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Park City Without Sundance

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 20, 2021

This week we look at Park City without Sundance and things to do in our mountain town during the pandemic. Vogue's Sheila Marikar has written How America’s Most Star-Studded Ski Town Is Faring Sans Sundance and she sits with our friends Sara and Rob Sergent, the owners of Alpine Distilling.

From January 28th to February 3rd, attendees will be able to participate in panels and screenings from home; several cities around the country will also screen this year’s entrants at their own theaters. The new format is a boon to potential participants who may not have been able to travel to Park City in years past. For local business owners, though, it’s kind of a bummer.

But a recent visit suggests that for some out-of-towners (me, for one), the glare of Sundance obscured what’s truly special about this place: the snow, the sky, the abundance of fresh air, and a plethora of ways to reward yourself after you’ve availed yourself of that trifecta. Over the past 10 months, Park City’s bars, restaurants, and hotels have reinvented themselves to meet the needs of COVID-era patrons; sleek new homes are flying off the market faster than they can be built. And it helps that one of the region’s prime pastimes might as well have been made for social distancing.

Like the slopes, the restaurants at Park City Mountain require advance reservations, via a QR code plastered inside every gondola. It’s an innovation that ought to outlast the pandemic. Alpine Distilling’s Pie Bar have reformatted their interiors, spacing out tables and adding high-tech bells and whistles. “Sara has a sanitizer gun,” says Rob Sergent, referring to his wife and co-founder in Alpine Distilling, which makes award-winning, small-batch gin, whiskey, and vodka. “We take it very seriously,” says Sara. She points underneath a table on the other side of the lounge—cozy, clubby, with piping hot pecan pie and a bracingly good boulevardier—at a foot-tall mechanical fan emitting a bright, violet light. “We have a collection of these air purifying units,” Sara says. “One of those would do a space twice our size.”

One of the hottest tables in town is actually a yurt. In December, the St. Regis Deer Valley erected three insulated yurts that look like pop-up ski chalets, complete with chandeliers, framed art, personal heaters, and the sort of cross-hatched wood paneling you’d expect to find inside an Alsatian hut.

But to experience the best meal in Park City, you’ll have to book a room at the Washington School House. This 12-room boutique hotel, which occupies a 19th century schoolhouse and feels like a cross between a Parisian atelier and a Nancy Meyers movie, only serves guests. Sheila says "Park City’s got is well worth the trip".

Outside of Sundance, Park City Magazine shares How to Navigate Park City This Season On- and off-mountain tips to make the most of pandemic conditions. Utah is open for skiing and riding. Following is a rundown of what Park City’s skidom looks and feels like this winter. As of this publication’s print date, there were no Covid-19 travel restrictions in Utah, meaning out-of-state visitors were not required to quarantine upon arrival. In the event you think you may have contracted Covid-19 during your visit to Park City, call one of three testing centers in town for information and to make an appointment to get tested: Redstone Clinic, 435.658.9200; Snow Creek Medical Center, 435.655.0055; and Intermountain Healthcare Park City Hospital, 435.658.7000.

Face coverings are required everywhere on Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain property (and at all of Utah’s other 13 resorts). And while one of those thin neck gaiters is OK for when you’re actually skiing, it is not enough for riding chairlifts or spending any time indoors at the resorts. Have a mask on or with you at all times.

If you’ve got a Deer Valley Season, IKON, or IKON Base Pass, you can stroll directly to the lifts at Deer Valley as you have in the past. Advance reservations are required for Epic passholders to ski or ride Park City Mountain, but Epic passholders do have priority over day-ticket purchasers. Make those reservations through the EpicMix app, parkcitymountain.com, or by calling 435.649.8111.

Advance reservations are required for ski and snowboard rentals from Deer Valley and Park City Mountain. If you’re an adult and have rented from DV before, you may reserve and pick rental gear without being fitted at the rental shop. At PCM rental shops, gear delivery is available and rental shop hours have been expanded to allow for social distancing.

On-mountain dining and drinking is significantly different this season. Deer Valley’s cafeterias at Snow Park, Silver Lake, and Empire Canyon Lodges have all been converted to table-service restaurants with full bars where reservations are required (435.649.1000). Grab-and-go items are available outside the dining areas at Snow Park and Silver Lake lodges. While the service hours and frequency of Park City’s free bus system have been scaled back a bit due to the pandemic, its service imprint—which covers Park City proper, Kimball Junction, the resorts, Summit Park, and Kamas—remains the same. Passengers are required to wear nose-and-mouth-covering masks when both riding and waiting in line for buses.

As you might guess, lodging deals are in abundance for this winter season in Park City. Properties like Stein Eriksen Lodge and Montage Deer Valley are offering unheard-of wintertime booking incentives including flight vouchers, generous resort credits, and relaxed cancellation policies. There are plenty of services in Park City that will stock your condo or house’s fridge for you (including wine, liquor, and beer), many even before you arrive, minimizing the chance of exposure—and the hassle—of making a trip to the supermarket: Grocery Girls, 866.278.2254; Park City Grocery Express, 435.729.0090; Store 2 Door, 435.633.1650.

Sundance 2021

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 13, 2021

Park City will be different this Sundance as the two week festival in our little mountain town is going virtual for 2021. Whether you are a local or one who has traveled the US to come to the event and stand in the snow to make it to one of the coveted movies. The New York Post has shared, How to watch Sundance Film Festival 2021 movies at home. Tickets are less expensive than the package costs of years past and no more waiting online for a scheduled window to purchase. Individual tickets ($15) and passes go on sale Thursday at 2 p.m. E.T. at Sundance.org. See the whole New York Post article with highlighted films here.

Movies will play live at a handful of locations across the US. In Utah, Utah: Park City, The Ray and in Salt Lake City with Salt Lake Film Society. Click here for the full article from Sundance.org .

Since the movies are changing this year, ABC4.com shares Ultimate winter adventure guide and tips: Outdoor winter activities you can safely enjoy this season. Try these fun outdoor activities to get some fresh air.

Skiing - Many resorts in Utah are open, with guidelines in place for keeping everyone safe from COVID-19.

  • Face coverings are required. All 15 Utah ski areas will require face coverings that align with CDC recommendations when social distancing isn’t possible. This applies to both outdoor and indoor spaces, except when eating or drinking. 
  • Practice social distancing. Lift queues, ticket queues, ski and snowboard lessons, employee spaces, and food outlets will all encourage appropriate spacing to allow social distancing between parties. 
  • Ski resorts will be cleaning and disinfecting regularly. High-touch surfaces, such as bathrooms, restaurants, dining facilities, ticket offices, and rental shops will all be cleaned and disinfected following CDC guidelines
  • Operating plans may change. To optimize safety, Utah ski areas may review and change their operating plans to comply with local regulations. 
Hiking and snowshoeing - Utah has a beUTAHful landscape, and to truly experience it in all its glory, embarking on snowy mountain ranges is the only way to go – you don’t have to be a skier. For a list of the best winter hikes in Utah – including safety tips – click here. 

Some Utah ski resorts have designated snowshoeing trails that are family-friendly and good for beginners. Nordic Centers are available at the following resorts:

Dog sledding in Park City - A dog sledding excursion costs $420. It’s available in every season (wild, right?) and rides can range from 25 minutes to one hour.

Snow tubing and sledding - these totally tubular places with you,” shares Utah.

Tips for safely enjoying outdoor activities - According to Intermountain Healthcare, it’s just as important to protect yourself from the elements just as it is important in protecting yourself from COVID-19.
  • Be avalanche aware. If your plans include venturing into the snowy mountains, make sure you’re aware of potential avalanche hazards. To learn more, visit the Utah Avalanche Center.
  • Prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Knowing the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia is important since many people are numb (literally) to their onset.
  • Dress appropriately. Since your body loses heat faster than you can produce it in the cold weather, make sure you dress appropriately. Wear a hat, boots, gloves, and layers of loose-fitting, water-resistant clothing.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids is just as important during the winter season as it is in the summertime. Since the cold air is dryer, it’s easier to become dehydrated.
  • Use sunblock. Yes, even in the wintertime, you need to protect your skin. In Utah, the UV exposure risk increases due to higher elevation and poor air quality in the winter.
  • Monitor weather conditions. Always check the weather forecast before heading out for your winter run, hike, or snowshoeing excursion.
  • Tell someone where you’re going. Outdoor winter adventures are fun, but the risks may be higher, depending on the activity you choose. A good rule-of-thumb for safety is to always tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return — especially if you’re heading into a remote area, such as the mountains.
Click here to read the entire article from ABC4.com

2021 Home Trends

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jan 06, 2021

Happy New Year! This week's blog has a little bit about skiing and a lot about home trends for 2021 - enjoy.

The Park Record shares their Winter Adventure Guide: A world-class experience at Deer Valley Resort. Over the years, the ski area has won countless accolades, including being named North America’s No. 1 resort a record eight times by Ski Magazine and several World Ski Awards selections as the top resort in the U.S. It’s fair to say that when you’re skiing at Deer Valley, you’re skiing at one of the best resorts in the world. Deer Valley’s slopes cover 2,026 skiable acres, which include 21 lifts and 103 runs.

COVID-19 protocols - the resort will require guests to wear face masks any time they are near other people, such as when waiting in lift lines or interacting with staff members.Chairlifts will be limited to: people from the same party; two willing people from different parties on a three- or four-person lift; or single riders. The resort is also further capping the number of skiers on the mountain each day based on conditions and local health regulations.

Ski school is still available and range of group sessions, such as clinics for women, an “afternoon teen escape” and a session aimed at children.

Passes - Deer Valley offers a range of pass options to get you on the mountain. Check out the Deer Valley season pass, which provides unlimited access to the mountain, and daily or multi-day lift tickets are also available.

Freestyle World Cup - The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced in October that it is still planning to hold this winter’s World Cup Feb. 4-6 despite the coronavirus pandemic. Spectators will not be allowed on the mountain this year, so make sure to tune in on your TV.

Realtor Magazine shares 5 Timely Home Design Trends for 2021. As a result of 2020 and homeowners seeking privacy for work and school within their homes, home offices are growing in demand in buyers' home search. Real estate and design experts recently shared with realtor.com® some of the biggest home design trends likely in the new year, including:

Separated spaces - Open floor plans are getting divided up. Homeowners are looking to create nooks or pockets for Zoom calls, lounging, exercising, and e-learning, design experts say.

Biophilic design - Homeowners are craving nature in the pandemic and are bringing in more houseplants and indoor gardens.

Wood-grain elements in the kitchen - Wood-grain kitchen cabinets and counters are trending, offering a touch of organic and natural materials. Instead of all-white kitchens or painted cabinets, more homeowners are adding in wood-grain cabinets and wood countertops on to their kitchen islands, designers say.

Outdoor solitude - Fireplaces, fire pits, patios and decks, screened-in porches, and outdoor kitchens have all gained popularity during the pandemic. The outdoor kitchen is particularly trending, as homeowners add outdoor refrigerators and dining areas in their backyards or create a more elaborate space that includes a fully equipped kitchen outside with a stovetop and appliances.

Bathrooms get smarter - Touchless appliances, including motion sensors for lighting, and smart temperature control for bathroom floors will be more popular in the next year.

We wrap up this week's blog with The 8 Kitchen Trends Everyone Will be Obsessed with in 2021 from PureWow. 2021 is all about creating your most comfortable space to cook, eat and entertain. So, if you love white on white, go for it. You’ll still find these ideas helpful for breathing new life into your space.

