5 Weekend Ski Getaways from Park City

There are so many reasons to take a weekend ski trip. One is that many of our passes—from the Epic to the Ikon—include days at other resorts, and sometimes even lodging discounts. Another is that sometimes, we need to get out of town when insanity (aka Sundance) strikes our grocery stores and roads. And doesn’t the powder always seem deeper on the other side? I don’t know about you, but I get serious FOMO when I learn that Breckenridge, for example, has gotten 178 inches this year, while Jackson has pulled down nearly 200.

2018/2019 Winter Snowfall Totals to Date (from Jackson Hole)

So, where to go? Here are 5 weekend ski getaways from Park City that are doable as long weekend road trips. Of course, you could also fly to maximize your turn time.

crested butte

Photo Credit: CBMR

1. Crested Butte, CO

Crested, what? There’s a reason this little outpost in the West Elk Mountains is known colloquially as the last great ski town and is unfamiliar to many. It’s so far away from everything, that it’s still an authentic little town and a well-kept secret—think the opposite of Vail, as ironic as that now is.
Why go: Crested Butte is a family-friendly town with big personality. The community jumps at every chance to stage a festival or hold a party. Surrounded by not much of anything besides mountains, the views are truly sublime. The resort itself offers terrain for everyone, but is an expert skier’s dream, with tons of steep bowls and gullies only accessible through some upward travel.
Pass compatibility: Epic Pass (unlimited days)
Drive time from Park City: 7.5 hours
Stay at: The Ruby B&B if you can score a room, or the Elevation on the mountain
Eat at: The Last Steep for its weekend Bloody Mary bar, and The Secret Stash for pizzas like the Notorious F.I.G. (hello, figs and bacon)

sun valley

Photo Credit: Sun Valley

2. Sun Valley, ID

Idaho is not known for being—how shall we say it—very luxurious. But Sun Valley is as posh a ski destination as it gets. It also has a great arts community for those who like a side of culture with their snow.
Why go: Put on the map by none other than Ernest Hemingway, the Sun Valley/Ketchum area is a relatively close destination and a beautiful drive. The mountain is well-rounded and a great fit for all skier types, meaning it’s family-friendly.
Pass compatibility: 2 days with the Mountain Collective Pass
Drive time: 5 hours
Stay at: Sun Valley Lodge
Eat at: Pioneer Saloon and Trail Creek Cabin win with their Wild West-chic ambience

big sky

Photo Credit: Big Sky

3. Big Sky, MT

If you think bigger is better, than this Montana skiing spot is the way to go. They claim to be home to the biggest skiing in America. While we all know that the biggest ski resort is right here at home, the Montanans are most likely referring to the sky, not the acreage. Montana’s notoriously large sky makes for panoramic views and a choice backdrop for on-mountain selfies.
Why go: Swap crowds for views. Plus, it’s just a short drive to the charming town of Bozeman. Big Sky also borders Yellowstone National Park, which is uncrowded and serene when explored in winter.
Pass compatibility: The Ikon Pass offers 7 days at Big Sky
Drive time: 6 hours
Stay at: One of Big Sky’s Cowboy Heaven Cabins
Eat at: The Montana Dinner Yurt (if yurts are your thing). If you’re staying in Bozeman, grab a delicious sandwich from the Community Food Co-op and head to Plonk for dinner.


The mighty Tetons

4. Jackson Hole, WY

I’m goin’ to Jackson, and that’s a fact. Yeah, I’m goin’ to Jackson, ain’t never comin’ back. While I believe Johnny Cash was referring to Jackson in Tennessee not Wyoming, we definitely agree with the sentiment when it comes to Jackson Hole. Bonus? An hour’s drive through Teton Pass is Grand Targhee… I got engaged on the Dreamcatcher chairlift there and love their throwback slogan “Snow made from heaven, not hoses.”
Why go: With over 16 feet of snow piling up, a lively downtown, and the jagged Teton Range to ogle, there’s a lot to love about this ski destination. And of course, you’ll want to queue up the song “Jackson” for your road trip playlist.
Pass compatibility: 7 days with the Ikon Pass; 2 days with Mountain Collective
Drive time: 4.5 hours
Stay at: The Lodge at Jackson Hole
Eat at: Snake River Brewing; be sure to grab pastries at the buzzy Persephone Bakery to stuff into your ski jacket pockets for chairlift snacks

