find just one more reason why people Choose Park City. Connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visiting her website by clicking here to learn more about the distinctions between each resort, and the many mountain properties providing easy access to each.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Park City Education Foundation – Filling in the Funding Gap to Help Local Students Reach Their Life-Long Potential

With Utah routinely placing at the bottom of all states for per-pupil spending, the “It Takes a Village” mantra has been fully adopted by the residents and businesses of Park City, as evidenced by their support of the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF).

Founded in 1986, the mission of PCEF is to “help launch well prepared, curiosity driven, creatively inspired citizens of the world,” with the seven focus areas encompassing Academic Success, Wellness, College and Career Readiness, STEM, Early Childhood Education, The Arts, and Professional Development & Teacher Recognition.

During the 2019-20 school year, more than 100 programs will be funded by PCEF at the four elementary schools, Ecker Hill Middle School, Treasure Mountain Junior High and Park City High School, including Special Ed and DLI support, coding, National Ability Center Adaptive PE, Latinos in Action (LIA), academic fee waivers and mentor programs. District-wide programs include the Excellent Educator Awards and Teacher Grants. In total, PCEF has provided $11-million in program funding over the past 31 years, which accounts for 100% of the District’s discretionary funding.

Graphic credit: Park City Education Foundation

Within College and Career Readiness, the Bright Futures program helps guide first-generation college students up to – and through – higher education. With the college graduation rate for first-generation students at just 11%, Bright Futures connects with participants while in 10th grade stays with them until they successfully complete their college career. Tools such as financial planning,

An area PCEF funds in order to address a growing community need is the Park City School District Afterschool Program for kids in grades K-9. This program offers opportunities for students ranging from homework help to outdoor activities, all supervised and providing a safe place for approximately 450 students after the school day ends.

PCEF is also dedicated to providing funding directly to teachers and administrators by awarding more than $1-million annually in grants for classroom and school programs. “Express Grants” of $1,000 or less are also available, and must inspire students to reach their academic and lifelong potential in the areas of Academic Success, The Whole Child and/or Innovation.

One Book, One Community,” a program created by the American Library Association (ALA), encourages community-wide literacy by focusing on one book each year, with that book’s author visiting students at Treasure Mountain Junior High and Park City High School, in addition to participating in a community conversation open to the public. Past authors include Garth Stein (“The Art of Racing in the Rain”), Daniel James Brown (“Boys in the Boat), and Camron Wright (“The Rent Collector”). This year’s book is “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind,” by William Kamkwamba, and will include events on Oct. 8 & 9. This will be the 11th author visit presented by PCEF.

Running with Ed, Park City’s most entertaining relay race, takes place each May and raises significant funding for PCEF programs. (Photo credit: Park City Education Foundation/Running with Ed)

Finally, one of PCEF’s most high-profile events – and one I had the honor of co-chairing in 2019 and will be again in 2020 – is Running with Ed, which is a 38-mile relay race comprised of 10 legs traveling between each of the District’s seven school locations, with participants dressing up in fun costumes and enjoying themed gatherings at each of the school stops. I’m proud to report this year’s event raised $280K, and encourage you to participate when it returns on May 16, 2020!

Want to support PCEF’s many initiatives? There are simple ways, including the Foundation’s “Give $180” program, which represents a donation of just $1 per day of the 180 school days each year (and if you give before Oct. 5, you’ll get out of receiving call during their Phone-A-Thon). Donors at $1,000 or more annually can become members of the “Scholar Circle,” while “Golden Apple Sponsors” provide sustaining gifts of $50,000 or more. And – because Park City LOVES a party –  the annual Red Apple Gala has become one of the hottest event tickets in PC ( though this year’s event on Sept. 7 is sold out, keep an eye out for next year’s on-sale date by signing up for the PCEF newsletter here).

There are many reasons people Choose Park City, but the community support of its vibrant nonprofits definitely tops the list! Connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or  by visiting her website by clicking here to learn more about the many amazing nonprofits that make this community one of a kind!