Hidden Charging Stations - People are looking up recipes, hanging out and working from their kitchen islands, so it’s more important to make sure you have enough outlets—not just for your appliances but your phones and tablets too.

Dark Green Cabinets - Deep blues and greens are growing in popularity for every room of the house, and the kitchen is no exception. If you’re intrigued by the trend but not ready to commit to a full makeover, you could always incorporate a few dark green accents into your kitchen.

Touchless Tech - People are adding touchless tech into their homes, like trashcans that open and close with the wave of your hand, or Alexa-enabled faucets that can pour exactly a teaspoon or two cups of water (no measuring cups needed), all based on your command.

Sustainable Cleaning Supplies - Cleaning products we use, evidenced in the rise of eco-friendly dish soaps and detergent that comes in reusable containers. Some companies are even offering cleaning concentrates, hand and dish soaps, soap dispensers and spray bottles—all plant-based and plastic-free.

Multi-purpose cookware - Instead of buying a ton of different products, we’re seeing readers invest in multi-use tools that keep their kitchens clutter-free. The Always Pan and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer are some of the most popular.

Colored Quartzite Counters - Quartzite has been steadily rising in interest, since it tends to be more durable and affordable. Most recently, more dramatic colors—think blues, greens and other ocean-inspired hues—have been replacing the traditional white and cream quartzites, since they add more dimension to the room.

Swing-Arm Sconces -Their sculptural shape can liven up kitchen walls better than any Live, Laugh, Love sign. Plus, swing-arm styles are particularly helpful for adding task lighting around a sink or range.

Walnut - Wood tones immediately warm up a kitchen, preventing it from looking too one-note. One of the most popular materials right now is walnut, the only downside is that walnut can be pricey, but walnut-grained laminates look just like the real deal, only they’re much more affordable.

Happy New Year!

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 29, 2020

Judy and I would like to wish you and your family a happy, safe and healthy New Year.

With the New Year right around the corner we thought we would share, 4 Completely Free Things Home Stagers Do to Make Your Closet Look Nicer from Apartment Therapy. Even if you are not thinking of selling your home, a little closet clean up always brightens the mood. Homeowners and apartment dwellers alike tend to need and accumulate a lot of stuff. For this reason and more, spacious closets are a sought-after feature for homebuyers. This fact is hardly lost on home stagers, who unanimously vouch for the importance of a well-staged closet. A closet that is decluttered, organized, and staged will show buyers that the home is well-maintained and move-in-ready. Here are four little ways home stagers make your closet look nicer without buying anything.

The 80/20 rule - While buyers may not be inclined to open your drawers and chests, you can bet they will take a thorough look inside your closets. Closet clutter can deter prospective buyers, so it’s important to downsize well before a showing.  “Most of the time, we only use 20 percent of the items in our closets. If you are selling your house, pack up 80 percent of your closets—this way, you can show off the spaciousness."

Lend the illusion of space - Sometimes it’s not the space you have, but how you use it. It’s important to give the impression that there is plenty of room in the closets. If at all possible, leave closet floor space open and reconfigure your hangers so that they’re spaced an inch apart.

Give accessories a home - Small accessories can be the most difficult items to keep organized. Place handbags upright on a shelf, ties and belts hung, and hats stacked one inside the other with the firmest and largest hat on the bottom.  As for shoes, downsize what you have and place the remainder on a shoe rack against the back wall of the closet. Ensure you are only using one-third to one-half of the rack, so that you can space the shoes out evenly.

Think visual impact - Use matching hangers, remove any extra hangers—especially the wired ones—and put smaller items in nice baskets or boxes for better visual impact. And though it may seem tedious, it doesn’t hurt to coordinate clothing by color. Human brains naturally like order and balance. When you group and sort items with similar sizes and by colors, it will put the brain at ease, making the closet more attractive to the buyers.

Merry Christmas

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 23, 2020

Judy and I wish you all a safe and healthy Christmas.

This week we are sharing the the best places to see Christmas light displays in Utah for free from ABC4.com and 60 holiday ideas for this season. Going out with family and friends to see Christmas light displays can be a fun Christmas season activity. The best part is, most of the light displays this year are drive-thru displays.

Check out Bluffdale, where you can find a Christmas light display at 15727 Packsaddle Dr.

Christmas Pond Town in Salem runs from Nov. 27, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Downtown Salt Lake at 239 S Main Street and near the Gallivan Center is lit with beautiful Christmas lights all over.

Every year in Draper, the city puts more than 65,000 lights on the trees and the bridge in Draper City Park. The biggest attraction in the park is the large willow tree in the center of the park, popularly known as the tree of light. The park is located at 1300 East 12500 South.

In Highland at 11605 North 6000 West, the lights are programmed to a radio station that plays Christmas music.

Layton City has the “Lights Before Christmas” display in the Layton Commons Park. Those who attend must wear face masks and maintain social distancing guidelines. Organizers also require one member from each group to check-in with the Layton City table, for contact tracing purposes.

In Magna, there is a Christmas music and light show at 3547 S Mesa Garden Cir.

The City of Orem has the Orem tour of lights. The city’s website has a comprehensive list of all the places in Orem where you can go and see Christmas Light displays with friends and family. The website also allows residents to add their homes to the list if they are not already on there.

Another display in Orem can be found at 1155 North and 50 East. The Stanley Christmas House 2020 light display is up. Enjoy a fun winter wonderland as you listen to Christmas carols. The public is welcome to park their cars and walk the front and backyards to view light displays between the hours of 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. every evening through Jan. 1.

Pioneer Park at 500 West Center Street in Provo is lit with thousands of colorful lights.

Roy City has had their lights up since Nov. 23 and will have them up through Jan. 10 at the Roy City Municipal Offices at 5051 South 1900 West in Roy. The public is strongly encouraged to wear masks and adhere to all social distancing rules.

In Saratoga Springs, Utah’s Hamilton-themed lights display caught Lin-Manuel Miranda’s eye earlier this month. We think you will love it too. You can watch the display at 632 N. Meridian Dr. Saratoga Springs, UT 84045.

In Sandy at 1545 East and 11400 South, you get to see a fun display of a genuine antique snow sleigh with Santa, reindeer, and much more. There is also a full-size “Letters for Santa” mailbox. Santa will even respond to you with a personalized letter (if there’s a return address), so don’t forget your letters to Santa!

Lights at Temple Square at 50 W. North Temple in Salt Lake City is a Utah classic. This year due to the Temple renovation, the public will have to view the lights from surrounding roads and exterior city sidewalks. The lights typically turn on at 5 p.m. Those walking around are encouraged to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

In West Valley City at 4249 South 6485 West, one home welcomes the public to Whoville. You get to see the Grinch, Cindy Lou, and Max and some other Whos. The public may also tune their radio to 94.5FM to listen to “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and some more “Grinchy tunes”. Lights turn on at dark until 10 p.m. and will be up until Dec. 27. The public is also asked not to block the block driveways.

Traditions have always underscored the holiday season. It’s a time of routines, when the same people gather in the same place at the same time, and everyone welcomes the chance to act out familiar expectations. That’s why this year is so different. Instead of feeling bad over the loss of big parties - embrace the small one or virtual one this year. Rather than arranging a buffet on an oversized table, parcel beloved dishes into personalized deliveries. And speaking of sending things to go, ship a handful of presents in thoughtful (and ingenious) ways—even if it’s ordinarily a short trip away. This week we share Apartment Therapy's 60 Holiday Hacks, Shortcuts, and Time-Savers You'll Be Amazed You Lived Without.

