Vail adds five days at Les 3 Vallées in France to Epic Pass

By Jim Barth
Sep 07, 2013

Picture of Canyons Resort near Deer Valley UtahVail Resorts Inc. on Thursday announced a season-pass partnership with the largest ski area in the world, Les 3 Vallées, home to the legendary mountain resorts of Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle, France.

The Epic Season Pass now features five free days of skiing and riding in Les 3 Vallées, bringing the total access to 26 mountains in four countries. Epic Pass holders have the opportunity to experience Europe and the homeland, with access to Verbier, Switzerland, Arlberg, Austria, and now Les 3 Vallées, France, in addition to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, California; and new for the 2013-2014 season, Canyons Resort located near Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.

Les 3 Vallées area lies in the heart of the French Alps and is legendary among skiers and riders around the globe, revered for its elegant charm and baroque art and architecture, boasting nine ski-in/ski-out Michelin-star restaurants and exceptional ski-in/ski-out lodging, all while maintaining its alpine character and family friendly appeal. The resort is often voted the best location in Europe for early season snow.

The unrestricted five free days of skiing and riding will be reciprocated for Les 3 Vallées season pass holders, allowing even more European guests to experience Vail Resorts’ ski areas.

Boasting eight different resorts, 600 kilometers of interconnected trails, 180 ski lifts, and approximately five meters (16.6 feet) of annual snowfall, Les 3 Vallées is the largest interconnected ski area in the world, including the highest resort in Europe, Val Thorens. Les 3 Vallées ski area will be open from Dec. 7 through Apr. 25.

"We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Les 3 Vallées, as Epic Pass holders can now ski the best resorts in the world, in four countries, on one pass. Vail Resorts is constantly looking for opportunities to enhance the incredible value of the Epic Pass that our guests already receive and enjoy. In March, we announced that we increased the number of free days of access to Verbier, Switzerland, from three to five for the 2013-2014 season, followed shortly thereafter with news of an additional five days access to Arlberg, Austria, and most recently our acquisition of Vail Resorts’ first Utah mountain resort, Canyons, located in Park City, Utah” said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

Skiers and riders receive the lowest guaranteed prices on next season by purchasing their passes in early September. An Epic Pass is $689.

Talisker Relinquishes Controlling Interest At Canyons Resort

By Jim Barth
Jun 27, 2013

Picture of Canyons Resort near Deer Valley UtahBreaking news: According to the Park Record, Talisker has relinquished its controlling interest at Canyons Resort.  The resort is located in Park City, UT, home of both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort.  The article reads as follows:

“Talisker is no longer in charge of development at Canyons Resort.

Summit County Manager Bob Jasper told councilmembers on Wednesday that an interim manager has taken over for Talisker Canyons Finance LLC, the company formed when Talisker purchased Canyons from American Skiing Company Utah in 2007.

According to Jasper, the interim manager is Alvarez & Marsal. On the company's web site, the firm is described as a specialist in ‘turnaround and interim management’ that ‘is known for its distinctive restructuring heritage.’

Jasper said the county's biggest concern revolves around the outstanding obligations that Talisker agreed to in exchange for development rights at Canyons. Those obligations include a golf course, convention center, a transit plan and affordable housing, he said.

‘At this stage we don't have a developer, we have an interim manager,’ Jasper said, adding he would remain firm in enforcing those requirements.

Jasper admitted the financial restructuring at this point is unclear. He said Alvarez & Marsal was brought in by one of the investors involved with Talisker Canyons Finance LLC.

Jasper also said another entity had been formed last month as part of Vail's agreement to take over management of the Canyons. In that agreement Vail obtained a 50-year lease to manage the resort but Talisker retained development rights.

The council members' responses were mixed but council member Chris Robinson advised against overreacting.

‘We have a deal regardless of ownership,’ he said, adding, ‘It might be better.’

In addition to property at Canyons, the Canada-based real estate firm, Talisker, has developed projects in Empire Canyon and on the East Side of Summit County. Talisker representatives did not respond to The Park Record's requests for a comment.”

We’ll keep you posted as more updates occur.

