TLC dad at home on local slopes
January 13, 2009
When The Learning Channel (TLC) sent the Gosselin family to Park City last winter, it turns out it was familiar territory for one family member. Jon Gosselin, father of twins and sextuplets on the hit show, "Jon and Kate plus Eight" was an avid snowboarder long before he ever set foot in Utah.
The Pennsylvania native grew up snowboarding at Eastern ski resorts, mixing in trips to places like Jackson Hole, Beaver Creek, Vail, and even Chamonix Mt Blanc in France all before age 19. Then "real life," as he calls it, in the form of a wife and more kids than he could count came into the picture and the snowboard was stored. But after The Canyons Resort invited the family and the show to visit last year, an old love affair with the mountains was rekindled after 10 years away.
Gosselin, 31, said he took to the slopes like he had never left.
"It all came back," he said.
The more thrilling part is that his daughter, Cara, age 8, is a natural on the slopes.
Since that trip, Gosselin had been wanting to make skiing and snowboarding a daddy-daughter bonding experience, and last week he finally did something about it.
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With the TLC film crew in tow, Gosselin and Cara headed back to The Canyons. When it was time for Cara to head back to school, Gosselin made the decision to stay a few days and make a more permanent mark on the area. He will be purchasing a condo within The Canyons village to give his family a little home away from home in Utah. Well, at least Jon and Cara, that is. Gosselin’s wife, Kate, is an admitted indoors type and he figures she won’t be in on too many ski vacations.
"I’m looking for a father-daughter place," Gosselin said.
Gosselin says the plan is to have a place to visit each winter and to continue riding on a regular basis. He says that he really enjoys Park City and the Canyons, and even in his 30s, he says that he fits right in with the young crowd on the mountain.
"It’s nice because I have eight kids, two dogs and live in Pennsylvania, and I can still hang with 15-year-olds," he said.
Gosselin has been riding with friends and pro riders at the resort and spending the evenings discovering what Park City and Salt Lake have to offer. But he is most excited to set some vacation roots right here.
"You can do whatever you want here. I go places you can connect with people and it feels like a family," Gosselin said.
He had never been in Utah before last year and once said in an interview that all he knew about Utah was "powder, Mormons and Moab." Since then, his world has opened up to the warm community and top-notch snow and it looks like Gosselin will soon be a part-time resident.