Property Taxes: When to Consider an Appeal

“… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin, 1789

As the end of summer approaches, so, too, does the dreaded arrival of the Summit County Property Tax Notice. While rising property values are beneficial if you’re buying or selling, the increase also means a home or business owner’s tax burden will go up over the previous year.

Taxes in our community fund essential services, such as road maintenance, public schools, fire and police protection. The amount of tax paid is based on the appraised home value, which the office of the Summit County Assessor, Stephanie Larsen, determines the reasonable market value for your home, based upon prevailing local real estate market conditions but not necessarily “market value.”

A mountain biker enjoys one of the many trails maintained by the publicly-funded Basin Recreation.

In Utah, if a property is a primary residence, is it taxed at 55% of assessed value for up to one acre – anything more than one acre is taxed at 100% of assessed value. This can also apply to a property that is rented to a single tenant year-round, provided the owner applies for a Primary Residence Exemption. Second homes used as vacation homes, along with homes that are rented nightly or for short periods of time, are taxed at 100-percent of assessed value.

Make sure the county has not listed your property as a second home or vacation property if it is your primary residence, which can nearly double your taxes owed. It will state “Primarily Improved Property” as the property type. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure the information on record at the assessor’s office is accurate, and property owners cannot receive refunds for any previous taxes on properties not listed as primary. The exemption form can be found online by clicking here.

If the amount on the notice seems unreasonable, property owners do have the option to appeal their market value by the mid-September deadline. The following are a few steps to take to determine if your property’s assessed value is fair:

Double Check the Property Description

If the number of bedrooms, square footage and/or other amenities are inaccurate, this can affect the assessed value. This can be corrected by a reappraisal of your property, or by submitting drawings to the assessor’s office. The office relies on property owners to provide the most accurate information possible.

Talk to Your Neighbors

If your bill seems high, it’s likely your neighbors are having similar thoughts. Get together to strategize and possibly present a unified appeal for your particular neighborhood or subdivision. A homeowners association in Georgia recently mobilized, involving the state in their appeal, when their taxes increased by as much as 1,000%. However, if recent sales in your neighborhood demonstrate a significant jump in property values, which is not uncommon in Summit County, it might be best to appreciate the fact that your investment is sound.

Hire an Appraiser or Use a Recently-Conducted Appraisal

It’s possible your property was over-assessed. If you’ve recently purchased your property and have a current appraisal that falls well below the county’s version, it’s likely the professional appraisal provided at the time of your transaction will be considered as valid.

Filing Your Appeal

After receiving your property tax notice, you have 45 days to file an appeal. This can be accomplished by either submitting an electronic Board of Equalization Appeal Form via the county’s online portal, or downloading a PDF version to fill out and send to the Summit County Board of Equalization. You must include a copy of your property tax notice, along with any evidence, such as an appraisal, sales comparable to your property or MLS – Multiple Listing Services – data to support your appeal. Contact me if you would like help with this.

Decisions depend on the availability and workload of Board of Equalization Appeal Officers, and could take several weeks. Once a decision is reached, you can expect to receive a “Notice of Determination.” If your appeal is denied, you cannot appeal your final property tax bill when it is received in November.

For more information, contact the Summit County Assessor’s Office at 435-336-3257, or visit them at the county courthouse in Coalville, at 60 North Main Street. The Assessor can be emailed at [email protected].

If you have any questions or need help finding comparable properties to support your appeal, please reach out to me. I’m happy to walk you through the art of how to appeal your property taxes anytime.

There are many reasons people Choose Park City beyond continually-increasing home values. Connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visiting her website by clicking hereto learn more about the many benefits to living in this amazing area.

The Value of a Review

Back in the ‘70s, Faberge Organics launched an iconic advertising campaign for their shampoo wherein one person so loved their product, she “told two friends, and they told two friends, and, and so on, and so on …”

In the era of social media, every interaction is now broadcast as a similar word-of-mouth endorsement, with both positive and negative experiences shared with our group of followers or friends. And with online review sites, those experiences can be seen globally.

