By Cecil Scaglione
Park City UT— It’s simple to assess whether or not you’ve achieved Success here. It’s the title of a trail at the world-renowned Deer Valley Resort that lets you know when you’ve graduated from beginner to intermediate skier.
I arrived as a senior hoping to avoid a hip transplant by standing up for few moments all the way down a simple snowy slant and left besting several slopes with an array of such upstanding names a Sunrise, Little Stick and Last Chance as well as Success.
These 20-minute runs are embraced by clusters of multi-million-dollar condominiums designed to accommodate those considered to be financial mavens even if they’ve not mastered skiing.
Such moneyed manifestations should not deter you from considering this mining town-cum-ghost town-cum ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains as a focus for fun and, perhaps, a site to settle down.
Snow grabs much of the attention here because the annual harvest is about 500 inches. That’s more than 40 feet a year.
But when skiing and snowboarding become boring, you can slip off for fly-fishing in the nearby Green River to catch lunch. Yep, the folks here don waders and slosh into the frigid waters at any
time of year to snag tasty trout for their plates and palates.
At times during the spring, you can do a triple play in single day ski in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and then go fly fishing.
Besides all this outdoor activity, the locals enjoy the accessibility of the “big city” of Salt Lake City and its airport just 30 minutes away.
Deer Valley has been described by some as a cluster of fine restaurants with ski slopes attached to them. But you don’t have to ski to the dining lounge. You can drive up. Or you can hike or bike up in summer when the ski lodges are open to an array of non-snow-season activities that include rock-climbing, and horseback and scenic lift rides.
Long before the lure of leisurely living attracted folks here, there were as many as 350 mines spewing out silver, copper, lead, and some gold. The region was considered important enough that Federal troops were sent here in the 1850s to quell any possibility of a rumored secession by this part of the country.
Mining dwindled to dust in the late in the 19th century and this was little more than a ghost town when it sprang back to life in the 1950s as winter sports grew in popularity.
A mine elevator still takes skiers to the summit and many of the mines now produce “liquid gold” water that has filled several tunnels and is now piped into Park City faucets.
About Cecil Scaglione: Cecil is a former San Diego Union-Tribune writer and for a number of years has been a world traveler and writer and currently a syndicated columnist.