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Beautify Your Backyard

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 22, 2019

Snow may have found its way to Park City over the weekend, but summer is around the corner. This week we have 8 Ways to Beautify Your Backyard, how to make a good impression with your home and visiting the dinosaurs of Utah.

Whether you're considering selling your house or you want to improve the appearance of your current property, there are many ways to beautify your backyard. A well-maintained backyard can make you enjoy coming home to relax and make you proud when you have friends and family over.

Here are nine tips to help you improve and beautify your backyard:

Add a Custom Shed - If you have random lawn equipment out on your yard, it can be unflattering. When you build a shed, you have a place to store your gardening and lawn equipment.

Create a Walkway - Most people put stone walkways in the front yard but neglect to add them to their backyard landscaping. Use stone or pavers to create a walkway that'll be inviting and give a clear path to your patio or pool. This will limit the amount of traffic going through your lawn, which could damage your grass. It will also make your yard more eye-appealing.

Pergolas, Decks and Patios - Creating a definitive entertainment location can be a beautiful addition to your backyard. By adding a pergola, deck, or patio, you're making a place that immediately attracts your guests. You can add flowers and potted plants. A grill and outdoor lighting around your pergola or patio will make for the perfect finishing touches.

Outdoor Kitchen - An outdoor kitchen is great for locations that don't get a lot of rain and for people who like to entertain often—include a built-in grill, mini fridge, sink, etc. Anything that you would need to access inside your house, include it in your outdoor kitchen. This will eliminate much of the foot traffic through your house and give you a beautiful backyard.

Paint Your Fence - If you have a fence in your yard that you don't necessarily like the looks of, you can paint it to make your backyard look better. Depending what look you want, you can either go with one standard color, or paint a mural on the fence to make it a talking point, rather than an eye sore.

Add Outdoor Seating - If you want your guests to feel comfortable and at home, add cozy outdoor seating to your backyard. Use wooden pallets, long benches and Adirondack chairs to give people an option of where they want to sit. Also, add a wrap around tree bench or a daybed and get creative with fabrics and color schemes.

Give the Kids a Place to Play - A tree house or playset can really add a cool note to your backyard. Get creative with walkways and ladders, add lighting and tree swings. The options are unlimited.

Add Eye-Popping Landscaping - Beautiful landscaping can be a wonderful addition to your backyard. Add hydrangeas, butterfly gardens and flower borders. You can change the entire look of your yard just by adding some pretty plants.

There are so many ways that you can beautify your backyard. With these tips you can have a stunning place for guests to visit and a relaxing spot to unwind at night.

Homes That Make a Good First Impression Have 5 Things in Common - My Domaine - It takes just 26 seconds for a guest to form an opinion of your home when they walk through the front door. What does your space say about you? While we try to resist the urge to judge, there's no doubt that first impressions count. Whether you're expecting guests or you're hoping to transform your spare room into a rental, experts agree there are five key areas that friends notice first about your house. Make these simple changes for a home that makes a lasting impression.

"A clean and welcoming entryway is crucial in leaving a good first impression—it's the first thing a guest sees!" says Cresswell. When transforming a home into a OneFineStay property, she says it's crucial that the entrance introduces a design theme. "A good first impression—that moment when a guest's breath is taken away—comes from stepping into a home with striking, deliberate design," she says. "Think bright, organized, and neutral. There's a place for the eclectic or quirky, but the entryway is not that place."

Instant fix: If you don't have time to restyle your entryway, Cresswell says updating wall décor is a simple way to unify the space. "Rather than cobbling a bunch of different frames or odds and ends together, choose a few specific things that pair perfectly. A precisely placed mirror can make a space look much bigger and brighter."

If you only pay attention to the look of your home, you're missing one of the most important factors that influence guests: fragrance. A Trulia study suggests it could also increase the value of your home; 30% of real estate agents said scent was the single most important sense during an open house and named vanilla and fresh scents as the most popular among house hunters.

Instant fix: Light a vanilla or citrus candle in the living room or near the entrance to infuse your home with an uplifting scent. If you're turning your home into a rental, be sure to use a tall lantern to shield the open flame. "Flowers always add an elegant but subtle fragrance, and baking cookies is another great way to get a welcoming air on arrival," says Cresswell.

It's time to address that discarded pile of magazines or strewn shoes—when it comes to first impressions, clutter counts. 73% of real estate agents said cleanliness is the most important sight-based feature during a viewing, possibly because unnecessary furniture and décor can make a space feel small.

"A foyer should have absolutely no clutter," says Cresswell. "Everything, from decorative knickknacks to practical things like shoes, should have a designated place. Keys should be hung neatly on a key rack, and shoes should have a rack or boot tray. As for cleanliness, dusting and vacuuming go a long way."

Instant fix: Use decorative baskets to mask mess. Position them by the doorway, under a coffee table, or beside a sofa to fake a cleaner-looking home without removing any items.

The color you choose to paint your home can have a big impact on its value. A report by Zillow Digs found that slate gray was among the most disliked colors among guests and cut the value of a home by over $1000. If you're painting a guest room, real estate agents told Trulia that white, ivory, and eggshell are the most appealing shades to create an inviting space.

Instant fix: If repainting your home isn't an option, pay attention to lighting. A carefully chosen floor lamp with the right colored bulb can subtly change the intensity of paint and is a perfect way to make a slate-gray room feel bright and fresh.

To turn a good first impression into a lasting one, Kaye says personal touches matter most. "A well-made bed is the most important thing you can offer your guests. It is the key to making your visitors feel completely comfortable, cozy, and relaxed!" When creating the brand's first-ever hotel, Kaye channeled five-star vibes with a few expert touches. "You should always provide at least two pillows of varying firmness per guest and dedicate a few sets of towels and sheets for guest use only. This will allow them to last longer than if you added them to your daily rotation of linens."

Instant fix: Caught off-guard by unexpected guests? Try this hotel-approved towel folding method for a thoughtful guestroom touch. "First, lay the towel flat on a surface, and smooth out any wrinkles. Then, starting with the long side of the towel, fold the length in thirds," says Kaye. "Grasp the short side, and fold the towel in half. Repeat this step," and you should be left with a neat square.

Looking for something to do this weekend, visit the Dinosaurs in Utah by Only in Your State - If you want to learn more about some of Utah’s first residents, there are several places to check out. There’s the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding and of course we have an entire Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal. There’s another dinosaur park in Utah that many people don’t even know about: the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden. Check it out!

Did dinosaurs live in Utah? They certainly did! Dinosaurs once roamed all over the Beehive State during the Mesozoic Era, 225 to 65 million years ago. Most of the dinosaur bones found it Utah are from dinosaurs who lived here during the Late Jurassic Era through the Late Cretaceous Era. Just imagine what it must have been like when these giant beasts walked around here.

Are there dinosaur fossils in Utah? Absolutely. Because of Utah’s dry climate and high altitude during the time of the dinosaurs, their bones were perfectly preserved. Utah is a world-renowned site for paleontologists who come here to study dinosaur fossils. Bones of many species have been found here, including Allosaurus, Seitaad, and several species of Sauropods, Ornithopods, and Ankylosaurs. Utah even has two dinosaurs named after it: the Utahceratops and the Utahraptor.

What museum has the best dinosaur exhibit in Utah? It’s hard to pick just one favorite dinosaur museum in Utah. Visit the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, and the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal.

What are the best dinosaur attractions in Utah? Dinosaur lovers living in Utah are lucky indeed, because we have tons of great dinosaur attractions here. In addition to the Eccles Dinosaur Park and the museums we’ve mentioned above, you’ll want to visit the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, the BYU Museum of Paleontology in Provo, the Utah Field House of Natural History in Vernal, the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry near Price, and the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George. You’ll also want to take a hike on the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail near Moab.

The George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park is open during the spring Monday – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (the museum closes at 5:00 p.m.). During summer months, hours are extended until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $5 for children ages 2-12; free for children under two years old.

Dinosaurs in Utah by Only in Your State - If you want to learn more about some of Utah’s first residents, there are several places to check out. There’s the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding and of course we have an entire Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal. There’s another dinosaur park in Utah that many people don’t even know about: the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden. Check it out!

Did dinosaurs live in Utah? They certainly did! Dinosaurs once roamed all over the Beehive State during the Mesozoic Era, 225 to 65 million years ago. Most of the dinosaur bones found it Utah are from dinosaurs who lived here during the Late Jurassic Era through the Late Cretaceous Era. Just imagine what it must have been like when these giant beasts walked around here.

Are there dinosaur fossils in Utah? Absolutely. Because of Utah’s dry climate and high altitude during the time of the dinosaurs, their bones were perfectly preserved. Utah is a world-renowned site for paleontologists who come here to study dinosaur fossils. Bones of many species have been found here, including Allosaurus, Seitaad, and several species of Sauropods, Ornithopods, and Ankylosaurs. Utah even has two dinosaurs named after it: the Utahceratops and the Utahraptor.

What museum has the best dinosaur exhibit in Utah? It’s hard to pick just one favorite dinosaur museum in Utah. Visit the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point, the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, and the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall at Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal.

What are the best dinosaur attractions in Utah? Dinosaur lovers living in Utah are lucky indeed, because we have tons of great dinosaur attractions here. In addition to the Eccles Dinosaur Park and the museums we’ve mentioned above, you’ll want to visit the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, the BYU Museum of Paleontology in Provo, the Utah Field House of Natural History in Vernal, the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry near Price, and the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in St. George. You’ll also want to take a hike on the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail near Moab.

The George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park is open during the spring Monday – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (the museum closes at 5:00 p.m.). During summer months, hours are extended until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $5 for children ages 2-12; free for children under two years old.

Galleries, Trains and Music

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
May 07, 2019

As the weather warms up there are plenty of things to do in the Park City area. This week we are highlighting a few art galleries, the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike and the 2019 Twilight Concert Series lineup.

It is a rare—and beautiful—thing for so many galleries to set up shop within a half mile of one another, as is the case on Park City’s Main Street. Here Park City Magazine presents an overview of this historic thoroughfare’s art purveyors, highlighting a few of our faves. For a more festive tour, come out during the Park City Gallery Association’s Gallery Stroll, held on the last Friday of every month, 6 to 9 p.m.

Housed in what was once a 19th-century bank, the brightly lit Meyer Gallery (305 Main St, 435.649.8160) features homegrown Utah artists including Brian Kershisnik and Jeffery Pugh. Owner Susan Meyer, whose parents opened the gallery in 1965, says that giving clientele a taste of Mountain West art makes the gallery relevant. And running an art business with integrity is what has made her business thrive over the years.

Maren Mullin, owner of Gallery MAR (436 Main St, 435.649.3001), was just 25 when she launched her namesake gallery. A decade later, some of her early discoveries have evolved from emerging to established—including encaustic artist and Park City resident Bridgette Meinhold and Salt Lake City–based painter Aaron Memmott. No longer the youngest entrepreneur on the block, Mullin says she’s still “constantly learning” in a business that’s rarely black and white.

“One opportunity led to another opportunity that led to another opportunity,” says Colby Larsen, who owns four galleries on Main Street, each occupying its own niche and catering to a specific kind of patron. It started with the contemporary Old Towne Gallery (580 Main St, 435.655.3910), where a Miro and a Warhol hang. Park City Fine Art (558 Main St, 435.649.3583) is a traditional-meets-contemporary Western art gallery. Pando (444 Main St, 435.602.1096) branches into the nature-inspired realm with everything from 50-million-year-old fossils to landscape paintings. Finally, Prospect Gallery (573 Main St, 435.714.0508) fills the timber-hewn Claim Jumper space with blue chip–level pieces from artists like Ashley Collins and Chagall.

The colorful, contemporary art inside the cheery Terzian Galleries (625 Main St, 435.649.4927) reflects owner Karen Terzian’s self-described eclectic taste—from Melissa Chandon’s vivid, 1950s-inspired landscapes to Sara Shepherd Edgar’s humorous, monochromatic depictions of everyday people. But her choices go beyond simply liking an artist’s work at first blush. She researches with an eye for passion, work ethic, and focus.

May 10, 1869 was a turning point in American history. After seven years of arduous work, tens of thousands of man-hours, incredible risk, and hundreds of deaths, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads finally connected at Promontory Summit, Utah, linking the country from coast to coast for the very first time. On that day, a crowd of workers and dignitaries gathered around the Jupiter and No. 119 steam engines to watch the final golden spike be driven (actually, ceremonially tapped and then later replaced) into the tracks. Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike by Park City Magazine - Utah commemorates the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad with family-friendly events and exhibits.