The majority of my business comes through referrals, and many of those clients making referrals have also taken a few minutes of their valuable time to write a review about how I helped them buy or sell their property. The value of potential clients learning from past clients about how I might handle what is often the largest transaction of their lives is invaluable, and I am eternally grateful to have so many clients who are willing to provide an endorsement that reflects our time together. For me, it’s the equivalent of a chef earning the much-coveted Michelin Stars, or an author reaching the top of The New York Times bestseller list.

I encourage you to check out my GoogleZillow, and Facebook reviews, and – if we’ve worked together – let me know how I did. In an increasingly-competitive industry, I am continually striving to earn every star that every client – past and future – is generous enough to bestow upon me, especially if it inspires more people to Choose Park City in the future.

Ten Things to do in Park City this Summer

Though many recognize Park City as a winter sports mecca, locals know that summer days can be the best days when the Greatest Snow on Earth has left the mountains to fill our many refreshing reservoirs.

Deciding where to start can be daunting, so I’ve culled 10 fun things to do in Park City in the summer, offering something for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

The Flying Aces wow the crowds at the Utah Olympic Park (Photo credit: Flying Ace Productions)

Utah Olympic Park Flying Ace All-Stars Freestyle Show

Saturdays & Sundays through Sept. 1st at 1 p.m.

Witness the awe-inspiring athleticism of winter sports athletes – sans winter – at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP), one of the Olympic Legacy venues from the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games. Originally the location of the bobsled, luge, skeleton and ski jumping events, the venue continues to be the training ground for current and future Olympians and National Team skiers and snowboarders, some of whom spend their Saturdays and Sundays in the summer wowing the crowds with their gravity-defying freestyle tricks. During this no-cost, 30-minute choreographed show, athletes soar up to 60 feet in the air before landing the UOP’s Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool. While you’re there, be sure to tour the Alf Engen Ski Museum and George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games Museum. There are also nature trails available for hiking and biking, and the Discovery Zone features a climbing wall and playground to let the wee ones get their wiggles out.

Utah Olympic Park
3419 Olympic Parkway
[email protected]

Paddle Boarding in the Uintas

Standup paddle boarders learn the ropes from Park City SUP at Pebble Beach in lower Deer Valley Resort (Photo credit: Park City SUP)

Standup paddle boarding (SUP) has become one of the most popular low-impact water sports over the past decade. Many local SUP enthusiasts will head to the nearby Jordanelle and Deer Creek reservoirs, but for a uniquely-Utah experience, I recommend you head up into the Uinta Mountains and bring your SUP to a pristine alpine lake.

Park City provides easy access to the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, which contains the western portion of the Uinta Mountain Range, created by presidential proclamation in 1906 and containing more than 1,000 lakes. Encompassing 460,000 acres, it is the largest wilderness area in Utah. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Uinta” is derived from the Ute word “Yoov-we-teuh,” meaning pine tree or pine forest, while “Wasatch” is a Ute word meaning “low place in high mountains,” and “Cache is the French word for “to hide,” harkening to the fur trappers who were the area’s first European visitors and would hide their bounty until it could be traded.

The stunning Mirror Lake Highway takes visitors from nearby Kamas up through the forest, cresting at its namesake, a 53-acre lake located at more than 10,000 feet above sea level and encompassing 53 acres. Mirror Lake offers a cool respite from the summer heat at lower elevations, but is often inaccessible until late spring/early summer.

There is a fee for recreating along Mirror Lake Highway, so be sure to stop by one of the ranger stations or self-service areas on the way in. It’s just $6 for 1-3 days, and annual passes are $45. More information on area access and passes can be found by clicking here. Many local shops rent SUPs, but Park City SUP – located in lower Deer Valley – specializes in the sport and provides quick lessons to help get you on your way.

Park City SUP
1375 Deer Valley Drive South
[email protected]

Mountain Biking in Round Valley

A mountain biker tackles the trails high above Park City (Photo credit: Mountain Trails Foundation)

Park City’s network of mountain biking trails garnered the very first Gold Level Ride Center award from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), and for good reason. Mountain bikers from novice to expert can find room to roll among the town’s 400 miles of contiguous, non-motorized recreation trail. One of the most popular and accessible areas is Round Valley, which encompasses 700 acres of preserved open space, and includes 30 miles of soft surface double-track and flowing single-track trail. Considered appropriate for bikers of all skill levels, you will also find hikers and trail runners enjoying the area. MTB Project provides a good overview of trails to try; check it out by clicking here.

