Ruth’s Chris coming to Park City |

Ruth’s Chris coming to Park City

by Kelly Evertsen, Of the Record Staff

When Ruth’s Chris Steak House opened in Salt Lake City last year, it stirred up a wave of excitement in the metropolitan area and drew a number of hungry steak-loving customers to its doors for dinner.

"It’s been a smash and success. It does over 400 covers a night [in Salt Lake City], which is phenomenal," said Kevin Thorstenson, vice president and general manager of Hotel Park City

Now, come December, Park City will be able to get a taste of its own Ruth’s Chris Steak House, right here in town, at Hotel Park City.

While it might seem rare to open an expensive restaurant franchise in a small seasonal resort town like Park City, Thorstenson said that didn’t stop Hotel Park City management from fighting to make it happen.

At first, Thorstenson said Ruth’s Chris executives were concerned about seasonality problems in Park City. But, Thorstenson said, even with an off-and-on-again tourist season, Hotel Park City has had an upstanding lodging record since it opened in December of 2002.

"We enjoy a high occupancy year-round," Thorstenson said. "In the summer time, occupancy runs in the 80th percentile through June, July, August and September."

He said the off-season should not affect the number of diners.

"We aren’t as large as [the Ruth’s Chris in Salt Lake City], but we expect to be just as successful," Thorstenson said of Salt Lake City’s Ruth’s Chris.

He said after some thought and consideration, Ruth’s Chris executives saw the value of opening the restaurant in an affluent area like Park City.

"When the new membership purchased the hotel, we contacted Ruth’s Chris," Thorstenson said. "[The CEO and COO] came and evaluated and they saw the green light for something perfectly suited to the clientele of Park City, as well as locals in Park City. [It’s] something that is in high demand."

After getting the OK to build, Hotel Park City owners bought the franchise rights "which weren’t cheap," Thorstesnson said.

The new Ruth’s Chris Steak House will open where the Riverhorse on the Green and Sleigh restaurant used to be located at Hotel Park City, overlooking the Park City Golf Course.

Currently, the hotel is renovating the old restaurant space to make a steak house. The restaurant will maintain a "steak house" appearance on the interior, with some unique designs, similar to the Salt Lake franchise, Thorstenson said, and it will seat 250 people.

"We’re going to be spending a million dollars on renovations," Thorstenson said. "Every Ruth’s Chris is unique, but it must have a steak-house feel."

Thorstenson said he is certain the restaurant will become a popular dining spot for tourists and locals, as well as out-of-towners living on the East bench of the Wasatch mountains.

"It’s going to surpass [the other Steak House restaurants in Park City] because of the location, the ease of Hotel Park City, and the 100 percent complimentary valet [service] when they dine in the restaurant," Thorstenson claims. He said while other restaurants in Park City serve prime steak, he is sure those businesses don’t compare with Ruth’s Chris steaks. He especially emphasized the free, complementary valet service for guests who dine at the restaurant.

"We take care of everything for them and when they’re done eating we’ll have their car warm, heated and ready for them," he said.

He also added he thinks Ruth’s Chris Steak House offers the best steak money can buy.

"In my opinion, it’s the best steak in the world," he said. "We’re bringing the nation’s best franchise to Park City."

For more information, visit . For more information about Hotel Park City, visit .

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