Word About Town

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We chatted with Deirdra Walsh about her new role as vice president and COO of Park City Mountain, and what’s to come in the 2022–2023 ski season.

By Tessa R. Woolf Photography by Kelli Price December 5, 2022 Published in the Winter/Spring 2022-23 issue of Park City Magazine

Image: Kelli Price

Park City Magazine: First things first: What’s your relocation-to-Park City story?
Deirdra Walsh: My Park City story began in 2004 when I moved here. I was working for a travel company and had been here once in the summer as part of that job. A few months later, my boyfriend decided to move to Park City and I joined him. I took my very first snowboarding lesson at Park City Mountain and completely fell in love with it. So many significant moments of my adult life have taken place in Park City: My husband and I got engaged on Main Street, and we have cultivated an amazing group of friends here as we started our family. My career took me to Northstar California Resort in Lake Tahoe in 2019 for several years, but I have been thrilled to return to Park City and reconnect with the friends and community that have made this town so special for me and my family for more than 15 years.

PCM: How did your involvement with Park City Mountain begin?
DW: I first joined the Park City Mountain team in 2007 as the banquet sales coordinator. My career path at the resort was through food and beverage; I rose to become the senior director of F&B at the time when PCMR merged with The Canyons in 2015.

PCM: What are you most excited about in this new role and for the season ahead?
DW: I am excited to return to Park City and to re-immerse myself in its generous community. This has always been a special place for me and my family. Looking to the season ahead, I am excited to reconnect with the employees who work at the resort and focus on listening and learning.

PCM: Anything new or noteworthy for the 2023 ski season?
DW: This season in Canyons Village, we’ll be opening a new ski beach that will extend from the Red Pine Gondola to the Orange Bubble Express with heated pavers, fire pits, and outdoor soft seating areas. Red Tail Grill is opening a new outdoor patio where guests can enjoy après ski slopeside with a variety of seating options.

PCM: What do you think Park City Mountain does well, and where do you think the resort can improve?
DW: Park City Mountain is a resort where everyone can feel welcomed and included. We have vast terrain (over 7,300 acres!) that offers runs for every ability. Park City Mountain is a place that creates memories and new experiences for every guest, whether it’s their first day on the slopes or their five-hundredth. This season, we are investing to improve the employee and guest experience at Park City Mountain. Last spring, Vail Resorts announced our increased minimum wage, and this season, we’re excited to offer new affordable housing options for our employees at Slopeside Village in Canyons Village. Also this season, we are limiting lift ticket sales to prioritize the on-mountain experience and our pass holders.

PCM: With an ever-changing climate affecting our local slopes, how is Park City Mountain pivoting and/or taking action?
DW: Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing not only our local environment or the ski industry, but the entire world. We know we have to do our part to combat climate change. Park City Mountain and all of Vail Resorts have set bold operational goals, including Commitment to Zero—our commitment to have a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Specifically at Park City Mountain, we will operate on 100 percent renewable energy beginning in 2023, thanks to our partnership in the Elektron Solar Project, a solar farm near the Great Salt Lake.

PCM: Last but not least, what’s your favorite ski trail and/or way to après?
DW: There are so many fun trails it’s hard to pick one! At this point in my life, my favorite trail is any trail where I can ride with my kids. For après, I love connecting with friends on the outdoor patio at Red Tail Grill, so I’m really excited for the new patio this season.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed.

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