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Family of Five February Trip [Solitude, Snowmass, Steamboat, etc.]

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

First post here.  I am looking for a resort to take my family of five to in late February for four or five nights.  I have three kids ages 6, 8 and 12 and my wife and myself.  Me and the oldest are snowboarders while my wife and two younger daughters ski.  Ability levels range from beginner/intermediate for the two youngest to intermediate/advanced for the rest of us. 

 

I have done a lot of research and am having problems finding a resort that balances good conditions and terrain, not too many crowds, and with nice lodging choices and options for dining and maybe a little shopping.  We typically prefer nicer and larger hotels and resorts with plenty of amenities, though a nice quaint lodge would be fine too.  We are happy to spend a bit for a nice place, just want to avoid the ultra-expensive options such as the Four Seasons and St. Regis.  My son and I would love a good chance of powder, while the girls would prefer groomers with some nice soft snow.  Also, we'd like to get away from the typical wind and blizzard conditions that we have on our home mountain (Mt. Hood) and have a chance at sunny, or at least calmer conditions. 

 

In the end I think what we are after is a family friendly resort with some degree of apres ski options.  The resorts I have considered so far are:

 

  • Whistler - Great village and tons of lodging options.  Crowded and possibly inconsistent conditions (rain, fog, etc...)

 

  • Snowmass - Nice resort for families, lots of lodging/dining/shopping options and can ski Aspen as well.  Expensive and likely crowded and maybe not as much snow potential as other areas.

 

  • Park City/Canyons - Offers a lot of options when it comes to skiing as well as dining, shopping and other activities.  However, crowded, expensive and once again, snow can be a question mark.

 

  • Jackson Hole - Similar to above resorts.  Also terrain may be too advanced for my younger two.

 

  • Grand Targhee - Good snow likely, not too crowded, but not much to do aside from skiing.  Conditions could also be unfavorable for the non-diehards (or they could be great).

 

  • Solitude - A lot like Grand Targhee, but not as big of a resort.  Maybe a bit updated in the lift department over Targhee and looks like a step up in lodging options as well.

 

Would anyone care to comment on the above resorts or offer some other ideas?  I don't know if the perfect resort exists for us, but I'd like to get as close to possible.  In a dream world my perfect resort would be: Whistler Village filled to about 1/4 capacity, at the base of Grand Targhee during a dump, but with Colorado bluebird days and groomed runs for the kids.  Oh yeah, a good and reasonably priced ski school would be nice as well!

 

Thanks!

 

Matt

post #2 of 29
Much as I hate to send you to the competition, add Big Sky to the list. Huge, especially with the addition of Moonlight, no crowds. Ritzier than here at Whitefish, more sun. Tons of intermediate terrain, with enough challenge available should someone want to ramp it up. Powder usually plentiful.
post #3 of 29
Even though I like both of them a lot, unless you've understated your desire to avoid the crowds and/or you're willing to lower the priority of the non-ski amenities, I'd remove Targhee and Solitude from the list.

Among the others on your list and given the criteria you describe, I'd probably pick Snowmass or the Park City area. Each have the option of exploring a few different areas. The snow should be pretty good at that time. And if you're talking late February (after President's week), crowds should not be an issue at either.
post #4 of 29

Your want list is a description of Steamboat. Give their Central Reservations a call for the best info. and packages. Have fun and take a run with Bill Kidd some day.

 

http://www.steamboat.com/plan-your-trip/plan-your-trip.aspx

post #5 of 29

I have only been to snowmass, parkcity and solitude from the ones on your list.   Even though we are doing park city again this year with our group due to cheap airfare, I plan on doing snowmass again with my family one month later (providing airfare get reasonable).  

 

Snowmass has so much to offer that it would be my first pick.  The terrain is vast and your pass is good for the highlands, aspen and buttermilk.  My last 2 trips to snowmass we only skied there and skip the others.  next time I do plan on taking my wife over to buttermilk.

