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1st Trip to Utah ideas

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey, So it looks like I will finally be making my 1st trip out west this yr!  Shoulder surgery hung me up last yr.  Anyway my wife just got her schedule for the holidays and I'm looking for recommendations for when to go.  Our options are inbetween Christmas and New Yrs, which sucks cuz Im sure it will be crowded and $$$$$, right after new yrs, and a small chance we could go the weekend before Christmas.  Should we avoid the inbetween holiday crowds?

 

Also, my wife is a beginner and I'm sure she will be intimidated by the BIG moutnains, Im a solid intermediete.  Where do you recommend?  My thoughts are PCMR, Canyons, Solitide or Alta.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 19

pre Christmas will have lighter crowds...Solitude is probably one of your better choices.  Deer Valley used to limit tix sales, not sure if they still do...Alta will likely be crowded...some of the UT guys will likely chime in

post #3 of 19

A lot depends upon where you want to stay and what you want to do.  The PC area offers a ski town with all the amenities, including the nearby Olympic Park/ Engen Museum (worth a visit for sure).  I really like the Canyons since I know how to ski it, but remember there isn't much beginners terrain there. If your wife can quickly progress to intermediate slopes she will love the place.  If not, PCMR and Deer Valley offer more skiable runs for the beginner.   The size of a mountain shouldn't intimidate your wife since she won't jumping off any cliffs.

 

Alta and Soliture are wonderful and more remote (it may be harder to find base area lodging during that one busy week), but SLC is not far away. 

 

I'd avoid the holiday crowds if possible and go right after New Years or even before the holidays if there is decent snow coverage (and there usually is).  The airports will be less crowded.  The slopes will be less crowded.  You won't have to plan everything from rentals to dinner reservations well ahead of time if vacationing after the busy peiod.

 

You really can't go wrong whenever you go since you are going to have a great time at any of the areas you mentioned.  Still, I'd to try convince your wife to work a little overtime during the holidays and avoid the Christmas-to-New Years crowds.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yeah we have been to Park City before but it was in the fall.  Had me drooling for what winter would bring.

 

But this is actually a half vacation, half business trip.  My wife is in Med school and are trying to move out there, so we will be lookin gat some property in the area.  So probaly 3 days skiing max with a day to "shop".  I would like to avoid the holiday crowds but it would be a squeeze for us to leave the week before.

 

If we were to stay in Park City, what do you recommend for lodging?  Booking through a resort, or finding something through property management group?

post #5 of 19

We have a vaction home there so others would be better at answering that question.  PM sent.

post #6 of 19

Given your information, if I had three days of skiing and staying in Park City, I would ski at Deer Valley, PCMR, and Alta.  I think these three will give you a good flavor of different resorts in the area.  Save The Canyons for another time, as it has few or none 'good' beginner runs. 

 

Most resorts will be more crowed than normal during the holidays, but it's nowhere near as crowded as other areas (Tahoe for example) that I've been to.  Finally, I've never seen DV stop selling tickets even though they do have a daily limit.

post #7 of 19

Dont miss Snowbasin!  Lighter crowds, better skiing that PC in my opinion.

 

Mike

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Dont miss Snowbasin!  Lighter crowds, better skiing that PC in my opinion.

 

Mike



I really want to ski Snowbasin.  I would stay there if I could, but no lodging.  Im not a fan of going away to stay in a suburb.  I have heard Canyons is tough for beginners, but still have some planning to do.  Airfare is killing me now.  $600-$800/person out of Pittsburgh for the Holidays!  Is that normal?  We flew to Europe for our honeymoon for just a tad more than that.

 

post #9 of 19

Several years ago we(me, wife and then 8 y.o. son) did basically what you're doing, although we got there early on New Years' Eve.  We found a very nice apartment in the south end of SLC with easy access to the freeway and we could be at Solitude/Brighton or Alta/Snowbird in a very reasonable time.  There were soem decent places to eat near the apartment and we had probably 4x as much room as any hotel room we could have found.

post #10 of 19

I really enjoyed Solitude when I was out there a couple years ago.  No crowds, plenty of groomers for your wife, but still lots of fun to be found around the hill and in Honeycomb Canyon.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

It seems in between the holidays the rates are pretty jacked up compared to when we were going to go last year in January.  I didn't expect airfare to be so high though.  Personaly I would be happy to ski any of them, it really doesn't matter to me.  We do have to do a bit of scouting and the PC area will probaly be our best bet as a base camp.

post #12 of 19

2 places I would suggest for lodging

 

Montage - Deer Valley

Hyatt Escala - The Canyons

 

Both are slope side and offer a true vacation experience for any guest.