Genius gift wrapping hacks

  1. If your wrapping paper is a bit too small to properly cover your gift, turn the gift diagonally on the paper for some extra room. It’s a holiday miracle!
  2. An inside-out paper grocery bag makes for a great recycled wrapping sheet, which also happens to be fashionably neutral. Add a ribbon and a sprig of lavender or evergreen for a minimalist finish. 
  3. Use a bread clip on the end of your tape roll to help you easily find the edge. Nobody likes a tape Grinch. 
  4. Instead of buying tags, get a tag maker—now you’ll never run out.
  5. A toilet paper or a paper towel tube can help wrapping paper from unraveling when not in use. To see it work, cut a slit in the empty tube and slip it around the wrapping paper roll.
  6. Use a pants hanger or paper towel holder to organize ribbons in one easy-to-see stack. Color-block the ribbons if you want to make them pretty to look at as you work.
  7. Are you using mason jars to conceal your presents? Dress them for the part by wrapping faux greenery around the lids.
  8. For those who are short on storage space, a garment bag can be used to corral wrapping paper in one clearly-defined place.
  9. Print out photos of loved ones as tags for their presents. Better yet, make them all childhood images, and older relatives are sure to smile. 
  10. Dress up plain butcher paper by drawing stars or snowflakes on it with white marker. You’ll save on buying wrapping paper for different occasions and it’s the perfect mindless task to take on while bingeing Netflix.
  11. The secret to a pro-looking wrap job: Line up the seams of wrapping paper at or close to the bottom of the box, and tape along the edge. This creates a clean line so that the present looks perfect.
  12. If you’re not good at wrapping presents but you still want to do it, matte sheets are the most forgiving to any imperfections. Also invest in or recycle square gift boxes to make for an easy square canvas. You got this.
  13. For those loved ones who like vintage finds, wrap a present in a thrift-store bandana or scarf and add a brooch to one side. The receiver just got three presents in one.
  14. If you don’t have a box to wrap an oddly-shaped gift in, never fear. Cut a piece of cardboard slightly larger than the base of the gift, and place it at the center of thick wrapping paper. Gather the wrapping paper a few inches above the top of the gift, and secure it with ribbon.
  15. Care to know how to make tissue paper look its best? Lay a rectangle sheet of tissue paper flat on a surface, and then place one hand underneath it and the other pinching the center. Lift the tissue paper and make sure its edges are pointed down, and then do a light swirling motion in the air—almost like a magician—up and down to create a bouquet of even points. With the base still gathered in one hand, fix all the points so that they’re perfect, and place the base in the gift bag.
Mind-blowing bow tricks
  1. For those who learned to tie a shoe “bunny ear” style as a kid, the same method works perfectly for bows. Create two event loops of ribbon in each hand, cross the right loop over the left, fold the right loop behind the left and through the hole. Adjust to make the two ends of the bow even. Cut the ends into a V-shape by folding them in half and cutting at an angle from the open end in toward the folded end, as shown in the illustration above.
  2. Want to make a kid’s gift pop without a lot of effort? Use washi tape to adhere a fistful of crayons to the box, or a trio of candy canes. Say hello to your new title as “favorite.”
  3. Cut and arrange shiny red duct tape into a bow for a twist on the traditional ribbon finish. It looks especially great on patterned paper.
  4. The key to beautiful bows is in the scissors. Invest in two super-sharp versions, one for paper and one for ribbon. Paper dulls scissor blades so you’ll get neater-looking cuts on ribbon if you stick to using separate scissors for each task.
Smart shipping shortcuts
  1. If you’re shipping small gifts, skip envelopes and wrap individual presents in this Scotch roll, which conforms to and protects each little thing you send off. Because you can cut it to fit whatever gift you’re sending, you can use the same roll for all your gifts.
  2. You can order flat-rate USPS boxes to be delivered to your home—helpful if you’re sending out a lot of gifts at once.
  3. Here’s your cheat sheet for holiday shipping. If you live in the lower 48 states, keep these deadlines in mind for shipping with USPS: In order to ensure delivery by Christmas, mail retail ground parcels by Dec. 15 and first-class parcels by Dec. 18. Priority mail can wait until Dec. 19, while priority mail express pushes the deadline to Dec. 23. Hawaii, Alaska, and international deadlines can be found here
  4. Before sealing a package, remember to shake it gently. If your present moves, it’s not secure enough for the road. Phew, that was close. 
  5. Are you worried about potential water damage to your box? Line it with a garbage bag before placing the present inside. It’s better to have a dry gift than a damp one.
  6. Worn-out pool noodles can be cut to size and placed around the edges of a box to act as a cold-weather buffer. ‘Tis the season for seasonal fixes!
  7. If you’re shipping breakables, make boxes extra secure by adding egg cartons to the bottom.
  8. Holiday doodles make a boring shipping box feel a little more festive. Just make sure the label is clear and readable.
Time-saving tree tips
  1. A tree is tough to move, but it doesn’t have to be that hard if you place a no-slip bath mat rubber side up underneath its trunk. That’ll make it easier to rotate.
  2. Here’s an easy trick for buying lights: You’ll need 100 lights per vertical foot of a tree. Make sure to check that they’re all illuminated before getting to work. 
  3. Opt for floral wire instead of ornament hooks to secure fragile ornaments to a branch.
  4. Put the tree topper on first to avoid the possibility of knocking off any ornaments as you reach for this so-called finishing touch. 
  5. Add pieces of artificial pine garland to help fill in any patchy parts of the tree. See? All better.
  6. A trick for watering your real tree is to make sure it gets one quart of water per inch of trunk diameter. And don’t worry about adding anything other than water to your tree to keep it hydrated—it doesn’t have an intense nighttime routine.
  7. Use empty egg crates to store breakable ornaments when the holidays are through. (Yes, egg crates pull their weight during the holidays.)
  8. If you buy a real tree, ask to keep the trimmings to decorate with at home. Then, arrange them on a mantle, table, or anywhere else that needs some cheer.
  9. Instead of a traditional tree skirt, a sheepskin throw makes for one that’s stylish, festive, and cozy—plus, you can use it as regular decor during the off-season.
  10. Did a little tree sap get stuck on your skin? Olive oil will remove it just fine.
  11. If you have to bag your tree for removal at the end of the holidays, place a bag under your tree stand before setting the tree up. It’ll make everything easier once it’s time to take your tree to the curb.
  12. If your tree is placed in a corner, don’t add lights to the back. Instead, zig zag them from the top to the bottom of the tree so that they’re only covering what’s visible.
  13. If you want your lights to stand out, spray paint the cord a bold color before reattaching the bulbs. Gold, silver, and red are obvious contenders, but you can think outside the box, too—hot pink would be fun! 
  14. Use a brush attachment on a vacuum to clean extra dirty fake trees. Otherwise, a microfiber cloth will do the trick.
  15. Want the option to move your (small) tree from a living room to a dining room and maybe even a bedroom? Put it on casters. 
  16. An easy wait to “hang” lights: Fill outdoor lanterns with battery-operated lights for a soft holiday glow.
Easy decor ideas
  1. Add a cinnamon stick or two to a roaring wood fire to create that holiday-ready scent without using a store-bought candle.
  2. Store holiday decor in clear or matching bins so it’s easy to find next year. And don’t forget to add labels of what’s inside.
  3. A blanket ladder can make for a modern advent calendar that doesn’t take up extra space. String numbered bags on ribbon, and add them to the rungs. 
  4. An abundance of holiday mugs can work as vases for small seasonal arrangements on nightstands and coffee tables. Springs of evergreen, small ornaments, and cinnamon sticks would look great.
  5. Use curtain rings, a tension rod, and decorative napkins to create festive cafe curtains for a kitchen or bathroom window.
  6. Festive scarves—like chunky knits, plaids, and anything with glitter—can act as makeshift runners under evergreens, candles, and pinecones for a table centerpiece.
  7. To make sure every room in your home has decoration, “wrap” the exterior bedroom doors with strips of oversized ribbon in your favorite color to resemble presents. 
  8. Use Command hooks, not staples, to adhere lights to your roofline. Otherwise, those holes can cause damage you can still spot next summer. 
  9. If your stocking looks flimsy before it’s stuffed with goodies, fill half of the stocking with plastic or reusable bags to make it look full before the big day.
  10. Put holiday lights on a timer, or go the extra mile and use a smart plug connect them to a smart home device like Google Home or Amazon Echo. You’ll be able to easily turn them on and off from afar.
Clever tricks for all the rest
  1. Use a “Secret Santa” site to help get gift lists for family and friends, like Elfster. That way, you’ll know exactly what a loved one wants. 
  2. Need to send gifts in bulk? Buy a pack of drawstring gift bags and fill them with essentials everyone will love to have—hand sanitizer and lotion comes to mind.
  3. Paper cookie bags will make your homemade creations look professional, and you won’t have to worry about getting leftover containers back.
  4. Making a gingerbread house or fancy holiday cookies? Use condiment bottles to hold the icing, which makes it easier to apply.
  5. Much like popular eucalyptus, evergreen branches can be bundled and hung from a shower head for a festive and restorative bathroom detail.
  6. Use a spray bottle filled with water to lightly mist tree branches and wreaths to prolong their deep green color for as long as possible.
  7. You don’t have to wait long for a bottle of Champagne or sparkling cider to chill with this trick: Fill a bucket halfway with ice, and toss in salt to cover it. Then, put the bottle in and add water so the bottle is submerged up to its neck. It will be cold and ready to serve in 10 minutes. Cheers!

The Best US Ski Resort - Park City

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 16, 2020

The US is home to an abundance of amazing ski resorts, but Park City, Utah is the best US ski resort according to Planet Ski in their Top Ten Ski Resorts of the USA. Research by Koala has examined the offerings of more than 450 ski resorts. It has taken into account factors such as annual snowfall, length of runs, the cost of an adult ski pass and review ratings to create a ranking of the best resorts in America. As America’s largest ski resort, it boasts 348 of trails and over 7,300 skiable acres, meaning you’ll never get bored. Not only home to world-class skiing and snowboarding, the village’s lively main street is renowned for its après-ski, with nightly live music and dancing.

Planet Ski also shares THE EVENING ACTIVITIES IN PARK CITY: Now one of the questions I am often asked is “Can you get a drink in the Mormon state of Utah?” You can not only get a drink, you can go one further and make you own gin in a distillery on Main Street at Alpine Distilling. So, how do you go about making your own gin? Step forward Rob Sergent from Alpine Distilling.

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First you chose your ‘botanicals’ – these give it the flavour. Juniper is a must and with three different varieties I went for the strongest. Plenty of Coriander too. Then you simply make your selection from Orris Root, Angelica Root, Licorice Root, Ginger Root Lavender, Rose Hips and several more beside. I decided not to hold back and got a bit carried away. Then my choice went into the hands of Rob’s wife, Sara, and I walked in to have a look.

“Sorry James this is known as an ‘explosive area’ due to the flammable and explosive ingredients here and the public aren’t allowed in.” So, I watched her making my gin through protective glass. We were then asked to come up with a name for our gin. There was only one choice for me. “Explosion Gin”. And then the moment of truth.

Travel and Leisure shares Utah's Ski Resorts Have Finally Reopened — Here's Where to Stay, Eat, and Shred Safely, here is everything you need to know before you book your Utah ski trip this winter.

After the longest ski resort closure in Utah’s history, all of the state’s ski areas are now open for everyone to enjoy the "best snow on earth." On March 16 — when Utah resorts closed due to the coronavirus pandemic — ski areas began to carefully establish plans to make the 2020-2021 ski season as safe and socially distant as possible. All ski areas have established cleaning and disinfection strategies, physical distancing guidelines, and strict mask requirements. 

Utah has always been a favorite ski destination — most resorts are within an hour of the airport, the terrain is accommodating to every skier, and each season there’s an average of 40 feet of light and powdery snow. Utah resorts have taken hints from New Zealand and South America’s summer ski season and banded together to create a streamlined safety plan that was presented and approved by state health officials to keep locals and tourists safe and distant this winter. 

Deer Valley Resort is one of three ski-only resorts in the nation. This year, they stand out again by eliminating day-of ski tickets and limiting the number of ski reservations in order to keep the slope and ski village well below capacity. Plus, all dining is reservation only to keep everyone safely distant while enjoying lunch or dinner. Snowbasin has set up warming yurts where skiers can take breaks and warm up and brought in food trucks to allow for outdoor dining.

All the resorts in Utah have similar safety guidelines in place, along with après ski activities that follow CDC and NSAA guidelines and have been carefully designed to ensure the safest experience possible.  

The Washington School House Hotel is a sophisticated and charming historical gem steps from Main Street in Park City. The artfully restored 1889 school house has gone above and beyond to establish COVID-19 protocols that make every guest feel safe. There's hand sanitizer and masks in each room, private room entrances, and upgraded amenities. Upon request, the hotel can set up in-room work stations with a printer, notepads, and even complimentary snack deliveries. There is even the option to have a private dinner prepared by executive chef Ryan Frye in-room or virtually anywhere on the property. But most hotels in Utah have adopted strict guidelines to ensure a clean, safe, and social distant stay — including popular options such as Goldener Hirsch Inn, St. Regis Deer Valley, and Montage Deer Valley.

One of the best places for a bite after a long day on the slopes has long been the High West Saloon — and it still is as they have implemented better-than-recommended guidelines to their indoor dining and will add an Alpenglobe later this month for isolated dining. Also, try Alpine Distilling and the Alpine Pie Bar - Park City's only locally owned distillery. Hearth and Hill quickly transitioned to an awarded curbside program and has a menu that will please the whole family. The Stein Eriksen Lodge is installing four Alpenglobe deck dining additions this winter that will be perfect for après ski. They will be available to reserve for a 90-minute dining experience.  

Plan ahead. Most resorts are operating on a reservation system, so make sure you have reservations for both parking and for your ski ticket. It’s vital to do your part by always wearing a mask and following all marked protocols. Ski Utah has put together a comprehensive list of expectations for all resorts in Utah that will be helpful to review prior to any Utah ski vacation this winter. 

Snow On The Horizon

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 09, 2020

Snow is on the horizon and with a winter storm promising to bring snow starting Friday, Park City is ready to get back on the mountain. This winter — despite a spike in COVID-19 cases and the pile of restrictions ski resorts have put in place to prevent outbreaks — ski areas throughout Utah are bracing for an avalanche of interest. The Salt Lake Tribune shares that Utah ski areas expect surge in popularity due to COVID-19 this winter. After COVID-19 caused a near-industry-wide closure March 14 — in the middle of the spring-break blitz — resorts have sunk money and people power into reconfiguring lift lines, installing Plexiglass barriers in rental shops and creating outdoor order windows in restaurants. Even with such protocols in place, they run the risk of having local governments shut them down again if coronavirus case numbers climb too high whether at the resort or in the adjacent municipalities.

But people are growing weary of being cooped up. And as anyone looking for some solitude on a hike this summer can attest, they’re turning to The Great Outdoors for an escape. One in every three people expects to take a road trip of 500 or more miles this holiday season, according to a Bridgestone Americas survey. That follows a strong push for road trips this summer, when AAA estimated 97% of all Americans would drive to their vacation spots. And even in a non-COVID year, Utah’s resorts have visitors regularly make the haul from California, Texas, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho, among other states.