Just visiting, or don’t have wheels of your own? There are many bike rental shops to choose from, with a comprehensive list of rental companies listed here. There are many access points for Round Valley, but the most popular tends to be by the Quinn’s Junction Recreation Complex, located off S.R. 248 just as you head out of Park City.

Round Valley
600 Gilmor Way

AQUA X ZONE at Jordanelle Reservoir

Mondays-Wednesdays – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursdays-Sundays – 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Test your agility at the AQUA x ZONE at the Jordanelle (Photo credit: AQUA x ZONE)

Summertime temps in Park City can be downright hot, even at 7,000 feet. To cool down, many locals head to the reservoirs, but if you’re looking for some out-of-the-box watersport action, check out the AQUA x ZONE at Jordanelle Reservoir. Located 10 minutes from Park City, the AQUA x ZONE is an inflatable modular water sports park that accommodates up to 75 people at once for running, jumping, swinging and swimming through a variety of obstacles designed for every skill level. Participants must be at least six years old and 48-inches tall, and life vests are provided and required. Passes can be purchased in advance, and vehicles entering the state park must purchase an access pass.

Jordanelle State Park
515 UT-319 (off Highway 40 on the way to Heber City at the Mayflower exit)
(435) 962-9663

Stewart Falls Hike at Sundance Resort

Hikers take in the splendor that is Stewart Falls (Photo credit: Sundance Mountain Resort)

Any reason is a great reason to visit Sundance Mountain Resort, and the chance to experience one of the most beautiful water falls in Northern Utah is definitely among them.

Stewart Falls is named for the Scottish family that – for two generations – inhabited the land that is now Sundance Mountain Resort, ultimately developing it into a small ski area named “Timp Haven.” In 1969, the land was purchased by actor/activist Robert Redford, whose vision was to create a community dedicated to environmental conservation and artistic experimentation. In addition to visiting the falls, I encourage you to visit one of the restaurants at the resort base, and check out the general store and mercantile, famous for their high-quality artisan goods.

The hike to Stewart Falls is considered an easy 3.5-miles (total), and takes you through beautiful groves of pines and aspens on the east side of Mt. Timpanogos. The trail begins at Aspen Grove, located along the Alpine Loop Trail, and offers plenty of parking and rest rooms. There is a $6 entry fee, which is paid at the Forest Service pay station. The Utah Outdoor Activities site provides excellent directions to the trailhead and down to the falls. Check that out by clicking here. The falls can also be accessed from Sundance by purchasing a chairlift ticket to Ray’s Summit and hiking down. On a hot day, plan to go all the way up to the falls and cool off in its mist.

Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series at Deer Valley Resort

Wednesday nights at 5:30 through August 21

Concert goers enjoy music in the mountains, courtesy of the Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series at Deer Valley Resort, presented by Mountain Town Stages (Photo credit: Mountain Town Stages)

What began years ago as intimate outdoor shows at the City Park pavilion has morphed into a weekly community gathering of music-lovers at the much larger Snow Park Amphitheatre. Thanks to local nonprofit, Mountain Town Music, this all-ages event features local performers, free-of-charge, serenading crowds who hang out on blankets and chairs, enjoying picnics and the camaraderie of their fellow mountain-town dwellers. Bring your kids, but not your dogs, your favorite cocktail and a bite to eat and revel in one of the regular happenings that makes Park City so very special. Make the evening extra easy-going by pre-ordering something from Deer Valley Resort’s world-class culinary team. Picnics for specific shows can be ordered by clicking here, and concessions items are ordered here.

Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series
Deer Valley Resort, Snow Park Amphitheatre
2250 Deer Valley Drive South
435-901-SONG (7664)
[email protected]

Float the Provo River

A group tubes down the scenic Provo River (Photo credit: High Country Adventure)

Mondays – Saturdays, May through September
Shuttle starts at 10 a.m.

