Blog

Summer Highlights

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jul 08, 2020

This week we are reviewing the top questions of home Buyers and Sellers during these changing times, outside activities that give space and some great alternatives to the top national parks.

Navigating the real estate market was already intimidating, but in this uncertain time, we all have even more questions about how to do it. Vince Malta who is president of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has channeled his 43 years of experience to offer advice about buying and selling in this strange new environment. We are sharing the top four questions of the article, click here to read all twenty-five.

1. Is now a good time to buy? Every person who dreams of owning a home has to answer that question individually based on a variety of factors — ranging from their personal financial picture to what’s available in their market to how long they plan to stay in one place.

While searching for and buying a home during the COVID-19 pandemic presents some challenges, with mortgage interest rates at an all-time low, for some it may be an ideal time to buy. Thankfully, the real estate industry has quickly adapted to the current circumstances and is leveraging technology that allows buyers to continue their home search virtually and close transactions using safety precautions or remote online notarization.

One of the biggest challenges buyers have faced in the last several years is a shortage of inventory. With the health crisis and stay-at-home orders, some sellers have pulled out of the market or delayed listing their properties, which only exacerbates the inventory challenge.

2. Is now a good time to refinance? Historical data, going back 50 years, shows that mortgage interest rates have never been lower. So, it sure sounds like a good time to consider refinancing, but this is a question to discuss with a lender or qualified financial planner.

If you do decide to refinance, be prepared: Lenders I’ve talked to are managing a high volume of applications, so you’ll need patience — along with outstanding credit. More than 2 million borrowers have sought forbearance on their mortgage payments as a result of the current situation. Some lenders have responded by tightening credit standards, including raising minimum credit scores. So make sure your financial house is in order, you’re continuing to pay bills on time, and you’re keeping debt manageable.

3. What is the best place to find information about how COVID-19 is affecting the home-buying process in my area? Realtors® can provide insights into how your local market is affected by COVID-19 and can help you understand how stay-at home orders, and other local, state and federal government actions and recommendations, are impacting the home-buying process.

4. Is it currently more of a buyer’s or seller’s market? Is COVID-19 shifting these? Every market is different, so it’s a good idea to speak with a Realtor to learn what’s going on in your area. That said, in the past few years, many areas have been experiencing inventory shortages, in part due to insufficient home building and increased tenure in home. On a national basis, a thriving economy combined with low interest rates and limited inventory have led to 97 straight months of home price increases. Generally, low inventory and increasing prices indicate a seller’s market, but historic low interest rates have helped keep homes affordable for buyers in most markets.

NAR data shows Realtors® are experiencing significant slowdowns in their business as a result of COVID-19, but that hasn’t necessarily shifted the market to a buyer’s market. In fact, the national median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $280,600, up 8% from March 2019.

To read the entire article "Everything You Need To Know About Buying and Selling a Home in This Pandemic" - click here.

The Middle Provo River is one of Utah’s finest blue-ribbon fisheries, stretching from Jordanelle to Deer Creek Reservoirs. Great public access is only a 15-minute drive from Park City. Take UT-224 out of Park City to US Hwy 40 East, travel nine miles, and turn right at the light at River Road. Two fisherman’s access areas are right there (one on the right, one on the left) with parking, portable restrooms, and lots of other fishers to swap tales with. You’ll catch brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout on this beautiful, braided section of river, with lots of easy spots to fish from shore or by shallow wading (depending on water flow). Flies and lures only. Best bets: PMDs, caddis in the evenings, and grasshoppers in late summer.

Then visit Back 40 Ranch House Grill and take in the beautiful, pastoral views of the Heber/Midway Valley while sipping nothing but the water from their own artesian aquifer, but … with so many farm-to-table, locally sourced ingredients, you’d be remiss if you didn’t order, say, the smoked jalapeño cheddar burger made with beef from the Circle Bar Ranch two pastures away and artisan cheddar from nearby Heber Valley Cheese.

Each summer, Jans Mountain Outfitters hosts, beginner fly-casting lessons at the ponds at lower Deer Valley (next to the gazebo). You don’t need a reservation, but call ahead to confirm and let them know you’re coming so they can bring enough rods (bring your own if you have one). Typically, you’ll end up with a group of 8 to 10 new anglers perfecting their “10 o’clock, 2 o’clock” casting technique. Then, book a guided trip with the fine folks at Jans or Trout Bum 2 for a true fly-fishing experience on a local river.

Then visit Deer Valley Grocery Café. Sit on the outside deck and check out the duckies and stand-up paddleboarders floating by. DVGC also carries gourmet to-go items if you want to pack a picnic. 2250 Deer Valley Dr, 435.615.2400, deervalley.com

Known as an “urban fishery” since the Weber River runs parallel to I-84 and I-80, a lot of the Weber is private access only, but anglers can enjoy several nice stretches of tailwater with lots of brown trout and mountain whitefish. Try the Creamery Lane access in Coalville (20 minutes from Park City). From I-80 east, take exit 162. Travel west on Icy Springs Road (SR-280) for 0.2 miles. Turn left and travel south on the frontage road that parallels I-80 for approximately 1.3 miles. Cross over Hobson Lane and continue traveling south on the frontage road for an additional 1.4 miles to reach this access point. Flies and lures only.

Follow with the family-friendly Taggart’s Grill is located in a log house nestled in a beautiful canyon between Morgan and Henefer. Taggart’s doesn’t take reservations, so expect a bit of a well-worth-it wait.

Before You Go you need a License to Fish. Anyone older than 12 must purchase a license to fish in Utah. Purchase one at any of our local fly-fishing shops, Walmart, by downloading the Utah Hunting and Fishing NICUSA app, or online at wildlife.utah.gov. Nonresident three-day license, $24; Utah residents, $16.

Find Fishing Buddies- Join High Country Fly Fishers (highcountryflyfishers.com), the local chapter of the national Trout Unlimited organization, and be privy to monthly activities including fly-tying classes, guest speakers, women’s-only events, group fishing outings, social hours, conservation activities, and more.
Support a Cause - The 5,000-member-strong Utah Stream Access Coalition works to “promote and assist in all aspects of securing and maintaining public access to Utah’s public waters and streambeds per Utah law.” (utahstreamaccess.org)

We wrap up this week's blog with a snippet of the The Salt Lake Tribune's article, 11 great alternatives to the top national parksThe glories of the national park system draw hundreds of millions of visitors each year, even in normal times. But in this upside-down year, with the pandemic still limiting much travel in and outside the United States, it’s likely that the National Park Service’s 419 sites, 62 with a “national park” designation, will attract even more people looking to get away.

For potential park-goers who wish to avoid these crowds (and this season, who doesn’t?), one strategy is to skip the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains and the other top 10 parks that typically receive the majority of visitors. There are alternatives that are still awe-inspiring for your summer and fall fresh-air retreats, ones that offer many of the Top Ten’s sights, sounds, wildlife and activities.

South Carolina Congaree, instead of Great Smoky Mountains - Congaree, a park named after the original Native American inhabitants, was created in central South Carolina to preserve 15 different species of trees that are the tallest such specimens anywhere. These includes the most statuesque loblolly pine in the world, towering 167 feet above the surrounding tupelo forest. Tree lovers know Congaree, with only 159,445 visitors last year, as the Redwoods of the East — this year it’s worth forgetting about nearby Great Smoky Mountains and its 12 million-plus visitors.

Arizona Petrified Forest, instead of the Grand Canyon - In east-central Arizona, 110 miles from Flagstaff, the Petrified Forest adjoins the Painted Desert, 7,500 square miles of badlands and hills tinted lavender and red by Triassic Age strata. The annual visitation of this park is one-tenth that of the nearby Grand Canyon. The Petrified Forest, a drive-through park, holds the greatest and most spectacular concentration of fossilized, coniferous tree logs in the world. Once a lush and subtropical climate, the forest of 200-foot-tall trees was buried by volcanic ash and preserved 225 million years ago.

Utah Canyonlands, instead of Arches - Instead of ogling the sandstone formations in traffic-jammed Arches, opt for a wilderness desert experience amid the reddened Wingate sandstone in Canyonlands. Canyonlands is southwest of the tourist mecca of Moab, Utah. Most visitors take the Island in the Sky scenic drive out to spectacular overlooks, but otherwise the 527-square-mile park has few roads.

Minnesota Voyageurs National Park, instead of Glacier Bay - If you haven’t seen the Northern Lights, never mind Alaska. Instead, grab a camera and a paddle and head to Voyageurs National Park, named after the French Canadian canoeists who plied these waters three centuries ago. This park of lakes is 40% water and adjoins another 10,000 square miles of aquatic wilderness. Its remoteness, flanking the Canadian border in northern Minnesota, enables incredible stargazing opportunities all year long and an estimated 200 nights of Northern Lights (even in summer).

Colorado Great Sand Dunes or Black Canyon, instead of Rocky Mountain - Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve features the highest dunes on the continent, towering 755 feet above the surrounding trails. These are set in an otherworldly catchment basin, below the 14,000-foot high Sangre de Cristo Mountains, some 200 miles south of Denver. All trails and most of the campgrounds are now open, along with overnight backcountry access, but the visitor center remains closed.

Texas Big Bend or the Guadalupe Mountains, instead of a trip to Mexico - This park in West Texas, which opened for day use June 1, lies along the namesake curl of the Rio Grande, marking the Mexican border. At this renowned dark-sky park, you can count more than 2,000 stars — 10 times the number typically seen above most cities — surrounding the canvas of the Milky Way. During the days, especially when temperatures cool in the fall and early winter, enjoy 150 miles of trails throughout the park. You might be joined by a bird watcher or two, who roam Big Bend’s 1,200 square miles to spot more than 400 avian species, more than in any national park.

Nevada Great Basin, instead of the Grand Circle - The “Grand Circle” marketing campaign pushed Utah’s national parks to record-setting visitations in recent years, but Great Basin — a few miles over the border in eastern Nevada — got left out of the loop. The 121-square-mile park is named after the enormous basin it sits in (spanning nearly all of Nevada, it is 20 times larger than the park), which pulls all water underground so that it can’t reach the ocean and other waterways.

California Lassen Volcanic, instead of Yellowstone or Yosemite - In place of the crowded Yellowstone geysers or Yosemite mountains, a panorama of wildflowers, volcanic peaks and steaming fumaroles can be seen at Lassen Volcanic, 180 miles north of Sacramento. The 30-mile park highway reopened in late May, along with most of the trails and overnight backcountry camping. The still-smoking, glacier-clad Lassen Peak is one of only two volcanoes in the contiguous 48 states that erupted in the 20th century (Mount St. Helens erupted 40 years ago last month). Today, more than 100 years after magma first flowed from the Lassen Peak, amateur volcanologists can delight in finding the remains of the four types of volcanoes: shield, cinder cone, strato and plug.

Washington state North Cascades, instead of Mount Rainier - Although still emerging from snow banks and currently open for only day use, North Cascades is typically one of the less-visited parks of the entire parks system, seeing less than 3% of Mount Rainier’s yearly traffic. Adjoining the Canadian border, 120 miles northeast of Seattle, this wilderness has only 6 miles of internal roads — all unpaved — and stretches over 1,000 square miles. It boasts 312 glaciers (12 times Mount Rainier’s), as well as more than 500 lakes and a lush carpet of old-growth evergreens. From its dry ponderosa pines in the east to the temperate rain forest in the west, this is landscape of tremendous biodiversity.

To read the entire article, Click Here.

Outdoor Adventures

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jul 01, 2020

The 2020-2021 ski season at Deer Valley Resort is starting to warm up in the heat of the summer. The Park Record has shared that Deer Valley sees ‘pent-up demand’ as it readies for a socially distanced ski season

The leader of the resort in a recent appearance during a City Hall-hosted online event said Deer Valley is taking lodging reservations for the next ski season from people in various parts of the U.S. Todd Shallan, who is the president and chief operating officer of Deer Valley, said the top five states for reservations are California, New York, Texas, Colorado and Utah. Shallan added that a business plan relying on regional crowds is not sustainable in the long term.

He predicted there will be crowds at Deer Valley for the ski season made up of local people and skiers from out of town. He also acknowledged there will be limitations based on capacity and ensuring social distancing.

“We will certainly prioritize season-pass holders and will certainly prioritize, you know, local guests as much as we possibly can. But we still have a bunch of lodging in this community that needs to be filled,” Shallan said. “And there’s a lot of people that depend on out-of-town visitors in our community, and our business community. So, there’s got to be a mix of both in order for all of us to be successful.”

Shallan said season-pass sales for the upcoming ski season are strong, which he described as a “great indicator” of the winter. He said lodging reservations for the ski season are also strong and another indicator for the winter. “We know there’s a lot of pent-up demand. We just want to make sure that we accommodate that demand as safely as we can,” he said. Shallan described that Deer Valley has not crafted the detailed plans for the ski season yet even though there are many questions about the season, such as the possibility of limiting capacity and social distancing. “We need to learn from the Australian resorts and how they’re managing crowds,” he said. Click here for the full article.

Jenni’s Trail - Distance: 5 miles. Beginning at the base of Park City Mountain Resort, Lower Jenni’s Trail is popular among runners who love tough steep climbs and exhilarating descents. Pass through scrubby shrubs and aspen stands while winding underneath ski lifts and up to the Jenni’s Trail sign at a fork in the trail. From here, continue up or speed downhill back to the base, winding through the forest as you hear the screams of Alpine Coaster riders racing down the mountain. Starting at 6,900 feet and topping out at 8,200 feet, this trail can be run uphill or down, but be aware that the path is shared with uphill mountain bikers.

Armstrong Trail - Distance: 6 miles. Find fantastic views of town and moderate climbs on this dirt trail above Silver Star Café. It’s also an uphill-only mountain bike trail, so you won’t have to worry about speeding cyclists crashing into you during your ascent. Park at Silver Star and follow the signs leading to Armstrong for a three-mile run. Continue to HAM and Spiro Trails for a roughly six-mile loop, ending back in the parking lot. Or, if you’re running out of daylight and just need a short 3-miler, turn off of Armstrong after 1.5 miles (before you reach HAM) and loop down Dawn’s Trail.

Round Valley - Distance: 30 miles of trails. The rolling hills and valleys of this preserved open space northeast of Old Town make it a go-to for locals. With over 30 miles of trails spread over 700 acres, there are soft dirt doubletrack and flowing singletrack paths for every skill level. For easy access, start and end at Quinn’s Trailhead--near bustling Kearns Boulevard. Thanks to its lower 6,500’ elevation, Round Valley is the best place for early spring and late fall trail runs if you’re looking to avoid muddy, snowy slogs. Of note: the area is popular with mountain bikers and off-leash pups are welcome and abundant.

Historic Rail Trail - Distance: 28 miles. During Park City’s silver mining boom, a Union Pacific railroad line connecting Coalville to Park City was used to transport coal and ore. But when the boom went bust, the railroad was abandoned and fell into disuse. In the 1990s, an ambitious project was proposed to turn it into Utah’s first non-motorized rail trail. Today, this unpaved, historic path welcomes runners, cyclists, and hikers on its 28 miles as it passes through Park City, along the river, and to active farmlands and tiny towns before ending at Echo Reservoir—an idyllic place for a post-run swim. 

Mid-Mountain Trail - Distance: 26 miles. The iconic Mid Mountain Trail bisects Deer Valley and both sides of Park City Mountain at an elevation of 8,000 feet, and it isn’t just for the mountain biking crowd. Head out on foot, running through fir forest and aspen stands with views of mountains and town below. The best starting point for an out-and-back run is Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge. Head down the mountain just right of the Sterling Express Lift to catch the trail and run until you’re ready to turn back.

