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hmsiegel

Zion Mountain Resort

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So I have a couple of questions. But first: recently, a good friend of mine was promoted to Executive Chef at Zion Mountain Resort outside of Zion National Park in Utah. He has said that the place is undergoing a massive renovation, which includes completely redoing the restaurant and adding at least two more. He asked me to come out and work for him and I have accepted. And as excited as I am, this is a pretty big move for me. I'm moving almost completley across the United States, to work at a place that I have almost no idea about. The upside is that there is lots of room for major growth and promotions, and quickly. So what I want to know is basically what should I expect going out there? Remember, I'm pretty much a city boy. I've lived in Cleveland (where I live now, and grew up) and in Philadelphia. What is there to do out there? How easy is it to get around and get to a city? Is there such thing as nightlife? I understand that it is going to be different than what I'm doing now. The cooking will be a little different. The atmosphere will be different. I just hope that it won't be a complete culture shock.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Harlan


"Whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger."

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Your moving to the country. And what spectacular country it is, too. But for city life (this is starting to sound like Green Acres) you will have a bit of a drive. Out west, people view driving in a different way. Distances are not that big of a deal.

It sounds like it could be quite the adventure. I had never lived in an place that had snow until I got a job at a ski resort in Oregon. I went from nothing to a snow pack of 23'. But it was fun for a while and I do not regret the experience.

As for getting to the city, it is freeway all the way to SLC. From Google maps, it looks like you might be pretty much equal distance to Las Vegas. the new food destination in the U.S.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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As for getting to the city,  it is freeway all the way to SLC.  From Google maps, it looks like you might be pretty much equal distance to Las Vegas.  the new food destination in the U.S.

Lucky you! It's a beautiful part of the country, and one that we've always loved. We haven't lived there, other than for a week at a time of camping.

You're actually going to be lots closer to Las Vegas than SLC. In fact, if anyone's looking to come visit you, the Las Vegas airport may very well be the airport of choice, since there are lots of flights there, the flights are relatively inexpensive, and the drive's not bad.

And you're going where there's a lot of nothing. But that's part of the joy of living there. Plan to buy an annual pass to Zion National Park so you can visit as often as you like, and acquire a good pair of hiking boots...and a pair of sandals that you can get soaking wet without repercussions, because there's a lot of beautiful walking to be done through the river up the canyon. You'll need to develop a very different mindset than you'd have living in a city, because it's a completely different environment. Plan to get a city fix every so often, though: take a long weekend (or equivalent few days off) and visit somewhere good-sized.

And joiei's right: Western distances are on a different scale. An hour's journey somewhere is nearly insignificant.

Get in the habit of keeping a cooler in your car. It gets hot in that area, and depending on where you live, it might be a bit of a drive to the grocery store. A cooler (even a little soft-sided one) helps immensely in allowing perishables to survive the journey home.

Nightlife? Sure: pack your trash up tight or the nightlife will get into it. :raz:

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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here i am moving from las vegas area, a frequent visitor to zion, to cleveland. If you like nature and working alot take the job... if not don't. It will be the only thing that you seen when you are not working. Buy some great hiking boots, learn the trails, and springdale. St gorge isn't too far away, so you will have some type of shopping near by. First problem you will find is gettin good products, so go visit all of the chefs in springdale and figure out what they are getting. Then try to get better stuff then them.

From a frequent "parker" zion may be my favorite of all. It's not too big, and very intense. Good luck.


Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

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If you're there by St. Patrick's Day, be sure to go to Springdale for the parade. It's a great example of local humor. Springdale has attracted lots of big city refugees as well as artists. It has a very liberal side to it. The transplants are very welcoming to new arrivals. Probably the closest thing to "nightlife" is the Bit 'n Spur (mexican restaurant/bar). Buy a mountain bike and use this as an opportunity to live in and see spectacular scenery and to get lots of exercise. But be prepared: you are really going to be in the middle of nowhere.

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I can relate to your concerns. I'm a city girl and my job, as an historian for the National Park Service, is based in downtown Seattle, but the NPS frequently stations me, for weeks or months at a time, in national parks around the west. It presents amazing opportunities but at the same time, I have a very hard time living in these remote areas. Zion is GORGEOUS, as is southern Utah in general-it's one of my favorite places to vacation-but if you aren't into the outdoors you are going to be bored. There will be no nightlife, culture, etc. There is probably one bar in Springdale where locals hang out (but then again, maybe not-this is a small tourist town in a Mormon dominated area), but your resort is on the east side of the park, the town is on the west side, and it's not the best idea to drive home after a few beers on curvy mountain roads with deer and other wildlife jumping in front of your car.

People in the rural West, like in rural areas across the nation, may be used to driving long distances, but if you aren't used to it it's going to drive you nuts. I cannot stand that car-based lifestyle (contrary to popular belief, the West is the most urbanized part of the country-most of us live in cities and suburbs) and I never got used to driving 45 minutes to the nearest town to get basic supplies. I also never get used to the limited food/grocery options in small western towns, though as a chef this may not be a problem for you. Vegas will be 3 hours from you-not close enough to go experience some nightlife then drive home. Also, it's not exactly a hotbed of culture.

I'm not trying to be discouraging-if you like outdoor activities, you will have some amazing experiences. Maybe just don't commit to staying there for any length of time until you see how you like it.


Edited by kiliki (log)

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Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I'm very excited to be going out there. For me, it is just a new experience, which is what I am always looking for. I may have lived in cities for my entire life (besides those three months in Italy in a small village with no one that spoke English and no mode of transportation besides public), but I'm not against nature and the country. Acutally, some of my fondest memories are of forests and hikes that I've taken. It's just that I don't have the opportunities out here, and I'm usually pretty busy with work and school. It seems that I should really enjoy myself out there, but I also know that this will not be a permanent move. I don't plan on staying out there for more than two years. After that, I'm going to move on, and for me, that means I'll be that much closer to some of the Western cities that interest me. Plus, I'm sure that some of the guys that I'll be working with will help me out, take me hiking, show me what not to do, etc.

Anyway, thanks again.

Harlan


"Whatever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger."

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Harlan~

Please let us know how it goes~post pix and menus and generally keep us posted!

I am excited for you. A total change of scenery and lifestyle can be invigorating and eye-opening.

Good luck. :smile:

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