Every year, people gather for reenactments of the momentous occasion, but for the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike, Utah is planning a party of special magnificence. The main commemoratory festival (May 10-12) will, of course, take place at the Golden Spike National Historic Site (6200 North 22300th Street West, Corinne) at Promontory Summit.

Festivities kick-off with the arrival of the Jupiter and #119 replica steam engines arrive at 8:15 a.m. (site opens to the public at 8 a.m.) on May 10. The official opening ceremony (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) features a keynote address from renowned presidential scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, who will offer his perspective on the historical significance of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. His remarks will be followed by the world premiere of As One, a new musical inspired by the Golden Spike era. Written and directed by award-winning composer, producer, and songwriter Stephen Nelson; lyricist and vocalist Anjanette Mickelsen; and choreographed by Jennifer Park Hohl, As One features five original compositions and a chorus and band comprised of 250 elementary school students from Utah’s 29 counties.

After the opening ceremony, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including historical re-enactments, performances from local artists and musicians, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, food trucks, merchants, and more. Highlights include the Frontier Camp where exhibits and storytellers bring the lives of long-gone railroad workforce to life and the STEM Innovation Summit where young innovators can imagine where we’ll soar to by 2069 using today’s aviation, rocketry, and drone technology.

Whistle Stop in Echo, May 8 -Big Boy No. 4014, one of Union Pacific’s historic steam locomotives, rolls into Echo (3525 S. Echo Rd,) as part of Spike 150 revelry. Summit County’s festivities begin at 8 a.m. with live music and food trucks and chug along with the train’s arrival (9:20 a.m.), and it’s departure for Morgan at 9:40 a.m. If you’re feeling particularly sprightly, this presents the perfect opportunity for a morning bike ride or walk on the Historic Rail Trail, which ends/starts in Echo.

From now through June 2, visit the Kimball Art Center to see the work of internationally acclaimed artist Zhi Lin. Lin’s art explores the lost history of the Chinese workers who labored for years on the railroads, often doing the most dangerous work. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Kimball will also host several related events including a free panel discussion Art, Activism, and Immigration (May 11). Visit the Kimball Art Center website for more details.

Don’t want to drive out all the way to Promontory Summit? Head over to Heber on May 10 (5:30 - 9:30 p.m.) for a Golden Spike celebration at the Heber Valley Railroad, featuring live music, trivia, and fireworks. You’ll have the opportunity to dress in period clothes, pose in front of the steam locomotive for fun photos, dance around a bonfire, and more.

The Salt Lake City Arts Council has announced the lineup for the 2019 Twilight Concert Series. (ABC4 News) The concert series is one of the longest-running community events in Salt Lake City. The Thursday night summer concert series has presented artists across the spectrum of musical genres including indie-rock, hip-hop, reggae, and blues.

JULY 20 - HIPPIE SABOTAGE*

JULY 25 - BLIND PILOT, Foxwarren & The Hollering Pines

AUG. 1 - YOUNG THE GIANT, The Aces & Sego

AUG. 8 - VINCE STAPLES, Leikeli47 & Concise Kilgore

AUG. 15 - COURTNEY BARNETT*

AUG. 30 - SANTIGOLD*

*Indicates special guests are TBA

Season tickets for the concert series are on sale now. General tickets go on sale Thursday, May 9 at 10 a.m. You can buy tickets at 24tix.com/twilight.

2019 First Quarter Market Review

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 23, 2019

This week we have the first quarter Market Review for the Wasatch Back, local market reports for the Park City area and a little update on our record snowfall season!

The snow around town may almost be gone except for on the mountain tops and Ski Utah shares that the 2018-2019 season has been one of Utah’s snowiest on record. Every ski resort in the state recorded above-normal snowfall for the season. Every watershed basin in the state is at 135% of average or higher. Some areas, such as southwest Utah, are more than double the average snowpack! On average, we are 162% of median snowpack for this date and have received more than double the snowfall of the 2017-18 season. We are even challenging the great 2010-11 winter, in which Utah shattered all previous snowfall records.

While the numbers are impressive, what might be even more remarkable is the consistency of the snowfall. Alta Ski Area, which has currently seen 616” of snow on the season, has reported fresh snow on 91 separate days since November 1st. That’s out of a possible 171 days (as of April 20th). That means that Alta has received fresh snow on greater than 53% of ski days since the start of the season!

Elsewhere, each of the other resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons (Brighton and Snowbird) have likewise seen greater than 600” of snowfall for the season. Solitude Mountain Resort falls just over 500" for the season. Farther north, Snowbasin Resort had its snowiest winter in years and has thus far reported 429” of snow, including one of its snowiest February months on record. In southern Utah, Brian Head Ski Resortand Eagle Point both recorded seasonal snowfall more than 50% above average. Skiers, snowboarders and snow-lovers can all rejoice! This has been a truly remarkable season – one that will be remembered by many of us for years to come. Utah has once again lived up to its billing as The Greatest Snow on Earth.  While many resorts are closing, Snowbird will likely remain open into June. You can find a full list of closing dates here.

The First Quarter 2019 Market Review is now available! Click here for the entire report.

 

Next we have the most recent market reports for Upper and Lower Deer Valley, Old Town, Empire Pass, Deer Crest and the Canyons.

 

 

What Baby Boomers Want

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 15, 2019

The National Association of Home Builders has shared the Top 10 Home Features Baby Boomers Want — and Don’t Want - Much like the average home buyer, buyers in the baby boomer generation like laundry rooms and energy efficiency, and dislike elevators and wine cellars. Baby boomers, however, tend to have stronger opinions about what they do and do not want in their homes, as indicated in NAHB’s recent update on What Home Buyers Really Want.

The 2019 edition is based on a survey of 3,996 home buyers, both recent (purchased a home in the last three years) and prospective (expecting to buy a home in the next three years). Respondents rated 175 features on the following four-tier scale: Essential: Unlikely to buy a home without feature, Desirable: Seriously influenced to buy home if included, Indifferent: Would not influence purchase decision, and Do Not Want: Not likely to buy a home with feature.

No. 1 is a laundry room, which 94% of baby boomers want. Baby boomers are more likely to indicate what they want (based on higher essential/desirable percentages noted in the chart), and a full bath on the main level (displacing a double kitchen sink).

An elevator is the feature baby boomers are least likely to want, as 80% of baby boomers are looking to purchase single-story homes. It’s important to remember, however, that a niche market usually exists even among the most generally unwanted items; in this case, 10% of baby boomers consider an elevator desirable, and 3% think it’s essential.

With the most undesirable features, baby boomers again paralleled the interests of the general home buyer population. The biggest difference is that a two-story family room ranks fourth on the unwanted list for baby boomers, compared to ninth for all buyers. In every case, though, the share of baby boomers who explicitly reject the feature is at least 5 percentage points higher.

Baby boomers also ranked their most desired community features: Near retail space (72% ranked essential or desirable), Walking/jogging trails (66%), Typically suburban (65%), Walkable community (62%) and Park area (61%).

For inspiring 55+ development ideas, visit the recently updated Best of 55+ Housing Awards website.

With those stats in mind, Apartment Therapy has shared the 9 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal, According to Real Estate Experts. When it comes to curb appeal, doesn’t it seem like everyone talks only about painting your door a bright color and manicuring your front yard? Here, some of the best tips, from real estate professionals.

1. Don’t just focus on shrubs and flowers - “You want to make sure that all of the boundaries between any concrete, grass, and flowerbeds are crisp and clean,” says Brett Jennings, founder of Real Estate Experts, a real estate company in Southern California. “This makes a big difference between a messy front yard and an organized one.”

2. Do more than a light spring clean - By power washing the siding, windows, and entire exterior of your home, you’ll get rid of years of dirt and debris and give your façade an upgrade. “This is important because the vast majority of buyers who don’t like the exterior of a home won’t even look at the interior, no matter how great it is,” says Bruce Ailion, a Realtor in Atlanta, Georgia.

3. Make sure potential buyers can find your home - It seems obvious but a house number—in an updated font—can make or break the look of your home. “Make sure your address number can be read from the street,” says Justin Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, a home staging company in Portland, Oregon. “If your house is hard to find, people will leave without buying. Also, your address numbers need to be in a contrasting color and it should be well-lit so it can be easily read from the street both day and night.”

4. Show your screen door the door - “I have never seen a screen door that was better-looking than the door behind it,” Riordan says. “The screen door also can make for an awkward entry sequence when attempting to get the key out of the lockbox while holding the screen door open.”

5. Upgrade your mailbox - “If your mailbox is looking a little rusty and if you want your home to look a little more glamorous, this is the perfect opportunity to replace it with a newer, more stylish option,” says Sophie Kaemmerle, a home improvement expert at Neighbor Who.

6. Play with night lights - “Your house may look its best during the day, but don’t forget to make sure it looks as good at night,” Kaemmerle says. “The right lighting can create the ambiance you want and even show off all of your home’s best features.”

7. Add window boxes or planters - “Even if you don’t have a big yard, you can amplify your windows and the look of your home’s front exterior by adding flowers below your windows,” Kaemmerle says. “This can drastically change the look of your home, thanks to the pop of color they can provide. You don’t have to have them at every window—even just one or two may be sufficient to drastically ramp up your curb appeal.”

8. See your front door as a design statement - “The front door says a lot about a home and its owner,” says Smitha Ramchandani, president of SR Real Estate Group in New Jersey. “When choosing a color, consider the style of your home. Perhaps a stately black or hunter green might appeal to buyers with traditional tastes or maybe you want something more laid-back like a canary yellow, which telegraphs cheer and comfort.”

9. Make sure your home exudes warmth - “You want to aim for a homey look when you’re working on curb appeal so avoid obscuring the interior with opaque or blackout curtains if you don’t need to or at least keep them drawn to the side for showings,” Ramchandani says. “Or, put a plant in a first-floor window. Just one works to add a homey touch. Remember: A home that looks open looks more inviting to a potential buyer.”

Solar is also an option for a household upgrade as KUTV reports that Salt Lake City ranskn11th nationwide for solar energy. According to a recent report conducted by the Environment America Research & Policy Center, Salt Lake City is ranked 11th nationwide for solar energy per capita, putting the state capital among the nation's top solar energy leaders. The results came from "Shining Cities 2019: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy" - a comprehensible survey that monitors installed solar capacity across the country. Salt Lake City’s use of solar energy sets an example for the rest of the country.

According to the report, Salt Lake was ranked ahead of Los Angeles and behind Albuquerque, New Mexico, for megawatts of solar energy per capita as of year-end 2018. Salt Lake City uses solar energy to protect public health by combating local air pollution and reduce global warming emissions as part of the city's commitment to achieving 100% renewable electricity citywide by 2032, stated the press release.

“We are thrilled to see Salt Lake City listed among the solar energy leaders in Shining Cities,” stated Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski in the press release. “Sustained development of solar resources is an essential pillar of our efforts to address climate change. Powering homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy creates jobs, reduces pollution, and offers stable electricity rates. I’m proud to see so many of our community members invest in a clean energy future.”

In addition to the national rankings, the report examined national solar power in major cities over the course of six years. According to the report, solar energy capacity has more than doubled in 45 of 57 of the country's largest cities and it has more than quadrupled in Salt Lake City from 2013 to 2018. “Each year we harness more and more of the enormous solar energy potential across the country,” stated Searson. “We still have a long way to go, but leaders like Mayor Biskupski are taking the steps necessary to power more homes, schools and businesses with clean energy from the sun.”

Utah - The Blissful State

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 10, 2019

According to BETTER and NBC News Utah is one of the least stressed sates in the country in their recent article The least stressed states in the U.S. Here's what they do differently.Work-life balance, low unemployment, fewer money worries and access to Mother Nature are all part of what makes these states the least stressed in America. In Utah, there’s an outdoor recreational activity available nearly every month of the year.

We all have stress in our life, and managing it is one of the most important aspects of taking care of yourself, but as a new report by WalletHub emphasizes, stress isn’t just a personal issue — it’s a geographic one, too. The top three least-stressed states, were Minnesota, Utah and Massachusetts, which fared much better than others when it comes to stress related to money, health and family life. The top three most-stressed states were Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Utah takes work/life balance to the max - Utah has the lowest number of average hours worked per week — but make no mistake, this is hardly a slacker state, and employment is on the rise. As of January, job growth was up by 3.9 percent — more than a percentage point higher than the national 1.9 percent growth rate. The unemployment rate was also better than the national average — at 3.1 versus 4.0.

“We believe in working hard and playing hard,” Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development told NBC News BETTER in an email. “We leave the workplace and volunteer in our communities and churches. We keep our priorities straight and spend our time doing other important things besides work. We also enjoy a state where Mother Nature played favorites — and there’s an outdoor recreational activity available nearly every month of the year.” Hale adds that many companies incorporate outdoor activities into their conferences and business meetings, a way of “truly [integrating] their personal and professional lives.”