5. Solitude, UT

For those who want to get away without the hassle, there are plenty of ski staycation options right here in Utah. Head up to one of the resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons, book a room, schedule on-mountain childcare, and click into full vaca mode.
Why go: While Snowbird and Alta also make great options, I’m recommending Solitude because it’s so aptly named. Peace and quiet abound not only on the slopes, but also at the Solitude Mountain Spa.
Pass compatibility: Deer Valley passholders get 2 days at Solitude; Ikon passholders have unlimited days at Solitude
Drive time: 54 minutes 🙂
Stay at: The Inn at Solitude
Eat at: Silver Fork Lodge and Restaurant (a historic spot just a couple minutes from Solitude)

Property Film Alert: A Glimpse into 3099 Mountain Ridge Court

Completed in 2014, this unparalleled design by Clive Bridgwater comes alive when paired with the discerning design aesthetic of the owner. This home was intentionally constructed to maximize the 180-degree views spanning from the Uintas, across the Park Meadows golf course, to Deer Valley Resort’s Bald Mountain. Museum-quality finishes, a refined attention to detail, exclusive brands and globally-sourced fixtures create a luxe environment previously unseen in Park City. Built on a premier parcel backing a large residential lot, birds and wildlife are routine visitors. Strategically placed windows create sun or moonlight-drenched living spaces. At once inviting and sophisticated, this home is as comfortable hosting two, as it is 100, guests. A four-car heated garage and 840 square feet of storage will feed the soul of any gear enthusiast. The architecture and design, combined with smart home technology and convenience to trails and amenities, make this property like no other.

10 Ways Locals Can Sundance in 2019

Egyptian Marquee during Sundance

Photo Credit: Historic Park City Alliance

The annual Sundance Film Festival can be a love-it-or-hate-it event. Originally called the Utah/US Film Festival, Sundance first struck Park City in August of 1978 and was in part spearheaded by Robert Redford. Today, it’s one of the biggest events in Utah and draws film industry members and filmgoers from all over the world—well over 100,000 of them to be exact.

If you count yourself among the Sundance haters, my advice to you is simple: stock up and lay low—or, get out of town altogether. But if you’re a Sundance fan or Sundance-curious, there are many ways to experience the festival as a local that don’t involve dropping a couple grand on a pass and spending every waking moment of the fest with your eyes glued to a screen. I’ve rounded up 10 ways locals can get a taste of Sundance 2019 (January 24-February 3) without dropping everything.

1. Catch a screening during the second half of the festival

Sundance is not just one weekend. While most of the action does happen during the first few days (January 24-27), the fun continues for a full 10. Planning to go to a screening during the latter half of the festival means fewer crowds and shorter lines.

2. See a show outside of Park City

Another common Sundance myth is that it only takes place in Park City. While the Sundance HQ is, of course, Historic Main Street and the Egyptian Theatre, screenings are also held in Kimball Junction, Salt Lake City, and Sundance Resort as well. Attending screenings off Main Street means the same thing as Sundancing after the first weekend: fewer crowds, shorter lines.

person watching movie

3. Catch a matinee

Inevitably, matinees are less popular than evening and nighttime shows. Screenings start as early as 8:30am, meaning you can catch a riveting documentary while you sip your morning coffee, then spend the rest of the day skiing. While matinees are always less popular, keep in mind that during the first weekend, they will still sell out.

4. Get a Grand Theatre Pass

If your primary goal is purely to see a lot of high-quality premieres, I suggest springing for the Grand Theatre Pass. It’s only valid during Sundance weekends (Friday through Sunday) and for screenings held at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake. However, you’ll beat the hubbub and get to see a lot of great movies. Make a staycation out of it and stay at the Grand America Hotel for the weekend so you’re not driving back and forth.

sundance box offices

5. Be a Box Office opportunist

Don’t want to deal with the crazy online queues? Don’t really care what movie you see, but just want to catch a show? Head to the box office at 8 AM to see what’s available. Hours for the Park City box office are pictured above, but there are also box offices in Salt Lake City and at Sundance Resort itself.

6. Head to the Best of Fest (February 4)

If you’d like to see Sundance films, but don’t want to deal with the insanity, consider Best of Fest. This annual event is put on for locals only and, better yet, is totally free! The screening consists of a couple solid hours of award-winning films. This year, Best of Fest will take place on the Monday after Sundance (2/4) with showtimes at 6pm and 9pm in Park City, at Sundance Resort, and in Salt Lake. The catch: the only way to get in is to join an online waitlist two hours before the screening, so Best of Fest-goers must be agile.