There are so many places you can stay at snowmass that are either slopeside or close to it.  You may want to check out www.tripadvisor.com for more options. 

 

I do love the Canyons and Deer Valley is nice (No snowboarders).  You also have PCMR and within an hour you can hit solitude and a few others.

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JW MN View Post

Your want list is a description of Steamboat. Give their Central Reservations a call for the best info. and packages. Have fun and take a run with Bill Kidd some day.

http://www.steamboat.com/plan-your-trip/plan-your-trip.aspx

Good suggestion!
post #7 of 29

Jackson, stay in town. Not that crowded, lodging very reasonable, neat town, enough beginner, intermediate on the Apre-vous side.

post #8 of 29

For JH, might get some ideas from this thread from a few years ago:

http://www.epicski.com/t/85539/jackson-hole-for-beginner-transitioning-to-intermediate

 

ADKS took his wife and daughter to JH and they had a ball.  His wife was lukewarm to skiing before that ski vacation.  I thought he did a TR but can't find it.  I suggest you send a PM (Private Messages to the left of where you Log Out).  Note that there is a bus that makes going over to Targhee for a day pretty easy.

 

Steamboat came to mind, as others have mentioned.  Definitely plenty of non-skiing fun to be had.  Plus don't need a car to get around.

 

What do you consider expensive about Park City?  My sense is there is a wide range of lodging options.  Not sure why you consider snow so iffy for a late Feb trip.

 

Big Sky does has some other fun stuff to do besides skiing.  Not too many choices for eating out though if you don't have a car.  From a skiing standpoint, definitely plenty at all levels.  Long greens and blues that are great for intermediates.

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the replies.  I will add Big Sky and Steamboat to the list.  I am hesitant to take Targhee and Solitude off the list as I would really like a good chance of fresh snow without the huge crowds that typically accompany it.  Seems that those resorts would be the most likely to offer that as they average close to 50% more snow than many of the other choices.  I will however keep in mind that non-ski alternatives are very limited for those two options.

 

I have heard Park City can be expensive, but I am finding out that it is not any more expensive than some of the other resorts on my list.  My comment about the snow was concerning the chance of getting powder compared to the other resorts I am considering, not so much about coverage of quality of existing snow.

 

As much as I would like to experience the town, I think I'll take Whistler off the list as the other resorts seem to offer a better balance for us.  We'll make it there someday...

 

So, as of now the list is:

 

Park City

Snowmass

Jackson Hole

Big Sky

Steamboat

Targhee

Solitude

 

Thanks again for the input - I'll eventually make a decision!

post #10 of 29

I am going to add Sun Peaks, B.C. to the list of possible resorts as it is probably within driving distance for the OP who lists Mt. Hood as his home mountain. From Seattle, Sun Peaks is about an hour further drive than going to Whistler via a better highway.

 

You may even get to ski with former Olympic and World Cup Champion Nancy Green who is the Director of Skiing at Sun Peaks.

 

The Delta Hotel at SP is four star, has a heated outdoor pool with indoor access, hot tubs, and in addition to the hotel rooms they have an annex that offers 1 and 2 bedroom condos for rent.

 

For more info on Sun Peaks check out the link to their website or read my review bellow.

post #11 of 29

I have skied all your choices with the exception of Solitude. Steamboat is where I spend the most of my ski days. I can make some comments based on experience. 

 

Targhee does have a lot of snow. To get it, it snows most days. Their nickname is Grand Fogee. There are not many trees there, especially when you get off a lift. Snow and fog and no trees for definition leads to 0 visibility and a good chance for vertigo. There may be powder, but you won't know which way is up. This does not make for a good day, especially when you don't really know your way around. And there is really no town to speak of.

Regarding Big Sky. It is big! However there are very few restaurants on the mountain and in the area and there is no town, only a village. Not much shopping, You have to ski back to the bottom for any food. This is crazy!  Bosman is an hour away in good weather. You will do a lot of driving up and down the mountain every day.

