Silver mining started the city that eventually incorporated in 1884. Park City's transformation to one of the premier skiing destinations in the world was marked by the first ski lift installation in 1946.
Park City, Utah
Park City is probably best known for its resort status. Though technically more Wasatch "back" than "front," Park City is fast overtaking, and indeed surpassing, the resort playgrounds of other states. Once a silver mining camp (the Hearst fortune began at Park City's historic Ontario Mine), Park City began reinventing itself in the early 1960s with the opening of the Park City Ski Area, now known as Park City Mountain Resort. Since that time, other resorts and facilities, such as Deer Valley Resort and Canyons, have caught onto the idea that great all-season terrain and a kickin' nightlife make for a dynamite destination experience. Each resort has an abundance of amenities for even the most discerning visitor, but of special note is Stein Erickson Lodge, a five diamond-rated lodge and an experience like no other. Speaking of luxury, the Park City area has had three major players in the industry open in the past year or so with the Waldorf Astoria Park City, the St. Regis Deercrest, and finally the Montage at Deer Valley opening in the winter of 2010. Park City's Historic Main Street plays host to restaurants, and clubs, as well as boutiques and specialty shops. Each January, film buffs, movie moguls, and glitterati descend on Park City for the Sundance Film Festival, (a great time to book a ski vacation, because everybody else is going to movies and the lift lines are minimal). The rest of the year is just as exciting, with events like the Park City Arts Festival, the Deer Valley Music Festival, featuring the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera, and more. Back up the road, near I-80, is the Utah Olympic Park, the venue for several events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, including aerials, ski jumping, luge, skeleton, and bobsled competitions.
Culture and Heritage Activities Park City had its beginnings as a mining town in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1872, one of Park City's silver mines called the Ontario Mine was sold to George Hearst for $27,000. The mine went on to produce fifty million dollars in the following years, forming the basis of the Hearst family fortune. Today, Park City has become a world-class ski destination and resort community. Historic Main Street is now populated with shops, galleries and museums, including the Kimball Art Center. The town's Egyptian Theater, home to music and dramas, is also a bustling venue for Sundance Film Festival screenings each January. For more information, visit www.visitparkcity.com.
Family Fun Adventures Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation features exhibits depicting the history of skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, a virtual-ski theater and a 2002 Olympic gallery, located at the Utah Olympic Park, 3000 Bear Hollow Drive, (435) 658-4240, www.engenmuseum.org.
The Alpine Slide is a luge-style summer sled track that sweeps 3,000 feet down the mountainside, Park City Mountain Resort, (435) 649-8111, www.parkcitymountain.com.
Deer Valley Resort is a year-round resort offering skiing, lift-served biking, meeting facilities, events & award winning cuisine, 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, (435) 649-1000, www.deervalley.com.
Egyptian Theatre Company & The Steiner Egyptian Theatre is a theater company offering musicals, comedies, and dramas year-round, 328 Main Street, (435) 645-0671, www.egyptiantheatrecompany.org.
Gorgoza Park-Tubing is conveniently located 15-minutes from Park City just off I-80, offering lift served tubing, and mini snowmobiles for kids 12 and younger, Interstate 80 exit 141, (435) 658-2648. www.gorgozapark.com
The National Ability Center Sports & Recreational Programs offers alpine skiing, horseback riding and indoor rock climbing for children and adults, including the physically-challenged, (435) 649-3991, www.discovernac.org.
The National Sports Foundation provides camps and full-season programs for the sports of Alpine and Nordic combined ski jumping at the Utah Olympic Park, 3000 Bear Hollow Drive, (435) 645-7660, www.nsfparkcity.org
The Canyons offers skiing & snowboarding on eight mountains. It is one of the five largest ski resorts in the country, (435) 649-5400, www.canyonsresort.com.
The Utah Olympic Park has the world's highest ski jump and the fastest sliding track for bobsled, luge, and skeleton. Watch freestyle aerialists soar 40 feet in the air year-round, and experience for yourself speeds up to 70 mph in a bobsled. Kimball Junction, (435) 658-4200. www.utaholympiclegacy.com
White Pine Touring Cross Country Ski Area has miles of groomed ski trails, cross-country ski lessons, and guided ski and snowshoe tours, Route 224 and Thaynes Canyon Drive, (435) 649-8710, www.whitepinetouring.com.
A recently-completed two-year remodel has made the Park City Museum a must-stop on any walking tour down historic Main Street, www.parkcityhistory.org.
In the Vicinity
Oakley The Oakley Rodeo is a destination unto itself; every July rodeo enthusiasts from around the west converge on this "Small Town USA" for the party. www.oakleycity.com/rodeo/rodeoHome.htm.
Coalville Echo Resort is open in the summer for floating, camping, fishing, and picnicking, 2115 Echo Dam Road, (435) 336-9894, www.echodamresort.com.