5 Tips for the Non-Planner

Posted in Planning Smart
by Kim-Marie on January 11, 2012

jjbowl (jjbowl)

What to do when you didn't plan ahead:

Are you one of those vacation planners that doesn't, well, plan?  "Winging it" can be a fun way to travel, who wants to be tied down to all those reservations anyway?  That's so predictable.  (This is what I tell myself.)

Unless it's a holiday week.  In Park City.  And everything is booked.  As it turns out, some restaurants start booking for the holidays in October.  Who are these people that can think of where they want to eat dinner in two months when there are pumpkins to carve?


Fear not those of you who fly by the seat of your pants, you can still have a great time.

  • Be willing to eat early.  Especially if you have little kids, early dinners make for early sleepers which makes for happy parents.  Try Squatters, they don't take reservations, serve great food and have lots of open tables at 4:30 or 5:00.  This is a Snowmamas and Park City Mountain Resort staff favorite.  Order the garlic fries, trust me on this one.  We managed to score the last reservation available at the schwnanky Stein Eriksen Lodge for New Year's Eve because we were willing to eat at 6:15.  Double bonus, we'll be up skiing early on New Year's Day while everyone else is sleeping in.
  • Ask if there's a waiting list for the restaurants you really care about.  Call back and check in with your cheeriest voice.  Chances are you'll move from the wait list to the reservation list.  We were on the wait list at Chimayo (my all time favorite restaurant) for Saturday night on New Year's weekend.  When I called to see how the list was looking, someone had just cancelled, we got their spot.  Again, these arent 8:00 reservations, but the margaritas are award winning and I'll take what I can get.
  • Order up some pizza to be delivered to the yurt at Gorgoza Park.  Not many people (used to) know this trick.  You can't make reservations, so have someone stake out a spot in the yurt, call up  New York Pizza, they will deliver directly to you.  A night of tubing and pizza with the kids is the ultimate party.
  • Go bowling.  Jupiter Bowl always has walk in lanes, even if you have to wait they have great food and an arcade to keep everyone busy while you wait.  Oh, and a bar.  Jupiter Bowl offers luxe lanes with great music and huge screens showing Warren Miller flicks.  It's a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.
  • Be creative. Take out is easier than a reservation, you can have your favorite food with Ryan Seacrest.  Who wants to be up at midnight anyway?

That said, I still plan to mark my calendar for October 1st so I can try Fireside Dining at Deer Valley next year.  Apparently they start taking reservations online only on the first of October, those in the know (that's us now) book then for their holiday feast.



Comment posted by Kristen on January 11, 2012 11:49 AM MST

Reservations are overrated, because half the time the family is too tired or in the mood for something else anyway! Definately reserve for Fireside Dining - it's always tops on our list. Next time I go to Park City, I'm going to furter explore my take out options. Thanks for the pizza delivery tip to Gorgoza!

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