Robert Redford

The handsome man behind the madness (Photo Credit: BJ Alias)

7. Townie Tuesdays (January 29)

The other free screening opportunity for locals (Park City, only) is the Townie Tuesday. The screenings will air at 7pm at the Redstone Cinemas and at 9pm at the PC Library. Like the Best of Fest, tickets may only be procured via an online waitlist that doesn’t open up until two hours before the screening time. (Dear Sundance, is this really the only way??) Patience and dedication will pay off.

Photo Credit: Sundance Film Fest

8. Head to the New Frontier

If you’re a technology fiend and an art hound, the New Frontier is for you. This annual exhibition showcases New Frontier Sundance residents, who are artists working with cutting-edge media and tech. You do need an actual pass to get in, however, so no specific tickets are available.

9. Partake in the Sundance Off Season

If all this talk of eWaitlists and crowds has you rethinking your interest in Sundance, consider Sundancing in the off season. The Sundance off season runs from February 4 until the first day of Sundance in 2020 (sometime in late-January!). What does it consist of? Screenings throughout the Wasatch Back and Front of Sundance movies at places like the Park City Library theatre and Red Butte Garden. All the great movies, none of the hustle.

10. People-watch on Main Street

If the hustle is what you’re looking for during Sundance, take the bus or a Lyft to Main Street (do not drive) on Friday or Saturday night of opening weekend. Dress warmly and wear waterproof boots with tread if it’s snowy out. Then, pace up and down Main Street, camera phone at the ready, observing the chaos. Who knows? You may spy Dennis from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia hanging out at the entrance to The Spur, or 1 of the 2 Dope Queens drinking a glass of red wine at a Main Street eatery. And if you happen to find a bar without a long line, pop in for a drink.

Want more beta on Sundance? Here’s some of my past coverage:

12 Things to Do in Park City Over the Holidays (Besides Skiing)

School’s out for the holidays! And some parents have time off work. How do we fill the time? Of course, there’s skiing. But this time of year, the slopes can be crowded, and some of us with the Epic Local Pass may have blackout dates from December 26-31. But fear not! There are plenty of things to do besides skiing during the holidays in Park City. Here are a dozen activities for the 12 days of Christmas to keep your days full and festive, and make sure your holiday guests are sufficiently entertained.


1. Snowshoeing in the Uintas

Skis are not the only way to travel through majestic snowy landscapes come winter. While snowshoes may not be as sexy or thrilling as skis, per se, they do offer a peaceful way to explore in the snow. The Uinta Mountains are a great snowshoeing destination, with several packed cross-country trails and abundant serenity. Stop at the Kamas Ranger Station office to get a free map; Yellow Pine and Beaver Creek trails are both only about 15 minutes from Kamas and easily accessible. If you don’t own snowshoes, most ski rental shops, like White Pine Touring or JANS, stock them.

2. Take a dogsledding tour

Love dogs? Love snow? Then mushing is a must-try bucket list experience in the winter. Imagine bounding through powder in a cozy sled pulled by adorable blue-eyed huskies. Sounds like the stuff of dreams, doesn’t it? Luna Lobos up Browns Canyon and All Seasons Adventures both guide dogsledding tours in the Park City area. You do not need any technical knowledge or equipment to go. If you’re taking your kids, I promise they will be riding a dogsledding high for at least a week to come.

3. Discover the Midway Ice Castles

If you’ve got a Frozen-obsessed aspiring Elsa in your household, then the Midway Ice Castles are a key destination for holiday fun. These artificial waterfalls glow with colorful lighting and demand to be photographed and Instagrammed. While you’re in that part of the Wasatch, stay for dinner: enjoy tasty thin-crust pizza at Café Galleria or the hearth-to-table cuisine at Midway Mercantile.  The castles are open in the evening from Monday through Saturday (hours vary from day to day). Check out the Facebook page for the most up to date info and to buy tickets.

North Pole Express

Photo Credit: Heber Valley Railroad

4. Ride a train to the North Pole

Another fun Wasatch Back activity is the Heber Valley Railroad. During the holidays, the rail runs a special 90-minute North Pole Express ride that includes Christmas songs, hot cocoa, chocolate chip cookies, and a gift from Mrs. Claus herself. While the North Pole Express isn’t open on Christmas Eve or Christmas itself, it does chug along through the 22nd, resuming on the 26th. There are usually a few rides available everyday. All aboard!

