Wasatch Mountains ballooning festival

Why here?
Park City's high-altitude lifestyle is rooted in winter fun, yet its warm-weather dynamic is no less fetching. The Wasatch Mountains setting is rife with sun-kissed pastimes including golf, fly-fishing, hot-air ballooning, festivals and more. Plus, 30 meetings properties enrich the Utah city's Olympic legacy.

 On the heels of Utah being named 2016's No. 1 destination by Fodor's Travel, the state's capital will further its own appeal with a new 800- to 1,000-room convention hotel. Developers of the $350 million project, to be announced at press time, will take advantage of about $75 million in tax credits. In the running to build the hotel: RLB Swerdling of Austin, Texas; JLJL of Midvale, Utah; and DDRN Cos. of Sandy, Utah.

Stein Eriksen, gold medalist at the 1952 Winter Olympics whose name graces the iconic Stein Eriksen Lodge, died Dec. 27, 2015. The Norwegian legend is credited with introducing freestyle skiing aerials. steinlodge.com

Deer Valley Resort has added more heart-thumping mountain-bike and hiking trails, including a three-mile, machine-excavated downhill "flow" trail for intermediate-level mountain bikers.  (800) 424-3337


Local Update 
 Just-opened is the 122-room Hyatt Place Park City with a restaurant, a lounge, an outdoor pool, a fitness center and 1,450 square feet of meeting space, just half a mile from the ski slopes.

 In addition to sporting a huge indoor/outdoor pool and a 30,000-square-foot spa, the Westgate Park CityResort & Spa offers recently expanded meeting space now totaling 10,000 square feet.

 Independent-property operator Destination Hotels is now managing the 124-room Newpark Resort and its 20 two-bedroom luxury townhouses. Adjacent to the 1,200-acre Swaner Nature Preserve and near Newpark Town Center's shops, galleries, restaurants and cafés, the property offers approximately 7,000 square feet of meeting space.

 Deer Valley Resort added to its considerable panache with the March 2015 acquisition of Solitude Mountain Resort in neighboring Big Cottonwood Canyon. About $11 million in improvements to the former family-owned property will add a new high-speed quad chairlift, enhanced slope grooming and a remodeling of the Moonbeam Lodge Restaurant.

 A new casual-dining restaurant has been added to the Lodges at Deer Valley. The Brass Tag, themed after the area's distinctive mining heritage, offers brick-oven comfort food, including fresh seafood skillets, seared meats, oven-roasted fresh fish and locally sourced produce.

 This past December, the former Canyons Resort, acquired by Vail Resorts, was connected to the Park City Mountain Resort via the new eight-passenger Quicksilver Gondola, effectively creating the largest ski resort in the United States with 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. In addition, a reported $50 million was spent on other improvements, all of which were made before massive snowstorms hit the region this past Christmas.

Meeting Hotels: Park City accommodates groups of up to 700 attendees. Choices include the 488-room Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, 282-room Canyons Grand Summit Hotel, 220-room Montage Deer Valley, 199-room Park City Marriott, 176-unit Lodges at Deer Valley, 185-room Newpark Resort, 182-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City-The Yarrow, 180-room Stein Eriksen Lodge, 175-room Waldorf Astoria Park City, 174-room St. Regis Deer Valley and 138-room Hyatt Centric Park City.  

To find and compare more Park City area hotels and meeting spaces, as well as to send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com.

Airport Transit: Salt Lake City International Airport is about a 35-minute drive from downtown Park City. Shared transport to Park City includes SuperShuttle and Park City Transportation, starting at $45. Uber service starts at $51.

Taxes: Park City, 10.45%; Summit County (Canyons Village to Kimball Junction), 9.35%; Wasatch County (including St. Regis Deer Valley), 12.1%

Group Venue: One year shy of its 30th anniversary, the Riverhorse on Main continues to serve up elegant American cuisine paired with equally choice wines. Perks include a lauded vegan and gluten-free menu, a private-chef experience with meal maker Seth Adams, and customized private dining areas that host small dinners for 20 or large functions for up to 300.  (435) 649-3536

Golf: Among the 15 superb golf courses in the area -- most available for tournament play -- are the new 18-hole Canyons Resort Golf Club, the 36-hole Soldier Hollow Golf Course, the 36-hole Wasatch Golf Course, Crater Springs Golf Course and Park City Golf Club. Another layout to try is the Arnold Palmer-designed Jeremy Ranch Golf & Country Club. Find them all at parkcityutahgolf.com.

Contact: Visit Park City, (800) 453-1360