“Party Like You’re NOT in Utah.” – Theme of the Canyon Inn
The Canyon Inn is widely considered the best ski bum bar in Salt Lake City and was voted as one of the 25 Best Ski Bars in the USA. It’s located right at the mouth of the Little Cottonwood Canyon that holds Utah’s two best ski resorts: Snowbird and Alta.
You ski pow all day, drive down the canyon, and pop into the Canyon Inn or “Cougar Inn” or “CI,” as locals call it for an apres ski drink. It’s location is perfect for skiers and riders and the abundance of Cougars on Friday and Saturday night is key for confidence of young, developing ski bums.
Sadly, the Canyon Inn closed it’s doors forever this past weekend, but it didn’t close without controversy.
Jim Stokjack, Canyon Inn’s owner, claims he was forced to sell his bar and inn after police officials frequently harassed customers at his bar. He states that police have been harassing his bar since he refused to sell his property to the proposed “Canyon Centre” that would be built on the Canyon Inn’s location.
“When I refused to sell this to the developer in the property behind us, he looked at my wife as I walked away and said, ‘You better have your husband reconsider, or we’ll let Cottonwood Heights do the dirty work.’ I thought it was an idle threat; he made good on it.” – Stojack said.
Cottonwood Heights City Manager John Park adamantly denies that police are responsible for the Canyon Inn’s loss of business and closing.
Jim Stojack sold the Canyon Inn to his neighbor, the Lift House Ski Shop, another Cottonwood Canyon staple, who plan to transform the CI into a ski shop.
I can personally attest, this place was truly full of Cougars and shady opportunities. I’ve had a few rowdy nights here with ski buddies over the years myself. This place is funky, simple, well located, easy going, and fun. I’ll miss it.
It’s a sad day for the ski world. Another classic ski bum bar lost.
“I met my wife here. My kids have grown up here, and they have taken this all away.” – Jim Stokjack, Canyon Inn owner