A WEEK OF ADVENTURES IN PARK CITY
My longest friend and I headed for our annual pilgrimage to Montage Deer Valley, the reason is simple, perfection, everything there is next-level, the service is unbeatable, the setting is epic and the two in-house Bernese Mountain Dogs, Parker and Monty roam the lobby where they play with you like you are a member of the family. This year I decided to mix business and pleasure and attend the Sundance Film Festival with some friends. Screenings, skiing and specialty cocktails amped my annual ski trip into a transcendent adventure that only the Sundance Film Festival can bring about.
When we arrived it was snowing and beautiful as always, and the snow never stopped. When you leave the jarring multi-colored city and are enveloped in a peaceful white, it immediately hits that invisible reset button and you exhale.
Getting into Salt Lake City was a little stressful as our flight was delayed multiple times, which thank god for Delta’s Festival Shuttle (#DeltaFestivalShuttle) and Lemonade‘s event at LAX for making the delays enjoyable. We were hard pressed to make the opening night gala for the festival titled An Artist At the Table, in which they premiered former Vice President Al Gore’s The Inconvenient Truth Sequel to a standing ovation and incredible speech by Robert Redford about why Sundance was so important to him and his fellow artists. Following that the guests were shuttled from Eccles theater to the Dejoria center for a cocktail reception mixing and mingling with other guests, and then followed by stunning multi-course dinner prepared by chefs, Richard Blais, in partnership with the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.
It began, with a keynote address by Sundance alum and Emmy Award winner Jeff Orlowski, who debuted his latest environmental project, Chasing Coral, it was incredible. Amy Redford spoke about how the Institute came to be and how it remains a safe space for artists to test their creative boundaries. There was a surprise appearance by the Lethal Ladies, who are featured in this year’s Festival film STEP. The most interesting part of this incredible dinner was each table had an artist who was premiering or acting in a film at the festival seated at their table. I had great fellow table patrons with whom I shared my evening along with the incredible director and screenwriter David Lowery, of the film Ghost, starring Casey Affleck debuting at the festival. It added to my hope that with the ‘noise’ from our cities art is still being championed by this amazing town, the Redford’s and their institute.
The following morning I woke up and went straight down to the ski concierge at the hotel where they have your boots warmed up and ready for you, and your skis and poles already outside on the slopes The Montage Deer Valley features Veuve Clicquot at their new Après Lounge & Beach Club, an Après Ski Lounge uniquely named the Veuve Cliquot Yurt. Their yearly collaboration has been so successful over the years that they have now made the lounge a permanent fixture. Slide down the slopes, or in my case careen down the slopes, right into a glass of bubbly champagne? I’m there! Alternating Skiing, showings and screenings was a first and the switch between the contrasting stimuli was phenomenal. From the events put on at the YouTube Lounge, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Lounge, TAO, etc., there was no shortage of things to do at night.
The skiing was something I had never experienced before in Utah, with Deer Valley receiving more snow in the week that I was there, than in the previous five years. My last day there it literally snowed 48 inches in 24 hours, kid you not. With that comes the chaos associated with such beauty. Screenings canceled, SUV’s sliding off the road, it’s always great to have a back-up so having my new book The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*CK was perfect substitute for my snowed in plans. Written my Mark Manson the back cover states “In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger shows us that the key to being happier is to stop trying to be “positive” all the time and instead to become better at handling adversity.” It provided a lot of good material on how to change and shape your viewpoint on certain situations, the irony was not lost on me.
If you read my post When Your Plans Have Other Plans, this trip was the ultimate definition of this trip. Rides from the hotel to the theaters or Main Street that would take us ten minutes turned into an hour, but was it worth it? Hell yes! I got to meet amazing set of new people from many walks of life, was surrounded by some of my closest friends and even my doctor Dr. Zena Gabriel ended up tagging along with her daughter and that was an absolute blast. To me there is nothing better than being able to spend time with people you care about, experience new people, surroundings, and events, learn something new and oh yeah… Have Fun!