5. Take an arts class at Kimball Art Center

Always wanted to try making a clay mug or painting the view from your backyard? The Kimball Art Center offers a variety of classes for all ages. From figure drawing to a free class that blends reading and an art project for 3-5 year-olds, there’s something for everyone with a creative bone in their body. A particular class of interest this time of year: Artful Thank You Cards! This is a great way to cultivate the art of gratitude in your kids at an early age.

The Mine bouldering

Photo Credit: The Mine

6. Go bouldering at The Mine

On the coldest of days, sometimes recreating indoors is the best bet. But sometimes motivation to run on the treadmill in a sweaty gym during the holiday season can be rather low. Enter bouldering! A fun way to get in some exercise and an upper body workout, all while getting stoked on climbing. Kids will love The Mine, too, and it’s an affordable daytime activity. The Mine even offers winter camps for kids and yoga classes for adults who’d rather stretch it out than pump it up.

7. Go for the gold at Utah Olympic Park

Speaking of adrenaline rushes, how about hurdling down a bobsledding track at 80mph? The Winter Bobsled Experience at Utah Olympic Park may only last about a minute, but it will revolutionize your frame of mind for the whole day. Bobsledding is available throughout the holiday season, except on Christmas itself. The slightly less daring might consider brushing up on Olympic History at the museum or figure skating.

8. Tubing at Soldier Hollow

Lift-serviced tubing? Yes please. The tubing hills at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center in Midway are basically like more exciting winter versions of lazy rivers. As if barreling down a groomed run in an inflatable object isn’t exciting enough, you can also go tubing at night since Soldier Hollow stays open until 8pm. And this is not a kids-only situation! For those who have friends or family visiting who don’t ski, tubing is a great, no-skills-required alternative to get out, go fast, and have fun.

9. Sledding—pick your PC hill

If you prefer a more ungroomed sledding/tubing experience, pack up your toboggans and head to one of several different hills amenable to sledding in the Park City area. Park City Magazine has rounded up a few suggestions, including the Iron Mountain Trail off Hwy 224, Mountain Dell by the cross country skiing area, and the FCD Hill behind the Tanger Outlets. Pro tip: Bring hot cocoa in thermoses to keep everyone in merry spirits.

horse drawn carriage ride

Photo Credit: Boulder Mountain Ranch

10. Horse-drawn sleigh ride at Deer Valley

Throw it back to the 1800s this Christmas with a sleigh ride pulled by two handsome horses through snow-covered Deer Valley. Boulder Mountain Ranch, a year-long local outfitter, offers this service every winter. This activity is perfect for hosting grandparents or older relatives in town who want to take in the Park City holiday milieu at a more leisurely pace. The sleigh rides run nightly and are available by private booking only. The rides can depart from Stein Eriksen Lodge or Silver Lake Lodge in Deer Valley.

11. S’mores at the Montage Deer Valley

Who says s’mores have to be a summer thing? A treat as ooey-gooey and fun to eat as s’mores ought to be enjoyed year-round. The Montage at Deer Valley totally agrees, which is why they serve s’mores every.single.day of the year. Did we mention we love the Montage? During the winter, it’s s’mores o’clock from 4-5pm at the fire pit just outside the Vista Lounge. Adults may want to get in on the fun, too, considering the Montage serves a medley of marshmallow flavors and offers milk and dark chocolate.

torchlight parade

Photo Credit: Deer Valley Ski Resort

12. Deer Valley’s Annual Torchlight Parade

Once a year, Deer Valley is lit—like, literally lit. The annual Torchlight Parade takes place on December 30 around 6pm. The show descends Bald Eagle Mountain via the Big Stick run. To watch, gather at the Snow Park Plaza, where free hot cider and cookies will be waiting for you. Arrive a few minutes early to secure a choice viewing spot.

Business Spotlight: Element Park City

Old Town Cellars, OTC, wine dinner, Element Park City
Photo : Dan Campbell Photography
Instagram: @dancampbellphoto
[email protected]

Where’s all the healthy, gluten-free, organic food in Park City? That’s the question Lucy Block asked herself when she moved to Utah from California eight years ago. In her former home of Encinitas, she says there were at least five gluten-free and organic restaurants she could frequent, plus a highly selective grocery store. “I could close my eyes and know that nothing had Red 40, Yellow 20, or hydrogenated oils,” Block recalls. “There were no GMOs in the entire grocery store.” While she found what she liked at Fair Weather Natural Foods, she felt the concept was limited by its space.