Your Utahan boss appreciates that you have a family to get home to - Balancing work and family can be stressful — but generally not in Utah. “Utahns don’t sell their soul to the workplace, says Hale. “There is a strong focus on family. In business, most activities occur during the day rather than at night. People respect evening family time in Utah. Many companies in the state have created workplace cultures that prioritize flexibility and support.”

Student debt is lighter in Utah, and tech jobs are booming - Hale notes that Utah was recently ranked number 1 in the best states to raise a family, “in part, because of low college tuition,” he says. “We’re the only state with an average student debt of less than $20,000.” Not only is the burden of student debt less heavy in Utah, profitable tech jobs are in abundance, so there’s an incentive to stay in the Beehive State after graduation.

“Utah has seen a boom in high-paying tech jobs during the last decade,” says Hale. “Utah’s tech industry accounts for 302,000 Utah jobs and one in every seven dollars of GDP in the state. Silicon Slopes has become an enviable destination. Companies like Adobe, eBay, and others have opened offices in the state. Many companies are starting to be founded here, and companies that have an HQ in another state are expanding their organizations to Utah because of our affordable cost of living and talent pipeline.”

This spring, don’t forget to check out the incredible art galleries and Why We Love the Galleries Galore on Main Street by Park City Magazine. Almost two dozen galleries lend a colorful vibe to Park City’s literal and figurative heart. It is a rare—and beautiful—thing for so many galleries to set up shop within a half mile of one another, as is the case on Park City’s Main Street. Here we present an overview of this historic thoroughfare’s art purveyors, highlighting a few of our faves. For a more festive tour, come out during the Park City Gallery Association’s Gallery Stroll, held on the last Friday of every month, 6 to 9 p.m.

Housed in what was once a 19th-century bank, the brightly lit Meyer Gallery (305 Main St, 435.649.8160) features homegrown Utah artists including Brian Kershisnik and Jeffery Pugh. Owner Susan Meyer, whose parents opened the gallery in 1965, says that giving clientele a taste of Mountain West art makes the gallery relevant. And running an art business with integrity is what has made her business thrive over the years. “It is not uncommon for art dealers to overcharge or mislead customers about the value or provenance of artworks,” Meyer says. “If clients are treated respectfully and honestly, they will come back.”

Maren Mullin, owner of Gallery MAR (436 Main St, 435.649.3001), was just 25 when she launched her namesake gallery. A decade later, some of her early discoveries have evolved from emerging to established—including encaustic artist and Park City resident Bridgette Meinhold and Salt Lake City–based painter Aaron Memmott. No longer the youngest entrepreneur on the block, Mullin says she’s still “constantly learning” in a business that’s rarely black and white. “We never take ourselves too seriously, and we do what’s in our artists’ best interests,” she says. “I work with great artists and staff —that’s the real special sauce.”

“One opportunity led to another opportunity that led to another opportunity,” says Colby Larsen, who owns four galleries on Main Street, each occupying its own niche and catering to a specific kind of patron. It started with the contemporary Old Towne Gallery (580 Main St, 435.655.3910), where a Miro and a Warhol hang. Park City Fine Art (558 Main St, 435.649.3583) is a traditional-meets-contemporary Western art gallery. Pando (444 Main St, 435.602.1096) branches into the nature-inspired realm with everything from 50-million-year-old fossils to landscape paintings. Finally, Prospect Gallery (573 Main St, 435.714.0508) fills the timber-hewn Claim Jumper space with blue chip–level pieces from artists like Ashley Collins and Chagall.

The colorful, contemporary art inside the cheery Terzian Galleries (625 Main St, 435.649.4927) reflects owner Karen Terzian’s self-described eclectic taste—from Melissa Chandon’s vivid, 1950s-inspired landscapes to Sara Shepherd Edgar’s humorous, monochromatic depictions of everyday people. “I like so many different types of art, so I curate that way,” Terzian says. But her choices go beyond simply liking an artist’s work at first blush. She researches with an eye for passion, work ethic, and focus. “I want artists to show me they’re dedicated and serious,” she says.

Sad the ski resorts are now closed and missing those blissful turns on the mountain? Here are the Pass comparison for 2019-2020: Ikon, Epic, or Mountain Collective? Already on sale for next season, the multi-resort passes continue to evolve. Here, we lay out the options for locking in next year’s powder access.

Epic Pass - While there is certainly more competition these days, Vail Resorts is holding its own through a combination of resort acquisitions and partnerships and a dizzying array of pass options tailored to every type of visitor and length of stay, hence the name “Epic for Everyone.” The premise being to give guests the flexibility to choose where, when and how frequently they want to ski or ride. Of course, with Park City Mountain in our backyard, the choice to pick up an Epic Pass remains a no-brainer for many locals, regardless of whether or not they’ll be able to take advantage of more than a fraction of the numerous benefits.

Priced at $939 ($489 for children ages 5-12), the full Epic Pass grants you unlimited, unrestricted access to properties owned by Vail, including Park City Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Breckenridge, Northstar, Heavenly, and Keystone, plus access to dozens of other partnering locations including seven days each at Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and resorts in the Canadian Rockies? five consecutive days in each at Hakuba Valley’s ten ski resorts and Rusutsu Resort in Japan? and limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski, and Tignes Val d’Isère in France? Les 4 Vallées in Switzerland? Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy.

Epic Local Pass - Those willing to navigate around a few peak periods can take advantage of many of the same benefits and a couple hundred dollar discount with the Epic Local Pass, priced at $699 ($569 teens, $369 children ages 5-12). Epic Local Pass holders still get unlimited, unrestricted access to Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Stevens Pass, Wilmot, Afton Alps, and Mt. Brighton and unlimited access (blackout days apply) to Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Stowe. You can also take 10 days combined (blackout dates apply) at Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb? two days (blackout days apply) at Sun Valley and Snowbasin? and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s ten ski resorts in Japan and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Rusutsu Resort.

For a limited time, you can guarantee yourself the lowest price on both the Epic and Epic Local Pass by making a $49 down payment (remainder due September 15). Anyone who purchases their pass by April 14, will also receive 10 buddy tickets.

Epic Pass Destinations - Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler Blackcomb (Canada), Breckenridge, Park City, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Stowe, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Brighton, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, Stevens Pass, Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, Canada’s Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Nakiska, Mont Sainte Anne, Stoneham, Japan’s Hakuba Valley’s ten ski resorts and Rusutsu, three Australian resorts in 2020: Perisher, Falls Creek, and Hotham. Plus, access to 30 European resorts.

Ikon Pass - Ikon Pass, which includes Deer Valley Resort in its growing collection of destinations, adds spring skiing access to its pass benefits.  The new kid on the block, the Ikon Pass is storming into its second season with 38 global destinations to choose from. Hoping to entice new and old Ikon Pass holders, they’re offering a $30 discount for renewals, a child pass promotion, and access to spring skiing.

The Ikon Pass, $949 for adults ($699 young adults ages 13-22, $299 children ages 5-12), offers unlimited access to 14 resorts, plus seven days and seven days combined at 23 resorts with no blackout dates. So far, five Utah resorts, Deer Valley, Solitude Mountain, Alta, Snowbird, and Brighton, have joined the Ikon fold. As of now, that means unlimited time at Solitude, seven days each at Deer Valley and Brighton, and seven days combined at Alta and Snowbird.

Ikon Base Pass - The more economical Ikon Base Pass, clocking in at $649 ($499 young adults, $259 children) offers access to all the same locations. The only real difference is Ikon Base Passes are subject to holiday blackout dates and receive five days each at Deer Valley and Brighton, and five days combined at Alta and Snowbird. (Blackout dates are Dec. 26-31, 2019, Jan. 18-19, Feb. 15-16, 2020? Thredbo July 4-19, 2020? No blackout dates at Valle Nevado, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Mt Hutt).

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the high snowfall into spring and summer, joining the Ikon family could be to your ticket. New 19/20 Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass holders will be granted unlimited spring skiing at Big Bear, Snowshoe, and Blue Mountain immediately upon purchase and, starting April 8, at Winter Park, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Solitude, and Tremblant.

Now through April 24, 2019 parents can take advantage of the child pass promotion, which allows the purchase of up to two discounted child passes for $199 each with the purchase of an adult Ikon Pass or $159/each with and adult Ikon Base Pass.

Deer Valley Resort Season Pass - If you’re one of many skiers loyal to Deer Valley and you plan on cruising the groomers there more often than not, the Deer Valley full adult season pass is a great option. It may be a whopping $2,365 (price increases Oct. 17, 2019), but with it you’ll get: a complimentary Ikon Base Pass; 10 days of skiing discounts for friends and family; 15% off resort owned and operated dining and retail year-round; the Wasatch Benefit Program: one complimentary day ticket at Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, and Solitude; and one scenic lift ride per day for summer 2019. You can find more information for Deer Valley’s wide range of season pass options at here.

Mountain Collective - Created with the destination skier or rider in mind, the Mountain Collective pass offers two days at 16 resorts (no blackout dates), a bonus third at one location, and 50% off additional day tickets for the unbeatable low price of $449 ($99 for kids 12 and under) while supplies last. Even without unlimited resort days, it’s a pretty sweet deal, especially for area locals who can make their money back with the allotted four days at Alta and Snowbird.

If you’re the person who plans to ski at home most of the season or take one week-long trip, this pass might not be for you. However, for skiers and snowboarders who have the time to take short trips and want to hit epic terrain in a variety of locales, including the increasingly trendy and ever-enviable “Ja-pow,” the Mountain Collective offers enough vertical feet to keep you busy year-round.

Mountain Collective Destinations - Alta Ski Area, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sunshine (Canada), Big Sky Resort, Coronet Peak + The Remarkables (New Zealand), Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Lake Louise (Canada), Mammoth Mountain, Niseko United (Japan), Revelstoke Mountain Resort (Canada), Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sugarbush Resort, Taos Ski Valley, Thredbo Alpine Village (Australia), Valle Nevado (Chile)

Here’s hoping for a repeat of this season’s snowfall in 2019-2020!

Vacation Homes

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Apr 03, 2019

The great thing about Park City is that even when you are working you still feel like you are on vacation. Bloomberg has released The Best Places to Own a Vacation Home in the U.S. and Park City tops the list - Aspen and Jackson Hole might be the first ski spots that come to mind when considering a vacation at a luxurious mountain resort. But if you’re actually looking to buy a home and care about convenience as well as luxury, then Utah’s Summit Park region may be the best option. Summit Park -- the term for the micropolitan area -- ranked highest on Bloomberg’s Wealthiest U.S. Vacation Havens Index. The area is home to the Park City, Silver Summit and Deer Valley resorts.

Bloomberg looked for small pockets of wealth in more than 500 areas across four equally weighted metrics: vacation home stock, share of the workforce employed in real estate and recreation-related industries, home valuations and household income. The final index is comprised of 70 micropolitan statistical areas. A micropolitan statistical area includes one main urban center with a population of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people, at least one county and all designated hamlets, villages and townships.

In Summit County, the average sale price of a single-family home was close to $1.6 million in 2018, according to data from Sotheby’s International Realty. Within Summit County’s Park City limits, the average sale price was even higher at $2.7 million.

"The Park City area offers a very wide range of home options, but increasingly moderately priced housing is being displaced as home prices are bid up in prime locations," said Bill Ligety, associate broker at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty and a 40-year Park City resident.

Home prices within the Deer Valley Resort -- less than three miles from the Park City slopes -- are even more extravagant. The average sale price in Upper Deer Valley, the older and more historic portion, was $5.4 million last year. In the newer area, dubbed Deer Crest, the average was $6.5 million. The St. Regis hotel is located in this neighborhood.

Nearly 20 percent of households in Summit Park earned $200,000 in 2017, the highest of all micro areas. But that figure could be higher because a share of people who own vacation homes have a primary residence at a different location where they would report their income.

Two micro areas in Colorado -- Edwards and Breckenridge -- landed at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Ski resorts in those areas include Vail, Breckenridge, Copper, Beaver Creek and Keystone. The micro area in and around Jackson Hole was ranked No. 4.

Looking to start a business in Utah or already have one, well The best and worst US states to start a business (by Yahoo Fianance)- ranks Utah the #2 state to start a business. Texas is the best state to start your own business and Hawaii is the worst, according to a study from WalletHub. The personal finance site analyzed data from a variety of sources — including the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau — and found that the top five states to start a business were Texas, Utah, Georgia, Montana, and Oklahoma. The bottom five were Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Hawaii.