The Provo River originates in the high Uinta Mountains and flows into the Jordanelle Reservoir in nearby Heber City. Below the Jordanelle’s dam, the “Middle Provo” flows to Deer Creek Reservoir, while the lower section of the Provo flows out of Deer Creek through Provo Canyon and into Utah Lake. The river is named for trapper Etienne Provost, for whom the city of Provo is named. It’s known for running high and fast in the spring, due to snow runoff, and the Lower Provo, where I recommend booking a tubing session with High Country Adventure outfitters, features Class I and some Class II rapids, along with obstacles.

For that reason, the outfitter recommends individual tubers be at least 12 years old and taller than 5’2”. Adults can link tubes with children ages eight and older. The weight range for tubing is 80-275 pounds, with heavier swimmers, and those who are non-swimmers, able to enjoy the river on a guided raft, as tubing is strenuous and requires decent swimming skills and good physical shape. The two-hour tube rental includes shuttle service, life jackets and basic river navigation. You can also rent wetsuits, booties and a smaller tube to hold your cooler. Sign up for their $29 barbecue add-on, available with the 4 p.m. rafting trip, and feast on ribs, smoked turkey, pulled pork, beef brisket, BBQ beans, rolls, cheesy potatoes and coleslaw post-float.

High Country Adventure
3702 East Provo Canyon Road, Provo
Email form

Experience the Kamas Valley on Horseback

Country music artist, Scotty McCreery, takes to the trails with friends before performing at the nearby DeJoria Center in mid-July 2019 (Photo credit: Rhodes Valley Outfitters)

Few activities are considered more “Western” than horseback riding, and you won’t find many places to ride in the U.S. more scenic than the nearby Kamas Valley. Located 20 minutes from Park City, the Kamas Valley has retained much of its agrarian roots, and today is still comprised of many working farms and ranches, intermingled with housing developments.

Because so many wide open spaces still exist in Kamas, it’s a perfect place to book a horseback ride through Rhodes Valley Outfitters. Their rides are customized for riders of any level, and utilize a herd of friendly, reliable horses to traverse more than 800 acres of mountainous terrain. They only book private group rides, so no sharing the trail with strangers as the horses plod forward, clustered head-to-tail. Rides are offered year-round, and riders must be at least eight-years-old to participate, and cannot be heavier than 230 pounds. They’ll even start you off with a 10- to 15-minute arena lesson to introduce you to your horse. Rhodes also offer pack trips to help get your camping gear to into secluded spots, without the hassle of carrying it in yourself. Treat yourself after the ride to a cool beverage or tasty meal at the on-site State Road Tavern & Restaurant.

Rhodes Valley Outfitters
455 E 1450 N, Kamas
Email form

Weber River Rafting

Adventurers of all ages can enjoy floating the Weber River (Photo credit: Destination Sports & Adventures)

The Weber (pronounced “WEE-bər”) River begins in the northwest area of the Uinta Mountains and empties into the Great Salt Lake. Named for the American fur trapper, John Henry Weber, the Weber flows through pastoral farmlands lands in rural Summit County, offering a river rafting experience singular to the area.

Destination Sports & Adventures takes groups of all abilities (ages 3 years+) out on the Weber for half- and full-day adventures, with options for add-ons like lunch, dinner and transportation to/from Park City. The river experience begins with mild, flat stretches of water that lead to Class II+ rapids and culminate at Taggart Falls. Trips that conclude in the early evening are recommended for the best wildlife viewing. Reservations can be made by clicking here; packages featuring additional activities, such as fly fishing and biking, are also available.

Destination Sports & Adventures

Hot Air Ballooning

It’s smiles for miles for these balloon passengers (Photo credit: Skywalker Balloon Company)

If you’ve always wanted to be like the 5th Dimension and go “up, up and away” in a beautiful balloon, Park City is the ideal location, with 360 views of the mountains and valleys surrounding the area.