Then, through a mutual friend, she met Sebastian Silbereis, who had been operating a private chef service for about a year. Sebastian had a globetrotting resume and a preference for local, sustainably produced food, like Lucy. They soon formed a business partnership and expanded to become what Lucy describes as a “culinary concierge.” Meaning, “you need it, we can make it happen,” as she puts it.

Pan-Roasted Sirloin Bavette with Cauliflower Rice and Brussels Sprouts (Photo by Element)

Just over a year ago, Sebastian and Lucy opened up a brick-and-mortar shop in Snow Creek Plaza. Element Kitchen & Bakery serves gourmet dishes in a relaxed café setting, from baked goods to soups. Customers can enjoy food at one of the dozen tables onsite, or take their food home to-go. Yet Element also serves as the hub for chef services wherein the sky (or perhaps something like a wedding cake) is just about the limit. Element Park City can throw together gluten-free baked goods for a baby shower, cater a large event, or deliver an organic and gluten-free holiday meal.

The backbone of Element is, of course, the discerning criteria that all menu items must meet—after all, this is the raison d’être for the business. Everything is gluten-free, but, Lucy jokes, “If it tastes gluten-free, we can’t sell it!” Chef Sebastian also avoids GMOs and never uses refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors or flavorings, preservatives, and several other taboo ingredients. Element also caters to other dietary preferences such as vegan, dairy-free, paleo, and keto. The menu items are all marked with the diet they adhere to, and Chef Sebastian is always willing to work with customers on their needs.

Mallard Duck Confit with Roasted Broccolini and Sweet Potatoes (Photo by Element)

A dream service? Stock your fridge, wherein Element fills up your kitchen with a variety of take-and-bake items, from barbecue ribs to soup and baked goods. This is perfect for tourists staying for a week and busy families who don’t want to resort to pizza delivery every night.

Right now, Lucy’s favorite item is the keto-friendly lasagna with local grass-finished beef and eggplant. She’s also digging the coconut almond gooey butter cake, with caramelized coconut on the bottom. My not-to-be-missed? Their brussel sprouts with bacon or pumpkin donut with spiced maple cream cheese frosting. Get one (or two) of the latter to share. As the season of holiday eating winds down, Element is an excellent place to turn to reset healthy eating habits this winter.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you can take advantage of a special promo that I partnered with Element to offer this December. Not a subscriber? Contact me and I’ll be happy to send you the promo code.

Winter is Coming: Get Your Home Ready for the Cold

Ski passes? Check. Snow tires? Quadruple check. Winterizing your home? We often forget that our houses also require some pre-winter love. A few simple steps can make your home safer, more durable, and warmer as the cold approaches. Nobody wants to head into 10-degree overnight lows with a heating system that’s on the fritz!

I checked in with Todd R. Marsh, my neighbor who happens to be the co-founder of property management company Property Alliance, to find out what he recommends we all do to winterize our home. Here’s what’s on his list, plus some helpful links as needed:

Photo by Alex Perz

Check & Prep Your Heating System

  • If you have an older furnace, consider scheduling a tune-up.
  • Change out or clean your filters if needed. Generally, filters last anywhere from a couple months to a year depending on how big they are and whether you have pets (I have a recurring reminder in my calendar).
  • If you have an A/C system or a swamp cooler, winterize it and install covers.
  • Check that floor heating vents are open to allow for proper air flow.

Prep the Exterior

  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and ensure downspouts are draining away from the home.
  • Check that tree branches are not rubbing roofs, siding or windows. If needed, trim branches.
  • Visually inspect roof and eves for damage.

Photo by Kirsten Marie Ebbesen

Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Winterize your irrigation system (you’ll probably want to hire someone to do this).
  • Detach garden hoses from spigots.
  • During cold snaps, leave cabinet doors open in problem spots (think below your sink) to encourage warm air flow in the vicinity of water lines.
  • Install insulation around pipes in problem areas (like utility closets or crawlspaces).

Fire Safety

  • Schedule servicing for gas, wood, and/or pellet stoves.
  • Get your chimney inspected and cleaned to prevent chimney fires.
  • Replace the batteries for your CO2 and smoke detectors and clean off any dust that has accumulated on them.