For more off-road options, check out the Mountain Trails Foundation map, available at local retailers and online. 

Looking to get away - Outside Online has shared 8 of Their Favorite Adventuremobile Rental Companies. Vanlife has become the new norm, but if you don't have enough to buy your own, these companies have you covered.Tent camping isn’t always relaxing and Outside has found that an interest in vanlife among campers grew from 8 percent to 14 percent in 2018. Here are there top picks:

Red Rocks Base Camps - Located in Moab, Utah, this delivery service will tow a cozy teardrop to the campsite of your choice.

North Shore Vans - Owner Chris Detchon retrofits his fleet with beds and kitschy Hawaiian style, then sends you off with beta on how and where to camp respectfully on Maui.

VanGo Durango - VanGo ­offers Volkswagen EuroVans to ex­plore the San Juan Mountains of Colorado or the deserts of the Four Corners.

Outdoorsy, RVshare, and Campanda - Like Airbnb for RVs, vans, and trailers, these sites let you rent privately owned camp­ing vehicles, though quality can be a bit of a gamble.

Explore Rentals - This Bozeman, Montana, outfit rents AWD and 4WD setups like the Tacamper, a Toyota Tacoma with a superlight pop-up over the bed.

Escape Campervans - These artist-painted vans are available from 13 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

AlaskaVans - Take one of these spacious, built-out utility vans oceanfront camping on the Kenai Peninsula or into the mountains of Denali National Park.

Home Buying

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 23, 2020

Homebuyers will ‘gobble up’ houses for sale this summer, according to Barbara Corcoran, host of ABC’s Shark Tank and founder of the Corcoran Group, an New York City-based residential brokerage firm as interviewed by Yahoo! Finance.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. did not have enough homes for sale to meet demand. But with sellers slow to re-enter the market because of the nationwide lockdowns and demand higher than ever, the U.S. has become an even more competitive market, said Corcoran.

For the week ending June 13, inventory was down 27% compared to last year, according to Realtor.com. Inventory hit a 25-year low in December 2019, with moderate improvement at the beginning of 2020. But it plunged when the pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March and sellers pulled their homes off the market, according to an analysis by Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, a a Santa Ana, California-based provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions.

The coronavirus forced Americans to work from home and redefined how Americans see their home. Some Americans are now looking for new homes with bigger yards, home offices and more square footage, after spending months in lockdown. Studies also show that more buyers are now looking to the suburbs for their next home, according to Redfin. Plus, mortgage rates hit an all-time low this week, incentivizing even more buyers into the market.

When more people want a product than the market can supply, the price goes up. Home prices already rose to an all-time high before the pandemic, as homes in the U.S. sold for an average $384,900 in the first quarter of 2020 — well above highs before the Great Recession, which reached an average of $322,100 in its peak, according to the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.  With heightened demand, homes in the U.S. could get even more expensive this summer, according to economists.

Looking to shop outside - the Park City Farmers Market has opened at Park City Mountain Resort’s Silver King Lot. The market will follow COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of the patrons as well as vendors according to the Park Record's Scott Iwasaki. The Farmer's Market will be open Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-noon for senior citizens; noon - 5 p.m. for general public at the Silver King parking lot at Park City Mountain Resort. The market will start with 20 vendor tents that will be 10 feet apart and will have at least two workers each. Handwshing stations will be setup and all vendors will be wearing gloves. parkcityfarmersmarket.com

The Salt Lake Tribune has shared that Ski resorts are gearing up for summer season with new features — and new rules to deal with COVID-19. It’s been a quiet three months in the mountains since COVID-19 caused Utah’s ski resorts to shut down their lifts and cordon off their restaurants in mid-March. Now those wilderness areas are beginning to show signs of life. Woodward Park City, which opened for some indoor sports on May 22, now is also allowing indoor trampolines and parkour and will open its rental shop. Sundance broke out its zip lines, stable, spa and lodging. Utah Olympic Park, though technically not a resort, opened June 4 with tubing and an alpine slide.

Summer has become an increasingly important season for resorts across the country, even before COVID-19 hit. According to the publication Ski Resort Management, revenue for resorts in the summer of 2016 was nearly twice what it was in 2007. During that time, the number of summer visitors rose nearly 45% , even as the cost of a summer visit went up nearly 30%.

This year, however, a successful summer could be critical to a resort’s survival. Consider that most ski areas this year closed prior to spring break, one of their three most lucrative times in the winter season. Those concerns have kept some resorts from jumping into the pool this summer. Solitude Mountain Resort, for example, has made some lodging available but otherwise has announced no plans to reopen.

SUMMER IS IN SESSION

A rundown of what area ski resorts are offering — or not offering — this summer:

Alta • Access to more than 13 miles of hiking trails will open on June 27; lodging expected to open July 1; Albion Basin campground opens July 17.

Beaver Mountain • Hiking and OHV trails open; camping for RVs only.

Brian Head Resort • Activities (disc golf, the zip line, archery, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, avalanche tubing and mountain biking) open Friday through Sunday starting June 26.

Brighton • Hiking trails to open after snowpack melts; Brighton Store is open.

Cherry Peak • All summer operations and concerts postponed.

Deer Valley • Lift-served biking, hiking, scenic rides and some restaurants open daily starting June 26.

Eagle Point • Self-accessed hiking and biking trails open; Canyonside Lodge opened Friday; Mountain Archery Festival scheduled for June 26-28.

Nordic Valley • Summer operations postponed.

Park City Mountain Resort • Alpine slide, mountain coaster, scenic lift rides, hiking and bike haul, and some restaurants scheduled to open Thursday-Sunday starting July 2.

Powder Mountain • Wolf Barn Short Track trail is open; other trails will open as snowpack melts.

Snowbasin Resort • Lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic rides via Needles Gondola, mini golf (limited to groups of six or fewer), and dining and mountaintop yoga at the Needles Lodge scheduled to open Saturdays and Sundays starting June 27.

Snowbird • Open daily for summer activities (aerial tram, alpine slide, mountain coaster and Chickadee chairlift), with some restaurants and lodging. Mountain biking off the tram on the Big Mountain Trail remains closed.

Solitude • Summer operations postponed.

Sundance • Open daily for summer activities (chairlift rides, hiking, mountain biking, zip line and stables), with some restaurants, lodging and the spa also open. Reservations required Friday through Sunday.

Utah Olympic Park • Open daily for alpine slide, extreme tubing, zip lining and ropes course in two-hour increments. Alf Engen Ski Museum and Eccles Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum open and free, but masks are required.

Woodward Park City • Indoor and outdoor parks for wheeled sports, including scooter, skateboarding and BMX, and lift-served mountain biking open daily for a limited number of guests. Trampolines, parkour, gym floor and indoor airbags along with rental shop and food service also available.

Source: Ski Utah

Utah Strong

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 17, 2020

The Park Record has shared that Deer Valley announced their plans to open for summer June on 26th, offering lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic chairlift rides, albeit with significant protocols in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19. The resort indicated in a press release it will take “extensive measures to comply with COVID-19 cleaning, operating procedures and guidelines” and will adhere to the safety mandates imposed by Summit County. It will also limit the number of guests allowed on the mountain at any one time, with day lift tickets being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The resort will allow outdoor dining at three restaurants this summer — Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe, Royal Street Cafe and Silver Lake Snack Shack.

Judy and I truly enjoy living in Utah and were excited when we read Why you should bet on Utah right now, a story by Peter Reichard. As the nation struggles to recovery from the COVID-19 economic decline, Utah is poised to make a strong comeback. Any major economic crisis has a tabula rasa effect, with businesses, investors and individuals pausing to consider big changes. Some will roll out a map of the United States to seek greener pastures. Some of them will decide to place their chips on Utah. Many current Utah residents will just double down. This makes sense, because this state is among the safest of bets. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Utah has strong social capital.

2. This remains the land of opportunity. Research from Harvard economists put the Salt Lake metro as No. 1 in the nation in terms of intergenerational upward mobility.

3. Utah is a safe port in stormy waters. Utah offers predictability, stability and a business-friendly policy environment and transparency.

4. We have a smart, young population. Not only is Utah the nation’s youngest state, it is also one of the most highly educated, per capita — providing a highly skilled workforce for businesses looking to relocate or expand. A recent Forbes analysis put Utah at No. 1 in the nation for entrepreneurs.

5. We’ve taken hits and are standing tall. Utah had the lowest proportion of unemployed as a percentage of its workforce by mid-May.

6. We’re planning smart and thinking big. At the dawn of the crisis, the state launched the Utah Leads Together effort. There was no infighting or chaos, and planners immediately recognized the need to form a baseline plan, then adjust to a rapidly changing situation.

7. We have a diversified economy. The latest analysis using the Hachman Index of economic diversity put Utah at No. 1 in the nation.

8. Small businesses (and lenders) are taking care of business. Survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals Utah small businesses have been the least affected in the nation. As of May 16, Utah ranked No. 1 in federal Payroll Protection Program loans as a percentage of payroll.

9. We aren’t shooting ourselves in the foot. Other state governments have become engulfed in paralyzing political division and crippling financial mismanagement. Utah has managed its finances and public pensions fairly well, and has managed to get important things done.

10. The quality of life is excellent. Utah is situated in a Goldilocks location — not too cold and not too hot with low humidity. It’s one of the sunniest places in the U.S., with endless opportunities for exploration across four seasons — from National Parks to ski resorts. And there is still a comparably reasonable cost of living. Article - peter@utahfoundation.org.

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Judy and I are happy to represent home buyers and sellers in Utah. We are happy to announce our recent closings: 9528N Red Hawk Trail (lot) Preserve - listing, 11572 N White Tail Court (lot) Soaring Hawk - buyer, 429 Piney Drive (single family home) Oakley - listing, and 2752 High Mountain Road #407 (condo) Apex - buyer. Reach out today if you are looking to sell your current home or to find your new home.

rgomez@bhhsutah.com - www.realtorramoninparkcity.com

Weekend Adventures

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 12, 2020

Looking to get out this weekend, KPCW has shared that E-Bikes Are Back For The Season. In perhaps another sign of “reopening” in the Park City area, the county’s bike share program has returned for another season. The 2020 program comes with improvements and measures for sanitation. There are 200 bikes and 19 stations available.

In response to the glitches and problems last year, the county hired a local project manager, who has worked with the vendors over the winter to make improvements. The operators are sanitizing the bikes on a regular basis. But they’re asking the public to take precautions also as they will not be cleaning the bikes between every single use.

You can register for the program at “summitbikeshare.com”  An annual pass for local residents and employees, will cost $90. They’re also offering a free one-month pass to local workers who were on the ground during the coronavirus outbreak. There’s a single-ride pass, and that’s $3 for 30 minutes. Every minute over 30 minutes is 15 cents a minute. When you have an annual pass, your rides are 45 minutes long before you need to dock.

Want to travel a little further and see as many national parks as possible in one giant road trip? The Discover Blog share the best road trips in each state, click here for the whole article. The trip from Moab in the east to Kanab in the south will make sure you don't miss out on those spectacular landscapes you've yet to explore. Red-rock formations galore and riveting red sunsets make this road trip one to remember for the rest of your life. Along the way, make plans to stop in Arches National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

We wrap up this week's blog with an article from RISMedia in the Top 10 Markets for Millennials During the Pandemic and Salt Lake City makes the list. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently ranked the top metros for millennials amidst the pandemic, taking into consideration the following: housing affordability, local job market conditions, the millennial population in the area, and available inventory across the largest 100 U.S. metros.

These are the top 10 markets with favorable conditions for millennial homebuyers during the pandemic:

1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

3. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa

4. Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh, N.C.

5. Houston-The Woodlands, Texas

6. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.

7. Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa

8. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

9. Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Wash.

10. Salt Lake City, Utah

“Nationally, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers and these metropolitan areas, in particular, offer great opportunities to realize the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. “As states and cities begin to reopen, millennials will play a significant role in the housing market’s recovery.”

Heading Outside

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 03, 2020

Summer is upon us, so use this time to explore your child’s interests, and incorporate some real life lessons that can’t be taught in classrooms. With a number of national parks and campgrounds closed due to the pandemic, many family camping trips are canceled for the time being. But, there are still ways to take your kid on that camping excursion by crafting the perfect indoor or outdoor adventure. Vivian Chung of the Adventure Blog for Staycation shares How You Can Still Take Your Kids on That Camping Trip.

First, set the scene by pitching your camping tent in the backyard, or by clearing the living room or basement and setting up a pop-up tent for the kids there. Cozy up the spaces by padding them with blankets and pillows.

Now, take this opportunity to teach your kids about the local wildlife you might encounter on a camping trip and how to behave around them on a hike through the forest. To get the ball rolling, check out National Geographic Kids on YouTube, where your child can view short videos to learn about the wildlife and critters that live outdoors, and what their role is on this planet. Go out into the backyard afterwards, and try to identify some of these critters with your kids. The younger ones will also love a scavenger hunt using stuffed animal versions of the wildlife you just discussed.

Part of the fun of camping is being able to make your meal and eat it outdoors. This can easily be recreated in your backyard or on your patio using a camp stove, which will also shake up the dining routine a bit for the kids. End the meal by making s’mores for a fun dessert, a recipe simple enough for kids to take part in and assemble too.

Encourage your child’s love of learning by exploring the curiosities of the night sky together. You can also use your indoor fireplace, or build one by gathering branches for the base and crumpling up yellow, red, and orange tissue paper for the flames. Round out the night by singing campfire songs, or by reading camp themed bedtime stories.

Planning to really get outside and visit one of Utah’s National Parks - read this before you go. Michael Alpiner of Forbes has shared - Arches National Park Opens At The End Of The Covid-19 Curve. One of the country’s most impressive natural wonders is once again open for visitors. With over 2000 natural stone arches, soaring pinnacles, gigantic fins and balanced rocks, Arches National Park reminds us that the natural world can create landscapes of beauty, not just invisible malignancies. Lodging, commercial campgrounds, restaurants and activities are allowed with respect to recommended guidelines. Arches National Park began its phase one opening on May 29th with access to roads, hiking trails and viewing areas, though campgrounds, backcountry camping and fiery furnace access remained closed. All safety practices are being implemented in the park, even though social distance seems easy to accomplish in a park as vast as Arches.

Moab Adventure Center, a full-service resource for the adventure-minded, suggests three guided park tours to encourage the housebound into the outdoors. The daily morning and sunset tour showcases the work of 150 million years. Tour rates are $89 for adults and $79 for ages 5 to 12. A third tour offers an aerial tour of the park. Leaving mid-morning, the half-hour flyover views formations such as Courthouse Towers, North and South Window Arches, Delicate Arch, Devil's Garden, the Colorado River, Fisher Towers, and Castle Valley. Youth two and under fly free on a parent's lap. Tour rates are $109 for adults and $55 for youth 3 to 12.

The Adventure Center also arranges full and half-day Colorado River Tours along the southern border of Arches National Park via raft. A half-day morning tour showcases the mild to moderate rapids under a background of red rock cliffs, spires and buttes. Rates are $74 for adults and $64 for ages 5 to 12. Another half-day option comes with a BBQ lunch. Rates are $89 for adults and $79 ages 5 to 12. A full day on the river, with lunch, is a memorable seven-hour excursion. Rates are $109 for adults and $79 for age 5 to 12.

Along with the escape one gets from the grandeur of nature, a restful and comfortable accommodation is yet another way to return to a sense of normality. The Gonzo Inn, located in Moab, five and a half miles from Arches National Park, offers a “dessert chic vibe” in their 43 condominium style rooms. The proximity to raw nature does not distract from the rustic luxury these accommodations provide. Their deluxe suites have whirlpool tubs and fireplaces, yet all rooms have private patios and views of the Red Cliffs. In respect to the safety of its guests and staff during the pandemic, the ownership has suspended maid service and breakfast.