Snowmass and accompanying mountain's are great skiing. However, there is no town in Snowmass either, and not much shopping. Lots of bus rides or driving and time to get anywhere else.

 

Steamboat would be my best suggestion for a family. The mountain and the real town are close together, every kind of winter activity is there and they will pick you up at your condo. In Feb. the snow will be great and if you are lucky you will get to ski in their famous Champaign Powder. Plenty for everyone. (in this group) Getting there is not the easiest, but once you land at Hayden you really don't need a car unless you want to. The combination just makes life easy.

 

Park City would be my second choice for you family. Just not quite as condensed as Steamboat.

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JW MN View Post

 

Steamboat would be my best suggestion for a family. The mountain and the real town are close together, every kind of winter activity is there and they will pick you up at your condo. In Feb. the snow will be great and if you are lucky you will get to ski in their famous Champaign Powder. Plenty for everyone. (in this group) Getting there is not the easiest, but once you land at Hayden you really don't need a car unless you want to. The combination just makes life easy.

 

Park City would be my second choice for you family. Just not quite as condensed as Steamboat.

i'd agree Steamboat for family.   I can't say I've skied to many other areas (SLC: PC, Solitude, Snowbird, Brighton, Snowbasin, Deer Valley), WP, Copper, but have hit SB yearly for the last 15 yrs.

 

If with family (my kids last year were 8,14,17) there's a lot of activity if your budget allows.  I'm an engineer so I'm pretty cheap (frugal is what I try to claim) but find that though it's a bit higher than I wish, never regret the cost when I compare to other locations I can go.  I believe Portland (if your Hood Skiers) have flights to Denver so you should be able to find some decent pricing.   Central resorts has some 30% off deals until end of month, booking via them also affords some discounts for lessons, activities, early starts (depending on day), etc.  

 

Last yr as most we hit the downtown hot springs as well as the tubing park at Howelson hill.   All this costs but not in my opinion horrible based on your comments, the springs (athletic center and not strawberry point was around $45 for 5 and Tubing I think around the same).  Terrain wise, it should work well for your kids, the boarding may not be the top ranked but I haven't met a boarder who hadn't a good time.  If your kids are comfy with black/blue (Steamboat rated) then you can have fun on Hot Cakes down to Morningside.

 

I normally book with Steamboat Resorts but will say that Steamboat Central can add some other discounts not extended to other management companies.

 

From the other suggestions I'm familiar with, Park City,  I would believe family would also find enjoyable.  Some depends on where you wish to ski/sleep but I thought PC was great for me and spouse and believe kids would love it.

 

If you wish numbers on cost for what I found, spent, send a PM, i'd be happy to share.

 

pete

post #13 of 29

There should not be horrible crowds at Canons or PCMR in late February, since the only school day off is President's Day on the 17th.  Canyons has 4000 skiable acres and PCMR has 3700 skiable acres.  Get off the main groomers and there may be no lines at all much of the time they are there.

 

The Park City area has a lot going for it, and has everything they want including easy access from the airport.  He can go with the kids to visit the Alf Engen Ski Museum/Olympic Park, a museum in town, go tubing, take a train ride, etc and have enough shopping for his wife.  

post #14 of 29
Hey Matt, My family has done both Steamboat and CMR, you can't go wrong with either. We were lucky enough to have great conidtions for both trips so snow didn't play into our perference for CMR. All of us enjoyed CMR more for several reasons: If you are flying into Denver the 3.5 hour drive may be a bit much for some familiy members after a long flight ( we are from NJ). It is only 30 minutes to CMR from Salt Lake, and if you plan your flights times right it might mean some extra ski time. If you fly into Hayden it is a shorter drive to Steamboat. Being based out of CMR lets you drive to other areas, we went to Alta for 2 days and Deer Valley for 1 day last trip. This trip we may try Snowbasin or Powder Mountain. Honestly, you can't go wrong at either one if you ask me. As far as great hotels my family loves the Hyatt at CMR Cheers, Bill
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey all, thanks once again for all of the input.  Although the list of resorts initially got larger rather than smaller I am learning a lot and gathering a lot of great information for this and future trips.  I have done quite a bit of research on the resorts mentioned and for the sake of making a decision I think I have it narrowed down to a couple options.

