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Home Trends And The Annual Report

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 15, 2020

This week we will take a look at home ideas for 2020 and share the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Utah Properties 2019 Annual Report. Click on this link to open the full report.

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What’s Trending Next? Here are A Dozen Home and Design Ideas for 2020.

REALTOR® Magazine asked our favorite real estate trend watchers and influencers what to expect in 2020 and beyond. For starters, most agree that gray is on its way out, while deep hues are becoming the stars in interior paint. And more homeowners are following the craze of decluttering and tidying up popularized by Marie Kondo so they can focus on experiencing joy in their home.

While some fads are natural evolutions and others are more far-fetched, we’ve whittled it down to a dozen that are sure to inspire your buyers and sellers alike. Plus, don’t miss five up-and-coming kitchen trends that are bound to spark interest and maybe a remodel.

1. Comfortable Dining Rooms - Homeowners have decided they don’t want to give up their dining rooms—that’s in the past. Now they want dining rooms to be less formal and more functional, says architect Elisa Morgante of Morgante-Wilson in Chicago. The best way to do this is by investing in a multipurpose table that can take wear and tear, comfy chairs with high backs and armrests, and washable fabrics. Fun light fixtures are replacing delicate ones, and some traditional dining room furnishings are disappearing—such as china cabinets used for fancy entertaining, says real estate broker Jennifer Ames, partner at Engel & Volkers in Chicago.

2. Fabulous Foyers - Homeowners know the importance of exterior curb appeal, but now they’re taking advantage of the foyer as another opportunity to impress, says Liz Brooks, vice president of sales and marketing for Belgravia Group, a development firm in Chicago. At Belgravia’s condo building Renelle on the River, foyers are “gracious” in size with walls to hang a mirror or art or offer views through to a living room and beyond. The architects at Morgante-Wilson like foyers in multilevel homes to incorporate a dramatic stairway with wider or more curved treads, risers, and railings fabricated from novel materials. Some include a clerestory or skylight at the top to flood the area with light, says Morgante.

3. Mass Timber - Mass timber is beginning to receive recognition as a smart building material because its production generates less carbon emission than steel or concrete, says sustainable architect Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning in Evanston, Ill. The material is also fire-resistant and strong and performs well during seismic activity, according to the Mass Timber Code Coalition. Plus, it’s cost-efficient and can be constructed faster since it’s prefabricated, and it can be used on walls, floors, and roofs—even in innovative sculptural forms. “With mass timber, there’s no waste on a site that must go into a landfill,” says Sam Ebersol, general manager of Mid-Atlantic Timber Frames, a heavy timber construction company in Paradise, Penn.

4. Home Elevators - As the baby boomer population ages, first-floor master bedroom suites are becoming more popular. But not every house or townhome provides space to include them. In cases where a home has multiple levels, an elevator provides help for those who have trouble climbing stairs, says Kipnis. He recommends building the feature in new homes, or at least leaving adequate space—3 1/2 feet by 4 1/2 feet on each level for future installation. The cost will vary depending on materials, finishes, and an electrician’s hourly labor charge, but the total expense might run about $15,000 per floor.

5. Communal Oases - Developers of multifamily buildings now recognize that homeowners want a green space to garden, even after they’ve vacated suburban homes. And while rooftop gardens have become more prevalent, other green spaces are popping up, too, as more developers note their health benefits. Carl Dranoff, founder of Dranoff Properties based in Philadelphia, planted a two-level garden at his newest project, Arthaus Condominiums in downtown Philly, which will include a greenhouse to grow orchids, outdoor plots to raise vegetables, flowers, and herbs, and an extended lawn off a communal event space. A horticulturalist will offer residents professional expertise. The architecture and interior design firm CetraRuddy in New York has focused on adding greenery in another way—through large terraces that bring more light and air and a sense of space into the interior of its ARO building in Manhattan, as well as its surrounding block. Such tactics are more important in denser urban environments, say the building’s principals, Nancy Ruddy and John Cetra.

6. Graphic Bathroom Floors - Boldly patterned floors are adding a spark of interest in bathrooms that were recently trending very monochromatic and spa-like. Staging and design expert Kristie Barnett, aka The Decorologist, in Nashville, took this approach in one client’s homes. She used an encaustic, graphic floor tile, similar to those that show up along kitchen backsplashes. But Barnett adds one caveat for bathrooms: “When choosing this kind of pattern, it should be the lead actor in the show while other elements play supporting roles. A bathroom should still be a personal sanctuary, and too much visual noise could weary the eye.”

7. Remodeling Before Listing - Many homeowners don’t want to take on the work and extra cost of fixing up their home before they list. Yet many buyers don’t want to invest in a home where they know there are walls to paint, countertops to replace, and floors to resand. Consider the latest trend that helps remove buyer objections: a contractor who tackles the work and fronts the cost or who partners with a firm that provides financing. Sellers then pay back the funds at closing. The big reward usually is a higher price and speedier sale, says Mike Valente, a licensed general contractor who works with many homeowners through his Renovation Sells firm in Chicago. Compass, a national real estate firm, has established its Compass Concierge service to deliver a similar revamp option. A calculator on the company’s website helps suggests how much sellers might spend.

8. Living Walls - For homeowners downsizing to a property with a smaller yard—or for those who have trouble bending down—living walls offer a way to connect to greenery by growing plants, vegetables, and herbs along the walls of a home, garage, or outbuilding. Landscape designer Michael Glassman of Michael Glassman & Associates in Sacramento, Calif., says, “Gardening is going up rather than out for aesthetics and consumption.” He recommends vines like star jasmine and creeping fig, edibles such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and herbs like rosemary and basil. “Plant walls” resembling art are also showing up inside, especially when homeowners don’t have an outdoor space, says David Dynega, CEO of Detail Renovations in Great Neck, N.Y. 

9. Better Looking Performance Fabrics - Instead of looking only at fabrics that appeal for color, pattern, or texture, homeowners want materials that will last and perform—hence, the name they’ve earned: performance fabrics. Originally, they were designed for outdoor spaces, where the sun, wind, water, or inclement weather took their toll. But as the fabrics have become more attractive, designers and homeowners have started using them indoors, where they can withstand the wear and tear of pets and people, says Chicago designer Rebecca Pogonitz of GOGO Design Group, who’s a big fan of the trend. Greg Voorhis, executive design director of Sunbrella, well-known for its performance fabric designs, says his firm is seeing the rise of more textured chenilles, boucles, and chunky wovens. “They bring new energy into familiar spaces without sacrificing comfort or durability,” he says.

10. Downsizing Homes, Rooms, and Ornate Features - The McMansion craze has been dead for years, resulting in more homeowners looking to downsize and millennials never planning to go big. “They favor experiences over owning large high-maintenance, high-cost homes filled with lots of stuff,” says Ames. “It’s the Marie Kondo version of shedding stuff.” Many home shoppers are also looking for simpler architectural detailing that pares maintenance and cost, as well as fewer rooms that will go unused, Ames says. Lendlease, a development company that created the new Cirrus building in downtown Chicago, heeded this mantra when it planned its range of scaled-down units and beefed up its many shared amenity spaces, says Ted Weldon, executive general manager. Sheri Koones’ new book, Downsize: Living Large in a Small House (The Taunton Press, 2019), offers an abundance of information for homeowners looking to pare down

11. Deeper Hues - You can read into the emerging palette of deep hues a desire to counter global unrest, as some designers speculate, or you can take the colors as an antidote to years of pale grays. Either way, the darker hues are coming on strong. Pantone anointed “classic blue”—a very royal tone—as its color of the year. Could it be a nod to the Sussexes or appeal of The Crown? Sherwin-Williams’ Sue Wadden, director of color marketing, touts her company’s “naval” (SW 6244), “anchors aweigh” (SW 9179), “ripe olive” (SW 6209), and “dard hunter green” (SW 0041) as choices to visually mitigate stress. Another emerging trend: monochromatic rooms, donning a single paint color on the walls, trim, and ceiling.

12. Hipsturbia - Live/work/play has become a way of life for millennials who aren’t willing to compromise when they have children. As they move to the suburbs for more space, they choose communities with urban amenities—thriving walkable downtowns with dining, shopping, entertainment, public transportation, and jobs. “Success has a way of spreading,” the Urban Land Institute noted when it coined the term “hipsturbia” in its Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020 report, says Mary Cook, founder of Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates. “Every development we work on today is located in areas that fit this formula and foster community interactions,” she says. One example is Toll Brothers’ Apartment Living Oleander building outside Atlanta, which offers residents flexible community spaces equipped with state-of-the-art technology to accommodate events, co-working spaces, and more. The building sits on Emory University’s expanding Executive Park campus near new medical complexes designed to attract health care professionals.

Top 5 Kitchen Trends - Instead of adding a 13th trend to the list, we decided to give kitchens their own section because they remain the number one focus in the home. The new fads being cooked up are giving this room an update in style, appliances, materials, and colors, as well as a way to enhance surrounding spaces since many are part of the open plan living-dining-kitchen area. While white may still dominate cabinets and countertops, other colors and materials are popping up—so are new technologies that help homeowners prepare food more effortlessly and healthily. Here are five kitchen trends to watch in 2020.

  1. Materials. GE appliances are showing an uptick in more white and black matte finishes as well as a new look of glass-covered stainless steel fronts that’s emerging. These new materials fit in better with other room furnishings, too, says Marc Hottenroth, executive director of GE’s industrial design division. Also showing up in kitchens is a greater mix of metals, such as brushed bronze and copper to help freshen appliances, which generally last about 10 years.
  2. Technology. Voice assistants now read recipes and cooking directions for homeowners so they don’t have to turn cookbook pages with flour-coated fingers. Appliances with gourmet guided cooking technology provide recipes and tutorials through an app that communicates with the appliance via Bluetooth. The chef no longer has to turn knobs to adjust temperatures. For instance, a rack of lamb might be roasted, then finished with a broil, which would all be adjusted automatically. And a new wall oven with hot air-fry capability is offering a healthier alternative to deep frying.
  3. Function. A new kitchen island is emerging, which combines an island with a dinette, according to Gena Kirk, vice president of design at KB Home, a national home builder based in Los Angeles. The island features a place to prepare meals at one height and an additional countertop that slides out at a lower level for people to eat around when desired. Scaled-down appliance sizes are becoming popular in smaller open-plan homes and condos. In its new Cirrus building, a 47-story tower going up on Lake Michigan, Lendlease camouflaged appliances behind millwork paneling, says Linda Kozloski, creative design director. The company also went with smaller, more European-size appliance choices because of the units’ smaller sizes, which helps counter rising construction costs. Example: a 24-inch-wide refrigerator was selected instead of a 48-inch model.
  4. Workspace. After so much buzz about whether to stay with granite or switch to quartz or quartzite, KB Home offers another idea: natural wood cutting boards for a portion of the countertop surface. The wood area provides a convenient workspace without having to pull out a cutting board or leave one out all the time.
  5. Details. Chicago kitchen designer Mick De Giulio, principal of de Giulio Kitchen Design, is introducing design character in novel ways to surprise and contradict. One example includes the hand-hammered finish on a stainless steel Bacifiore sink to add sophisticated sparkle instead of a plain-Jane stainless or ceramic white model. Another is the instillation of polished stainless steel toe kicks at the bottom of cabinets that hardly show the dirt, scuffs, or mess that painted wood ones do.
Trends are meant to inspire rather than make agents and their clients feel the need to rush into a renovation to make a house hip or more marketable than another. These points represent what’s new or coming through the pike. In the future, for example, there may be more technology that will warn homeowners about natural disasters before they occur. And before clients invests in any updates, make it clear that it’s best to do so for personal enjoyment rather than to boost salability.

Trend to Watch: Car Charging Stations - The jury may still be out when it comes to electric car charging stations at home. They’ve become a popular amenity at multifamily buildings, and now some single-family homeowners who have invested in electric cars to shrink their carbon footprint are seeing the wisdom of installing charging stations in their garages, says architect Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning in Evanston, Ill. The cost is relatively modest, perhaps $500 for the charging box and an electrician’s hourly charge to bring a 220-volt line into the garage. The outlet is best installed on the side of the garage where a homeowner plans to park their vehicle to avoid stepping over a cord, he says. But not everyone is convinced that it’s a huge trend. According to a recent survey from Erie Insurance, only 6% of respondents said they would want one, 55% would not, and 39% took a noncommittal stand and said they might. Sounds like a trend definitely to watch.

Growth in 2020

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 08, 2020

2020 is in full swing and according to Forbes Utah Ranks Among The Fastest Growing States In The Nation - Here’s Why. Utah’s economy is booming thanks to a combination of strong employment growth, a vibrant tech industry and collaboration between business, labor and government. The Beehive State ranks among the fastest-growing states in the nation, with a 1.9 percent growth in population from 2017 to 2018 and is the youngest state in the nation with a median age of 30.5 years.

Despite falling fertility rates, Utah continues to have the largest household size in the nation at 3.19. Ninety-one percent of the population in Utah lives in an urban setting and the population continues to diversify racially and ethnically. Following the release of the July 2019 employment numbers for the state of Utah, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows Utah is ranked No. 1 for total job growth in the nation at 3.6%. In addition, Utah is ranked No. 1 for private sector job growth at 4%. For unemployment, Utah is ranked No. 5 at 2.8%, tied with Hawaii.

In 1997, the nonprofit Envision Utah launched an unprecedented public effort aimed at keeping Utah beautiful, prosperous, healthy and neighborly for future generations. The initiative brought together residents, elected officials, developers, conservationists, business leaders and other interested parties to make informed decisions about how the state should grow. Housing was one of the cornerstones of that vision. Utah’s population had been growing slowly through the 1970s and early 1990s, said Robert Grow, president and CEO of Envision Utah. “We began to grow very rapidly as our economy really started to take off. We had new industry clusters, including high-tech, that were growing. And because of that, the state and the public became very focused on growth in the ’90s.”

Utah’s labor market includes approximately 1.6 million people, most of them concentrated along the Wasatch Front, a chain of contiguous cities and towns stretched along the Wasatch mountain range. The state’s unemployment rate in October stood at a very low 2.5%.

Utah’s thriving tech sector is driving much of the state’s success, helped by its deep talent pool and relative affordability compared with other growing tech hubs. Proximity to other Western tech centers, the region’s large and growing talented workforce and lower real estate costs have spurred development of Silicon Slopes, the hub of Utah's startup and tech community, and the University of Utah Research Park, also known as Bionic Valley, a bioengineering epicenter on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Approximately 3 million people live in Utah. By 2050, the population is forecast to nearly double to 5.4 million. Grow noted that Utah has been one of the few places in the country where over 20 years the state undertook a significant effort to make certain there were jobs for everybody and that incomes were growing.

Utah’s unemployment remains at a near record low in Salt Lake City. Grow said, “We have the lowest unemployment in the country, and because of that people are coming here. People are staying here because there are good jobs. So keeping up with that housing market has been a challenge. We’ve been building more housing units in Utah than we’ve ever built before. But there are a number of things going on right now to help with that housing. One is the mix of housing has been changing, so we have a lot more multifamily opportunities. Another thing that has happened is our largest home builder, Ivory Homes, is working with the universities and is offering a major financial award and competition every year on how we can improve housing in the state. And Ivory Homes actually has a special program now to help school teachers, first responders and others find housing in the community.”

“One of the things that came out in the quality growth strategy was civic will to build a really good public transportation system. And so we built public rail faster than anywhere in America over the last 15 to 20 years. We have a very good mixture of transit systems here. We have a major backbone of commuter rail system that’s 92 miles long that runs up and down the Wasatch Front. And then we have all these light rail lines that go off of it. We have bus rapid transit, we have street cars. People who come to Utah are shocked to see this fabulous transit system in what is viewed as a Western conservative state.”

So, with that knowledge here is What You Need to Know About Buying a Home in 2020. Millennials, expect a slew of housewarming party invites to start rolling in. The general consensus is that millennials will be dominating the home-buying market, thus shaping many 2020 trends.

Here’s why: In 2020, millennials will be reaching some key life milestones. Nearly five million millennials will be turning 30, which is a time when many people start getting serious about buying a home, according to an analysis from Realtor.com. But then the oldest members of this generation—let’s call ’em the elder millennials—will be approaching 39, which is a time when people start looking to move from the city to the ‘burbs in search of more family-friendly amenities (i.e. trading a condo close to the best happy hour spots for a backyard equipped with a swing set). Collectively, millennials will account for more than 50 percent of all mortgages by the spring, according to Realtor.com.

So, here’s looking at you millennial buyers. These six home buying trends are expected to come into play in 2020.

Inventory Will Be Low - Inventory shortages, which have been plaguing buyers since 2015, will continue in 2020 and could even reach historic lows, predicts Realtor.com. This is especially true in the entry-level category, which poses a tough hurdle for first-time buyers. Inventory is low partly because Boomers and Gen-Xers are staying in their homes longer, or buying second homes instead of selling their first, explains Philadelphia-based realtor Jim Armstrong. If Gen-X buyers look to upgrade, it could free up some of those hard-to-come-by entry-level homes. In addition to low inventory, first-time buyers are also competing against investors who can make all-cash offers, as well as older buyers who are putting more money down, points out Ohio-based Realtor Michelle Sloan.

We’ll Want Our Homes to Be Smaller - America, we’re downsizing. Sprawling suburban homes are becoming dinosaurs, an ongoing trend that Zillow has zoomed in on and predicts will continue into 2020. The median square footage of newly built, single-family homes has been decreasing over the past five years. In fact, the typical U.S. home has shrunk in size by more than 80 square feet since 2015, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials prefer homes in urban areas, with restaurants and parks and other amenities within walking distance—not mansions in the suburbs.

The Market Will Be More Colorful - Expect some bold pops of color in the open houses you tour in 2020. Though we’ve really been flirting with this trend (think: color-saturated front doors) for years, Zillow predicts color is staging a mighty comeback after almost a decade of minimalism, neutrals, and subdued Scandinavian modern designs. Look for color in lighting fixtures, on interior doors, moldings, kitchen cabinetry, and appliances.

You Might Be Able to Come in with a Low Down Payment - “Due to the strong demand, lenders have continued to roll out loan options for well-qualified buyers,” says Jason Kraus, broker at RE/MAX Advanced Realty in Indianapolis. You probably already know you don’t need to put down 20 percent (though, it can help you avoid Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI). But, Kraus says, lenders have continued to provide low-down payment options, including 3 percent and 1 percent down on conventional loan options. That’s even lower than the 3.5 percent down you’d need to scrape together for an FHA loan.

Mortgage Rates Will Remain Low - Interest rates fell in 2019 and are expected to remain low for most of 2020, experts predict, including those at Zillow. While that’s generally a great thing for buyers, it will keep demand strong, which could mean more price growth in the parts of the country where homes tend to be more affordable. So, this is a good news-bad news situation.

Buyers Will Look for Move-In Ready Properties - Because the starter home inventory has been so low, many first-time buyers have been willing to take on some pretty hefty “Fixer Upper”-style projects so that they can break into the real estate market. But buyers in 2020 will be less willing to do those bigger makeovers.

“Simply put, today’s first-time buyers are busy and unable to take on a renovation project prior to moving in,” says Barbara Ireland, a real estate agent from DJK Residential in New York, New York.

Happy New Year!

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 01, 2020

Judy and I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! We have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and look forward to another year of providing excellent service to our clients. Best wishes of happiness and health in 2020.

This week we will kick off the New Year with the 2020 Housing Market Predictions: A Snapshot by RISMedia as well as 2020 home trends.

Home-Building - Although homebuilders maintain optimism, buyer demand is stronger, and analysts are divided on whether inventory is meaningfully rising. For 2020, the National Association of REALTORS® expects 10.6 percent more housing starts (multifamily and single-family), while realtor.com® researchers forecast a 6 percent increase in single-family starts. On the flip side, the Urban Land Institute projected single-family starts to tumble 4.7 percent. According to Census data, construction in November spiked—an encouraging indicator.