This winter, Park City again finds itself being compared to New York and L.A., but for an entirely different reason. This time, it’s where people most want to be. Park City has replaced New York as the No. 1 destination for Christmas travelers, according to analysis by TripIt. The company looked at both vacation rental and flight reservations with check-in dates between Nov. 27 and Dec. 25. Last winter, Park City ranked 20th among destinations. This year, it moved up 19 spots to unseat New York City, which plummeted to No. 11. Park City moved up to No. 1 as a winter holiday vacation destination from 20th in 2019. Click here to read the entire article.

Travel Curator calls Park City a skiers paradise. Significantly because it happens to be home to Utah Olympic Park where thrill-seekers can enjoy the rush of speeding down the same track of the 2002 Olympic bobsled, skeleton, and luge events. This charming city surrounded by staggering mountains also has incredible spas, restaurants, and a nightlife scene to elevate your apres ski experience. You’ll find most of the action along historic Main Street lined with local gems, mountain-inspired fashion retailers, and gallery spaces.

A stay in Park City gives you access to two of the Rocky Mountains headliner resorts, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. Deer Valley is a luxury ski only resort known for its 103 runs, 2,000 acres of skiable terrain first-class facilities, exceptional on the slopes dining, and five-star ski-in/ski-out accommodations. Spanning 7,300 acres Park City Mountain Resort has a whopping 341 runs and 8 terrain parks makes it the largest and one of the most coveted ski resorts in the US.

Travel Curator calls Main Street the culinary hub of Park City, luring guests from each of the surrounding resorts for elevated dining and plenty of great cocktail bar action. The Riverhorse on Mai is a culinary gem that features a seasonal menu along with tried and true favorites like the Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut. A casual alternative to this fine dining establishment is Riverhorse Provisions known for its exceptional smoked meats – we’re particularly fond of their breakfast. When it comes to spirits, Alpine Distilling is it. With the distillery is Silver Creek and their Alpine Pie Bar on Main Street you can make your own gin and take it home seeing real distillation at work.

Park City Skiing

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Dec 02, 2020

The ski resorts are open! If this is your first time out to ski or snowboard we are sharing -10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Ski Trip from Travel and Leisure. Skiing may take a lifetime to master, but there are some easy mistakes you can avoid right now. To help, Travel + Leisure spoke to a ski instructor and a ski guide to share the best advice.

1. Picking a Resort That’s Above Your Skill Level - One good example of this is Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Twenty-seven percent of their on-mountain terrain is for beginners and first-timers can ski down five of the resort’s six mountains.

2. Forgetting to Book Lift Tickets and Ski Lessons in Advance - Many resorts are only selling lift tickets and ski lessons in advance this year, nixing day-of ticket window purchases. But even if that wasn’t the case, sorting out lift tickets and booking ski lessons before you arrive will typically save you money. If you’ll be in town for a long weekend, ask the resort if they have a multiday pass or a lesson and lift ticket package. Or, see if the resort you’re headed to is included in the Epic or Ikon pass, both of which provide access to multiple mountains over the season and can offer serious savings for multiday or multiresort skiers.

3. Not Taking Time to Read Up on the Rules of the Resort (or Understand the Trail Signs) - There are some general rules that every North American ski resort adheres to, like coding each ski run with a difficulty rating — green circles for beginner runs, blue squares for intermediate runs, and black diamonds for expert terrain. But there are also rules specific to each resort. This year, most resorts are requiring guests to wear face coverings — an easy ask, considering most skiers sport a buff anyway — and many are only seating people together on a chairlift or gondola if they’re in the same ski group.

4. Not Knowing What Gear Should Be Rented and What to Bring From Home - There are companies that rent out soft goods (jackets, gloves, pants), but in general, most ski tourists opt to rent their skis, boots, and poles from a rental shop and bring everything else from home. If you go that route, you’ll need to buy (or borrow) a ski helmet, goggles, jacket, ski pants, gloves, and a buff (for cold and on-mountain COVID-19 protection). In addition, make sure you have thin wool socks and plenty of lightweight layers.

5. Picking Ski Boots That Don’t Fit Well - You’re going to be in your ski boots for four to six hours, so don’t mess around when it comes to fit. Ski boots are notorious for being uncomfortable, but they don’t have to be.

6. Thinking You Can Throw a Bulky Jacket Over a T-shirt and Go - Skiing is all about layers. In general, your base layer should be something warm and lightweight that wicks sweat like it’s its job. Then comes a thick layer, and finally, a waterproof shell to keep you dry no matter how many wipeouts you have. Depending on your ski pants, you can probably get away with a thin base layer pant that resists odor and keeps your legs warm all day long.

7. Leaving the Lodge Without Food and Water - If you’re going to be out in the elements all day, you’re going to have to think ahead. There’s food and water at the resort, but it’s always smart (both from a financial and safety standpoint) to bring along a little something.

8. Not Being Prepared to Battle the Sun - When you’re out on the mountain, your UV exposure is multiplied. Snow reflects the sun’s rays, so you’ll have to go overboard in your efforts to protect yourself from the sun above as well as the rays bouncing off the snow.

9. Thinking You Can Bomb Down the Hill Without a Lesson First - To start, your ski instructor will take you to the beginner zone, often called the bunny hill, to teach you the basics.

10. Letting Your Ego Take Over - Once you’ve taken a few lessons and have your skier lingo down pat, you might think you’re practically a pro. But keep that ego in check. Call it quits as soon as you get tired, because most injuries occur when skiers are fatigued, but decide to head up for just one more run. To read Travel+Leisure's full article - CLICK HERE.

Good news - Most Utah ski areas expect to be open by the weekend according to Rick Egan at The Salt Lake Tribune. By next Monday, all but five are expected to be open for the season. Snowbird will set off a second spree of openings Monday. The resort will require parking reservations for the first time this year as its method of limiting crowds and maintaining social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Sundance will start its lifts turning Friday and Deer Valley will join in on Saturday. Solitude plans to open Dec. 7 after delaying its start because of lack of snow. Eagle Valley, meanwhile, has set Dec. 18 as its opening date. Brighton kicked off the Utah ski season on Nov. 19 to passholders only. Park City Mountain Resort, Brian Head Resort, Alta Ski Area and Woodward Park City all quickly followed suit. Snowbasin opened Wednesday for its 80th season.

All Utah’s resorts require masks inside all buildings and in lift lines and are asking guests to stay with their groups on chairlifts. In addition, most are requiring lift tickets to be purchased online.

The living room is the every-room, so how do you design such a multifaceted space? Apartment Therapy answers that question in 5 Golden Rules for Designing a Great Living Room.

Don’t skimp on rug size - In a large room, like a living room, you can unify the space with a rug. And to do that, all of your furniture’s legs should sit on the rug. If your sofa is against the wall, the front legs of the furniture should sit on the rug.

Layer lighting - Overhead lighting is great, but it can be harsh. A soft glow creates a more intimate and sophisticated vibe. To achieve this look, add a variety of light sources—table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, bookshelf accent lights, and candles—to the room.

Follow the rule of threes - An odd number of items not only looks more natural, it also forces your eyes to move around, creating more visual interest. For an even more attractive vignette, try varying the size, height, and finish of the objects as well.

Choose the right accent tables - Coffee tables should be the same height as your sofa’s seat cushions, or very close to it. And end tables should be within a few inches of your sofa or chair’s arm height.

Float your furniture - By floating sofas and chairs away from your walls—even by just a few inches—you instantly create a more intimate conversation space. If you have a very large living room, you can break up and group the furniture to create natural conversation spaces throughout the room.

Happy Thanksgiving

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 25, 2020

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

Dark skies and bright stars are the main attraction at the top stargazing spots around the world, Travel and Leisure have shared The 10 Best Places To See Stars Around The Globe and the Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah comes in #2 on the list. Liz Jackson is a planner for Park City and said the “dark sky” movement began as a way to reduce light pollution in more urban areas and is led by the International Dark Sky Association. She said changes to the city’s lighting regulations are now a priority.

The Natural Bridges National Monument in remote Lake Powell, Utah, was the first certified International Dark Sky Park, a designation bestowed by the International Dark-Sky Association, the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide. (There are now more than 130 certified International Dark Sky Places in the world.) The designation recognizes the area as having some of the darkest and clearest skies in the world, and acknowledges the efforts that have been extended to make it so, positioning darkness as a resource worthy of protecting and conserving.

The main attraction of the dark skies here is the “river of light” phenomenon created by the Milky Way as it rises over the Owachomo Bridge, a natural rock formation. The bridge forms a sort of window into the night sky, beautifully framing the thousands of stars visible with the naked eye. Plan to camp overnight for the full experience. Looking for another great stargazing spot in Utah? East Canyon State Park is one of the most recent additions to the list of International Dark Sky Parks.

Ski and snowboard season is here and for 8th time, Deer Valley Resort named best U.S. Ski Resort 2020 by World Ski Awards. Utah (ABC4 News) – Deer Valley Resort, once again, has been named Best United States’ Ski Resort 2020 by World Ski Awards, holding onto this title for the eighth year in a row. Representatives for Deer Valley say despite 2020’s challenges on the tourism industry, World Ski Awards program saw a record number of votes from ski tourism consumers, and the organization’s website continues to receive more search traffic than in any previous year. Out of 18 U.S. nominees, Deer Valley® was voted the winner of the industry’s coveted award. See you on the slopes.

Skiing & Real Estate

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 18, 2020

Park City Resorts Are Ready For A Season Unlike Any Other and with opening day of the Park City ski season just a week away, the executives at both Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resorts talked about what will be a ski season unlike any other. KPCW shares that in their annual update to members of the Park City Board of Realtors, Chief Operating Officers at Deer Valley Todd Shallan and at Park City Mountain Mike Goar reviewed their plans for a ski season in the midst of a pandemic with the goals remain the same – Get open and stay open.

“The bottom line is we are planning on opening on December 5th and our goal is to stay open and keep people as safe as we possibly can,” said Shallan. Mike Goar added, “ yeah it’s certainly a different year, to say the least. I would say kind of our operating motto if you will is, open to stay open.” The good news from both resorts is that despite not having any J1 visa workers – their staffing levels look better now than it did a year ago. While their pandemic operating plans have been released to the public more than a month ago, something new that was mentioned is that Park City Mountain – in addition to making a reservation to get on a chairlift, reservations will also be required at all of their on-mountain lodges and restaurants. The main goal is all about keeping guests and employees safe.

Park City is scheduled to open both its Park City and Canyons Village bases on Friday, November 20th and Deer Valley will open on Saturday Dec. 5th.

Urban development experts say Utah could be a hot destination for people who, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, were already migrating out of the biggest U.S. cities. Deseret News shares - Is COVID-19 the ‘great accelerator’? Utah set to win big as big cities continue to lose residents. Even before the onset of COVID-19, big U.S. metro areas were losing the domestic migration war to smaller, midsize cities and suburbs in a trend reversal that dates back almost a decade. Now, restrictions brought on by the global pandemic have only highlighted the downsides of big cities and the relative upsides of locales with assets like low cost of living, growing economies and easy access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

Utah could be perfectly positioned to become one of the top destinations for those fleeing urban residential settings that have become, for some, considerably less desirable amid the current public health crisis. Data shows residents, on a net basis, have been moving out of U.S. metro areas with populations of 1 million or more and finding new homes in smaller cities going back to 2012. And in the past several months, restrictions in place across the country aiming to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have functioned as a “great accelerator” of that migration.

The Utah model is something that is worth studying. The state’s “welcoming atmosphere” and “greater family friendliness” as factors that make it an increasingly attractive destination for people looking to move. To read the entire article CLICK HERE.

