Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Trip to Park City, Utah

I took a quick trip to Park City, Utah last week and it exceeded my expectations. For a relatively small town with a population of approximately 7500 people, I was impressed by the number of things to do and places to explore. It was no wonder that it captured the world’s attention with the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In order to drink liquor in Utah, one needed to be a member of a private club. Luckily for me, I received honorary Member status at the No Name Saloon, where I spent three nights researching whether there might be an opportunity to have a similar establishment in Loreto. Jesse is the owner on my left and Mark is the landlord on my right. They have lots of history of the area and saw it grow from a ghost town to the multi million dollar residences and Main Street it is now.

The No Name Saloon is a landmark in Park City and an absolute “must” to have a cold one and buffalo burger. My favorite was the delicious beer batter onion rings! You can purchase a “membership” for $4.00 as long as you are 21 years old and I was thrilled when they asked for my ID. I brought back countless T-shirts, some of which were too risqué for the likes of Loreto!

The Bar Wall is impressive and has a large counter to saddle up to and it really is a watering hole where everyone knows your name. It is filled with paraphernalia of old photos, bikes, and even a moose head that I am sure has seen and heard too many stories! Everyone is very friendly and many have known each other more than 20 years. Will we ever see a No Name Saloon in Loreto … Quien Sabe?

Jesse also owns Butcher’s Chop House and Bar, which has great food for everyone’s tastes and budget. I was fortunate enough to dine with the many of the characters that were a big part of making Park City what it is today. We laughed for several hours as they regaled stories of the things in the past and how good life is now. These guys knew everyone and had no trouble remembering when . . .

We also took a trip 30 minutes up to Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort where we had lunch and took the ski lift to the top. There were many mountain bikers that were timing their run down the mountain and trying to beat past records. Mr. Redford is well regarded for his environmental and economic contribution to the area, and the town comes alive in January for the Sundance Film Festival.

Real Estate is a good indication of the attraction and demand of any town, and the prices here are through the roof. Many heritage buildings that are 90 year old homes about 1500 sq. ft. in downtown are priced well over a Million Dollars. There are numerous homes like our friend’s here that I can not even imagine the value of? It is not only a spectacular home but has a 180 degree view of the towns and mountains. Makes me wonder how fast a little town like Loreto will grow in comparison.

Being back in Loreto, I could not notice how fast the bridge is coming together. They have connected the road to the bridge, and it should be finished by the time the rains come in August. An amazing feat in 8 to 10 months!

I was lucky enough this week to go hiking in the mountains of Loreto as well and discover some hidden pools and oasis of palm trees. It was quite a surprise as we have not had any rain for months, yet here was this incredibly beautiful spot just to the side of a road less traveled.

The natural slate type of rock with cactus and desert vegetation is a sharp contrast to the lush green mountains of Utah, but it is good to be home in Loreto. The temperature is a little cooler today at 88 degrees and feels very comfortable. The town is very quiet with few tourists, but hopefully that will change in the next few weeks as the fishermen will start to arrive. This was an action packed week full of adventures in case people worry that I work too much!

My friends Mike and Andrea at Del Borracho are having a big End of the Season Party on June 30. They have the great saloon type restaurant on the road to San Javier and have fabulous BBQ cookouts every Sunday. It is a great family type of restaurant and they will have live entertainment, music, and lots of fun as they will be closing for the summer until October 1st. Look forward to seeing you there!

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