Deer Valley

Deer Valley
Deer Valley
Location Wasatch Range
Summit County, Utah
 United States
Nearest city Park City, Utah
Coordinates 40°37′22″N 111°29′22″W / 40.62278°N 111.48944°W / 40.62278; -111.48944Coordinates: 40°37′22″N 111°29′22″W / 40.62278°N 111.48944°W / 40.62278; -111.48944
Vertical 3,000 ft (910 m)
Top elevation 9,570 ft (2,920 m)
Base elevation 6,570 ft (2,000 m)
Skiable area 2,026 acres (820 ha)
Runs 113
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 27% easiest
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 41% more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 32% most difficult
Longest run 2.8 mi (4.5 km)
Lift system 21
- 1 Gondola
- 11 High-speed quad chairlifts
- 2 Fixed-grip quad chairlifts
- 5 Triple chairlifts
- 2 Double chairlifts
Lift capacity 46,500 skiers/hr
Terrain parks No
Snowfall 300 inches (760 cm)
Snowmaking over 660 acres (270 ha)
Night skiing No
Web site Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley is an alpine ski resort in the Wasatch Range, located 36 miles (58 km) east of Salt Lake City, in Park City, Utah, United States. The resort, known for its upscale amenities, is consistently ranked among the top ski resorts in North America. It is also one of the world's few remaining ski resorts that prohibit snowboarding.

Deer Valley was a venue site during 2002 Winter Olympics, hosting the freestyle moguls, aerial, and alpine slalom events. It also regularly hosts competitions for the International Ski Federation.


Resort profile

With a number of other large ski resorts nearby, Deer Valley competes by catering to a more upscale audience than its neighbors, offering amenities such as free ski valets, free parking shuttles, fine dining and boutique shopping in the main lodge. The resort's mid-mountain lodge, the Stein Eriksen Lodge, offers luxury accommodations and spa facilities. Stein Eriksen, its gold medalist namesake, is host of the lodge and director of skiing at the resort.

Deer Valley uses more grooming equipment than other Wasatch ski areas, and limits access to avoid overcrowding; as of 2006, the resort limited ticket sales to 6,500 per day.[1] Deer Valley's total uphill lift capacity of 46,500 skiers per hour is approximately 50% higher than the capacity of its larger neighbors Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons. Deer Valley has 21 chairlifts, including 11 high speed detachable quads and an enclosed 4-passenger gondola.


Mountain development

View of Ruby Express from new Lady Morgan terrain

Skiing began at Deer Valley with the Park City Winter Carnivals of the 1930s, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the first ski trails and other facilities during the winter of 1936-1937. The first ski lifts appeared in 1946, when local residents Robert Emmett Burns, Sr. and Otto Carpenter constructed them, largely from nearby lodgepole pines. The ski area was called the Snow Park Ski Area, a name which endured from 1946 to 1969.[2] In 1981 a private resort officially opened in the same area as Deer Valley and has grown to include six mountains with six bowls, 930 acres (380 ha) of glade skiing and 560 acres (230 ha) of snow-making.[2][3] The resort totals 2,026 acres (820 ha) in size.[3]

Expansion history

Deer Valley Resort opened in 1981 on Bald Eagle and Bald Mountains, with five lifts built by Lift Engineering, also known as Yan: the Burns double (which is the only remaining original lift on the mountain), and the Carpenter, Homestake, Sultan, and Wasatch triple chairs. The Sterling lift was added in 1982, followed by Clipper in 1983. The first major terrain expansion came in 1984 with the addition of the Mayflower lift on Bald Mountain.

In 1991, Deer Valley's first high speed quad, Carpenter Express, was installed on Bald Eagle Mountain. That same year, the resort expanded onto Flagstaff Mountain with the Red Cloud and Viking lifts. This area added new intermediate and advanced mogul runs. The Crown Point lift was also built. Further expansion came in 1993 with the addition of the Northside Express lift, with its popular intermediate terrain. The Snowflake beginner double was also built this year. All new Deer Valley lifts built from 1993 on have been built by Salt Lake City-based Doppelmayr CTEC and its predecessors.

In 1996, the Carpenter Express and Wasatch lifts were replaced by two new Garaventa CTEC high speed quads. The old Wasatch triple was moved to create the Quincy lift in 1997. Also in 1997, the Deer Crest fixed quad was built, though it did not open until the following year.

For the 1998-99 season, Deer Valley underwent a major expansion, adding two more mountains. On Little Baldy Peak, the Deer Crest lift and Jordanelle Express Gondola opened with 8 runs: 2 green, 3 blue, and 3 black. In Empire Canyon, the long-proposed expansion included the Empire Express high speed quad and the Ruby fixed quad. The Empire area added advanced and expert terrain, including 2 blue runs, 4 black runs, and three expert bowl areas.

Deer Valley built many new lifts on its existing terrain in the early 2000s. In 1999, the Homestake triple was replaced by a fixed grip quad, and the old triple was moved to Empire Canyon the following year to become Little Chief (which itself was removed in 2009). In 2000, Silver Lake Express replaced the Clipper triple to provide a direct link between Deer Valley's two lodges. Quincy and Ruby were replaced by high speed quads in 2001 and 2002, respectively. In 2004, the Silver Strike Express and Judge lifts were built on Flagstaff Mountain. Sultan Express replaced the original Sultan lift in 2005, and Sterling Express was built in 2006.

