Moving to Salt Lake City to work in the ski industry was a big change. Gone were the comforts of family, friends and familiarity. Only to be replaced by the unknown and uncertainty of a new job, new city and new circumstances. Sure, one could look at this negatively. But what’s the point? Why focus on the negative when there is so much to be learned from the experience? In fact, I was thinking about how much I’ve learned this winter. Some things have been important, and others not so serious. Some have helped me develop professionally, and others have changed who I am personally. Some have been necessary for survival and others have been purely for entertainment. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
1. I learned that cat skiing is the poor man’s heli-skiing. Which means using a snowmobile is the poor man’s version of cat skiing. Which leads me to the conclude that I’m flat broke since I’ve never done any of the above types of skiing.
2. When one thinks of great beer producing cities, Salt Lake City probably doesn’t garner a lot of votes. But to leave Salt Lake City off the list would be a mistake. Squatters Pub Brewery, Desert Edge Brewery at The Pub, Red Rock Brewing Co., Wasatch Brewery, Uinta Brewing Co. and Bohemian Brewery are just the start of an impressive lineup of award-winning breweries that call Salt Lake City home.
3. When skiing deep powder, it is smart to ski with your mouth closed. Even though you may be laughing or have a case of the powder yelps, a mouth full of powder can choke you and result in having to stop midway through one of the best runs of the year.
4. Not all journalists who cover the ski industry are good skiers. When skiing with a journalist it is wise to discuss ski ability before committing to a run. Though entertaining, the end result is not always good . . . particularly for the journalist in question.
5. Anyone with half a brain – yes, I’m talking about you Scott Willoughby – knows that Salt Lake City is far superior to Denver when it comes to ski town supremecy.
6. Contrary to popular belief, Salt Lake is a very diverse city, particularly when it comes to the culinary scene. My favorite new restaurant so far – Himalayan Kitchen. Delicious Nepali and Indian cuisine!
7. Utah really does have the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”
8. SugarHouse Coffee is the ultimate coffee shop in Salt Lake City. Great coffee, great food and even better live music.
9. Despite sounding very similar to the word “Skeezy,” which carries a negative connotation, the word “Steezy” is actually a good thing when talking about skiing or snowboarding. For example, “Dude, that corkscrew 720 was straight steezy!” Note: I have never actually tried a corkscrew 720.
10. A month-long backpacking trip through Europe is a great idea and a life changing experience. Becoming a ski bum is a fantastic idea and a great experience. However, speaking from a strictly financial point of view, a month-long backpacking trip through Europe immediately before becoming a ski bum is not what you would call a fiscally responsible decision.
11. Once the gas light comes on in a 2001 Kia Spectra, you can drive exactly 24.1 miles before running out of gas. Not 28 like I originally thought. Lesson learned. Oh, and you can carry a lot more than you would think in the back of those Spectras.
12. As a AAA member, you are only allowed four free calls per year. After the fourth call you get charged. Bummer.
13. Top Ramen comes in six delicious flavors: beef, chicken, shrimp, oriental, picante beef and chilli.
14. A bad ski day in Utah is a great ski day anywhere else.
15. Simple Fact: The Ski Salt Lake resorts (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude) get more, and better snow than the Park City resorts (Park City, Canyons and Deer Valley). Live with it!
16. Steve Lloyd, Adam Barker and Mike Brown are amazing photographers and artists. It has been a pleasure picking their brains and watching them work.
17. Even more than other industries, I think Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media are transforming the way the ski industry connects with their customers.
18. The reporting of snow totals is a very misunderstood “science.” However, ski areas do their best to accurately report the snow fall totals. And for those of you wondering, yes, two resorts which are very close to each other (2 miles) can report different snow totals!
19. It only costs $1.50 to watch a near new-release movie at The Cinemark Sugarhouse Movies 10 in Salt Lake City, UT. Score!
20. Feel free to disagree with this statement if you’d like (please comment below) – Salt Lake City is the mecca of skiing in the United States. Where else can you find seven world-class resorts, each offering a unique experience, within a 40-minute drive of a city? Nowhere!
Pretty impressive list, huh? Sure, some of them may not seem very important. But in the end they’ve all played a part in the amazing experience and adventure that this winter has been so far.