 

First, I am still very interested in Solitude.  I realize that the base village is quite limited in it's offerings, but we're going there mainly to ski and it seems that there would be enough to keep us otherwise occupied.  Also, if we don't get good snow when we are there and decide to take a day or two off from skiing we can easily venture out to Park City or even Salt Lake City to explore.  We could also head out and ski some of the other resorts in the area if we decide to (I didn't realize how close they were).  I was concerned about the lodging options that Solitude offers, but I have found a few higher end offerings on VRBO that would probably work well for us.  What is really drawing me into Solitude though is the potential for good snow and lack of crowds compared to other resorts (especially on powder days).

 

If we decide we need to be at a larger resort, I think Snowmass will be the choice as it seems to offer the best balance of everything we are looking for.  Steamboat was right up there as well and I've always wanted to go there, but I am leaning towards Snowmass because of it's proximity to other resorts and it's higher elevation.

 

The one other option I am keeping on the back burner is staying local and hitting up Mt. Bachelor.  I've been there several times and have never been blessed with fresh snow.  However, I do like the mountain and would love to ski it on a good day.  There are some really nice rentals in Bend and Sunriver for quite a bit less than what we are looking at spending elsewhere, but they aren't on-mountain and I think that is what we are after on this trip.  Maybe we'll shoot for Spring break at Bachelor since our Washington spring break is usually a different week than Oregon's.

 

Thanks again for all the advice.  I'm certainly open to more, but I am thinking I want to make a decision soon.

 

Matt

post #16 of 29

If you decide to give Solitude a try, keep in mind that Brighton is just up the canyon.  Even possible to ski over and back with a Sol-Bright lift ticket.  Personally I prefer Brighton.  There is no question powder a few days after a storm in Honeycomb Canyon is great.  But making the complete loop to get in more runs over there takes a while.  Although I'm sure the Solitude ski school is fine, more locals seem to send their kids to Brighton for after school lessons.

 

On mountain does seem like the better idea for the mix of ages and abilities in your family.

 

As long as you have a car in the SLC area, plenty of options to explore within an hour's drive or less.

 

Please let us know what you decide.

post #17 of 29
You can't lose at all your contenders. Solitude is pretty special with a cute little village and is virtually contiguous with Brighton (very boarder friendly) providing plenty of variety for 4 or 5 ski days. If you make your own fun at night it would work very nicely for a family group looking for good snow. Some photos and comments here on a visit to Solitude, also with comments on Brighton: http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=61449&page=4
post #18 of 29

if sibhusky aint gonna say it, I will: i believe the mountain formerly known as big mountain (now whitefish mountain resort) would meet your needs.  i've had good luck with weather in late february early march in whitefish.  there's an airport in the flathead valley and amtrack comes through daily too.

 

I've not been to Schweitzer in sand point, ID, but i plan to soon.  From what i've heard, it sounds like it could meet your needs.

 

Most importantly though, i hope you and your family find a lifetime of fond memories on your trip!

 

dave

post #19 of 29
I know I normally chime in, but they said
Quote:
we'd like to get away from the typical wind and blizzard conditions that we have on our home mountain (Mt. Hood) and have a chance at sunny, or at least calmer conditions.

Plus they are from Seattle or thereabouts. Between the Amtrak access to here and our ad campaigns there, I figure he's not only heard of us, he's been here. Near as I can tell, most of western Canada, Minnesota, and Seattle have. Note that if he's looking at Presidents week, he'll hit some of the busiest days we have.

