Every year, America’s premier ski resorts add new features and amenities to entice both novice and veteran skiers alike. This year, however, Park City Mountain Resort, under new ownership, has far outstripped the competition with a massive $50-million improvement project. As USA Today recently reported, the project has created the largest ski resort in the country, with a staggering 7,300 acres of terrain open to skiing. But even as this former mining town goes through some big changes, the charm and quirkiness that have made Park City unique over the years continues to thrive.
The centerpiece of the improvements at Park City Mountain Resort is the new Quicksilver gondola, which will be up and running for the 2015-16 skiing season. The Quicksilver gondola will connect what were formerly two separate ski resorts — Park City and Canyons — to create the new 7,300 Park City Mountain Resort.
A number of trails that existed between the two older resorts and were formerly only accessible to backcountry skiers will now also form a part of the resort and will be connected by the Quicksilver gondola.
The new and improved resort will boast an astonishing array of attractions, including 300 trails, 17 peaks, 14 bowls, 17 on-mountain restaurants, and 38 lifts. At just over 22 miles, the lift network is equivalent to the distance between Salt Like City and Park City itself. The end result of all of these improvements will be a resort many times bigger than most other major ski destinations in North America.
True to its roots
As Travel+Leisure magazine wrote recently, such changes were bound to create some jitters in this former mining town that is as well known for its quirky Old West vibe as for its world-class skiing. Fortunately, former fears about Park City’s identity being submerged by the glitz and glamour of its new status as a mega-resort are being put to rest.
A stroll down Main Street, for example, still showcases the architecture and style of its former pioneering and mining days and the locals continue to fiercely hold onto their independent spirit. In fact, from high up on the slopes one can still see the old mine shafts — an ever-present reminder of this town’s origins.
Furthermore, lodging in Park City reflects everything that makes this little corner of Utah so unique. The sheer size of the new resort means that many of the accommodations on offer are now within easy reach of the slopes.
Those options, including state-of-the-art hotel lodges, convenient condominiums, and rustic mountain homes, reflect the diversity of Park City itself and show that it is indeed possible to embrace the new without forgetting about one’s roots.
Change isn’t always easy, especially for a place like Park City that sticks so proudly to its history and traditions. With the new Park City Mountain Resort, however, that proud tradition remains firmly in place and is complimented by a wealth of new skiing opportunities that will be sure to make all skiers giddy with excitement.
Minnie Daughtry is a travel writer. She loves writing about her experiences to share on the web. Look for her posts on a variety of travel blog sites.