Home Prices - After a cooling-off period, home prices reignited this year, and are expected to further increase in 2020. How much? At most, a cohort of economists at the NAR Forecast Summit predicted a 3.6 percent rise; at least, realtor.com predicted 0.8 percent; and in the middle, both the ULI and Zillow settled within 2 percent (2.5 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively). By comparison, from January-November 2019, the median price rose 3.18 percent, according to data from Homesnap.

Home Sales - Despite benefiting from low mortgage rates, buyers continue to grapple with limited options, contributing to muted sales this year—a challenge continuing into 2020, experts predict. As of September, NAR expected a 3.4 percent gain in home sales in 2020; in December, however, realtor.com researchers dialed down to a modest 1.8 percent. On an annual basis, existing-home sales inched up 2.7 percent, according to NAR’s November report.

Mortgage Rates - Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve kept the key rate unchanged, and with the economy humming, analysts anticipate continued lows in 2020. Out of the NAR Forecast Summit, economists expected a favorable 30-year fixed mortgage in 2020, at 3.8 percent. Realtor.com researchers have a similar take: 3.88 percent. According to Freddie Mac, as of December 19, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.73 percent.

Odds of a Recession - Throughout much of 2018 and 2019, analysts debated the probability of a recession, either in 2020 or 2021. The consensus at the NAR Forecast Summit: at best, no recession, and at worst, a 29 percent chance. For its part, Zillow forecasted no recession whatsoever, thanks to Americans’ confidence (equaling increased spending), a heartening labor market and promising wages.

The Takeaways - “While we are seeing near-term positive market conditions with a 50-year low for the unemployment rate and increased wage growth, we are still underbuilding due to supply-side constraints like labor and land availability. Higher development costs are hurting affordability and dampening more robust construction growth.” – Robert Dietz, Chief Economist, National Association of Home Builders

“For the last few years, the lack of inventory has constrained the pace of home sales and increased the rate of home-price growth, leading to affordability challenges across the country. November’s strong monthly and annual gains indicate that potential homebuyers next year will have more properties to choose from…[and] the continued increase in permits indicates that the pace of construction should stay strong in early 2020.” – Mark Fratantoni, Chief Economist, Mortgage Bankers Association

“While the economy is in a sweet spot, improvements in housing market sales volumes will be modest heading into next year simply due to the lack of available inventory. The demand is clearly not being met for entry-level millennials and trade-up Generation X homebuyers. If there was more inventory of unsold homes for buyers to choose from, home sales would be rising at a faster rate.” – Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac

“As inventories of starter homes continue to be a barrier for millennials, we will see more non-traditional households, such as roommate situations or even multigenerational living, popping up to support the financial load. This trend shows no sign of slowing down in the coming year, which presents an opportunity for agents to appropriately guide these younger adults to homes that balance both their desire for homeownership and potentially elevated costs.” – David Mele, President, Homes.com

“If current trends hold, then slower means healthier and smaller means more affordable. Yes, we expect a slower market than we’ve become accustomed to the last few years, but don’t mistake this for a buyer-friendly environment—consumers will continue to absorb available inventory and the market will remain competitive in much of the country.” – Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research, Zillow

“Housing remains a solid foundation for the U.S. economy going into 2020. Although economic output is expected to soften—influenced by clouds of uncertainty in the global outlook, business investment and trade—real estate fundamentals remain entangled in a lattice of continuing demand, tight supply and disciplined financial underwriting. Accordingly, 2020 will prove to be the most challenging year for buyers, not because of what they can afford, but rather what they can find.” – George Ratiu, Senior Economist, realtor.com

“The consensus [at the Forecast Summit] was that mortgage rates may rise, but only incrementally. I expect to see home price affordability improvements, too. This year we witnessed housing costs grow faster than income, but the expectation is for prices to settle at a more reasonable level in the coming year, in line with average hourly wage growth of 3 percent on a year-over-year basis.” – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR

Now, before you pack up your brass fixtures, terrazzo accents, and macrame, take some time to sneak a preview of what real estate experts say are the top home trends we’ll be checking off our lists in 2020.

Minimalist kitchens - We’re currently in age of Marie Kondo, when tossing out appliances that bring us no joy (au revoir, blender) is all the rage. Whether removing unwanted kitchen clutter completely or cleverly concealing it, experts agree minimalism is key. This minimalist cabinet lends itself to a streamlined look. “Kitchens may be designed [to make] more of a design statement than a functional statement,” Arriz says.

Elissa Morgante, founding partner of Morgante Wilson Architects, concurs. “There’s definitely a trend toward modern, cleaner looks, achieved through everything from concealed appliances to slab stone backsplashes,” she says. Further, “Even in homes where the kitchen itself is tucked away, there’s a desire to remove unnecessary visual clutter so that it’s a more inviting space.”

Speaking of tucked away kitchens, Frank Bodenchak, licensed salesperson and senior global real estate advisor, has seen this trend materializing in the Hamptons. Bodenchak describes “prep areas behind kitchens, which allow homeowners to entertain in the main kitchen, while food is prepared or warmed in the secondary area.” Talk about kitchen inception!

Thoughtful foyers - The foyer is often overlooked in condominium design, but it is one of the most important elements of a floor plan because it evokes a grand sense of arrival. “Buyers, especially those opting for a condominium in lieu of a single-family home, appreciate having a dedicated entryway that allows for a more graceful, defined transition to the rest of the home.” The added sophistication is appreciated by those living in multi-unit buildings that might lack this classic home feature. Says Arriz, “I think there is like a little bit more of a pause when you walk into an apartment, because people do like that it adds elegance.”

Award-winning interior design firm Est Est, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, uses its foyers to set the tone for highlighting the breathtaking landscape of the Southwest. This is especially evident in their work on the renowned Optima Kierland luxury apartments and condominiums.

Keeping palettes black and white - In addition to classic white, black is now developing a reputation as a household neutral. According to Morgante, “We’re seeing a trend toward more adventurous choices such as special dark, monochromatic and very saturated wall colors. “Black certainly fits into that category, and it can be very dramatic, classic, casual, or modern depending on how it’s used. There was a long period of time where people were intimidated by black or thought it was too goth, but that’s not the case anymore as they’ve seen—either through magazines, TV or the internet—how it can be used as a neutral to ground a space. We’re using it everywhere from whole rooms and accent walls to black-stained floors, cabinetry and trim.”

A recent survey by Sherwin-Williams confirms the trend, with 66 percent of professional interior designer respondents sharing that black is now a new neutral. With that said, the more traditional white walls aren’t going anywhere in 2020. Bodenchak shares, “Clean palettes are in! Bright white has replaced off-whites and colors as the paint of choice. New home buyers are appreciating homes with straight lines, minimal trim, or even no trim (like no crown moldings) in favor of the busier trim popular a decade ago.”

Smart and savvy homes - No list of 2020 trends can be without tech advancements. With voice-activated services assisting us from turning off our lights to ordering takeout, our preference for—and even reliance on—technology is evident in upcoming home design.

Says Bodenchak, “All new constructions these days have some ‘smart’ home features, but to varying degrees. Most thermostats and pool equipment, for example, can be controlled remotely by the customer’s iPhone. But more expensive houses often take it to the next level, offering integrated control over heating/cooling, pool, music, theater, alarm, and video surveillance. More advanced homes offer remote lighting capabilities, allowing the homeowner to regulate lighting for certain paths, or their entire home, remotely.”

As the nation braces itself for full deployment of the fifth generation of wireless technology, folks may find themselves enjoying not just faster, more efficient connection, but the opportunity for new devices, collaborations, and services to support our smart homes.

Merry Christmas!

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 24, 2019

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. Judy and I are enjoying time with the grandchildren and wanted to share the fun happenings in Park City this holiday week.

Shows at the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre

Tickets and show times: parkcityshows.com 

Emmy-Award winning Kurt Bestor (December 21-25) crafts a memorable evening of holiday spirit with traditional favorites and original music. With 22 Top 40 Hits and 6 Grammys, The 5th Dimension (December 26-31) delivers legendary favorites, including “Aquarius” and “Wedding Bell Blues.”
Thursday, December 26
Movies During Break: A Christmas Carol
4–5:30 p.m.@ the Park City Library

Savor this classic holiday flick. Free. parkcityfilm.org

Friday, December 27
Choice Weekend Wine Series: Bubbles and Beyond
6–7 p.m. @ Silver Baron Lodge

Join The Fox School of Wine for a casual wine tasting experience full of laughter and learning, a.k.a. “educational happy hour.” 21+; $44 per person. Reservations required. foxschoolofwine.com

Last Friday Gallery Stroll
6–9 p.m. @ Main St. Park City

Enjoy light refreshments while perusing a wide variety of art, with special showings, installations, and artists’ receptions along the way. parkcitygalleryassociation.com

Park City Film: The Parasite (Dec. 27–29)
Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 6 p.m. @ Park City Library
The Parasite examines the near symbiotic relationship of two families, the wealthy Parks and the street-smart Kims. When an interloper threatens to upset the balance, chaos ensues. General admission $8; students and seniors $7. parkcityfilm.org
Saturday, December 28
Saturday Morning Snowshoe Tour
8:30–10 a.m. @ Swaner EcoCenter

The Swaner Preserve wetlands are magical this time of year. Explore with a guide, discovering the flora and fauna of the winter season. Lucky hikers may see an abundance of birds, elk, or even nesting sandhill cranes. Come prepared for the elements with winter boots, snow pants, hats, gloves, coat, and water bottle. Snowshoes can be rented from the EcoCenter ($2.50 for members, $5 for non-members). Tours are $10 per person, $5 locals, and free for Swaner members. swanerecocenter.org 

Mokie
8 p.m. @ O.P. Rockwell

Grateful Dead fans will appreciate Mokie’s intuitive covers and similarity to Dark Star Orchestra. $25. 21+ oprockwell.com

Torchlight parades brighten both resorts over the holidays.

Image: Courtesy Deer Valley Resort

Monday, December 30
Movies During Break: Toy Story
4–5:30 p.m.@ the Park City Library

A family favorite for all ages. Free. parkcityfilm.org

Park City Film: Ethel
7 p.m.@ the Park City Library

This feature length documentary explores the fascinating life of Ethel Kennedy through insights and reflections of her family. Directed by Emmy-Award winning daughter, Rory Kennedy, the film features candid interviews with Ethel and seven of her children. Ethel provides a rare window into a political dynasty built on adversity and perseverance. Free. parkcityfilm.org

Torchlight Parade
Dusk, around 6 p.m. @ Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley employees ski with torches in a dazzling parade down Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain. Complimentary hot cider and cookies served in the Snow Park Plaza. Free. deervalley.com 

Tuesday, December 31
Noon Year’s Eve
11–12:30 p.m. @ Kimball Art Center

Celebrate the New Year with a kid-friendly, midday party. Design your own 2020 resolutions, create edible art, mix science and art to create indoor “fireworks,” craft your own NYE party hats and flaunt them in a prop-filled photo booth, enjoy an apple cider toast and countdown to the 12 p.m. balloon drop. $25 per child, free for adults. kimballartcenter.org 

Canyons New Year’s Eve Celebration & Fireworks
7: 30 p.m. @ Canyons Village

New Year’s Party with DJ Velvet, live music by The Cover Dogs, fireworks, s’mores and hot cocoa. Free. parkcitymountain.com

New Year’s Eve 2020: A Gold Standard
9 p.m. @ O.P. Rockwell

Ring in the New Year with the Roaring ’20s! Get your Gatsby on and make a night of it with a VIP Dinner & Party package followed by VIP entry to the O.P. Rockwell mezzanine lounges for the dance party, or join the party with free appetizers and a general admission ticket. Remixed and updated jazz standards accentuate live drums, DJ, sax, and flute. $100-$175. 21+ oprockwell.com

For more events and up-to-date happenings around town, check out our event calendar.

Holiday Activities

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 18, 2019

This week we are sharing about the opening of the Woodward, Utah's holiday cheer and visiting Park City for Christmas. The Woodward Park City is Utah’s newest and most unique resort and it is now open. Deseret News shares that even after a short time to process it, Jeremy Jones can’t express how it felt to see athletes exploring the state’s newest, and likely its most unique ski resort, a day before it opened for the public on Saturday. “It’s indescribable. I just don’t have the words for it.”

That’s because what he witnessed happening at Woodward Park City — a resort and action sports training facility — was more of an energy than it was something he could touch or articulate. “The emotions,” said Jones, who is one of the resort’s athlete ambassadors. “It was unreal.” On Saturday, when hundreds of locals joined competitive athletes, including current and former Olympians, the energy was a mix of joy, wonder and adventure seeking. Parents joined their children hand-in-hand on trampolines that sent them flipping and flopping into foam pits.

Elementary age children chattered with each other as they took turns navigating the BMX ramp and terrain park, which also offered a foam pit for the learning — and creation — of new tricks. It was a wall-to-wall, elbow-to-elbow giddy crowd that didn’t seem the least bit bothered by long lines, unintended bumps or the vicious snowstorm and windstorm that limited traffic up Parley’s Canyon to four-wheel drive or chains.

“It’s seriously one of a kind,” said Olympic gold medalist Sage Kotzenburg, who left the snowy slopes to sign autographs for aspiring action sport enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes. “You have the Woodward in Tahoe, the Woodward in Copper, and obviously the east and west ones, but this one is a full resort. There are beginning stages of where you can take your snowboarding and skiing outside, and you can also take your practice stuff indoors, too. It’s definitely one of a kind.”

The Park City native won the first-ever Olympic gold in snowboarding slopestyle in the Sochi Winter Games in 2014. He did so landing a trick he said he’d never even tried before, and then told the Deseret News back then, “That’s what’s cool about snowboarding. You can go out there and try your own trick, put your own flair on it. ... This sport is based on what you want to do. There is no blueprint.”

Which is why Woodward Park City is so unique and valuable to the community it aims to serve — those who’ve embraced action and nontraditional sports and those who think they might want to give something in that universe a try. It offers what Woodward Park City general manager Shaydar Edelmann calls “safe progression” in what program development director Phoebe Mills calls “a community of passionate people ... in an inclusive environment.” The bottom line is, whatever you’re looking for, you can find it or create it, and you’ll likely find some friends or companions with whom to share that exploration.

“You really feel like you belong, right away, without much effort,” Mills said, acknowledging that after she left gymnastics for snowboarding 20 years ago, she didn’t see a lot of women in the action sports universe. That has changed, and places like Woodward Park City promise to change that reality even more.

“There is a community and a place to go that will make you feel welcome,” Mills said. “We have programs specifically for girls, like camps and clinics, but even without that, it’s just a really welcoming environment. ... And wherever you’re at, we’ll help you with your progression.” Kotzenburg said it will only help the evolution of the sports he loves because it makes what some see as fringe activities so accessible.

“I like this a lot because it’s in my backyard,” he said. “So when I heard rumors about this starting, I was definitely pushing for it a lot. And for me, just basing out of here, and training here, and being able to ride with the younger kids here is really special.” Edlemann said the draw for the native New Zealander was that this incarnation of Woodward resort isn’t attached to something that already exists.

“We sort of see us as the leader in action sports going on 50 years,” Edelmann said. “The biggest deal is that we get to do things right from the start.” Every aspect of the design — from guest services to affordable housing to the lifts and terrain parks — are designed for the athletes that will use and be served by the resort, which was all created in 15 months.

Jones, who created his first snowboard in the 1980s with an old skateboard, said having a facility like this would have certainly meant more success in the sport for him.

“I see the difference that it would have made for me now in these kids,” Jones said. “And I just think it is amazing. This is literally dreams that I would sketch on notepads in junior high and high school — facilities like this, one stop shop where you could go thrash things to pieces on the snowboard, then skateboard, then BMX, or whatever, skis. Whatever your thing was. And everything being real intuitive to the mountain, like there are transitions everywhere, rollers everywhere, and it’s not just this linear thing.”

Take for instance the courtyards. At Woodward Park City, they are also terrain parks. Instead of adapting what they do to architecture that had some other use in mind, everything is tailored to the needs, imagination and development of action sport athletes of all genders, abilities and aspirations. “I mean, it’s just dreamland, Disneyland, from my perspective,” Jones said. “It’s a complete action sport facility. It’s totally complete, and it’s on an urban mountain.”

Holiday News - (KUTV) has shared that Utah has the third-most Christmas spirit out of the 50 states, according to a recent report from CenturyLink. Based on an analysis of Americans' online activity and area culture when it comes to the holidays, the telecommunications company's research team determined which U.S. states have the most and least Christmas spirit, finding that Utah has topped their list at No. 3. Additionally, Utah received the top accolade for being the most giving state as well. According to data from the IRS, Utahns have donated 4.8% of their adjusted income in 2018.

These were the top 10 states with most Christmas spirit:

  1. Tennessee
  2. North Carolina
  3. Utah
  4. Ohio
  5. Alabama
  6. South Carolina
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Oregon
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Kansas
These were the states that bottomed CenturyLink's list with the least Christmas spirit:
  1. Nevada
  2. Hawaii
  3. California
  4. Florida
  5. Arizona
According to the report, all the bottom five states share a low chance of having a white Christmas, which may be why it's harder for them to tap into the holiday cheer. There are at least 25 to 30 million Christmas trees sold in the U.S. annually. To put that into perspective, that's more trees than the entire population of Switzerland (8,591,365)The most expensive Christmas ornament goes for $130,000. According to CenturyLink, it's composed of 1,578 diamonds, 18-carat white gold and 188 rubies. The pricing may be absurd but all the proceeds go to charity.

Conde Nast Traveler has share that Europe might get most of the hype during the holiday season (those Christmas markets are pretty great), but there are plenty of festive cities right here in the U.S. While we'd recommend visiting any time of the year, these cities seem to shine just a little bit brighter—in many cases, quite literally—during the Christmas season. Whether they're New England towns with major storybook vibes or some of the country's biggest and brightest metropolises, celebrating in these cities is worth the price of a domestic plane ticket. And let's face it: You haven't really experienced Christmas cheer until you see it through the shiny lens of Las Vegas. From Austin to Washington, D.C. there are 19 best places to spend Christmas in the U.S. and Park City makes the list. Click here to see them all.

Park City, Utah: As if the world-class skiing and Sundance Film Festival weren't reason enough to visit Park City this winter, the town also happens to be a wonderful place to spend Christmas. The former Olympic city has ample opportunities for skiing, fly fishing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding—with no shortage of resorts to warm up in between runs, too.

The one thing to get you in the spirit: Snowfest (December 22 through January 6), a festival at Park City Mountain, includes live music, ugly sweater parties, fireworks, and Santa skiing down the slopes.

Stay here: The 12-room Washington School House is just a hop away from Park City's lit-up Main Street, and we must say its Christmas decorations put a lot of other hotels' to shame.

Sundance and Small Towns

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 11, 2019

The 2020 edition of the Sundance Film Festival is set to run January 23rd through February 2nd in and around Park City. This week we share the unveiling of the Sundance lineup, the best small town in Utah and what to do if you cross paths with a moose.

Sundance Unveils Female-Powered Lineup Featuring Taylor Swift, Gloria Steinem - the indie festival, which is close to achieving its goal of gender parity, will debut films that center on a Russell Simmons rape accuser, Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and the opioid crisis, among many others.

As Sundance director John Cooper’s 11-year run at the helm of the indie film festival comes to a close, he is going out with a bang. With a nod to what he dubs “youth’s role in activism,” Cooper has packed the 2020 fest lineup with a slew of hot-button films that cover everything from an abortion road-trip drama to high school gun control efforts.

