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Ultimate 72-hour Escapes: Deer Valley

Ultimate 72-hour Escapes: Deer Valley

Features
By Everett Potter
posted: 01/05/2005

How to get there Salt Lake City International welcomes 808 flights a day, and is a 40-minute drive from Deer Valley. A rental car is a waste of money, as the shuttles are quick and easy. Call Snow Country Limousine for 4X4 transport in an SUV ($117 per vehicle, one way; 435-714-0159; snowcountrylimo.com). The free city transport system is seamless, running between Deer Valley and throughout Park City between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. (parkcityinfo.com). Also, most of the lodging properties in Deer Valley offer evening shuttles for their guests.

Where to stay The top ski-in/ski-out condos on the lower mountain, with full kitchens, washer/dryers, panoramic views and river-rock fireplaces, are at The Black Diamond Lodge, overlooking Snow Park Lodge ($560-$2,645; 888-976-2732; blackdiamond-deervalley.com). The fully equipped condos at the Pine Inn are also ski-in/ski-out via the Success trail ($825-$2,335; 888-976-2732; trailsend-deervalley.com). Up at the midmountain Silver Lake Village, the full-service Stein Eriksen Lodge, with 170 spacious rooms, a spa and an award-winning restaurant, sets the gold standard for the entire ski resort ($375-$1,605; 800-453-1302; steinlodge.com).

How to ski the mountain

Day One Deer Valley restricts its ticket sales to 6,500 skiers, and with 2,000 acres to explore, crowds are rarely an issue. Begin your warm-up in the Deer Crest area, which faces east and basks in the early morning sun. After a few groomers, head over to the Wasatch Express and Sterling chairs. Spend the morning cruising Legal Tender, Wizard and Nabob. After lunch at the Silver Lake Restaurant, midmountain, head over to the Mayflower Lift, which accesses some fun black-diamonds, including Morning Star, Fortune Teller and Narrow Gauge. Lastly, it's time to make the obligatory screamer down Stein's Way.

Day Two Ski the lower mountain's steepest runs: Know You Don't, Champion and Solid Muldoon, venues for the Olympic slalom, mogul and aerial events in 2002. Refuel at the base-area Snow Park Restaurant or on the sun deck at the Royal Street Café in Silver Lake Village. Then go explore Flagstaff Mountain, which offers both bump and cruising runs. From there, take the short traverse to Ontario Bowl's single-diamond glades.

Day Three Head first to Empire Canyon this morning, which tops out at 9,570 feet. It boasts Deer Valley's biggest challenges and most difficult trails, with double diamonds in Daly Bowl and Daly Chutes. The best part is, you shouldn't expect much company, as everyone else will be back on the resort's sugarcoated groomers. Fuel up on chili or panini sandwiches at the Empire Canyon Grill, then burn it off in Lady Morgan Bowl-a proper finale to a weekend well spent.

Where to rent skis The Deer Valley Rental Shop, on the lower level of Snow Park Lodge, added 1,860 square feet of space this season to expand its inventory and service department ($52 for a full set of performance skis/boots; $45 for skis only; 888-754-8477).

Where to eat, drink and relax For après-ski, this is Utah, so you'll be sipping martinis inside one of the hotel bars, such as the Goldener Hirsch or the Stein Eriksen. Locals favor Club Buvez, in the rotunda at the Chateaux at Silver Lake Village. If you're dining in Park City, start your night at the Wasatch Brew Pub or O'Shucks, local favorites with a laid-back vibe and plenty of beers on tap. For dinner, options in both Deer Valley and one mile away in historic Park City are not lacking. In Deer Valley, the Titanic-sized Seafood Buffet in Snow Park Lodge is a true don't-miss for dinner. Start with fresh Dungeness crab, move on to tiger shrimp and Pacific oysters, then settle down for crab risotto cakes with lemon ginger aioli and Thai seafood chowder. And grab a stellar white from a list that's earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence ($50; 435-645-6632). Also at Deer Valley, don your Dale of Norway sweater and head for Mariposa (435-645-6715) in the Silver Lake Lodge for a classic Deer Valley dining experience. For a night out in Park City, consider Wahso (435-615-0300) for the best sashimi this side of San Francisco, Easy Street Brasserie (435-658-2500) for classic French and Grappa (435-645-0636) for Italian. Looking for the resort's best spa treatment? Choose between the deep tissue massage or the Alpine Glow body wrap at the Stein Eriksen's spa (steinlodge.com).

Hassle-buster FedEx your gear for $50 per person, one-way. Deer Valley's central reservations will set it up (800-558-3337).

Contact Deer Valley Resort: 800-558-3337; deervalley.com. Park City Chamber: 800-453-1360; parkcityinfo.com

JANUARY 2005

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