A (Business) Trip to Park City, Utah

Early in March, before things in the United States started to escalate, I took my first business trip. Today I would have been leaving for another. This year is supposed to be full of those for me, but with the state of things I won’t be travelling for work until travel is safer. Now I’m not going to dwell on the fact that I’ve had to cancel trips and postpone booking others, instead I’m going to reflect on my first trip and how much I enjoyed it.

This trip was my first one of many but different from what my next ones will be. This trip was scheduled around my boss’s already scheduled trip for the property’s annual meeting of the owners. My boss is the Vice President of Resort Operations for the mountain region for my company which as of right now includes Colorado and Utah. As I live in Colorado, I am able to do the tasks that are set in place for my property visits whenever I want. So the only other place that falls under her region is our property in Park City, Utah. Since this was the first property visit outside of Colorado, it made sense to schedule and travel with my boss.

I’ve always been excited to travel and explore new places but when I began college traveling, and flying in particular, suddenly became a stressful experience for me. I didn’t know why it was so sudden but anxiety began to ruin any fun, travel experience I was going to have. Since then I’ve traveled a few times and without fail any time I’ve flown, I’ve become extremely anxious to the point of being physically ill. After travelling last summer to visit friends I decided I needed to speak to someone about my anxiety and get it in check so that not every flying experience was racked with full-body stress. Thankfully, I was able to get some help with that anxiety and my first trip was a success and felt like a major milestone.

I’m glad my first trip wasn’t solo and that I could experience travelling for work with my boss. Being in an office of just four people, my boss and I are close which I believe helped a lot in both a professional and personal way. We have a lot in common even though there is an almost 30 year age difference so there were never any dull moments. What surprised me the most was that we pretty much never stopped talking. We had a lot to talk about, both work related and non-work related which passed the time.

Aside from having a great travelling companion, this work trip was not a meeting-oriented, spend lots of time sitting in a room kind of trip, it was a fun-filled, get creative and explore kind of trip. My job as the Marketing and Communications Manager on these site visits is to explore the area so I can accurately market the property and the attractions that draw people to the area. I also took along my standard camera and 3D imaging camera to collect content. Of course, I had to monitor emails and be available if something came up that needed my immediate attention in addition to having fun so there was some down time in the room that I sometimes welcomed. Because the trip was only three days I had to use my time wisely.

Day 1:
I have passed through a few airports but I will always love DIA. I don’t know if it’s purely because it’s my home airport or if it’s because I love the odd layout, but it is my favorite airport to fly out of. Because our trip was short we didn’t check any bags and with my boss’s TSA Precheck we zoomed right through to our gate and had extra time on our hands so we grabbed breakfast at a cafe and continued chatting.

Typically I fly with Southwest but they don’t offer a direct flight to Salt Lake City so we took Delta which I was pretty happy with. It’s a quick flight so we arrived a little after noon and went straight to get our rental car. After getting our rental car it only took about 45 minutes to get into Park City and to our property Park Regency. Because it was still early we went across the street for lunch at Einstein Bagels and then settled into our rooms. After we unpacked we headed to Main Street to walk around, shop and enjoy the beautiful early spring weather.

There were several stores that had everything from name brand collections to standard souvenirs. Mingled among the stores were restaurants and bars that offered a variety for the apr├Ęs ski crowd.

After walking up and down Main Street we headed back towards Park Regency to grab dinner. Thankfully across the street there are many dinner options to choose from. As my boss has been to Park City before she knew which restaurants I had to try while I was there. One of them being Sammy’s Bistro which was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. We ordered take-out from Sammy’s, headed back to our room and decided to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and have some wine together to finish off a long day.

Day 2:
The day started with breakfast at Einsteins and then I began my trek around the property taking photos and scanning rooms for online tours. My company purchased a Matterport 3D camera to create virtual tours that can be shown on our booking platforms so potential guests can see what our rooms and common areas look like. I really like the camera and how it can bring our websites up a notch. On top of the 3D scans I also took regular stills to be used for other parts of our website and for third-party booking platforms.

Wandering around the property and taking photos allowed me to get familiar with the resort and gather content for social posts. It makes my job much easier if I’m able to put together a collection of photos to use later. I hope that I’m able to go back in the summer when there’s a whole different type of scenery and activity list.

After taking photos throughout the day and having a moment to check emails it was time for dinner. Because there was an annual meeting the board of directors were on property so we went to dinner with them and their spouses. We went back to Main Street to a wonderful restaurant called 501 on Main. The menu had a great variety and I really enjoyed my meal (and dessert).

The best part of dinner though was getting to speak with the board members and seeing what they thought could elevate our marketing for the property. For most of my trips I won’t be there at the same time as board members so this unique aspect gave me a bit more to work with.

Day 3:
Back to Einsteins for breakfast because it’s so convenient and I could probably eat bagels every day for breakfast. This time we were joined by our CEO who came in for the annual meeting scheduled for later in the day. It was nice to catch up with him and chat a bit about business. After breakfast I walked around a bit more to take photos and spoke with the front desk staff about recommendations they give to guests. This helped me to get an insiders/local opinion about where to eat and what activities to do.

After the very short annual meeting we set off to a potential new property with a board member. This wasn’t necessarily something that needed my presence but I got to see into how things like new contracts come together. I liked the insight and getting to understand more about how our company’s development process.