Not looking to travel far, The Park Record shares that Park City has approved Main Street pedestrian days, which is seen as a step toward economic recovery. Park City will invite shoppers, diners and revelers onto the Main Street asphalt this year on certain days. Cars will not be welcome on those days. The Park City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a street closure along Main Street from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sundays from June 14 until Sept. 6. Main Street will instead become a pedestrian zone on those days in an effort to attract customers at a time of economic uncertainty caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses along Main Street or just off the street, supported the decision. The organization sees the pedestrian zone as something that will advance its own recovery blueprints for Main Street.City Hall staffers explained that a turnaround will be put in the Brew Pub lot toward the southern end of Main Street in an effort to keep drivers from heading into the neighborhood.

There was also brief talk about the difficulty of measuring the success and about the possibility of the city councilors conducting walk-throughs of the pedestrian zone to gather information once they launch. The elected officials plan to review the pedestrian zone in early July and again in early August.

Leaders created the weekly pedestrian zone as the summer-tourism season arrives. The supporters of the change along Main Street say the pedestrian zone will provide more space for social distancing, something that could be attractive to people who remain hesitant about returning to places where there could be crowds. The pedestrian zone will involve two stretches of road encompassing most of the commercial section of Main Street. One will run from Heber Avenue south to the Brew Pub lot while the other will run from Heber Avenue north to 9th Street. The cross streets of Heber Avenue and 9th Street will remain open to traffic.

The Sunday timing of the pedestrian days is significant after the cancellation of the Park Silly Sunday Market this year based on concerns about the sickness. The Silly Market draws large crowds on Sundays in the summer and early fall. It is centered on a car-free lower Main Street and extends to several locations on upper Main Street. It is expected that the pedestrian days this year could draw some of the people accustomed to heading to Main Street on Sundays for the Silly Market. More details about the operations of the pedestrian zone are expected to be publicized as the first Sunday approaches.

Home Mortgages

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 26, 2020

This week we are reviewing mortgage applications, remodeling regrets and 5 Spectacular Road Rides in and around Park City.

Buyers are reemerging in the housing market much faster than anticipated and Realtor Magazine shares that Mortgage Applications Continue Surprising Rebound. Mortgage applications are often an indicator of future home buying activity, and applications for home purchases have increased for five consecutive weeks. After increasing 6% last week compared to the previous week, applications for home purchases are now just 1.5% lower than a year ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index shows. The rebound is significant considering purchase volume was down 35% annually just six weeks ago as the U.S. ramped up its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Record low mortgage rates and strong pent-up demand are bringing home buyers back to the market as states begin to reopen. The average contract interest rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.43% to 3.41% last week (with 0.33 points on the loan). Refinance applications, meanwhile, are falling. Applications for refinancings dropped 6% last week and reached the lowest level in activity in more than a month. However, refinance applications are still 160% higher than a year ago as homeowners continue to lock in lower rates.

Realtor Magazine has another great article in Homeowners’ 5 Biggest Remodeling Regrets. Remodeling any aspect of a home can be a big job and a lot can go wrong when owners aren’t adequately prepared. Houzz, a home remodeling website, asked a panel of renovating experts the most common remodeling blunders they see. Here are a few of their responses.

Not budgeting properly. Underestimating the costs of a project can be a dire mistake that could leave homeowners either with an unfinished property or having to incur a financial loss. Have a detailed budget so you don’t run out of money. Remodeling experts advise always including a 10% to 20% buffer in the budget for any unexpected costs when tackling a remodel.

Assuming DIY will save you money. Remodeling experts call it the “DIY trap,” and rookie remodelers are especially prone to it. It’s not always cheaper to do a project yourself. It may not look right and could take triple the amount of time to complete than if you would have just hired a pro. “Limit your DIY tasks to things such as painting and simple landscaping jobs, and dedicate your time to project managing the renovation,” experts told Houzz.

Selecting the cheapest contractor. Another common pitfall is to go with the cheapest quote from a contractor. You don’t want to have to redo poor work. Don’t just focus on the affordability of a contractor’s quote but evaluate fully what it specifies, experts recommend. Gather quotes from at least three contractors and compare them in detail. Also, evaluate the quality of their work through project photos and professional recommendations.

Failing to describe what you want accurately. Know exactly what you want before you start and use the right words to describe it. Create idea books; search online for ideas online or in magazines; and have a specific list of layouts and finishes you desire. Become familiar with the proper terminology of those looks and finishes so you communicate them correctly to the pros, the experts recommend.

Not researching the material options. In the same regard, choosing materials often requires some homework. Builders or contractors may fall back on the same materials they always use, but that doesn’t always mean those are right for the project. “Spend time researching the various materials options available—including looks, price, pros and cons, sustainability, durability, and which ones are best suited to your location, and take this information to your builder,” Houzz notes. “Armed with this knowledge, you can decide together the most suitable materials and finishes for your project.”

View more common remodeling mistakes at Houzz.com.

Thinking about a bike ride, the team at Park City Magazine have a new article that we wanted to share - Biking Guide: 5 Spectacular Road Rides in and around Park City.

Empire (a.k.a. Guardsman) Loop - Length: 35 miles - Start on Kearns Blvd (Hwy 248), heading east toward Kamas. Take in some jaw-to-the-floor views—and steep uphill—with this heart-pumping, grueling ride. Head out of town on Highway 248 toward pastoral Kamas, approximately 14 miles. Roll past some pastures, and turn right onto Lambert Lane, then right onto Hill Top Road, then right onto SR 32, which turns into River Road after crossing Hwy 40 (look for fly-fishermen as you near the Provo banks). Then, turn right onto Pine Canyon Road and dig in for a serious climb, skirting Wasatch Mountain State Park and up to Guardsman Pass. When the road comes to a T above Midway, take a right and ascend to the summit overlooking Deer Valley Resort’s chutes, the state park, and beyond. Take a breath in the thin air (well above 9,000 feet at this point) and then start the fun descent down Hwy 224 (Marsac Avenue), either continuing to Old Town via the fast mine road or taking Wheaton’s Way connector (on the right, just before the old silver mine) to switchback down Royal Street and return to Old Town via Deer Valley Drive.

Brown’s Canyon Loop - Length: 30 miles - Start on Kearns Boulevard (Hwy 248), heading east toward Kamas. Roll into rural Summit County as you hop off of Highway 248 onto North Democrat Alley (2000 W) via a left turn, a quieter cruise (i.e., virtually no traffic). You will encounter a small section where asphalt gives way to some packed road base, but the majority is hard surface with more cows and horses than vehicles along the way. Turn left onto Wooden Shoe Lane into Peoa (keep an ear out for a concert in the park), which turns into SR 32. Turn left up Brown’s Canyon and pop back onto busy Highway 248 for the return to the “big” city.

Old Ranch Road/Home Depot Loop - Length: 15–16 miles, depending on route. From Old Town, head north on Highway 224 and turn right onto Old Ranch Road, shortly after passing the Canyons base of Park City Mountain. Quick with relatively limited elevation gain, this close-to-town loop is perfect for getting acquainted with the local landscape. Weave through Old Ranch Road—past neighborhoods, alfalfa pastures, and horse property—turn right at the frontage road (Highland Drive), and then turn left to cross over Highway 40. Take a right in front of Home Depot on the frontage road back to the intersection with Highway 248, and turn right to head back into town. Or, get away from vehicular traffic and do not hop over Highway 40, instead taking Highland Drive to the paved Silver Quinn’s Trail. Continue on the trail system past the Park City Ice Arena and under Highway 248, and turn right onto the Rail Trail—thereby staying on trails rather than heavily traveled road back into town.

Weber Canyon (out and back) - Length: 60 miles or more, depending on how far out one rolls. Start on Highway 248 and take Brown’s Canyon to Wooden Shoe Lane, which turns into Rob Young Ln (W 3700 N). Then, turn left on SR 32 and continue straight through on N New Lane, and turn right on Weber Canyon. This tree-lined country ride leads to Smith and Morehouse Reservoir, part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest land, which means the occasional camper may overtake a Weber Canyon–bound cyclist. But for the most part, this is peaceful pedaling. Once you arrive at the Smith and Morehouse turnoff, the rest of the ride is hard-packed gravel.

Wolf Creek Pass (out and back) - Length: 80-ish miles. Park at the South Summit Aquatic Center in Kamas (or ride there via Highway 248 and SR 32 through Kamas for extra miles). Think sunflower-strewn meadows and backside views of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Start this adventure on Lower River Road to Woodland, then take a right at the red church onto Bench Creek Road, and continue onto SR 35 to Wolf Creek Pass. Crank those pedals a total of 50 miles to Hanna, or keep going. The road is paved all the way to Duchesne, 30 miles farther.

Before you go - Mountain weather is changeable, so layer up. Take altitude into consideration; don’t be afraid to stop for your oxygen-depleted lungs’ sake or to make way for a moose, and bring plenty of water and snacks to avoid bonking. Grab a Mountain Trails Foundation (mountaintrails.org) map, available at most sports retailers and coffee shops (or online) to plot your route, or download Trailforks or MTB Project apps for real-time GPS guidance. And consider purchasing a copy of Park City’s Prime Cuts 3, the newest edition of the go-to trail guidebook by longtime local riders Paul Boyle, Mark Fischer, and Charlie Sturgis (available at local retailers).

Special thanks to Scott House of White Pine Touring, Charlie Sturgis of Mountain Trails Foundation, Ben Liegert of Snyderville Basin Recreation, Todd Henneman of Storm Cycles, and Chris Erkkila of Deer Valley Resort for sharing trail- and road-riding expertise.

Outdoor Living

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 20, 2020

Spring is in full swing and this week we look at ways to spruce up your outdoor living space, easy bike rides around Park City and why you shouldn't lowball on an offer during the pandemic.

Whether you’re living in a small apartment or a tiny house with an even smaller outdoor space to match, there’s a good chance your place doesn’t come with a sprawling backyard that’s large enough to fit a pool, garden, outdoor pizza oven, and playground for the kids. Apartment Therapy asked multiple design experts to share their best tips for decorating a small outdoor space. Here are there 7 Design Tricks That Will Make Your Small Outdoor Space Feel So Much Bigger.

1. Take a Seat - No matter how small your outdoor area, you’re going to want to create a sitting area or else you won’t take full advantage of the space. Choose a petite table and loveseat or chairs that will instantly turn the little space you have into an outdoor retreat.

2. Get Your Green On - when it comes to decorating an outdoor space is to rely on plants to add color and life to the overall design. Make a selection of your favorite flowers, potted plants, and ferns to diversify the space and create that outdoor oasis you’ve always dreamed of. To create an oasis, try to cover the outdoor area in as much greenery as possible. A surrounding of greenery is not only beautiful but provides a relaxing environment.

3. Gravitational Glow When decorating your small outdoor space, lighting is a very important element. Wall lights are your best option as they create an elegant ambience without taking up space.

4. Bottoms Up - If you plan on entertaining, pick up a bar cart/console table. It’s multipurpose and mixed-use, as it’s a great way to lay out food and drink, but as the night progresses, it can double as a spot for people to set their drinks down before they go inside and/or where you set up a portable music player.

5. Strategic Stackin’ - When debating deep seating or dining, I tell clients you can eat on a couch, but you can’t lie on dining chairs. Tucking a sectional into a corner is the best way to maximize on floor space. Look for furniture with light-colored cushions, skinny frames, and high skirts.

6. Optical Illusion - Make a small outdoor space seem so much bigger by painting it all white. You can even go for a monochromatic color scheme with all-white cushions, a white outdoor rug, and white metal pieces. Add in mirrors and large-scale plants to create the illusion of a larger space.

7. The Right Rug -Use an area rug that fits the entire space to make it feel intentional and like an extension of your interiors.

Now is the time to get outside and biking around Park City is on our list as we get some fresh air. Park City Magazine shares their Biking Guide: 5 Easy Rides for Cruising Park City’s Trails.

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail - Length: 28 miles (one way). Roll onto the trail from Old Town via the Poison Creek Trail (and the underpass below Bonanza Drive), or park at the Prospector Trailhead. Enjoy Utah’s first nonmotorized trail, designated a state park in 1992, which now travels where rail once carried coal and silver ore across the county. Today’s trail runs through wetlands as it meanders through Wanship and Coalville, ending at Echo Reservoir.

McLeod Creek Trail - Length: 4 miles. From Old Town, hop aboard the paved path alongside Highway 224, or start at the McPolin Farm Trailhead. Or reverse the ride and start in Kimball Junction or at the Willow Creek Trailhead. Cruising from town toward Kimball Junction, this wide, initially paved trail rolls alongside its bubbling namesake, past the iconic white barn (McPolin Farm), and then veers right behind Temple Har Shalom onto packed dirt, past an interactive musical sculpture, through a shady, rural stretch, and across Old Ranch Road to Willow Creek Park, where playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic tables make for a family-friendly destination.

Round Valley: PorcUclimb-Downward Dog Loop - Length: 7-mile loop. Park at Quinn’s Trailhead for Round Valley’s 700 acres of sagebrush-scented, preserved open space contains a delightful web of trails, leading to a vast array of rides. This loop starts with a wide, flat trail and gradually adds some slightly narrower trails, with a wee helping of learner-friendly, directional switchbacks thrown into the mix. Begin on Fast Pitch, connect to Ability Way, take a little uphill on Matt’s Flat to the hilltop at Seventy 101, then switchback up PorcUclimb (uphill only), take a right onto Nowhere Elks at the top, then look for the Downward Dog descent (downhill only) all the way until it intersects with Matt’s Flat singletrack, and ride back to Ability Way via Matt’s Access Trail, left on Ability Way Connector to Fast Pitch, then back to Hat Trick.

Trailside Loop - Length: 1-mile loop. Start at Trailside Park, adjacent to the bike park. This is an extremely beginner-friendly loop conveniently located next to the all-levels, skills-honing bike park (see article on Bike Parks). This subtly graded singletrack curves through sagebrush-covered terrain, allowing for ample visibility as newbies get into the dirt-riding groove.

RTS - Length: 2.5 miles. Park at RTS trailhead on Olympic Parkway located on a 316-acre swath of open space just below Utah Olympic Park’s ski jumps, RTS is ideal for beginners. Gently sloped switchbacks—sans loose rocks—allow for a pleasant roll through open aspen groves and meadows. RTS is also a great launching point for the progressively more challenging terrain of BLT, OMH, and BYOB, and you can access significantly more advanced riding along conifer-topped loops across Olympic Parkway.

Before you go - Grab a Mountain Trails Foundation (mountaintrails.org) map, available at most sports retailers and coffee shops (or online) to plot your route, or download Trailforks or MTB Project apps for real-time GPS guidance.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has totally upended the U.S. housing market. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, interest in buying a home has sharply declined. That’s to be expected, as the Labor Department reported that more than 26 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since the middle of March. Apartment Therapy has another great article this week in Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Lowball an Offer on a House During COVID-19.

When it comes to negotiating, it’s still all about location, location, location. Since real estate transactions tend to be a result of major life decisions, he says there will still be people who need to either sell or buy—or both. If homes in the area are selling for the asking price, a low offer is probably a bad idea. In fact, when buyers start with an insultingly low number, she says the sellers may not respond at all—and if they do, the buyers have no negotiation leverage. Crisis does not bring down property values, high interest rates do.

Inventory is low, which works in a seller’s favor - Sellers know they have the upper hand. On the other hand, it appears that some buyers are quite enthusiastic.

