Sundance: 7 Ways to Get High in Park City

Washington School House Hotel - H 2014
Courtesy of Washington School House Hotel

Washington School House Hotel - H 2014

From soaring peaks to top-floor suites, A-listers find all the right ways to reap high-demand amenities and activities in the award-winning, celebrity-studded ski destination.

Internationally recognized for renowned skiing and Sundance Film Festival (since 1978), Park City, Utah swarms with close to 50,000 visitors from Jan. 16 to 26 for the events. The festival falls over Park City’s high season, so the streets to the summits are already swarming with affluent visitors. From soaring peaks to top-floor suites, A-listers find all the right ways to reap high-demand amenities and activities in the award-winning, celebrity-studded ski destination. 

1. Suck on oxygen at Stein Eriksen Lodge. Pop-up oxygen bars are ubiquitous during Sundance -- Park City's high altitude often takes a toll on visitors -- but get your fix at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley. The luxury resort’s spa offers an array of O2 therapy like Oxygen Inhalation ($75/25 min) and the Stein Gold Oxygen Facial ($200/50 min) where an oxygen machine blasts oxygen to revitalize skin, a treatment Madonna endorses (she allegedly owns an oxygen machine in every home).

2. Ride the Funicular at St. Regis Deer Valley. It’s all about being seen at St. Regis Deer Valley, the only property in Utah with its own onsite funicular. The funicular cars ascend between two buildings with commanding views from panoramic windows. When you reach the top, order small bites by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the signature 7452 Bloody Mary, denoting the altitude, at the St. Regis bar.

3. Knock back aged whiskeys at High West Distillery, The saloon-style distillery is the state’s first legal distillery (since 1870), cranking out barrels of top aged whiskeys and now even vodka. The seemingly always-crowded restaurant helmed by chef James Dumas (James Beard nominee) serves up whiskey-infused plates like Whiskey Cider Braised Short Rib. High West Distillery is the only ski-in gastro-distillery in America where guests can go behind-the-scenes for a distillery tour and sample spirits.

4. Airbnb's Pop-Up Haus and accommodations are high in demand. Airbnb's recent collaborations with celebrities like James Franco, Angelica Huston and Molly Sims makes it a buzz-worthy brand at Sundance. The "Airbnb Haus" is taking over the Blue Iguana restaurant during Sundance and transforming it into an artsy communal lodge for directors, filmmakers and artists with public and private events, travel guides, chalk artists and craft coffee bar. Airbnb’s most high-end homes are in high demand this year (with most hotels sold out), including summit view ski-in/ski-out homes and a Chateau du Mont Estate.

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5. Peak at 9990 Feet at Canyons Resort. Reach Park City’s highest summit -- 9,990 feet -- at Canyons Resort, consistently voted as one of the best ski resorts in the country. It's the largest ski resort in Park City, and the only resort you can also snowboard. Canyons recently received a $1-million renovation that includes heated-seat ski lifts, the only one of its kind in the country.

6. Catch an Adrenaline Rush with the Olympic Bobsled. Park City was put on the map with the 2002 Olympic Games (US Women took the Gold, US Men took Silver and Bronze). The Olympic Park (host to ski jump and bob sledding) still remains a popular site, where A-listers can take a film break and experience a thrilling bobsled ride on the Olympic track with speeds up to 80 mph and 5 Gs of force.

7. Embrace the High Uinta Mountains at Washington School House. Book the Presidential Suite (from $1,950/night) at the upscale, luxury boutique hotel Washington School House. The 1,290-square-foot, three-bedroom suite combines the Penthouse Suite, a Town King and Pool King Room, equipped with a private elevator for high-profile guests. Thanks to its location, it's the only suite that boasts terrific 270-degree views of the High Uinta Mountains. Celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe and Matthew McConaughey have visited the property.