No Boarders Allowed At Deer Valley: Good or Bad?

Deer Valley just picked up their 10th straight World Ski Awards gong as the United States’ Best Ski Resort, so they must be doing plenty right.

This year, Deer Valley rose above 17 U.S. finalists to claim the title, thanks to the resort’s unparalleled on-mountain experience and uniquely tailored service and hospitality. Naturally, the resort is pretty chuffed, especially heading into what looks like a great winter as La Niña keeps delivering with excellent early snowfalls.

Lone skier at Deer Valley where no boarders are allowed
No crowds, no boarders © Deer Valley Resort

 “We are humbled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the World Ski Awards and the 10th straight year of being recognized as the best ski resort in the nation,” said Deer Valley Resort President & Chief Operating Officer Todd Bennett. “On behalf of our staff, who go above and beyond for our guests each day, and the community of Park City where we call home, thank you to all who supported us with your votes. We’re off to our best snow season in decades and commit to diligently continue our tradition of first-class service for every guest looking to make lifelong memories on our mountain.”

Since inception Deer Valley was designed as an upmarket, exclusive resort that would offer a 5-star hotel style service across the resort – from the ski valets who carry your gear on arrival to the many slopside accommodation options, 14 restaurants and 3 elegant day lodges.

The resort offers 21 chairlifts, 103 ski runs, six bowls, 300 annual inches of powder, 2,026 acres of alpine skiing, with limited lift ticket sales.

Deer Valley Mountain Hosts
Mountain Hosts are there to make life easy for you © Deer Valley Resort

One other factor really sets Deer Valley apart from the pack though, the resort has always had a no snowboarding policy. Yep, no boarders allowed here – which would indicate not many boarders vote in the World Ski Awards. But a lot of skiers seem more than happy with the policy.

Over the years there have been plenty of stunts staged by boarders, board media and more – it’s easy enough to ride in from adjoining Park City, one of America’s biggest and busiest resorts which is open to all. Including Epic Australia Pass holders who get unlimited access there, which is insanely good value vs rack lift pass rates. Though since Deer Valley joined the Ikon Pass it is a bit of a bummer for pass holding boarders who didn’t read the fine print.

“Deer Valley has a legacy of remaining ski-only and it remains a niche experience that our guests want and expect”

a resort spokesperson told Snow Action. Obviously, it’s working for them – they can fill up to their limits happily enough with skiers only. They have done so through 40 odd years of snowboarding

The no rules also apply to the likes of snowbikes and the myriad other whacko things being allowed on slopes many places. Seriously, do you want to be cleaned up by a snowbike to the head after the rider loses it nearby?

Happy family © Deer Valley Resort

So what are the pros and cons of no boarders allowed at Deer Valley?

On the pro side, well, safer cruising for the cruisers who don’t have to worry about being cleaned up by boarders. With the insanely inflated costs of medical treatment in America you don’t want any injuries here, so anything that reduces those risks is plus. That safety argument can be applied to skiing with kids too.

So many collisions result from boarders and skiers taking their different lines, with their different blind spots. You can blame either party for that, but the fact remains most skiers will maintain similar lines – especially average level skiers on groomed runs.

For powder hounds, less competition is always a good thing. Most places one snowboarder will trash a slope more than several skiers and while Utah gets legendary snow quality it’s not Japan for frequency – it can be a while between top ups so you want to make the most of it.

Back in the day the no unruly riff raff argument probably applied too. Who remembers when boarding and boarders were young and wild? Bit like the famous line about the 1960s, if you can remember them you weren’t there..

But do boarders still engage in unruly behaviour? We have mates clocking up 70 seasons teaching boarding, and their wildest days are actually in the past (sorry Ash!), try as they might to prove otherwise. A lot of that generation of boarders are hoping the grandkids switch to boarding after the kids switched back to skiing. There are more rules these days, period

The con side? What do you do if your partner, best mate, kids/grandparents/whoever are boarders? You don’t go.

Or if you are a boarder of course. Still, there is plenty of choice out of Salt Lake City where boarders are welcome. Like Park City and Snowbird. But Alta remains no boarders too.

So whaddya reckon, is it a good or bad ban? Does it make you want to go there, or not go there, because of it?

Less competition on pow days is a plus © Deer Valley Resort