5 Must-Visit Ski Resort Lounges
If you only go to the resorts to play in the powder, you’re missing out. Utah’s ski and snowboard resorts have much more to offer than lift rides and snowy slopes. Each resort’s unique atmosphere is replete with niche hot spots where good eats and drinks are the perfect complement to après ski adventures.
Also, if you’re really at the resorts just to show off your new faux fur (note: real fur—always tacky) trimmed outfit, there’s no need to wait for beer thirty: You can revel in the many see-and-be-seen locales on the mountain bell to bell.
Located 32 miles east of Salt Lake City, Park City Mountain is America’s largest ski and snowboard resort, boasting 7,300 acres of skiable terrain ranging from beginner to expert. The Farm features an innovative menu focusing on regionally sourced ingredients and offers indoor and outdoor dining. Found in the heart of Canyons Village, this rustic restaurant features a welcoming lounge with a great selection of wines.
At The Farm, you’ll find fresh, prepared from scratch, sustainably raised fare. The charcuterie board is one of the most popular dishes and is paired with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Try the Canyons Cider Cocktail or the Park City Sour; both are made with local High West whiskey.
Nestled behind Mount Ogden, in Huntsville, Utah, Snowbasin Resort combines 3,000 acres of skiing with world-class lodges. Steeped in history, the resort opened in 1940 and is one of the oldest continually operating ski and snowboard areas in the United States. The resort’s elegant lodges feature stunning views, grand fireplaces, and marble finishes.
Snowbasin’s award-winning slopeside restaurants include Cinnabar, the perfect place to defrost with a specialty hot cocoa made with locally crafted vanilla custard vodka, chocolate liqueur, and house-made hot cocoa with whipped cream. Or, if you want something a little more spicy, try the Cinnabar Bloody Mary made with top-shelf vodka and a house-made mix, served with bleu cheese-stuffed olives and asparagus. Pair these specialty cocktails with the Utah cheese and Italian meats plate, or the mini flatbreads trio.
If you’re visiting the resort sans skis, you can still enjoy the posh amenities of the mid-mountain lodges via a gondola ride, such as the John Paul Lodge, which serves up 360-degree panoramic views along with signature dishes.
Alta Ski Area is in the heart of the town of Alta, Utah, and owns its place in history as the first lift-served ski resort in Utah. Since 1938, Alta’s been known for its legendary terrain and consistently accumulating more snow than any other resort in Utah (and indeed most other resorts worldwide), with an average snowfall of 520” per season.
Good news—you don’t have to be a skier to enjoy Alta’s many comforts, including the authentic atmosphere at Goldminer’s Daughter Saloon. Even snowboarders can enjoy the surreal views of Mount Superior with a local craft beer and a mountain of tasty pizza. You might even find yourself thawing out next to some of the famous Alta personalities and professional athletes who are regulars here. An affordable pint of PBR and delicious plate of Goldminer’s Nachos are hard to say no to in the world of highfalutin, spendy ski lodge lunches.
Sundance Mountain Resort sits at the base of the slopes of Mount Timpanogos near Provo, Utah. In 1944, alpine skiing lift operations began at the resort, and in 1969, Robert Redford bought the property and made it into what is now Sundance. The ski resort spans 5,000 acres and hosts skiers and snowboarders of every ability level in a truly inspiring setting.
Après ski at the Owl Bar is a one-of-a-kind experience. The restored bar dates back to the 1890s and was moved from Thermopolis, Wyoming, to its home at Sundance. The original Rosewood Bar was once frequented by Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch gang, so have a drink at the bar where the infamous outlaws did too. The Owl Bar menu’s inventive seasonal selection includes charcuterie, fish tacos, wings, and pizza. Hot toddies, craft beers, and selections from their private label wine list make this a great spot to relax at after a cold day on the mountain.
Twelve miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon, you’ll find Solitude Mountain Resort. Delighting skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities since 1957, Solitude is known for its diverse terrain and short lift lines. In 2015, Deer Valley Resort purchased Solitude and invested $7 million in improvements, including adding some of Deer Valley’s cuisine, like their famous turkey chili, to the resort’s menus.
Locals have been longtime fans of the Thirsty Squirrel for mid-day breaks and après drinks and dining, especially lovers of turkey chili nachos. The great views, classic pub fare, and relaxing atmosphere—along with shots and beer specials—make this place a favorite watering hole of ski patrollers and their patrol dog sidekicks after work. Who doesn’t want to hang out with patrol puppies after a great day of skiing?