Four executives at Sundance Mountain Resort offer surprising insight as to how they rip — and relax — at this luxury resort in Utah’s Wasatch Range.
Skiing. Snowboarding. Winter zip lining. Sundance Mountain Resort has enough exhilarating experiences to fill a vacation with unforgettable fun. But there’s a softer side to this Utah resort: idyllic nordic trails, après-ski by the fire in the Owl Bar, an eco-spa dedicated to the healing powers of nature, views of the great Mount Timpanogos all around.
For a feel for both the exhilarating and the rejuvenating, SNOW Magazine asked four of the resort’s top executives to open up. You may be surprised by their advice.
Chad Linebaugh, General Manager
Q: Describe an experience at Sundance you find exhilarating. You must know them all!
A: Powder days at Sundance are magic; the snow doesn’t get tracked out as fast as other resorts. Typically, you can find powder stashes for days if you know where to look.
The most exhilarating experience for me is when our signature run, Bishop’s Bowl, opens after a big powder dump. This area often opens an hour or so later than the rest of the mountain on powder days. Ski patrol has a rope line in place, and it pays to be there when the rope is dropped.
The run is long, turns are wide, and the snow is deep. I usually find myself yelling out loud due to the excitement and exhilaration of the run. Bishop’s is one of the greatest bowls anywhere you can ski.
Q: And how does a General Manager relax after an epic day in Bishop’s?
A: Okay, I’m willing to admit it. I love the spa, and I get a facial every now and then, too. I find the most rejuvenating experience to be the River Stone Facial. How can you go wrong with a warm honey face mask? Of course, a close second is après-ski nachos and drinks in front of the fire in the Owl Bar.
Czar Johnson, Director Of Mountain Operations
Q: As the Director of Ops, you must know this mountain well. Does it hold any surprises, even for you?
A: Sure it does. There’s nothing like standing at the top of Ray’s summit, looking down 3,700 feet of zipline cable and thinking that in a matter of seconds, I’ll go flying over skiers and snowboarders, trees and cars to come to stop at the bottom of the mountain. The sensations that I experience in that 50-second experience are intense. Sounds of wind, the hoops and hollers of skiers below, all of it bombards my ears. The crisp winter wind pokes at my cheeks, and the sight of the snow-covered landscape below reminds me of how alive I am.
Ziplining in the winter is something I had never thought of before, yet here at Sundance it’s a reality. The winter landscape adds a sense of “extremeness” to the Winter ZipTour experience; in all ways, it is the most exhilarating way to see and experience Sundance.
Q: Do you have a place to get away from it all?
A: The Sundance Nordic Center is my happy place. It’s where I go to clear my head and heal my mind and body from the stresses of everyday life. I love strapping on skate skis and going out to make laps around the groomed trails. I love interacting with other skiers and snowshoers and talking about the impact of the mountain that towers over the Nordic Center. These conversations alone are rejuvenating.
The mountains here touch people in a very real way. I love talking with people and hearing them try to put into words what they feel when they lap around the trails taking it all end. It’s an intangible force that flows through you and puts life into perspective.
The Nordic Center is quite and tranquil and blessed, with incredible views of Mount Timpanogos. Sometimes I’ll just stop in Elk Meadows and stare up at the mountain and allow it to set my world right. This is my place to go to rejuvenate and reset; I can’t imagine a more perfect setting
Steve Solomon, Director Of Food And Beverage
Q: There must be all kinds of excellent dining experiences at Sundance. For you, what’s the most exhilarating?
A: The Bearclaw Supper Club is the most exhilarating food and beverage experience Sundance offers. Guests enjoy scenic lift rides to Bearclaw cabin, where we spoil them with live music and hors d’oeuvres. They then sit down to a stunning six-course tasting menu, followed by a moonlight lift ride down the mountain. It is an experience unlike any other in the mountains of the West.
Cliff Boltz, Director Of Lodging
Q: Where do you go to escape the office?
A: The Zipline at Sundance Mountain Resort is truly one of a kind. The feeling of flying as you traverse some of the most pristine landscapes in North America is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Boasting the most vertical drop of any zipline in the United States, and in my experience hitting speeds of 86 mph on the lower span… it’s simply incredible!
Q: … and to calm down, what’s your favorite experience?
A: Hands down the Spa at Sundance. With treatments focused on elements of mountain, wind, river and sun, the spa is accommodating for a first timer or Spa enthusiast. My favorite treatment is the Four Winds Massage, incorporating elements of balance and wellness through our very own customized essential oil line. Combine this with a Hand & Foot Reflexology treatment and you’ll be ready for even more powder runs!