Park City Among T+L Best Ski Towns

By Nancy Barth
Apr 28, 2013

Picture of Main Street in Park City Utah near Deer Valley UtahTravel + Leisure Magazine added Park City to its list of “America’s Best Ski Towns.” The December 2012 featured a list of 11 towns and included Park City for its charming Main Street, wealth of culinary options, and proximity to seven major ski resorts, including Deer Valley Resort.

According to the article: “Nearly a million annual visitors descend on Park City, whose Main Street still has the rugged good looks of a 19th-century western mining town. It puts skiers in easy reach of mountain resorts, hosts the Sundance Film Festival, and has become a culinary hotbed. The ski-in distillery High West Distillery & Saloon offers customized flights of craft creations paired with dishes like Kentucky whiskey beer cheese and bourbon three-onion soup. The seasonal tasting menu at Talisker on Main incorporates vegetables and herbs grown on its rooftop, while the Canyons’ Bistro restaurant is the first and only certified kosher restaurant at a U.S. ski resort. With the restoration of the 1889 Washington School House into a 12-room hotel, you’ve got a new home base—plus complimentary transportation to your preferred slopes.”

Other resorts on the list included Telluride, CO, Bend, OR and Taos, NM.  To read more of the article, please click America's Best Ski Towns article.

Forbes Rates Skiing in Utah Awesome

By Nancy Barth
Dec 11, 2012

Picture of Empire Lift and Empire Canyon Lodge at Deer ValleyAccording to a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune, thinks Utah Ski resorts are “awesome,” and included seven of Utah’s resorts – Alta, Snowbird, Park City, Deer Valley Resort, Canyons Resort, Brighton and Solitude – in its list of “The Top 10 Ski Resorts in the United States for 2013.”  The rankings are based on a “Pure Awesomeness Factor,” or PAF.

"We only rank one thing: Awesomeness," the site said of its measuring algorithm. "It’s the most important thing we can measure. If you can know a place’s awesomeness, do you need to know anything else?"

First place went to Jackson, WY for its continuous fall line, terrain and backcountry skiing.  Deer Valley, Park City and Canyons Resort as a group came in fifth place, praised not only for the level of skiing but also for the fact that they surround Park City, a place that is “picture perfect in every sense.”

According to the Forbes site, Deer Valley “packs in some great shots of terrain, including the Daly chutes.”  The site refers to Empire Canyon Lodge as the greatest ski lodge in the world, and names Deer Valley’s Turkey Chili as “the greatest single dish served mountainside anywhere.”  The rankings also note that powder lasts a little longer at Deer Valley than other places.

The rankings did not include any resorts east of the Rocky Mountains because the website prefers the powder in the west over the ice in the east. According to the site, "No resort east of the Rockies has the snow or terrain to crack our Awesomeness rankings — something that matters for both beginners and experts.

To read more about the ski resorts ranking, please click The Top 10 Ski Resorts in the US for 2013 article.

Deer Valley Ranks High on SKI Magazine List

By Nancy Barth
Oct 18, 2012

Picture of Deer Valley UtahAfter ranking #1 for the past five consecutive years in SKI Magazine’s Annual resort rankings, Deer Valley Resort dropped down a notch to the second spot behind Whistler Blackcomb.  According to Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley, the rankings came down to who had the best snow last year.  Whistler had incredible, natural snow which resulted in record skier visits and more responses to the survey.  While ranking high on this list is quite an honor, Wheaton indicated that Deer Valley is “not going to quit shooting for number one.” 

On the brighter side, Deer Valley can claim to be the top resort in the United States.  Furthermore, the resort took the most subcategory SKI Magazine awards of any single ski resort, including Whistler, winning first place in six of 20 categories, which included first place for grooming, guest services, on-mountain food, lodging, dining and family programs.  Deer Valley was marked down for its lack of terrain parks, but according to Wheaton, Deer Valley’s focus is on tree skiing, powder and groomed runs rather than terrain parks.  In fact, according to a report on Park City’s local radio station KPCW, Outside Magazine ranked Deer Valley as the number one resort in powder skiing.

Also, according to the SKI Magazine reader survey, for the first time in survey history, all three Park City resorts ranked on the “Top 10 North American” list.  Both Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort ranked higher than in past years, with Canyons taking the tenth position and Park City Mountain Resort taking fourth.  Park City is the only resort town in North America to have three resorts fall in the Top 10.