With the market in Utah booming, the Park City real estate market continues to boom amid the pandemic according to The Park Record as the Park City real estate market continues to surge, with sales in the third quarter more than doubling the activity in the same period in 2019. In the spring, the coronavirus pandemic shook the Park City business community, forcing the closure of non-essential businesses and thrusting the economy into a sudden downturn. Amid the upheaval of that period and the months that have followed, however, one industry crucial to Park City’s economy has experienced a dramatic run of success. And third-quarter data from the Park City Board of Realtors indicates that the real estate market continues to boom.

“You’ve got an environment here where you’ve got hiking, biking trails, you’ve got a couple of lakes nearby that you can boat in — golf courses, fishing,” Winstead said. “I don’t think the world really realized there were so many opportunities in such a small area.”

The question now is whether the people who’ve bought homes here during the COVID crisis plan to live in Park City permanently or retreat back to urban areas when the pandemic is over. Winstead, for one, has heard from many Realtors whose clients say they want to make the Park City area their permanent home. “It’s hard to leave Park City once you’ve been here,” he said. “Every time I think about going on a vacation, I’m like, ‘Well, where’s a better place to go than Park City?’

Home Upgrades

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 11, 2020

This week we are sharing easy home upgrades as we start getting ready for the snowy days and more time inside. Read on to see what colors to paint your kitchen cabinets, how to turn your living room into a mulit-functional space and tips to turn your bathroom into a relaxing escape.

While spending more time at home, changing up the color of your kitchen cabinets can be a great way to mix things up and refresh a space that feels all too familiar these days. This Is the Color You Should Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets, according to the experts at Apartment Therapy. Gibbons spoke with Semihandmade, who shared a total of six options, ranging from warm whites to hues of blue, the all-time favorite color. In addition to classic beige, five other colors that are worth considering for your kitchen cabinet paint job.

Warm Whites: Classic white cabinetry is an enduring classic, and for 2021, Gibbons predicts a trend towards more delicate whites.

Moody Greens: Moody greens and deep blues lend a dramatic, editorial feel to a kitchen.

Shades of Blue: Gibbons says that blue hues look great in every room, no matter the decor style.

Sage and Seafoam: Green kitchens took over our Insta feeds in 2020, and Gibbons sees that trend continuing into 2021.

Punchy Pinks: Make a statement by painting your kitchen cabinets a soft, pale pink this really makes a statement in small doses too, like on a kitchen island, window frames, or even trim.

The living room is the every-room, so how do you design such a multifaceted space? Here are 5 Golden Rules for Designing a Great Living Room.

Don’t skimp on rug size - In a large room, like a living room, you can unify the space with a rug. And to do that, all of your furniture’s legs should sit on the rug. If your sofa is against the wall, the front legs of the furniture should sit on the rug.

Layer lighting - Overhead lighting is great, but it can be harsh. A soft glow creates a more intimate and sophisticated vibe. To achieve this look, add a variety of light sources—table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, bookshelf accent lights, and candles—to the room. 

Follow the rule of threes - Though three is considered the magic number, groupings of five, seven, or even nine also work well. An odd number of items not only looks more natural, it also forces your eyes to move around, creating more visual interest. For an even more attractive vignette, vary the size, height, and finish of the objects as well.

Choose the right accent tables - Coffee tables should be the same height as your sofa’s seat cushions, or very close to it. And end tables should be within a few inches of your sofa or chair’s arm height.

Float your furniture - It’s hard to create a conversation area when all of your furniture is pushed up against your walls. By floating sofas and chairs away from your walls—even by just a few inches—you instantly create a more intimate conversation space. If you have a very large living room, you can break up and group the furniture to create natural conversation spaces throughout the room. CLICK HERE to read the full article from Apartment Therapy.

If you thought the bathroom was your escape before, it’s even more important to make it your oasis now. Whether you’re flooded with Zoom meetings, homeschooling, or burnout from the work-from-home life, a daily bath or shower may sometimes be your only moment for precious alone time. Here are 7 Things To Create a “Perfect” Bathroom:

Stylish rugs - Small rugs are the quintessential bathroom staple. Not only do they provide functionality when placed right next to the shower, but they’re also great accent pieces if the room has neutral tones. Runners are great—or, smaller size antique rugs give the bathroom a modern, fresh feel.

Good lighting - Dimmable overhead lighting is an attractive option for a bathroom, as you can set the mood based on the task, be it a bath or a shower. Simply changing the wattage around your sink’s mirror can reinvigorate the space.

Framed artwork- Statement artwork brings your personality into the bathroom. Go for glass-framed artwork or vintage textiles and hang a series of similarly themed photos.

Storage pieces - Whether you’re refurbishing a master bathroom or a powder room, there’s a ton you can do to maximize storage. Add shelves inside your vanity mirror and use other space-saving pieces to declutter. Try turning a bar cart into a bathroom cart; then add candles and rolled up towels to up your design.

Soothing paint colors with accent wallpaper - To give your bathroom a tranquil feel, use neutral colors. If you’re not one for quiet colors, add wallpaper behind the vanity makes an accent wall that’s not overbearing.

New fixtures - Updating the hardware in your bathroom goes a long way. You can change the whole look of your bathroom and utilize the same plumbing. Consider replacing your old faucet with rose gold or matte fixtures. Refresh your shower experience with a new shower head, keeping in mind finish, size, and function.

Scent diffusers - A good scent is the hallmark of a luxurious bathroom. A diffuser on the vanity or by the bathtub elevates your style, while also giving the room an oasis-like vibe.

Visit Park City

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Nov 03, 2020

Happy Wednesday - Thank you for reading our 300th blog last week! We hope you all had a Happy and Safe Halloween. This week we are sharing recent articles on Park City in both Vogue and Living Gossip as our little town proves to be a lovely place to visit, especially at Christmas.

Last week, Airbnb released a report about how Americans’ travel habits have changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Once upon a time, weekend trips or journeys to far-flung locales were on everyone's wishlists. But with international borders closed and many metropolitan destinations under stringent lockdowns, Airbnb found that its users were searching for domestic escapes with close proximity to nature. And they wanted to stay longer: The company found that people who have the opportunity to work from anywhere booked longer stays—as in two-plus weeks—especially in places with abundant natural surroundings. Vogue shares Where Americans Are Traveling Locally in 2020 and Park City is the number one trending location.

Nestled in the Wasatch Mountain range, Park City, Utah, is an adventurer’s paradise: you can hike, fly fish, horseback ride, white river raft, skeet shoot, mountain bike, and so on. In the winter, skiers flock to the slopes of Park City and Deer Valley. The town itself is a classic western outpost with many stores selling cowboy boots or wood carvings by local artisans. Stop by 350 Main, the classic bistro that’s served Park City for over 25 years and Alpine Distilling.

Need some suggestions about where to stay? They love this cottage chock full of vintage details that’s a few minute’s walk from Main Street, or, for a splashier stay, this luxury cabin perched on the slopes of Park City Mountain that has an outdoor fire pit overlooking the evergreens. If a hotel is more your style, there are plenty of luxurious options: the Montage and Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley are both storied ski resorts, whereas the 3,500 acre The Lodge at Blue Sky in nearby Wanship is perfect for all-season alpine adventures. To find out the other cities that made the list - CLICK HERE.

Christmas may be a couple months away, but in The Best Christmas Getaways in the US by Living Gossip Park City comes in number one. Christmas is a magical time of the year wherever you spend it, but there are some places that are just a little more magical than others. Coming in number one is Park City, Utah. This charming village is nestled in between mountains, creating the perfect wintry backdrop for your Christmas getaway. It might be the snowy landscape or the numerous Christmas events, but Park City is a popular place to celebrate the festive season and here are a few things not to miss.

  • Take a ride on the North Pole Express - During the holiday season, Park City runs a North Pole Express service on the Heber Valley Railroad so everyone can experience the magic of Christmas. Passengers will be treated to live entertainment, hot cocoa, and even a present from Santa himself!
  • Attend the tree lighting ceremony - The perfect start to the festive season, the annual tree lighting ceremony will get you in the holiday spirit. There’s live music, market stalls, and fireworks to make the night truly special.
  • Snowfest at Park City Mountain - Snowfest runs for two weeks over Christmas and New Year’s at Park City Mountain. There are different events every day and you just might get to meet Santa!
  • Park City Holiday Spectacular Sing-a-long - A family favorite, the Park City Holiday Spectacular Sing-a-long brings people of all ages together to sing their favorite Christmas tunes. The show features many local performers – come prepared to sing your favorite Christmas carols!
To find out all the cities that made the list according to Living Gossip - CLICK HERE.

Interested in all things happening in Park City, visit www.visitparkcity.com

Happy Halloween

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 27, 2020

This week we look at some socially distanced dining experiences in Park City, bulbs to plant in your garden for Spring and a continuation of more things to do and celebrate at home as Halloween will be quieter this year without our Main Street celebration.

If you are in Park City, Travel Awaits' Wendy Lee shares 8 Fantastic And Unique Dining Experiences In Park City. Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Here are eight fantastic and unique dining experiences to consider on your next trip to Park City, listed in no particular order.

1. Go For A Sleigh Ride up the snowy slopes of the Park City Mountain Resort to the rustic Snowed Inn Lodge. This adventure is well suited for a multigenerational gathering, since children of all ages can be accommodated. Reservations are required. If you’re visiting during the holidays, be sure to make reservations far in advance. Though the sleigh ride is short, it can be very cold, so dress accordingly.

2. Have Dinner In A Yurt -Instead of taking a sleigh ride to a lodge, you can opt to take one to a yurt. This time, the sleigh is pulled uphill for 1,800 feet along a snowy trail that concludes at The Viking Yurt. Joy and Geir Vik came up with the idea for the experience and opened the yurt in 1999. Inside this unique structure, you’ll see a baby grand piano. Throughout the evening, guests enjoy music performed by a concert pianist. It is a wonderful option for couples seeking a romantic evening out. Reservations are required. If you can’t make it for dinner, but do want to see the yurt, try coming for lunch instead.

3. Enjoy Fireside Dining - Fireside Dining, they aren’t just for ambience, the dining room features large windows that provide lovely views of the surrounding mountains. The meal begins with warm raclette cheese served with cured meats and freshly baked baguettes. Then you’ll choose from several entrees, like veal and mushroom stew, roast leg of lamb, and beef short ribs. The perfect winter dessert of fondue concludes the dining experience. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available for purchase. Come hungry, since this is an all-you-can-eat meal.

4. Sample Seafood On The Slopes -You may not expect excellent seafood high up in the mountains, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Rime Seafood and Raw Bar. Located in a refurbished cabin at the top of the Jordanelle ski run, Rime is the first-ever slopeside raw bar. And since it’s also a ski-in, ski-out establishment, you can enjoy a meal of fresh seafood at any time during your day of skiing. If you don’t ski, or just want to visit the restaurant, you can purchase a foot passenger lift ticket.

5. Dine Outdoors Amidst Mountain Scenery - Glitretind Restaurant in the Stein Eriksen Lodge offers award-winning summertime al fresco dining. Take a seat on their wooden terrace and admire the surrounding forested mountain slopes. Summer days bring hundreds of mountain bikers to this area, but at night, it’s a quiet oasis. The lodge is named for the famed Nordic skier Stein Eriksen, who lived for many years in Park City.

