New Driving Experience Hits Park City, then Hits the Road

Written by Scott Cullins


If you happened to be out and about in Summit County this week, you may have noticed some extremely hot European sports cars parading around. And if you happen to have a thousand bucks, you could have been one of the lucky drivers.

Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts is hosting a new program called the Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience. The $999 price tag includes 2-1/2 to 3 hours driving in three Supercars: a Ferrari 458 Italia, a McLaren MP4-12C, and a Porsche 911 Turbo.

Now before you start thinking that the cost is high, think about where else in the world you can rent a $300k car and how much that would cost you.

Over the next six weeks, Park City, Palm Springs, Scottsdale, Boca Raton and New Orleans Waldorf Astoria properties will participate in the experience.

Led by a professional driver, participants get to drive each car for about 30 minutes. I was lucky enough to join the group on day one, and I can tell you it was indeed an experience to remember. After a brief rundown of the program, we were all assigned cars and the pros took a few minutes to familiarize us with the specific controls for each car.

I started in the Ferrari 458 Italia. Even in Park City, where there is an abundance of high-end automobiles, a lot of heads were turned as we hit the road towards Heber City. A professional camera and video crew follow the caravan, making sure to document the experience which aids tremendously in bragging to your friends later on.

Our group hung a left turn in Heber, and drove to Francis, where we changed cars before heading into the Uintas. At this point, I jumped into the McLaren MP4-12C, and off we drove.

The fall colors were out in full glory. Apparently, scenery is an important part of the experience. When asked during an interview by the film crew what I thought about the scenery, I replied that I never saw it. These are serious cars, and keeping up with the professional driver required my full attention. As such, my eyes were glued to the road. As we accelerated to (actual speed omitted for legal reasons), my mind was on steering and shifting. Nothing else.

Somewhere in the middle of the Uintas, amidst sheepherders and their charges, we stopped to switch cars again. This time, I jumped behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 Turbo. Definitely the most inexpensive of the three but, for the price, this fine piece of German engineering hung right in there with its Italian and English counterparts.

At the end of the drive, of course, you will be asked which car was your favorite. Mine was the Ferrari. All that you have heard about these cars is true. Beautifully styled with high performance to match. The paddle shifting worked flawlessly and the car responded to my slightest commands. I definitely want one and it’s going to take some serious saving.

Whether riding camel back and feasting in the desert of Dubai, or driving exotic cars through spectacular scenery in the Western U.S.—Waldorf Astoria offers ultimate experiences around the world.

The Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience runs from Sept. 30 to Dec. 10. Clickhere for more information.

Even without the cars, the Waldorf Astoria Park City is a great place to stay. Click here for more info.

About the author

Scott Cullins

Scott moved to Utah from Teton Valley, Idaho in 2011. Scott is publisher of and the Teton Valley WYDAHO Outdoor Guide and Map. Scott is also a media and marketing consultant and an avid mountain biker and skier. Email Scott at

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