Mortgage defaults are making sellers less likely to budge- There’s one other reason sellers may not be feeling pressure to lower their asking prices. With banks rolling out mortgage forbearance programs, most sellers are not in immediate danger of losing their home or desperate to accept a lowball offer. The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced that after the forbearance is over, homeowners with mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will not have to make lump sum repayments. Instead those amounts will be added to the end of the loan’s life.

But don’t abandon negotiating altogether - When considering a lowball offer, do your research to see if you or your realtor can discover any details that might motivate the seller to move forward despite the loss of financial gain they originally anticipated. It’s always wise to negotiate. It may be possible for a buyer to get an extended closing date in-line with their needs, or a buyer could make a lower offer with a quick close. Another option would be to make a low offer, but take the property ‘as-is,’ meaning the seller would not have to make repairs that could take time and cost money, especially given many states’ stay-at-home orders for nonessential employees.

Bouncing Back

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 13, 2020

Judy and I hope you and your families are well and safe. We continue to limit visits to the grocery store and the office and we always have our face masks. So, we were excited to read in Yahoo! Finance that Salt Lake City was one of the cities positioned to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic based on Moody's Analytics. The analytics analyzed U.S. metro areas capabilities for a strong recovery post-coronavirus using two primary factors: population density and educational attainment. Click here for the full article.

Thank you Vail - the Park Record has shared that Vail Resorts has announced credits for 2019-20 passholders and a new insurance program for next season. Vail Resorts announced updates to its season pass program for next ski season in response to the coronavirus pandemic, offering credits for 2019-2020 passholders and launching a new insurance program to protect against any lost dates in 2020-2021. People who had an Epic Pass during 2019-2020 will receive a minimum 20% credit toward a 2020-2021 pass, the company said. Those who used their pass fewer than five days will be eligible for higher credits, meanwhile, topping out at an 80% credit for people who didn’t use their pass at all. People who purchased an Epic Day Pass will receive credit for unused days.

Additionally, everyone who buys a pass for the 2020-2021 season will receive free pass insurance through a new program called Epic Coverage, which allows for refunds in the event of resort closures, including closures related to the coronavirus. The program also allows for refunds due to other circumstances included in the company’s typical pass insurance, such as an injury that prevents a passholder from skiing.

Ready to get back on your mountain bike? Check out these tips and tricks to get back in the saddle again in Park City Magazine's article: Back in the Saddle Again. Ease into the saddle and prep for the mountain biking season now with these great tips:

Start slow. Give yourself some space and expect that you’re going to be slow on your first ride out and find a trail that’s not challenging for your first ride back.

Re-train your vision. Without even realizing it, when you’re in mountain bike shape, your eyes naturally look far ahead to anticipate the terrain and any obstacles. Over the winter, it’s easy to lose that skill, when you’re getting back into riding, try to look ahead a little bit more than you naturally would. It takes self-control to do this, and to anticipate what’s coming up.

Loosen up. No matter what you’ve been doing over the winter, riding always feels different, see if you can loosen up on the climbs and the descents.

Start with an athletic stance. When you get tired—which can happen quickly during the early season—your posture is one of the first things to decline. Start the year with good habits and think about holding an athletic stance with your core tight, your spine strong, and your neck up.

Turn your fear into excitement. If you’re a bit more skittish on technical sections than you were last year, try to put your nerves to good use. Tell yourself, ‘I’m not nervous,’ ‘I’m excited to be on my bike".

Just get on a saddle. If the trails are still too muddy, grab your road bike and to get used to being back in the saddle.

Don’t forget a maintenance check. Whether it’s you or your trusty mechanic, do a thorough check of your bike before hopping on. Check the bolts with torque wrench, clean and lube the drivetrain, and test the front suspension. And, of course, put air in your tires, but maybe a little less than you think.

A reminder: Wait until the trails are dry. Riding muddy trails ruins it for everyone else for the rest of the season. Where to find trail updates: Check the Mountain Trails Foundation’s website and Facebook page for the latest trail conditions; Basin Recreation also frequently updates the status on its Instagram and Facebook pages.

Looking for something fun to do tonight, here are 11 Ideas For a Fun and Perfect Date Night In from Apartment Therapy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or make an entire meal from scratch if that’s not your thing, so maybe this translates into planning a surprise activity for your significant other, or treating them to a special gift that they’ve always wanted. Whatever you choose to do, the point is to set aside specific time to have a date—no movie tickets, fancy restaurant reservation, or bar hopping required.

1. Do a Giant Puzzle Together - Pop some popcorn, open a couple bottles of wine, and put on your favorite music when you two sit down to do a jigsaw puzzle. It’ll kill some serious time, and you’ll work together in a way you probably haven’t before (unless you just happen to be really into puzzles).

2. Have a Book Club Date - If you and your partner find yourselves reading much more than usual, then choose a book you both like and make a goal to read it by the end of the week or month (depending on just how fast you’re reading these days). Make a date of sitting down to discuss the book together—maybe even watch the film version of the book if possible.

3. Sit Down and Create the Ultimate To-Do List  - What are those things you’ve always wanted to do around the house but just haven’t? Write it all down together and check things off one by one each weekend—it’ll keep things fresh and make you feel like you’re prioritizing doing more than just watching Netflix (though that’s fun too).

4. Create an At-Home Movie Theater  - If you love (and miss) going to the movies, then make a point to plan an at-home movie theater style date. Think ahead and order groceries like popcorn, candy, and soda and set up a cozy spot to watch as many new releases as possible.

5. Have a Bake-Off - With only the ingredients you have in the house, challenge each other to a bake off and then judge the results together. Bonus points if you have episodes of the “Great British Bake Off” playing in the background throughout.

6. Take a Dance Lesson …via YouTube, of course. Get some exercise in and learn a fun new dance from the privacy of your own home. Film the final results and send to your friends and family if you’re feeling really confident.

7. Have an Arts & Crafts Afternoon - Pull out the paper, glue, scissors, and markers and create something fun—maybe a banner with an encouraging message to hang in the window or just greeting cards for each other.

8. Create an At-Home Olympics  - Create a series of fun (and kind of ridiculous) games and have an at-home Olympics. Think of this like that episode of “The Office”. If all else fails, you’ll laugh a lot.

9. Have a PowerPoint Party - Challenge each other to create a PowerPoint on virtually anything. Surprise each other with your topic and give a quick, fun presentation. This is also fun to do as a Zoom activity, if you want to invite more people!

10. Throw a Wine Tasting Party for Two - host a tasting in your living room (or on your couch, in bed, whatever!). Maybe even watch a few videos with tips from sommeliers to learn a thing or two.

11. Paint Something Together … anything! Whether there’s a piece of furniture you’ve been meaning to refinish, a wall that you’ve always wanted to spice up, or you just want to get artsy with a canvas, painting together can be as fun as it is rewarding. And odds are, if your home is anything like mine, you have 200 half-used cans of paint in the basement just waiting to be used.

 

What Does the Home Buying and Selling Process Look Like Now?

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 03, 2020

Things are a little different, but when you're equipped with the right technology and tools, the process is streamlined and efficient. Here's a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed real estate processes, and how we've adapted with it.

 

VIRTUAL HOME BUYING

  1. Virtual Consultation. Schedule an appointment by phone or video conference to understand your real estate needs and goals.
  2. Reporting. Create a report consisting of available properties, market history and statistics through MoxiWorks, a dynamic CMA platform.
  3. Online Home Search. We will continually send you newly listed homes that match your search criteria as soon as they hit the market.
  4. Mobile App. Explore homes and areas with our Utah Properties mobile app featuring real-time MLS updates.
  5. Virtual or Live Tour. See selected homes virtually or with a live tour. We will follow proper CDC & NAR guidelines when touring a home.
  6. Digital Negotiations/Addendums. Create offers and addendums via digital platforms.
  7. Electronically Sign. All of the paperwork is done electronically and securely.
  8. Title and Escrow. Wire deposits directly, Escrow handled remotely.
  9. Inspections. Inspections reports sent and reviewed digitally.
  10. Closing. Funds and documents are completed digitally to facilitate closing.
  11. Get the keys!
VIRTUAL HOME SELLING
  1. Virtual Consultation. Schedule an appointment by phone or video conference.
  2. Establish Pricing. Your pricing strategy is facilitated via an intensive proprietary market analysis system that features live MLS updates.
  3. Market Preparation. We will walk you through the necessary steps to make sure your home is market-ready including home staging ideas and tips.
  4. List Home for Sale. We complete the necessary steps to officially list your home to the market.
  5. Market and Syndicate Home Online. Over 90% of consumers search for property online. We syndicate and market your listing locally and globally.
  6. Track Buyer Activity/Views Online. We monitor the interest your property receives online.
  7. Virtual or In Person Home Tours. We will follow proper CDC & NAR guidelines when showing your home to buyers.
  8. Offers and Negotiations. Made via mobile communication and digital negotiation.
  9. Go Under Contract. All of the paperwork is done electronically and securely.
  10. Final Details. We will give you frequent updates to ensure the transaction closes.
  11. Closing! Escrow and Closing can be completed digitally.
Whether you're buying or selling, I have access to the exclusive digital tools to search or showcase your home anytime, anywhere. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. I'm here to help!

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Homeschool Cleaning

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 28, 2020

As our kids work to keep our grandchildren engaged with school along with their own work schedules we thought we would share Homeschooling: Keeping Your Kids Engaged by RISMedia. Here are some tips to keep everyone focused and working efficiently:

Build in breaks. The first step is to create a schedule. Your kids are used to structure at school, and so when they come home, they expect to have that same unstructured freedom they normally have. Every hour or so, let your kids take a quick 10-minute break. You can even plan fun activities for them to keep them energized.

Reward good behavior. Get a reward system going. You can create something similar to a chore chart where they get a sticker for every school assignment they’ve completed. If they get everything done in the amount of time they’re given, set aside a little prize for them. Since many of us are stuck at home, these can be simple things like an extra hour of TV or letting them pick a dinner or dessert recipe.

Don’t forget about PE. Let your kids have some run-around time. Whether you structure this as a PE class or as recess is up to you. If you have a backyard with a jungle gym, that’s the easiest way to handle this. But have fun and be creative if you don’t. Set up obstacle courses inside or outside your home. Create scavenger hunts that engage your kids in exercise. The goal is to let them clear their mind of being stuck at home doing schoolwork, and also getting them re-energized to get back to it once the time comes.

Create dedicated workspaces. If you have the room in your home, set up individual workspaces for your kids. Give them some cups filled with pens, pencils, crayons, etc., so they’re all set up with the tools they need. You can make cute little motivational signs for them and tape them to the walls and decorate with whatever you have to make it a personalized workspace. A little creativity can go a long way, and once they see they have their own space, they’ll be more excited when it’s time to “go to school.”

Remember, it’s all about creating a routine that’s not too rigid. Keep things scheduled, but don’t skip on the creativity and fun.

Dreaming of getting out into the wilderness, Staycation shares What You Can Do Now To Prepare For a Camping Or Backpacking Trip. Now’s the perfect opportunity to prep for your next camping trip. Once it’s safe to travel again, camping will be the perfect way to get out and enjoy yourself, while still practicing moderate social distancing. In the spirit of preparedness, here’s what you can do right now to get ready for a camping or backpacking trip in the near future. Take the time now to wash your sleeping bag, sleep in your tent, build a camping box, find a good pair of trekking poles, clean out your camp stove and take stock of your gear. Click here for the full article.

Still interested in cleaning and organizing, Apartment Therapy shares Spring Cleaning Guide: How to Spring Clean Your Whole House. Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition with deep cultural, religious, and historical roots. Spring cleaning also ties back to the history of keeping winter houses warm and lit with fires and kerosene. These methods filled houses with soot and grime that was an inevitability as people stayed shut in against the cold winter, but that eventually (needless to say) had to be cleaned. Warm weather and longer days meant being able to stop generating all that soot and that windows could be opened to air out the house as residents scrubbed all that literal darkness away. As we welcome warmer days and the golden rays of sun that tease buds from barren branches, we want a new start, too. Spring cleaning gives it to us.

Why is Spring Cleaning Important? Spring cleaning is a chance to reset everything in your home. It's a chance to stave off bigger problems, like a mold takeover of your grout. By the time spring cleaning is finished, your home will feel so fresh and clean—a state of habitation that will serve you well, both in mind and body.

When Should You Start Spring Cleaning? Subjectively, you should start spring cleaning when you sense that new-start spring freshness start to come in on the warm afternoon breezes. Objectively, you should start spring cleaning when you can clear out a solid day or two in your schedule to devote to the task. For many, this may be the weekend, but now it is quarantine.

How Do I Start Spring Cleaning my House? First, decide that you are going to spring clean and tell someone so you’re accountable. Next, make a plan. The details don’t matter when it comes to galvanizing you into action. But having a rough outline of what you’ll do, whether it’s a room-by-room list of what needs to get done or a whole-house checklist of tasks you want to accomplish brings substance to your goals and functions like a map that will get you where you want to go: a spring cleaned (past tense) house.

How Can I Clean My Whole House in One Day? Cleaning every inch of your home in one day would be an incredible feat, but it’s probably too much to undertake. It might help to reframe your goal: Instead of aiming to clean your whole house in one day, decide you’re going to devote an entire day to spring cleaning. The former goal sets you up to fall short, while the latter goal allows you to measure by effort instead of impact. Rather than than committing (and maybe failing) to check every single thing off a list, you’re going to spend the time you have focusing on the most important tasks, and leaving the rest undone for another day. It’s a more thoughtful and attainable route to take.

1. Choose whole-house cleaning tasks for the biggest effect. For instance, washing the pillows and bedding of all members of your household leaves everyone with refreshed bedding. While the task may not produce a visible outcome, knowing that everyone has bedding that’s as clean as it can be feels really good. Other whole-house tasks you could select include cleaning all the doors or tackling all the windows.

2. Select chores that you procrastinate. Cleaning tasks that you dread probably don’t get done very often. These dreaded, procrastinated chores will be different for everyone, but they could be deep cleaning the shower, cleaning the windows, or finally getting that oven clean. Choose your own adventure and be really, really proud of yourself when you get to the finish line.

3. Pick the tasks you want to do. No, this doesn’t mean to forget the whole thing because you really don’t feel like doing any spring cleaning! (That’s not you anyway, since you’re here.) The sentiment underlying this method of selecting what you’ll spend your spring cleaning day doing is that certain things on the list will pop out at you as things you’ve been wanting or meaning to do but haven’t been able to get to. Maybe it’s sorting through closets and cleaning your refrigerator. Do these.

4. Make choices based on time. Some of the items on the spring cleaning list require time that may or not be hands-on time. For example, washing everyone’s bedding and cleaning all the mattresses doesn’t take that much hands-on time, but it does require waiting for wash and dry cycles to finish. This is a great task to undertake while you’re cleaning other things because you’ll be around to switch loads as soon as they’re ready and you can use the in-between time to check other tasks off your list.

5. Put labor-intensive items at the top of your list. If you’re having a hard time choosing what you’ll do and what you’ll skip, try putting the most labor-intensive tasks at the top of the list. This way, the chores that require the most out of you are getting done on a day you’ve dedicated to cleaning and you won’t feel as much like you’re missing out on something fun.

Sample Plan for Spring Cleaning in a Day: If you need a jumping off point to plan your day of spring cleaning, this checklist—for morning, afternoon, and evening—will get you on the right track.

Morning:

  • Strip the bedding from all the beds, including duvet covers, and gather all the bedding. Sort like with like and begin laundering sheets, blankets, pillows, and comforters.
  • Refresh mattresses while the bedding is away from the beds.
  • Empty every garbage can and recycling bin and bring them outside. Hose them down, scrub scuffs with a Magic Eraser, and get gunk out of crevices. Leave them to dry in the sun.
  • Put bags of vinegar around shower heads.
  • Slather the interior of the oven with a baking soda paste.
  • Change bedding wash and dry cycles as needed.
  • Scrub your oven interior.
  • Remove vinegar bags and scrub showers and tubs and clean the bathroom.

