PCMR to open for the 50th winter
On Dec. 21, 1963, Park City Mountain Resort opened its doors for skiers under the name "Treasure Mountains Resort." Fifty years later, PCMR has become one of the top ski resorts in the world.
Andy Miller, communications manager for PCMR, said the resort will be celebrating 50 years of skiing and snowboarding all season long beginning opening day, Nov. 23.
"We’re having a big party on Dec. 21, the official 50th birthday, but we’ll have small activities all season long as well," Miller said. "The small stuff will happen on a weekly basis throughout the season with the idea that any time people come up to the mountain, whether on Dec. 21 or March 21, they will be able to participate in some way and have that big birthday-bash experience."
PCMR is sharing its stories on an official YouTube channel and will paint the 50th chair on three different lifts gold.
Miller said PCMR is not only celebrating its past but its future as well. They are looking ahead to the next 50 years, and continuing to be on the forefront of the progression of the sports of skiing and snowboarding.
The Visa U.S. Grand Prix free-skiing competition will be hosted by PCMR in January, a sign, Miller said, of their role in breaking new ground in winter sports.
"Freeskiing is making its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia in February, and this competition will be the final opportunity for athletes in several countries including the U.S. to qualify for the Olympic team," Miller said. "When the competition concludes, we will host the naming ceremony for the first-ever Olympic freeskiing team right on the mountain.
PCMR will also host the NCAA Alpine Skiing championships the first and second weeks of March, he said, as well as the annual Friday Night Jib Fights to name the top "Rail Slayer in the Wasatch."
Miller said there is even more to look forward to at PCMR this year including the dining. Legacy Lodge’s Legacy Café will now feature an Asian food station, the Mountain Waffle Company will be serving Belgian-style waffles on the first floor and Legends Bar and Grill will have several new menu items.
When it comes to the mountain, Miller said one of the runs will be renamed this season to honor Olympic gold-medalist Ted Ligety. The racing run will be called "Ligety Split" after the athlete who grew up skiing on PCMR’s mountain.
"Our racing department manager, Karen Korfanta, would announce the youth races back when Ted was a kid," Miller said. "Every time he would cross the finish line, she would announce him as ‘Ted Ligety Split.’"
To find the newly named run, visitors can use the re-vamped smart phone application set to launch soon, Miller said. The original application featured a run-tracker, a vertical tracker, a speed tracker and a trail map. He said the new application will still have those features as well as a few others. It will be available in both the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Miller said the resort is also encouraging visitors to make reservations online rather than calling as in the past. Season passes with add-on options like the Fast Track an express line for the busiest lifts night skiing and underground parking are available online. Skiing and snowboarding lessons and workshops can be booked online as well.
A new ski school program this year is the "All Mountain Club." According to Miller, skiers and snowboarders must be at least at the intermediate level to book this course, and an instructor will take students on a lift half an hour before they are open to the public.
"They will take students to get an ‘insider’s look’ at the mountain, which means discovering secret ‘powder stashes’ and some of our hidden runs that aren’t totally obvious looking at the trail map or getting off the lift," Miller said.
While there will be many new features, Miller said that visitors and locals can count on PCMR’s usual attractions as well. According to Miller, PCMR has made a name for itself in the world of terrain parks over the last decade.
He said "Neff Land" will be back, a "Candyland"-themed terrain park for novice skiers and snowboarders as well as experienced riders. The "Little Kings" park will be open again for beginners as well as "Three Kings" for intermediate riders and "King’s Crown" for experts.
Two halfpipes will return. The Eagle Super-Pipe is a 22-foot, Olympic-sized halfpipe, and the Merrill Mini-Pipe is a smaller halfpipe. Miller said it is named after pro-rider Bode Merrill who pleaded with the PCMR park manager for a 13-foot halfpipe to ride on leisurely.
Miller said there will be no additional glading done on the mountain, but the seven to 10 "Adventure Alleys" wider, free-skiing runs through trees will be back.
The ski school at PCMR will continue to offer kids programs such as beginner programs, all-mountain park and pipe instruction programs and snowboard programs. Adult workshops and clinics will be offered as well, Miller said.
"Our instructors are all great and certified, and some have been at our resort for decades while we also have a crop of rookies every year," Miller said. "They all understand that safety and fun are just as important to our ski school learning, because you’re not going to get better if you’re not having fun or enjoying it."
Miller said PCMR is excited to continue its festive holiday traditions, beginning with Santa’s sleigh ride down the Town Lift to Main Street a week or two before Christmas.
With only two weeks left until opening day, Miller said the resort is preparing for not just any new winter season but its 50th season in operation. He said they are pulling out the stops to celebrate its history.
"Signs around the mountain feature historic images," Miller said. "We want to create a noticeable presence for our 50th season and invite locals and visitors to help us celebrate all season long."
For more information about the resort to book reservations, rental equipment or lessons, visit http://www.parkcitymountain.com.
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