August 10, 2009

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No Snow Needed

Utah’s Ski Resorts Mean Summer Fun

By Sarah M. Cutler

August 10, 2009

Abandoning the slopes over the hot summer months is not required this year. Utah’s mountain resorts, though void of the state’s famous snow, are waiting to be enjoyed. With no concern for fresh powder, your biggest worry will simply be to remember your sunscreen. Here’s a look at a few of the top ski resorts’ summer events and opportunities that will excite the office and family. So get everyone together or head up on your own for a fantastic day in the majestic canyons with a well deserved mountain adventure. Solitude If it’s time to get away, your best bet might be the yurt at Solitude Mountain Resort. Located up Big Cottonwood Canyon, this Mongolian yurt brings delight to its visitors in a wilderness atmosphere. It’s a great place to take employees for a luncheon or simply to relax. An enchanting short hike to the yurt where a four-course meal is prepared and served is a gold mine for a simple evening getaway up the canyon. Looking to take your office meeting outside of the boardroom? Solitude Village can take your meeting into the mountains—the site offers office spaces, dining services and hiking. “It’s a quiet retreat very, very close to Salt Lake,” says Nick Como of Solitude. “It’s a really affordable way to reward your employees. Just being out in nature helps reenergize them and doing things like hiking around gets those creative juices flowing.” And if you’re wanting a bit of simple fun, Frisbee golf is another popular activity the resort has, offering an 18-hole, high altitude course in the midst of the beautiful scenery of trees, wild flowers and the occasional furry friend. Players have the option to hike up to the course any day of the week or the resort’s Sunrise Lift will take visitors straight up to the first hole on the weekends. Wolf Creek What would a summer adventure be without fishing? Wolf Creek won’t let this opportunity swim away. The resort has guided fly and bait fishing for all levels of experience and half day, mid day or full day adventures with varying prices can be arranged. Pontoon boats are also available to get you into the river. And, if fishing isn’t enough, you can take a hot air balloon ride. Rides start early in the morning when the air crisp and a celebratory bottle of champagne and brunch make the high getaway a one-of-a-kind experience. A popular evening treat is the summer concert series at Wolf Creek. The line-up ranges from classical to country music and includes artists such as pianist John Schmidt, Pladdohg, a Celtic-American folk-rock ensemble and the Utah Symphony. “What’s great about the Wolf Creek Utah show is it is outside, and people can sit on the lawn wearing their shorts, eating and drinking,” says Jeff Luke, associate principal trumpet in the Utah Symphony. “The bottom line is this is a lot less snooty-feeling than what people normally associate with a symphony concert.” Snowbird In some respects, summer activities are not far off from winter ones with wind blowing through your hair, energizing and renewing your excitement for life, filling your lungs and enforcing a triumphant heart beat. That’s what Snowbird is offering this summer. As an all inclusive experience for kids and adults, Snowbird is not your regular playground. The Alpine Slide is one such wind thriller at the resort. The ride is inexpensive and can be done over and over with the purchase of an all-day activities pass. The Bungee Trampoline, the Zip Rider, a mechanical bull, climbing wall, aerial tram rides and, of course, hiking and mountain biking trails are covered in the all-day pass as well. Getting out of the office is just not as exciting if you aren’t going to ride a mechanical bull or go head-to-head with nature on a mountain bike ride. It’s not always about the stress of working, though. Sometimes heat is all you really need to escape from and Snowbird can help with that, too. Take a day off for rejuvenating activities and great weather to clear your mind and get you back in the game. “It’s a lot cooler up here,” says Jared Ishkanian of Snowbird. “So when it’s sweltering in the valley you can come up here.”
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