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Adolph Imboden Honored With 2021 Spirit of Hospitality Award

Leslie Thatcher

Forty-seven years ago, restauranteur Adolph Imboden brought a bit of his Swiss food and hospitality to the Utah mountains. On Wednesday his name was added to the growing list of those who have been honored with the Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award.

The Spirit of Hospitality award was first given to Myles Rademan back in 2002. Since then, honorees have included former Park City Mountain Resort owner Nick Badami and ski legend Stein Eriksen.

Before presenting the award, Rademan noted that Park City’s secret sauce has not only been its geography and great snow, but its spirit of welcoming guests to a town that most people only get to vacation in.

“Especially when we've all been stressed out and it seems like we're being asked to welcome more and more people here to live, as well as people here to visit," he said. "But let's be brutally honest. At this point, we here in Park City are the beneficiaries of about the best that life has to offer. And I don't think we should forget that ever – not for a second.”

Rademan called Parkites the current custodians of the world class asset they call home, and said they shouldn’t forget what made Park City successful, despite what a cynical friend of his once said about hospitality.

“He said hospitality is the art of making guests feel at home while wishing they were... and I hope we never devolve to the point where we just see our guests as an open ATM or a credit card because people kind of see through that pretty quickly,” Rademan said.  “You’ve all been to places where you know you’re being taken advantage of - or even if not totally been taken advantage of economically – you’re not really being welcomed, - they’re just putting on a happy face.”

When Park City Mountain Resort used to host America’s Opening, Adolph would invite the ski racers of the day for dinner and celebratory drinks – including the likes of Tomba, Hermann Maier, and the entire Swiss ski team. 

Adolph has spent a lifetime welcoming guests to his iconic restaurant that brought an international flavor to the community. His restaurant closed in May, after 47 years in business when a new lease couldn’t be negotiated.

Adolph’s longtime friend Jim Gaddis, who helped to try to extend the restaurant’s lease for another season, noted that Adolph was at the restaurant nearly every night, ensuring the food being served was up to his expectations. He could be seen on the line cooking, greeting, and meeting with guests, washing dishes, and running to the grocery store if necessary. For locals, the bar was a familiar gathering place where everyone knew each other.

“He had a great bar where locals came and gathered every night, and a lot of the same people,” Gaddis said. “A place where skiers, ski racers and famous people gathered and had to visit, when they came to Park City. You can see all this with autographed photos on the wall. He had a lot of those.”

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