In January, many folks are thinking about two things: skiing and the Oscars. For 2018, you can add one more topic: the Winter Olympics. And there’s just one place that combines them all: Park City, Utah, home of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Here, you can enjoy some of the greatest variety of skiing and snowboarding anywhere. Attend the Sundance Film Festival and preview next year’s possible Oscar contenders. Plus, you can try some death-defying Olympic sports for yourself. Just fly in to Heber City Municipal Airport–Russ McDonald Field, a 20-minute drive south of Park City. Oh, and bring your scuba gear. Really.
One of the attractive aspects of this getaway is that you don’t have to rent a car. Use Uber, Lyft, or a taxi from the airport to Park City. In town, there’s a free public trolley system and new zero-emission buses. These buses operate on an express route to connect riders between Main Street and the Olympic facilities in Kimball Junction without additional stops.
The renovations included upgrades to many Park City Mountain lifts and restaurants as well as greatly increased snowmaking capacity. Canyons Village, Park City’s original snowboarding mecca, is known for its deep, powdery snow, spread across eight mountains. Its resort village is loaded with restaurants, shops, and après-ski entertainment. Seven signature Park City properties include the newly renovated Grand Summit Hotel, a ski-in, ski-out resort with a fabulous spa and health club.
Deer Valley, one mile south of historic Main Street in Park City, is Utah’s most elegant and sophisticated resort, with perfectly manicured slopes, heated sidewalks, plus some of Utah’s finest dining and lodging, most notably the Forbes Five-Star-rated Stein Eriksen Lodge and its Glitretind Restaurant. Deer Valley hosted the slalom, aerial, and mogul events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and its slopes are still for skiers only—no snowboards. One of the numerous activities offered is called “ski with a champion,” your chance to ski with a real Olympian for a half or full day.
Just five miles north of Main Street in Kimball Junction, the Utah Olympic Park is where you can careen down the $25-million bobsled run at up to 80 mph. Or, play on the ropes courses, visit the ski museum, or take a tour. You may see athletes training on the luge, skeleton, or ski jump. If you have a car, drive 20 miles south of Park City to Soldier Hollow in Midway, where you can ski cross-country, go tubing, or experience the biathlon by combining skiing or snowshoeing with target shooting, just like in the Olympics. Also in Midway, you’ll find the continental United States’ only warm-water scuba diving destination at the Homestead Resort, plus lodging and a beautiful summertime golf course.
Each January in Park City, Robert Redford hosts the annual Sundance Film Festival, which has grown into the country’s largest independent film festival. Films are screened at venues around town and free transportation is provided.
In Park City, it’s easy to eat well, but two establishments really stand out: Chimayo and the Viking Yurt. Chimayo presents the most sophisticated Southwest menu I’ve ever seen, and how could this Dane resist a four-hour, six-course Scandinavian feast inside a yurt, on top of a mountain, accompanied by live music on a baby grand piano? After all, this is Park City, the only place I know where you can get the biggest skiing and the most exclusive, along with a dose of Hollywood, the Olympics, and scuba diving—really.
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