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Thread: Park City/Deer Valley Question

  1. #1
    Here for a holiday JDH's Avatar
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    Park City/Deer Valley Question

    Hey all, I need some advice for a week-long ski trip to Utah next March. Assuming that we're going to have an unbelievably great snow year, I need your input on whether we ought to stay at Park City or Deer Valley, or some other place nearby. The convenience and quality are more important than price (within some reasonable limits). Here are the details: We have a group of 5 couples that take ski trips together each year. Last year we went to Telluride and had a great time. This year, we're going to Utah. We are all 50 - 70 years old, and in relatively good shape. Ski skills range from beginner to very very advanced, but we'll cater to the beginner/intermediates. We're looking for an on-slope house/condo to rent that will accommodate all of us, and for great accommodations and a fanastic experience. The experience with friends is much more important than the variety or difficulty of skiing. We probably won't drive to Utah, so we'll need to either rent cars or rely on public transportation. Fun shopping is a must for at least one afternoon.

    So, where should we stay? We don't want to stay in a hotel. I'm thinking that we may ski both Deer Valley and Park City.

    I know I'm early on the planning, but don't want to be behind the eightball on this.

    Thanks,
    JDH

  2. #2
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
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    Ant... calling Ant... come in Ant... (she was an instructor at Park City IIRC)

  3. #3
    Bought a home Skier Village Coach songfta's Avatar
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    Utah native chiming in here....

    If you want on-mountain or slopeside, the Park City area is definitely the one with the most upside and selection. Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), Deer Valley (DV), and The Canyons all have excellent selection. All three mountains have a wealth of good intermediate terrain, with challenges for those who wish to hit the steeps. The town of Park City is a gem, as well, with plenty of great food and entertainment. And the public bus system connecting the three resorts is free and frequent.

    The drawback of Park City: they get far less snow than the resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons - Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude - and they can often be far more crowded. DV is top-notch, and the prices for amenities reflects this. The Canyons can be pricey (though it's seldom ever crowded - it's a big place), and is a 5-10 minute ride from central Park City. PCMR is a big mountain, with less ski-in/ski-out lodging, and a bit of a bottleneck effect at the end of the day.

    Alta is a bit old-school, with few, if any, true ski-in/ski-out places to stay, though the lodges at the base of the mountain are fun in a retro way. Snowbird has some slopeside, ski-in/ski-out lodging, both directly in the resort and via private owners. Both resorts are far more scenic than the Park City areas, with big vertical. Snowbird's intermediate offerings are more black than blue, if you catch my drift, while Alta has some lovely, long, rolling blue cruisers. Snowbird has good dining opportunities, a top-rate spa at the Cliff Lodge, and some limited nightlife options.

    Brighton has some lodging slopeside, but it is primarily a day area.... unless you count the base area of Solitude as a good lodging base. Both areas have a bit of everything, without the crowds that Alta/Snowbird and the Park City resorts tend to attract (read: they're locals-focused resorts). Solitude was my home resort for over 10 years, and the mountain is an under-appreciated gem: lots of terrain for all, great snow, and an excellent base area that has lovely lodging, great food, etc., though nightlife is less abundant than in Park City or nearby Salt Lake City. Near the base area of Solitude, there are plenty of VRBO rental properties that offer great value, and it's easy to catch UTA (free once you are in the canyon) to shuttle to either Solitude or Brighton.

    However: the Cottonwood Canyon resorts are best accessed by staying in Salt Lake City (plentiful, less-expensive lodging, and all the dining and cultural trappings of a large city). The UTA (public bus) runs a convenient shuttle to both Little Cottonwood (Alta/Snowbird) and Big Cottonwood (Brighton/Solitude) that's inexpensive and beats driving a private car most of the time (note that UTA does not service Park City, though there are inexpensive shuttles available). Granted, it's not the ski-in/ski-out experience, but it's the best for budget-minded folks who want some flexibility.

    All things being equal, I think Park City will be a great place to base a group trip. No, it won't be the quintessential Utah experience, but it will have some fine skiing, with great snow.
    Last edited by songfta; September 22nd, 2012 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Typos...

  4. #4
    Looking for a house Snow Sport Instructor
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    For slopeside "vacation" lodging with easy access to shopping and instruction for beginners, I'd go to DV and stay with Stein Eriksen.

  5. #5
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
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    Songfta - that was so comprehensive I hope you do not mind but I promoted it to an article about skiing in Utah

  6. #6
    Bought a home Skier Village Coach songfta's Avatar
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    Very nice, LT - and thanks!

  7. #7
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
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    anyone can promote i think by clicking on promote to article...

    the original writer is the author and so I think can edit... It may or may not need a mod to publish(need to check and perhaps change permissions)... I think the original author may be able to publish

  8. #8
    Here for a holiday JDH's Avatar
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    LT, Songfta, Kneala - I appreciate your input. Thanks a bunch.
    JDH

  9. #9
    I lump Park City and Deer Valley together so if you are skiing both stay Park City. DV is only slopeside condos / houses. We went with a group of couples a few years ago and stayed in a house in Park City. I wanted to ski LCC resorts so we rented a van and a car. I took someone different with me from the group each day and made the drive over to LCC. I skied DV one day to keep peace.

  10. #10
    Bought a home Skier Village Coach ant's Avatar
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    Bit late, sorry. DV is pretty-much a suburb of Park City, and I'd recommend staying in PC-proper, rather than stuck out at the end at DV. The whole PC area is linked by an excellent FREE bus service, it even goes out to Kimball where the Outlets are although it takes forever! The cheapest condo deals are also out at Kimball, but the better bargains are much closer, at Prospector which is close to DV and PC. Kimball is OK if you're only going to ski the Canyons.

    SLC Airport to PC, there's a bunch of shuttle companies operating with counters in the baggage claim area, you can pre-book if you like, or just see who is going up next at the counters.

    You'll probably end up skiing DV and PCMR, both are great fun and quite different. I still don't "get" the Canyons, you either love it or hate it apparently. Shopping in Main Street/Old Town is pretty good, but the best is the Tanger Outlets out at Kimball. Actually the shopping in Kimball-proper isn't bad either, there's a good TJ Maxx and a variety of other places. The ski shops in PC are good too, better than in SLC and there's a good Columbia outlet at Tanger.

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