The study factored in the business environment, access to resources, and business costs as part of their findings. It also considered aspects including educated populations, total spending incentives as a percentage of GDP, and the availability of human capital. North Dakota (#7) and Utah (#2) are the top states for highest average growth in the number of small businesses and most accessible financing. Alaska (#36) is the top state for the highest availability of human capital and longest average work week (in hours). Iowa (#39) has the cheapest office spaces while West Virginia (#45) and Michigan (#15) are tied for highest total spending on incentives as a percentage of GDP.

Last month we looked at Utah being a great place for retirees, well the Most Popular Cities for Millennials to Call Home (by Realtor Magazine) is also Utah - Millennials are choosing to plant roots in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh at higher rates than in any other of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas, according to a new report by online marketplace LendingTree, which analyzed mortgage requests from January to November. “While millennials are often stereotyped as adolescents, the reality is that this generation is well into adulthood, with most between their early 20s and mid-30s,” according to the study. “This means that many of them are actively pursuing careers, having children, and buying homes.”

In Salt Lake City, millennials made the majority of total purchase requests—51 percent—between Jan. 1 and Nov. 25 this year. In Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, the percentage was 48 percent, according to the study. On the other hand, the fewest mortgage requests from millennials during the same time period were in Tampa, Fla., Las Vegas, and Miami. Only 30 percent of purchase requests in Tampa came from millennials. Tampa represents the lowest share of millennial mortgage requests among the 50 largest metro areas analyzed.

Market Review

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 26, 2019

This week we have the current market reports as well as some of the events going on in Park City.

What's HAPPENING in Park City:

SPRING GRÜV - Park City Mountain’s 16-day festival returns with live music, s’mores parties, Pink Park City (a fundraiser to benefit cancer research), Easter celebrations, and the 23rd Annual Pond Skimming Contest. A fun way to celebrate the beginning of spring, Spring Grüv is a fun event for the entire family. Spring Grüv kicks has started and runs through April 7th. For a detailed event calendar, visit Park City Mountain’s website.

WATCH MAMA MIA AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATER - The jukebox musical romantic comedy that has delighted audiences worldwide featuring the songs from the Swedish pop group, ABBA! Shows will be running from March 22nd through March 31st. For detailed event calendar, click here.

Get your last ski days in - representatives from Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort say the ski areas remain set on their closing date of April 7, just two weeks away. The closing of the resorts early in the month will likely have a significant impact on Park City businesses, as lodging numbers are expected to plummet after the first week of April.

 

A Record Season

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 20, 2019

KPCW has shared that Park City May Be On Track For Record Ski Season - with a snowy winter unseen for several years in Park City – the 2018-19 ski season could be in position to set some records. Deer Valley Resort is reporting a 10-15% increase in visitation this winter and while this is the first year that the resort has been part of the nationwide IKON pass, Marketing Director Collen Reardon says some of that growth has to do with snowfall, which is expected to hit the 300 inch mark this week.

With the abundant snow Vail Resorts has announced a new Epic Day Pass. Eleven years ago, the Epic Pass transformed the ski industry by offering guests unlimited skiing at several resorts, making skiing and riding more accessible and affordable. Today, with the introduction of “Epic for Everyone,” Vail Resorts continues that history by offering the same flexibility and value to all skiers and riders, whether they want to ski or ride just one day – or every day – of the season. The new Epic Day Pass, a customizable pass for those skiers and riders who may not need the unlimited skiing offered by traditional season passes. Guests can create their own pass by selecting the number of days they plan to ski or ride – from one day to seven days – and whether or not to add holiday access. Those purchasing four or more days will also get access to Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

For guests looking to ski more days in a season, the Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass continue to offer the best value and variety for unlimited skiing and riding. Launching at $939 for the 2019-20 winter season, the Epic Pass provides unlimited, unrestricted access to all of the company’s owned resorts and additional access to partner resorts around the world. For skiers and riders willing to navigate around a few peak dates, the Epic Local Pass offers access to many of the same destinations, starting at only $699. Those who purchase the Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass this spring will also get 10 Buddy Tickets (up from six last year) and six Ski With a Friend Tickets. Visit http://www.epicpass.com for more details on this offer and other incentives.

Outside Magazine has announced the 33 Best Trips of 2019 and Utah makes the top 5 with the #4 slot - The Lodge at Blue Sky, which will have its grand opening in May, offers a fresh take on the ranch escape. Forget rustic cabins—accommodations range from 600-square-foot rooms to two-story, two-bedroom suites, each with panoramic views of the 3,500-acre property. And while there’s a 7,400-square-foot spa and classic dude-ranch staples like horseback riding and sport shooting, it’s the year-round mountain adventures—including heli-biking, resort and nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and fly-fishing—and the lodge’s exclusive ski-in, ski-out lounge in the Park City Mountain Resort village that steal the show. Blue Sky also takes brag-worthy hotel bars to a new level with an on-site distillery from award-winning Utah whiskey maker High West. Before you sip grain-to-glass cocktails, you can learn about the mashing, milling, and aging process. From $850 —J.M.

Houselogic shares The 5 Best Things to Do When You Move into Your New Home - Yes, a more homey home starts with a new toilet seat. Moving into your dream home can be a daunting task. Between unpacking, cleaning, and trying to find that stray roll of toilet paper, it may feel like you’ve lost your mind in a sea of Bubble Wrap. Here are five simple things you should do during the first month in your new home:

#1 Lock It Up - Security is the No. 1 concern for most people in a new environment. You can easily switch out your locks and deadbolts to your new home to protect your valuables and your family - make sure you choose something that looks timeless and can be cleaned easily.  A new security system is also a good idea.

#2 Remove Toilet Seats - Some folks may think it’s unnecessary to replace toilet seats, but my point here is to simply remove them. By removing your toilet seats, you can really deep clean under the bolts and hinges where the “yucks” like to hide. Your goal is to make sure your royal throne is YOU-worthy.

#3 Improve Your Home's Air - Changing an air filter is a three-minute task, and it should be done right after moving into a new home – even if the previous owners swear the chore was just done. Changing out a filter can help improve the performance of your air conditioning and furnace and help with any allergens in the home. Also, take the time to test and change out batteries in all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

#4 Paint Your Front Door - Painting your front door (or freshening it up with a coat of oil if it’s wood) can show your new neighbors that you’ve arrived on the block and are investing in your home.

#5 Choose Your Signature Scent- Every house has a smell. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that “other people smell” that’s definitely not your own particular brand of aroma. Even if the smell isn’t bad, it just isn’t yours, and that makes you feel like an intruder in someone else’s space. Make your dream home even more dreamy by filling it with your signature scent.

Home Updates

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Mar 13, 2019

This week we dive into home updates, starting with 6 Master Bathroom Trends to Watch. Grays, mixed metals, and farmhouse styles are some of the most popular trends for remodelers taking on sprucing up their master bathroom. The U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study is based on a survey of more than 1,100 homeowners who are planning or recently have completed a master bathroom renovation.

Some of the trends that emerged from the report:

1. Seeing gray: Gray colors continue to dominate for walls and flooring in the bathroom. Gray cabinets are also gaining popularity.

2. Taking the upgrade: More homeowners are upgrading their master bathrooms with special features when they remodel. The most popular premium features are dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks, and built-in vanities.

3. Mixing up the metals: Two in five renovating homeowners do not match metal finishes across fixtures and hardware in master bathrooms. Of the 58 percent of renovating homeowners who do match metal finishes, the most popular options are matte nickel and polished chrome (38 and 28 percent, respectively).

4. Going a little country: Farmhouse styles are jumping in popularity. While contemporary style continue to be the leading choice among renovating homeowners, the style has dropped over the past three years. Farmhouse style, on the other hand, has more than doubled in popularity.

5. Making it accessible: The majority of baby boomer homeowners (ages 55 or older) are addressing aging-related needs during master bathroom renovations. Nearly half of renovating baby boomers are changing the bathroom layout, and one-third are removing the bathtub. Other upgrades include installing accessibility features like seats, low curbs, grab bars, and non-slide floors in upgraded showers and bathtubs.

6. Building a master suite: The study found that homeowners are focusing on their master suite as a whole, not just the bathroom in their updates. Nearly half of master bathroom projects also were accompanied by master bedroom renovations (46 percent). Some homeowners are making their master baths even larger than their bedroom. One in ten master bathrooms is the same size or larger than the master bedroom (11 percent).

Not ready for a huge remodel, here are 10 DIY ways to spruce up your home by MarketWatch- Renovations for the thrifty homeowner.Whether you’re preparing to sell your home or staying put and craving a refresh, you may be concerned about how renovations can impact your budget. If you’re willing to put in some time and get a little dirty, these DIY projects will help you update your home without taking out a second mortgage.

1. Clean your vinyl siding - “Cleaning vinyl house siding can be accomplished with nothing more than a long-handled scrub brush, good-quality cleaner, a garden hose, and a little elbow grease.”

2. Repaint the front door and update exterior accents - Whether your exterior has siding, paint, shingles, or stone, updating your front door can boost the curb appeal of your home. For an even easier project, “change out your house numbers and possibly your mailbox.

3. Apply removable wallpaper - Removable wallpaper is a stylish and affordable way to update your space with minimal investment. Moreover, it’s a really easy way to add color or pattern to your space with little commitment.

4. Paint your walls - If you prefer a painted surface to wallpaper, you may be surprised by how easy it is to paint a room yourself. The caveat is that you do have to take your time for quality results, especially with project setup.

5. Refresh your cabinets - Old-looking cabinets can make for a dreary kitchen. Rather than replacing them, Anthony Navarro, author and co-creator of the online talk show The Wedding Planners, recommends painting them and switching out the hardware for a dramatic update. “If you are not adventurous enough to paint your cabinets, consider changing out one cabinet door in the kitchen to glass, so you can highlight your entertaining glassware, serving pieces, and china,” he recommends.

6. Apply a new backsplash - A fresh backsplash can give the impression of a much bigger renovation, and the Kubiaks suggest peel-and-stick tile, rather than the real thing. “A new kitchen backsplash is surprisingly affordable and DIY-able for homeowners,” they say. “Peel-and-stick tile makes it a DIY project that can be completed without complicated or expensive tools. These tiles can be cut to size with ordinary tin snips and stick to the wall without added adhesives.”

7. Rejuvenate your bathroom - upgrade hardware and fixtures, but keeping it easy.When replacing cabinet pulls, choose new ones that can fit into the same holes so you don’t have to patch old ones. You can also replace your shower door and fixtures.

8. Hang wall art - You can change the look of a room by simply hanging artwork.

9. Put up window coverings - New window treatments can dramatically enhance a room without requiring a ton of effort.

10. Update old floors- Worn out, old floors can set the tone for an entire room, but re-sanding and finishing your floors could be beyond your capabilities. Basher has a fix: “Whether you have old carpet or beat up hardwood floors, a little measuring and a few hours of work over a weekend can spruce up your floors and change the complete look of a room. A couple coats of durable floor paint or peel-and-stick tiles from your local home store can go a long way.”

With remodels now on the brain, remember that most anything is better than a dungeon. Park City Magazine shares a Step Back (And Down) Into Time at the Park City Museum’s Dungeon. The town’s original territorial jail was no joke during the mining era. Walking down Historic Main Street, with its cute shops, colorful historic buildings, clean sidewalks, and pleasant mountain air, it can be difficult to imagine what Park City looked like 100 years ago. Things were almost exactly the opposite. During the heyday of the mining era, Park City was not the picturesque mountain escape by any means; it was filthy and full of promiscuity. After long, hard, and hazardous days in the mines, miners flocked to Main Street to drown their worries at one of the dozens of local watering-holes. They weren’t the only ones; mining towns drew all manner of depravity. Needless to say, petty crimes, drunkenness, prostitution, and general rowdiness were common and often resulted in a stint at Park City’s territorial jail, a.k.a. the dungeon.

Built in 1885, the jail was nothing short of dreadful. Dark, dank, and cold, it offered no running water or electricity, just a dirt floor with a wood stove in the middle, its only creature comfort. When a concrete floor and toilet were added in 1906, the Park Recorddeclared the jail was finally, “fit for human beings to live in.” Today, the dungeon is one of the biggest attractions at the Park City Museum, but according to Park City legends, the dungeon is haunted (at least if you believe what they say on the Ghost Tours). You can step inside the jail for yourself and find out more about its unsavory history and the prisoners who were kept there by visiting the Park City Museum.

A Good Cause

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 26, 2019

This week we are sharing the top states for retirees, an upcoming ski event for a great cause and seven winter improvements for your home.

MSN Money has placed Utah in the top 10 for best states for retirees in 2019. The world may change, but at least one thing remains the same: Florida is still the top-ranked destination for retirees.  The perennial retirement favorite Sunshine State earned an overall score of 65.6 out of a possible 100 in terms of how retirement-friendly it is, according to a recent analysisby WalletHub.