Cooper, who will step down after the 35th incarnation of the festival wraps and segue to the newly created role of emeritus director, has filled his final slate with such films as Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always , which revolves around a pair of teen girls in rural Pennsylvania who hit the road to cross state lines when one is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and Kim A. Snyder’s documentary Us Kids , which tracks the survivors of a Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the birth of a youth gun control movement. Both films are playing in competition.

Among the 118 films that will screen across 10 major categories are Julie Taymor’s The Glorias, featuring Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore and Steinem herself as the trailblazing feminist at varying ages, as well as Lana Wilson's doc Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, which delves into the pop icon’s transformation from apolitical star into someone willing to harness the full power of her voice. And Barack and Michelle Obama will be represented by Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht’s doc Crip Camp , about a 1970s summer camp for disabled teens (the Obamas’ Higher Ground banner produced the film).

Unlike other high-profile film festivals, Sundance is close to reaching its goal of gender parity. This year’s lineup features 118 full-length films, representing 27 countries and 44 first-time feature filmmakers. Of the 65 directors in the four competition categories, comprising 56 films, 46 percent are women, 38 percent are people of color and 12 percent are LGBTQ+.

The Robert Redford-founded fest often embraces and reflects current events, and the upcoming edition will be no exception with a slate that includes Rodrigo Garcia’s Four Good Days (Glenn Close stars as the mother of an opioid-addicted daughter), Bryan Fogel’s doc The Dissident (about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi) and an untitled Kirby Dick-Amy Ziering doc , which chronicles the plight of a former hip-hop executive who accused one of the most powerful men in the music industry of rape (though the film’s logline is vague, the music mogul is said to be Russell Simmons).

As was the case for the 2019 edition, the most commercial films of the coming fest will screen in the premieres section, namely Jim Rash and Nat Faxon’s Downhill (starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell), the Benedict Cumberbatch Soviet-era drama Ironbark, Miranda July’s Kajillionaire (led by Evan Rachel Wood), the Margot Robbie-produced Carey Mulligan-starrer Promising Young Woman and the serial killer drama Lost Girls, documentarian Liz Garbus' narrative feature debut . And though Sundance also hosts a robust acquisitions market, many of the hottest titles are already spoken for, including Downhill (Fox Searchlight) and Taylor Swift: Miss Americana and Lost Girls (both Netflix). Kajillionaire was poised to be distributed by Annapurna/United Artists, but it is now being sold by UTA.

Sundance 2020 will also see the return of directors who enjoyed breakout career moments at the festival in the past, including Dee Rees (The Last Thing He Wanted , starring Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, Willem Dafoe and Rosie Perez), Justin Simien’s horror satire Bad Hair and Benh Zeitlin’s Wendy , which offers a twist on the classic story of Peter Pan. But the event known for discoveries should produce several in this year’s U.S. and world competition sections.

The 2020 edition of the fest is set to run Jan. 23-Feb. 2 in and around Park City.

A list of the films confirmed for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival follows.

A few days ago, The Best Small Town to Live in, in Every U.S. State was released as Heber tops the list for Utah. There’s something universally alluring about a small town like “Gilmore Girls”’ Stars Hollow. The coffee shop owner knows your order, your name, and if you’re having a bad day. There’s no traffic. It doesn’t take 30 minutes to find a parking space when meeting friends for a drink. It turns out, The Wall Street Journal reported that more and more millennials have been relocating to small towns, claiming that, “Since 2014 an average of about 30,000 residents between 25 and 39 have left big cities annually.”

According to Beatrice de Jong, Consumer Trends Expert at Opendoor, there are many reasons why we’re seeing more folks head to small towns. She tells Apartment Therapy, “Remote work is becoming more common, and this growing trend has empowered homebuyers to live outside of major metropolitan areas. While cities have historically been prime real estate with higher price tags, homeowners can get more bang for their buck in the suburbs or rural areas.”

On top of the flexibility and cost, small towns tend to have better public school systems than cities do. Broker Michael J. Franco at Compass Realty explains, “One of the other main reasons I see people leaving New York is the cost of raising kids in the city and schools where the process can be complicated and, of course, expensive with private schools. Many suburban areas have top-ranked public schools where attendance is granted simply by your residency/domicile.”

We defined a small town as one having a population of less than 20,000 based on the most recent Census data available, and our criteria included attractiveness in terms of what the town offers its residents (parks, shopping, landmarks, food options, etc.). We noted median home listing or value based on data from Zillow, as well as median rent, according to data from Best Places—most of the small towns we chose are less expensive than big cities, minus a few special gems.

Heber City, Utah - Population: 15,792 - Median home price listing: $660,726

Median monthly rent: $1,033 for a 2-bedroom

Life in Heber City is lived outdoors. Located about a 45-minute drive to Salt Lake City, the town is home to Jordanelle State Park, Deer Creek, and Uinta National Forest—all perfect for those who love to hike or go camping. In town, make it a date at the Avon Theater, and grab dinner at Back 40 (known for its fresh, farm-to-table eats), or Snake Creek Grill, which looks like a vintage saloon and serves some of the best comfort food in Utah.

Around this time of year we always like to share Park City Magazine's Trail Safety 101: When You Meet a Moose - How to avoid angering one of Park City’s most frequently seen wild animals.

If you’ve spent any time of Park City’s trails, you’ve probably spotted a moose or two. Around these parts, moose are even known to wander into town to take a stroll down Main Street. Presumably, most people who live here know how to handle themselves around these notoriously irritable animals, but it’s always worth mentioning again for those of us who just can’t seem to help wanting to get closer.

If You Meet a Moose

  • Give the moose plenty of space and DO NOT approach it. Keep at least 50 feet between yourself and the moose while you walk past slowly. From a distance, a moose may simply be content to watch you warily or move away, but if you get closer, your presence might agitate it.
  • Make sure your dog is leashed and under control. The moose will likely decide you and/or your dog is a threat if your pup is running around and barking. Moose will not hesitate to kick a dog, which can be lethal.
  • Don’t get between a mama moose and her calves. If you happen upon a female, be extra careful to assess the scene in case she has little ones nearby. Baby moose are vulnerable to a number of predators, including cougars and bears, so mothers won’t hesitate to aggressively defend their young.

Reasons a Moose Might Charge & Signs of Aggression

Just like other animals, moose have their way of telling you they’re feeling threatened. An angry moose will likely pin its ears back, lower its head, or raise the hackles along its shoulders. If the moose starts moving towards you, it’s a crystal clear message for you to run and get under cover if possible. Usually, if you stay well away from them, moose will simply run away or eye you suspiciously as you pass. A stressed, cornered, or harassed moose, however, might decide to charge. Bull moose are more aggressive and particularly dangerous in September and October during the mating season while cows get prickly during the late spring during calving season.

If A Moose Charges

Should a moose decide to charge you, your only option is to run and take cover. Moose can reach speeds of 30+ m.p.h. so you probably won’t outrun it for long, but at least you’re not going to trigger a predatory response. Your best bet is to try find some kind of cover or climb up a tree if you have time. If the moose catches up and knocks you down, curl into a ball, cover your head as much as you can, and don’t move until the moose leaves. Getting up might make the moose think you’re a renewed threat.

Remember, if you provoke a moose, you’re setting yourself up for a loss since they’re much bigger and more dangerous than you. Best to make some noise, stay away, and let it go about its day.

Home Staging and Skiing

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 04, 2019

This week we will start with 13 Brilliant Tricks Professionals Use When They Don’t Really Have Time to Stage A Home followed by updates on our local ski resorts as well as flying under the radar for skiing in Utah. In an ideal world, everybody would have the help of a home stager to make their space really shine. However, hiring someone can get pretty expensive. The next best option? DIY. But that can be time-consuming, which is a problem when you’re already spending most of your free time dealing with the intricacies of real estate.

We’ve asked three expert home stagers to share these sneaky time-saving tips. Not only will their insights and techniques make potential buyers think you did, in fact, have a home stager set up your space, but you’ll also be pleasantly surprised at just how long it didn’t take you.

1. Provide a warm welcome - You only get one chance to make a first impression, so add a cute wreath, welcome mat, or potted plant to your front entrance, says Kari George, co-owner (with Katie Hilbert) of The Home Sanctuary, a home organizing, styling, and staging company in Louisville, Kentucky. “Everyone loves good curb appeal, and adding these personal touches helps people envision themselves coming home after a long day at work.”

2. Move some things around - Take five minutes and move furniture to allow for an easy flow throughout the room, says Joni Rentz, president of FØRM, a New York City-based interior staging and design company. “A room will feel larger if you can easily maneuver around it,” she says.

3. Pare things down - While you’re moving furniture, see if you can also move anything unnecessary to another room. Rentz says each room should only have a few well-chosen pieces furniture and accessories that accentuate the features of each room. Less is more. “It will make it easier to take it all in if the eye knows where to go,” she explains.

After furniture, take another five minutes to scope out if there are any personal touches, like photographs or memorabilia, that can be removed as well. Having a clean slate makes it easier for potential buyers to picture themselves in the space, Rentz says.

4. Pay attention to your countertops - Kitchens are one of the spaces that can really make or break a sale, Hilbert says. “Let the buyers see clean, open counters instead of every small appliance you own.” Also be sure to remove magnets and papers from the refrigerator.

5. Let there be light - Have great natural light? Highlight it, says George. During the day, open all the blinds and curtains to let in natural light, which buyers love. By night, turn on all lamps and lights for a bright, cheerful look.

6. Tweak your window treatments - Don’t have great natural lighting? It might be your window treatments. Make rooms as bright as possible by removing heavy drapery and cornices, advises Rentz. “Replace them with neutral-colored, lightweight linen or sheer curtains,” she says. If you have a little more time (and haven’t already done so), be sure to hang your window treatments from the very top edge of the ceiling to add height to the room.

7. Tidy up your fixtures - Even if you’re relying on natural light, don’t neglect your overhead lamps. They might be surprisingly unsightly. “Make sure all light fixtures and fans are dusted and free of any dead bugs, especially if you have any fluorescent lights,” George says. “These are little things that are often overlooked on a daily basis but can be a big turn-off to potential buyers.”

8. Don’t overlook lightbulbs - While you’re at it, take a minute to check all your lightbulbs to make sure a) they’re working, and b) of the same type and wattage. These two steps will ensure a space is in the best light, says Hilbert. Uneven lighting can make a small space look even smaller.

9. Set the mood - Another quick lighting move? Adding plug-in dimmers to fixtures, Rentz says. Staging is all about creating a mood, and controlling the brightness or softness in each room can greatly help that aim.

10. Add texture - When staging most rooms, think light, bright, and full of opportunity. (One key exception? The powder room.) This a neutral palette often works better than a colorful, busy one. But colorless doesn’t have to mean boring. You can add visual interest to an otherwise bland-looking room in an instant by adding in different textures. In a living room with a wool sofa, add a fur throw or fuzzy pillow, says Rentz. In a bathroom, she recommends keeping the neat and clean look going by hanging fluffy white towels neatly on hooks, towel rods, or rolled up in a basket. In the bedroom, swap out patterned sheets and bed covers for simple white sheets and then diversify texture with neutral-colored blankets or an overstuffed duvet.

11. Add a mirror (or two) - Instantly make any room seem bigger and brighter by adding one large mirror or multiple mirrors to the walls, Rentz says.

12. Curate your plant family - We all love a good houseplant, but try to avoid that overgrown jungle look. “Moderation is key,” Rentz says. “A few strategically placed, neat, and well-maintained plantings can add warmth and personality to a room.”

13. Straighten up your storage spaces “Remember that buyers are very curious,” Hilbert says. “They will open all closets, cabinets, and drawers.” Of course, you don’t have to stage the inside of your cabinets just as strongly as you do the outsides. You do want to show how spacious your storage spaces are, after all. But try not to make them look cramped. Hilbert recommends at least tidying and thinning them out.

Ski Magazine has crunched the numbers and Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort have made the top 10 of the top 30 resorts in the West according to our 2020 Reader Resort Survey. Whether you're dreaming of face shots and blower pow or noon groomers followed by an après hot toddy, it's all here. Let our Top 30 western North America ski resort rankings carve the way to your best winter yet. 

The SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey is "a much watched and anticipated event," according to long-time ski industry professional Chris Diamond. SKI is proud to share the results of the Survey with you for 2020.

No. 5: Deer Valley, Utah - This skier's-only resort joined the Ikon Pass last season, and readers were happy to report that the top-notch service remains intact. “Deer Valley has always boasted incredible grooming, attracting visitors from all around the world to partake in this rare skier’s-only experience. Limiting its ticket sales makes it an even more enjoyable experience for all involved, especially during the peak holiday times.” See why readers ranked Deer Valley No. 5 for 2020

No. 10: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah - Nothing like finishing a ski day with a great cocktail and a greater view. “This mountain is huge! Lots of runs of differing difficulty. My family enjoys skiing here. The town of Park City has plenty to do when you're not skiing.” See why readers ranked Park City Mountain Resort No. 10 for 2020

Park City Magazine shares - A Guide to Skiing Utah’s Under-The-Radar Resorts with seven, off-the-beaten-path mountains where you can enjoy “the greatest snow on Earth.” Routine can be a powerful monster. You wake up, do your five favorite runs at Park City and are back in front of your computer before noon. You wake up. You drop the kids off at Deer Valley ski school and take a quick lap with your “lift pool” buddies and then have the littles back at home for nap time. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. We call this a rut. And while comfortable is good and gets the job done, maybe this season it’s time to mix it up. Here are seven road trip–worthy Utah resorts that, chances are, you’ve heard about but never visited. They each offer unique and, often, throwback experiences that will feel new to you, despite the retro vibes.

Powder Mountain’s massive size and limited crowds mean you’ll find untracked powder days after a storm. Acreage, divided by lift tickets sold, equals the least-crowded resort in North America and, last season, the resort capped its season ticket sales. Powder Mountain loyalists are proud that their home hill doesn’t make its own snow, meaning as pampered as you’ve become with larger resorts’ commitment to good coverage, you just might have forgotten what real snow feels like. That ethic carries over to the resort’s lodges, which are straight out of your childhood. Case in point: Most days you’ll find John Burrows behind the mic at the Powder Keg. The transplanted local came from the East Coast five years ago, and tired of the icy slopes, found the powder he craved in the Utah mountains. But the real treasure at Pow Mow is off-piste terrain served by snowcat. The cat ride up to Lightning Ridge is a must and often offers access to vast acres of untouched powder.

Logistics: Powder Mountain doesn’t offer on-mountain lodging, but the Eden Valley below is one of the most bucolic and scenic places in Utah. Be sure to visit the Shooting Star, the oldest bar in Utah.

Don’t miss: We’ll say it again. Snowcat service. If you find yourself on the fence, trust us and pay for at least one cat ride. It won’t be the last.

6965 E Powder Mountain Rd, Eden 801.745.3772

Snowbasin - Long runs; a balanced mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain; plus, thin crowds define Snowbasin. However, the word is out, since Snowbasin was named one of the 20 Access Resorts of the Year by the editors of Ski magazine. The site of several 2002 Olympic Winter Games events, Snowbasin was revamped in 1998 to include two gondolas and a high-speed quad. In contrast to its Eden Valley neighbor, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin cannot remotely be described as “rustic.” The lodges around the resort were built by the showy oil and gas millionaire Earle Holding, who, while he may have been lacking in, let’s just say restrained taste, did not skimp on quality. Giant fireplaces, comfy wingback chairs, with nary a rickety bench in sight are among the hallmarks. Amid those lodges is some otherworldly terrain, especially above and below John Paul Lodge, which overlooks the men’s and women’s downhill runs.

Logistics: You’ll want to at least try the “beer can” lift that services the top of the Olympic downhill runs. The views from the top peaks of Snowbasin are jaw dropping and give you excellent vantages of the Eden and Odgen valleys. Don’t worry, you can ride down if that first drop looks too rough.

Don’t miss: Umm. The bathrooms. How many times have you schlepped down slippery stairs to a yucky resort bathroom? Not so at Snowbasin. And, while maybe it’s not dinner table conversation, we all quietly love that the stalls all come with private floor-to-ceiling hardwood doors. Mr. Holding apparently liked his thinking time.

3925 SnowBasin Rd, Huntsville, 801.620.1000 

Nordic Valley packs a wide variety of terrain into a small, uncrowded space. About half of the terrain is intermediate, plus a terrain park filled with features helps keep things interesting. Nordic Valley is a family affair. Just last season, the resort gave more than 200 first-timer lessons over Christmas break. In its iconic base lodge, fondly called “The Old Barn” by the loyal, multifamily generations who ski there, is a place to gather and warm up between runs and lessons. You’ll often find families enjoying the liberal brown-bagging policy while gathered over board and card games on these breaks. Here, quality time together is as important as the snow outside.

Logistics: If your littles need a new place to learn, consider a trip to Nordic Valley. Lessons are affordable, and its unintimidating size and open cruisers mean the smaller set has a safe and fun place to play and learn.

Don’t miss: There’s more snow fun to be had after dark at Nordic Valley, with ample (and inexpensive) night skiing; so skip the après and stay out late on the hill.

3567 Nordic Valley Way, Eden 801.745.3511

Eagle Point is basically one giant surprise located in the largely untracked Tushar Mountain Range. It’s only open Thursdays through Sundays, so if a storm hits early in the week, there is fresh powder on Thursday morning and there will still be fresh pockets on Sunday. While Eagle Point has plenty of beginner terrain, some of its best runs are so steep that the small resort doesn’t have the ability even to attempt to groom them. The village is petite, mostly comprised of slopeside rental properties that vary in size and can sleep as few as just you and as many as the whole crew. This range (and low prices) make it the kind of place to round up a few families or a bunch of your friends and make a weekend of it. There is exactly one bar and restaurant at Eagle Point, the aptly named Bar and Grill; and you and your crew can pretty well take it over for what feels like your own private party.

Logistics: Cook in. Most extended-stay lodging options at Eagle Point offer full kitchens. Pick up supplies in Cedar City or Parowan and gather round the table with family and friends.

Don’t miss: The Hot Tub Garden. Oh, it’s a thing. The restaurant and bar’s patio is a great spot to watch the sunset and has three open-for-the-taking hot tubs to soak your bones while you wind down from the day. So pack your bathing suit.

150 S West Village Circle, Beaver 855.324.5378

Brian Head - Nowhere else in Utah can you regard its two most famous topographies juxtaposed with each other. From the top lift below Brian Head Peak, you can gaze off into Utah’s famous red rock country as you contemplate the snowy hills below. This mix of desert, snow, and sky makes Brian Head a very special place. Also, Brian Head is actually a town. Think Park City 30 (or maybe 50?) years ago. The resort and the village are entwined, and people who travel to Brian Head—often Las Vegans and Los Angelinos—tend to stay a few days or over a long weekend. This situation creates a friendly atmosphere of vacationing folks who feel the freedom to stay up a little later, perhaps in the glow of the Lift Bar’s ginormous fireplaces. The mountain is divided into two sections: the Navajo Peak area, completely devoted to beginner terrain, and the main mountain, which offers a wide range of terrain for skiers and boarders of all levels. Brian Head is also Utah’s highest resort, at 9,800 feet above sea level, and a repository for southerly storms that often don’t make it to the Wasatch.

Logistics: Brian Head is located up the gnarly Parowan Canyon, above its namesake town. Do yourself a favor and book a long weekend in one of the plentiful vacation rentals and lodges in the small ski town itself.

Don’t miss: The town teams up with nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument to offer a series of evening “Dark Sky” events. Rangers from the monument lead fascinating tours of the night sky, while local astronomers share their telescopes and celestial knowledge with visitors. And there’s hot chocolate and a warm lodge to get out of the cold.

