The Canyons invites you to join the club | ParkRecord.com

The Canyons invites you to join the club

by Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF

This week The Canyons announced a new option for enjoying the resort with VIP status: The Canyons Club.

In short, members get line-cutting privileges, First Tracks every Wednesday and Saturday, access to two special dining options, plus discounts on lodging, lessons, meals, equipment and other resort services.

"It’s about allowing (guests) to experience The Canyons in a different way," said vice president of marketing Todd Burnette.

Other resorts in places like Colorado and Vermont have similar clubs, but this will be Utah’s first, he said.

Club membership for a couple is about $2,500 and for a family of four is about $5,900.

Heading into what is expected to be another flat season, resorts are acting conservatively, but Burnette said there was no reason to wait to unroll this.

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"In our minds, The Canyons Club is a long-term commitment for us," he said. "We see there’s a void in the marketplace; no one else offers this kind of service in Park City."

He emphasized that these special services for club members will not come at the expense of other visitors, nor will it compromise the resort’s affordable ticket and pass prices.

"With such a big mountain we can appeal to a variety of audiences," he said.

For example, with the line cutting privilege, club members will use the ski school lines that already exist. First Tracks is open to anyone willing to buy a ticket, but including it in the membership opens it up to more people.

The club is also not a snub to locals to attract more destination skiers. To get one’s money’s worth, a member will need to visit the resort several times making it most appealing to locals looking to enhance their experiences on the mountain, he said.

A significant element of membership is dining privileges. For years, the Viking Yurt has provided a unique and intimate dinner-dining experience on the mountain. The Yurt has been expanded to almost double its seating capacity and lunch and dinner is now available for members.

The Canyons has also secured local chef Barbara Hill to head up a new restaurant, The Alpine House, in The Forum open to members for lunch and après ski before it opens to the public at 5:30.

Hill started Snake Creek Grill in Heber and has worked for some of Park City’s finest restaurants including Riverhorse on Main and at Stein Eriksen Lodge.

"Our guests constantly tell us they’re interested in additional dining options they want to combine fine dining with ski vacations," he said.

Membership also permits 15 percent off other food and beverage options, he added.

Additional perks of family membership include four free ski or snowboarding lessons for a child plus a week of summer camp. The year-round benefits include full use of the gondola during summer, Grand Summit swimming pool access and even bike storage.

A perk for the resort is that it can introduce new services in a limited way to members as practice before offering them to all guests. For example, instead of just building a new 500-seat restaurant to improve on-mountain dining, the resort can take baby steps with the yurts.

"This is a first step in an evolution of the service level at The Canyons," he said.

Talisker, owner of the resort, has been careful not to over-promise and under-deliver, Burnette said. This gradual introduction of new offerings helps it achieve its goals in an efficient way.

"We will constantly evaluate how it is working and will make it better moving forward," he added.

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