In determining its rankings, WalletHub weighed 46 retirement-related factors centered on affordability, quality of life and health care.Some of those factors include: General cost of living, Tax friendliness, Share of the population that is age 65 and older, Mildness of weather, and Physicians and dentists per capita.

The states that made the top 10 — and their overall scores — are:

  1. Florida: 65.6 out of 100
  2. South Dakota: 63.72
  3. Colorado: 62.19
  4. New Hampshire: 61.8
  5. Virginia: 60.82
  6. Utah: 60.73
  7. Iowa: 60.41
  8. Wyoming: 60.13
  9. Pennsylvania: 59.94
  10. Minnesota: 59.88
Looking for something fun to do with a great cause - Ski For a Good Cause with Pink Park City. Register now for the March 23 on-piste, fundraising extravaganza, complete with games, music, and skiing—supporting research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. After a smashingly successful inaugural year, Pink Park City returns for a second run on March 23, 2019. Not only does this charity ski event encourage pink tutus, unicorns, and wigs, it also helps raise vital funding for research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

With momentum behind them, Pink Park City is upping its fundraising goal to $150,000 (last year, they destroyed their $50,000 goal by raising $80,000) and they’re hoping to attract 600 participants. Event organizers promise a day full of on-mountain activities, deck parties, live music, challenges, giveaways, prizes, and the Rally For Hope Parade. Registration is open at the Pink Park City website. One hundred percent of the funds raised go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Don’t Wait for Spring - Keep your DIYing going year-round with these indoor winter home improvement projects. Here are 7 Winter Home Improvements to Do Now

#1 Update Your Laundry Room - laundry rooms in need of an upgrade tend to suffer from a lack of features, so this is typically a sledgehammer-free project. To make a bleak laundry space more functional, add shelves and bins for laundry baskets and detergent, and put a countertop over the washer and dryer. You get storage space and a place to fold clothes. Add a little peel-and-stick wallpaper, and you can make the chore-heavy room more enjoyable without fumigating your cozy home with paint.

#2 Add Crown Molding - Crown molding adds some heavy-duty appeal to a home without any heavy materials to haul through the ice and snow. You can put it at the top of walls or door frames or on the wall along the top of cabinets. It’s not just pretty; crown molding will cover dings and nicks on walls, and it gives your home a custom look buyers love. You won’t be using a ton of paint on molding, so fumes won’t be an issue, either.

  • For standard 8-foot ceilings, the molding should be 2.5 to 6 inches wide.
  • For 9-foot ceilings, 3 to 7.5 inches wide.
  • For 10-foot or higher ceilings, at least 8 inches wide.
#3 Change Out Cabinet Hardware - Make sure the new handles and pulls fit in the holes left by the old handles and pulls. That way, you won’t have to drill new holes or putty and paint over the old ones. A hardware redo’s one of the simplest winter home projects because all you need is a screwdriver and an hour or two.

#4 Get a New Faucet - a faucet is the brains of your sink. Put a better one in, and your sink is suddenly smarter. This one is an easy one— as long as you get a faucet with the same number of mounting holes in your sink. Just turn off the water shutoff valves under the sink, and follow the instructions that come with the faucet.

#5 Put in a New Bathroom Vanity - Take your bathroom into the 21st century with a new vanity. You can pull out your old one without making clouds of dust, buy a new one that’s a single, prefab unit and you won’t have to paint. No fumes, no dust, no problem for a winter home project.

#6 Max Out Your Kitchen Storage - Turn a kitchen wall into a storage wall by covering it in easy-to-install pegboard, then hanging pots, pans, cutting boards, and other utensils on it. You can find pegboard in a variety of colors and styles now, so you can skip the fume-y painting step. Plus, it adds storage space without losing any square footage.

#7 Add Wainscoting - Pump up the panache in your house by adding wainscoting to walls. It’s pretty easy to do, too, because it comes in panels you can put on the wall in one piece (even pre-painted to avoid the fumes), and you don’t need mad carpentry skills to install it.Just take off your baseboards. Cut each panel of wainscoting to length. Glue it in place with construction adhesive, and nail the panels where the studs are. Glue on the cap rail, and put the baseboard back. You can do wainscoting in an average-sized room in two to four hours.

Market Report & News

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 12, 2019

This week we will start off with a handful of market reports (Lower Deer Valley, Upper Deer Valley, Empire Pass, Old Town and Canyons) and then follow up with Kid and Parent approved eateries in Park City and the best terrain parks in North America. Please let us know if you have any questions on our reports or fun activities in Park City.

 

 

 

Larger images of these reports are available on our LinkedIn site or we can send them to you directly by reaching out to ramon@rgomzjr.com

Park City Magazine has shared 8 Kid- and Parent-Approved Eateries in Park City with Kid-friendly menus, fast service, and a casual atmosphere prevail at these family-friendly restaurants. Casual atmosphere, a menu with lots of variety, and craft beer make Wasatch a winner for the whole family.

Baja Cantina - It might not be the most authentic Mexican food, but Baja Cantina (1355 Lowell Ave) is a no-brainer for après-ski munchies or dinner, particularly if you’re looking for a convenient location near Park City Mountain’s base area. Load up on generous portions of chips, salsa, tacos, and other Tex-Mex specials—and for the adults, margaritas, of course.

The Corner Store Pub & Grill - Unwind after a day on the slopes at a longtime local fixture. You’ll always find a mix of visitors and local regulars partaking in the après scene at The Corner Store (1325 Lowell Ave) thanks to $3 PBRs and tasty, reasonably-priced grub. During their round of renovations this summer, the eatery installed two new pizza ovens meaning those $6 slices ($4 for locals) are being served faster than ever. The joint also gets bonus points for prime people-watching patio seating, perfect for those sunnier winter days.

Davanza’s  - If you’ve got a mind to skip out on the pricey fare of the mountain and you’re at least an intermediate skier or rider, cruise down Quit-N-Time run at Park City Mountain and pop into Davanza’s (690 Park Ave, 435.649.222). With walls lined with hundreds of beer cans, this down-to-earth Park City hangout serves up burgers, subs, street tacos, and pizza on the cheap. Hop back on Town Lift and you’re ready for more action.

Red Tail Grill - Just steps from Park City Mountain’s Orange Bubble Express, the Red Tail Grill (4000 Canyons Resort Dr) offers fantastic views of the slopes with your lunch or dinner. Their special kid’s menu includes no-fuss cheese burgers, spaghetti, and chicken fingers, while adults can choose from a more sophisticated selection of entrées, hand-crafted cocktails, and draft beers.

Wasatch Brew Pub - Most restaurants on Main Street do their best to accommodate families with kids. But, if we have to pick the best place for a family outing, Wasatch Brew Pub (250 Main St) is it. With a long list of award-winning beers and a food menu that covers everything from tater-tots and loaded mac-n-cheese to seared ahi tuna, superfood salads, and savory burgers, this restaurant has something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

Squatters Roadhouse & Grill - Another excellent choice (just ask our editor’s kids!) for a laid-back dining experience is Squatters Roadhouse & Grill (1900 Park Avenue). Serving breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Squatters expansive menu offers a little bit of everything, from biscuits and gravy to tacos, curry, pizza, burgers, and beyond.

Daly’s Pub & Rec - Located inside the Montage Deer Valley, Daly’s Pub & Rec (9100 Marsac Ave) is a winner for all ages. This upscale-pub-meets-tricked-out-game-room offers guests a little competition with their meal through vintage arcade games, shuffleboard, bowling, and darts. Menu items range from kid-pleasers like chicken tenders and mac-n-cheese to artisanal pizzas, Wagyu steak, wild mushroom risotto, and salads.

Champions Club - Part of this summer’s $14 million property enhancements, Stein Eriksen Lodge (7700 Stein Way) recently unveiled the shiny new 3,500-square foot Champions Club. The entertainment center—with high-tech interactive games as well as retro arcade favorites—offers a casual, family-friendly place to grab a bite and beverage. Best of all, you can ski in and ski out easily from the adjacent Champions Club Plaza. Parents may opt for sidling up to the plaza’s fire pits with a glass of vino, while the rest of the clan heads into the club for billiards or, perhaps, Pac-Man.

Adventure Sports Network has listed the 6 of the Best Terrain Parks in North America and Park City makes the list. From massive hits to inventive jib features, these are the resorts doing terrain parks right. It wasn’t long ago that terrain parks were an exotic beast – a place where adventurous skiers and snowboarders could spend time testing gravity and sliding their boards and skis down the occasional hand rail.

Nowadays, terrain parks are all but a required part of any mountain resort, a prerequisite for visitors from near or far. With such a variety of options, it can be hard to separate the real from the pretender, especially when the kickers get bigger and rail setups a little spicier.

Park City Mountain, Utah - If you've seen an insane terrain park edit in the last few years, chances are pretty good that you’ve already seen Park City Mountain's terrain parks in action. Perfectly shaped step-downs and some of the biggest, most creative rail setups in North America are just a few of the factors that draw some of the most talented skiers and riders (and their filmers) to the sunny slopes of Park City Mountain.

But Park City isn’t just for the pros. In fact, the area has a diverse progression of parks, from its kid parks to more intermediate Pick Axe Park.

Park City nearly doubled its freestyle terrain after merging with the former Canyons Resort, offering eight terrain parks and two halfpipes.

FIS Championships and Real Estate Updates

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 05, 2019

This week we wanted to share what is happening in Park City in the midst of the FIS World Championships, what states are growing the fastest in the US and which home improvements have the highest return on investment in 2019.

The FIS World Championships bring in over 1,500 athletes to compete in aerials, SX snowboardcross and skicross, and moguls. The Park Record shares that Aerials, one of the original freestyle events, is also flying into new territory. On Feb. 7, athletes will compete in the World Championship debut of team aerials at Deer Valley Resort's Owl Run.

The traditional aerials finals are scheduled for Feb. 6 on the same course. Both events are judged, in which athletes fly off high-angle jumps to complete multiple spins and flips in a single jump. Snowboardcross and Skicross, in which groups of athletes race down a course that features drops, ramps and jumps, made their Olympic debuts in 2006 and 2010 respectively.

Deer Valley's World Cups are marked as a high point in the moguls season among athletes because of the quality of course and accommodations as well as the tight-knit corps of volunteers that run the competition. Moguls is both a timed and judged sport. Athletes are judged on their skiing technique and the tricks they perform off of two jumps, which is added to their timed run down the slope. Spectators can see that course from the same area as the aerials competition. For more information and a detailed schedule of events, go to 2019worldchamps.com.

Western States Fare Best in Population Growth - Which states are growing the fastest and adding new residents? Idaho and Nevada once again lead the states in population growth rates, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures. Demographic changes can be key to projecting future housing needs, the National Association of Home Builders explained on its Eye On Housing blog post analyzing the census numbers. Between July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, Nevada posted a population growth rate of 2.09 percent, while Idaho grew by 2.05 percent. The other three of the five fastest-growing states: Utah, Arizona, and Florida.

However, Texas had the largest increase in its population by number—adding 379,128 people between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018. Florida, California, Arizona, and North Carolina followed with the largest numerical increases to their populations. New York and Illinois posted the largest declines in population during that time period. Overall, the U.S. population increased by 2 million between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018. The U.S. population now stands at 327.2 million.

Cost vs. Value: The Home Improvement Projects With the Highest ROI in 2019 Remodelers across the country took a hit last summer as the cost of building materials spiked dramatically, and the picture for 2019 isn't much rosier. The percentage of return on investment (ROI) is projected to trend downward for all the replacement projects listed in Remodeling magazine's newly-released Cost vs. Value Report.

Larger indoor remodel projects took a hit as well, but weren't impacted as greatly as replacement projects as they rely more on labor costs rather than material costs.

"With the increasing costs of building materials and labor, we urge remodelers to think like real estate professionals first,” says Clayton DeKorne, editor-in-chief of Remodeling magazine. "When you adjust your focus to think like a broker first, you can dull clients’ No. 1 pain point—cost—with a discussion of the amount that can be recouped."