329 UT-143, Brian Head 435.677.2035

Cherry Peak is the newest resort in the United States, unless you include the stitching together of Park City Mountain and Canyons resorts. Located in Richmond Canyon, 15 miles north of Logan, Cherry Peak opened for business in the 2014 season. Its owner, John Chadwick, grew up backcountry skiing on the family property where he built his resort, which now includes three triple chairlifts, a 500-foot magic carpet, night skiing, ice-skating, and a tubing hill. The spot is popular with locals from Cache Valley, and you’ll find packs of Boy Scouts on its night-skiing hill. Of note: Chadwick designed the technique he used for linking together logs to create the resort’s base lodge.

Logistics: Cherry Peak is in Richmond, a town north of Logan, a larger ville that is home of Utah State University. Logan is a fun college town with restaurants and bars, which makes it an ideal place to stay over and explore both Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain.

Don’t miss: The famous Aggie Ice Cream

3200 E 11000 N, Richmond 435.200.5050

Beaver Mountain - Generations of Utah State University students learned to ski at “The Beav,” as the locals call it. Beaver delivers old-school charm and an abundance of intermediate terrain with some beginner and advanced areas tossed in for variety. One of the last family-owned resorts in the United States, the Beav is still run by the Seeholzers. Harold and Luella Seeholzer opened Beaver in 1949 and turned the resort over to their children, Marge and Ted. Marge still runs the ticket window (really). Now, the third generation is taking over. You’ll find Travis Seeholzer, the resort’s general manager, out on the hill often without a helmet, conspicuously eschewing modern ski fashion. In the main lodge, you’ll find generations of families who come up from Logan for the day. Often Grandma and Grandpa will be camped out in an easy chair dozing while their pride and joy play in the snow outside.

Logistics: Just 12 miles from Bear Lake (one of Utah’s bluest and prettiest sights, especially in winter), the resort is a stone’s throw from a new crop of year-round, lakeside resorts offering lodging to skiers when the snow flies. We don’t recommend jumping in the lake, however.

Don’t miss: Getting back to the terrain served by Marge’s Triple; try Sour Grapes, a Seeholzer family favorite.

40000 E Hwy 89, Garden City 435.946.3610

We will see you on the slopes.

Happy Thanksgiving

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 27, 2019

Judy and I would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

The Best Ski Resorts for Families list is out from Travel+Leisure and Park City Mountain's expansive trails make it one of the best ski resorts for families in the United States. Adults will love exploring the 330 trails over 7,300 acres of terrain on this Utah mountain while kids (and adults who are learning) will find themselves at home at the resort’s High Meadow Park, which includes “Adventure Alleys” where beginners can try their hand at “off trail, groomed” runs. After a day of skiing, relax with a 23-minute snowcat-pulled sleigh ride up the mountain to a yurt where guests are served a five-course dinner and greeted with hot spiced glogg. Park City Mountain Resort, 1345 Lowell Avenue, Park City, UT.

Park City Mountain Resort also makes the list in Travel + Leisure's Best Ski Resorts in the US. Whether you're gliding down black diamond runs or down Main Street, you're sure to have a great winter vacation in Park City. Take a skiing tour of the city's old, abandoned mining buildings to learn about its history. Later in the evening, pick from several après-ski options while still in your ski and snowboard gear, or close out the night with a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride.

Total trails: More than 330 Total skiable acres: More than 7,300 Longest run: 3.5 miles

We understand that skiing and snowboarding is not for everyone and wanted to share Park City Magazine's 20+ Things To Do In Park City This Winter That Have Nothing To Do With Skiing or Snowboarding. The slopes might be Park City’s calling card, but you don’t need to strap on a pair of skis or a snowboard to have a great time here. Not only are there plenty of other ways to enjoy the snow, our little mountain town also offers a plethora of options for foodies, art connoisseurs, and anyone who just wants a bit of rest and relaxation.

There’s no better way to see Park City’s winter wonderland than by strapping into a pair of snowshoes. It’s a fun, easy, and economical winter sport to get into. You can rent a snowshoe set up (plus trekking poles) for as low as $18 a day from local retailers (Cole Sport, JANS Mountain Outfitters, and White Pine Touring) and strike out on the surrounding trails. If you don’t want to do the planning, no worries. Multiple outfitters offer tours with guides, including excursions across the local wetlands with the Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter. You’ll be surprised with what a good workout this almost 6,000-year old form of winter travel, so dress in light layers and don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses on bluebird days.

No ski town would be complete without ice skating options. Gliding across the ice is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For a dreamy outdoor experience, check out the cozy Resort Center Ice Rink (1415 Lowell Ave) in the middle of Park City Mountain’s base area or if you’d prefer to skate indoors, head over to larger sheet of ice at the Park City Ice Arena and Sports Complex (600 Gillmor Way, Quinn’s Junction). Other options include Basin Recreation’s neighborhood ice rink at Willow Creek Park and the city ice rink in the cute Swiss-inspired hamlet of Midway. Click here for details.

Unless you follow winter sports avidly, you may never even have heard of curling. This relatively obscure winter sport, first played in Scotland during the 16th century, is surprisingly entertaining. Curling teams consist of four players who take turns sliding 42-pound stones across a sheet of ice to try to score points (a bit like a giant shuffleboard). If you’re keen to learn, check out the latest information from the Park City Curling Club and book yourself a time to throw some rocks at the Park City Ice Arena (600 Gillmor Way). Curling is also available at the Olympic Oval and Ogden Curling Club.

Live out your own version of jingle bells in a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the wintry wonderland of Park City. You could hardly ask for a more romantic outing or escort to dinner. Whether you’re looking for a one-horse open sleigh or one large enough to accommodate the entire family, local sleighing companies have your back. This is just one of those unique activities you really can’t get back in the city.

Horses don’t have a monopoly on pulling sleighs; by way of a team of dogs and a musher, aka dogsledding, is another exhilarating way to experience winter. On your trip, you’ll not only be zipping along the snowy trails, you’ll also get to meet the dogs, usually huskies, and learn about the art of dogsledding from the sleigh handler, a.k.a. musher. This is a perfect excursion, especially for families with kids (ages 3+) and we guarantee you’ll leave with a smile on your face.

If you lived somewhere cold as a kid, chances are high that you remember sledding on a local hill. In Park City, you have the chance to relive those childhood days sans the exhausting trudge uphill when you hit up local tubing areas Gorgoza Park (closed 2018-19 season) and Soldier Hollow. Both locations offer lower lanes for the younger kiddos and longer runs that are thrilling even for adults.

Shredding powder isn’t exclusively for skiers and snowboarders. For adrenaline-pumping fun without breaking a sweat, hop on a snowmobile and go full throttle. Even if you’ve never been on a snowmobile before, or even considered the possibility, you might just find yourself an enthusiast after one go. Head 45 minutes out of town to Daniels Summit Lodge for a snowmobile retreat, or check out a few of the outfitters in town like Destination Sports and AdventuresRed Pine AdventuresSummit Meadows AdventuresThousand Peaks, and Wasatch Adventure Guides.

Park City is well-known for its stellar mountain biking scene, but for winter excursions on two wheels fat tire bikes are the way to go. Some of the best areas to hit up include Round Valley, McLeod and Willow Creek, Glenwild, and the Historic Rail Trail. Just keep in mind, many of Park City’s trails are multi-use so make sure to stay clear of classic skiing tracks and review the trail conditions before heading out. For rentals, check local outfitters All Season Adventures, Storm Cycles, Jans Mountain Outfitters, and White Pine Touring.

Have you ever done yoga on a paddle board inside a geothermal crater? Well, now’s your chance yogis because Park City Yoga Adventures offers sessions at the Homestead Crater, a geothermal spring with Caribbean-clear blue water that’s a balmy 95 degrees--go ahead and fall in! You can also pair your yoga session with snowshoeing or sunrise/sunset hikes. We dare you to find a more unique yoga class out there!

A trip up to the Utah Olympic Park is worth an entire day for many. They offer a number of winter activities, including rock climbing, zip lining, adventure courses, and the unforgettable bobsled experience where you zoom down the 2002 Olympic sliding track. While you’re there, you can also visit their free museums chronicling the Salt Lake Winter Games and the Alf Engen Ski Museum to learn about the skiing history in the area through interactive displays, games, and a virtual reality ski theater.

You can’t beat the spectacular bird’s eye view of the Wasatch mountains from a hot air balloon. Pop a bottle of champagne with your sweetie over a romantic breakfast for two above the world or bring the whole family along for an unforgettable ride. Two companies in town offer balloon rides, Skywalker Ballooning Company and Park City Balloon Adventures.

Traditional horseback riding and sleigh rides are both readily available in the area, but there are far more ways to enjoy horses than just saddling up. Park City Horse offers a number of unique experiences--from horse meditation circles and reiki to family adventures and corporate team building--that allow you to connect with horses and yourself while exploring self-awareness, intention, and communication. Or, check out Wild Heart Sanctuary where you can practice yoga and experience the healing powers of rescued wild horses.

Park City isn’t just an outdoors mecca, this quaint mountain town also embraces arts and culture in a major way, too. For two weeks every January, the film industry pours into Park City for the iconic Sundance Film Festival. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg, er, mountain.

Park City’s historic Main Street has a higher density of art galleries than most places. Walking up and down the street, you can pop into more than a dozen. While you can pop into the galleries any time, we recommend joining in on the Last Friday Gallery Stroll when local gallerists throw open their doors and ply passersby with refreshments from 6 to 9 p.m. on the last Friday of each month.

For a dose of independent film, check out the exquisitely curated program from the Park City Film (PCF). Almost every week of the year, PCF screens films ranging from artful child-inspired sagas to thought-provoking documentaries and features. They also have some pretty amazing popcorn toppings (everything from Parmesan cheese to chile sauce).

If music is more your thing, you don’t have to look far because even if you don’t ski the après concerts at Park City Mountain and Deer Valley are free and open to everyone. You can also hit up popular live music venues on Main Street, including Park City Live and O.P. Rockwell or see what’s on Park City Institute’s line-up.

While the cultural program at the Eccles Center, the home of the Park City Institute, includes its fair share of concerts, there’s much more available on the line-up. This venerable organization, which celebrated its 20th birthday in 2018, also prides itself on bringing in unique dance groups and a variety of entertainers, authors, and public figures.

Find out the nitty, gritty history of our mountain town by visiting Park City Museum. This isn’t some small, outdated town museum smelling of moth balls and mildew either. Inside you’ll find interactive, attention-grabbing displays that will immerse you in the by-gone days of Park City’s formative silver mining era. The museum even houses its own dungeon, a.k.a. the town’s old jailhouse, which is supposedly haunted.

This historic Egyptian Theatre may have changed names over the years, but its been a constant in Park City’s cultural map since the late 1800s. Today this landmark venue hosts a variety of music performances, theater productions, comedy acts, film, and community events, and more.

In addition to art exhibits, the Kimball Art Center also hosts dozens of classes throughout the year in almost every artistic discipline. Highlights include family-friendly holiday themed classes like Gingerbread House Sculpture, Egg Dying, and Valentine’s Day Bowls and adult only Sip & Paint sessions at Old Town Wine Cellars where you can (as the name implies) sip wine while creating. Whether you’re looking for a one-off session or multi-week courses, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Did you know Park City is home to a number of ghosts? Find out all about them and the rough-and-tumble mining days by taking a Park City Ghost Tour. Even if you’re not a big believer in the supernatural, the tour guides make the experience entertaining and the stories they tell about Park City’s earliest residents are quite interesting despite the inclusion of horrific deaths.

Are you ready to get your Catan on? If you’re a board game lover in Park City, then you need to check out the new Sunset Room Board Game Café (1781 Sidewinder Dr). With a library boasting dozens of different types of games, ranging from classics like Monopoly to strategy, deck building, and party games, this is a great place to chill out, relax, grab some food and drink, and make new friends.

Are you ready to shop till you drop? Forget the chain stores you can find anywhere and opt for the mom and pop chops unique to Park City. Spruce up your wardrobe with Western flair at Burns Cowboy Shop or mountain chic looks at Farasha, Flight Boutique, Prospect Clothing, and Cake Boutique. Don’t limit yourself to the Main Street thoroughfare, you’ll also find cute shops in Prospector and Kimball Junction, including Indigo Highway (1241 Center Dr), Whimsy (1351 Kearns Blvd), and The Exchange (1755 Bonanza Dr).

While Park City’s food scene is certainly inspired by our surroundings, skiing is certainly not a prerequisite for indulging in the dining scene. We couldn’t possibly name all the options out there, but here are a few to get you started.

Despite the significant (and sober) Mormon population, the craft distilling and brewing scene are blossoming in Utah these days, including right here in Park City where High West Distillery reigns supreme. Stop by their saloon for a tour and finish off with a meal and craft cocktails featuring their whiskeys or take the short drive out to Wanship to visit their new distillery on the Blue Sky Ranch. But don’t stop there, you’ll want to hit all the stops on our roadmap to beers, wine, and spirits in town.

If wine is your thing, then check out one of the many tours and classes offered by the Fox School of Wine. This is “educational happy hour,” meaning in addition to tasting several wines, you’ll also learn about their characteristics and add to your wine vocabulary.

You can make dinner into an event when you book a table at the Snowed Inn. Your evening begins with a horse drawn sleigh ride up to the Snowed Inn (located on the mountain at Park City Resort) followed by a gourmet western dinner, entertainment, and finally a sleigh ride back down the mountain.

There’s nothing quite like a spa day to make your feel like you can take on the world. Pamper yourself with full body treatments, facials, waxing, and, of course, massages of all kinds. You’ll find no lack of options in town with hotels/resorts ready to cater to all your wellness needs, including the Spa Montage, Knead A Message, Remède Spa at the St. Regis Deer Valley, the Spa at Hotel Park City, and more.

Channel Eleven from Stranger Things and lose yourself in a sensory deprivation tank at the new Sync Float (1200 W Lori Lane). The tanks are loaded with nine hundred pounds of Epsom salt to you can float effortlessly and forget the world. As the name implies, sensory deprivation removes external inputs like light, sound, and gravity so your body can heal physically and mentally. Just don’t open a door to the upside down!

Ski Maps and Snow

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 19, 2019

Ever wondered who hand painted all those tiny trees on your favorite ski resort map? Meet Jim Niehues, the man behind most of the ski resort maps you've probably ever admired. Ski Utah Magazine shares that more than 25 years ago, Niehues painted this craggy landmark along with the rest of Alta’s terrain and 116 runs, capturing the Little Cottonwood Canyon resort in his distinctive style. He admits tackling Alta early on in his career was a challenge. But since doing so, he’s painted 194 more trail maps for ski areas both big and small, and his work has become as endemic to skiing as GORE-TEX and Stein Eriksen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76yg1oT_Z0c&feature=youtu.be

Niehues’s 30-year career as a trail map illustrator began partly by chance. While looking for work in the Denver area, he approached Bill Brown, a painter who worked on landscapes and trail maps. Hoping to be adopted as an apprentice, Niehues asked Brown if he had any extra work and Brown handed him a project to paint the Mary Jane Territory at Winter Park Resort in Colorado. To ensure the resort’s management was happy with the illustration, Brown asked Niehues to leave his work unsigned until Brown had a chance to confess to his employers that it had actually been painted by Niehues. Winter Park accepted the map and Niehues went on to paint revisions of Brown’s older trail maps, eventually striking out on his own.

Each trail map Niehues paints begins with him climbing into an airplane to take aerial photos of a resort, which he admits is his favorite part of the process. This step also helps him understand the features and terrain as he manipulates multiple aspects and cardinal directions to fit the mountain into one or two perspectives. “It’s very important to depict the mountain at a point when shadows are cast across the slopes,” he says. “I usually find that the best time of day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

When asked about which resort he most enjoyed painting, Niehues relays, “I would say Snowbird because of the backdrop. It just has dynamism to it in terms of the composition. Alta is right in there, too.” He says he also enjoyed painting a regional map depicting all the Utah resorts, which presented the heady challenge of combining multiple mountain ranges, aspects, perspectives and resorts into one, digestible view.

Though Niehues, now 72, contemplates retiring, he's' apparently not done yet. At press time he was working on maps for Oregon's Mt. Bachelor, Cardrona in New Zealand, and a remake for Sun Peaks in British Columbia. "I announced several years ago that I was retired, and that sure didn't last long," he laughs. Maybe I'll retire next year. It's not really a job, it's a passion." Jim Niehues's iconic body of work is now available in James Niehues: The Man Behind the Map. Containing nearly 200 maps, the book can be purchased here.

Is Park City, UT, The Most Accessible Ski Town in the USA? InTheSnow.com share that when Brits think of skiing in the USA, they tend to associate the reliable powder and friendly hospitality with the necessity of extended flight times, lengthy transfers and generally inconvenient journeys.

But what if we told you there was a charming US town with two world-class ski areas, just 35 minutes from a large international airport – meaning you can hit the slopes the same day you fly in? Set at 7,000 ft in altitude, Park City offers exceptional snow conditions across two of America’s top ski areas, and has everything you could ask for when it comes to a ski holiday. Here are eight reasons why we think Park City is the best destination for your next stateside ski holiday:

1. Direct Flights from London to Salt Lake City - It’s never been easier to get to Park City, with a newly reinstated direct Delta Airlines flight between London Heathrow and Salt Lake City, ensuring a early-mid afternoon arrival. Regular flights will run from December 19th 2019 throughout the ski season and beyond.

Park City resort is also just 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International airport and November 2020 will see the opening of a new $3.6 Billion airport, meaning visitors will arrive in to state-of-the-art luxury – a far cry from a crowded Saturday afternoon at Grenoble!

2. Free In-Town Transportation - If you’ve ever had to carry your skis further than a few metres from the ski slopes to your accommodation, you’ll know how much of a godsend a free ski bus can be – particularly If you’re travelling with small children in tow! Providing free and easy access to the Historic Main Street, recreation areas, both ski resorts, and the Utah Olympic Park, this free transport system allows your holiday to run just that little bit smoother.

A brand new fleet of Electric Xpress buses will whisk you from A to B. Not only more environmentally friendly than previous offerings, but they are highly state-of-the-art, with USB outlets, free wifi and oversized windows allowing unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains. The express route operates from 7:00 AM to midnight, seven days a week, and features stops at the Canyons Transit Hub and Fresh Market. There’s even a free trolley so that you don’t have to make the climb all the way up Main Street with your skis. They’ve truly thought of everything!

3. The Main Street - Speaking of the town’s Main Street, this is definitely another draw for holidaymakers. A vibrant mixture of historic stores, unique art galleries and independent boutiques, this street provides a breath of fresh air from the kitschy souvenir stores of many ski resorts.

Mary Jane’s shoe store and DiJore boutique are two of Park City’s best kept shopping secrets, treasure troves of quality handmade goods, unique apparel and community events. Meanwhile, independent bookstore Dolly’s is also well worth a visit, sure to capture the imagination of the whole family.

Over 150 inventive restaurants are available to fill those rumbling stomachs after a day on the mountain. For a truly special meal, try one of our personal favourites, tupelo. Here, they combine local artisanal produce, sustainable production and huge flavours to create one of the most exciting menus in town. You will enjoy the story behind your food just as much as the meal you are eating. Or, for the best way to fuel up before you hit the slopes, try local hotspot Harvest, which serves up exceptional coffees and breakfasts all the way through until 3pm.

4. Town Lift - Forget lengthy walks to and from the closest ski lift each day; in Park City, there is a chairlift located right in the heart of Main Street. This gives you easy access to both après ski entertainment and accommodation, whilst simultaneously offering some of the best views of the Wasatch peaks that overlook this street.

5. Diverse Lodging Options - Whether it’s the luxurious ski-in, ski-out resorts of Deer Valley or the great value suites of Kimball Junction (ideal for those on a budget), Park City offers pretty much every accommodation type you can think of.

