Park City's historic National Garage on Park Avenue, below Park City Mountain Resort, is about to open its doors to a whole other tourist experience. The High West Distillery and Saloon will not only turn corn and rye into whiskey, but may offer skiers an après toast to "Facebook" their friends about.
David Perkins and local restaurateur James Dumas are putting the finishing touches on what they've coined their "destination gastro-distillery." Perkins beat out a glass blower and won the winning bid from the City for the chance to turn the historic location into a nationally recognized operation back in 2004. Perkins dropped millions renovating the site while perfecting his concoctions down in Salt Lake City. Their current editions include 25-year-old and 16-year-old whiskeys and Rendezvous Rye, which won a double Gold at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. They're also making Vodka 7000, named for Park City's altitude.
The stills are finally moving up to Park City and into their new home. Perkins and Dumas kept 80 percent of the property's original materials in order to remain on the National Historic Registry but that doesn't mean guests will be dining in a creaky shack. See for yourself when the saloon and lounge opens in October for tours, tasting, dining, and private events.
Utah State liquor stores currently sell High West rye and vodka. You also can pick up a bottle in Illinois, Washington, D.C., Nevada, Georgia, California, and New York. You'll be able to buy it on site when the distillery opens.