December 7th, opening day at Deer Valley Resort, is quickly approaching. We had a conversation with Steve Graff, Deer Valley’s Director of Mountain Operations, to get an idea of what we can expect for the upcoming ski season. The short answer: an enhanced guest experience.
Deer Valley has invested almost $8 million this season. Most of these funds went to Steve Graff’s mountain operations team. The largest portion of these funds went to new RFID technology gates. Additionally, 25 more energy efficient snow guns and 4 new snowcats were purchased. All of these investments were aimed at providing guests with the best on-mountain experience possible.
Throughout the summer, 18 new RFID gates were installed and tested at Deer Valley’s lifts. According to Steve, it’s so far the largest resort installment Access has ever done. These gates enable skiers to go straight to the lifts and skip the ticket line if they have season passes or multi-day passes. This means less time in lines and more time on the slopes.
In addition to the RFID gates, 25 snow guns and 4 snowcats have been hard at work preparing the slopes for the upcoming season. Throughout the summer, the mountain ops team replaced thousands of snowmaking pipe to ensure the runs were ready for the winter season. According to Steve, the new snow guns enables the mountain ops team to make snow over a broader range of temperatures and more efficiently while consuming less power and energy. As mother nature allows, these snow guns have been hard at work. A few weeks ago when Park City experienced multiple days of low temperatures, the snow makers were able to complete 9 runs in one week. It’s still too early to tell how much of the resort will be open on opening day, but if we get some more low temperatures, Steve and his team will put the snow guns back to work to get even more runs ready to go.
A combination of the new snow guns and snowcats will help Steve and his team keep the mountain in top shape. As Steve puts it, “All of that just goes to making a more efficient quality product.” Deer Valley Resort is often ranked as one of the best resorts in the world, and these new mountain operations investments help to ensure that they maintain this prestigious status.
For skiers who prefer off-piste runs through the trees, Steve has good news. Over the summer, a team of 7 sawyers maintained Deer Valley’s forests. They did this to maintain the health of the forest, but as a side effect, the tree areas of the resort got a whole summer’s worth of attention. This attention opened up some new shots and cleared up existing lines for some new and enhanced off-piste skiing.
This season, real-time, digital signage was installed at every base area and ticket locations to keep things moving smoothly across the entire resort. These signs will display information on weather, grooming conditions, and lift status to keep guests better informed before hitting the slopes.
Simply put, guests at Deer Valley Resort can expect an enhanced guest experience this upcoming winter ski season. We can thank Steve and his team for their hard work and time for providing and maintaining a solid snow base and smooth groomed trails. Discover this enhanced guest experience for yourself and join us at Stein Eriksen Lodge this upcoming winter season. Book your stay with our Winter Activities package and enjoy a winter retreat with the best ski-out/ski-in access on the mountain.
The many award-winning dining experiences at Stein Eriksen Lodge rely on a diverse, multi-talented team of chefs, with Jeremy Garcia leading our fabulous pastry team. Chef Zane Holmquist, VP of Food and Beverage Operations and Corporate Head Chef, and Chef Jonathon Miller, Executive Chef, provide Chef Garcia and his team as much flexibility as they would like, allowing them to always experiment and try out new recipes and flavors.
With a range of clientele staying at the Lodge, Chef Garcia has the opportunity to create a wide spectrum of pastries to provide to each variety of guest. You can find him creating special wedding and 50th anniversary cakes, fashioning chocolate or fruit desserts for upcoming seasonal menus in one of the restaurants, or trying new flavors on the Sunday brunch buffet – something he is particularly proud of.
Chef Garcia has always loved a wide range of pastries, though French classics are probably his true favorite. He appreciates the variety of dining outlets at the Lodge. The restaurants allow flexibility to play around with modern American continental items in the Glitretind to the more relaxed, family-focused atmosphere of the Troll Hallen lounge desserts.
Before coming to Stein Eriksen Lodge, Chef Garcia worked for the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO for four years. His last position there was as the Sous Pastry Chef for Restaurants at the Hotel, which included over a dozen different food service outlets. Before the Broadmoor Hotel, he was the pastry chef for The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, a boutique hotel in Manitou Springs, just west of Colorado Springs, where he worked for about six years.
Chef Garcia and his wife had been looking to move for a number of years when they were drawn to Park City due to its similarity to the towns they grew up in back in Colorado. He was also attracted to the Lodge due to its prestige within the area, and the unique challenges and opportunities he knew such a property would provide. He loves solving new puzzles and challenging himself, so he was instantly drawn to such a dynamic and exciting property. The total size of the property is, he feels, just right. It’s large enough to have a need for a diverse pastry shop, but not so large that he feels unable to make a significant impact.
“I am very proud of the staff I have on hand and the excellent work that they do. Without them, I would not be able to do anything! Their dedication to all of our guests and willingness to do whatever is necessary is truly what makes us successful.”
When not cooking up something delicious at the Lodge, he spends as much of his free time with his wife and two sons as possible. They enjoy hiking in the summer, playing games in the winter, and they also love to cook together – though he admits that at home he rarely makes pastries. He is far more likely to make some southern chicken & dumpling soup with his kids than something sweet.
Discover the many award-winning dining options during your stay at Stein Eriksen Lodge – and be sure to give Chef Garcia and his pastry team a nod of appreciation for their many fine desserts that round off each meal. It is the creativity and enthusiasm of exceptional team members like Chef Garcia who truly bring our restaurants to life.
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