Afternoon:

  • Spot clean upholstery and rugs.
  • Dust every area you’ve decided to tackle today and start at the top. This could include bookshelves, the tops of cabinets, light fixtures, light bulbs, furniture, door frames, picture frames, etc. The idea is that you’re taking your duster and using it on every inch of dust down to the baseboards.
  • Polish wooden furniture. Just like you focused on using one tool while you dusted, focus on one product here: wood polish. Hit every wooden item in your home.
  • Wipe down cabinet doors. Murphy’s Oil Soap is great for wooden cabinets and an all-purpose cleaner and rag is fine for other materials.
  • Clean doors. You’ve already dusted the frames. Now take a damp microfiber cloth (and maybe a Magic Eraser for stubborn spots) to the doors themselves, including knobs.
  • Continue changing bedding loads as needed. If you finish your loads, take down your curtains and begin washing those.
  • Clean your windows. Take down screens or use a lint roller on them, clean window tracks, and shine those windows.
  • Clean the rest of the glass in your home. You’ve already dusted picture frames. Now take it to the next level and hit the glass with a lint-free cloth and glass cleaner.

Evening:

  • Replace bedding.
  • Hang curtains if you were able to wash them.
  • Return garbage cans to their rooms.
  • Vacuum under furniture and under rugs.
  • Vacuum the floors throughout the house now that the dust you stirred up from dusting has had time to settle.
  • Clean your phone.
  • Choose one small area to declutter. You don’t need the sunshine to help you see what to declutter (like you would with spot cleaning your armchairs, for instance), and ending with a decluttering session sets you up for a very visual win and, with any luck, the urge to do more when you can.
  • Make a list of tasks you wish you’d been able to do and make a plan for finishing them up during your regular cleaning routine.
  • Enjoy your spring cleaned house!
Stay well, Ramon & Judy

Dining In Park City

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 22, 2020

This week we look to food and coffee in Park City. Park City Magazine shares how to support your favorite Park City coffee shops from afar or your car. Most of Park City’s favorite caffeinated hotspots are temporarily shuttered, but you can still be socially distant and support your local roaster/barista at the same time.

Drive-Through/Curbside Joy- Silver King Coffee, silverkingcoffee.com, is “business as usual” at 1409 Kearns Blvd, with slightly reduced hours, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and Venmo and credit card sales only (i.e. no cash). Of Note: the scrumptious goodies at Silver King are locally sourced from Auntie Em’sSavoury Kitchen, Wasatch Bagel, City Cakes & CafeMamachari Kombucha. So, consider a coffee-and-eats stop a boost for numerous local, small businesses. Coming soon: A “Buy a Coffee for a Friend” campaign. Look for it online, starting next week.

Brothers Rob and Ray Hibl and their staff are keeping Park City Coffee Roaster (1764 Uinta Way, pcroaster.com) regulars smiling, thanks to curbside drink pick-up via their easy-peasy app (or phone at 435.647.9097) between 7 a.m. and noon, Monday through Saturday.

Coffee (and Tea and Sipping Chocolate) Delivered - Get your favorite Bonafido, Dog Daze, New Trick, or other canine-themed roast via hugo.coffee. The ever-energetic owner Claudia McMullin is doing her own Hugo Coffee Roaster deliveries in the 84060, 84068 and 84098 zip codes—and including a mask created by her aerospace engineer husband in the package; the mask made from hypo-allergenic filters may not be N-95 certified, but it does have a stamp of her dog Hugo’s cute face on it. A percentage of Hugo’s retail sales go to animal rescue nonprofits, so you get warm fuzzies along with your toasty brew, too.

Atticus Coffee and Teahouse, atticustea.com, swoops to the rescue with orders via email and phone, 435.214.7241, for bulk loose tea and coffee beans (pick up on Mondays). According to Atticus’s Erica Winzeler, an online ordering system via the website is also in the works for the Main Street business. Stay tuned.

Lucky Ones Coffee, luckyonescoffee.com, the nonprofit and coffee shop located inside the Park City Library, is delivering online purchases of merchandise (think cozy sweatshirts and baby onesies) as well as bags of coffee. Lucky Ones is also planning some Zoom coffee hours to connect regulars and the café’s baristas (all adults with disabilities).

Ritual’s hot chocolate strikes, order it online, ritualchocolate.com. Yes, the chocolate factory is still humming while the café is closed, which means you can sneak some small-batch nibbles into that order as well.

That’s not all, coffee aficionados. Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters, pinkelephantcoffee.com, (yum…Roam Roast) and new-ish Coffee Chicks Co., thechickscompany.com, are keeping the online orders going. Get your STOKED, stokedroasters.com, on(line) as well. And even though Campos, us.camposcoffee.com, is closed for the season, you can still say g’day to the slopeside café’s brews (roasted in Salt Lake City) via Internet order.

BYOB (Be Your Own Barista) Tips:

Ritual: Making Ritual hot chocolate is a simple affair. Simply place desired amount of sipping cocoa in your cup, boil water in a teakettle or saucepan, pour and whisk. As Ritual’s Anna Davies says, be sure to “slow down” and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.

Hugo's: If you have a French press, use coarsely ground beans, very hot water, and steep at least five minutes before plunging. No French press? Consider Hugo’s cold brew, pre-packed in 4-ounce bamboo (and compostable) bags, which you simply dunk into a pitcher of cold water and allow to brew for 12 to 24 hours. Voilà.

Park City Coffee Roaster: “The best thing about staying at home for so long is that you can try different methods of brewing to see what type of coffee presentation you like best,” says co-owner Rob Hibl. Try everything from the typical espresso to French press to cowboy-style brewing (think tin pot over a campfire, but a stove will do). Hibl’s favorite? The Chemex-style brewing method, “because it brings out all our distinct flavors and attributes."

Tired of cooking, the Park City Area Restaurant Association has shared the following restaurants that are offering curbside takeout or drive-thru service. Menus and ordering information can be found at respective businesses websites. Additional offerings or changes will be updated as available.

11 Hauz: Open for normal business hours.  (435) 200-8972.

501 on Main is open for curbside pickup from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with a limited menu available online. Customers can call 435-645-0700or email Carryout@501onmain.com to place orders.

Alberto’s remains open for drive-thru service.

Allroa Catering is offering a variety of comforting meals for you and your family. View Menu & Delivery Instructions / (801) 558-9495

Bangkok Thai on Main: Saturday through Sunday, 4:30 - 9pm. Orders will be taken until 8:30pm. Call (435) 649-8424.

Cafe Rio:  Sunday – Thursday 11am -8pm; Friday – Saturday 11am- 9pm  (435) 200-6200.

Clockwork Deli/Cafe is offering curbside delivery for coffee, lattes, sandwiches, wraps, soups & salads. They can be reached at 435-649-0576 or 435-901-3027.

Cortona Italian Cafe is open for curbside pickup and can be reached at 435-608-1373.

Davanza's Pizza: Open daily at 11am - 9pm. (435) 649-2222.

Del Taco in Kimball Junction’s drive-thru is open 8am-11pm daily.

Domino’s Pizza is open for delivery and curbside pickup at both its Park City and Kimball Junction locations. Order online, call Park City at 435-649-7788 or Kimball Junction at 435-800-1299.

Eating Establishment: Offering curbside service daily 10am – 6pm. Place orders by calling 435-649-8284.

Einstein Bros Bagels: 6am - 3pm (435) 645-8489.

Element Kitchen & Bakery: Tuesday - Saturday 5-8:30 p.m. Packaged bakery, grab and go and convenience items will be available in-store. You can call to order curbside pick up for hot take out. Place your order by calling (435) 731-8383. Free delivery for those who really need it (elderly or immunocompromised).

Escala Provisions Company Bar & Restaurant is open for curbside pickup and can be reached at 435-615-4240.

Este Pizza: Normal business hours. Este is also offering delivery service. (435) 731-8970.

Fairweather Natural Foods: Grocery open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Cafe open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for take out ordered only taken via phone.  (435) 649-4561.

Freshies: Normal business hours. Place orders by calling (435) 631-9861.

Fuego:  Lunch from 11:30am -2pm, Dinner 5pm-9pm.  (435) 645-8646

Great Harvest Bread Co: Monday - Saturday 7am - 7pm. (435) 655-7244.

Harvest Park City: 8am - 3pm. (435) 604-0463.

Hearth and Hill: Noon to 8 p.m. daily. Ordering can be done through their website or by calling (435) 200-8840.

Kneaders Bakery & Cafe is open for curbside pickup and can be reached at 435-776-3010.

Loco Lizard Cantina is available for curbside pickup and delivery on large orders and can be reached at 435-645-7000.

Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery will be open from 4-9 p.m. and available for curbside pickup and delivery throughout Park City. They can be reached at  (435) 647-0304.

The Mustang is offering curbside pickup and delivery (with a 20% gratuity) as well as a free roll of bathroom tissue with each entree. They can be reached at 435-658-3975.

O’Shucks Bar & Grill will offer curbside to-go service daily from noon to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 435-645-3999.

Park City Chinese and Thai remains open for curbside pickup and delivery and can be reached at 435-649-4000.

Park City Coffee Roasters: Daily 6am - 6pm (435) 647-9097.

Red Banjo Pizza: Open daily 12-8pm. Place orders by calling (435) 649-9901.

Red Rock Junction: Open from noon to 7 p.m. (435) 575-0295.

Ritual Chocolate: Open 8am - 5 pm. (435) 200-8475.

Riverhorse Provisions: Open daily 7:30am - 8pm. All pickup orders available during regular business hours. Delivery orders are available from 11am - 7 pm. (435) 649-0799

Ruth's Chris: Nightly 4pm – 9pm.  (435) 940-5070.

Sammy's Bistro: Open Noon to 8:30pm daily. (435) 214-7570.

Savoury Kitchen: Offering meal drop-off, pick-up and grocery delivery. (435) 608-1408.

Slapfish Restaurant is open for curbside pickup 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. They can be reached at 435-575-0922.

State Road Tavern at Dejoria Center: Open daily 11am - 7pm. (435) 783-3530 or order online at: https://www.stateroadtavern.com

Stoked Roasters & Coffee House: Open 7:30am - 5pm. (435) 602-3721.

Summit Inn Pizza & Ice Cream Co: Open 11am - 9pm., with curbside and delivery. (435) 783-4453

Tekila: Normal business hours. Also offering delivery service. (435) 649-3097.

Teriyaki Grill:  (435) 615-1110.

Thai So Good: Open during normal business hours. (435) 565-6989.

tupelo: Pre-order by 2 p.m. on Thursdays for curbside pick-up on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. 435 615-7700

Vessell Kitchen: Normal business hours. (435) 200-8864.

Versante: Daily 4-9pm. Versante is offering 50 percent off to all healthcare professionals. (435) 604-4012.

Wasatch Bagel(435) 645-7778.

Stay well, Ramon and Judy

TV, Movies And Broadway

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 15, 2020

Judy and I have kept a full schedule the last few weeks completing chores around the house and now we are ready to put our feet up and catch up on a few shows. Well, after I finish shoveling the snow Park City received last night from our walkway of course. Salt Lake City, Utah (KUTV) shares that HBO is providing people who are stuck inside their homes during the coronavirus pandemic a little entertainment. The network is offering 500 hours of its programming free of charge, according to Variety. Every episode of nine HBO series, including “The Sopranos,” “Veep,” “Succession,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire,” “Ballers,” “Barry,” “Silicon Valley” and “True Blood," will be available.

Amazon Prime Video is streaming kids’ movies and TV for free, no Prime membership required. Amazon is making a selection of family-friendly and programming for kids available for free streaming on Prime Video as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. The content is available to all Amazon customers, and includes a mix of Amazon Original kid and family shows as well as select third-party family movies and TV series licensed from studio partners. The majority of the content, at present, is aimed at the preschool crowd up to younger school-agers.

Last week, Sling TV launched free streaming that included news and entertainment, as well as kids’ TV. Hulu added free live TV news to its on-demand service on Friday. NBCU recently said it was bringing “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man” and “Emma,” to home viewers. Disney, meanwhile, is making its own movies available early as well, including through its streaming service, Disney+, where both “Frozen II” and “Onward” are arriving ahead of schedule. Amazon says the new free programs will be available on the Prime Video app, which is a free download on compatible smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, game consoles, Chromecast or via Prime Video on the web.

Playbill shares 15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home By Logan Culwell-Block - From Newsies to Sweeney Todd, more and more, live musicals are being filmed for PBS or streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BroadwayHD and more. Productions of Off-Broadway’s Puffs to Broadway’s Indecent to the West End’s An American in Paris, new captures of stage productions regularly become available.

Rent - Jonathan Larson’s Rent updates the story of Puccini’s La Boheme, setting it in New York City's East Village. Though it was adapted into a motion picture in 2005 featuring much of the original Broadway cast, the final performance of the Broadway production was captured and shown in movie theatres as well, later released on DVD and Blu-ray. Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube, iTunes, Google Play as well as on DVD/Blu-ray from Amazon.

Cats - Once Broadway’s longest-running musical, everybody has an opinion on this Andrew Lloyd Webber show, but what can’t be denied is that Cats is like almost no other musical to ever play the Main Stem. Cats wasn’t filmed on Broadway, but the original production was captured on a stage in London in 1998, with original West End star Elaine Paige no less. Available to stream on BroadwayHD, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play and on DVD from Amazon.

Company Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company broke all the rules when it opened on Broadway in 1970. Instead of offering a linear plot, Company explored the concept of marriage through a series of scenes between Bobby, a 35-year-old bachelor, and a variety of his married friends. The original production was never filmed for home release—though there is a fascinating documentary (Original Cast Album: Company) that captures the original cast album’s recording session—but a 2006 Broadway revival directed by John Doyle and starring Raúl Esparza was filmed for broadcast on PBS. There’s also a New York Philharmonic concert staging available that features an all-star cast, including Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, and more. The 2006 Broadway revival production is available on DVD. The 2011 concert production is available on DVD. Original Cast Album: Co-op is available on Amazon Prime, Netflix and IFC.com.

Falsettos - William Finn and James Lapine’s 1992 musical Falsettos is actually a combination of two earlier one-act musicals, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland. Lincoln Center Theater’s 2016 Broadway revival featured a cast made up of Broadway favorites, including Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells, Brandon Uranowitz, Stephanie J. Block, Tracie Thoms, and Betsy Wolfe. It was also filmed for television broadcast—part of Live From Lincoln Center—but it ultimately found its way to movie theatres, and is now available for streaming online. Available to stream on BroadwayHD.

Sunday in the Park with George - Though revived in 2017 to acclaim in a production starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, the original production of Sunday in the Park with George remains a particular favorite among theatre fans. Available to stream on Hoopla and for rent or purchase on iTunes. Available on DVD from Amazon.

Nicholas Nickleby- The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby brought Charles Dickens’ novel—about a young man who has to support his mother and sister following the death of his father—to the stage, and it wasn’t an experience for the faint of heart. Nicholas Nickleby did later transfer to Broadway with the London cast, winning 1982 Tony Awards for Best Play and Leading Actor in a Play for Roger Rees. The filmed version of Nicholas Nickleby actually happened shortly before the work’s Broadway transfer, but didn’t receive its inaugural television broadcast until 1983. Given the play’s immense length, home viewing might be the best way to watch; you can take an intermission whenever you like. Available for streaming on BroadwayHD and DVD.

