Comedian Bill Engvall Shares His Favorite Local Venues
“I always say, if you can’t find something to do in Park City, then you ain’t trying,” laughs Bill Engvall, esteemed standup comedian and actor.
Engvall and his family have been visiting Park City for more than 20 years, and as a native Texan, he appreciates the blend of rural and urban life. So once he and his wife, Gail, became empty nesters, they decided to make Utah their permanent home. Since 2015, the couple has resided in their Park City estate with its incredible views of a golf course and the ski mountains.
Given his comedy background, it was only natural that Engvall shared with us some of his favorite summer entertainment venues. “Outdoor concerts at Deer Valley are the perfect way to spend an evening,” he says. “Another ideal location is the Red Butte outdoor amphitheater. It’s an awesome venue, and there is not a bad seat in the house.” An additional recommendation? The Depot—located inside the historic Union Pacific depot in Salt Lake City—featuring DJs and touring bands.
As he thoroughly delights in the Park City lifestyle, Engvall admits that when he is away from home, all he wants to do is get back. Adding to this homesickness, he is “Paw Paw” to three beautiful grandchildren. Hence, it seems befitting that after 42 years on the stand-up circuit, including as a former member of the of the highly successful Blue Collar Comedy Tour, he announced his retirement and performed his final show at the Eccles Center Salt Lake City in December of 2022.
Comedy world insiders acknowledge that Engvall’s “clean” stand-up will be missed on the live stage. Described as witty and relatable, his routines are refreshingly family-friendly, devoid of the foul language and obscene jokes common in most contemporary acts. Indeed, his light comedic presence will be difficult to replace.
Arguably, Engvall is best known for his “Here’s Your Sign” skits, where he offers “signs” to “clueless” people. A classic example from his routine: A customer service rep asks, “Can I help you?” and he answers, “No, I just waited in line for 30 minutes to say ‘hi.’ And, here’s your sign.”
Engvall has hinted that he may, on occasion, still appear on television or the big screen. But for now, he is relishing his private time with friends and family. He and his wife definitely have the P.C. scene down, and they enjoy imparting their local experience to guests and visitors.
He shared with us a few of his insider tips. “A really cool way to get the Park City vibe is by taking a nice leisurely walk up Main Street,” he explains. “If you want to see some amazing sights, take a hot air balloon ride and experience Park City from the sky or rent a mountain bike and ride the Rail Trail.” (If you’re new to town, the historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is a 28-mile non-motorized trail that weaves from Park City to Echo Reservoir, providing close-up views of wildlife and scenery.)
“Around Park City, there is no shortage of great restaurants and places to wet your whistle,” he continued. “Shabu has great food and a true locals’ feel. 350 Main is more upscale and has a great wine list as well as fantastic food. Sterling’s is an old school steakhouse with live music and a great hang.”
He also has you covered if you’re craving a refreshing cerveza. “You can find fantastic breweries where you can grab a nice cold beer,” He notes. “Offset Brewery is one of my favorite watering holes. And Wasatch Brew Pub is a well-established brewery with a wide variety of beers and great bar food—a must-visit.”
By all accounts, Engvall and his wife are definitely making the most of Utah. In addition to exploring the Wasatch Back, they enjoy driving south to Moab and experiencing the magnificent red rocks, mesas and buttes. They also appreciate low-key everyday adventures, like touring Utah’s Hogle Zoo or checking out the holiday lights at Temple Square.
No matter how Engvall chooses to spend his time in retirement, it’s evident he doesn’t need anyone to give him a “sign.” His years on the road allowed him to connect with his audience. His televised comedy specials allowed him to connect with America. And today, Engvall does what he loves best: connecting with family and friends.