Bark City

A Dog's Life

Wet noses and tail wags at the Montage

By Barinan Cohen January 1, 2016 Published in the Winter/Spring 2016 issue of Park City Magazine

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"All in the details” is a mantra taken seriously at the Montage Deer Valley. The luxury hotel’s 35,000-square-foot spa is the state’s largest, a resident beekeeper provides artisan honeys for four in-house restaurants, and kids receive a stuffed-animal moose with every visit. As such, it may come as little surprise that two of the Montage’s most popular staff members are a pair of enormous Bernese mountain dogs whose main function is simply to be dogs.

The Montage Deer Valley Canine Ambassador program—the only one of its kind in Utah—began before the property opened in 2010. An employee suggested that guests might feel more at home at the hotel if they had a resident pooch to pet and play with. Bernese mountain dogs were an obvious choice, both in terms of temperament and their affinity for the Montage’s lofty locale. The dogs—named Jonas and Monty—live with two different managers and their families; when the dogs report for duty each day, their “work” involves taking turns posing with guests and receiving hugs, pats, and the occasional ear tug or tail pull from young guests.

Though the dogs are the same age and size, they’re not identical twins: look for freckles on Jonas’s snout, whereas Monty’s is pure white. Even their personalities are different. “Monty and Jonas have different, but equally effective, approaches to their roles, making the guests feel more at home,” says Montage Deer Valley Public Relations Director Dan Howard. “Monty is much more likely to play and mess around, while Jonas tends to be a bit more aloof.”

Montage guests—and Deer Valley skiers visiting the property—can find Monty and Jonas in the front lobby at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. all winter. Tip: when it’s snowing, they love to frolic on the Grand Lawn or on the front drive before or after their lobby visits. 

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