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Outwitting the storm for once for a family ski reunion in Park City, Utah


View from our room at the Montage Deer Valley

View from our room at the Montage Deer Valley

PARK CITY, Utah (DAY ONE) — Sometimes, it pays be proactive.

When the forecast got worse by the hour for the latest storm primed to hit the East Coast, I figured our flight from New York to Salt Lake City would invariably be cancelled the next morning.

I’d been through that drill before—more times than I want to remember.  And at least once, we ended up having to scuttle the entire trip because by the time we could get flights out, everyone’s vacation would have been over.

So this time, I didn’t wait for Delta to call me.  The morning before the storm, I called Delta and was able to grab two seats on the last flight out that night to Salt Lake City—before the storm hit.

The next day, our original flight was cancelled along with hundreds of others. But we didn’t care.  We were skiing at Deer Valley Resort in Park City on a blue-sky day.

And instead of worrying all night about whether we’d make it out of town—especially since we were meeting a gaggle of family in Park City coming from the West Coast—we spent the night ensconced in one of my favorite ski country hotels, the Montage Deer Valley.  When you check in with children, the kids get to pick their favorite mountain plush critter—owl, deer or bear?—to take bed.

We started the day with their sumptuous breakfast buffet.  What do I want in my omelet or would I rather have bagels and lox?  How about both!  I’m going to ski it off, right?

Skis delivered to our room from Black Tie Ski Rentals

Skis delivered to our room from Black Tie Ski Rentals

Rather than schlep our skis across the country, we opted for Black Tie Ski Rental, which delivered them right to our hotel room.  Can it get any better? And I don’t even need to buckle my own ski boots, as there’s smiling staff in the Hotel Compass Sports shop glad to do it for me.  How could I resist?

Snow fun at Montage Deer Valley

Snow fun at Montage Deer Valley

I love their take on après ski entertainment—the Nightly S’mores hour on the hotel’s Vista Patio.  Think five different flavors of homemade marshmallows, plenty of chocolate, homemade hot chocolate and a board game concierge who hands out oversized classic board games like Monopoly, Clue, Checkers and more along with a candy bar—all complimentary.

If the kids haven’t had enough fun in the snow, there’s a complimentary tubing hill just outside.

Let’s not forget the pleasure of skiing Deer Valley, famous for its groomed runs and  great eats.  In fact, we enjoyed the best salad bar I’ve seen in Ski Country—think pesto chicken, grilled vegetables, roasted salmon and plenty more.

Sadly, our impromptu idyll at the Montage ended at the end of the ski day.  We were meeting up with the family at the Silver Star condos at the base of Park City Mountain Resort.

When extended family is gathering—at least our family—we find condos the way to go, especially because we all like to cook.  We like all the room to spread out; the guys like mixing their own martinis.

Silver Star is a winner on many counts.  Not only is the unit cozy and well-appointed (I’ve never rented a condo in Ski Country before that has its own French Press coffee maker), but we have our own hot tub and we’re just steps from the Silver Star lift that gives us access to Park City Mountain Resort.

Did I mention the complimentary shuttle that takes us anywhere we want to go—the grocery story, Main Street, the High West Distillery and Saloon, which crafts artisanal spirits in a traditional copper pot still.

I recommend the High West lemonades—homemade-spiced lemonade with their Double Rye!  Dinner was good too. Think whiskey braised short rib, New York Steak with Bourbon braised greens and Parmesan dusted house fries. Yum!

We didn’t over indulge too much to get out on the mountain by nine—after my husband made us a hearty breakfast.

We explored the mountain—Park City Mountain Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year—and made sure to cruise down Homerun, the mountain’s longest run—3.5 miles –and an easy way down to the bottom.

Sometimes, vacation days don’t get better—Did I mention I don’t have to cook dinner?


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