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Merrill Family Unveils Viking Yurt for Winter Dining Experiences

Merrill Family Unveils Viking Yurt for Winter Dining Experiences

Pairing the thrill of a sleigh ride in the crisp, mountain air with a remarkable culinary journey steeped in Nordic tradition, the beloved Viking Yurt experience returns this winter under the new ownership of the Merrill family. Brian and Dena Merrill, along with their son Dylan, will oversee operations of nightly sleigh rides and 6-course gourmet dining experiences housed in the elevated yurt, located mid-mountain at Park City Mountain Resort, beginning this December. 

“We are thrilled to continue the time-honored traditions and luxurious novelty of the Viking Yurt for guests seeking a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience,” said Viking Yurt General Manager Dylan Merrill. “As guests ourselves for many years, our family has made new friends and unforgettable memories, and we look forward to creating those same memorable experiences for guests for many years to come.”  

The Viking Yurt’s original owners Joy and Geir Vik handed over the reins to the Merrill family in May 2023. Seasonal staff of the Merrills’ Western River Expeditions company began spending their winters working under the Viks at the Viking Yurt, ultimately leading to a meaningful collaboration between the two families. Upon retirement, the Viks began the seamless transition of the Viking Yurt to the Merrill family, who are dedicated to preserving the Viks’ prominent legacy.

Located at the top of Crescent Lift at Park City Mountain Resort, the Viking Yurt offers a destination dining experience unlike any other in Park City. The signature Mountain Sleigh Ride dinner begins with guests departing Legacy Lodge on a 32-person, snow cat-pulled sleigh for a 25-minute ride up to the Viking Yurt with breathtaking views of the night sky, snow-covered trees, city lights, and vast mountains. Upon arrival to the yurt, guests are greeted with a warm fire, music, rustic atmosphere, and a mug of hot Glogg, followed by a signature menu including Lobster & Salmon Bisque, garden greens salad, an intermezzo of lemon tarragon sorbet, Braised Beef Short Ribs with Jarlsberg mashed potatoes and savory winter vegetables, an indulgent cheese course, and Marzipan and Valrhona chocolate cake and vanilla cardamom ice cream to finish. A carefully curated selection of wines and spirits is also available for purchase, or guests may bring their own for a corkage fee. The 4-hour dining experience allows guests to savor every moment before settling into the sleigh for the majestic journey back down the mountain. 

The Viking Yurt will operate mid-December through mid-March, offering one seating at 7 p.m. for up to 40 guests each night. Regular pricing is $279.61 per person. Holiday pricing (Dec. 18 – Jan 1.) is $364.14 per person. Prices include tax and gratuity. Dinner reservations are open and can be made at

The Viking Yurt also provides daily ski-in/ski-out lunch service from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. without reservations. Skiers and snowboarders can warm up inside by a wood-fired stove or take in the sunshine on the deck while enjoying yurt specialties including Tomato Coconut Curry, Buffalo Bratwurst, and Prosciutto & St. Andre Cheese, drinks, and hot chocolate.