Afterwards we went for lunch with the board member to wrap up our time in Park City. We ended up at a nice bar and grille called the Boneyard Saloon. After lunch we headed back to Salt Lake City for our flight home. We were a bit ahead of schedule so a glass of wine and a small snack helped pass the time. My boss and I continued our long chats and before we knew it we were getting in the car at DIA and heading home.

We left on Thursday morning and came home on Saturday night and even though it wasn’t a long trip, we packed in a lot of work, play and plenty of food. I enjoyed the trip and got to gather a lot for the marketing department while exploring a new place. I’m happy to have had this opportunity and I hope I can continue these trips to explore all these great areas in the future.

I also learned a lot about how to pack light and how to maximize the time I spend in an area which will be beneficial for all my future traveling. My boss of course had tips and tricks that I hope to use in my future business trips. It was a great trip and a great introduction to business travel.

I really enjoyed the Park City area and I hope to return to explore even more in the future.

Other places I hope to be travelling to this year:
– South Lake Tahoe, California
– Big Bear Lake, California
– Long Beach Peninsula, Washington
– Sedona, Arizona
– Ruidoso, New Mexico
– Destin, Florida
– Pensacola Beach, Florida
– Gulf Shores, Alabama
– Biloxi, Mississippi
– Nags Head, North Carolina

A Quick Trip to Oregon

A week ago I returned from a short trip back to Oregon to see my college best friend who lives in Portland and to see another best friend graduate.

It was the perfect length of time and I got to explore the Portland area and return to my alma mater. It has been a year since I was last in the area for my own graduation and it was great to go back.

I arrived early on Saturday and was able to explore a part of downtown Portland called Slabtown. Walking around and ducking into stores is one of my favorite things to do simply because it is easy and you can enjoy plenty of time to talk with whoever you’re with, in this case it was my college best friend Gabriella who was my tour guide and host for the trip. She knows the area well so we started with a drink at the Solo Club and then walked around until stopping for dinner at Grassa. If you’re ever in the area you have to try the mac and cheese at Grassa. It was so delicious and rich and perfect for two people to share with a side of garlic bread.

One of my favorite parts about this trip was all the food and drinks that we enjoyed. Gabriella is a foodie and even has her own blog all about food that you should definitely check out. That’s one thing that I really enjoy doing when exploring a new town is trying local restaurants and eateries. I am an avid Yelp user and a Local Guide for Google so when it comes to looking for restaurants I look at other peoples’ experiences and what they thought of the restaurant.

After walking around and enjoying the beautiful summer weather and food, we had a mellow evening of relaxing and just hanging out at Gabriella’s apartment where she has a beautiful garden patio. She grows her own herbs, some vegetables and of course flowers, succulents and general houseplants right on her third story balcony. It was a wonderful place to wind down the evening with some wine.

Look at this beautiful scene!

The next day we walked to the local Sunday Farmers Market to pick up some fresh produce and other goodies. I love farmers markets and this one was great. I wish I had one as big and diverse near by to get fresh and locally grown produce every week.

After returning our bounty at the apartment, we then went to the the International Rose Test Garden and explored the beautiful park. There are so many roses and it was nice to be outside and enjoying the warm weather that Colorado was lacking. If you’re in the area take the time to head up to the public park and take in all the beautiful flowers.

After the Rose Garden it was another wonderful restaurant for an early dinner, PDX Sliders. Fantastic burgers and fries and a wonderful outside patio. I’m a sucker for a good burger and throw in a patio and well seasoned fires and I’m one happy girl.

After the day out and about we chose to stay in and enjoy the pool and the remaining sunshine and then try out our own version of wine and paint night. It’s actually a lot of fun and there are a lot of easy tutorials you can follow online. We both got to paint our own scene while enjoying wine once again. (Wine was a theme for this trip in case you had not noticed)

Monday was graduation day at the University of Oregon so we ventured down, explored campus and reminisced about our last year and our own graduation in 2018. I got to see a very close friend receive her degree (with honors!) and celebrated a bit before heading back to Portland. It was quick, but great.

The night finished off with Chinese take-out (always delicious) and way too much wine with Gabriella and her boyfriend who had returned from his own quick trip. It was the perfect last night to a great vacation.

The following day we had brunch at yet another wonderful place, Trinket, and then we headed downtown to my all-time favorite bookstore Powells. It’s the world’s largest independent bookstore and you need a map to get around the downtown location that takes up an entire city block. I bought way to many books that amazingly all fit into my carry-on suitcase.

We spent two+ hours in there and came out happy readers. We then walked around and ducked into a couple stores before heading back to grab my suitcase and go to dinner before heading to the airport. Dinner of course was another great restaurant with a wonderful happy hour ($5 margherita pizzas).

It might have seemed short, but it was really the perfect length to catch-up, explore and reminisce about college. I have several friends that are still in the area so I will definitely be going back in the future to visit everyone.

I find that even taking short mini-vacations can be super beneficial for mental health and well-being. I was lucky to have a friend to stay with so in reality all I paid for was my plane ticket, food and some souvenirs (mostly books). I also was able to miss just two days of work so it didn’t hinder my workload and I didn’t come home to a million emails.

If it’s in the cards for you, I suggest taking a long weekend to head somewhere new, or somewhere old, and just take time to explore and relax and not worry about your day-to-day life. It does wonders for the soul.