Nationally, here are the five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's mid-range cost category:

Manufactured Stone Veneer(94.9% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $8,907
  • Average Resale Value: $8,449
Minor Kitchen Remodel(80.5% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $22,507
  • Average Resale Value: $18,123
Deck Addition (Wood)(75.6% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $13,333
  • Average Resale Value: $10,083
Siding Replacement(75.6% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $16,036
  • Average Resale Value: $12,119
Entry Door Replacement (Steel)(74.9% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $1,826
  • Average Resale Value: $1,368
And the five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's upscale cost category are:

Garage Door Replacement(97.5% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $3,611
  • Average Resale Value: $3,520
Window Replacement (Vinyl)(73.4% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $16,802
  • Average Resale Value: $12,332
Grand Entrance (Fiberglass)(71.9% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $8,994
  • Average Resale Value: $6,469
Window Replacement (Wood)(70.8% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $20,526
  • Average Resale Value: $14,530
Bathroom Remodel(60.2% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $64,743
  • Average Resale Value: $38,952
Nationally—and on the other end of the spectrum—here are the five projects with the lowest ROI in the mid-range cost category:

Backyard Patio(55.2% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $56,906
  • Average Resale Value: $31,430
Master Suite Addition(59.4% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $130,986
  • Average Resale Value: $77,785
Bathroom Addition(60.6% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $47,427
  • Average Resale Value: $28,726
Roofing Replacement (Metal)(60.9% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $38,600
  • Average Resale Value: $23,526
Major Kitchen Remodel(62.1% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $66,196
  • Average Resale Value: $41,133
And the five projects with the lowest ROI in the upscale cost category are:

Master Suite Addition(50.4% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $271,470
  • Average Resale Value: $136,820
Bathroom Addition(58.1% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $87,704
  • Average Resale Value: $51,000
Major Kitchen Remodel(59.7% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $131,510
  • Average Resale Value: $78,524
Bathroom Remodel(60.2% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $64,743
  • Average Resale Value: $38,952
Window Replacement (Wood)(70.8% ROI)
  • Average Cost: $20,526
  • Average Resale Value: $14,530
  • The 2019 Cost vs. Value Report surveyed more than 3,200 real estate professionals about returns for 22 popular renovation projects in 136 different U.S. housing markets—up from 100 markets last year. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.

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Staying Warm

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 29, 2019

The winter cold is here as well as across the country with temperatures well below freezing. This week we wanted to share the 4th Quarter review, along with some ways to save on your heating bill and how to pack for mountain travel.

Real Estate update: Check out Gino's Market Update for the Q4 Market Update with Gino Blefari.

6 Ways to Save on Your Heating Bill This Winter - Whether you have an economical heat pump or a decades-old oil burner, you're probably looking for a way to cut your heating costs this winter. It's totally easy to keep warm (and on budget) with these expert tips:

You can't manage what you don't measure - The first step to managing your energy spending is inspecting it, says Josh Prigge, founder of Sustridge, a sustainability consulting firm in Las Vegas, Nevada. For most people, that means checking your electric bill. For others, it might mean calculating how many gallons of oil you've used (we see you Northeasterners) or how much you've spent each month on ancillary heating items (i.e. pellets for a pellet stove or wood for your fireplace.) Once you know where your money is going, you can come up with realistic use goals and monitor your progress against them.

Knowing your home's perfect temperature - To save money on your energy bills, set your thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If that sounds a little too cold, being a little chilly may seem like a fair trade for all you'll save—that for every degree you lower your thermostat, you'll save approximately two percent of your overall heating bill.

Upgrade your technology - Affordable smart home devices can do wonders in reducing your overall energy use. A web-connected thermostat can be fiddled with from anywhere in the world, via your phone, which means you can lower your home's temperature after everyone has left for the day, says Steve Beeler, owner of RSC Heating and Air Conditioning. And don't forget to look for the Energy Star symbol on every home item you upgrade, from appliances to light bulbs. These use lower amounts of energy in the long term, which can mean lower bills (and more money in your pocket.)

Dodge those drafts - "Drafts are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home," says Mark Tyrol, the owner of Battic Door, a Mansfield, Massachusetts-based home energy conservation product company. Since warm air can escape and cold air can enter through poorly insulated areas, keeping them untouched is essentially like leaving your windows open all winter long.

Consider purchasing a cover for your house fan, a draft blocker for your dryer vent, a plug for your fireplace, and a cover for your attic stairs. Of course, cracks around your windows and doors, and pipes that run through exterior walls can leak your precious warm air out, too. Enter weatherstripping and added insulation: It can be as cheap as a rolled-up towel under a drafty door or a $13 window insulator kit.

Hot tip: Once your windows are well-insulated, consider keeping the curtains open to let the sunlight in. The added heat from the sunshine may have a big impact in small rooms.

Don't forget to winterize - Hate to break it to you, but summer is over. Though it may seem like an added headache to swap out your storm windows and remove those air conditioning units (or covering them up if they're permanently installed), these small steps can save you some money, says Jordana Viuker Brennan, founder of Confident Buildings, a New York-based energy-use consultancy.

Perform routine maintenance - The biggest heating cost? That emergency repair session after your unit goes kaput. But, just like your grandma says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

"If you invest 80 percent of the service work into preventative service, you will only need 20 percent or less in emergency work," says Dave Miller, the owner of South Carolina-based Superior Heating & Air.

Prevent the big messes with these small tasks: Replace your air filters every season (Miller suggests replacing them once a month to prevent the build up of particles in your heating system), have an HVAC specialist calibrate your thermostat, and occasionally pour a cap of bleach down your AC unit's drain line to prevent algae and other deposits from building up.

And remember: These steps save more than just costs—they could save your life as well. Regular maintenance of fuel-burning appliances (like your furnace, water heater, and clothes dryer), can prevent fires and carbon monoxide build-up, says Larry Oglesby, director of Remington College's HVAC program. Take the time this winter to make sure everything is property vented, so you can rest assured as you cozy up.

What to Pack for a Ski/Snowboarding Vacation by Ski Utah is a good reminder for us locals, but great to share with family and friends coming into town - Packing for a ski trip can be a challenge.  Most of the clothes are bulky and traveling with gear can be a hassle. Clothes make a difference between enjoying your trip and being miserable. For snow-play, leave the cotton at home and stick to wool or synthetic fabrics. Once cotton gets wet, from either sweat or snow, it won’t dry out, leaving you damp and cold.

In general, you want to pack pieces that can be mixed and matched to keep you warm and looking good. Mid layers are a good example of something you can wear on and off the slopes. However, you may want to pack separate base layers for snow sports and relaxing, because if you’re like me, the skiing set will get stinky during the day.

On the slopes

Base: Your base layer should be wool or synthetic. A mid- to heavy-weight is good depending on the rest of your gear. I wear a heavyweight Hot Chillys base with my ski pants and stayed toasty and warm without a mid layer. On top, I used a synthetic base plus a mid layer.

Mid: You may or may not need this layer depending on the rest of your gear. Fleece works well. On top, I use a zipped jacket or 1/4 zip that I can open when I get warm.

Outer: This includes your ski pants and jacket. Make sure this layer is waterproof, especially if you’re a beginning skier or rider, because you’ll spend a lot of time on your butt in the snow. Ski pants and jackets are insulated to varying degrees, which will influence which other layers you choose. My jacket isn’t insulated, so I really layer-up on top, sometimes using two light base layers and a mid layer underneath. My pants have some insulation built in so I only need the Hot Chillys bottoms.

If you don’t own, or want to pack, ski pants and coat, try using a rental service such as Jans.com. Simply order what you need online or stop in the store.

The important-small-stuff: In addition to your layers, on the slopes you’ll need gloves, ski goggles or sunglasses, a neck warmer such as a buff, cap, balaclava, or beanie that will fit under your helmet; and ski socks. Ski socks should be snuggly fitted and taller than regular socks making them a better choice with ski boots. Trust me; you don’t want socks bunching up inside of your ski boots, ouch! Hand and foot-warmers are a pleasure to have on really cold days. Buy them off the mountain for the best deal. Depending on the type of skiing you have planned, you may need a backpack and hydration options.

Off the slopes - You’ll be worn out by the end of the day, so pack some comfy clothes to relax in. Keep thinking in layers to give yourself more outfit options and save room. Again, they should include bases, mid-layers such as a snuggly fleece and an outer layer. The difference is that the outer layer doesn’t need to be waterproof and the other could include some cotton such as jeans.

Base: I like a thin bottom base, such as silk, under my pants. Sometimes I skip this and just wear one layer after hours if I won’t be outside much.

Mid: This is the piece you’ll likely wear the most, so choose something that will pair well with all of your outfits and that fits comfortably. There are so many sharp looking options available, it may be hard to choose just one, but for the sake of space, try.

Outer: This can be any stylish coat, sized to fit a couple of layers underneath. By using layers, you can avoid packing your biggest, most bulky coat. Pick something that is wind and rain resistant for the most versatility.

The important-small-stuff: Gloves, scarves and caps will round out your outfits without taking up much space. Make sure you pack some waterproof boots that can take a tromp through the snow. Sorel makes a bunch of options that get the job done while looking good. I didn’t feel like a Salt Lake City local until I owned a pair. Then I found out they make all-rubber high-heels, not my grandma’s idea of practical snow boots, but they rock!

And don’t forget… Pack all of your usual travel items such as toiletries, undergarments, swimsuit, and maybe some sweats for the hotel room. A few more items you shouldn’t forget: sunscreen, snacks, and lip balm with sunscreen. Sunscreen is very important due to the high elevation and reflection up from the snow. Make sure you protect your face and lips well.

Carry On - In a perfect world, there wouldn't be a need for stores that sell lost luggage...but bags DO get lost, treating travelers to an uncomfortable arrival. But you can plan for the worst. Pack a day's worth of basics in your carry on. First, pack any prescriptions or supplies that would be a disaster to go without. Next, pack a change of clothes, base layers, ski socks, water-resistant boots, coat, gloves, and cap. With this much, you could rent everything else you would need to ski/ride, plus be comfortable off the slopes until your bags catch up.

What about gear? You have a few options for gear. It can be a hassle to check your board, skis or poles on the airline for a short trip, so you might want to rent them. However, boots are an important piece that I would go ahead and pack. I’d also prefer my own helmet, which doesn’t take much space if you stuff it full of other items such as gloves and beanies.

Do research on rentals ahead of time, there are rental options both on and off the mountain that may even give you the chance to demo some new gear you’ve wanted to try. Some will even give you a discount for reserving online in advance. Short on time? Have all of your rentals delivered so you can get on the snow faster. Both Ski Butlers and Ski 'N See Delivery will bring gear directly to you.

If all of these new clothes and accessories sound expensive, read my post: Dressing for cold weather travel on a budget. Don’t be the person who shows up in jeans and ends up miserable two hours into the lesson. Make time to “beg, borrow or steal” some decent clothes so you can focus on learning to ski, not trying to stay warm and dry.

Sundance, Rentals & Fun Things To Do

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 22, 2019

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival individual ticket sales are open. Tickets are available online or in person at all three box office locations until the end of the Festival. Buying your tickets online? Make sure that you have a supported browser (ChromeFirefox, or Safari) and that you can log in to your Sundance.org account (or create a new account). If you need assistance, please contact sundance.org/customersupport.

The New York Times recently asked the question Are Winter Rentals a Good Investment? The answer is Yes, if you buy in the right place. Vacation rental properties can be a solid investment, depending on the location. To help potential buyers decide where to invest, Vacasa, a vacation rental property management company, crunched data on about a half-million rental properties in popular winter destinations in the United States.