Balloons launch at sunrise, as that’s when the atmosphere is the most stable and predictable (balloons operators will not launch if the weather is unstable or if winds increase to more than eight-to-ten miles per hour). Rides last an hour, and participants can help with the set-up of the balloon, if they’re interested. Most flights finish with a glass of champagne (or juice) in homage to a tradition started in 18th Century France, when the first hot air balloons would land in random fields, prompting farmers to attack them with pitchforks after mistaking them for fire-breathing dragons. Upon landing, the balloon pilots would offer the farmers champagne in a show of goodwill, which was gratefully received as suitable payment for landing rights. I, however, like to think of the champagne as a toast to landing safely on terra firma …

Skywalker Balloon Company
[email protected]

Bigfoot Balloons
[email protected]

If your next adventure leads you to Choose Park City, connect with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or visit her website by clicking here to learn more about the area.

Collections Magazine Summer 2019 | Utah’s Luxury Real Estate Magazine from Summit Sotheby’s International

We are excited to announce the release of Summit Sotheby’s International’s 21st edition of Collections Magazine. Featuring the homes, estates and lifestyles of Utah, this edition of Collections Magazine displays perspectives of our state from above. With 115,000 copies being distributed across the state through our strategic partnerships, racks and events, Collections Magazine, provides our clients and their properties Utah’s most comprehensive level of exposure.

Below, please find a few words about this edition of Collections Magazine from Thomas Wright, President and Principal Broker of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty:

Welcome to Summertime in Utah. The mountains are vibrant with wildflowers, the rivers are carving through the valleys and locals and visitors alike are enjoying our state’s one-of-a-kind lifestyle. All too often we hear “I came for the winter and stayed because of the summer” from our newest residents as they experience their very first summer in Utah.
Summer is a time for celebration, togetherness and a sharing of our company culture here at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty. It is a time where we work hard, play hard and share a lot of who we are with our communities. There’s just something special around Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in the summertime, a renewal of sorts, an energy that runs through each sales associate and employee, that in turn, we share with each of our clients.

I invite you to enjoy the pages of our newest edition of Collections Magazine. I, along with all of the staff, management and sales associates of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty wish you the best of summers – may it be one you look back upon fondly for years to come.
– Thomas Wright, President & Principal Broker

To view the digital copy of Collections Magazine, please click here. If you’d like a complimentary print copy of Collections Magazine, please call 435.649.1884.

Join SSIR for the Top Summertime Events

When it comes to partnering with some of Park City’s most iconic summertime events, it’s hard to beat Summit Sotheby’s International Realty (SSIR). SSIR is at the heart of the following events, ensuring clients get the best seats possible to comfortably experience all the action.

July 4: Parade Viewing Party

There’s no better way to celebrate America than Park City’s 4th of July parade, and SSIR has your front-row seat!

Park City’s legendary 4th of July parade rivals any small-town Independence Day celebration from sea to shining sea. But SSIR’s digs at 625 Main Street provide the ultimate location for our annual viewing party, featuring great company, yummy treats and festive drinks. Get in touch if you’re interested in attending and I’ll add you to the invite list.

August 9: Deer Valley Music of the Rolling Stones Concert

The Utah Symphony pays homage to the Rolling Stones on August 9, sponsored by SSIR.

Summer in Park City is synonymous with music under the stars, so SSIR helps bring some of that music to the mountain by sponsorship one of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Deer Valley Music Festival concerts at Snow Park Amphitheater. This year’s concert is “The Music of the Rolling Stones: Circa 1969,” featuring a multi-media celebration of the 50th anniversary of two Stones albums – Beggars Banquet and Let it Bleed. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and is held rain or shine. Either bring your own picnic, or order one of Deer Valley’s sumptuous picnic baskets. Tickets start at $40 and are available online.

World-class cyclists spin through Park City during the annual Tour of Utah.

August 12-18: Tour of Utah Live Streaming

Considered to be one of the top professional cycling events in North America, the grueling Tour of Utah always winds its way through Old Town Park City, with world-class cyclists whizzing right by SSIR’s Main Street office. Which means there’s no better place to catch either the live action, or enjoy live streaming of the seven-day event. Want to come watch with us? Drop me a line and we’ll make it happen.

