The lay of the land in SLC/Park City totally allows for easy day trips anywhere and everywhere. I-80 can be downright ridiculous in the wrong weather though. We're talking accidents left and right, 15mph traffic - I've even seen it 4x4 only once with police directing non 4x4 off the road. With that being said if those conditions exist I would say getting from PC - SLC would be too nerve wrecking in the mornings for me. You have a potentially terrible drive over I-80 and then another slow painfull drive up LCC road which is already going to be jam packed with traffic.
If I were you I would head to Park City (and stay in Park City). It is really the place to be, everything is right there and geared towards skiers. SLC really takes away from the vacation feel as you really feel like you are dealing with the same ole if not worse traffic then your morning commute already has. Sure you can hop up the canyons every morning and do that, if that is for you then great. You can stay on Fort Union Blvd or 10600 (with public transportation being really viable on fort union) and ski up the canyons in the day - and dine at a TGI Fridays at night.
I have never skied up north in Ogden. I hear conflicting things about it - all of which keep me from going. Visibility, less snowfall, lower elevations, terrain traps/gullys to deal with as you search for pow @ Pow Mow.
If you want to do something amazing that most don't attempt and still say you skied "all of Utah" - I would do the interconnect tour. Start @ Deer Valley and end your day @ Snowbird. Basically reiterating the importance of being in Park City.
I think staying in SLC sucks, but I've stayed "all over SLC" - the airport, west side of town (ugh to both locations), 10600, etc. All the hotels suck really though, with none of them being close enough to make you feel like you are avoiding the city (unless you stay up the canyon).
If your idea of a vacation is driving - then staying in PC and driving to SLC will offer you tons of it. I would either stay in PC or in LCC. BCC is great and all but I would rather be in LCC considering the costs. If I could I would stay at Montage @ Deer Valley and do the interconnect trip daily, that's a vacation :)
I don't want to sound like a total promo guy, but Hyatt has a credit card that offers 2 nights free anywhere in the world upon sign-up. The Canyons has a Hyatt Escala Lodge (which is a very nice hotel). Slopeside. Costs like $250-330/nt, but you can use those 2 initial nights at that hotel there.
The terrain is easy to compare really. PC has basically rolling mountains with less gnarly terrain. BCC/LCC have gnarly terrain, cliffs, less exposed faces - mountains in your face approach to skiing. Between all of the PC area resorts you can definitely find some fun, especially @ the Canyons and the 9990 chair, or Jupiter @ Park City. I just think if you are going to go to a BCC/LCC resort - do it right and stay up the canyon. Anything else and you are really just not going to get the right ski vacation. Especially if you've been to Telluride time and time again.
If its good it is going to be good, but keep in mind that LCC/BCC can be tracked out ridiculously fast where as PC has less powder hounds and more skiable acres. I've spent like 30-40 days in LCC/BCC/PC and basically I have had all sorts of epic days, but if you show up in the morning after a huge dump (LCC/BCC) and it is bluebird - everything gets tracked up immediately as it is opened. If you are showing up as it has snowed overnight and it continues to snow all day long - its just epic. The powder just keeps up with the people it seems (omg I remember this one day at Alta, just empty it seemed and the powder kept dumping), but then the canyon gets closed or goes 4x4 - logistical nightmares, realizing you need to park your FWD vehicle at an already full park & ride and have 7 cash per passenger to ride up and down the bus that day (that is once again packed). I can tell you that 4x4 rentals can be had for $400-440 (walk up to the counter negotiate) a week, but you will not necessarily always find SUV's on the net for below $600-700 a week quite often - so most people don't rent them because of that.
I had to end my powder day due to my vehicle- having no chains, not being 4x4, canyon going 4x4 restriction at like 2pm and closing at 6pm. Drive down in a rental with suicide slicks on it.......not fun.
Others are spot on as well - SLC is kind of a gloomy crappy city. Inversions and nasty smog, yuck. SLC is interesting to drive around though. If you ever want to drive around an area full of jobs, building, and expansion. SLC seems to be it. They just dig a hole if they need some more jobs. SLC doesn't build up, they just build out. So it is miles and miles of city in every direction. You should make sure to get creeped out by the massive fortresses downtown that the mormons own as well. I bet there is more interesting stuff going on behind closed doors there then @ area 51 now.
Edited by jackinthehat - 11/12/11 at 9:56pm