In 2007, the Lady Morgan expansion added Deer Valley's sixth mountain. The new peak has 9 runs: 5 green, 1 blue, and 3 black, along with a large gladed area known as Centennial. The Lady Morgan Express chairlift is accessible from Flagstaff Mountain and Empire Canyon. This new lift expands Deer Valley's tree skiing terrain and adds 200 acres (0.81 km2) skiable to the resort. Vertical rise of the new lift is 1,150 ft (350 m)[4]

Evolution of guest services

Deer Valley was one of the first resorts to offer ski valets to carry guests' ski gear, free parking-lot shuttles, and a state-licensed child-care facility, and to uniform all its employees. It also provides tissues in the lift lines, refers to customers as “guests”, and provides complimentary overnight ski check services.

International competitions

Deer Valley Olympic venue
The aerials venue at the resort during the 2002 Winter Olympics

2002 Olympic Winter Games

During the 2002 games Deer Valley Resort hosted the freestyle moguls and aerials, and alpine men's and women's slalom events. Three of the resort's runs were used during the games including Champion (site of freestyle moguls), Know You Don't (site of alpine slalom), and White Owl (site of freestyle aerials).[5] Temporary spectator stadiums were located at the end of each run, they were 12-stories tall and included seating for 10,000 people, while spectator standing areas were located along the sides of each course; the standing areas and stadium combined allowed roughly 13,300 spectators to view each event. 99.4 percent of available tickets for events at the venue were sold, which totaled 96,980 spectators witnessing competitions at the resort.[6][7] During the games 95 percent of Deer Valley remained open to the public for normal seasonal operations.[6]

World Cup events

The resort hosted the 2003 and the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, becoming the first American venue to host twice.[8]

Deer Valley is a regular host to FIS World Cup events, having hosted men's and women's mogul and aerial competitions yearly since 2000 (with the exceptions of 2003 and 2004).[9] The resort also hosted a skicross event in 2008, and is scheduled to host skicross, mogul and aerial events every January through 2013.[10] Deer Valley's track record of event hosting has led it to be described as "a Mecca for freestyle skiing events".[11]


SKI magazine's reader resort survey has ranked Deer Valley first overall for five consecutive years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. In the history of the survey, it has been the only resort to achieve this. In the 2011 survey, the resort received first place ratings in the categories of grooming, service, weather, on-mountain food, lodging, and dining. In addition, Deer Valley was rated in the top 10 in the categories of snow (10), lifts (2), access (2), apres-ski (8), off-hill activities (8), digital programs (3), family programs (2), and overall satisfaction (3). [12] [13]

Snowboard prohibition

Deer Valley is one of three remaining American ski resorts that prohibit snowboarders, along with Utah's Alta Ski Resort and Vermont's Mad River Glen.[14] The resort has for many years been the subject of protest action by snowboarders. A protest action initiated in late 2007 by snowboard manufacturer Burton Snowboards offered $5,000 for video footage of riders snowboarding at Alta, Deer Valley or Mad River Glen.[15] According to Burton's website, the point of their campaign is that that such discrimination displays a "blatant aggressive disregard" for the Constitution of the United States.[16] Snowboarders living in or visiting the Park City area can snowboard at the two resorts near Deer Valley. The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort both allow snowboarding, and offer halfpipes and terrain park features for snowboarders as well.


  1. ^ Better, Nancy M. (2006-11-19). "At Deer Valley, Utah, a One-Size-Fits-All Vacation - New York Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  2. ^ a b State of Utah. "History of Deer Valley". Utah History to Go. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Deer Valley Resort. "Skiing our Mountains". Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Lady Morgan Express Chairlift
  5. ^ Utah Travel Industry. "Deer Valley Resort". Utah Office of Tourism. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Salt Lake Organizing Committee (2001). Official Spectator Guide. p. 66. 
  7. ^ Salt Lake Organizing Committee (2002). Official Report of the XIX Olympic Winter Games. p. 77. ISBN 0-9717961-0-6. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Idaho Mountain Express: Deer Valley gets 2011 World Freestyle finals - May 31, 2006". 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  9. ^ "FIS-Ski - FIS World Cup". Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  10. ^ "draft-2009-2013". Retrieved 2009-02-08. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Ski Reports, Snow Conditions and Weather at Ski/Snowboard Resorts Worldwide - FIS Freestyle World Cup Returns to Utah". Retrieved 2009-02-08. [dead link]
  12. ^ "2011 Reader Resort Survey". SKI 75 (2): 76–114. Fall 2010. 
  13. ^ "Resort Guide 2012". SKI 76 (3): 96–123. Fall 2011. 
  14. ^ Del Sole, Christopher. "Resorts That Ban Snowboarding". Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  15. ^ Ware, Doug G. (2007-12-16). "Snowboarders Encouraged To 'Invade' Ski-Only Resorts". Retrieved 2009-02-09. [dead link]
  16. ^ Shay, James D.. "Burton's crusade could pay off - The Connecticut Post Online". Retrieved 2009-02-09. [dead link]

External links

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