Business Spotlight: Indigo Highway

Indigo Highway is a stunning boutique in Park City’s Newpark Town Center, featuring exotic and eclectic items curated to make your home as unique its owners.

I spoke with Indigo Highway owners, Jennifer & Dean Tutor, about the “Indigo Highway” philosophy, the origin of their amazing merchandise, and what the future holds.  

How did you both end up in Park City?

We were living in Los Angeles, working in the entertainment industry. We were fortunate enough to travel the world for productions in different locations for shoots. Utah was continually a place we would return to, and we began to fall in love with all Utah had to offer. Eventually, we were ready to leave the craziness of L.A. and made Utah our home. 

How did the idea for Indigo Highway come about?

We were working in Florida, consulting with a b2b (business-to-business) brand. Having just returned from Morocco, where we made some of the most amazing friends, we looked out at the ocean, making its way over to where we just returned. This made us think of connectivity and how different, yet similar, we all are. Different countries, different languages, different religions, etc., but at our core, aspirations, beliefs and desires were the same. We thought about how the blue water below and the blue sky above connect us as a global community … the Indigo Highway appeared before us. We wanted to create a brand that would be all about the journey. Your journey, our journey, the journey we are all on together … Indigo Highway summed this up perfectly. 

A Favorite for locals and visitors alike, this sterling silver necklace is hand stamped with the coordinates of Park City, Utah.  Everyone’s favorite Mountain Town!

When did you open, and how has the business evolved since then? 

We opened the doors in September of 2016. When we opened it was just the two of us working every day. Now, we are grateful to have a wonderful team of exceptional women that bring ideas, kindness, enthusiasm and inspiration to the shop each day and take great care of us. It’s also been terrific, meeting amazing new friends through the Indigo Highway connection. As for its evolution, Indigo Highway is continually evolving based on what our clients wants and needs are, and always will.

How do you select your merchandise; is much of it custom-made or exclusive to Indigo Highway?

Jennifer’s many years as a celebrity stylist definitely comes in to play when selecting the merchandise. Instead of having just one client, the community of Park City is the client. I like to choose things not only I love, but pieces I feel the Park City community would wear and use in their journey of living an active, yet stylish life. Some of it is exclusive to us, some of it custom-made, and some otherwise.

We like to support as many women-owned businesses as we can and search out artisanal products that are doing great things when it comes to sustainability. Doing right by the planet, and women supporting women, is something we feel very strongly about. We love beautiful hand-crafted products and the stories that make them so special. A great example would be our new concert/picnic blankets. This is a Mother/Daughter brand that is working with a village in Baja to make the greatest blanket. The village recycles old clothing and turns it into new yarn to weave the products. They’re modern, yet use an age-old method. Something we are all about!

Can you tell us about your apothecary items?

The Apothecary items we choose to carry are selected very carefully to make sure ingredients are natural and effective. We believe strongly in the use of essential oils and their benefits. One of our favorite products is an amazing honey lotion made by two women in Chicago. They make the lotion like wine, in big barrels. There are only a certain number of bottles each season and if it goes bad, we’re out for months. We also have these beautiful meditation bundles from a social co-op that works with the natives in South America to harvest Palo Santo for incense and soaps. We respect and honor the ancient methods and practices of those who came before. We are in awe of how the Native Americans base their lives and rituals around the earth and sky.

Specially designed for Indigo Highway, this smudge bowl is the perfect accessory for your ritual space.

What defines an “artisanal home?”

We believe an artisanal home is when you curate your surroundings based on items with meaning, and knowing the story and the artist behind each piece. Nothing mass-produced just to fill a space. For instance, these incredible pillows made by a woman in Bend, Oregon. She gets fabric decorated with organically-dyed cactus fibers and makes the most gorgeous pillows. We also carry pottery from artisans in California and Oregon that make the most beautiful coffee cups and smudge plates, exclusive to Indigo Highway. Gotta have a great smudge plate to house your Palo Santo and Sage, right? Again, all based on Native American practices to clear away negative energy and bad vibes, but also welcoming in the positive.