Billy Elliot The Musical - Elton John and Lee Hall’s Billy Elliot The Musical tells the story of a little boy in a small British town who prefers ballet to boxing, much to the dismay of his conservative working-class community. When it opened on London’s West End in 2005, it became an immediate hit winning four Olivier Awards. The production’s Broadway transfer was equally successful, winning 10 Tony Awards, including a history-making joint win for all three young actors who shared the title role. Available on YouTube, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and DVD.

Elaine Stritch At Liberty - Elaine Stritch was nearly as famous for her onstage performances as she was for her offstage persona—and her storytelling. Elaine Stritch At Liberty wasn’t filmed on Broadway, but when Stritch took the show to London’s West End, cameras captured a performance for release on DVD. Available to stream on BroadwayHD.

Into the Woods - Before it was a hit movie starring Meryl Streep and James Corden, Into the Woods was one of Sondheim’s most successful Broadway shows. It’s still one of the most-produced works at schools and regional theatres across the country. This mash-up of fairytales that dares to go beyond “happily ever after” is one of Sondheim’s most accessible works, and has certainly been the Sondheim entry point for more than a few theatre fans, largely due to the video of the original Broadway production with the original Broadway cast, including Bernadette Peters and Joanna Gleason in her Tony-winning performance. Available to stream on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, iTunes and DVD on Amazon.

Kiss Me, Kate - With a classic Cole Porter score that includes such tunes as “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” “So in Love,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Always True to You in My Fashion,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” Kiss Me, Kate became an almost-instant classic when it debuted on Broadway in 1948. The 1999 Broadway production won the Tony Award for Best Revival. The 2003 production is available to stream on BroadwayHD, Google Play and on DVD from Amazon. You can also stream the original 1953 movie musical directed by George Sidney, starring Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller (and a young Bob Fosse) on Amazon Prime.

Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie’s classic story of the flying boy who never grows up has been one of the most frequently adapted stories out there since it premiered in 1904. Though there have been several musical adaptations of the story, it is the 1954 musical with a score by Moose Charlap, Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Carolyn Leigh that tends to be the best known amongst theatre fans. The 2000 revival is available to stream on BroadwayHD and Amazon Prime. The 1955 and 1956 black and white broadcasts are available on Blu-ray from Amazon or streaming on Amazon Prime. The 1956 black and white broadcast is available on DVD from Amazon. The 1960 color broadcast is available on DVD from Amazon.

Present Laughter - Kevin Kline earned his third Tony Award playing Garry Essendine in a revival of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, which follows a few days in the life of a highly successful and egotistical actor. Appearing alongside Kline in this most recent production were an all-star cast that included Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen, and Cobie Smulders. This 2017 production was filmed on stage before the curtain fell for the final time. Available to stream on PBS Passport and BroadwayHD.

Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd is regarded by many as a masterpiece, and with good reason; the original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Score. The original Broadway production, directed by Harold Prince, was filmed during its national tour. Though the complete original cast was not captured, the recording does feature Angela Lansbury (in her Tony-winning performance), Ken Jennings, and Edmund Lyndeck. Broadway replacement George Hearn stars in the title role. Available to stream on Amazon Prime, iTunes and on DVD from Amazon.

She Loves Me - the 1963 musical about two co-workers who hate each other while unknowingly being romantic pen pal partners. The score contains such favorites as “Tonight at Eight,” “Will He Like Me?,” “Dear Friend,” “Vanilla Ice Cream,” and “She Loves Me.” The 2016 Broadway revival from Roundabout Theatre Company boasted a cast that included film and TV star Zachary Levi, Laura Benanti, Jane Krakowski, and Gavin Creel. It was this production that made theatre history when it became the first Broadway show to be live-streamed, and only the second to be broadcast live (following Carol Channing in Show Girl in 1961, which was broadcast live on pay-per-view TV in Canada). Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, PBS Passport, and BroadwayHD.

Newsies - Based on the 1992 film of the same name, Disney’s Newsies tells the story of the real-life New York City newsboys strike of 1899. With a score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, the movie had long been a cult favorite, so when Disney decided to bring it to the stage with an expanded score, excitement was high. Luckily, Newsies met the hype and became a big hit on Broadway.

Stay Well, Ramon & Judy

Staying Safe

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 07, 2020

On Monday March 29th, Real Estate was deemed essential and we can continue to market and sell Real Estate with COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.

Intermountain Healthcare has opened 20 new COVID-19 Testing Sites. When should you visit a testing site? Well, understanding the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is an important first step to finding the right point of care. If you have very mild cold or flu-like symptoms, please stay home, self-isolate, and rest.

When to Stay at home: If your symptoms are not apparent or mild, which is most cases, stay at home and recover. Rest, drink fluid, stay six-feet away from others, and wash your hands and surfaces often.

Use Intermountain’s Symptom Checker: If symptoms are mild to moderate use our symptom checker or call the COVID-19 Hotline at 844-442-5224 to determine your risk and refer you to the right services for care.

Visit a Testing Site: If your symptoms are mild to severe visit one of Intermountain’s 20 testing sites locations in your community. Please don’t visit a testing site if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.

Do you have extra goggles? Goggles for Docs is an effort to get used or new ski goggles into the hands of healthcare workers who currently have no eye protection as they treat COVID-19 patients. If you are a skier/rider, shop, or manufacturer and have goggles to donate, use the link below to find hospitals to send your goggles to. gogglesfordocs.com

Looking for something new - the team at Apartment Therapy shares how You Can Virtually Hike Grand Canyon National Park and See the Colorful Rock Layers Up Close.

If you’re yearning for the great outdoors and want to be transported to another land, you’re in luck. Anyone with an electronic device can virtually travel to one of the most iconic national parks across the country: the Grand Canyon.

Thanks to Google Earth, users can enter the Grand Canyon National Park with the click of a button. You get to visit 18 stops throughout the grand tour, letting you witness the hanging cliffs, canyon walls, and panoramic views that the park is famously known for.

And there are many more stops where that came from (15, to be exact). Each one reveals a new perspective of the rock formations, plus a few attractions that you might not have known existed. Check out a 800-year-old ruins of an Ancestral Puebloan village, and walk across a suspension bridge that extends over Colorado River.

In addition to the Grand Canyon, Google Earth also offers tours of 30 other national parks across the U.S., from Yosemite to Badlands and Joshua Tree. So once you’re done with the Grand Canyon, there’s still plenty of exploring left to do.

Spring Cleaning

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 01, 2020

This week we thought we would utilize our additional time at home and share 7 Pro Organizers Reveal Their Biggest Organizing “Don’ts”. Organizing and decluttering can help you end up with the most functional, beautiful space you can, but it also saves you time, energy, money, and stress in the long run.

Don’t delay - The quickest way to declutter is to actually physically DO IT. Don’t buy a bunch of organizing products before you start decluttering. Our inner clutter about our outer clutter holds us back more than we know. Think of decluttering as a practice that brings peace, instead of a chore that brings fear. Do use labels, they don’t have to be pretty, but they do have to be legible.

Don’t try to organize clutter - You shouldn’t start organizing until you declutter. If you don’t value it, get rid of it. Whether it’s in drawers, cabinets, or on shelves, use appropriate containers to hold your items so that they don’t all get mixed up and disorganized.

Don’t try and tackle too much at once - Instead of working on the entire room start with a box, drawer, or a shelf. Once a week file, scan or shred documents. Put clothes, shoes, jewelry that you have worn throughout the week away. When you do the laundry schedule enough time to actually put it away. If you can devote one hour a week that is 52 hours dedicated to staying organized.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not - Don’t buy any organizational tools before you declutter. You probably already have most of what you need to organize your home. Try using things like old box tops and clean peanut butter jars for organizing. Don’t keep something just because it cost a lot of money. It’s the sunk-cost fallacy and it’s keeping you stuck. Everyone buys things they don’t need and everyone’s house gets messy from time to time.

Don’t keep something for the person you aspire to be. A lot of people keep jeans because they hope to fit in them someday. Don’t do this! Guilt is a terrible motivator. Donate the jeans, work on feeling better about your current body and move on. And don’t keep something because it was a gift from someone. The gesture was the gift. If you don’t like the object, sell it or donate it without guilt. Everyone buys things they don’t need and everyone’s house gets messy from time to time. Decluttering and organizing is an opportunity to reflect on your habits and create a happier home. There’s no need to beat up on yourself for having four can openers or clothes with tags still on in the closet.

Don’t hold on to something “just in case” - It’s easy to get into a spiral of keeping things just for the sake of keeping them, when six months down the road, you end up getting rid of it anyways. And after you accomplish an organizing or decluttering task, don’t forget to celebrate. So often when we organize, we finish and then look for the next thing that needs to be tackled. What you’ve just accomplished is a big deal and deserves to be enjoyed.

Don’t disrespect the limitations of your space - Respect the limitations of your space, give everything a home, store like with like, and buy less.

Don’t go out and buy containers first - When you start an organizing project do not start by buying containers, you could actually be ADDING to the clutter. Buying product is the last step of the process after things have been sorted and minimized, often we can repurpose containers we already have. Prioritize getting organized. Consolidating like items and then letting go of things you no longer need is the biggest part of getting organized.

In an effort to minimize travel, ordering food online can be a good option. Here are 9 Grocery Delivery Services to Bring Fresh Food to Your Door. Grocery shopping is one stress point for many of us and for many immunocompromised people, visiting the grocery store is not a viable option at all. Sites including Instacart, Shipt, and Amazon are options, but there are other services out there too, some of them with unique features and benefits. Here are some favorites from the team at Apartment Therapy.

1. Misfits Market sources “misfit”produce (wonky-shaped fruits and vegetables) from certified organic farms and ships them in boxes to zip codes in around two dozen states. The produce subscription boxes come in two different sizes — Mischief and Madness — which contain a mix of 12 to 14 different types of fruits and veggies, respectively. For more information: Misfits Market

2. Hungryroot is a weekly subscription service that sends groceries to your door (all across the continental U.S.) based on pre-set personal preferences (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc!). The company recently announced heightened food safety standards and increased sanitation measures. For more information: Hungryroot

3. Farmbox Direct - Serving the entire continental US, Farmbox Direct is a produce delivery service whose offerings change weekly, depending on what is “fresh, local, and in-season.” Customers appreciate the control that comes with this service, as you can choose five fruit and veggie substitutions per delivery. For more information: Farmbox Direct

4. Imperfect Foods - Similar to Misfits Market, Imperfect Foods has made it its goal to provide less-than-perfect produce to consumers at a discounted price to reduce food waste and change customer perceptions. Imperfect Foods currently delivers to most of the West South Central region, Midwest, Northeast and all along the West Coast. Check here for to see if they serve your area. For more information: Imperfect Foods

5. Hungry Harvest is a food-rescue minded company that ships affordable produce and elected add-ons to MD, Washington, D.C, VA, and parts of PA, NJ, DE, FL, NC, and Detroit. Based on where you live, how often you cook, your produce preferences, and how many people you’re feeding, you can choose a Harvest Box that works for you. For more information: Hungry Harvest

6. Boxed is an online bulk delivery service that ships everywhere in the continental U.S. They offer cleaning products, snacks, drinks, canned goods, spices, cereals, and much more. For more information: Boxed

7. Moink provides customizable meat subscription boxes, filled with beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and wild-caught salmon. You can elect for your box to be sent in 3, 4, 6, or 8 week intervals. The ethical meat is sourced from family farms. For more information: Moink Box

8. Butcher Box allows you to order curated mixes of high-quality beef, chicken, or pork — or you can customize your own box. For more information: Butcher Box

9. Thrive Market offers pantry staples like wine, meat and seafood, beauty products, and much more.  For more information: Thrive Market

Stay well, Ramon & Judy

Snow Day

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 25, 2020

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Judy, Zorro and I continue to practice social distancing as we take time each day for our family walks. This photo was taken the other day in Sugar House and now as I am enjoying my coffee there is almost a foot of fresh snow. This week we are sharing more fun activities to do at home and wish you all the best.

The team at Apartment Therapy have shared a new article, The Very Best Board Games for Families, Adults, Couples, or Anyone, Judy and I will be playing Monopoly later today. Board games and puzzles are experiencing a renaissance as the world is in quarantine as they invite creative and strategic thinking, teamwork and cooperation, and of course, an opportunity to sit down and connect with the people in your home.

Popular Board Games

Catan - In a competition for Victory Points, players control their own civilization and try to spread across a modular hex board as they gain and trade natural resources like wheat, brick, sheep, ore, and lumber. But watch out: Another player might cut off your road, and you never know when the robber might steal some of your gains. “Settlers of Catan, now simply called Catan, is a great family game, and it offers a wide range of expansions and spin-offs,” says Greg May, the owner and founder of The Uncommons.

Ticket To Ride challenges players to build railroad routes across a map (America or Europe traditionally, though others are available) as they collect train cards and routes. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins! While the object is to earn as many points as possible by completing the longest routes, additional points come to those who fulfill their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities and to the player who builds the longest continuous railroad.

Carcassonne - Inspired by the French medieval fortress of the same name, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game where players fill in the countryside around the fortified city. Players choose from tiles that depict cities, roads, monasteries, and fields, and each new tile creates an ever-expanding board on which players can add their followers, scoring points by having followers on features as they’re completed. Make the most strategic placements of tiles and followers, and you’ll win the game!

Taboo - The object of Taboo, a fast-paced race against the timer, is simple: Get your team to say the “guess” word without using any of the Taboo words for clues. To add to the fun (and keep you honest), an opponent watches over your shoulder and will buzz you if you slip up. Laura Schocker, Apartment Therapy’s Editor-in-Chief and board game enthusiast, has loved this one since college. “Taboo is my jam — it’s a fun party game and ice breaker,” she says.

Trivial Pursuit - players move around the game board as they answer questions from six categories: geography, history, art and literature, science and nature, and sports and leisure. When you land on a “category headquarters” space, your correct answer will earn you a colored wedge. The first one to collect 6 different wedges wins — only, of course, after correctly answering one final question!

Monopoly - Another one of Schocker’s all-time favorites: Monopoly. To get “rich” and bankrupt your opponents, collect property colors sets to build houses and, if you’re lucky, even upgrade to a hotel. The more properties you own, the more rent you can charge other players who land there.

Azul - An award-winning tile-placement game in which players compete for the highest score by claiming and arranging tiles on their board, Azul is equal parts competitive and aesthetically pleasing. Take turns making your board beautiful and your opponents despair! “Surprisingly brutal for an abstract strategy game with no combat, this gem won awards for a reason,” says Jordan Nelsen, librarian at Kingmakers Board Game Parlour in Columbus, Ohio.

Villainous - Become your favorite Disney villain and plan schemes methodically to rid the land of Disney protagonists before other players. Once you choose your villain, you’ll play within your own story, but you’ll also interact with other players (and thwart your opponents from reaching their own objectives!). “Villainous is a very thematic, mean, and fun game, though it’s more complex than most think when they first discover it,” says Nelsen.

Quick and Simple Board Games

Ghost Blitz - players compete to grab items off the table: a white ghost, a green bottle, a gray mouse, a blue book, and a red chair. Each card in the deck shows pictures of two objects, with one or both objects colored the wrong way. With all players playing at the same time, someone reveals a card, then players try to grab the right object. If one object is colored correctly — say, a green bottle and a red mouse — then players need to grab that correctly colored object. If both objects are colored incorrectly, then players look for the object and color not represented. The first player to grab the correct object keeps the card, and whoever collects the most cards wins. “A speed puzzle game that can be learned in less than a minute, Ghost Blitz can be played as long as you want,” says Nelsen.

