Recreation: Ski resorts not just for winter

First Published      Last Updated Jul 07 2015 10:47 pm

Recreation » No snow? No problem, as resorts gear up for myriad summer events.

Many of Utah's ski areas increasingly view summer as a time to lure Utah residents out of the scorching valleys and into the cool mountains by offering concerts, mountain biking, discounted lodging packages and festivals.

"Summers are huge for us," said Christian Boer of the Park City Chamber Bureau. "We approach summers as aggressively as we do winter. The Silly Sunday Market pulls in thousands of people. Mountain biking is a massive draw and is starting to become a destination sport. People are traveling to mountain bike, just as they would to ski."

Ski Utah's Paul Marshall agrees. "With the increase in outdoor recreation, resorts have realized that summer activities and concerts can be experienced in the mountains," he said. "What better place to experience these wonderful sports and activities than utilizing the resorts."

Marshall said resorts will host close to 100 concerts this summer, with 80 percent of them free. More than half of Utah resorts will offer lift access for mountain biking.

Special events such as Park City's Arts Festival, July 4th celebration, Food and Wine Classic and Savor the Summit food event are major draws. Smaller resorts such as Logan's Beaver Mountain and Beaver's Eagle Point have scheduled summer music festivals.

What's more, prices on resort lodging — including some of Park City's five-star properties that would break the budget during winter — tend to drop, sometimes under $200, making a family summer vacation at a world-class mountain resort affordable.

Here is a resort-by-resort look at some of the summer activities that are available:

Alta • The top of Little Cottonwood Canyon offers hiking, wildflower viewing and scenic mountain lakes in the Albion Basin. Alta Lodge is open for its Sunday brunch and summer lodging.

Beaver Mountain • The Beaver Mountain Music Festival is scheduled Aug. 21, 22 and 23 and will include vendors, kids activities, and camping. Advance ticket sales are $20.

Brian Head • Summer Season is June 27 through Sept. 20. Activities include a climbing wall, bungee trampoline, zip line, tubing, alpine plunge, bag jump, archery, family adventure trail, disc golf, mountain biking and scenic lift rides.

Brighton • While the resort is not open, the Silver Lake area is a popular summer destination for anglers, hikers and families. The nature center and boardwalk offer beautiful places to enjoy the day.

Canyons • This Park City-area resort offers a golf course, zip- line tours, scenic gondola rides, a mountain bike park, hiking, summer adventure camp, disc golf, pedal boats, family putting course, horseback riding, fishing, dining, shopping and a spa and health club. There is also a Wednesday farmer's market, a summer concert series and a July 4th celebration.

Deer Valley • Dining, lift-served mountain biking, hiking, scenic chairlift rides and a summer concert series at the Snow Park Amphitheater.

Eagle Point • Summer activities include frisbee golf, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, fishing and swimming. The Roots of the Rock Music Festival is scheduled July 17-19.

Nordic Valley • Golf at nearby Wolf Creek Resort, which also offers some stay and play deals.

Park City Mountain Resort • Activities include golf, miniature golf, alpine slide, alpine coaster, zip lines, mountain biking, hiking, scenic lift rides, the legacy launcher, adventure zone, Little Miners Park with kids rides and climbing wall.

Park City Town • The Silly Sunday Market is hugely popular as are such annual events as Savor the Summit (June 20), the July 4th celebration, the Food and Wine Classic (July 8) and the Park City Arts Festival (July 31, Aug. 1-2).

Snowbasin • The Ogden-area resort is now open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. To 6 p.m. with scenic gondola rides, hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, mountain top dining, free concerts, kids activities and barbecues available. There is a mid-week Mt. Ogden mountain biking series as well as a summer concert series.

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