Keen skiers should stay at the mountain hotels in Park City Mountain or Deer Valley, where you can enjoy the maximum time on the slopes. In Deer Valley, stay at the Montage or Stein Eriksen, where you can ski right back to your door at the end of the day. In Montage, not only are the nightly s’mores a hit with both adults and kids, but so too are the delightfully comfortable beds and relaxing heated pools.

If you’d rather be closer to the energetic town centre, stay downtown, where you can enjoy walk-in access to the Park City’s many bars, restaurants, sights and events. Newpark Resort in Kimball Junction might be a more budget option, but it’s by no means lacking in quality. Book a suite to get your very own balcony hot tub, overlooking the mountain peaks, and enjoy the spots’ close proximity to one of the best local pizza joints, Maxwell’s.

6. One Destination, Two World-Class Resorts - How many times can you say you’ve holidayed somewhere with not one, but two exceptional ski areas?

Deer Valley is particularly unique in that it is one of just three skiers-only resorts in the country, which makes it a great choice for skiers that might be less confident amongst crowds. Here, the slopes are rarely busy and you can often enjoy the piste all to yourself.

How? Well, ticket sales are limited each day to ensure that skiers have plenty of space on the mountain and that the slopes are never over-crowded. 2000 skiable acres and 21 chairlifts await skiers on the slopes, while off the slopes, the resorts legendary cuisine boasts signature favourites such as turkey chilli and huge chocolate chip cookies. For increased luxury, there’s even a Veuve Clicquot champagne yurt, where glasses of bubbly are paired with cheese and charcuterie plates!

Park City Mountain Resort - The recent merging of Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort as part of its purchase by Vail has not only made this one of the largest ski resorts in North America, but has also allowed it to become part of the popular ‘Epic Pass’ program.

Park City Mountain Resort is one of North America’s most versatile ski areas, with terrain for every level of skier and snowboarder. Uniquely, you are also skiing in an area steeped in heritage, with mining shafts and buildings left over from the silver mining boom visible on the slopes. We haven’t skied many resorts where you are so immersed in the area’s history and can learn so much from your skis!

The slope-side eating establishments here are also fantastic – at Miners Camp you can enjoy filling flatbreads, salads and Mediterranean kabobs on the sunny terrace with stunning mountain views. Or head up the mountain to Cloud Dine, to sample the famous Cloud Dine doughnuts, with six types of dough made in house each day.

7. Ski-in, Ski-Out Happy Hour - Speaking of apres ski, Park City is home to possibly one of our favourite mountain bars anywhere in the world, the High West Saloon. A joyful combination of tradition, character and history meet here, in what is Utah’s first distillery since Prohibition. It’s also the world’s first ski-in gastro-distillery, so you can hop straight out of your skis and into the saloon! Located at the bottom of Park City Mountain’s Quit’N Time run, this livery stable turned saloon is famous for its award-winning whiskies. Warm up after a day in the snow with a hot toddy or spiked coffee or try one of the delicious hand-crafted cocktails.

8. An Abundance of Off Slope Activities - There’s no escaping that Park City is best known for its excellent ski resorts, but beyond the slopes, you will find plenty of excitement here. It’s a perfect destination for any groups who may be travelling with non-skiers, or for those who aren’t inclined to spend the whole day on their skis.

Explore the picturesque snowy landscapes through a range of alternative activities, such as dog sledding, snow biking or nordic skiing. Or, take on activities you will (probably) never have the chance to do again, such as paddle board yoga in a geothermal crater! Certainly one for the photo albums! So, with all this and more so easily accessible from the UK, Park City might be the perfect place for you to finally take that stateside ski break you’ve always been dreaming of.

For more information, head to visitparkcity.com

Hiking, Stretching and House Hunting

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 13, 2019

This week we are looking at a few great autumn hikes in the Salt Lake area, the importance of exercise & stretching coming into ski and snowboarding season and what to look for when buying a home during the colder months.

Here are Three Fall Hikes Near Salt Lake City - Take a gander at the mountainsides around Salt Lake City and you’ll see the reds and yellows starting to pop, which means only one thing: leaf peeping season is officially here! As any seasoned leaf peeper will tell you, the vibrant hues are fleeting, so get out there while the getting’s good. These three fall hikes near Salt Lake City are perfect for getting up into the mountains and soaking in the fall colors before shoulder season’s mud and cold come to call.

Silver Lake to Bowhunter Loop at Deer Valley - Difficulty: Medium, Dogs: Permitted on-leash, Highlights: High-elevation meadow and views from Bowhunter Loop

Just a short drive up Interstate 80 is Park City, where you’ll be able to enjoy resort town access to trails and amenities without the typical crowds this time of year. This hike to the top of Deer Valley’s Bald Mountain starts at the resort’s mid-mountain Silver Lake Lodge, easing your trek to the high-altitude aspen trees a bit.

Drive past downtown Park City on Deer Valley Drive before heading up Marsac Ave. to the parking garage at Silver Lake Lodge. From there, access the Silver Lake trailhead just past the Homestake Express chairlift. Now for the hard part. Ascend nearly 1,300 feet through twisting, root-covered singletrack towards the top of Bald Mountain. You’ll pass through massive, golden aspen groves with periodic scenic overlooks over the Jordanelle Reservoir before reaching the the summit. From there, descend on the snaking Ontario Canyon trail through a field of crimson scrub oak into a high-mountain meadow will fall wildflowers. A short way further, take a left on the Bowhunter Loop. Complete a clockwise loop on the undulating trail before returning the way you came, up Ontario Canyon and down Silver Lake until you reach the lodge.

Broads Fork Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon - Difficulty: Hard, Dogs: Not permitted, Highlights: 270-degree views of Dromedary, O’Sullivan and Twin Peaks

Upper Broads Fork is home to some serious alpine terrain, and along on the way, you’ll be treated to some gorgeous high-elevation forests, meadows and waterfalls. Start by driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon on UT 190 for four and a half miles and park just below the s-curve. The trailhead is just past the picnic area, where you’ll begin an ascent of more than 2,100 feet in just over two and a half miles. It’s common to see moose on the trail this time of year. Everyone loves posting moose pictures on social media, but be sure to give them ample distance.

While climbing the steep, heavily-forested trail, you’ll pass by a couple small falls before ultimately reaching your turnaround point in a rocky meadow with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. Some of the Wasatch’s most imposing mountains, including Dromedary, O’Sullivan and the Salt Lake Twins form an awe-inspiring natural cathedral. After you’ve had your fill of views, return the way you came back to the trailhead.

Ferguson Canyon to Overlook - Difficulty: Medium/Hard, Dogs: Permitted on-leash, Highlights: Overlook views of Salt Lake Valley

The trail up Ferguson Canyon rewards hikers with incredible views of the Salt Lake Valley and mountain cirques similar to those in the Cottonwood Canyons, but since it’s not part of the Salt Lake City Watershed you’re allowed to bring your four-legged companions along. The trailhead is located just past Big Cottonwood Canyon Road off of Wasatch Blvd. Take a left on Prospector Drive just past the 7-11, then an immediate right to continue on Prospector and finally a left on Timberline drive where the trailhead is. Start by heading up the gravel road past the water tank before heading straight up the canyon.

The trail rises some 1,500 vertical feet into the Twin Peaks Wilderness, and is lined with rock buttresses that are popular among rock climbing climbers. Thirsty pooches will appreciate several natural springs along the way. In about two miles, you’ll reach a rocky outcropping with expansive views back over the Salt Lake Valley. Most people will turn around here and head back down the way they came, though truly hearty hikers can continue up the increasingly steep trail for another mile and a half to reach the ridge and climb to the top of Storm Mountain.

The ski resorts will be opening soon and we wanted to share some Tips for Preventing Common Ski and Snowboard Injuries. Stacy McCooey of MountainTop Physical Therapy offers insight into winter’s on-mountain injuries and how to best avoid them. By doing just a few targeted exercises ahead of your time on the mountain can greatly reduce your likelihood of sustaining ski and snowboard injuries.

Of course, avoiding injury altogether is preferable. The good news is most injuries can be prevented with simple exercises or minimizing the amount of time you spend walking in ski boots. Knee problems, for instance, can be mitigated by strengthening the hamstrings and hips while shoulder injuries can be offset by working on the rotator cuffs. “I think dry-land training is so important in injury prevention and now is the perfect time to do it,” says McCooey. “It depends on your sport and body type, but often we develop muscle imbalances from our activities and daily habits. The general theme is to lengthen what is too short and strengthen what is too long. It is all about creating a balance that allows your joints, muscles, tendons and nerves to function optimally. Balance is crucial within the demands of your sport/desired activity.” While it usually takes around six weeks to see meaningful muscle growth from exercise programs, people can begin to gain strength and improve neuro-muscular connections within the first couple of weeks. Although there are dozens of individual exercises, from lunges and squats to hip lifts and everything in between.

So what about stretching? Apparently, the jury is still out on the benefits of static position stretching. Instead, McCooey recommends warming the muscles up with some dynamic movement, taking it easy on the first couple of runs, and tuning into what’s happening with your body. After a day on the slopes, many of us head straight to the hot tub for a long soak, but it may not be for everyone. “For cooling down, you can try some gentle stretches or other forms of recovery,” says McCooey. “A hot tub can feel great and loosen up stiff joints, but it may also increase inflammation.

Anyone who’s wished they too could tumble sans pain into the ridiculous shapes young children do while skiing and snowboarding, also knows injury can become more prevalent as we get older. “Nutrition, genetics, and body type all come into play, but in general, as we age, our bodies become less pliable and we lose muscle mass,” says McCooey. “This increases the demand on a maintenance or ‘TLC’ routine we likely could get by without in years past. The good news is that the effects of aging can largely be mitigated by catching things early, before they turn in to an actual injury.” Adding variety to your routine is one of the best ways to do this. Since most of us spend a lot of time sitting, with our legs bent at 90 degrees, and facing forward, any movement that switches up these day-to-day patterns can be helpful, whether it’s moving from side to side or getting down into the “third-world squat”. McCooey also suggests getting over the ‘one final run’ syndrome. “Injuries usually happen when we’re not feeling one hundred percent and decide to take that last run we’re not mentally or physically prepared for,” says McCooey. “The most important advice to avoid injury is to always listen to and respect your pain.” Need some more ideas for training? Check out these simple, but effective exercises

Are you looking to move, here are 4 Tips for Home-Buying During the Colder Months:

Attend cozy open houses - Use the time you're looking for a home to mingle and fight the winter blues. Go see what's open in your area, check out a new location or inspect a home you really want. Open houses provide many opportunities including the chance to mingle and network. Even if you don't like the house you visit, you may hear of others nearby. You'll find many houses for sale in the winter that have open houses, and checking them out in person can show you exactly what the house will be like during the colder months.

Read the home inspection reports - While it's chilly outside, pull up a comfy chair and a mug of hot chocolate or coffee and do some research. With the bad weather and cold air that come with the season in some areas of the country, it's easier to sit inside and get the monotonous part of moving out of the way first. Plus, getting some of the boring stuff done early gives you more time to spend on the fun things like getting open house gifts.

Look for drafts and other leaks - There's no better time than winter to check out houses for sale. With the home working at the highest level, potential buyers can easily check out windows and doors for air leaks. Gaps are easier to find because drafts are often present when the winter wind is blowing hard outside. Plus, going to showings in the winter lets you see the property during the drab months of the year, allowing you to envision it in the nicer weather.

Check out the parking in bad weather - When you need a parking spot close to home in the winter, it's best to go for showings during this season. Looking at houses when there's snow on the ground lets you see where the problems occur in the area. You can avoid houses that have access problems, drainage issues or are last on the list for the snowplow.

Many people think winter is a bad time to look for a new home; however, several advantages make this season better than most. For example, if you don't want to go out in the cold weather, then chances are neither will your neighbors. Second, a home will show all its problems in the winter because the systems have to work extremely hard to keep up with frigid temperatures.

Stephen Roney - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 05, 2019

Judy and I have been a part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties team for many years and we wanted to share a recent article on Stephen Roney, the CEO and owner.

 

Stephen C. Roney: Service and Marketing Expertise Make the Difference - As the former president and CEO of the First American Corporation’s Residential Group and its subsidiary, MarketLinx, Stephen C. Roney was responsible for building one of the largest residential real estate platforms to provide transaction management, MLS and CRM software and services to more than 500,000 agents and brokers. Today he serves as CEO and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties, one of the state’s largest brokerage firms.

What are you seeing in the Utah market this year?

Stephen Roney: Along the Wasatch Back (Park City area), there continues to be significant development activity throughout our market area coupled with enhancements to both Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain. We believe this, in conjunction with anticipated inventory increases and low interest rates, will continue to drive our markets in a positive direction. As the market begins to stabilize, we see increased buying opportunities in Summit and Wasatch counties, especially with the continued growth around the Jordanelle Reservoir and Heber Valley. Along the Wasatch Front (Salt Lake Valley through Ogden), strong demand and low inventory levels persist. We expect appreciation to continue, sales to remain strong, and a variety of development options to emerge across all sectors of the Wasatch Front. We anticipate mortgage rates will reduce slightly in the near term and also expect increased buyer activity, especially at or below median prices. With a strong regional economy in Utah, we see little sign of a market downturn in the foreseeable future.

Are you planning to grow your firm in the next 12 months? If so, in what capacity…increasing agent count, new offices, new markets, mergers/acquisitions, etc.?

SR: In short, yes. We have recently opened an office in St. George, which has seen rapid growth as retirement, warm weather and business expansion bring more and more buyers to the area. We are also actively evaluating entry possibilities in other markets in Utah and nearby states.

What most sets your firm apart in the marketplace?

SR: In one word, culture. We have great agents and employees who demonstrate knowledge, services, integrity and teamwork every day. Additionally, we have unparalleled experience in development marketing, sales and advisory services in our markets. We also have an in-house marketing department that includes marketing strategy/planning, graphic design, digital and social media marketing, and print and public relations capabilities.

How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed?

SR: Our chief technology officer and executive leadership team are constantly evaluating new technology and maintaining alignment with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ existing platforms and future initiatives.

How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers?

SR: We have a very selective recruiting process for new agents. We look for strong-producing agents or other individuals with significant sales and service backgrounds who will fit our culture and benefit from the strength of our marketing capabilities, development experience, and leadership team. We also place great value on collaboration and collegiality. Retaining top-producing agents requires building and maintaining the “best in market” leadership team and support capabilities.

What do you look for in someone new coming into the company?

SR: A successful and sustainable business will flourish in a culture that honors service, knowledge and a strong work ethic. Preserving the trust of our agents and their clients is our No. 1 priority.

Vitals: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties - Years in Business: 43

Size: 30 offices, 475 agents - Regions Served: Northern Utah: Wasatch Back (Park City, Heber Valley, East Summit County, Jordanelle), Wasatch Front (Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties); and moving into Southern Utah: St. George

2018 Sales Volume: $2.195 billion - 2018 Transactions: 3,556 - www.bhhsutah.com

We will wrap up this blog with 4 Tips for Home-Buying During the Colder Months. Here are four ideas to help make the home search process faster and more convenient during the colder months:

Attend cozy open houses - Use the time you're looking for a home to mingle and fight the winter blues. Go see what's open in your area, check out a new location or inspect a home you really want. Open houses provide many opportunities including the chance to mingle and network. Even if you don't like the house you visit, you may hear of others nearby. You'll find many houses for sale in the winter that have open houses, and checking them out in person can show you exactly what the house will be like during the colder months.

Read the home inspection reports - While it's chilly outside, pull up a comfy chair and a mug of hot chocolate or coffee and do some research. With the bad weather and cold air that come with the season in some areas of the country, it's easier to sit inside and get the monotonous part of moving out of the way first. Plus, getting some of the boring stuff done early gives you more time to spend on the fun things like getting open house gifts.

Look for drafts and other leaks - There's no better time than winter to check out houses for sale. With the home working at the highest level, potential buyers can easily check out windows and doors for air leaks. Gaps are easier to find because drafts are often present when the winter wind is blowing hard outside. Plus, going to showings in the winter lets you see the property during the drab months of the year, allowing you to envision it in the nicer weather.

Check out the parking in bad weather - When you need a parking spot close to home in the winter, it's best to go for showings during this season. Looking at houses when there's snow on the ground lets you see where the problems occur in the area. You can avoid houses that have access problems, drainage issues or are last on the list for the snowplow.

Many people think winter is a bad time to look for a new home; however, several advantages make this season better than most. For example, if you don't want to go out in the cold weather, then chances are neither will your neighbors. Second, a home will show all its problems in the winter because the systems have to work extremely hard to keep up with frigid temperatures.

Happy Halloween!

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 29, 2019

Halloween is tomorrow! Get into the spirit with wagon rides, spooky soirées, Old Town traditions, and more. Don’t miss the trick-or-treat tradition on Main Street, followed by the Howl-O-Ween parade.

Halloween on Main Street 2019 - Thursday October 31st, 2019

3:00-5:00 p.m. Trick-or-Treating: Little ghosts and goblins are invited to Main Street for fun and safe Trick-or-Treating, compliments of participating merchants!

5:00 p.m. Dog Parade on Lower Main Street: Leashed, costumed dogs and their owners will meet below the Lower Main Street Pedestrian bridge at 4:45 p.m. The parade will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will march to Heber Avenue.

Looking for more - Park City Magazine shares Ways to Celebrate Halloween In and Around Park City. It’s the spookiest season of the year, and whether you like celebrating with adults-only costume parties or trick-or-treating with the kiddos, there is a local event for you. From walking in the legendary Howl-O-Ween dog parade to haunted wagon rides, use this guide to find the ten best Halloween happenings around town—plus a few favorites beyond Summit County’s borders.

Sleepy Hollow Wagon Rides - ends tonight! Spy the Headless Horsemen on a spooky horse-drawn wagon ride winding around the woods of Midway. Hear “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as Rocky Mountain Outfitters guides your wagon through the forest. Rides available from 6–10 p.m. Tickets: $25 per person online, or find discounts on Groupon and Rocky Mountain Outfitters’ Facebook page. sleepyhollowutah.com

Family Fright Nights - ends tonight! Get in the spirit with free screenings of family-friendly Halloween classics at the Park City Library. Popcorn and lemonade provided. Catch Hocus Pocus October 26 at 3:00 p.m., and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween October 30 at 6:30 p.m. parkcityfilm.org

16th Annual “Transylvania Tea Party” Blood Drive - Thursday, October 31. Deer Valley partners with ARUP Blood Services for its annual Halloween blood drive, encouraging folks to donate to those suffering from emergencies, illnesses, and blood disorders. Walk-ins welcome from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but you may also book an appointment online at arupbloodservices.org using search code B068. Costumes are encouraged; light refreshments provided.

Howl-O-Ween and Trick-or-Treating on Main Street - Thursday, October 31. Trick or treat! Bring the kids for safe, fun, candy gathering along Historic Main Street from 3–5 p.m., courtesy of local merchants. Stay for the best Park City Halloween tradition of all: the Howl-O-Ween parade. Watch costumed pups march down Main at 5 p.m., or bring your own dressed up four-legged friend and don a costume to participate. historicparkcityutah.com 

Grappa Halloween Party - Thursday, October 31. After Park City’s parade, celebrate with grown-ups at Grappa’s Main Street patio for a reception-style event with craft cocktails and delectable bites served in a spooky atmosphere. Wear a costume, mingle to the music, and enjoy this haunted Halloween evening from 6–9 p.m. Tickets required: $75 at grapparestaurant.com.

