Already known for its many homes designed for skiing directly onto the slopes and back home, Park City builds upon its reputation for slope-side living with new projects in the Canyons Village and the last phase of lots at the Colony at White Pine Canyon.
Park City’s Reputation for Living Slope Side
Park City has earned its reputation as a place to ski-in and ski-out with luxury hotels, condos, cabins and fine homes. Now, even outlying developments have clubhouses for members right on the mountain. Slope-side living provides an easy place to return to refresh and rest. While not unique to Park City, it is rare to find so many lodgings and residences right on the slopes.
Unlike ski resorts that are set on Forest Service lands, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley are largely on private lands resulting from Park City’s history as a mining town. Deer Valley’s early owners and planner had the vision in the 1980s to incorporate residential development within the design of the resort. A series of developments ensued to place homes right on the runs, establishing Park City as the number one name for ski-in and ski-out. Th e list of Deer Valley developments is long; Deer Crest and Empire Pass are the most recent on the list with standout ski access.
Park City Mountain Resort developed earlier than Deer Valley and planning didn’t include incorporating home development on the slopes. Recognizing the appeal of ski access, the resort added the Town and Silver Star lifts and many homes in Old Town and the Silver Star development gained the convenience of skiing to and from home.
In recent years, the area formerly known as Canyons Resort, has opened up new opportunities for slope-side living, a ski experience that has only been enhanced by the unification into Park City Mountain by Vail Resorts.
The Colony at White Pine Canyon Focuses on Ski Access
The developers of the Colony at White Pine faced a blank canvas in 1992 when they started planning for 4,600-acres of high alpine ranch property. “It was a unique opportunity,” recalls Walt Brett, managing partner of the Colony. “It was a beautiful stretch of relatively untouched ranch land extending between the Park City and Park West ski resorts.” With an eye to preserving the natural beauty and a less-is-more attitude, planning interwove the land’s existing streams, meadows and forested groves with consideration for views, trails, privacy and road and ski access for the new development. The resulting plan designated 274 single-family homesites and preserves 90 percent of the land in open space. All homesites have ski access to Park City Mountain.
To Brett’s knowledge, the Colony is the largest ski-in and ski-out development in the country. “It isn’t for everyone, but rather for someone who wants to get away to a place in the mountains,” notes Brett, commenting on the sense of solitude offered by the considerable open space and connections to the private and public trail systems.
Offered in phases, sales and construction began 20 years ago and 240 lots have sold. Eagerly awaited, Phase 5, the final offering, has just been announced with 34 available lots.
Phase 5 is located to the northeast of the development. “It’s a beautiful valley north of Pinecone Ridge ranging in elevation from 8,600 to 9,000 feet. The Quick Silver gondola provides ski access, and while closer to Park City, all homesites have access to both resort bases,” describes Brett, who is finding it bittersweet to be at the last phase of the project. “From the beginning, the value of property in the Colony has been its natural beauty, space and the ski access, which in a mountain resort is equivalent to oceanfront properties.”
New Opportunities at Canyons Village
Canyons Village is the focal point of exciting change. Following the merger of the two resorts under Vail’s ownership, Replay Resorts prepared a new master plan for Canyons Village aimed at creating a walkable urban environment with enhanced ski connections with lodging, shops, restaurants, entertainment, a skiers’ plaza and a new 60,000-square-foot convention center. Improvements and construction are well underway.
Gary Raymond, managing director for Replay Resorts, headed up the planning effort and he explains that contours of the land were ideal for ski access, but posed challenges for creating the easy pedestrian access in the village that they envisioned. “Direct ski access is so much better; it’s a question of convenience. If you can provide ski-in/ski-out access, why wouldn’t you?” Raymond asks.
“There is a fair amount of slope at Canyons Village,” he continues. “The positive aspect of this slope is that it allows for skiing through the village. With the slope crossing across properties, ski access extends to lower aspects. In comparison to planning for Whistler, the slope there allowed access only to the edge of the village.”
The obvious negative is that slope is not an asset for planning pedestrian-friendly, easy walkways, and Raymond explains that the plan can best be understood in terms of how it addresses the challenge of walkways. “While the slope provides for ski-in/ski-out, it hampers walk-in/walk-out.” He further explains the challenge was to raise the bottom of the village by providing a platform for it with parking structures. Where walkways do not meet at the same elevation, escalators take pedestrians easily between these elevations. Laterally, two pedestrian bridges even the grade while allowing skiers or vehicles to travel beneath. Th us, as Raymond sums up, “Th e design seamlessly connects the rich pedestrian environment while still providing grade for ski trails.”
Three projects that are being offered for sale in Canyons Village that take advantage of the easy ski access provided in the master plan, and more are on the horizon.
Apex Residences are highest on the mountain for incredible views and optimum ski-in grades. In addition to ski access via the Red Pine Gondola on one side and the soon-to-be-completed Sunrise Chair on the other side, it is also possible to ski through the Apex Residences complex. Rick Shand, Berkshire Hathaway, explains there are 63 total residences ranging from townhomes to penthouses with choices from three to five bedrooms. “While Apex includes plentiful on-site amenities like a clubhouse, club and game rooms, pool and spa rooms, it also offers an exciting après ski environment by finishing the day in Canyons Village. With restaurants, nightlife and family activities, the pleasure of a ski vacation doesn’t end with the last gondola but continues on in the Village.”
LIFT PARK CITY
Lift Park City enjoys ideal ski access located just steps from the Sunrise ski lift and the proposed ski plaza and village activities. Mark Rodeheaver, Berkshire Hathaway, characterizes it. “Lift is a modern and timeless collection of slope-side residences adjacent to the planned high-speed chairlift and upper village for shopping and nightlife. Off ered fully furnished, every space is refined, yet relaxing.” Choices range from one to five bedrooms and amenities include poolside cabanas, lounge, fitness room and conveniently large gear lockers.
At YotelPAD, a ski valet hands you your skis for a short walk to the Red Pine Gondola and Orange Bubble Express. “I don’t know how we could make it any easier,” says Mark Rodeheaver, Berkshire Hathaway. “YotelPAD represents a brand new concept to bring affordability to resorts through innovation. It rethinks resort living and creates exciting, contemporary, very high-tech comfortable living by implementing a flex-space concept using transformable spaces. We have just started accepting contracts and, quite frankly, the response has been very positive.” The project offers 144 fully furnished PADs ranging in size from 340 to 1,000 square feet and considerable social spaces areas, including a pool deck with hot tubs and fireplaces, express grocery, fireside lounge, view terrace, fitness room and valet parking. The excitement of Village life is just outside the doors.
With these latest projects, Park City’s well-earned reputation as the best resort for slope-side living is even further enhanced.
By Ann Zimmerman