Cap rate is calculated by comparing a home’s sale price to what is left of the annual rental revenue after expenses are met. For example, if a home sold for $100,000 and there was $1,000 left at the end of the year after expenses, the cap rate would be 1 percent. The more money in your pocket at the end of the year, the higher the cap rate. The cap-rate equation, however, does not include mortgage costs. So it is most useful to investors who can buy a home outright. But even if you factor a mortgage into the calculations — a 30-year, fixed-rate loan at 4.58 percent, say, with a 25 percent down payment — most of the places on the following list were still very profitable, Vacasa found. Park City, Utah comes in fourth out of the top ten on good investments at 5.5 | $557,700

Park City Magazine has shared 9 Off-Slope Adventures the Whole Family Will Love - Look no further than these fun, cross-generational activities:

Outdoor Wonders - If your legs are done with the slopes but you’re still craving some downhill speed, Soldier Hollow Nordic Center has 1,200 feet of tubing lanes, all accessible by the magic carpet—it’s all the downhill fun, none of the uphill work. 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway, 435.654.2002

Discover activities for all ages and curiosities at the 1,200-acre Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter. Kids can test their vertical skills on the indoor climbing wall, track wildlife on a snowshoeing adventure, or color their way through Craft Sunday. 1258 Center Dr, 435.649.1767

The ice-blue wonderland of the Midway Ice Castle is not to be missed. Explore an acre of rooms, tunnels, and slides made entirely of ice and illuminated by a kaleidoscope of LED lights. Dress for the chilly night air and wander through a crystalline fairyland. Located near the Homestead Resort in Midway. Advance tickets only. 866.435.2850

Spin a little mountain-town vacation magic at the Park City Resort Ice Rink. Twinkle lights, hot cocoa, and music set the stage for making memories gliding (or falling) together. Complimentary skate walkers make it easy for the littlest skaters. 1415 Lowell Ave, 435.615.8165

Grow Your Budding Artist - Stoke your artistic flame at Red Flower Studios, where kids from 2 to 99 years old use breath and fire to make hand-blown glass creations. From abstract trinkets to a new favorite smoothie cup, here the transformative power of fire lights imaginations. 1755 Bonanza Dr, Unit C, 435.602.1949

At Paint Fusion, kids of all ages can choose from several hundred ceramic objects and paint them however they like. Decorate animals, fantasy creatures, platters, mugs, or even candy bowls. The work is kiln-fired for a professional finish, so plan on a couple days before picking up your masterwork. You can also up the artistic ante with a custom glass fusion piece. 1635 Redstone Center Dr, #115, 435.575.6463

Think you can’t paint? Think again. At the Paint Mixer, professionals lead you and your crew, step-by-step, in the creation of your own masterpiece. Your house will be the perfect showcase of the talent you didn’t know you had. 738 Main St, 435.604.0820

Keep the Good Times Rolling - Bowling, billiards, and video games at Jupiter Bowl provide hours of family fun. While you’re there, call dinner done by ordering a round of gourmet burgers or a hand-tossed pizza; and grown-ups can top off the high-octane revelry with a cocktail from the bar. 1090 Center Dr, 435.658.2695

Part intimate arcade, part upscale tavern, Daly’s Pub & Rec at the Montage is as much geared toward your inner foodie as it is the kid in you. Play video games or tabletop shuffleboard, and don’t miss the main attraction, the four-lane bowling alley—right next to the gourmet kitchen. Call ahead for availability. 9100 Marsac Ave, 435.604.1532 

 

Winter Activities

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 09, 2019

This week we wanted to share Things To Do This Winter Outside Of Skiing And Snowboarding - Many come to Utah for skiing and snowboarding, but 'The Greatest Snow on Earth' can provide residents and visitors with so much more! Check out all these activities that have nothing to do with skiing or snowboarding.

Ice Skating - Looking for a winter activity the whole family can enjoy? Visit any of Utah's many ice skating rinks for a fun activity for any skill level. From the warmer indoor rinks to watching the snow fall as you skate outside, ice skating is a quintessential winter time activity. Click here for more information on some of Utah's most popular ice skating rinks.

Snowshoeing - Love hiking and/or backpacking in the summer and looking to get out in nature during the winter? Strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails! Snowshoes provide a fun and easy way to get out into nature and off the beaten path. Participants can rent snowshoes for as low at $20 a day from local sporting outlets and many outfitters offer guided tours. For more information on snowshoeing in Utah,click here.

Tubing And Sledding - Looking for a winter thrill? Try tubing and sledding! Whether you want to visit any number of supermarkets or outdoor retailers and buy your own tube or sled, or you'd rather rent a tube and slide down a man made course (usually they even transport you back up to the top of the hill!), tubing and sledding is fun for the whole family. Check out these locations for tubing parks and some of the best sledding around the Wasatch Front and Back!

Snowmobiling - Ready to go full throttle and race your friends through the powder? Jump and a snowmobile for the jolt of adrenaline you've been looking for. Whether you want to pave your own trail in the backcountry or take a leisurely ride through nature, Utah has some of the best snowmobiling in the country. Click here for more information.

Revisit The Olympics - What would it be like to be an Olympic athlete? With the Utah Olympic Park, you can find out! Take a ride down the bobsled track, watch ski jumping and areal practice, wander the Alf Engen Ski Museum, experience the virtual reality ride, and so much more!

January Events

Now - 4/7: Utah Grizzlies Hockey, West Valley City

Now- 4/10: Utah Jazz Basketball, Salt Lake City

Now - 1/21: Christmas in the Wizarding World, Sandy

Now - 2/24: The Gallivan Center Ice Rink, Salt Lake City

Now - 2/3: Station Park Holiday Ice Rink, Farmington

Now - 2/23: Cosmic Skating, Utah Olympic Oval

1/11 - 1/13: Canned Heat, Park City

1/12 - 2/9: 12th Annual Powder Mountain Grom Fest, Powder Mountain

1/17 - 1/19: An Evening with Rita Coolidge, Park City

1/24 - 2/3: Sundance Film Festival, Park City

1/25: Bill Engvall, Kamas

1/25 - 1/26: All Star Monster Truck Tour, West Valley City

1/30: Kelly Clarkson: Meaning Of Life Tour, Salt Lake City

1/30 - 3/3: Wicked, Salt Lake City

2/1 - 2/2: 2019 Wasatch Yeti Bash, Ogden

2/1 - 2/10: FIS World Championship, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, and Solitude

 

Happy New Year!

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 02, 2019

Judy and I would like to wish you all a wonderful 2019! We are excited for another year in real estate and look forward to spending time outside and with our grand children.

Rave Reviews has posted the Best Ski Towns in America and Park City made the list. They shared that the best place to stay in Park City is the Washington School House Hotel, the best place to eat is El Chubasco and the best place to ski is Park City Mountain.

Easily accessible Park City, UT is known as the home to Sundance Film Festival. But it’s also one of America’s best ski towns. During Sundance, people from all over the world need to be able to easily fly to Park City. So when it comes time to ski, you can too, with frequent flights arriving daily from all over the West Coast.

For slopes in Park City, our pick is the recently-merged Park City Mountain/Canyons. But to find snow in Park City, you need do little more than step out of your hotel and onto the Town Lift chair, which will get you from Main Street Park City to the summit of Park City Mountainin 18 minutes. 

And to take advantage of Park City’s abundant nightlife, stay at the Washington School House Hotel, where you’ll enjoy a cocktail lounge, soaking tubs in the spa, shuttle service, and sprawling, spacious suites that are pure fire. 

The restaurants in Park City are also world-class, so be sure to try local favorite El Chubascofor delicious, Mexican-inspired cuisine. 

Overall, don’t let film industry royalty scare you off. Park City remains one of America’s best, and most user-friendly, ski towns. Shred-o-meter: 7.5

There are key words in real estate that everyone should know, especially first time buyers and Millennials - 10 Real Estate Terms Experts Say Every Millennial Should KnowBetween saving, searching, and signing on the dotted line, buying your first home can be an overwhelming process. Making the whole experience even more daunting is the real estate jargon, which can sound like Greek to a real estate newbie.

Not sure where to start? Don't stress. We spoke to other real estate professionals to find out the 10 terms millennials should know before they even think about buying their first home: Pre-Approval letter, debt-to-income ratio, comparative market analysis (CMA), purchase offer, appraisal, co-purchasing, contract, contingencies, closing costs and title insurance. To read the entire article - click here.

Have a great week!

2030 Olympics

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 19, 2018

Time Magazine has published that Salt Lake City got the green light to bid for the Winter Olympics — most likely for 2030 — in an attempt to bring the Games back to the city that hosted in 2002 and provided the backdrop for the U.S. winter team’s ascendance into an international powerhouse.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said Friday it was selecting Utah’s capital, which stood out as a predictable, slam-dunk pick in a process that also included Denver and Reno, Nevada.

With venues still in place — some of them upgraded — from the 2002 Games, Salt Lake claims it can host again at a lower cost than other candidates, which aligns with the International Olympic Committee’s new blueprint for the Games.

It’s almost a certain bet the bid will be for 2030, though the USOC left open the possibility of other dates. There are only two bidders for 2026: from Sweden and Italy, after voters in Calgary, Alberta, rejected a proposed bid.

The Ski Jumping FIS Cup starts today, December 18, at the Utah Olympic Park 3419 Olympic Pkwy and goes through December 20, 2018. Price: $10 at the gate or online at USAnordic.org - Come watch as athletes from the United States and around the world compete for the FIS Cup at Utah Olympic Park December 18-20. WEBSITE

Park City is in the top 10 again for USA Today's Readers Choice 2018 10 Best Ski Towns. Park City offers the feel of a historic Wild West mining town with the amenities of a world class ski resort. Main Street is lined with top-notch bars and restaurants, while the Sundance Film Festival each January is one of the hottest tickets in town. The U.S. Ski Team trains at Park City Mountain Resort, so you know the skiing is good.

Forbes released its annual listof the best states for business. Utah finished in second place, which is one spot higher than in 2017, according to Forbes.

  • The Qualtrics-SAP deal announced in November was one reason why Utah received such a bump, according to Forbes.
  • Utah businesses experience energy costs that are 15 percent lower than the national average.
  • The state has the highest employment growth over the last five years. Job gains are expected to rise 2.2 percent through 2022, according to the report.
We will wrap up this week's blog with a great article, Why Heber Valley is the perfect winter staycation destination. Heber Valley is only 45 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and offers great family entertainment options:
  • Ice Castles - more than two acres in size with towering walls made with 2 million gallons of water.
  • Heber Valley Railroad - Utah's only historic railroad with on board entertainment and a beautiful scenic ride.
  • Outdoor Ice Skating - Utah's largest outdoor rink all while you enjoy the lights of Midway.
  • Tubing at Soldier Hollow - Longest tubing lanes and only tubing destination in northern Utah.
  • Soaking in a Geotherman Crater - enjoy 95 degree mineral water that comes from two miles below the earth's surface.
  • Snowmobiling - Wasatch County is Utah's snowmobiling capital, with more than 700 miles of trails (200 miles of groomed trails).
There are also comfortable and cozy accommodations with Best Western Plus, Daniels Summit Lodge, Homestead Resort and Zermatt Resort.

You can enjoy the local flavors at more than 30 restaurants including two new restaurants: Old Goat and Corner Restaurant.

Sundance & World Championships

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 12, 2018

Park City Magazine reminds us that is is time to start making your list of the films you’re dying to watch at the upcoming 2019 Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 24 - Feb. 3) because the Sundance Institute just released the feature film line-up for the fest. True to the Sundance Institute’s ongoing mission to provide a platform for underrepresented voices, the program includes films from 33 different countries, 45 by first-time filmmakers.

Reflecting on independent filmmaking and this year’s crop of films, President and Founder of the Sundance Institute Robert Redford said “Society relies on storytellers. The choices they make, and the risks they take define our collective experience. This year’s Festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.

More announcements will be coming soon, but in the mean time, feel free to peruse the entire selection below. Ticket packages and passes are currently on sale via the Sundance Institute website. Individual tickets for Utah locals go on sale January 17.

In February, Park City will be the epicenter of the competitive skiing universe. That's when Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort will host the FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. Over the course of 10 days, some of the best athletes in the world will vie for gold medals in more than a dozen disciplines, such as moguls, snowboardcross and halfpipe skiing. The Park Record has all the information about this exciting upcoming event.

February 1 Snowboardcross Final Solitude Mountain Resort

February 2 Opening Ceremonies Canyons Village/Park City Mountain

Skicross Final Solitude Mountain Resort

Freeski Big Air Final Canyons Village/Park City Mountain

February 3 Team Snowboardcross Final Solitude Mountain Resort

February 4 Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom Final Park City Mountain

February 5 Snowboard Parallel Slalom Final Park City Mountain

Snowboard Big Air Final Canyons Village/Park City Mountain

February 6 Freeski Slopestyle Final Park City Mountain

Freestyle Aerials Final Deer Valley

February 7 Freestyle Team Aerials Final Deer Valley

February 8 Snowboard Halfpipe Final Park City Mountain

Freestyle Moguls Final Deer Valley

February 9 Freeski Halfpipe Final Park City Mountain

Freestyle Dual Moguls Final Deer Valley

February 10 Snowboard Slopestyle Final Park City Mountain

Closing Ceremonies Main Street, Park City

Feeling the holiday spirit - there is still time to check out fun holiday events:

Now through Dec. 22: Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express - This 90-minute round-trip ride to the “North Pole” includes hot cocoa, Mrs. Claus’ chocolate-chip cookies and a special gift from Santa. Tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for children. Visit the Heber Valley Railroad website for departure times and more information.

Now through Jan. 2: Christmas Lights at Temple Square - The Christmas lights at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City will be illuminated until Jan. 2. The lights will be on 6-7:30 a.m. and 5-10:30 p.m. daily. The lights will be on until 11 p.m. during the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square concerts, and on New Year’s Eve they will be on until 12:30 a.m. at Temple Square and until 1 a.m. at the Church Office Building, Main Street and Conference Center Plazas. Find more information here.