Park City Ghost Tours - Nightly. Get in the Halloween spirit on an Old Town tour uncovering the ghosts of this old mining town. From the Man in the Yellow Slicker to the Woman in the Window, you’ll hear the local lore and walk past haunted homes and buildings where ghosts linger. Tours take place at 8 p.m. daily. And reservations are not required. Just show up at Miner’s Park on Main Street and look for the costumed tour guide. Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for children. parkcityghosttours.com

Beyond Park City

Pumpkin Nights in Salt Lake City - Through November 4. Drive down the canyon to witness the Utah State Fairpark transformed into an immersive, pumpkin-filled land. Perfect for children too young for scary haunted houses, wander from room to room to see decorated pirate ships, dragons, and undersea worlds with a vibe that’s delightful, not frightful. See over 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins, watch fire dancers perform, paint a pumpkin, and stay for a Halloween movie screening on select nights. Tickets: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, $16 for kids. If your family stays up late, save with the daily night owl discount from 8 p.m. to close. pumpkinnights.com

Sundance Halloween Lift Rides - Through October 31. Catch the fall colors and the rising moon on family-friendly Halloween Lift Rides at Sundance Resort. Lasting 45 to 60 minutes, the ride on Ray’s Lift takes you above spooky scenes under moonlight. Back at the base find games, cozy blankets, steaming cups of hot cocoa, and snacks for sale. When the weather permits, a Halloween movie plays outdoors at the base. Lift rides run 7-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays). Tickets available online at sundanceresort.com. Lift tickets: $25 for adults, $22 for children and students, and $19 for seniors. Add a Halloween Zip Tour for $59 per person.

In real estate news Utah ties for #1 in 10 States With the Fastest Rates of Job Growth, 2020. U.S. job growth in 2019 is likely to average 170,000 jobs per month, down from 223,000 in 2018. The decline is partly attributable to fewer available workers to hire with the low unemployment rate. Also, businesses are reluctant to aggressively pursue growth, given increasing economic uncertainty from the trade war with China.

Hiring in some sectors –-particularly health care-– remains robust. Services associated with a growing economy, such as computers, restaurants, and temporary help, are also up. The weak spots? Retail is shedding workers as stores continue to close. The telecom sector also continues its long decline. The drop in oil prices has led to job cuts in the oil and gas sector. As a result, some states buoyed by thriving industries are adding jobs at much faster clips than others. Check out the 10 states with the fastest projected rates of job growth for 2020.

T-1. Utah

Population: 3,161,000

Unemployment rate: 2.8%

2019 job growth: 3.0% (46,200)

2020 job growth: 2.0% (31,300)

Utah's economy is humming, consistently one of the best-performing in the country with expansion continuing in every major sector from healthcare to basic manufacturing. Hiring will expand by 3.0% this year, down slightly from last year's sizzling 3.2% growth. Slower workforce growth may be a helpful development with unemployment at a low 2.8% rate that underlines the scarcity of workers to fill jobs.

Utah has a large presence in a number of rapidly growing high-tech sectors including cloud computing and software development as well as in aerospace and life sciences. Its relatively cheaper real estate, growing talent pool and proximity to other higher-cost Western tech centers is fostering growth of a "Silicon Slopes" cloud computing and "Bionic Valley" bioengineering center around Salt Lake City. As many as one in every seven jobs in the state –-300,000 in all-– are generated by high-tech companies that typically pay more than other industries.

T-1. Nevada

Population: 3,034,000

Unemployment rate: 4.1%

2019 job growth: 3.0% (42,400 new jobs)

2020 job growth: 2.0% (29,200 new jobs)

3. Florida

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Population: 21,299,000

Unemployment rate: 3.3%

2019 job growth: 2.5% (222,300)

2020 job growth: 1.9% (173,300)

4. Idaho

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Population: 1,754,000

Unemployment rate: 2.9%

2019 job growth: 2.5% (18,600)

2020 job growth: 1.8% (13,600)

T-5. Arizona

Population: 7,172,000

Unemployment rate: 5.0%

2019 job growth: 2.5% (72,300)

2020 job growth: 1.7% (50,400)

T-5. Washington

Population: 7,536,000

Unemployment rate: 4.6%

2019 job growth: 2.6% (89,500)

2020 job growth: 1.7% (60,000)

7. Texas

Population: 28,702,000

Unemployment rate: 3.4%

2019 job growth: 2.3% (290,600)

2020 job growth: 1.6% (207,200)

8. Colorado

Population: 5,696,000

Unemployment rate: 2.8%

2019 job growth: 2.1% (57,700)

2020 job growth: 1.4% (39,200)

9. Oregon

Population: 4,191,000

Unemployment rate: 4.0%

2019 job growth: 1.9% (36,500)

2020 job growth: 1.3% (25,400)

T-10. Alabama

Population: 4,888,000

Unemployment rate: 3.1%

2019 job growth: 1.8% (37,000)

2020 job growth: 1.2% (25,000)

 

Park City Instead Of Universal Studios

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 22, 2019

Priorities change when kids come into the picture. This applies especially to vacation destinations that we choose for our families. We need to have family-friendly, wholesome and educational vacations that everyone will enjoy. When traveling to the United States, we often see Universal Studios as one of the must-visit places to see. However, there are many more family vacation destinations that we can choose from among many tourist spots in America. These are places with activities that all family members from different ages will surely enjoy. Parents will appreciate the care that staff in these places give to our families, plus the added attraction of entertainment and accommodation options. In 10 Family Vacation Destinations In America Better Than Universal Studios Park City comes in #1.

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah - The perfect winter vacation in your family is waiting for you at the Park City Mountain Resort. Quaint lodgings will welcome you as you prepare to enjoy the different winter activities offered by the resort. Ski and snowboard lessons are available not just for adults but for children as well. The village around the resort deserves a visit as well because of the history it holds as an old mining village. There are also events that you can take part in like music festivals, holiday celebrations, and fireworks displays. Stop by the numerous cute shops that offer tasty snacks, handcrafted cocktails and mouth-watering dishes for your family.

Mark your calendars - Pendry is letting locals in on a sneak peek every Wednesday now through November 20th.

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Something to keep in mind for 2020... Savor the Summit will take a break next year to evaluate and improve annual dinner party. The Park City Area Restaurant Association announced that Savor the Summit will take next summer off, but, according to Executive Director Ginger Wicks, the break will not be a vacation. Instead, she and her crew will form a committee and take time to reevaluate Park City’s largest outdoor dinner party, which has been an annual event featuring an iconic mile-long dining table that runs down Main Street. “Because it’s such a big event, we haven’t been able to really do a deep dive and examine what works for the restaurants, and what the guests really like and what they don’t like,” Wicks said. “So we we’re starting the deep dive immediately.”

Savor the Summit started 13 years ago as a multi-day event on upper Main Street in conjunction with the now-defunct Park City Jazz Festival, which was held at Deer Valley Resort. “In the old days, if you didn’t get a reservation early, you weren’t eating, and we have noticed that has changed in the past couple of years,” she said. “Not all of the restaurants sell out, and we want to take a look at that.” If all goes well, the association will have a good idea of what the new Savor the Summit will look like in the early spring of 2021.

Hikes, Hot Springs and Food

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 14, 2019

Judy and I love taking long drives and hiking in Park City. Before it gets too cold, check out these 10 easy hikes. Hiking is a great way to see wildlife, wildflowers, waterfalls, arches and other people taking pictures of all of the above. Here’s a list of 10 easy-to-moderate trails around the state to get you started. Please note that easy and accessible hikes are often the most popular. But that just means there will be more people around to take triumphant photos of you atop a mighty peak.

1. Cecret Lake

Location: Salt Lake Valley (Little Cottonwood Canyon) - Distance: 1.5 miles round trip

This hike is strewn with wildflowers AND other people enjoying the alpine lake views. Put your clothes back on! The lake is part of the Wasatch watershed so there’s no swimming. Get more info here.

2. Lake Mary

Location: Salt Lake Valley (Big Cottonwood Canyon) - Distance: 2 miles round trip

Lake MaryA favorite vacation destination for nude sunbathing moose. Don’t stare or they’ll make a weird face at you. Wait... that's just their faces. Get more info here.

3. City Creek

Location: Salt Lake City - Distance: 5.6 miles round trip - City CreekA pleasant walk through the canyon, five minutes from downtown Salt Lake. Stick to the paved road or wander about on the various dirt trails. Get more info here.

4. Birdsong Trail

Location: Ogden Canyon - Distance: 1 mile round trip

Shady, short and perfect for the little ones. If you listen close you’ll hear birds singing “We Are the World” by Michael Jackson. Get more info here.

5. Adams Canyon

Location: Layton - Distance: 3.5 miles round trip

Adams CanyonAn accessible hike to a sparkly waterfall. This isn't the easiest hike on this list, as it has switchbacks and gravelly bits, so give yourself plenty of time. Once you’re an expert hiker, put on your crampons and do it again in winter to see the waterfall frozen. Get more info here.

6. Goblin Valley

Location: San Rafael Swell - Distance: Variable, Goblin ValleyGreat winter or early spring destination (summer = burning hell-pot). Kids love scrambling around the goblin rock formations. Goblins love eating kids. Everyone wins. Get more info here.

7. Corona Arch

Location: Moab - Distance: 3 miles round trip, Corona ArchA real purdy red rock hike to the beautiful Bowtie and Corona Arches. The trail is a bit adventurous and includes a short section with a ladder and rope. You got this. Get more info here.

8. The Watchman Trail

Location: Zion National Park - Distance: 3 miles round trip

The WatchmanSunrise or sunset are the perfect times for this scenic hike. The colors of Zion’s canyon walls will be saturated with pink light. Keep yourself saturated (with water) if you do this hike midday in the summer. Get more info here.

9. Hickman Bridge Trail

Location: Capitol Reef National Park - Distance: 2 miles round trip

Hickman BridgeYet another red rock hike to a beautiful arch. It has some switchbacks at first and then levels out. Keep your eyes peeled for ruins from the Fremont culture. Get more info here.

10. Spectra Point Trail

Location: Cedar Breaks National Monument - Distance: 2 miles round trip

Spectra PointAt 10,000 feet this hike is perfect for escaping the summer heat. Lowlanders might huff and puff, but the view from the overlook is worth every gasp. Get more info here.

Once your hike is done, visit one of these 7 Area Hot Springs Worth a Visit - Pack your suit and hit the road for one of these nearby hot springs.

Lava Hot Springs - Just over 180 miles from Park City is the kitschy town of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, named for the mineral water pools there, ranging in temp from 102 to 110 degrees (430 E Main St, 208.776.5221). Book a room at the Home Hotel (306 E Main St, 208.776.5050) and grab a post-soak beer at the Blue Moon Bar & Grill (89 S 1st E, 208.776.5007). Go: I-15 N to Exit 47, then drive east for 11 miles.

Crystal Hot Springs - These 100-year-old pools outside of Honeyville (8215 N Hwy 38, 435.339.0038) have an interesting history: during World War II, wounded soldiers were sent to rehab at these springs by President Roosevelt. Today, you’ll find there a large natural soaking pool, a steamy Olympic-size pool, and a hot pool with a cool waterslide. Go: Hwy 84 N to I-15 N to Exit 372 at Honeyville.

The Homestead Crater - You’ll feel like you’re on another planet when you walk into the massive limestone rock dome to access this 65-foot-deep geothermal pool, hovering around a constant 90 to 96 degrees, at the Homestead Resort (700 N Homestead Dr, 435.654.1102, reservations required). Go: US 40 E to a right turn on River Rd, then follow the signs.

Diamond Fork Hot Springs (a.k.a. Fifth Water Hot Springs) - Good things come to those who hike: upon completing the 2.5-mile walk from the trailhead on Diamond Fork Road, you’ll be rewarded with a variety of hot natural pools and scenic waterfalls. Don’t be alarmed if you happen upon nude bathers here—swimsuits, while required, are often considered optional. Go: I-15 S to Exit 258/Price and drive east for 11 miles to Diamond Fork Rd.

Baker Hot Springs - The water in the three large soaking tubs at Baker Hot Springs can be very hot, but you can adjust the temp via two hot- and cold-water ditches that fill the tubs. Admission is free, but all maintenance is performed by volunteers, so please pack out your trash. Go: I-15 S to Hwy 132 W (Nephi) to Hwy 174 and follow the signs.

Meadow Hot Springs - These three crystal-clear pools are deep enough for snorkeling and scuba diving with the proper gear. The pools are located on private property in Meadow, just south of Fillmore, but they’re open to the public and camping is allowed. Go: I-15 S to a left off Exit 158; drive 4 miles to the hot springs.

Mystic Hot Springs - Owned by artist Mike Ginsburg, a.k.a. Mystic Mike, this funky Monroe-area resort (475 E 100 N, 435.527.3286) features two soaking pools and eight bathtubs built into the red-rock landscape. Buy a daily pass, or spend the night in a restored pioneer cabin or a converted school bus; tent and car camping are also permitted. Go: Take I-15 S to Exit 188/Scipio. Head east on Hwy 50 to I-70 W. Pull off at Exit 31 to Monroe.

Mapped has 13 activities that will make you re-evaluate your favourite ski destination to Park City. Sitting just 40 minutes away from the Salt Lake City airport and 7,000 feet above sea level, Park City is the ski resort you’ve been missing out on all this time. Featuring a ski-town vibe to rival Whistler’s, slopes that would have Coloradoans jealous, and light, powdery snow that is unique to Utah’s own corner of the globe, Park City makes for an unforgettable stay.

Take a look at these 13 must-do activities to get a taste of what it’s like to have your life elevated at Park City.

Have brunch at Five5eeds Featuring some of the city’s most delicious (and best-presented) brunch options, Five5eeds recently underwent an expansion so that they could fit more customers and fill more bellies with their unique dishes.

With more than a hint of the Australian foodie culture — and seriously good coffee — thanks to Five5eeds’ owners, its no wonder that the colourful plates and perpetually on point aesthetic cause a line going out the door. We’d suggest getting there early to secure yourself a seat, because it’s just. That. Good. 1600 Snow Creek Drive, Park City

Go snowboarding or skiing - Park City Mountain, while this one is a no-brainer for the resort city, we had to add it to the list for obvious reasons. With two resorts to choose from — though only one if you’re a snowboarder — Park City’s slopes are bucket-list worthy for their jaw-dropping views, an assortment of runs, and powder straight out of a skier’s dream.

Thanks to the high elevation and the extremely low humidity, Utah has been known to have the best snow on earth, as it stays light and fluffy throughout the entire ski season.

Park City Mountain Resort, which merged with Canyons Resort in 2015 to create the 7,300-acre playground that it is today, is one of the largest ski resorts in the US, featuring 17 peaks, over 330 runs, and 41 different lifts.

Deer Valley is the other option for skiers (snowboarders are not allowed on the privately-owned slopes) and features premium, well-groomed runs, multiple apres-ski dining options, and some of the finest snow you’ll ever find.

Stay at the Park City Peaks Hotel (or at least eat at their restaurant)

The recently-renovated Park City Peaks Hotel makes for the perfect jumping off point for any of the city’s awesome outdoor activities — that is if you can even tear yourself away from the firelit lobby, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, under-the-stars fireplace, and fully outfitted gym.

If you’re planning on staying in for the night, you can pop over to Versante Hearth and Bar (it’s connected to the hotel) for a nightcap or one of the city’s best wood-fired pizzas, among other delicious delights.

Use Ski Butlers to get the gear you need

Don’t feel like hauling your snowboard or skis into the taxi/baggage check/shuttle bus? Not a problem. Park City’s own Ski Butlers can hook you up with all your skiing needs right at your hotel so that you’re all ready to hit the slopes the next morning. Need an adjustment or your board isn’t feeling just right? They’ll meet you on the mountain with a replacement to get you back to the top of the lift ASAP.

Check out the Park Silly Sunday Market (this one will have to wait till next year)

Operating during the summer months, the Park Silly Sunday Market is an open-air market that brings together the community and local vendors. The market runs from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays from June 2 to September 22 (with a few exceptions in August) and makes for a great way to start your Sunday in the sun!

Take a winery mining tour

Before Park City was a world-renowned ski destination, it was a mining town, with prospectors finding silver underneath the snow-covered hills. A few wineries around the area even offer a historical tour of the mining buildings, mixing in a few glasses of the good stuff to keep attendees in tip-top shape.

Fox School of Wine offers a three-hour, six location jaunt around some of the city’s oldest buildings (don’t worry, you won’t have to crawl into any cold, wet tunnels). You’ll learn about both the vintages and the history of Park City on the infinitely informative tour.

Grab a bite to eat at Riverhorse Provisions

This little spot on Main Street is perfect whether you’re hoping for a quick cuppa joe or a sit-down meal. With a well-stocked market upstairs, a cozy cafe/brunch hotspot downstairs, and apres-ski packs to go, you’ll be able to get some delicious fuel for whatever the day may bring.

Go on a yoga adventure

A few days on the slopes can leave you stiff and sore, and sometimes the jets in that outdoor hot tub just aren’t quite strong enough. Mix in a stretch (and an unforgettable experience) by signing up for a Park City Yoga Adventures tour, taking you out into the snowy expanse of the mountains for some yurt yoga, or onto the calm waters of a natural hot spring for some paddleboard yoga.

Fuel up at Vessel Kitchen

Don’t let the fact that this walk-up-to-order restaurant is quick and affordable fool you — the lunch and dinner on offer here rivals some of the best sit-downs around. With filling, hearty food laid out right in front of you and a wide selection of beers, you’ll be leaving here happy, healthy, and absolutely full.

Drink up at High West Distillery and Saloon

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to walk through the doors of an old saloon, High West is your best bet. While they may not have the classic swinging doors that you’ve seen on the old cowboy movies (Park City is far too cold for that), the saloon more than makes up for it with its astounding aesthetic, delicious drink, and one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

Rest your legs at Mid Mountain Lodge

This miners’ boarding house-turned-refurbished hotspot has become the go-to place for a break from the slopes. You’ll need to purchase a pass to Park City Mountain to make it there via ski or snowboard, but the destination is definitely worth the trip. Located halfway up the mountain, the lodge is the picture of a bumping ski resort: patio chairs circle roaring fires, faux fur lines the cozy chairs, and the lunch menu is filled with warm, hearty meals that will see you through countless runs on the slopes.

If all that isn’t enough, it’s also one of just two spots on the mountain where you can grab yourself a drink from a full bar to enjoy in that midday sun — though if you’re just looking for a cold beer, you’ll be able to get that at any one of the mountain’s lodges.

Catch a flick at the Sundance Film Festival

For ten days every year, the Sundance Film Festival lands in Park City, Utah with the most thought-provoking and visually-stunning films of the year. It’s the largest independent film festival in the United States, and if you can manage to time your trip just right, you’ll be able to enjoy the festival to its fullest potential. You may even spot a celebrity or two.

Have Dinner at Hearth + Hill

This recently-opened restaurant may be new to the city, but it’s already becoming a local favourite. The perfect spot for a hot date or a dinner with the whole family, Hearth + Hill’s warm atmosphere, wide (and affordable) menu selection, and friendly staff make it an ideal go-to for any night of the week. Oh, and the build your own Old Fashioned is something straight out of a daydream — you have to try it to believe it!

The New Salt Lake Airport

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 08, 2019

The $3.6 billion rebuild of the Salt Lake City International Airport is now on a countdown, with less than a year to go until its first phase is slated to open to the public. Crews are on a tight schedule to put finishing touches on the brand new airport meant to be a state-of-the-art replacement for Salt Lake City’s current hub.

Drywall, paint, glass, flooring and other near-finishing touches have already taken shape in some areas, transforming the north and south concourses from what were once skeletal steel structures into what has begun to look and feel like an airport, with nearly-completed concession areas, seating areas, and vast hallways with already installed moving walkways.

Also taking shape is what’s lauded as one of the new airport’s crowned jewels — a grand plaza area in the south concourse, where travelers can buy food from restaurants including the Market Street Grill and Pago and relax while watching planes land and lift off from a sweeping, 45-foot-tall wall of glass windows.