 

Airfare is expensive right now, fuel costs have not been cooperating necessarily while airliners are short pilots in some locations, over-booking other flights, scaling back capacity, really a mess to be honest. Between American Airlines and Frontier now both being broke that is. My same flight to SLC is now $771 r/t vs. the $424 I paid for it. Due to the capacity cuts and what I think is real demand still from consumers - you will see discount fares sell quick. I used to be able to say SLC was much cheaper then flying to destination airports like Jackson, Mammoth, Eagle/Vail, Bozeman, and Telluride, but now I can't. SLC is right there with them all currently.

 

Oddly enough though...I was pricing out a Whistler vacation and I found round trip airfare to Seatac for $261 r/t out the door using Delta (from the east coast). If you aren't set on SLC I think you can possibly find a good fare depending on the location/flight. If you look up the flight info you can see what fare buckets have been sold/not sold. Then you can start to make educated guesses about what is likely to happen.

 

 

 

 


Edited by jackinthehat - 11/13/11 at 8:24pm
post #13 of 19

Sammy,

 

You will find great stuff for intermediate skiers at any resort you go to except probably snowbird.

 

For your wife, she will find nice beginner runs at: Alta, Solitude, Brighton, PCMR, Deer Valley, Powder Mt, and Beaver Mt. HTH.

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy87 View Post



I really want to ski Snowbasin.  I would stay there if I could, but no lodging.  Im not a fan of going away to stay in a suburb.

 

Park City is a good resort town, but I usually stay in Sandy to be closer to Alta and Solitude.

At Snowbasin, you could bring a couple of cots and camp in the bathrooms.  They're nicer than any hotel room I've ever had in Utah. By Utah standards, the skiing at Snowbasin is only average, which is why they need to have such nice bathrooms.

 

BK

 

 

 

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy87 View Post



I really want to ski Snowbasin.  I would stay there if I could, but no lodging.  Im not a fan of going away to stay in a suburb.  I have heard Canyons is tough for beginners, but still have some planning to do.  Airfare is killing me now.  $600-$800/person out of Pittsburgh for the Holidays!  Is that normal?  We flew to Europe for our honeymoon for just a tad more than that.

 



If you are renting a car, you can stay at the Lakeside condos which are only about 15 minutes away.  They also have a free shuttle to Snowbasin & PowMow several times a day if you don't feel like driving some morning.  But we are not party-hearty types, after a day of skiing we are worn out.  We head to the condo, hit the hot tub and make dinner.  So if you are looking for loads of shopping and night life Park City is the place....but it is definitely crowded over any holiday.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies!  We might be going over Thanksgiving now, (still trying to find someone to watch my dogs) but this is mostly a business trip that we are trying to squeeze a day or 2 of skiing in.  If we go over Thanksgiving we'll probaly hit Alta or Solitude.  How busy is the town of Park City over Thanksgiving and Christmas?

post #17 of 19

solitude is decent.  too many slow lifts though.  but if you're not in good ski-shape yet, that may work.  solitude and alta may have more snow than the park city resorts (canyons, park city, deer valley).  even though the resorts seem to be right next to each other, their snowfall totals can really vary.

 

deer valley may have good snowmaking though.  and deer valley is sooooo easy.   the layout i mean.   you don't need to spend time figuring out the layout, like you would the canyons it sounds like.  and high-speed lifts everywhere at deer valley.   i wonder if it ever gets too crowded, with all their fast lifts and their limiting ticket sales.    

post #18 of 19

I was at Deer Valley the Sunday of President's Day Weekend this past year and it wasn't too bad at all with two caveats. 1.) The beginning of the day getting up the Silver Lake Express. 2.) When the Empire Canyon closed a few hours ahead of the rest of the resort, the line for the Ruby Express was horrendous.  

 

The rest of the day was great and this was a day with a lot of fresh on the ground.

post #19 of 19

That's what I found as well.

 

The way they close lifts at the end of the day,  pushes people all to one lift.  I was milking the end of the day off Mayflower and then the only way to get to the base area was to ride up the Crown Lift and it was jam packed.

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