6. Have A Drink Fireside - head to the St. Regis Bar in Deer Valley for great views and memorable cocktails. During the winter, you can ski up to this bar, but at other times of year, you’ll need to take the funicular from the parking lot. If the weather permits, head outside, grab a seat by the fireplace, and appreciate the views of the surrounding mountains. While the drinks are the main attraction, the food is also excellent. Try the steak frites, the desert mountain cheeseburger, or the black truffle pizza. The bar is restricted to guests 21 and over.

7. Savor A Locally Sourced, Wood-Fired Dinner - Firewood. Every dish is cooked over a wood fire. Located in a historic building on Park City’s Main Street, Firewood features decor that’s almost stark, with reclaimed bricks and timers. Guests can watch their food being prepared through the large bank of windows dividing the seating area and kitchen. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

8. Combine Mines And Wines - Park City has a long history of silver mining dating back to 1868, and from those days come great stories. The Fox School of Wine weaves those tales into a unique 3-hour wine-tasting experience. Perfectly paired snacks are provided along the way. Much of this tour takes place outdoors, so dress appropriately. Guests must be at least 21 years of age.

There may be snow on the ground in Park City, but there is still a little time to think about your Spring garden. Here are 8 Bulbs to Plant Now for the Prettiest Flower Garden in Spring. October is the best month to plant your flower bulbs, which need to over-winter in order to bloom in spring. Daffodils and tulips might be the most familiar picks, but they’re not the only bulbs worth planting for spring.

Daffodils - these are an old-school trademark of spring—and for good reason. When they start to pop out of the ground, it’s a sign that winter is over and warmer months are on the way.

Lily of the Valley - appear at the beginning of spring. The plant produces sweet, white bell-shaped flowers that look like they’re made of porcelain. It is a perennial and has been known to survive the harshest of winters, so you’ll only have to plant this one once.

Tulips -add variety amongst all the bright colors of spring. If you choose to plant and love this tulip, be prepared for a wild amount of depth and dimension to appear in your garden beds.

Crocus - The spring crocus is one of the first blooms to emerge from the cold ground at the end of winter. The typical snow crocus has thin leaves and only reaches 4 inches tall. These plants produce the most adorable blooms that make them perfect for the smaller, empty spots in your garden.

Grape Hyacinth - is in the lily family, which you can tell by the long, thin foliage. It is a small plant that makes a great addition to the small corners and borders of gardens.

Anemones - not only do they bloom at the onset of spring, but they continue to produce flowers until the early summer. Anemones can generate a huge amount of blooms per bulb—sometimes up to 20.

Ranunculus - the other favorite spring flower, have crepe-paper thin petals that overlap in dozens of layers. Note: If you live in zones 7 or colder, you’ll need to plant your ranunculus in early spring instead.

Allium - The last place on this list goes to a plant the looks like it’s straight out of a Dr. Suess book. Allium, also known as ornamental onion, are part of the same vegetable family as shallots, onions and garlic. However, this ornamental variety of onion doesn’t belong in the veggie plot—instead, give it a well-deserved spot in your perennial garden.

Last week we shared Apartment Therapy's 100 Things to Look Forward to This Fall and Winter, this week we share the continuation of More things to do and celebrate.

Send a book, get a book: Set up a book exchange with friends where you mail a book, read it, then send it along to the next person on the list. You can also do this same system with other items, like puzzles or board games.

Establish a TBR fall/winter list: Create a “to be read” list of reads, then make it a mission to knock out all the books by the end of winter (deadline of March 21, set). Get a friend to do it with you (with their own list of books) so you can hold each other accountable.

Guess that scent: Put your nose to the test with this fun guessing game. Grab the candles you already own, put them in brown paper bags, mix them up so you’re not sure which is which, and try to sniff out the scents.

Virtual potluck, “Chopped” style: Write common pantry staples on individual strips of paper, throw them in a bowl, and pick three at random. Then, communicate the ingredients to a group of friends, and let everyone get cooking/baking with the three ingredients, plus up to three additional items of their choosing.

Short story club: Start doing a virtual short story club with a group of friends or family. Someone different picks a short story (that’s available for free online), and every week you pick a night to discuss. It’s a low-lift way to keep reading and stay in touch with friends.

Treat yourself with learning: Browse MasterClass, Coursera, Airbnb Online Experiences, etc. and treat yourself to one class that’s something you’ve always wanted to learn more about or have a passion for.

Dream virtual destination: Pick a destination that you’ve always wanted to travel to (perhaps it was on your 2020/2021 list) and create an at-home itinerary that’s inspired by it!

Future trip planning: While international travel isn’t really a thing right now, there’s nothing preventing you from planning that dream trip. Pick the destination and do some fun research—browse rentals, search for the best restaurants/activities, what you would do for transportation, etc.

Coloring pages-turned-wall art: Create your own piece of wall art while getting to expressively color.

Switcharoo Day: Set a date with a family member/friend to gather up five home items each of you no longer want (board games, planters, books, blanket, etc.), then trade them for the five items they want to give you.

Thematic TV/movie night: Do a pop culture binge-watch night where you set the scene and make drinks/snacks based off of what you’re watching.

Pen pal partnership: Establish a pen pal to keep in touch with throughout the fall and winter months. Use your favorite stationery, shower your envelopes with stickers, create a fun theme for every month’s letter, ask a fun question at the end of each note to leave you in suspense—make it fun and personal.

At-home spa time: Recreate a spa-like experience at home.

Let is snow (angel): If you happen to live in a place where there’s snow, don’t just let it sit there on the ground (although it is pretty to watch). Grab your waterproof pants and jacket, head outside, and get down (literally) with making some snow angels.

Old-fashioned snowball fight: Again, if you live where it snows, round up your housemates and any neighboring friends and family for a playful snowball battle. Not only is this activity free and comes with easy setup (thanks, Mother Nature), but it also abides by social distancing rules.

Epic fort-building: Revisit one of the best childhood activities and build yourself the best fort with everything around you. Grab a kitchen chair, drape your favorite massive fleece blanket over it, throw every single pillow imaginable underneath, and continue on the mission to achieve the ultimate coziness.

Leaf decorating: Put all the vibrant, unique leaves that fall to the ground to good use within your home. Go outside, take a long walk around your neighborhood, and gather the leaves that catch your attention along the way. Then, find a glass vase or bowl and arrange them inside, or hang them all on a string or wire and drape your walls with them.

Cozy happy hour: Pick a day in the middle of winter and schedule a virtual happy hour with friends and/or family where everyone comes with their favorite hot beverage of choice, from mulled wine to hot cocoa and chamomile tea.

DIY sanctuary space: Work on creating a peaceful area at home where you can practice wellness, if you haven’t already established one. This can be a room, table, even a corner—just a place where you turn off all devices and can sit with yourself and reflect.

Virtual walk/run: To keep you moving, sign yourself up for a virtual walk or run in the fall or winter months. Not only is it great motivation to practice wellness, but you can also do it for a great cause.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween! Ramon & Judy

2020 Skiing

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 20, 2020

Judy and I are taking to the mountains with our dog Zorro and enjoying hikes as we wait for the snow to start falling in Park City. This week we are sharing Conde Nast Traveler's article What to Expect at U.S. Ski Resorts This Winter and how mountains across the country are getting creative to keep you safe. Ski towns were among the first U.S. destinations affected by the coronavirus as the 2019-2020 season hit its stride. Now, as this year's ski season fast approaches, resorts are working hard to ensure that skiers, snowboarders, instructors, and everyone else can stay safe on and off the slopes. Ski resorts across the U.S. recently began unveiling their operating plans and we took a closer look to see just how different they will be. From planning ahead and making reservations for just about everything to big changes to the après scene as we know it, here’s what to expect at U.S. ski resorts this season.

Don’t expect day-of lift tickets - ski resorts are capping access by as much as 50 percent with walk up tickets being mostly eliminated at all 15 Alterra Mountain Company resorts (Deer Valley, Big Bear Mountain, and Winter Park among them). Most resorts are releasing a limited number of lift tickets in advance that must be purchased online or via the resort’s app. Even those who still have valid undated lift tickets saved from last year’s shortened season will need to plan ahead as many resorts are requiring mountain access reservations. While new 2020-2021 lift tickets will come with mountain access included, those with undated tickets will need to contact their resort to make a reservation.

Season passes are the golden ticket - Season pass holders get the biggest benefits all around, including unprecedented refund options, priority reservation days, and even unlimited skiing. Season pass products also offer the most flexibility this winter—important in light of constantly changing COVID-19 surges and travel restrictions. Ikon will roll the purchase price paid for an unused pass to the 2021–22 ski season, while Epic will extend a full or prorated refund depending on the reason for cancellation. But that doesn’t mean you can roll up to any lift as a season pass holder to take on the slopes. Just like with lift tickets, many season pass holders will need to book mountain access reservations in advance in order to hit the slopes.

The main disparity this season is between Vail Resorts' destinations, which are on the Epic Pass, and Alterra's Ikon Pass resorts. This season, all 33 of Vail's owned and operated U.S. resorts—including Breckenridge, Stowe—will require mountain access reservations. The thinking is that the new system will deliver consistency across its own destinations while also making it easier for skiers to plan. Epic season pass holders get an added bonus with the chance to lock in seven priority mountain access reservation dates during a passholder-only booking window (November 6–December 7). Independently operated Epic Pass partner resorts don't have to require reservations and a few are already opting out, including Telluride, Snow Basin, and Sun Valley.

Alterra Mountain Company, which operates 15 U.S. resorts with the Ikon Pass, will not require reservations across all of them. Instead, Alterra is leaving the decision to each of its mountains to decide based on the local environment. (You can find an updated list of what resorts are requiring Ikon pass reservations here.) Right now, most Ikon partner ski areas are not planning to require reservations, including Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Snowbird, Solitude Mountain, and Deer Valley in Utah, and Montana's Big Sky Mountain Resort.

Regardless of the season pass you buy, be sure to check your preferred resort’s site to find out when you can start booking your 2020-2021 dates, if required. Count on reservations for everything else, too and get your phone ready for digital transactions. At minimum, expect to pay with credit cards, as many resorts, including Park City, are going entirely cashless.

Remember - Masks are at required at lifts, in lines, and in town! And, Aprés now translates to “get your group outside”. The once-wonderfully packed après ski scenes, delightfully loud bars, and cozy restaurants we love from seasons past will not look the same this winter. The saving grace is that these things are not entirely going away, but shifting towards more socially distant, outdoors options. Breakfast buffets will be a thing of the past, while new food trucks will make appearances. And sadly, the days of saddling up at the bar for a drink are over, at least for now at most resorts. You’ll still be able to hit the bar to pick up beer or wine (many bars at resorts we spoke to won’t be selling cocktails), but you’ll have to keep your party moving, either to a reserved table outside or back home to your rental condo or mountain home. Check your favorite ski resort’s site for more updates and CLICK HERE for Conde Nast Traveler's complete article.

On a high note - here are 100 Things to Look Forward to This Fall and Winter from the team at Apartment Therapy. If the chillier months approaching has you wondering what there is to do and look forward to when it’s not as nice outside, you’re not alone (especially in 2020). But there’s some great news for you: there’s plenty going on in the months of October through March—you just have to do a bit of looking.

