Picture this: a very loved (aka noticeably used) Subaru Outback pulls up in front of the Waldorf Astoria at Canyons Resort. My dear friend Jessica and I start to unload my beat-up luggage and the groceries I just bought at COSTCO. Needless to say, I don’t think I fit the description of their regular guest. In succession four bellmen offered to help me with my possessions. But I am one that likes to wield her own luggage cart and cheerfully declined. I must include that these gentleman could not have been more pleasant, however I am pretty sure they thought I was either A. seriously lost or B. a grocery getter for the rich and famous. What they weren’t aware of is that I actually fall under C. won the lottery. The Ultimate Mountain Gig may not be a lottery by definition, but suffice it to say, I feel like I miraculously guessed the sequence of numbers and won the Powerball.
As I walked through the impressive wrought iron doors of the Waldorf Astoria and into the beautiful foyer I will admit to you, wonderful readers, a sigh of awe escaped my lips. While checking in I watched the front desk hosts jaw noticeably drop; when she handed me my key I learned why. With a lovely smile she said, “Miss Richardson, we have you staying with us for 83 nights, please enjoy your stay.” Yup, 83 nights at the Waldorf Astoria qualifies as a jaw-dropper.
My room redefines luxury. It is so plush that I think I will have to tackle that in another blog – I’m thinking an MTV Cribs style segment. I have seen a lot of ski resorts including the bigguns like St. Moritz, Zermatt, St. Anton, and Cortina d’Ampezzo, and, of course, they were completely fabulous! But never have I been in a hotel that has more amenities or a more welcoming staff than here at the Waldorf Astoria. I have been here two days, TWO DAYS, and am already being greeted by name. I dont know about you, but that means something to me.
After settling in and being surprised by a thoughtful gift of succulent fruit from the General Manager, Steve Lindburg (see pic- I think it is clear we are both psyched to be at the Waldorf), Canyons put me right to work, and I couldnt be happier to get started!
On Tuesday, I spent the morning skiing with some marvelous madams of media- Abby of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Michelle of the food Network, and Christina a freelance journalist (she just did a piece on on-again, off-again celebrity couples – who knew that Cameron Diaz and A-Rod were still at it?). All New Yorkers, it was such fun to share Canyons with them. I could tell they truly appreciated getting out of the concrete jungle and into the mountains, AND they were all gamers. I gave them as much of a grand tour that I could in two hours. We sampled from Tombstone, Iron Mountain, and Dreamscape chatting throughout about their awesome occupations and opportunities before finishing with lunch at Red Pine Lodge. Ripping around with like-minded, ambitious women was the perfect first day on the job!
Waiting for Frostwood Gondola that connects the base area to the Waldorf Astoria, as I am wont to do, I struck up a conversation with the lift attendant. JR arrived here for work two weeks ago from his home of Makati in the Philippines. Before he got here he had never laid eyes on snow! It is incredibly naive of me, but that blew my mind. In my defense, ski racing caused my life to revolve around winter so it astounds me to meet someone that has so recently been introduced to what is such an integral part of my being. Naturally, I was fascinated and started peppering him with questions. Long story short, after becoming tired of his desk job in the Philippines he searched online for a radical change. Saying that Utah is a departure from the tropics is a bit of an understatement. My favorite was when he told me that all his friends back home tell him to bring them back some snow. I loved that! As we laughed, he asked me what my deal was. When I explained the Ultimate Mountain Gig to him his jaw dropped just as if I’d told him I’d won the lottery.
My New Living Room
General Manager Steve Lindburg and I sharing a moment.
JR and I reveling at the miracle that is snow.