Above the plaza, stretching all the way back across another set of glass windows and doors that separate the public from the secure area of the terminal building, is where a multi-colored art installation called “the Wave”. Already in place, lighting glowed from behind the walls up toward the ceiling where the Wave will be mounted. Viewers can take a virtual tour of the future airport at the new airport’s website, where renderings show the Wave’s rainbow colors.

Standing in front of the plaza’s enormous window wall looking out across the future air strips, Williams said once the new concourses are open, work will begin to demolish the airport’s current facilities — so when travelers look out the window, they eventually won’t see the old airport facilities, but instead they’ll see Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Drivers heading out of Utah’s largest airport will now have to experience a new detour to exit that will become the permanent road out of the airport.

Salt Lake City is one of the only cities in the world with the capability to build a new airport on new ground, rather than renovate its existing facility, Williams said. Salt Lake City’s current facilities are “overwhelmed,” he said, serving more than 26 million passengers in buildings that were built more than 50 years ago to handle half as many travelers.

The new airport is designed to be more efficient to prevent airplane bottlenecks and passenger delays. A single terminal featuring a centralized “Gateway Center” will streamline pickup and drop-off, check-in, security and baggage claim processes, Williams said. No taxpayer dollars are being used to fund the redevelopment, according to airport officials. Instead, it’s being funded using a combination of airline and passenger fees.

The west side of the south concourse is scheduled to open to the public by the Sept. 15, 2020 deadline. The western north concourse’s opening, originally expected in perhaps late 2020 or early 2021, is now on schedule to open early in October 2020, Williams said. Once both concourses are fully open — including the east segments of the concourses not slated for completion until 2024, after the old buildings are demolished — Williams said the airport will feature a total of 78 gates.

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in town, but here is Eater's Essential Restaurants in Park City, Utah. From sushi to coffee to late-night pizza, here are the best places to eat in Utah’s most famous ski town.

1. Cortona Italian Cafe 1612 W Ute Blvd #112 (435) 608-1373

Don’t let Cortona’s off-the-beaten-path location — a few minutes outside of town in a strip mall — deter you; it’s the go-to spot for homemade pasta (think clouds of gnocchi and rich lamb bolognese) and standout gelato. Choose this restaurant on your way into or out of town, or use it as a solid option for dinner after skiing Canyons Resort.

2. The Farm Restaurant 6546, 4000 Canyons Resort Dr (435) 615-8080

Located in the heart of Canyons Resort Village, the Farm stays true to its name by serving locally sourced ingredients from farms and artisans throughout Utah. Enjoy a top-notch view of the ski slopes and tuck into sustainably raised meats like short rib or beef cheeks.

3. Versante Hearth + Bar 2346 Park Ave (435) 604-4012

Located inside the recently renovated Park City Peaks Hotel, Versante Hearth + Bar is a local’s favorite for affordable pizza and fresh pastas. It’s also a top spot for brunch thanks to savory egg hashes, breakfast sandwiches, and gooey cinnamon rolls.

4. Five5eeds 1600 Snow Creek Drive (435) 901-8242

If you’re sick of the hotel breakfast, Five5eeds has you covered with soul-warming coffee (it’s Australian, of course), and hipster-friendly staples like grain bowls and avocado toast.

5. Twisted Fern 1300 Snow Creek Drive, Suite RS (435) 731-8238

This recently opened New American spot in north Park City is a chef-owned restaurant that’s doing ingredient-driven dining right. Adam Ross’s impeccable food is a bit under the radar thanks to its strip-mall location, but we promise you’ll be back again and again for starters like blackened octopus and mains like chicken-fried portobello, cavatelli pasta, and bone-in short ribs.

6. El Chubasco 1890 Bonanza Dr (435) 645-9114

Condiment lovers, this one’s for you: At El Chubasco, more than 20 varieties of salsa — made daily — are perfect for pouring over huge smothered burritos, chile rellenos, tacos, enchiladas, and more. And it’s not just salsa — don’t miss other homemade condiments like charred jalapenos, escabeche, mole, and spicy crema.

7. Boneyard Saloon & Wine Dive 1251 Kearns Blvd (435) 649-0911

Located in an old lumberyard just north of downtown, this rustic gastropub serves up expert comfort food like steaks, ribs, burgers, and fries. Hit up the rooftop bar for large-screen TVs and the Wine Dive for 16 wines on tap.

8. Silver Star Cafe 1825 Three Kings Dr (435) 655-3456

At the base of Park City Mountain Resort’s Silver Star chairlift, this inviting rustic cafe serves up from-scratch food like delicious burgers, a tender French dip sandwich, and fresh salads. Silver Star is a top lunch spot to wait out a lift wind delay when you’re skiing Park City Mountain Resort, or a low-key dinner option away from the bustle of Main Street.

9. Vinto Pizzeria 900 Main St (435) 615-9990

Locals and visitors alike love this wood-fired pizza joint for its no-muss, no-fuss but still friendly atmosphere — especially when paired with housemade meatballs, piadine, simple pasta dishes, and gluten-free options. This is the place to go to keep it short and sweet after a long one on the slopes, or when the kids are burning out.

10. Cloud Dine 149 White Pine Canyon Rd

This recently renovated on-mountain restaurant offers food better than what can be found at the average ski co, served up in a convenient location at the Canyons. The new building has 316 seats and a large outdoor deck, located at the top of DreamCatcher and Dreamscape lifts. Fuel up on sandwiches, healthy salads, and warm flatbreads, then formulate the post-lunch plan of action while admiring the view from atop Dream Peak.

11. Old Town Cellars 890 Main St (435) 649-3759

This recently opened winery on Main Street is proving that you don’t have to be near the vines to have delicious wine. Sourcing labels from top regions throughout the country, Old Town blends and bottles on-site to offer a comfortable, après-ski setting. Don’t miss the charcuterie boards that pair with the flights.

12. Harvest 820 Park Ave suite 101 (435) 604-0463

Lovers of avocado toast and those with vegan or gluten-free preferences will love Harvest, a brightly lit, comfortable cafe serving soups, grain bowls, smoothies, and locally roasted coffee. The all-day menu is heavy on breakfast offerings, but don’t miss the chicken salad and chili con carne for a heartier lunch.

13. The Bridge Cafe and Grill 825 Main St (435) 658-5451

Located adjacent to Park City Mountain’s Town Lift with a great outdoor patio, the Bridge Cafe offers diner fare with a Brazilian twist. The traditional all-day breakfast is solid, and lunch offerings like the Brazuca steak sandwich with a fried egg, ham, and Swiss cheese make for a tasty, convenient, and filling option just steps from downtown.

14. 710 Bodega Tapas And Wine 710 Main St (435) 649-6979

Ski towns can be an overload of New American food, so the Spanish-inspired 710 Bodega is a breath of fresh air. Grab a glass of red (or the house sangria) and order tapas like the fried Brie bites with quince paste, Brussels sprouts with bacon, and beef and pork albondigas topped with manchego cheese.

15. Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse 738 Main St (435) 214-7241

Come to Atticus for the well-priced lattes, stay for the friendly baristas and freshly baked goods. In this part indie book store, part coffeehouse, the emphasis on fresh and healthy fare carries over to lunch, which features wraps, salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Cozy armchairs and couches dot the space, so curl up and let the snow fall.

16. Davanza's 690 Park Ave (435) 649-2222

The decor at this locals’ hangout consists of thousands of vintage beer cans stacked up to the ceiling, and the comfort-classic food menu includes sandwiches (think meatball Parmesan, crispy Buffalo chicken, and Philly cheesesteak), pizza, and burgers. The no-frills joint will also keep the kids happy, but don’t come here if you’re looking for fine dining. This is quick and casual at its best.

17. High West Distillery 703 Park Ave (435) 649-8300

A reservation for dinner is a must, but you can kill time in the adjacent Saloon drinking killer cocktails like the Marooned Miner, a mix of rye whiskey, rum, creme de cacao, and blueberry cardamom bitters. Or opt for a flight of four tastings, then tuck in to comfort food like elk chili, bison short ribs, and chicken schnitzel.

18. Handle 136 Heber Ave (435) 602-1155

Step into the Handle dining room to find natural woods, an open kitchen, and a New American menu heavy on the share plates. And while modern comfort food is the go-to across this city, Handle shines with a strong cocktail program and items like cauliflower in Buffalo hot wing sauce and smoked sausage with cider-braised purple cabbage.

19. Yuki Yama Sushi 586 Main St (435) 649-6293

Start with the shishito peppers or the gyoza, then dive into everything from savory pork ramen to well-composed sushi rolls. Yuki Yama does it all well, and guests can choose to sit at the high-top bar tables, the sushi bar, or the traditional tatami room.

20. Fletcher's 562 Main St (435) 649-1111

It’s all about the share plates at Fletcher’s, located on Main Street with a bright dining room and cozy lounge. Start with the cheddar chive biscuits — don’t forget the bacon jam — and then tuck into larger entrees like buffalo with blue cheese fondue. For dessert, the warm butter cake with fresh berries is an instant classic.

21. Riverhorse on Main 540 Main St (435) 649-3536

This sophisticated-but-unstuffy sanctuary on Main Street offers big-city style and a welcoming ski-town attitude. Sit upstairs at the first-come, first-served bar, or snag a reservation for the brick-walled dining room that boasts blown-glass light fixtures overhead. The menu offers a rotating cast of locally sourced dishes like buffalo short rib and rainbow trout. Can’t score a table? Head to the more casual, cafe-market sister restaurant Riverhorse Provisions for wraps, salads, and smoked meats.

22. No Name Saloon & Grill 447 Main St (435) 649-6667

Don’t expect fancy when you come to No Name. Instead, grab a pint and gawk at everything from the brick barrel-vault ceiling to the mix of Christmas lights, taxidermy, rusty outboard motors, and old sleds thrown up on the wall. Sure, it’s crowded and noisy, but classics like the artichoke jalapeno dip and buffalo burgers go down just fine with a cheap beer or two. Plus, the people watching is epic.

23. Deer Valley Grocery Cafe 1375 Deer Valley Dr (435) 615-2400

Located in the Deer Valley Plaza in Snow Park, this tiny space turns out house-made baked goods and breads. For breakfast, get challah French toast with fruit compote or try the (also house-made) yogurt with deer valley granola. Breakfast sandwiches make way for creative lunchtime options like the tandoori chicken curry wrap, roasted pork loin baguette, and the stalwart grilled three-cheese. Don’t forget to pick up some local specialty foods to go on the way out.

24. Firewood 306 Main St (435) 252-9900

Have a craving for wood-fired meats and cocktails? Head to notable chef John Murko’s Main Street restaurant, Firewood. Eating rillettes, coal-roasted carrots, and elk is only half the fun: The restaurant’s giant wood-fire grill is set behind antique windows so you can spy all of the action in the kitchen.

25. Reef's Restaurant 7720 Royal Street East Deer Valley Club (435) 658-0323

Now located at Deer Valley Resort, this modern Mediterranean restaurant is worth the trek up the hill just to sample something different from the traditional ski town fare. You’ll find inspiring Middle Eastern flavors in hummus, baba ghanoush, and falafel, as well as surprising takes on schnitzel, salmon, and filet mignon with Polish dumplings.

Selling Your Home In Fall

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 02, 2019

This week we will start with Top Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for the Fall Selling Season. Here are some of the top ways to get your home ready for the fall selling season in any market:

 

  • Color-coordinate the clothes in your closet for the appearance of more space.
  • Stage vacant or sparse rooms.
  • De-personalize your home–remove photographs and personal collections, and aim to keep trinkets to a minimum.
  • Refresh and replace grout as needed in your bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Check off the "grand negative impact" items from your list first: a leaking bathtub, a scraped up section of drywall, chipping paint, broken tiles, etc.
  • Make spaces neat, open, bright and airy. Start with a neutral base and venture into bolder accents only if your buyer research warrants them.
  • Less is always more in a property's sale preparation. Resist the urge to over-decorate.
  • Eliminate odd odors, and do not use scents as the buyer may dislike the ones you choose.
  • Deep-clean all surfaces, wash windows and keep them spotless.
  • Remove all cat litter boxes and dog toys a buyer can trip over.
  • If you have a garden, keep it colorful with plants that can be replaced if they should die.
While you are in the yard, here are 5 Tips for Prepping a Lawn for the Winter.

Keep mowing. Grass still needs regular care to stay healthy. Grass that is too high may attract lawn-damaging field mice. Shorter grass is more resistant to diseases and traps fewer falling leaves. Cutting the grass low also allows more sun to reach the crown of the grass. However, cutting off too much at one time can be damaging, so never trim more than a third of the grass blades off in a single cutting. Put mower blades on the lowest settings for the last two cuts of the season.

Aerate your lawn. Compressed soil can hurt the health of the grass. Aerating punches holes in the soil and lets oxygen, water, and nutrients into a lawn. Use a walk-behind aerator or get an attachment to pull behind a riding mower.

Mulch your leaves. Many mowers can mulch leaves with an attachment. Since mulching with a mower can mix grass clippings with leaf particles, these nitrogen-rich grass particles and carbon-rich leaf particles will compost more quickly. They can then return nutrients to the soil.

Trim and shore up trees and bushes. Use trimmers, chainsaws, or pole pruners to cut back trees, shrubs, and plants. Make sure branches are safely trimmed back from overhead lines and not in danger of falling on a home or structure in winter weather. You may need to tie or brace limbs of upright evergreens or plants to prevent them from breaking in high winds or snow. Call a professional arborist for big trees or hard-to-reach spots.

Repair bald spots. Fall is a great time to patch bald or thin spots in a lawn. The easiest way to do this is with an all-in-one lawn repair mixture (found at most garden shops and home centers). Use a garden rake or dethatcher to scratch loose the soil on the spot.

Do you have a vegetable garden, here are some tips for Preparing Your Garden for Winter. With the season drawing to a close, you need to do some work to prepare your garden for winter. By doing a little bit of work in the fall, you can protect your garden from some of the effects of the cold weather approaching and prepare your garden beds for a productive spring. Here are some tips for getting your garden ready for next year:

Clean Your Garden Beds - Start by moving all of the old mulch aside. Pull up any remaining weeds and remove any dead plant material or rotten vegetables. Some pests and plant diseases can live through the winter in any vegetation that is left behind, so it's important to clean the beds and dispose of the weeds and other plant material properly.

Add Some Mulch - Once you've cleared out all of the weeds and unwanted vegetation, you can add a thin layer of the old mulch to the garden beds. You want to be careful not to overdo it with winter mulching. When the soil freezes, it can kill many of the pests and diseases that can impact your garden. If you overdo it with the mulch, it can prevent the soil from freezing, and this will increase the chance that pests or diseases could survive the winter. Instead of adding new mulch right away, wait for the ground to freeze for the first time. With the ground frozen, you can now add some new mulch. When you apply this new layer of mulch later in the year, make sure to pay close attention to mulching around any perennial plants.

Collect Leaves - If you aren’t saving your leaves, it's time to start. They're perfect for adding carbon to a compost heap. If you don’t have a compost heap, you can turn them into leaf mulch to feed your gardens. One way to mulch your leaves is to just run them over with a cordless lawn mower and then collect the shredded leaves in bags. If you want to make it easier, you could get a leaf blower that has a mulching function or you could buy an electric leaf mulcher.

Expand Your Gardens  - If you're planning to garden more of your land next year, fall is the perfect time to build new garden beds or to expand the ones you have. If you care about aesthetic details, you may want to look into lightweight electric grass trimmers to help keep edges clean between pavement and lawn and lawn and garden bed. By getting the work done now, they'll be ready for you to plant with the rest of your beds next spring. Also, fall is often a good time to find discounts on things like soil and compost.

Test Your Soil - Autumn is a great time to test your soil. You'll obviously want to test the soil pH, but there are several other tests that may be valuable. Beyond pH, you could run tests for magnesium, sodium levels, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and sulfur. After running some tests, you'll know which types of amendments and fertilizers you may need to apply to your garden beds.

Airplanes and Food

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 25, 2019

This week we have the update on the Heber City Airport, how to make your home look better in 10 minutes or less, and fun food festivals coming up this weekend. Recently, the Heber City Council approved a grant agreement to fund the Airport Master Plan update. The Heber Airport Master Plan will be updated for the first time since 2003 in the coming months (taking around 18 to 24 months). The update will fulfill grant assurances the city made to the Federal Aviation Administration which subsidizes the costs of operation at the airport. Without the master plan update the city would be required to pay for upkeep of the airport on their own. The master plan update will be managed by Heber City Manager Matt Brower, Airport Engineer Jeremy McAlister and Airport Manager Travis Biggs.

The Community Advisory Committee will provide the Airport Master Plan update with a voice for the community as a whole as different elements and impacts are considered. Heber City Manager Matt Brower noted that they still need a few more recommendations from council to fill out the list of 10-15 committee members.

“There is a representative we’re looking for from Midway still, from Charleston, from the local airport committee or I should say (Users and Tennent's Association) we have two at large members,” Brower explained. “So, we're looking to council right now to see if we can't make sure we round out this committee.” The Technical Advisory Committee on the other hand is much smaller and is meant to have members with a technical background in aviation, airports and the FAA. “The FAA pays for 90.63% the state pays for 6.6% and we pay for the other 4.685%,” Biggs said. “So, our costs will be $27,781 which has been included in the budget.”

Fall and cooler weather is upon us and before you get too comfortable, here is How To Make Your Home Look 10 Times Better in 10 Minutes Or Less.

Cut the clutter - Almost everybody has these little spots of clutter—a box over here, a pile of papers over there. You may barely even notice these things, because you’re so used to seeing them. A neat trick - Take a picture of your home, this will help you see it through new eyes, and maybe inspire you to find permanent homes for things that are sitting out.

Take something away - So many interiors have just a little too much stuff. By removing one or two items creates a more breathable, relaxing atmosphere, and gives the things that are left a chance to really shine. This doesn’t mean you have to get the rid of the things you love—move them to another room, or put them in storage, and then rotate them back in (and take something else out) when you’re ready for a change.

Let your furniture breathe - Try taking furniture pieces and moving them just slightly farther away from one another. Even a few inches can make a big difference. If you have the space, giving your furniture a little extra room to breathe can give your space a lighter, airier, feel. Another trick - Pulling furniture just a few inches away from the wall.

Add flowers - If you look closely, you’ll notice a thing that many of the most beautiful house tour shoots have in common: fresh cut flowers. A touch of the natural adds liveliness and texture to a room, and can help to soften the lines of a modern space. Having fresh flowers all the time could get a bit spendy, but you can achieve the same effect with a houseplant, which is a (hopefully) one-time purchase.

Embrace the diagonal - One way to make a picture a little more exciting is to take one thing in the photo and angle it just a bit. You can try this with furniture pieces like accent chairs or ottomans—there’s no rule that says everything has to sit on a grid. By looking at your home like a stylist, you can unlock the potential that’s been there all along.

The Gastronomic Salt Lake City has shared the Feast Of The Five Senses - The 2019 edition of this event promises to the biggest and best yet – returning for its 15th year in one of the grandest and most unique settings – The Salt Lake Masonic Temple (650 E. South Temple).

The evening usually begins with passed appetizers, cocktails/wine/beer and a silent auction before moving onto a seated multi course dinner with wine pairings (ably selected and supplied by Francis Fecteau). After dinner wrapped up last year we all left with little goodie bags courtesy of Caputo’s Market too. Those participating for the 2019 event so far include: Shon Foster – Sego Restaurant, Logen Crew – SLC Eatery, Alan Brines – Current Fish & Oyster, Mariah Christensen & Casey Bowthorpe – Harmons, Park City Culinary Institute, Buzz Willey – Pallet, Nathan Powers – Bambara, Adam Kreisel – Chaia Cucina and Romina Rasmussen – Les Madeleines. Tickets are priced $125 per person with wine pairings priced $25 extra. They can be purchased online here.