October

Oct. 1-31: Freeform’s “31 Days of Halloween

Oct. 20-21: Orionids meteor shower

Oct. 21: CMT music awards

Oct. 21:Black-ish” season premiere on ABC

Oct. 23: Hallmark’s holiday movie kickoff

Oct. 27:This Is Us” season premiere on ABC

Oct. 29: National Cat Day (aka, another day to shower your cat with goodies)

Oct. 30:In Search of the Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover

Oct. 30:The Mandalorian” season premiere on Disney+

Oct. 30: Sam Smith’s “Live from Abbey Road Studios” livestream performance

Oct. 31: Halloween

Oct. 31: Full Blue Moon (October’s second full moon)

Oct. 31-Nov. 2: Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead)

November

Nov. 1: Daylight Saving Time ends (aka, you gain an extra hour of sleep)

Nov. 1-30: Native American Heritage Month

Nov. 3: Election Day (vote, vote, vote!)

Nov. 14: Diwali (Festival of Light)

Nov. 15: E! People’s Choice Awards

Nov. 15:The Crown” season premiere on Netflix

Nov. 17: Take a Hike Day (so, go for that hike)

Nov. 17-18: Leonid meteor shower

Nov. 25:The Christmas Chronicles 2” movie premiere on Netflix

Nov. 26: Thanksgiving

Nov. 26:Stylish with Jenna Lyons” premiere on HBO Max

Nov. 27: Black Friday

Nov. 28: Small Business Saturday

Nov. 30: Cyber Monday

Nov. 30: Full Beaver Moon

Nov. (anytime): Friendsgiving (even though it’ll be much more distanced this year)

Dec. 1: Giving Tuesday

Dec. 1-25: Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas”

Dec. 10-18: Hanukkah

Dec. 13-14: Geminids meteor shower

Dec. 21: Winter Solstice

Dec. 21: Crossword Puzzle Day

Dec. 21-22: Ursids meteor shower

Dec. 24: Christmas Eve

Dec. 25: Christmas Day

Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Kwanzaa

Dec. 29: Full Cold Moon

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve

Jan. 1: New Year’s Day

Jan. 3-4: Quadrantids meteor shower

Jan. 4: National Trivia Day

Jan. 8: National Bubble Bath Day (plan accordingly!)

Jan. 10: National Houseplant Appreciate Day

Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan. 28: Full Wolf Moon

Jan. 29: National Puzzle Day (the perfect day to do puzzles all day)

Jan. 31: Grammy Awards

Feb. 1-March 1: Black History Month

Feb. 2: Groundhog Day

Feb. 7:The Puppy Bowl” on Animal Planet

Feb. 7: Super Bowl LV

Feb. 12: Lunar New Year

Feb. 13: Galentine’s Day

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day

Feb. 16: Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

Feb. 18: National Drink Wine Day

Feb. 20: National Love Your Pet Day

Feb. 27: Full Snow Moon

Feb. 28: The Golden Globe Awards

March 1: National Workout Buddy Day (grab your roomie and get to it)

March 1-31: Women’s History Month

March 1-31: National Craft Month (time to embrace the craft you love or want to try)

March 7: Critics Choice Awards

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 12: World Sleep Day

March 14: Daylight Saving Time starts (longer days, woo!)

March 14: National Pi Day (although unrelated, a great reason to eat pie)

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

March 20: Spring Equinox

March 20: International Day of Happiness

Outdoor Living

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 13, 2020

The weather is getting cooler and Park City has even had its first dusting of snow in the mountains. This week we are looking at ways to cozy up your outdoor living spaces, how to increase your fall curb appeal, and the housing market in Park City.

Here are 5 Ways to Stage a Cozy Outdoor Space for Cooler Weather from our friends at realtor.com®.

Add a fire pit - Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are a big win once the sun goes down and the weather cools off and a great place for s’mores.

Add plush cushions and blankets - Wrought-iron or plastic deck chairs come off as cold. Add seat cushions, outdoor pillows, and a basket of warm throws.

Add a heat lamp - Patio heaters have become one of the hottest accessories this fall as the temperature drops. Standing propane or electric heat lamps, or an infrared heating device installed on a porch ceiling, can warm up a space.

Add an all-weather rug - An extra layer on your outdoor space can cozy it up. Outdoor rugs can add something underfoot as you walk on a back deck, plus provide a pop of color to liven up the space.

Add extra lighting - Outdoor lamps aren’t going to bring in any extra warmth, but they can help with ambiance. Try glowing lanterns or Mason jars with tea lights on side tables; or tiki torches placed strategically in the yard.

Now that you have made your patio cozy, here are 5 Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal During the Fall. Whether you are looking to list your home or just want to spruce things up it’s worth it to put a little TLC into your curb appeal.

Hire a tree service - that tree that looked lush with green leaves is going to start turning soon. And after those leaves put out their fall burst of color, you’ll be left with bare branches. A tree service can help you stay on top of those fallen leaves—and trim back any unsightly or damaged branches that may now be visible.

Try not to go overboard for Halloween - it’s better to limit your decorations so that your home appeals to more potential buyers and doesn't overwhelm your neighbors.

Take advantage of viral marketing - If you are looking to sell your home, gaining viral media is never off the table - embrace the spooky season and setting your home home apart from the rest by hiring a flash mob to do a shot-for-shot remake of “Thriller” in front of your house.

Update your plants to hardy cold-weather varieties - try plants like ornamental cabbages and kale that will give your yard instant color, while coral bells can add some texture and dimension. And as for those mums you see all over stores as soon as fall begins - the showy fall mums are great to add as quick fillers and look presentable when paired with the leafy plants.

Don’t put away your patio furniture - consider leaving it out and updating it for cooler weather activities. Tabletop heaters, fire pits, and chunky throw blankets can all be added to an outdoor space reminding potential buyers that they can get plenty of use out of your home’s yard all year round.

The Salt Lake Tribune shares that COVID-19 has wealthy buyers heading to Park City. Park City, Deer Valley and surrounding Summit and Wasatch counties are now seeing money pour into luxury homes, estates and open land with big sticker prices as the effects of the pandemic bring in new wealthy buyers. Since June, a rush to sanctuary has real estate markets booming over pre-pandemic levels for multimillion-dollar homes and properties that offer secluded access to nature and a sense of security and safety.

Droves of families who’d been waiting out the pandemic in short-term rentals or second homes in the Wasatch Mountains are now buying into more exclusive enclaves and even shifting their primary residences.Homes sales in Park City rose by 62% in July and August compared to the same time last year. Deals amounted to $446 million for those two months compared to $206 million in 2019, and September sales ran at a similar elevated pace, according to the latest data from the Park City Board of Realtors.

It’s too early to know how big or lasting these effects may be, but the phenomenon is already spurring new construction and sucking up hundreds of upscale vacation properties that often sit empty or rent on Airbnb, particularly in Summit County. Well-heeled buyers relocating to Utah are also part of a global shift toward telecommuting, one that could carry some large dollars and social implications with it. In Park City’s case, real estate agents and residents say newcomers are lured by access to a near-ubiquitous 600-trail network for hiking and biking and thousands of acres of adjacent open space. To read Tony Semerad's entire article click here.

Even the Wall Street Journal share that Home sales surge in resort towns even as Covid looms large over ski season. People are fleeing big cities amid the pandemic and are swarming mountain towns in search of more space and the great outdoors. The impetus to buy in Park City is the town’s quality of life, and for those coming from California where the pandemic and recent wildfires have made it unpleasant to go outside buyers look forward to ski season.

For years, ski resorts have worked on diversifying their attractions to bring in more people by adding all kinds of non-ski amenities. The test is this coming season, when some might not even be able to open their skiing operations. The early results are looking good, as home sales and prices have soared despite the uncertainty.

Remodeling Your Home

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 06, 2020

This week we are looking at remodels to help sell your home as well as local art news and fun. When you place your home on the market the hope is that it will sell quickly as the longer a home is on the market the greater chance the price will go down. This week we are sharing 3 Renovations That Can Help You Sell Your Home Faster to help make sure your remodeling budget has the biggest payoff.

Kitchen - A dated kitchen is one of the biggest turnoffs for potential homebuyers. A kitchen that's been renovated using quality materials often draws people in and causes them to overlook other potential flaws. Quality finishes in the kitchen are crucial, as many buyers at all price points are looking for granite countertops (or something similar) and tile backsplashes. The cabinets should also be of decent quality and a neutral color that appeals to a wide range of people.

Roof- Since a roof is rarely seen except when you're coming and going, it might not seem like the best place to spend your renovation dollars; however, if you can state on your home's listing that the roof was recently replaced, you may gain more interest, potentially helping you to sell your home more quickly. Also, make sure that the color of the shingles matches the character of the home so buyers aren't turned off the moment they approach your house.

Bathroom - Moving back inside, a bathroom renovation is a great way to maximize the effectiveness of your remodeling budget. Adding unique features such as a tile tub surround or a designer light fixture that'll help your home stand out from others in your area. Again, quality installation is important here, as you don't want to put the future homeowners at risk of a major water leak.

Local Art - Now through October 11th the public can vote for Park City in the World Wildlife Fund’s We Love Cities challenge to celebrate Park City's Leadership in sustainability and climate action.

Residents and visitors can visit Recycle Utah, Park City Library and the PC MARC to take photos of interactive art backdrops created by local artists Adrianna Allegretti, Anna Leigh Moore, Elaine Lee and Emily Quinn Loughlin and post them on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #WeLoveParkCity. People can also log votes by visiting welovecities.org/park-city, she said. To find out more, check out the Park Record article here.


Local Fun - This time of year is usually known as shoulder season, but even in an unprecedented 2020 their is fun to be had in Park City at a distance. Check out Park City Magazine's full article here.

Bike Longer & Ski Sooner - Woodward is the relative newcomer in town, but the resort is already making its mark on Park City shoulder season opening new terrain and planning to keep the lifts spinning October 18. Just this week they unveiled a brand-new bike trail, EZPZ, which features a host of creative line choices and unique wood features suitable for a wide range of rider types from beginners to experts. Woodward is shooting for a start date of November 13 for skiing and snowboarding.

Eat More & Spend Less - The Park City Dine About is back for the eighth year running. The annual event, hosted by the Park City Area Restaurant Association (PCARA), is taking place between October 1-18 with dining deals at some of Park City’s best restaurants. Two-course lunches can be had for $10-$15 per person, while three-course dinners are $20-$40. Those who aren’t Park City locals can take advantage of lodging specials through PCARA lodging partner Stay Park City. Click here to book your stay, and visit the PCARA website here to learn more about participating restaurants.

Read more of our community coverage here.

Fall Curb Appeal

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 30, 2020

A good-looking front door is everything. And one of the easiest ways to punch up your curb appeal is by adding in some fresh new greenery to your plant containers when the seasons change. What flowers fare best in the cooler weather and are also eye-catching enough to be front-door worthy? Here are seven fall plants for your front door - 7 Front Door Plants to Give Your Home Fall Curb Appeal.

Chrysanthemums - These fall bloomers are the perfect addition to your fall arrangements. Chrysanthemums love a good sunny spot and therefore require a pretty regular watering routine (every other day or whenever the soil is dry). Keep in mind - Chrysanthemums are toxic to dogs and cats.

Heucheras - (also known as Coral Bells) are perfect for adding a pop of color to your fall arrangements. They are also more shade-tolerant, so they would do nicely under a covered porch.

Ornamental grasses  - grasses are a great way to break up the texture in your containers since they come in such a variety of colors (bronze, blue, green) and forms (stiff and upright or whimsical and arching).

Pansies and violas - they will not only look beautiful in fall, but they’ll also last throughout the winter and re-bloom in the spring. And they come in such a broad spectrum of colors, you’ll be able to style your arrangement to match (or purposefully contrast) your front door. Pansies and violas like full to part sun and regular watering.

