Last updated: 09:31 AM ET, Mon March 14 2016

A New Era For Park City Mountain Resort

Park City offers six terrain parks in itsmore than 7,300 acres.

Agent@Home | Destination & Tourism | Mimi Kmet

A New Era For Park City Mountain Resort

PHOTO: Park CIty offers six terrain parks among its 7,300 acres. (Scott Markewitz/Park City Mountain Resort)

This season marks a new era for Park City Mountain Resort.

Last summer, Vail Resorts bought it and the adjacent Canyons ski area, and combined them into one rebranded mega-resort with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, making it the largest ski resort in the U.S. Vail also poured $50 million into capital improvements.

The combined areas are now known as Park City (not to be confused with the adjacent town of Park City), with a new logo and tagline: “There is only one. Park City.” Among the improvements is Quicksilver, a new eight-passenger, high-speed interconnect gondola that joins the two areas, transporting guests from Park City’s base area to the Flatiron Lift at the former Canyons. Gondola riders will also be able to unload mid-mountain to ski on new trails.

Two other lifts were upgraded to highspeed, detachable lifts with higher capacity, and additional snowmaking machines were installed on two trails. Vail Resorts has also opened new dining facilities, including Snow Hut next to Quicksilver Gondola, with 500 indoor seats. Existing restaurants, including the Summit House, Cloud Dine, and Red Pine Lodge, underwent renovations and/or expansions. While the ski resort is designed to appeal to all types of ski vacationers, families are a major focus in its current marketing program, according to Davy Ratchford, director of marketing.

To that end, Park City is emphasizing family-friendly amenities at the base area, including magicians, jugglers, and balloon artists. Guests also can meet the Avalanche Dogs, participate in Snow Play Hour, and make and eat s’mores. Ski and snowboard school for all ages, as well as family dog-sledding and riding an alpine coaster, are among the other family activities. But the No. 1 selling point for any demographic visiting the destination is ease of access.

“There’s not an easier ski resort of this caliber to get to, anywhere in North America,” Ratchford says, noting that Park City is a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. The variety of terrain, which includes more than 300 trails spansall ski levels. The resort boasts 17 mountain peaks, 14 bowls, two halfpipes (including a super-pipe), and six terrain parks. “We have terrain that speaks to every guest, from families and beginners to more experienced skiers who want to explore steeper and deeper terrain,” he says.

Along with that selling point, Ratchford noted the “famous Utah snow,” which consists of light, dry powder. And skiers who buy Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass can now use it at Park City. Park City, a silver mining town with structures that go back to the 1800s, also is a draw. And the area’s lodging properties offer a variety of accommodations, from luxury digs at the Waldorf Astoria Park City, with its own mountain gondola, and the skiin, ski-out Grand Summit, to more moderately priced condominium units located a few minutes from the slopes.

Finally, Ratchford emphasizes the service level that Vail Resorts has brought to Park City. The company trained the staff for months to raise the service standards and the level of attention to detail. “A brand comes to life through its employees. If you come to one of our base areas, there’s a feeling of welcome,” he says. “We have aspirations to be one of the best, if not the best, ski resort in the country.” Vail Resorts’ improvements at the ski resort aren’t the only developments in the area.

The town of Park City “has seen a flurry of activity in recent years and has welcomed a group of new restaurants, hotels, stores and activity providers,” says Linda Jager, director of communications for the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau. For example, the 122-room Hyatt Place Park City has opened; and the Yarrow Hotel has reopened as the Doubletree by Hilton – The Yarrow, following a major renovation. “You can also get an authentic mountain experience without sitting on a chairlift,” Jager adds, noting that new activities include fat-tire bike tours from Jans ski shop and “extreme tubing” at Utah Olympic Park.

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Agent@Home Magazine

A version of this article appears in print in the February 2016 issue of Agent@Home Magazine.