I like people who come here to be thrilled.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKI-3PO View Post


Good suggestion!

I'll add a plus for Steamboat. It's exactly what you described.

 

You can have a good chance at powder, there is an abundance of intermediate and beginner terrain. Even the back side qualifies for that and will also serve as an adventure. There is nice dining in the mountain village and shopping, but there is also the town of Steamboat Springs with more varied dining options, shopping (not Aspen style shopping, but more fun) and then there's the natural hot springs, which is fun too. I also did an incredibly wonderful snowshoe tour at Yampatika preserve with a volunteer naturalist guide which was terrific fun if you want a day off the slopes (and it's free if you pick the right day).

 

There are many, slope-side accommodations, but you need to be a bit careful as we have found some of the "walk to the slopes or ski out" condos are a bit on the older and raggedy side, so don't go for the cheapest deal. If you decide on Steamboat, there are folks here who live there and can guide you.

 

We had family who shared a condo with another family at the Steamboat Grand which they booked by-owner for a reasonable cost, or at least much less than booking via the hotel/condo itself. It's slope-side and quite luxe. Not the Ritz, but pretty dang close and won't light your credit card on fire.

post #21 of 29

Of your list we've been to Snowmass when our son was 7 and Steamboat when he was 6. We found both great for meeting all the needs of the family. We tend to stay ski-in ski -out or so close that a six year old can easily walk. This way of not everyone wanted to ski one or two could go back to the unit without it being a logistical nightmare, also if things like gloves were forgotten it was easy to go back.

 

At Steamboat we stayed at the Steamboat Grand in a massive two bed condo which was perfect. There is a ski storage almost slopeside (you do have to walk down a flight of stairs), so you don't need to lug your skis back to the condo, the unit was massive, so no tripping over each other, Breakfast was included which made mornings easy and there was a good pool complex. It is also directly opposite the main bus stops for getting down town.

 

At Snowmass we stayed at Terrace House condos, a bit smaller than Steamboat, but a good size and well equipped. No real hot-tub option though, there is one but it is small and quite public. But basically if you are in the block between the "mall" and the base, or at the base then they are all pretty convenient for families.

 

Both Steamboat and Snowmass had great kids ski schools and kids trails thorough the snow etc.

post #22 of 29
I've done both w my three kids. So Steamboat this year. Get the beginners comfortable with blue and easy blacks. Then next year hit Big Sky. You'll have a lot more terrain open to you if folks have just a little more game than just beginner level. Also, from Big Sky, you can day trip to Yellowstone. Which is epic.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

For JH, might get some ideas from this thread from a few years ago:
http://www.epicski.com/t/85539/jackson-hole-for-beginner-transitioning-to-intermediate

ADKS took his wife and daughter to JH and they had a ball.  His wife was lukewarm to skiing before that ski vacation.  I thought he did a TR but can't find it.  I suggest you send a PM (Private Messages to the left of where you Log Out).  Note that there is a bus that makes going over to Targhee for a day pretty easy.

Yes, I took my family to Jackson last March and had a wonderful time. My wife was a non-skier, and my 12-year-old daughter is OK, but incredibly cautious. Although Jackson was on the top of my personal ski list, I was worried that it wouldn't be so great for beginners. I was wrong. While there is limited green terrain, and it is concentrated towards the bottom off of one lift, the ski school was excellent. My wife actually learned how to ski and, more importantly, enjoyed it. By the end of the trip, she was skiing blues on Apres Vous, which is plenty of vertical for a beginner. They are definitely steeper than blues elsewhere I have skied. There are nice, wide groomers off of most of the lifts, for what its worth. Jackson is a wonderful town, but is a bit of a schlepp from Teton Village, where the skiing is. We stayed in a condo in Teton Village, which was fine, but the condos (nearly all, I believe) are not ski-in. You can walk (too far with ski boots, in my opinion), and there is a shuttle that runs pretty frequently. I don't know the rates, but the hotels closer to the lifts sound ideal for you. The restaurants in the Village we went to were actually quite good, and the Mangy Moose is a fun bar.