Snapdragons - like pansies and violas, snapdragons will also last through the winter and re-bloom in the spring when the temperatures start to warm up. Snapdragons are non-toxic to animals. They are happy in a good sunny spot as well as a shadier one. They prefer to have their soil kept moist (but not too moist).

Ornamental kale and cabbage - There are many varieties that run in the white to green to purple range, but it’s the rigid-yet-fringy texture that really stands out and they also come in a range of shapes and sizes, so getting creative with these is very easy. Your ornamental kale and cabbage will appreciate full sun and moist soil.

Herbs - the earthy textures and smells really bring an arrangement to life. Different types of herbs have different light and watering needs, although most will do well in full to partial sun with regular watering.

Some things to consider when it comes to front door plants: how much light your front door area gets, as well as your access to water. Will your plants be protected from strong, damaging winds? Do you have sturdy planters for your fall flower arrangements? Check out Apartment Therapy for the full article.

Looking to the interior of your home here are - 7 Finishes and Materials That’ll Impact Your Resale Value, According to Experts by Apartment Therapy. If you’re gearing up to renovate your house, you might be pondering which materials and finishes will pay off the most in the long run. Investing in high-quality and timeless materials will eventually help the resale value of your home when it’s time to move out. Choosing those materials can be difficult, especially since those renovating their homes probably aren’t considering that they might want to renovate again in 10 years if their design choices didn’t age well. 

Engineered hardwood floors - believe it or not, real hardwood isn’t always the best way to go. In fact, real hardwood floors might even hinder your ability to find a buyer.

Quartz countertops - stain resistant, durable, and don’t harbor bacteria or viruses. Quartz countertops impact value in a major way, adding elegance and a timeless look, while providing long-lasting value and durability.

Marble floors - certainly a more expensive material than its other natural stone or ceramic tile counterparts, but the price that’s paid up front will pay off in the long run. Plus, when selected and installed correctly, marble flooring will last decades.

Carpeting - Sellers will replace old carpet with new carpet thinking that will help them sell a home, but buyers prefer hardwood. For this reason, it might be best to consider if it’s worth the money to re-carpet a room as you’re getting your house ready to sell. It might make more sense to spend a little extra money on a different material for your floors.

Plastic fixtures - It’s best to put a little more money into your plumbing sooner rather than later in order to avoid flushing more money down the drain later on.

Oak millwork - a nice contrast to the white modern look and adds warmth to the space is high-end wallpaper is a more economical solution that can create a similar warmth and environment.

Wallpaper - homeowners often want to feel as though their personality is visible in their design. Avoid busy wallpaper. Less is more during a renovation.

Have a great week - stay well. Ramon and Judy

Fall Updates

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 23, 2020

Fall is here and Park City is full of amazing color. This week we look at the new SLC airport terminal, Utah's economy, and the end of walk up ticket sales at some of the local ski resorts.

Utah's economy is ranked the best in the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to 24/7 Wall Street, a website that analyzes and reports on economic data according to Fox13 - Salt Lake City.

Fox13 reports that Utah's low unemployment rate when compared to the rest of the country as one of the reasons the state is in the first position. While the rest of the country has seen unemployment rates reach double digits, Utah had the lowest unemployment rate in the country for the month of July, and currently, 4.5 percent of workers filed for unemployment.The site also stated that Utah's economic growth is one of the strongest in any state in the country, even before the pandemic hit. Utah also has a low poverty rate, being one of only seven states with less than 10-percent of the population below the poverty line.

Salt Lake City International Airport is undergoing a $4.1 billion renovation project, according to USA Today. Concourse A is part of the first phase of the renovation project, while the second concourse is set to open in October, and the rest of the rest of the new airport is scheduled to be completed by 2024, added the report. The US carrier says the airport’s new Salt Lake City Airport includes convenient amenities designed to enhance the overall travel experience. Last week, Delta flew its first flight out of the new Salt Lake City International Airport, which underwent a billion-dollar renovation recently, on Tuesday. The debut flight departed for Atlanta from the airport’s new 900,000-square-foot Concourse A.“This day has been years in the making,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director of Salt Lake City Department of Airports. “To say we are excited to be here today is an understatement. After six years of construction and many more years of planning, we are proud to open the first new US hub airport in the 21st century.” Read more about the new Salt Lake City airport on Business Traveler's site.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Solitude Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort have become the latest Utah ski areas to take walk-up tickets off their menus. Both resorts are owned by the Alterra Mountain Co., which on Monday revealed some of the COVID-19 precautions it would implement across its 15 destinations throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to ending walk-up tickets, Alterra will put caps on daily lift tickets — sold online — and prioritize season-pass holders. Resorts are also creating more grab-and-go food options and more outdoor seating to encourage social distancing and will be limiting interactions on lifts and gondolas.

Deer Valley has long capped the number of skiers it allows daily. Solitude, on the other hand, has been seeing a noticeable influx of visitors since joining the Alterra family prior to the 2018-19 season. Solitude will not turn away season-pass holders but will limit sales of online, single-day lift tickets if large crowds are anticipated. The protocols apply only to resorts owned by Alterra and not those on its Ikon Pass, one of the two major multi-resort season passes on the market. Brighton, Snowbird and Alta — all of which allow limited days to Ikon Pass holders — are in the process of creating their own COVID-19 regulations.

Vail Resorts announced similar changes two weeks ago, including at Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort. In addition to ending walk-up lift tickets and prioritizing season pass holders, Vail will limit chairlifts to riders who are within the same ski party or to small groups of individuals. Perhaps most ground shaking is its plan to limit capacity by requiring all visitors, even season pass holders, to use an online reservation system to hold their spot on the mountain.

Solitude is slated to open the season Nov. 20, Alta plans to follow Nov. 21 and Deer Valley is scheduled for Dec. 5. Snowbird and Brighton have not announced their opening days.

Featured Properties

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 16, 2020

This week we are showcasing a few of our featured properties, please let us know if you have any questions or would like more information. Have a wonderful week.

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This lot is located on an EYE-BROW of Glenwild Drive to provide privacy and safety, with golf, mountain and ski views right next to common land. The Glenwild Golf Course has been rated number one by Golf Digest since 2002 for Private Clubs in Utah and you may join the private club as a golfer or as a social member, or not at all. Glenwild is a gated community ideally located 9 Miles from Park City Old Town, and 33 minutes to SLC International Airport, and of course only a few minutes to the Park City's highly ranked ski resorts.

Vacant Land in Glenwild 18 - 0.89 acres Park City, UT 84098 - CLICK HERE to see more.

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Homeowners and architectural enthusiasts will appreciate the use of light, flow, vistas and even acoustics in every space of this efficient and thoughtfully designed home. Floor to ceiling windows overlook 780+ acres of Toll Canyon green space, invite the outdoors inside with automated moving glass walls opening to a private shaded patio/deck with water-feature and breathtaking views. Automated screens ensure uninvited guests won't crash your party. Maintaining a light footprint, a NERVE exclusive DC lighting system runs cooler with long-life LED's, indirect LEDs highlighting elegant architectural features. Nature provides 4 seasons of comfort with integrated passive solar warming on sunny winter days; and automated solar shades reduce heat in the summer. Lower-level walkout invites you on journey through the Route 66 themed Arcade. Next enter virtual reality in the NERVE golf / sport / racing simulator. (available to purchase) From playground to world-class cinema; experience the 25 seat private theater boasting a 20ft 4K HDR image, a 27 speaker Dolby Atmos system & D-Box Motion. Drawing on decades of experience, the REPOSE team enhances your lifestyle through fully automated smart homes that are timeless in design, style, and always trendsetting. Greater than the sum of its parts, a REPOSE lifestyle build emanates energy efficiency, serenity, relaxation and comfort.Call Ramon for your very own private tour of this extraordinary new home and be prepared to be WOWED!

Single Family Home in Pinebrook Park City, UT 84098: 7 bedrooms, 8.00 bathrooms - 8549 square feet on 0.80 acres. CLICK HERE for more information and pictures.

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This beautiful home with views of all three ski-resorts, the Uinta's and the valley. Owners will enjoy top-of-the-line appliances, dramatic floor to-ceiling stone fireplaces, radiant heat, Space Pac air conditioning, wine cellar and cigar room- reclaimed barn wood floors, floor to ceiling custom library, 2 outdoor fountains, even an espresso machine installed just for guests on the lower level and this is just to name a few of the incredible features this home affords. Conveniently positioned off the master suite is a study-office, which could be also used as a nursery. This is the perfect retreat to unwind with some of the most amazing scenery, Creston music system, vantage lighting system, new restained exterior, alarm and lots of storage.

Single Family Home in Glenwild 18 Park City, UT 84098: 5 bedrooms, 8.00 bathrooms, 7909 square feet on 11.05 acres. CLICK HERE to see the 3D tour.

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Review the plans for this gorgeous Mountain Contemporary Home Designed by Otto Walker Architects, which captures the beauty of Glenwild Golf Course and Park City Ski Mountain all in one exceptionally planned home. This custom home to be built specifically for you, construction to start after you meet with the builder once the owner is under contract. The home offers main floor living with floor to ceiling windows, large game/family room. This home was Meticulously planned out in every detail, from how the rooms capture the views, to how the home flows from room to room...the great room and kitchen area are simply great for families and guest entertaining. The family room is just magnificent in every detail from the bar to the overhead glass catwalk and gorgeous fireplace and of course floor to ceiling windows.

Single Family Home in Glenwild 18 Park City, UT 84098: 5 bedrooms, 7.00 bathrooms, 7807 square feet on 1.09 acres. CLICK HERE for more information and photos.

Snow In Park City

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Sep 09, 2020

The first snow fall in Park City was only a light dusting, but with cooler temperatures on the horizon we are excited for Fall. This leads us to - Great News! Park City is planning to open on November 20th and is shooting to be open everyday this winter. Of course many safety precautions will be in place to ensure a fun and safe season.  Read more about their winter operating plan here. 

Park City is full of events and activities - here are a few of the local events happening this week. Park City Film, Dragonfli Media Technologies and the Utah Olympic Park continue their Twilight Drive-In at the Utah Olympic Park this Friday, September 11th at 7:30 pm and Saturday, September 12th at 7:45 pm. Friday's film will be "Up' rated G and Saturday's film will be "Caddyshack" rated R. Tickets are $30 per car - for more information visit parkcityfilm.org and utaholympiclegacy.org/park-events.

Looking to stretch your legs - The Park City Museum is hosting guided walking tours every Thursday and Friday at 2 pm. Tickets are $10 each and tours are appropriate for those 13 and older. The tours last an hour and a half and an optional $22 ticket price gains you access to the Park City Museum. The tour groups meet in front of Grappa Restaurant - 151 Main Street. For information on tickets visit parkcityhistory.org .

Help the community - Recycle Utah, Summit LAnd Conservancy and Park City Municipal are planning a special project for this year's National Day of Service on Friday, September 11th. The cost is free, but sign-ups are appreciated via Sign Up Genius. Meet up spots are at the Park City Bandstand, 1354 Park Avenue and along the Rail Trail behind White Pine Touring, 1970 Bonanza Drive.

Visit Park City is a wonderful resource for events happening in and around the Park City area. As Summit County and Park City continue to be in a low-risk phase - Park City asks that all residents and visitors follow social distancing protocols including the new health order mandating the use of face coverings/masks in a variety of public locations. Park City restaurants, bars, hotels, and recreational areas are still open and following safe business practices to protect the health and welfare of our guests and staff. For details please visit the travel update page on Visit Park City's website.

Have a great week, Ramon and Judy

 
 
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