Skull - in this surprisingly gorgeous bluffing game, players hold three rose cards and one skull, then add a card to the pile in front of them and announce a challenge and declare how many cards they will flip. Cards that show a rose are safe, but if you expose your opponent’s hidden skull, you lose one of your own cards. Any player who wins two “bets” wins the game! Nelsen loves game for the high stakes: “Saturated with bluffing and bidding, you’ll test your tolerance for risk every round,” he says. “Win or lose, it’s such fun to watch the tension and drama play out in this quick-to-learn game.”

Jenga - is about as simple (and adrenaline-inducing!) as it gets: Remove a block from the tower without toppling the whole thing over. The plain blocks are great for writing messages, too: Schocker used hers as a “guest book” at her wedding for people to sign. “And when I find a marked-up set in a bar I always try to add a feminist message to the mix for the next person to find (like “Ask for a raise on Monday!”)” she says.

Tenzi - The basic object of Tenzi is to roll your 10 dice as quickly as you can to get them all to land on the same number. If you’re looking for a new spin on the easy-to-learn game, try it with the “77 Ways to Play Tenzi” expansion pack, where you flip a card that adds a twist to each round, like making a funny sound after every roll. The game is recommended for ages seven and up, but if you’re over 21, Schocker says it’s even better with an over-21 beverage.

Sushi Go - For a fast-paced, competitive game, try a “pick and pass” card game like Sushi Go, which May says can be played in around 15 minutes. The goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they pass by, scoring points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a full set of sashimi — but be sure to leave room for dessert, or you’ll end up losing points! While the game is fun for anyone, May says the approachable, appealing artwork makes Sushi Go a great pick for beginners.

Spot It- The premise of Spot It is pretty basic: Each card features a number of symbols, and each card has exactly one symbol in common with every other card in the deck. If you spot the common symbol first, you win the round. The game lasts about 15 minutes, but each round can be different if you play one of the five mini-games within the set. Dexterity card games like Spot It don’t just challenge your reflexes; May likes them because they’re also portable and inexpensive, making them great for travel or gifting. Plus, the game is based on visual perception, so no language skills are needed!

2-Player Board Games

Patchwork - In this abstract strategy game, players use buttons as currency to purchase patches as they compete to create the best, most beautiful, and high-scoring patchwork quilt on a personal game board. More than 500 Amazon reviewers give Patchwork close to a five-star rating — and if you like puzzle games like Tetris or have a thing for quilting, Nelsen says you’ll probably enjoy this thoughtful and fun two-player game, too.

Santorini - The first player to build a 3-story structure wins Santorini, a strategy and building game ideal for both kids and adults. To start, players use their blocks and builder pieces to move into neighboring spaces on the board. But there’s a twist: Santorini requires increases in difficulty with the addition of extra powers via “god” cards. With thousands of possibilities and unlimited replay value, each round of Santorini brings a new challenge, which is one of the reasons Nelsen is a fan. “Santorini is a quick-to-learn strategy game that can be played over and over again,” says Nelsen. “Think tic-tac-toe, but actually interesting, fun, and deep, combined with Greek legends.”

Scrabble - the classic crossword game, challenges opponents to use their letters to form high-point words on the board. To load up on even more points, place letters on high-scoring premium squares. The key is to know the rules and a few tricks for gaining more points — and, of course, keep a dictionary on hand for disputed words. At the end of the game, the player with the highest score wins. “Of course, Scrabble is a classic, but it’s one of my favorite date nights: at home on a stormy weekend or even out at a bar (I’m so much fun!),” says Schocker.

Connect 4 - Sure, it’s a great family game, but Connect 4 isn’t just for kids! Taking Tic Tac Toe to the next level, Connect 4 challenges players to be the first to get “four in a row” by dropping colored disks into the grid. Things heat up when you block your opponent if they get too close to a Connect 4! “This game is total mindless fun,” says Schocker. “Every time I think I nail a good strategy, the next round ends in a stalemate!”

Jaipur - players take on the roles of two of the city’s most powerful traders seeking to earn their invitation to the maharaja’s court. A blend of strategy and luck, Jaipur is a fast-paced card game that’s equally deep and easy to learn. May says he often recommends the brand new edition of Jaipur to couples on dates or pals looking for a friendly spar!

Quoridor may look fancy, but the goal of the game — which May says he recommends frequently — is simple: try to reach your opponent’s side of the board with your pawn. On your turn, you either can move your pawn or place a wall to slow down your opponent. Quoridor is similar to chess since players move pawn-shaped pieces across the board, but the wooden fences spice things up, forcing players to think strategically.

Hive - the object of Hive is to totally surround your opponent’s Queen Bee with insect-themed pieces (which May says move differently, depending on the insect!) while at the same time trying to stop your opponent from doing the same to you. The first player to surround their opponent’s Queen Bee wins! Since Hive is an abstract game that doesn’t have a board, you can take it anywhere.

Lords of Waterdeep - as one of the mask Lords of Waterdeep, the secret rules of the city, players recruit adventurers to go on quests that can earn rewards and increase their influence over the city. The goal is to expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and either hinder or help the other lords by playing Intrigue cards. “Fans of D&D will recognize the setting and appreciate the theme woven into the game, but any gamer looking for a mid-level strategy game will have a blast with this gem,” says Nelsen.

Small World - a “social war game” in which players vie for conquest and control of a board that’s too small to accommodate everyone. As they pick the right combination of fantasy races and special powers, players must rush to expand their empires at the expense of their opponents. The game requires more than just strategy: Players must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory.

Spirit Island - in this complex, cooperate game, players use their unique spiritual powers to defend their island home from colonizing invaders. Win the game after you work together with other players to destroy all the settlements and cities on the board! “Each player has unique abilities and challenges, and you must trust one another to do their part to succeed.”

Biblios - the point of this game is to take on the role of abbott in a medieval monastery and create the most impressive library collection through two phases: an acquisition round and an auction round. Schocker is a big fan because it can be played just as easily with two players as four. It’s also fast — average play time is around 30 minutes — which is conducive to multiple games!

Clans of Caledonia - is an economic market game set in 19th-century Scotland. Every player becomes a clan at the outset of the game, which sets them up with certain advantages throughout the five rounds of play. If you can maximize your advantages, you get more points (and hopefully win). This game started out as a 2017 kickstarter, and was funded within three hours. “It’s a little complicated to learn the rules, but once you master them, it’s a fun Settlers alternative,” says Schocker.

Board Games for Kids and Families

Celestia - 2-4 players board an aircraft with a team of adventurers to perform many trips through the cities of Celestia, attempting to be the richest adventurer by collecting the most precious treasures. At the beginning of each round, the trip captain rolls dice to discover challenges and must then play the appropriate cards to continue on the journey and reach the next city. As soon as a player earns treasure worth at least fifty points, the game ends and this player wins.

Dixit - an imaginative storytelling game, Dixit challenges players to use the images on their cards to bluff their opponents and guess which image matches the story. Every turn, the storyteller calls out a short phrase or word to match their card. Each player will choose the card that most closely matches that phrase, and then everyone must guess which card the storyteller saw when he invented his brief tale. Correctly guess the storyteller’s card, and you’ll move ahead. The greatest total wins the game!

Sorry! - in this classic family game of strategy and chance, each player gets four pawns to move around the gameboard. Players need to pick a 1 or a 2 card to get a pawn out of the starting area, and then challenge opponents in this classic game of sweet revenge! Be the first player to get all four pawns to home base to win.

Scattergories - if you can think fast under pressure, you’ll love Scattergories, where each player tries to complete a list of prompts (like “things found in the kitchen”) based on a specific letter rolled during the round (L is for “lettuce.”)

Apples to Apples - each player gets seven “Things” cards to pair up with the Judge’s “Description” card. In each round, the judge reads the description — say it’s “Evil” — and every player lays down the card from their hand that matches that description. The judge chooses their favorite “thing” card, and at the end, the player who won the most rounds wins! Apples to Apples can be silly, but Schocker says it’s especially fun because it’s a great test of how well you can read people. Will the judge choose something funny? Weird? On the nose?

Looking to kick up your feet, the Discover Blog has shared 8 Amazing Nature Documentaries to Stream Now. One of the most powerful ways to increase awareness of our planet and inspire us to get involved in efforts to protect it is through nature documentaries. From footage of polar bears roaming the arctic tundra to blue whales migrating across our vast oceans, these films inspire us, challenge us to think with compassion, respect our planet, and be an agent for change. Grab some popcorn, get comfy, and enjoy these eight amazing nature documentaries you can stream now.

"Our Planet" (2019): Netflix Running Time: 8 Episodes (48–53 minutes each)

Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, Salma Hayek, and Penélope Cruz, "Our Planet" was shot in Ultra HD in over 50 countries. It will open your eyes to see just how connected we all are. This series showcases how beautiful — but also how fragile — our natural world really is. The filmmakers worked closely with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to raise awareness about climate change and conservation efforts to fix these issues before it’s too late.

"Planet Earth II" (2016): Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes

Running Time: 6 episodes (50 minutes each)

If you enjoyed BBC’s "Planet Earth," its sequel will take you on an entirely new journey. Ten years after the award-winning original, "Planet Earth II" takes you to new places (and some familiar ones) to show you some of the most amazing survival stories ever witnessed. Filmed from the viewpoint of the animals, this series takes you closer to nature than ever before and offers an intimate look at the lives of some incredible species. "Planet Earth II" also examines how city-dwelling animals thrive on the margins of urban life. Learn about the leopards of Mumbai, India and the hyenas of Harar, Ethiopia as they try to coexist in the human world.

"Blue Planet II" (2017): Amazon, Google Play, iTunes

Running Time: 7 episodes (50 minutes each)

Iconic narrator Sir David Attenborough returns to the seas to take viewers on an unforgettable voyage into the seemingly endless depths of our oceans. "Blue Planet II" is the sequel to the award-winning series "Blue Planet" and takes a serious look at how humans have negatively impacted our oceans through pollution and climate change. Cutting-edge technology allows us to explore the largest ecosystem on the planet — the ocean. "Blue Planet II" also features a fantastic soundtrack developed by Hans Zimmer and Radiohead.

"Free Solo" (2018): Hulu, Disney+  Running Time: 100 minutes

If you didn’t get a chance to see this thrilling documentary in theaters, you can now stream "Free Solo" on Hulu. "Free Solo" took home the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and has wowed audiences all over the planet. The film is a stunning and intimate look at solo climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream of climbing the face of the treacherous El Capitan at Yosemite National Park — without the help of a rope. While less nature-focused than some of the other entries on this list, "Free Solo" is a triumph of the human spirit set in some of the most fantastic landscapes on Earth.

"Night on Earth" (2020): Netflix

Running Time: 6 Episodes (41–53 minutes each)

Samira Wiley narrates "Night on Earth," a groundbreaking nature series that shines light on a world that was once hidden by the veil of night. Take an unprecedented peek into the hidden lives of nature’s nocturnal creatures. From lions on the hunt in Africa to the remarkable creatures and insects that call the jungle canopy home, remarkable video technology allows viewers see what animals are up to after hours. Each episode of "Night on Earth" explores a different habitat and shows us how surviving in the dark shapes animals in different ways.

"Ice on Fire" (2019): HBO  Running Time: 1 hour and 38 minutes

Produced and narrated by environmentalist and Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, "Ice on Fire" is a must-see documentary that sends an urgent warning to all of us on the consequences of climate change. The film explores the possibility of a catastrophic life-altering event caused by arctic methane release and warns us to follow proven, safe, and cutting-edge solutions designed to slow down our accelerating environmental crisis. "Ice on Fire" explores pioneering research behind today’s climate science and the innovations designed to reduce carbon in our atmosphere. These efforts will help pave the way for a decline in the rise of global temperatures and benefit all life on our planet.

"Seven Worlds, One Planet" (2019): Amazon, BBC America

Running Time: 7 Episodes (60 minutes each)

Sir David Attenborough's "Seven Worlds, One Planet" is a sweeping documentary that focuses on the ecosystems on each of the seven continents and how they shape animal behavior and biodiversity. This eye-opening series will take you on a journey through a planet you thought you knew. Using drone footage and hidden cameras, you’ll get to explore 41 countries and witness diverse climates and animal life. From puma mothers prowling for prey in Patagonia to elusive monkeys roaming the mountain forests of China, "Seven Worlds, One Planet" will leave you with a whole new perspective on the world in which we share with our wildlife friends.

"The Ivory Game" (2016): Netflix Running Time: 1 hour and 52 minutes

Executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio introduces a moving documentary that sheds light on the horrific practice of elephant tusk poaching. Ivory is a prized status symbol in some cultures and "The Ivory Game" uncovers the deep-rooted corruption at the heart of the global ivory trafficking crisis. Efforts to stop the madness are working. Since its release, some of the poachers from the documentary have been caught and sent to prison. However, as long as ivory is considered valuable, vulnerable wildlife and a fragile ecosystem are going to be at risk of extinction. "The Ivory Game" calls us to help save the beloved African elephant.

Family Time

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 17, 2020

Judy and I are grateful to be a part of the Park City community. We hope everyone is OK in Utah after this morning's 5.7 earthquake. During this time our thoughts and well wishes are with you all. Now that the children are home and the ski resorts are closed we thought we would offer some ideas and activities to brighten your day.

While nothing can replace the experience of going to a museum and observing art face-to-face, technology has given us an alternative way to get our cultural fix without leaving home as Google Lets You Visit the World’s Most Famous Museums From the Comfort of Your Couch. Google Arts & Culture, a digital platform that connects users to art, has over 1,200 museums and galleries that provides a sense of their existing collections online. And while resources vary by collection page, most museums and galleries let you have a digital visits through online exhibits, galleries of artwork, and even a “street view” that offers a virtual tour of the spaces.

To help navigate through the pages and pages of options, Google Arts & Culture has pulled the top institutions from around the world that provide these virtual tours you can take anytime, anywhere. The list touches many parts of the globe. You can explore America and visit the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, known for its spiraling architecture designed by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright. On the other side of the country, head to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, with artwork that dates back to the 8th century all the way through current day.

Jump across the pond to the British Museum in London, where you can virtually tour of the Great Court—known for its glass and steel roof—and take a peek at the Rosetta Stone. Some of the iconic museums in Europe are also featured on the list (hello, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy!), as well as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea, that spans across four buildings.

To start your virtual journey at each of the top museums, head over to the official Google Arts & Culture roundup here. And if you’re looking to venture off the beaten path, have a stab at the full 1,200+ collection.

Looking for ideas to entertain your kids in between home schooling lessons, the team at Apartment Therapy has come up with 94 Fun Things You Can Do at Home, Anytime. To help with your quarantine, here is a long list of seize-the-day, fun things to do at home. Some of them are “fun” in the sense that you’ll feel really good having done them, and some of them will pluck your nostalgic heart strings as you’re making new memories.

