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Deer Valley

It’s unclear whether the reader was applauding or shaming Deer Valley with his comment that a vacation here is like “skiing in the lap of luxury.” No matter. Because it is clear that Deer Valley’s faithful fully embrace the resort’s pampering ethos, which is the basis of its repeat no. 1 ranking. Its consistent success is built from the bottom up, as “these guys understand how important it is to manage the details." To that end, the mountain crew coddles the snow as if each flake were a Fabergé egg. Not surprisingly, ripping down groomers is “like driving a Ferrari.” And more often than not, dining out is akin to visiting a four-star hotel. However, Deer Valley’s particular insight isn’t that service matters—that’s no secret—nor is it the fresh dill chèvre, nor the army of smiling ambassadors perpetually at the ready. The difference here is the sincere business belief that attitude and effort trump all. Yes, that’s the president of the resort stopping to reunite you with your skis after a tumble in the Centennial glades. To be sure, Deer Valley’s top ranking—fueled by setting the standard in Grooming, Service, Dining and Lodging—peeves alpine purists, who would rather measure a mountain’s success in vertical feet skied and toenails blackened. Fair enough. On the other hand, “this is a resort that perfectly knows its niche.” There's no shame in that. —Greg Ditrinco

Off-the-Map Trail » Venture into the unmarked X-Files glades. Go left off the Empire Express and follow Orion as it slides by Daly Bowl and the Daly Chutes. The trees—and the conspiracies— thicken on your left. Drop in.

Après Spot » Ride the Funicular from Snow Park Lodge up to the St. Regis Deer Valley and head to the Terrace Café’s outdoor patio. The views are spectacular, and we’ll let you see for yourself how the Garden of Fire got its name.

Don’t Miss » Fireside Dining at the Empire Canyon Lodge is one of those experiences you take home. Dishes from the Alps are served from five stone fireplaces as you circulate from hearth to hearth, wondering why you would ever want to leave.

Mountain Biking 101: For Skiers

Mountain Biking At Deer Valley Ski Resort
Mountain Biking At Deer Valley Ski Resort
Four tips for skiers who want to get fit in the off-season.

Want to avoid pow-day and hot-lap bonks? Try mountain biking. This off-season activity promises to improve your aerobic fitness and balance—plus hone your focus for choosing lines, tree skiing, and facing fear.

Scott House, communications director and guide for White Pine Touring and Jans Mountain Outfitters in Park City, Utah, gave us countless tips on a recent trip to tackle some of Park City's 400-plus miles of single track. Here are the most important things you should know about mountain biking.

Why Skiers Should Try Mountain Biking

A Rookie Gets Hooked on Mountain Biking

Mountain Bike Park City: Deer Valley Aspens
Mountain Biking Park City: Deer Valley
Park City’s 400-plus miles made it an easy sell.

I rode around the parking lot of White Pine Touring on a $6,000 Specialized mountain bike called “Epic Expert Carbon.” But on that sunny summer morning in Park City, Utah, the problem was that I was no “expert.”

I was about to embark on the longest, most epic bike ride of my life, led by Scott House, the communications director for White Pine Touring, and other guides—all tanned mountain men with chiseled calves. Earlier, House’d reassured me that the group would be broken out by ability levels, that a guide would stick with me.

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