Snowblower Maintenance

  • Take your snowblower in to Park City Power Products and get it serviced. Rod has been taking care of snowblowers and other such useful tools for over two decades.
  • Stock up on ethanol-free gas, which is better for your snowblower. Here’s a list of ethanol-free gas stations in Utah, the nearest of which to Park City might be in Heber or Kamas.

Leaving Town

  • Keep thermostats set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If your vacation property is for sale, ask your Realtor to check the heat.
  • Consider turning off the main water line.
  • If it will be more than a few days, make sure someone will stop by and check on your property.

Last box to check? Do your snow dance and hope to hear the familiar sound of avalanche bombs going off in the morning.

Questions on the tips above? Don’t want to take on winterization solo? Reach out to Todd with Property Alliance at 435.631.2527 or [email protected]

How to Make Thanksgiving a Teachable Moment in Park City

Thanksgiving is what you make it. Turn it into a stuff-your-face-fest. Make it about family. Live for the afternoon football games on a weekday or celebrate a day off of work. Yet another way to interpret the holiday is to focus on gratitude. If you’re feeling thankful this year, this is a great time to show it. And I don’t just mean by writing a check.

This year, make the expression of thanks an event and a lesson (if you have kids or a willing adult in your life!). I’ve rounded up a few ways to seize Thanksgiving as an opportunity to instill gratitude, service, and community-building into your family’s repertoire (alongside mashed potatoes and gravy, of course).

Photo by Nuzzles & Co.

1. Volunteer to walk dogs or play with cats at Nuzzles & Co.

As the adorable puppies and kittens await loving homes at Nuzzles & Co., bring a little joy to their lives! I promise, they’ll introduce just as much (if not more) happiness into your lives. Hello, puppy snuggles. You’ll also get a little fresh air and light exercise to balance all the feasting. And who knows? You might fall in love with a pooch like six-month-old Bashful (pictured above) and take him home. To start, fill out a form with your availability and interests. My daughters, aged 7 and 10, have loved this opportunity.

2. Add a homeless or refugee child to your Xmas gift list.

Every year, Catholic Community Services hosts Gift of the Drummer, pairing volunteers with homeless or refugee children to ensure everyone feels the holiday love. You can adopt just one kid or several. If you’re a Black Friday shopper, you can stock up on gifts for your adoptive gift recipient then, and spend the weekend making cards and wrapping with your family.

3. Bake a pie for a fireman or paramedic.

While many of us expect a long weekend off work over holidays, emergency workers can’t go out of service just because it’s Thanksgiving. Many of our local firemen and paramedics/EMTs work long shifts, and some volunteer, to boot. Show your gratitude with some sweets or other baked goods. You can swing by any of the seven Park City Fire Department Stations. Chances are good that you get to climb into the fire truck. Lila still remembers us doing this as a child and hey – firemen are nice eye candy for us moms, too. Everyone wins.

4. Create “necessity kits” and drop off at a homeless shelter.

Food, money, and clothing are often the first things that come to mind when we think about what a homeless person might need. But what about the necessities we depend upon, from chapstick and toothbrushes, to thick socks? Round up a bunch of travel-size items and assemble kits in Ziploc bags, then deliver to a homeless shelter. You might reach out first to your shelter of choice to ensure they can accept the items in question and confirm the best way to deliver your goods.

5. Call your favorite nonprofit and ask what it needs.

Dollars, man hours, a phone call to an influential someone, a sprinter van … you never know what your go-to nonprofit organization in Park City could use until you ask. While some might just need cash, others might ask for random items or in-kind expertise for their clients or upcoming events. Instead of assuming, just call, tell the staff how much you appreciate their work, then ask what you can do to help. Looking for a list of local nonprofits to jog your memory? The Live PC Give PC database is a great place to start.

Business Spotlight: Park City Brewery

(Photo Credit: Park City Brewery)

Park City Brewery is a place-based brewery if there ever was one. Its branding takes cues from the boldly hued outdoor brands that so many of us depend upon for our adventures in Park City. Its lineup includes higher octane brews (looking at you, Imperial Pilsner) for rowdy mountain nights, as well as four session beers for when you want an après beverage, but don’t want to end up passed out by 8pm. Park City Brewery also exclusively sells its beer in cans, which is perfect for an area that doesn’t offer curbside glass pickup and loves to bring beers on-the-go.