If you have a car, you can drive over the pass to Targhee for a day trip (and vice versa). I did that one day before the rest of my family arrived and had a wonderful time. Snow wasn't great when I was there (refrozen after a thaw), but it was a bluebird sky with magnificent scenery. I can definitely see the potential with soft snow. Not much going on in Targhee but skiing.
post #24 of 29

From what youve described, ill also say Steamboat. 

And ive been to PC 4 times and have skied all three areas. I like Sboat better. If you can fly into Hayden its really not that big of a pain to get to. 

 

What about Telluride? Maybe a bit harder to get to, and i guess snow certainly isnt as predictable, but i like that place and want to go back badly.

post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 

Just figured I would report back that we decided to try give Solitude a shot.  I really like the ease of getting there for this short trip and the proximity to other resorts and activities.  We fully understand that we will probably see all there is to see in the village during the first day but we rented a SUV so getting around if we get tired of Solitude shouldn't be a big deal.  In addition to the ease of getting to the resort we were drawn to the quaintness of the village as well as the lower key vibe of the mountain, not to mention the potential of stellar conditions.  My wife isn't a big powder skier so she is fine with my son and I getting first tracks on a powder day while she and the girls sleep in.  After a couple hours we would meet up and either ski as a family or she could go off on her own or with my son while I take the girls.  Maybe that won't be the case once she gets a taste of the nice light Utah powder, but that's the plan for now.

 

I appreciate all of the comments and suggestions and will certainly maintain a list of resorts to try in the future.  In particular, Steamboat, Snowmass, Targhee, Whitefish and Whistler are on the bucket list.

 

Matt

post #26 of 29

You're going to love the intimacy of the Solitude village for family togetherness.  Don't know how good a deal this is, but in case you go over to Brighton for a day, this came into my email five minutes after reading your post: 

Starting at midnight on Thanksgiving night, through midnight on Cyber Monday, we are bringing back our discounted lift ticket packages! Don’t miss out on the last opportunity to purchase daily lift tickets as low as $55 each. Great for stocking stuffers or if you just missed the pre-season deadline! Best part is, you can skip the crazy crowds!  
Offers available ONLINE ONLY. 11/29/13 – 12/2/13. Go to Brightonresort.com to purchase.
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

Just returned from our trip to Solitude and it was a huge success.  Our ski days were Thursday, Friday and Saturday - timing could not have been better.  Thursday started out with a few inches of fresh snow and it continued to snow all day.  By the end of the day our edges rarely touched the crud below the powder left from a couple weeks of no snow.  It then snowed off and on during the night and we woke up to another 6" of fresh snow and sunny skies on Friday.  I would have been perfectly happy with two days of fresh snow, but things got even better on Saturday.  Eight inches overnight and an hour of lapping the Apex lift getting fresh tracks on every run.  I think my son and I got in five or six runs before we had to go meet the wife at 10:00 after she dropped the girls at the ski school.  I think the snow totals for the three days we skied were just under two feet.  Out of those three days we had to wait in line on Saturday only a handful of times and then only for a minute or two.  I heard it was busier than usual on Saturday due to the pent up need for powder from the locals.  However, it still wasn't nearly as busy as my local resort on a weekend even without fresh snow.  Maybe not the driest, lightest, or deepest snow Utah has ever seen, but given how the season has been going I think we got really lucky.  In particular, the morning runs on Saturday were just to die for.  My son and I skied Brighton on Saturday night.  The night skiing there was ok, but it was tough to get a good feel for the resort.  Looked like it might have more varied and interesting terrain than Solitude, but I also hear it is much more crowded than Solitude during the day.