Now through Dec. 29: Savior of the World - This musical drama about the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ is based on the scriptural account. Weekly performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 2 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Conference Center Theater. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

Now through Jan. 5: Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point - The Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point come alive for the Christmas season with thousands of twinkling, sparkling and color-changing lights that will be on through Jan. 5. The mile-long walk features 6,500 programmable lights at Thanksgiving Point, 3900 N. Garden Drive, in Lehi. Admission is from 5-8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Find more information about ticket pricing here.

Now through Dec. 31: Christmas in Color - More than 1.5 million Christmas lights are synced with holiday music in this annual display in Provo and South Jordan. You can visit either the Provo Towne Center Mall or the Salt Lake County Equestrian Center in South Jordan. It’s open from 5:30-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5:30-10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $25 per car on weekdays and $30 on weekends. Find more information here.

Now through Dec. 22: Christmas Cruise at CLAS Ropes Course in Provo - This 25-minute boat ride takes people past thousands of lights reflecting off the water of the Provo River and features Christmas music and visits from Santa. Tickets are $8 per person. Find the schedule and more information here.

Now through Dec. 22: “A Christmas Carol” at Hale Center Theater in Orem - The Hale Center Theater, 225 W. 400 North in Orem, is staging the classic Christmas tale. Tickets start at $25, and children ages 4-11 get $6 off the ticket price. Purchase tickets here.

Now through Dec. 31: ZooLights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo - More than 200 animal and holiday-themed light displays will be illuminated at the zoo for their 12th annual display. Tickets are $9.95 for adults and $7.95 for kids. Find more information here.

Now through Jan. 1: Fantasy at the Bay Christmas Lights and Santa - Celebrate the holiday season with drive-thru holiday lights at Willard Bay State Park, 900 W. 650 North, in Willard. Enjoy holiday music, food and more. Enhance your experience with 3D snowflake glasses. There’s also visits from Santa each Friday-Monday. Admission is $10 Tuesday-Thursday, $15 Sunday-Monday and $20 Friday-Saturday. Find more information here.

Now through Jan. 1: Spanish Fork Festival of Lights - Spanish Fork’s Canyon View Park, 3300 E. Powerhouse Road, will be illuminated through New Year’s Day. The cost is $8 per car, and it's open daily from 6-10 p.m. Find more information here.

Now through Jan. 1: Ogden Christmas Village - Christmas Village will illuminate Ogden's downtown area with displays and holiday lights through New Year’s Day. Spectators find themselves in a dazzling winter wonderland set aglow with Christmas lights and a setting of cottages modeled after Santa's village at the North Pole. The lights are on at Christmas Village from 5 p.m. to midnight every night and admission is free. Find more information here.

Shop With A Cop and Snow Updates

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 05, 2018

We have been delighted to be a part of the Shop With A Cop event for many years and this year was another success! Thank you to everyone who donated and to those that came out to volunteer for the event.

This week we wanted to share 3 Ways to Spruce Up a Home in the Winter by Realtor Magazine - The colder months can make selling tougher. The home’s exterior can look dreary against a gray sky backdrop and buyers may want to go into hibernation rather than shop for homes in the chilly weather. But real estate and staging professionals say there’s still plenty you can do to make your listing stand out in the wintertime. Realtor.com® spotlighted a few of their ideas, including

Pay attention to curb appeal. Don’t let the colder months be an excuse to not pay attention to your yard maintenance, even if mounds of snow are covering your lawn. Make sure buyers always have an easy path to the front door by shoveling the driveway and paths. Clean out the gutters of any leaves so ice doesn’t back up and lead to any roof damage. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Consider some winter-themed outdoor decor, too. “I love putting evergreens next to the door and on the porch,” Rebekah Scott, a real estate broker for Atlas Real Estate Group in Denver, told realtor.com®. “Everyone knows how elegant evergreens look with snow on them, so it’s a good way to really showcase the snow.” Read more about additional ways to create a warm and inviting winter listing.

Heat it up. Make the home cozy by turning up the thermostat and fixing drafty spots. “A cold house can hurt a sale,” says Scott. “When a buyer enters the house and wants to hurry up and get out of there because it is so chilly, it probably means they are going to have a bad memory associated with the home, no matter how great it is. You want to provide a warm and inviting environment so buyers will want to take their time and linger.” If the home has a fireplace, consider firing it up—not only can that help make a home feel warmer, but it’s also a great way to highlight this selling feature.

Appeal to the senses. Pay attention to the home’s smell. In the winter months, you might consider adding in some seasonal scents, such as oranges, cloves, and cinnamon on the stove. Or, freshly baked holiday cookies on a cooling rack in the kitchen, Scott says. Also, consider playing some soft seasonal music, like holiday-themed jazz. Suit their flavor tastes, too, by offering up some hot cocoa or coffee. It can be a great warming treat in the cold and it can boost potential buyers’ moods, Dale Schaechterle, broker-owner at Realty Executives Integrity in Milwaukee, Wis., told realtor.com®.

Forbes Magazine recently shared that Vail Ski Resorts Announce New Sustainability And Environmental Programs by Larry Olmsted. Vail Resorts just inked a wind power deal that will help the company offset 100% of the power used at its dozens of ski resorts, hotels, restaurants and offices across North America.

Between climate change, massive amounts of plastics in the oceans and other environmental destruction in the news daily, it is always uplifting to hear some good tidings. This is especially true as an avid skier, a sport that relies on snow, is directly at risk from historically unprecedented rising temperatures, and often consumes large amounts of power for snowmaking and other operations. As someone who has written extensively on skiing and snow sports for more than 20 years, and has had an Epic Pass the last several seasons, for access to all the many properties in the Vail Resorts global portfolio (to be fair, this season I’ve also got a competitive Ikon Pass, and you can read about the differences here), I know I personally feel better the more efforts the ski resorts I visit take to go green. That’s why I was very pleased with the announcements earlier this month. I am also a big fan of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit backed by many big snow sports industry players including gear manufacturers (Patagonia, North Face, Burton, etc) and ski resorts and resort groups (Aspen Snowmass, Ski Utah, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective, etc.).

Publicly traded Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) is the world’s best-known ski resort operator, and also runs hotels and resorts. Now the company is setting a leading example of how the ski industry can get greener and take significant steps to offset the impact of bringing large numbers of travelers and recreational participants into the mountain environment. The company has been taking a deep dive into sustainability and environmental issues for well over a decade, but last year announced its biggest goals yet in its Epic Promise Commitment to Zero, which included achieving zero net emissions and zero waste to landfills by 2030. Epic Promise is a standalone department within the company that also includes the non-profit Epic Promise Foundation.

Earlier this month the company announced long-term wind energy contracts with Lincoln Clean Energy that will produce enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with Vail Resorts’ estimated 2019 fiscal year electricity use in North American, where the vast majority of the company’s operations are located, by 100 percent. This covers seventeen resorts (ski and non-ski) and all their associated retail, hospitality, and corporate office usage. In addition, Vail Resorts signed a contract with Xcel Energy in Colorado to support a new solar energy facility, and in Utah (where they operate Park City, the nation’s largest ski resort) is sponsoring Rocky Mountain Power’s request for proposal for 308,000 MWh of renewable energy, which could lead to a significant increase in the amount of solar, wind, and geothermal projects. The company also invested $2.4 million in the past year in energy efficiency projects across its resorts, including low-energy snowmaking and energy-efficient building upgrades.

Since launching its Commitment to Zero last year, Vail has reinvested more than $2 million in resort energy efficiency improvements. One of the most visible efforts to fight waste and environmental damage has been a recent worldwide war on plastic straws - certainly a deserving enemy - with major fast food chains and even entire municipalities banning traditional plastic straws. Vail Resorts also jumped into this fray, announcing a partnership with Eco-Products to supply all of its North American restaurants (there are typically half a dozen or more at each major ski resort) with compostable and recycled-content items. They will eliminate conventional single-use plastics, including cups, straws, beverage lids, plates, bowls and cutlery, beginning immediately (the process actually started last ski season). This move alone, according to the company, will divert nearly 300 tons of waste from landfills. The new compostable straws will be available by request only, and Vail Resort’s North American restaurants are moving to durable products, such as replacing single-use paper cups with reusable tumblers everywhere dishwashing is available, a move expected to eliminate nearly 300,000 disposable cups this season.

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Skiing and Snowboarding

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 27, 2018

Snow is here and the ski and snowboard runs are opening one by one at our local ski resorts. Park City Magazine has the 10 Must-Dos at Deer Valley and Park City Mountain. The feeling of carving a turn on a meticulously groomed slope, weaving through a field of moguls, or -- the piece de resistance -- floating through a sparkling field of fresh powder is one of life’s great joys. But ask anyone who lives in or who’s visited Park City, and they’re sure to tell you that our town’s two resorts are about much more than the slopes. Here are five for each Deer Valley and Park City Mountain -- a curated list of experiences that are the difference between a good ski day and a great one.

Deer Valley Resort

1. Hire an instructor

2. Eat a bowl of turkey chili

3. Have a beer on the ski beach

4. Go for a snowshoe and roast s’mores

5. Make a reservation for Fireside Dining

Park City Mountain

1. Ride the Town Lift

2. Ski the resort from one end to the other

3. Go on a free guided tour of historic silver mining sites

4. Stop for après at the Corner Store

5. Take a sleigh ride and dinner at the Viking Yurt

Park City Magazine also shared Why Taking a Ski/Snowboard Lesson is Totally Worth It. Whether you’re a never-ever or have been on the slopes your whole life, a little bit of instruction can go a long way. I’ve never skied/snowboarded, but I’m really athletic. I think I can teach myself.  As a natural athlete, you might feel inclined to skip a lesson, particularly if you’re already a skier and want to learn to snowboard or vice versa. Truth is, you might sort of get it on your own, but you also might do it incorrectly or hurt yourself in the process.

I’m already a black-diamond-run skier/snowboarder, what else is there? Guess what! Even professional athletes have coaches because no matter what level you’ve reached, there’s always something you can improve upon. You don’t necessarily have to be doing the toughest terrain to be challenged, a good instructor will know how to make blue or even green terrain seem new and exciting.

No one knows the mountain better than a ski instructor. Do you really want to end up going on the same runs over and over again simply because you have no idea what’s out there? The resorts offer thousands of acres to slide on and an instructor is your one-way ticket to every type of terrain the mountain has to offer.

You get to skip the lines. Pay for a lesson and you get to skip the line. Pay for a private lesson, the line doesn’t exist. Enough said.

Learn what it means to be part of the mountain culture from an ambassador. Becoming a skier or snowboarder means being inducted into a very specific culture. Just like every other niche community in the world, there are “rules” of sorts. Get a lesson and learn the ins and outs of the mountain tribe from someone who lives and breaths it every day.

We will wrap up this week's blog with the top 10 of 100-plus Christmas events to celebrate the holidays in Utah. Start off the holidays with these family-friendly events throughout Utah. Note: This list is not all-inclusive, and events and prices are subject to change.

Christmas on Temple Square, Nov. 24-Dec. 22, times vary, select locations on Temple Square, free (lds.org/events)

Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband Christmas, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m., Covey Center, 425 W. Center, Provo, $15-$22 (801-852-7007 or coveycenter.org)

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 1, 2 p.m., Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State, $10-$20, free for junior high and high school students with ID at box office, no children under age 5 (801-957-3322 or grandtheatrecompany.com)

“Elf: The Musical,” Nov. 23-Dec. 22, dates and times vary, CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, Barlow Stage, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, $19.50-$27 for adults, $17.50-$24.75 for seniors and students (801-298-1302 or centerpointtheatre.org)

“Scrooge: A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 23-Dec. 22, dates and times vary, Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden, $15-$17 for adults, $14-$16 for students and seniors, $10-$12 for children ages 12 and younger (801-393-0070 or terraceplayhouse.com)

“A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 24-Dec. 22, dates and times vary, Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, $24-$29 for adults, $18-$23 for children ages 4-11 (801-226-8600 or haletheater.org)

“Festival of the Seas,” Nov. 27-Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway, Draper, $19.95 for adults, $16.95 for students, military and seniors, $14.95 for children ages 3-12, free for children under age 2 (801-355-3474 or thelivingplanet.com)

Gingerbread House Display, Nov. 27-Dec. 6, dates and times vary, Gale Center, 10300 S. Beckstead Lane, South Jordan, free (801-446-4357 or sjc.utah.gov)

Festival of Trees, Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Mountain America Expo Center, 9575 S. State, Sandy, $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children ages 2-11; Nov. 28 family day ticket, $20 for six immediate family members (intermountainhealthcare.org)

Alpine Living Nativity, Nov. 28-Dec. 3, excluding Sunday, times vary, 317 Heritage Hills Drive, Alpine, $25, tickets are limited and required, proceeds go to Toys For Tots (alpinelivingnativity.org)

 
 
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