But this brewery’s most obvious tribute to place? Its name. Park City, plain and simple. Since Park City Brewery appeared on the scene in 2015, they’ve been expanding their beer and non-beer offerings alike, as well as popping up on more and more local taps. We chatted with Hud Knight—who co-founded the brewery with Jeff Petway and brothers Scott and Jeremy Ray—to learn more about the business’ story and future.

Choose Park City: How did the Park City Brewery team get into the beer biz?

Hud Knight: Jeff, Scott, and myself were in the ski and outdoor industry. I was the general manager of Backcountry.com. Scott and Jeff worked for me as buyers there. The joke is we traded gear for beer. We decided that there was a hole in the market. There were only 13 brewers in Utah at that time, and with the expansion of population—and the alcohol-consuming population, shall we say—we thought there was an opportunity. We trademarked Park City in association with beer. With the Park City name, there’s a lot of value in terms of brand equity. Park City is so well known—it’s a local brand with national reach.

Beers in their natural environment (Photo Credit: Park City Brewery)

You’re an all-can situation. Why did you decide to forego bottles?

Obviously, there’s the recyclability factor. Glass is not as easily picked up. It’s also a better container. It has a better seal and doesn’t have the UV breakdown. All the big companies now are coming out with cans. There’s also the selfish factor. We’re all outdoors guys, so cans make sense for us to take on a river trip or in a backpack.

We’re also staying true to our outdoor heritage from a branding perspective with our cans. Whether it’s Arc’teryx or Patagonia, we borrowed colors and design from those guys. You can see that with our branding: a bird, clean, simple.

Have you faced any challenges brewing and pouring in Utah?

To be honest, it’s really not been that bad. We’ve had no problems at all. We’ve had really good relations with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

A rowdy evening at the tap room (Photo Credit: Park City Brewery)

You frequently host events at the tap room. Any exciting new one-off or recurring happenings you want to share?

We generally have a mixed bag of trivia and live music. We’re also planning to move to a bigger facility in the next year or two. The new facility will be off Highway 40. Right now, demand is exceeding what we can produce. We will be expanding in the future.

Are you brewing up any new beers or seasonals that we should know about?

We just did an Oktoberfest predominantly to serve at Oktoberfest and at a couple of key accounts. We’ll be doing more seasonal stuff. At this point, we won’t package much more until we’re at the new facility. It’s a lot easier to do draft.

Essential PC Brewery accessories (Photo Credit: Park City Brewery)

What’s your go-to beer from the brewery?

We all have to agree that the American Pale Ale is one of the best. Jeremy came out with it last year. It’s 5.7% and a traditional-style pale ale. It has really good drinkability, and is not overpowering in terms of hops. We feel it’s a beer for everybody. The light and drinkable blonde is also one of the top-sellers in Park City, as well as by volume.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you can take advantage of a special promo that I partnered with Park City Brewery to offer this November. Not a subscriber? Contact me and I’ll be happy to send you the promo code.

The Latest on Mayflower Mountain Resort by Deer Valley


It was about a year ago when we first learned that New York City-based Extell development firm snatched up 2,300 acres alongside Deer Valley Resort. This covetable land lies on the Deer Valley Resort side of Highway 40, just off the Mayflower exit.

Now that 12 months have somehow ticked by, we’ve got a little more intel on what exactly is slated for this acreage. For one, we know its name: Mayflower Mountain Resort. We also know that it’s massive—Mayflower is slated to be the largest development in Wasatch County’s history. Here are a few vitals now available about this development in works.

Mayflower Residential

More Deer Valley Resort devotees will now be able to call the resort’s curtain home. The project expects to develop nearly 1,498 residential units. We all know that housing the people that actually live and work in Park City is a challenge, and Mayflower will do its part to address it. It has designated 95,000 square feet as workforce housing. That’s a small percentage of the total project acreage, but efficient design can go a long way. The future Mayflower residents will also enjoy a 68,000-square-foot recreation center slated for the area, as well as pedestrian-friendly planning that will hopefully make it easy for those frequenting the area to get around carless. And if they don’t, some 3,471 parking spots are part of the deal.

Mayflower Commercial

We know the most about the lodging aspects of Mayflower Mountain Resort’s commercial plans. The developer anticipates over 400 hotel units distributed across a five-star hotel and a four-star hotel. The lodging development will also include a huge conference center, making it a draw for corporate groups and events. In addition to lodging, 250,000 square feet of commercial space will also be available. Could this be the future home of Park City’s next hot restaurant? Only time will tell.