 

The Solitude ski school was great as far as I can tell.  My 6 and 8 y/o daughters did all-day lessons all three days and were skiing much better by then end.  Even more telling was that they were bummed that we had to leave and wanted to stay longer and take more lessons.

 

The village was nice and intimate.  As expected there were limited dining and entertainment options, but we kept busy with the pool, a little ice skating and enjoyed just hanging in our room.  We had a couple really good meals and one or two average meals.  There is a spa which my wife (unfortunately) discovered.  She had a great day, but it wasn't cheap.  Oh well, we all have our vices.  They don't have much of a ski shop and very limited grocery and general supplies shopping.  Next time we will do a better job stocking up in SLC before heading up.  Also, not sure I would rent a car on future trips either.  It pretty much just sat in the parking garage.  However, if we were there longer or there wasn't fresh snow we may have been inclined to venture away from the resort a bit more.

 

Thanks all who previously offered recommendations.  Many of those resorts are still on our to-do list, but more trips to Solitude are on the list as well.

 

Matt

post #28 of 29
So glad it was a great experience for all of you. Great timing on the snowfall!
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by snmhanson View Post
 

Just returned from our trip to Solitude and it was a huge success.  Our ski days were Thursday, Friday and Saturday - timing could not have been better.  Thursday started out with a few inches of fresh snow and it continued to snow all day.  By the end of the day our edges rarely touched the crud below the powder left from a couple weeks of no snow.  It then snowed off and on during the night and we woke up to another 6" of fresh snow and sunny skies on Friday.  I would have been perfectly happy with two days of fresh snow, but things got even better on Saturday.  Eight inches overnight and an hour of lapping the Apex lift getting fresh tracks on every run.  I think my son and I got in five or six runs before we had to go meet the wife at 10:00 after she dropped the girls at the ski school.  I think the snow totals for the three days we skied were just under two feet.  Out of those three days we had to wait in line on Saturday only a handful of times and then only for a minute or two.  I heard it was busier than usual on Saturday due to the pent up need for powder from the locals.  However, it still wasn't nearly as busy as my local resort on a weekend even without fresh snow.  Maybe not the driest, lightest, or deepest snow Utah has ever seen, but given how the season has been going I think we got really lucky.  In particular, the morning runs on Saturday were just to die for.  My son and I skied Brighton on Saturday night.  The night skiing there was ok, but it was tough to get a good feel for the resort.  Looked like it might have more varied and interesting terrain than Solitude, but I also hear it is much more crowded than Solitude during the day.

 

The Solitude ski school was great as far as I can tell.  My 6 and 8 y/o daughters did all-day lessons all three days and were skiing much better by then end.  Even more telling was that they were bummed that we had to leave and wanted to stay longer and take more lessons.

 

The village was nice and intimate.  As expected there were limited dining and entertainment options, but we kept busy with the pool, a little ice skating and enjoyed just hanging in our room.  We had a couple really good meals and one or two average meals.  There is a spa which my wife (unfortunately) discovered.  She had a great day, but it wasn't cheap.  Oh well, we all have our vices.  They don't have much of a ski shop and very limited grocery and general supplies shopping.  Next time we will do a better job stocking up in SLC before heading up.  Also, not sure I would rent a car on future trips either.  It pretty much just sat in the parking garage.  However, if we were there longer or there wasn't fresh snow we may have been inclined to venture away from the resort a bit more.

 

Thanks all who previously offered recommendations.  Many of those resorts are still on our to-do list, but more trips to Solitude are on the list as well.

 

Matt

Sounds like a fun time was had by all!  Thanks for reporting back.  Great to hear that the ski school worked out well.

 

I think Brighton has more varied terrain that is easily accessible with just one lift ride.  Best way to learn about the place is the free mountain host tour in the morning.  It's big enough that an hour or two is not enough to explore all of the different areas.  Not crowded on weekdays.

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