Celebrate The Bounty - If you can’t wait for October, this yearly celebration of local producers is back for another go around come September 26th from 7-9 pm. The event moved to the new Caffe Molise digs in 2018, and will reprise that location for 2019. The event is a fundraiser for Local First Utah and the 2019 party will partner local restaurants with local distillers/bars. Food only tickets are priced $65, food and drink tickets are $75 and VIP tables (seating for eight guests) are are available for $1,000. Tickets are on sale at www.localfirst.org/celebratethebounty.

Oktoberfest 2019 - An increasing number of local operations are getting in on the Bavarian festivities for 2019. Make sure your stein never runs empty – and be sure to keep note on the following events:

Snowbird - The granddaddy of all Utah Oktoberfest events. Snowbird’s Oktoberfest attracts thousands of visitors each year making it one of the largest festivals in Utah. Admission to Oktoberfest is free and the event runs from noon – 6 p.m every Saturday and Sunday now through October 20th. More details.

T.F. Brewing -Bavarian food provided by Beltex Meats, pretzels and treats… and of course…plenty of German style biers. Ticket includes entry into the event and a special edition glass to take home. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 day of. $10 Beltex Bier Brats with side. Pretzels and other snacks will be available. Event is 21 and over and will be held on September 28th and 29th. More details.

4th West Oktoberfest - Also on Saturday and Sunday 28/29th – this 2-day festival features live music from local artists, local Salt Lake Valley food trucks, Utah vendors, and fun for the whole family. Games will include giant jenga, corn hole, children’s activities, and much more! Enjoy the music, the eats, and all over fun with natural, gluten-free ciders from Mountain West Hard Cider and beers from Red Rock Brewery. More details.

The Woodward

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 18, 2019

The nation’s first all-in-one action sports & ski resort is set to open in Park City for the 2019-20 winter season with their grand opening party on December 14th. The Woodward Park City, will feature a fully integrated and state-of-the-art campus, complete with indoor and outdoor action sports venues for year-round adventure. Part of the POWDR portfolio of adventure lifestyle businesses and conveniently located just 27 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, Woodward Park City will be open 365 days and nights a year starting this 2019-20 winter season.

The first of its kind and located in one of North America’s premier adventure destinations, Woodward Park City is imagined from the ground up to encourage intuitive growth and progression in 10 different sports and activities including: snowboarding, skiing, tubing, mountain biking, skateboarding, BMX, scooter, parkour, cheer and digital media.

“Woodward Park City is for all athletes from families and never-evers to pros,” says Shaydar Edelmann, Woodward Park City general manager. “Our progression-based facilities enable visitors of all skill levels to learn and achieve their goals in a dedicated environment.” Woodward Park City will offer a variety of ways for passionate action sports athletes of all ages and abilities to play. From lift-accessed snowboarding, skiing and tubing in the winter to biking and skating in the summer Woodward Park City will

be on every Utah visitor’s must-do bucket list. Access will be available through all-access passes, day sessions, lift tickets, drop-in sessions, day camps, lessons, monthly memberships, and special events. Monthly memberships are available now for the introductory rate of $100/month. Source: Woodward Park City

We still have a week until summer bids us farewell, but with major retailers already rolling out new Halloween items and the buzz about the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes spreading by the day, it’s clear that quite a few people are prepared to embrace the upcoming season.

Here’s When Fall Foliage Will Look Its Best Near You, So You Can Plan Your Leaf Peeping - Fall lovers are undoubtedly looking forward to the usual changes (and an excuse to break those cozy sweaters out of storage), namely when the first huge cool snap will occur and when to expect the fall foliage to transform from lush green into beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow.

In anticipation of the leaf-changing watch, SmokyMountains.com has updated its annual fall foliage predictive map, an interactive, algorithm-based tool that forecasts the exact moment when “peak fall” will arrive at any location in the continental U.S. So, precisely how accurate is this leaf color-changing predictor? According to data scientist Wes Melton, the factors vary but the map—which is produced from scratch every year—becomes more accurate as time passes.

“Although the scientific concept of how leaves change colors is fairly simple, predicting the precise moment the event will occur is extremely challenging. The major factors impacting peak fall are sunlight, precipitation, soil moisture and temperature. Although we cannot control Mother Nature and ensure 100% accuracy, our data sources are top-tier and each year we refine our algorithmic model achieving higher accuracy over time.”

For anyone interested in finding out when autumn will arrive in all its brilliant colorful glory this year, simply use the date selector at the bottom of the map to see precisely how fall will progress over a particular region in the US. As one of the only fall leaf prediction tools available, the map “will enable travelers to take more meaningful fall vacations, capture beautiful fall photos and enjoy the natural beauty of autumn,” SmokyMountains says. In other words, this map will help fall lovers create lasting vacation memories, snap Instagram-worthy photos and enjoy the season to the fullest.

Here are the Current Mortgage Rates for Utah from Fairway Mortgage - enjoy.

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Skyscrapers

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 11, 2019

Last week we shared that the millennial population represents approximately 23 percent of the Utah population which makes sense that Downtown Salt Lake City is increasingly a hub for young, tech-savvy workers who live and play among the skyscrapers. The Salt Lake Tribune shares that Salt Lake City’s downtown is thriving — and changing. Young, educated and tech-smart workers are moving into condos and apartments close to their jobs and a host of new restaurants, bars and theaters across the business core.

A new study, commissioned by the Downtown Alliance, representing merchants in the heart of Salt Lake City, has documented that growth in the working-age population, comparing it to other large cities in the West. Its key finding: Utah’s downtown workforce is more tech based but also on the lower end of the national salary scale for that sector.

The availability of highly skilled workers is a leading factor — more important than office rents or other metrics — for companies deciding to locate in Salt Lake City, said Matthew Vance, senior research director and economist for CBRE, who led the research. And as Salt Lake City’s downtown continues to flourish along with Utah’s overall economy, that talent pool is giving it a competitive edge among major cities such as Denver, Portland, Seattle, Boise, Omaha and Austin. It is also pushing related growth in markets for office space, residential units, hospitality and retail outlets. “Job growth is the driving force for all things real estate,” Vance said.

Matt Baldwin, board chairman for the Downtown Alliance, said “the future for Salt Lake City’s downtown has never been brighter. The economy is growing and the skyline is rising.” Baldwin noted that five major high-rise projects would get underway in 2020, adding nearly 100 stories to the skyline between them, along with 2 million square feet of new office space and hundreds of apartments and hotel rooms.

Along with the pending renovation of the Salt Lake Temple by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he said, those projects will make next year the city’s “Year of the Construction Crane.” Commissioned by the Downtown Alliance and conducted by analysts at real estate firm CBRE, the study finds that Utah’s capital ranks high among comparable cities, many with larger populations, for the recent growth in its working-age population.

Those workers are younger — median age just above 32 — and have more technology degrees per capita than their counterparts in at least six other metropolitan areas. And at least in the technology sector, the average wages in a range of top jobs are lower here than in Seattle, Denver, Portland and Austin, CRBE found. Only similar workers in Omaha and Boise had lower average wages, at $70,349 and $66,556 yearly, respectively, compared to Salt Lake City’s average annual wage of $71,710.

This probably why Salt Lake City is also the Best City for Young Entrepreneurs. Small Biz Trends shares which cities are most popular with young entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 34 and Salt Lake City comes in first. The rankings reflect the percentage of young entrepreneurs to the overall population in metropolitan areas of the United States with over 50,000 people. We also identify factors such as industry clusters, lifestyle, infrastructure, costs, workforce availability and a thriving entrepreneurial community nearby.

1. Salt Lake City - Known for its booming tech industry leading to the area’s designation as part of the Silicon Slopes, Salt Lake City is a magnet in the western U.S. for young entrepreneurs. Today, 1,973 young entrepreneurs call the city home, accounting for .17% of the population. Plenty of networking and a welcoming business community are hallmarks of Salt Lake City. Entrepreneurs like Robert Brady, the Founder of Righteous Marketing says he travels from his home base in Idaho down to Salt Lake regularly to network and connect with other entrepreneurs. “They are an amazing group of people.”

2. Oklahoma City - Often called simply OKC, the city is also OK with young entrepreneurs.

3. Denver - Millennial migration to Denver is now well documented. So the presence of so many young entrepreneurs in the metro area is a no-brainer.

4. Seattle - The city that launched Kurt Cobain and the Grunge revolution is still young at heart.

5. Los Angeles - LA is home to 15,409 young entrepreneurs. That may make it sound like the city deserves a higher ranking here. But in the behemoth that Los Angeles is, that number represents only .12% of the metro population.

6. Portland - Oregon’s largest city keeps young entrepreneurs busy and when not working on their businesses, these young entrepreneurs have plenty to do in Portland’s unique culture that celebrates “weird.”

7. Tampa - The city’s major industries include finance, retail and insurance, But the local economy is also buoyed up by shipping, national defense, professional sports, tourism and real estate.

8. Minneapolis - The city trails only Chicago and Detroit as the largest economic centers in the Midwest. And it is home to such Fortune 500 companies as Target, U.S. Bancorp and Ameriprise Financial.

9. San Diego - San Diego is named for a Spanish saint but the metro area is clearly revered by young entrepreneurs as well.

10. San Jose - Located in California’s Silicon Valley, the area is already known for tech entrepreneurs. And there are many young entrepreneurs too — a total of 2,156 of them work in the metro area making up .11% of the population.

Sometimes we need to relax and here are 6 Tremendous Spa Treatments for the Athlete (and Weekend Warrior) by Park City Magazine. Recover from hard-charging, on-mountain fun with these specialty massages, salty floats, and more.

Foot Zoning

Park City Massage and Spa (formerly Silver Mountain Spa) In addition to all the classic spa treatments, Park City Massage and Spa’s robust menu offers everything from jet lag recovery to Cranial Sacral Therapy to body mapping. One unique option for athletes is Foot Zoning, done by intuitive wellness and certified foot zone therapist Wendy Wise. Using massage that taps into the nerves on your feet (which connect to corresponding areas in your body), foot zoning “improves circulation and the body’s ability to communicate with itself and detoxify,” Wise says. “We nickname it the ‘Ph.D. level of reflexology’ because people have heard of reflexology, but it’s much more than that—it’s easiest to understand once you experience it.” By focusing on your feet, Wise says she can strategically open structural space and help oxygenate the entire body. You’ll learn a lot about your immune and hormonal systems and overall health in the process, too.

Alpine Body Rescue

Spa Montage Deer Valley To alleviate muscle pain and tension from outdoor endeavors, Spa Montage Supervisor Dominic McKenzie recommends the Alpine Body Rescue, a strong-pressure massage that includes a therapeutic heat pack and aromatic blend to relieve neck and shoulder tension. For a more relaxing head-to-toe treatment, he also suggests the Seasonal Renewal, a blend of full-body exfoliation and dry brushing followed by a hot stone massage and grounding foot treatment.

Float Therapy

SYNC Float Center Athletes have long used Epsom salt baths to recover from hard workouts, and float therapy amplifies those pain-relieving benefits. During a 30- or 60-minute float, you’ll be immersed in a pod filled with water and 1,000 pounds of magnesium sulfate, which allows you to float on the surface. “There are three different therapies going on during a float,” explains SYNC co-owner Justin Hunter. “Magnesium absorbs into the skin and helps relax tension and lowers stress response, facilitates healing, and increases antioxidant production.” Also, the water allows you to spread out over the surface and elongates your muscles—great for compressive sports like mountain biking or skiing—and the sensory reduction enhances focus, clarity, and creativity. “Research has shown that an hour float is equal to four hours of sleep as far as what the body can get done,” Hunter says.

High Mountain Foot Recovery

The Spa at Hotel Park City Runners and hikers putting in high mileage should consider the High Mountain Foot Recovery, a therapeutic 25-minute massage that combines reflexology techniques with a skin hydration treatment. Hotel Park City also has a full lineup of treatments, including skin, hair, and nails, with a sauna and eucalyptus steam room to relax in afterwards.

Ninety-Nine 90 Therapeutic Leg Recovery

RockResorts Spa at The Grand Summit, Park City Mountain Named after the iconic expert lift at Park City Mountain, this leg-focused massage (50 or 80 minutes) at Canyons Village’s RockResorts Spa is useful for yes, skiers, but also anyone who uses his or her leg muscles in a big way. “The therapists focus on the legs to move out the lactic acid and they know which muscles need to get worked on the most based on what activities the athlete is doing,” says spa concierge Sally Smith. The treatment includes a cooling aromatic compress on your legs in combination with targeted compressions, stretching, and pressure-point massage to regenerate muscles and eliminate swelling.

CBD Massage Experience

Align Spa Tapping into the anxiety-reducing and pain-relieving properties of CBD, Align Spa allows you to upgrade your massage—Swedish, Reflexology, Deep Tissue, and more—with a CBD experience. Using wide spectrum raw hemp, CBD oil is incorporated into your full-body massage followed by a custom tea blended with CBD, and a take-home muscle relief or calming bath bomb.

Oktoberfest

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 04, 2019

The kids are back in school and nights are getting cooler, Snowbird reminds us that it is time for Oktoberfest and it’s about more than just bending elbows. Oktoberfest at Snowbird is a family-friendly affair with activities, food, and, of course, brews for days — weeks actually. The highly-anticipated festival is now open and lasts through mid-October, taking place every Saturday and Sunday. It’s probably the greatest beer festival Utah has to offer, so don’t miss out! Snowbird’s Oktoberfest attracts thousands of visitors each year making it one of the largest festivals in Utah. Admission to Oktoberfest is free and the event runs from Noon - 6 pm.

The origins of Oktoberfest date back to 19th-century Bavaria, when King Ludwig called for a state fair in Munich to celebrate his autumn marriage. Here in Utah, it wasn’t until 1973 — 2 years after Snowbird opened — when the festival took root.

The annual festival includes a biergarten offering more than 50 varieties of beer. This includes traditional German-style beers and those made by Utah breweries, including Moab Brewery, Bohemian, Uinta and Squatters. Oktoberfest food choices include select German favorites, such as bratwurst, weisswurst, sauerkraut, apple strudel, spaetzle, beef rouladen, pretzels and Bavarian roasted almonds.

Coming up September 13-14 Park City becomes home to "The Best Little Mountain Music Festival in America". The Utah Daily Chronicle shares Park City Songwriter Festival Focuses on the Storytelling of Music. The inaugural Park City Songwriter Festival, crafted for devoted listeners of America’s greatest musicians, was founded in-part by songwriter Aaron Benward as a celebration of his favorite aspects of songs and the intimate stories behind them.

Benward is no stranger to the bright lights and big stages of the music industry. He first entered the music scene as a Christian Contemporary artist as part of a father-son duo, Aaron Jeoffrey. The two released several studio albums and produced numerous chart-topping singles before Benward debuted as a solo act with his album “Imagine.” Even with his music’s acclaim, Benward remains passionate about the closeness of songs and connecting listeners to what he calls, “the heroes of music — the songwriters.” This drive inspired his co-created “Nashville Unplugged: The Story Behind the Song” events, where listeners and musicians alike share their love for music.

It’s fitting, then, that the Park City Songwriter Festival was dreamt up in the same way. In tandem with friends Ben Anderson and Scott Thompson, Anderson has been developing the event since January 2018. Anderson’s focus remains in promoting concerts for music lovers, as the president of the non-profit Mountain Town Music and bassist in his own Nashville band Aiko. Thompson, as a music fan himself, owns two of the venues on Main Street — O.P. Rockwell, where Western music hall meets Victorian speakeasy, and the Rockwell Listening Room, converted to an up-close and personal venue.

Though this celebration of country and folk music takes place away from the music’s Nashville roots, Benward describes Park City as the perfect location for the event. “This is the perfect spirit and environment to experience music in its most organic form, with the venues all located along Main Street.” Patrons can easily move through downtown Park City and the unique atmospheres of five distinct venues — something that could only work in the heart of one of Utah’s most popular destinations.

However, the personal environment of the festival shouldn’t lure attendees into overlooking the sheer talent of the lineup. Featuring spectacular headliners like “bayou soul” artist Marc Broussard, New-Orleans based guitarist Anders Osbourne and long-running band the North Mississippi AllStars, the festival artists — over 40 in number — boast a combined total of 17 Grammy wins, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards, 11 American Country Awards wins and five Hall of Famers, among many other accolades.

The PCSF has even partnered with outreach organizations such as the Recording Academy’s MusiCares and Osbourne’s Send Me a Friend to support professionals in the music industry, placing a charity focus on the festival to help artists struggling with mental health issues or addiction recovery that often go unnoticed.

One cornerstone of the PCSF that makes it different from any other festival is its honesty. Founded by music lovers, to share music’s bare-bones and to connect talented storytellers to their listeners, the atmosphere of the event is sure to be magical. As Benward said, “There’s nothing like being up close and personal to music at its core – the song. No smoke and mirrors, no lights and walls of sound. Just the songwriter on a stool with their instrument of choice, up close and personal.”

The festival will be held on Sept. 13-14 on Main Street in Park City, Utah. The two-day event features dozens of performances and workshops in the five venues. There are three ticket tiers, including various levels of access to reservations, dinners, nightly concerts and swag. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here or through the festival’s website.

Utah Business shares that Utah Has More Millennials Than Any Other State. Utah’s millennial population represents approximately 23 percent of the state (726,000 people). Roughly one in every four Utahns is a millennial?a higher percentage than in any other state. As a cohort, Utah’s millennial population is 20 percent larger than the state’s Gen-X population and 39 percent larger than the state’s baby boomer population. Which begs the question: How does Utah’s large millennial population impact Utah?

While the definitions of generational cohorts vary, a common definition of the millennial generation includes anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019). They are called millennials because they reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st Century. They are old enough to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks and many of them entered the workforce during the Great Recession. These and other events shaped their world view.

Some people joke about millennials as self-absorbed, entitled, and eager for instant gratification. Maybe there is some truth to that, but they also set a great example for the rest of us in the way they value Mother Earth, promote work-life balance, and appreciate diversity. Millennials are also better educated than prior generations, especially among women.

The Salt Lake Chamber recently asked in their CEOutlook (a quarterly survey of a diverse mix of Utah CEOs) how Utah’s young workforce impacts their business and hiring practices. The results were at once telling, discouraging, and inspiring.

One CEO wrote: “With our younger population, we find we have to engage them more proactively because they want to be involved and challenged.” Another said younger workers “want to make a difference in the community” and not just collect a paycheck. I love that Utah’s younger workforce chooses to be civically engaged.

Another CEO said she sees a trend toward more flexible hours and more emphasis on early career benefits such as child care and maternity leave. I see this as an important step for families.

Several CEOs opined about the different work behaviors of millennials. They commented on the “lack of long-term commitment in the workforce” and “more frequent turnover.” This matches some of the behaviors I’ve observed as well. I think employers need to adapt to this changing reality by helping to improve work-life balance and making work more than a place to collect a paycheck.

CEOs also commented on the mismatch between expectations and skill levels. One said, “the younger workforce has higher expectations of job perks and benefits, but lack essential skills to perform at an average level.” Another said, “millennials have a very different view of the workplace. They want more for less. That is a challenge in an environment where client budgets are shrinking and clients are asking more for less.” Ouch… perhaps millennials too need to adapt to economic realities.

Looking to the future, I’m struck by three observations. First, let’s relish Utah’s young, diverse, tech-savvy, healthy, and community-minded population. It’s a competitive advantage for us. Second, let’s adapt to the changing realities presented by this large, curious, multi-tasking, open-minded, connected, and environmentally keen generation. We have much to learn from them.

And finally, let’s remember something I learned from studying the work of Pew. Michael Dimock says, “generations are a lens through which to understand societal change, rather than a label with which to oversimplify differences between groups.” Within each generational label are individuals working each day to fulfill their potential. Let this truth be our guide.

 
 
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