Deer Valley is putting Whistler on notice that the resort is working hard to restore the #1 ranking by investing over $8 million in improvements, including over $1 million in snowmaking equipment.  So far this year, advanced reservations are up 7% from last year, so it should be a great ski season.

Waldorf Astoria Park City On Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star List

By Nancy Barth
Sep 18, 2012

Picture of Waldorf Astoria Park City, near Deer Valley UtahForbes Travel Guide unveiled its semi-annual list of four-star hospitality establishments and named the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Park City, its Golden Door Spa and Slopes restaurant as part of the list.  The hotel, along with its spa and restaurant, will be showcased with all of the other 2012 award winners on, the new social media platform and online home of Forbes Travel Guide.

Located at the base of Canyons Resort, Waldorf Astoria offers a luxury mountain vacation experience for its guests.  The Slopes restaurant, which opened in December 2011, presents guests with an extraordinary dining experience and sweeping views of the surrounding Wasatch Mountains.  The 16,000 square-foot Golden Door Spa, which is one of only five Golden Door Spas in the world, provides 15 treatment rooms featuring signature Golden Door offerings as well as a full-service hair and nail salon. 

Waldorf Astoria Park City and its restaurant and spa are the latest installments to the travel ratings system that has been the gold standard in the industry since 1958.  Other businesses in Park City and Deer Valley that have received five and four star ratings from Forbes Travel Guide include the following hotels, restaurants and spas: Stein Ericksen Lodge, Deer Valley (Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotels)

The St. Regis Deer Valley, Deer Valley (Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotels)

Riverhorse on Main, Park City (Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Restaurants) Glitretind Restaurant, Deer Valley (Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Restaurants)

The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge, Deer Valley (Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Spas) Remède Spa, The St. Regis Deer Valley (Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Spas)

For a more information on Forbes Travel Guide, please visit the Startle site.


By Jim Barth
Jul 29, 2012

Map of SkiLink UtahAccording to an article in the Park Record, support for SkiLink, the gondola connection between Canyons Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort, grew a little stronger this week.

The Lift Utah Coalition, a group of business leaders and legislators from across the state, added 30 new members with the goal of promoting and sharing information about SkiLink, which is currently in the committee process in the United States Senate and House.

“What we've tried to do is work with the groups or individuals that have expressed interest in being more active in supporting SkiLink," said Mike Goar, the general manager of Canyons Resort. "On one hand, we've wanted to recognize that support and effort in promoting the concept of connecting the resorts, but we're also hoping to engage them in communicating the benefits of SkiLink to other groups, citizens, community leaders." 

Lift Utah Coalition added 30 new members to the 20 who originally formed the group.   Some of these new members include legislators, industry leaders and community leaders.  State Senator Kevin VanTassell, the Summit County representative, is one of the new members.

“I wanted to add my name to the list of supporters," VanTasell said.  "I think our major ski industries are in a unique system where the resorts are very close together. If we can provide an interlink system, that's our next step to expanding the industry.”

“I really believe this is one of the things we can use to further increase skier days and get tourists staying longer," he added. "There is some controversy but I believe we can do this right, do it smart."

Despite the controversy, Goar indicated that he is optimistic about the support for SkiLink, and even though the project has a long way to go, it is moving in the right direction.

For more information and a detail list of the new Lift Utah Coalition supporters, please click here.


By Nancy Barth
Jul 25, 2012

Picture of Freestyle Event at Deer Valley ResortLast Friday, the Utah Sports Commission and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced a joint partnership in creating the Utah Winter Action Sports Series that is scheduled to begin this December.

According to the terms of the partnership, three resorts – Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort – will host a combined seven events, including moguls, aerials, halfpipe, skicross and snowboardcross.

The series is scheduled to run in December, January and March, and will continue into the 2013-2014 season.  Additionally, the 2014 U.S. Winter Olympic team will be named in Utah as part of the joint venture.

The partnership is welcome news for competitors.  "This is a really important development for us," said Gulini, a 2010 snowboardcross Olympian and Salt Lake City native. "It’s important to know where the events are going to be from year to year, and exactly when they are going to be. Utah has the best snow in the country, the state loves winter Olympic sports, and this is a comfortable thing for me as well. I always do well in Utah, and this would give me a chance to sleep in my own bed."

To read the article in its entirety, please click this link.