Which products do your customers get most excited about (and are most challenging to keep in-stock)?

Gosh, that’s a tough one. We keep trying to figure out what the patterns are and it’s really all over the place. We carry such a large variety of products, and it’s always changing, so it’s really hard to tell. We’re like a modern trading post, in a sense. The large art pieces having words that move you, are hard to restock as they take a while to make. Jewelry is meaningful and a lot of the time, one of a kind … people always get excited about that. Right now, we carry a jewelry line made from Anasazi Pottery and walrus fossils. Each piece is signed and numbered by the artist and no two will ever be alike. We love to constantly change-out inventory to keep things fresh. The vintage indigo pieces and crystals are hard to restock because we have to go select these personally, by hand. We have a great time with sassy cards. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we want people to have fun when they come visit. 

From Indigo Highway’s exclusive fossil and artifact collection, this one of a kind necklace is signed and numbered on the back by the artist.

Are you developing other areas of retail or online offerings?

We are in the process of expanding our custom made items, like our give-back candles and t-shirts for a wholesale side of Indigo Highway. Our website is up and running, but is hard to keep everything photographed and entered due to the constantly changing-inventory and one-of-a-kind pieces. We keep getting approached to open other locations or franchises, but feel Park City is Indigo Highway’s home and want this to be the only location for a while. 

What does the future hold for Indigo Highway?

Making more friends all over the world along the Indigo Highway and continuing to do what we love here in Park City. Hopefully, our travel- and nature-inspired goods will be found around the world, the website will be fully stocked, all while adding more stamps in our passports. Then, more time for “Travel Nights” (special events held at Indigo Highway) where we get together with friends, clients and fellow travelers to talk all things travel. Hope to see you along the Indigo Highway!

Stop by Indigo Highway (1241 Center Drive in Redstone) and receive 10-percent off your purchase (valid through June 31, 2019).

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you can take advantage of special promos every month. Not a subscriber? Contact me and I’ll be happy to send you June’s coupon.

Summit Sotheby’s Brand Overview 2019

We could tell you about why Summit Sotheby’s International Realty is like no other, but we’d rather show you. Freshly cut from our in-house creative gurus and part one of a multi-part video campaign, this short-film is a snippet into the life of our brand. We’re all about breaking the mold, redefining the business of real estate and having a whole lot of fun in the process.

Getting Global with Park City’s Grade Schoolers

Summer Camping Kids Park City Utah

Kids give the Dual Language Immersion program a thumbs-up!

One of the many hallmark programs of Park City School District is the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program, which is offered at all four elementary schools and begins in first grade. The program is so well regarded, the Boston Globe covered it last spring.

The caveat is that enrollment isn’t a given. There are typically more children vying to get in than there are spots available. For the Spanish DLI program at Parley’s Park Elementary School, half of the students enrolled must be native Spanish speakers. This is a boon to the program and students participating, but often means even fewer available spots than in the French DLI programs at Trailside and Jeremy Ranch elementary schools. McPolin Elementary School is a “whole school” Dual Immersion school, so opportunities to participate in the program are generally greater there.

According to Park City School District, “Utah Dual language Immersion (DLI) is a state supported program in which students spend half the day in English with one teacher and half the day with another teacher in a second language.” They go on to state that, “the mission of Dual Immersion is to prepare linguistically and culturally competent students who can successfully compete in a complex global economy.”

As the parent of two Spanish DLI students, I cannot say enough about how valuable and enriching the program has been. However, DLI isn’t a perfect fit for every kid, so learning as much about it as possible before applying is critical.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can attend a parent meeting on Tuesday, January 31, at 6:30pm at Ecker Hill Middle School in advance of this year’s application process opening on February 1. Bookmark this page to stay up-to-date on the program. I’m including the contacts for each school below, and for application or waitlist process contact the administrative assistant: Cindy Hair ([email protected] or 435.645.5600 ext. 1420).

school contacts

For so many locals, DLI in Park City continues the spirit initiated during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, when the venues in our little resort town welcomed the world, demonstrating why residents and visitors from across the globe continue to Choose Park City.