If You’re in a Creative Mood:

  1. Try your hand at blind contour drawings.
  2. Bring out that crochet project that’s been languishing in the closet.
  3. Watch a drawing tutorial on YouTube and practice.
  4. Practice hand-lettering.
  5. Make air-dry clay bowls pressed with lace.
  6. Make plant babies.
  7. Spray paint some plant pots.
  8. Spray paint some frames.
  9. Make a celebration banner or garland.
  10. Cut some paper snowflakes.
  11. Color with Sharpie on aluminum foil.
  12. Press some flowers.
  13. Print out some favorite family photos to frame and hang on the wall.
  14. Bake something.
  15. Decorate cupcakes.
  16. Try a new recipe.
If You Want to Freshen Up Your Decor:
  1. Empty and edit. Take every single thing out of a room and then add things back piece by piece until you have just enough in the room.
  2. Rearrange furniture.
  3. Shop your house. See if those baskets you’ve had in the garage solve your pantry storage problem.
  4. Swap curtains between rooms.
  5. Clear all decor from that counter/shelf/accent and see what (if anything) you really miss.
  6. Clean (see above section).
  7. Cut some flowers or greenery and display them inside.
  8. Declutter one small space. Find a trove of decluttering inspiration here.
  9. Rainbowtize your books.
If You Feel Like Cleaning:
  1. Wash the sheets. Enjoy sliding into fresh ones tonight.
  2. Make a linen spray. Find some instructions here.
  3. Refill your home made cleaners. For me, this would be my baking soda shakers and my Alvin Corn glass cleaner.
  4. Clean your windows. I’ve got my eye on this window cleaner tool.
  5. Scrub your grout. Check out this tutorial and these grout cleaning tips.
  6. Dust the baseboards. Try a microfiber duster or a dusting mitt. Dryer sheets can be run over them to help repel dust.
  7. Vacuum all the carpets.
  8. Wash the bathmats.
  9. Bleach the sink. I like to fill it up and use dissolving bleach crystals to disinfect my basin once a week.
  10. Fluff the pillows. Instantly perk up a bed or the sofa cushions by giving the pillows squeezes and pats.
  11. Take a Magic Eraser to the doors and doorjambs. You’d be surprised how dirty they are if you look closely.
  12. Sweep your entryway. Give yourself many happy entrances home.
  13. Polish your granite counters. Easy to do and part of routine maintenance anyway.
  14. Clean out your purse.
  15. Wash the car.
With the Kids:
  1. Movie night. Popcorn makes it legit. Bonus fun points if you pop your own.
  2. Build a fort. You know the kind. Living room couch cushions, sheets, flashlights, the whole bit.
  3. Make ice cream sundaes.
  4. Have hot chocolate. Dig the packets from last Christmas out of the pantry or make your own.
  5. Bake cookies. Chocolate chip, Snickerdoodles, peanut butter, whatever your fave is. Make enough to freeze some for later.
  6. Do a puzzle. You’ve probably forgotten how fun and addicting it is.
  7. Play a game. Current favorites around here include Blokus and Monopoly Deal.
  8. Hide-and-seek or sardines.
  9. Make a scavenger hunt. You’ll have a fun making up rhymes and hiding objects and then you’ll have fun watching the kids decipher the clues.
  10. Read aloud. Picture books, a favorite chapter book from your childhood, or join in a book your kids are currently reading.
  11. Have a coloring contest, adults included. Find a page online and print out as many copies as participants.
  12. Finger knit. Find instructions here.
  13. Use veggies as stamps. Check out this inspiration.
  14. Have a shaving cream bath. This just means you put the littles in the tub and squirt some shaving cream on the walls for them to finger paint with.
  15. Turn the sprinkler on and run through it. No explanation required, but get the camera ready to snap some idyllic scenes.
  16. Play duck-duck-goose. Re-live your preschool days.
  17. Camp in the back yard. “Camping” without having to pack for it.
  18. Make s’mores. Extend the fun by collecting sticks for the fire beforehand.
  19. Look through photo albums. Or digital pictures on the TV screen.
  20. Make a bucket list. Not only will you come up with more ways to make memories together, but you’ll probably learn about some things your kids want to do that you didn’t know about.
  21. Build a LEGO city. Put together the sets you have from their instructions or make your own creations.
  22. Make an obstacle course. Do this inside or out. Think things to crawl under, jump over, tiptoe on, etc. If you don’t want to use furniture, use painter’s tape or crepe paper streamers.
  23. Make lemonade. Find instructions for a tasty homemade libation here.
  24. Blow bubbles.
To Get Your Life In Order:
  1. Make a life goals list.
  2. Come up with a family or household statement of purpose.
  3. Set up a new budget.
  4. Take a look at your existing budget.
  5. Read up on money matters such as investment strategies, paying off debt, or how to reach your savings goals, whatever fits your situation.
  6. Get caught up on your bills.
  7. Go through that pile of mail.
  8. Gather your returns and exchanges.
  9. Make a list of errands you need to run next week.
  10. Make a meal plan.
  11. Make some lists. It can help declutter your brain.
If You Just Want to Relax:
  1. Read a book. Find some of the mental health benefits of reading here, if you need convincing.
  2. Browse your stack of magazines and then recycle them.
  3. Binge watch an old favorite series. Or start a movie marathon.
  4. Watch a documentary. Check out this list of top documentaries of 2019.
  5. Sit outside and listen.
  6. Have a picnic in your outdoor space.
  7. Have a picnic on the living room floor.
  8. Take a bubble bath.
  9. Talk with someone over a couple glasses of wine.
  10. Take a nap.
  11. Swap foot rubs or back massages with a loved one at home.
  12. Paint your fingernails.
  13. Give yourself a pedicure.
  14. Soak your feet.
  15. Do an at-home face mask.
  16. Place a grocery order. If you don’t have a subscription, consider a free trial to see if it’s right for you.
  17. Meal prep for the coming week.
  18. Make a holds list at the library.
  19. Set up Subscribe & Save for regularly purchased household items.

Business Friendly Utah

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 11, 2020

This week we are looking at business in Utah, the Park City Follies and beautiful countryside getaways. The Spectrum has shared How Utah ranks among the most 'business-friendly' states coming in second on the list. Across the United States, the environment in which businesses operate can vary considerably. Factors like regional policy, tax codes, infrastructure reliability, availability of skilled workers, and operation costs, among others, differ from one state to the next.  24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of 42 measures to identify the best and worst states for business. These measures fall into one of eight categories: economic conditions, business costs, state infrastructure, the availability and skill level of the workforce, quality of life, regulations, technology and innovation, and cost of living. Data sources include the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization.

Utah comes in right behind Massachusetts and ahead of Colorado with the following stats:

• 1-yr. real GDP change: +3.7% (8th best)

• Avg. earnings per job: $52,364 (14th lowest)

• Adults with a bachelor's degree: 34.9% (13th highest)

• 2018 venture capital deals: 3.4 per 100,000 people (8th most)

Four of the top five states for business are located west of the Mississippi River, and of them, Utah ranks the highest. Startup companies in the state are also drawing far more venture capital investment than those in most other states. Utah companies drew in nearly $1.2 billion in VC funding in 2018, equal to $369 per state resident, more per capita than all but four other states. To read the entire article CLICK HERE.

Every spring for the past 20 years, when ski lifts stop running, traffic dissipates and local restaurants take a couple weeks to recuperate, the Park City Follies enters the scene. KPCW shares about the magic of the Park City Follies. The Park City Follies has sold out for years as locals and visitors alike want to see the popular stage performance which pokes fun at Park City lifestyle, politics and culture.

In past years, the Follies creators select an overarching theme and build the show around high profile community issues. Tom Clyde is the MC and one of the co-writers and says it’s always a gamble when starting the creative process early, never entirely sure the topics will be current in April when the curtain goes up. Clyde says they’re planning a variety of vignettes with some familiar characters returning this year. “They'll be some people you recognize in it and just trying to have fun with the fact that we've been around for a lot longer than anybody ever intended.” Tickets are on sale now. There are nine shows starting Friday, April 24. They’ll perform through May 3 each night except Monday, the 27th. For tickets, go to Park City Shows.com.

Looking to get out of town, head south to Under Canvas Zion, Utah. Under Canvas Zion gets you up close and personal with one of the country’s most Instagrammed landscapes. The luxury camp—which also has outposts in Yellowstone, Glacier, and the Grand Canyon—spans 196 acres on the edge of Zion National Park. But don’t worry, you won’t be roughing it: tents are kitted out with a king bed, wood stove and a private deck. Rock climbing, canyoneering, and hot air ballooning in Utah’s dramatic desert is sure to sell you. Check out Jetsetter to find out more about this spot and seven others in the 8 Best Countryside Getaways in the U.S.

Spring Gruv Upgrade

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 04, 2020

This week we are reviewing home upgrades that can increase the value of your home and Park City's Spring Gruv starting March 6th - see you on the mountain.

One of the main things to consider when choosing an improvement project is how much value it could potentially add to your residence as well as the overall cost of the project. This week RIS Media's Housecall shares 3 Inexpensive Upgrades That Can Increase the Value of Your Home:

Invest in Home Security Upgrades - More than 1 million home burglaries take place in the U.S. each year. Investing in a wireless security system is a great way to protect your home and your possessions. Some homeowners think that these systems are expensive, but, in reality, there are many different wireless systems on the market that are relatively inexpensive. Taking the time to research all of the systems at your disposal is crucial. Consult with home security professionals to avoid missteps. They can help you choose the right security system and get it installed quickly.

Upgrade Your Appliances - Over time, kitchen appliances become outdated and unappealing. Rather than letting old appliances impact the value and appeal of your home, take action. Today's market is filled with appliance options that are both affordable and energy-efficient. While an energy-efficient appliance may cost more initially, it will save you a lot of money on energy bills in the long term, which is why they're a great investment.

Give Your Kitchen Cabinets a New Look - Another great way to make your kitchen more appealing and modern is by giving the cabinets a facelift. Instead of completely replacing your cabinets, think about painting them and adorning them with new hardware to save money. Before you choose a color for both your paint and hardware, consider the type of decor you already have in the space.

Spring is upon us and Scott from the Park Record shares Park City Mountain Resort finds its Spring Grüv. Skiers and snowboarders may take flight during the pond skimming competition at Park City Mountain Resort’s annual Spring Grüv. This year’s celebration will run from March 6 through April 5, and the pond skimming will be held on April 4. parkcitymountain.com

Park City Mountain Resort will continue its annual love affair with warmer weather when it catches the Spring Grüv. This year’s celebration will run from March 6 through April 5, and, as it has in the past, will feature live music, outdoor activities, après events and, of course, pond skimming, said Sarah Stutman., Park City Mountain brand experience manager

“We’re really lucky to have such an incredible spring season in Park City and Spring Grüv is meant to celebrate that,” Stutman said. “The snow has been great this winter and there’s still a lot more of the season left to enjoy… (and we) hope everyone will join us for some spring fun on the mountain during that time.”

Some of the family-friendly activities will include outdoor movies, meeting the mountain safety team avalanche dogs, fireworks, cookie decorating and the offering of free donut s’mores, she said. Most of the activities are free and open to the public, according to Stutman.

“All of the events being hosted in our base areas are complimentary, (but) the annual pond skimming competition does require a registration fee for competitors, and spectators will need a lift ticket to get to the pond, located outside of Red Pine Lodge. At the top of the Red Pine Gondola.”

The annual pond skimming competition, which will feature 100 costumed contestants who will attempt to skim on skis or snowboards across a 100-foot pond, will take place Saturday, April 4, one week before the resort closes for the season, Stutman said.

“It’s hard to imagine a more entertaining event for both the spectators and participants,” she said. “Our prestigious team of judges will then award prizes for Best Costume, Best Splash and Crash and overall Best Male and Female contestants.”

The following set of rules will help keep people safe and grüving through the competition. No teams allowed, Minimum age is 10 years old, No nudity, thongs, or bare butts allowed, No full-face masks or costumes that inhibit full visibility, No fire allowed in costumes, No animals allowed, Must compete on skis or snowboards. No sleds, sit-skis or ski bikes allowed, Costume must be able to fit inside the Red Pine Gondola with the doors closed, Poles may be used but must be dropped before skis touch the pond, No pre-runs; each competitor gets one run to be judged.

“Every year the competitors come dressed to impress,” she said. “We’ve seen Mary Poppins, Aladdin on his magic carpet, flying squirrels, sharks, snowmen, Sesame Street characters and more. Every year, we award a prize for the best costume and can’t wait to see what people come up with this season.” Live music is another Spring Grüv draw in the days leading up to pond skimming, Stutman said.

This year’s musical guests include Changing Lanes, Fuse ‘N Rock and the Michelle Moonshine Trio, to name a few, she said. The full schedule can be found at ParkCityMountain.com. Park City Mountain worked with Mountain Town Music, a local nonprofit, to find the bands, according to Stutman.

“We have a great and longstanding partnership with Mountain Town Music to help bring the best of Park City’s music scene to the mountain and worked with them on our Spring Grüv programming,” she said. “Spring Grüv is all about celebrating the longer days and enjoying the mountain with family and friends, we look for music experiences that capture that excitement and energy.”

Traveling With Your Puppy

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 26, 2020

This week we are sharing where to stay with your puppy in Park City and February's home sales.

Where do you stay in Park City if you want to bring fido on your vacation, Park City Magazine shares - 7 Dog Friendly Hotels in Park City. Rover isn’t just a dog, he’s part of the family. And you need a place to stay that doesn’t require sneaking your pup in the back door. Thankfully, these Park City hotels welcome your furry kid the way they would your bio kids, with a warm smile, treats, and the occasional pat on the head. When it’s time to paw it out of the hotel, introduce your pooch to “Bark” City’s dog-friendly trails. Basin Recreation grooms 25 kilometers, connecting Utah Olympic Park and Willow Creek Park. Round Valley has off-leash hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing trails, plus a dog park (there’s one at Willow Creek, too). And be sure to check out Rob’s or Daly Canyon trails.

Waldorf Astoria Park City -Wag-o-meter props: In-room bowls and dog beds, and homemade doggie treats (engraved with your pup’s name).

Montage Deer Valley - Wag-o-meter props: Two resident Bernese mountain dog ambassadors, plus a luxurious dog bed, food and water bowls, a toy gift, custom-baked treats, and an “In-Room Dining Canine Cuisine Menu.”

Washington School House Hotel - Wag-o-meter props: Owners are huge dog lovers with a couple of golden retrievers, so they understand a pet parent’s needs. Check in to find a cozy pet bed and bowls already in your room.

The St. Regis Deer Valley - Wag-o-meter props: Dog bed, dog bowls, and their own personal outdoor play area and trail. Butlers will walk dogs upon request.

The Holiday Inn Express & SuitesBest Western Plus Landmark Inn, and Hyatt Place Park City - Wag-o-meter props: Less expensive rooms and pet fees. BYOB(owls). Grab treats and poop bags at the front desk.

Looking for your new home or to sell yours, visit our website to see current listings and to see how we can help you. Here are February’s Closings:

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1620 Downington Ave SLC Closed 2/18/20
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3000 Canyons Resort #4912 PC Closed 2/10/20
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2153 W Red Pine Court PC Closed 2/24/20

On the topic of moving, Realtor Magazine shares What to Do Before the Movers Show Up. Homeowners still need to prep the house for the moving company before they arrive to pack them up. Realtor.com® recently highlighted several of the items homeowners should do before the moving company arrives, including:

Protect your floors - To help avoid damage to the house, remove anything fragile that could be in the path as furniture and boxes get moved. Notify the movers about any hardwood flooring. “If you have hardwood floors or tile in any rooms, let your movers know ahead of time so they can prepare the right materials—and make sure your contract includes hardwood floor protection,” Miranda Benson, marketing coordinator at Dolly, a San Francisco–based moving company, told realtor.com®.

Make a clear path - Make the movers’ job easier and think ahead to a variety of potential obstacles on moving day. For example, consider the parking situation outside your home. Where can the movers leave their truck when packing up? You may even need the local city government to get involved to get appropriate signage and allowances. Also, ensure that access points of the home are clear of any debris.

Be available - don't hover, but be readily available to answer any questions. Alert the movers to anything special they should know that could impact how they move out your furniture and boxes. “There are little things about your house that you only learn from living there: The hallway closet door never stays closed, the third step down has a slight bend, a pack of hornets tends to congregate around the back door, so use the front—these are all valuable things that make your movers’ lives easier,” Benson told realtor.com®. “On top of that, being available to answer questions, whether that’s in person or via phone, can make your move much smoother.”

Read more moving preparation tips at realtor.com®.

 
 
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