Mayflower Skiing

If you build it, they will come, right? Only if there’s skiing to be had—and there will be. Mayflower Mountain Resort is planning 900 acres of ski terrain to be added to Deer Valley, accessed via six new lifts. This will be the first improvement implemented, starting within the year. Après skiing will take place on a ski beach. An ice skating rink is also in the works.

The upshot: this project is well thought-out, promising to be a recreationally, culturally, and economically vibrant addition to Deer Valley Resort. The downside: development could take between two and four decades. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.

5 Nonprofits to Support for Live PC Give PC 2018

It’s almost my favorite time of year again. No, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving, Opening Day at Deer Valley, or Christmas (although these are all close runners’ up). I mean Live PC Give PC, the day when Park City comes together to show our nonprofits some love. How much love? Over two million dollars worth (in 2017, anyway).

This year, I know that we can and will raise even more. Now in its eighth year, Live PC Give PC is an altruistic force in Park City. Become a part of it by marking your calendars for November 9, 2018 and giving. To whom? There are over 100 nonprofits you can support, but I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites below.

I want to add that this was not an easy post to put together. With so many worthy causes to support, it’s hard to pick favorites. That said, here are five of many wonderful ways to give for Live PC Give PC 2018.

Summit Land Conservancy

In a painting, white space is just as important as the subject itself. The same is true for land. We must balance development with nature, not only for the benefit of our views and our real estate values, but to maintain our recreational backyard. Open space means more places to hike, run, bike, romp with our dogs, and be one with nature. Summit Land Conservancy is the local guardian of open space. Help them balance the developments arising across Summit County with open space campaigns, like Osguthorpe Farm.

Peace House Thrive Campaign

Image by Peace House

Peace House

When adults and children come under threat of domestic violence in Park City, Peace House is where they turn. There’s more reason now than ever to contribute to this invaluable cause. The Thrive Campaign is this nonprofit’s initiative to create a campus to serve as the hub for its services. The campus will include a safe emergency shelter, a dozen transitional housing units, a childcare center, a communal gathering place, and an outdoor courtyard. Construction is underway for this project, but the Peace House needs help raising funds to make their dream sanctuary come true. This is where you come in.

Park City recycling center

Photo Credit: Recycle Utah

Recycle Utah

Don’t let its name fool you. Recycle Utah does way more than recycle our stuff. They’re also green evangelists, empowering Park City residents and businesses alike to live more planet-friendly lives through education and consulting. Plus, without Recycle Utah, what would we do with all those glass wine bottles? And did you know they operate a thrift store out of their Woodbine Way Recycling Center, too? If you want to learn more about Recycle Utah’s story, check out my recent post about them on my blog. Congratulations to Mary Closser, my client and Recycle Utah’s Education Director, who was recently named Educator of the Year by Utah Society for Environmental Education.

Habitat for Humanity

Photo by Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

As a real estate agent, I’m deeply invested in helping people find not only houses, but homes. Since 1995, the Summit and Wasatch County chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been helping local families afford housing in Park City. They also help low-income homeowners implement much-needed repairs by issuing loans with 0% interest rates. Swinging hammers is a big part of Habitat’s mission, but so are educational workshops that empower locals to become responsible homeowners. And we can’t forget Restore, which feeds two birds with one scone. They accept donations of furnishings, appliances, finishes, and more that might otherwise end up in the landfill, then resell these products at affordable prices. A Live PC Give PC donation to Habitat for Humanity is a fine way to help make Park City financially accessible to the people who work and play here.

Park City Community Foundation

This is the gift that keeps on giving. Park City Community Foundation is the incredible force behind Live PC Give PC. Since they pioneered this annual day of giving seven years ago, they’ve motivated over 5,000 locals to raise nearly $8 million dollars in donations to over 100 nonprofits. These are staggering figures. And Live PC Give PC is just one of several programs the PC Community Foundation runs to help support our nonprofit community. From grants to community initiatives, they are the 24/7/365 fairy godmother of good in the Wasatch Back. Support them on November 9 to help them keep up the good work. The minimum online donation is $5 and the goal this year is to surpass 4,500 unique donors for the one day of giving. Evangelize to, challenge, or strong arm your influencers, young and old, to help PCCF succeed.

You may be getting a call from me…