or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Swiftness/Smoothness of renting and returning car at SLC airport?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Swiftness/Smoothness of renting and returning car at SLC airport?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have the chance for a few hours skiing on the way through SLC in Jan. However, my time will be very tight and I"m trying to weigh up whether it's worth it or not.

 

What is the rental pick up and drop off process like at SLC airport? Do you have to get a shuttle and all that Jazz or are the areas real close to the terminal etc?

 

thanks for any input!

post #2 of 22

If you rent from a company at the airport, then it's very easy.  Just walk across from the baggage pickup area.  When is your flight out?

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Would be about 5pm. I can only get in to SLC at 9.12am...hence, the time crunch!!!

post #4 of 22

You're in luck. SLC airport is one of the easiest. As you just walk across the street and the cars are right there. Probably rented cars there at least 100 times. The only time it's been a problem is holiday periods when a ton of people are trying to rent cars at the same time. I have had a few frustrating experiences where all cars were out and lines were super long. But that's unusual. I would recommend getting in some preferred customer rental car program and use that. Whatever you do, do not rent from Fox which is off site and I have had bad experiences with.  

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Damn.....that hurts to hear now as I'm leaning towards not doing it, there are so many variables that could turn it into a huge hassle vs a great day out. My first flight could get in late....there could be a storm (yes normally that is what you want, but...)....LCC could be closed etc etc......arrgghhhh

post #6 of 22

Those are always the tough calls when you have so many variables. You could end up at LCC while it's storming and UDOT says, "uh oh, it just dumped 18 inches in 4 hours, and we're shutting her down for avy control. And you are stuck on mtn skiing 18" of blower pow, all the while knowing you aren't going to make your flight. That would really suck...or not! :cool

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govnor View Post
 

Damn.....that hurts to hear now as I'm leaning towards not doing it, there are so many variables that could turn it into a huge hassle vs a great day out. My first flight could get in late....there could be a storm (yes normally that is what you want, but...)....LCC could be closed etc etc......arrgghhhh

So pack your boots and ski clothes, but make the decision that morning. :D  So what if LCC is closed, then go to BCC and enjoy the day.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

yes....that all sounds wonderful!!! tough call....tough tough call.....

post #9 of 22

I second the recommendation to sign up for a preferred program.  With Avis Preferred, I literally walk across the street, bypass the customer service desk, grab my keys at a kiosk inside the parking deck, and get in my car and drive away.  Ridiculously easy!

post #10 of 22
Quote:
So pack your boots and ski clothes, but make the decision that morning. :D  So what if LCC is closed, then go to BCC and enjoy the day. 

+1 Not a tough call, an easy call, do it!

post #11 of 22
I'd say go for it as well. I work on the west side of the valley, I regularly leave work around 11 and have plenty of time to get in a good day's worth of skiing. Today I left work at 11, I was booted up by 12:10. I did two gadzooms, two gad 2's, two trams, and two Peruvians,, and was back at my truck at 2:59.

If you don't have any bad weather or delays you shouldn't have any trouble pulling it off. Have fun!
post #12 of 22

Do it!

 

Ski Utah did a video a couple years back that demonstrated how easy you can get from the airport to LCC. I think they made it to the lift in about an hour, if my memory serves me correct. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTlG4OvXjp4

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

+1 Not a tough call, an easy call, do it!

+2 on easy call. You can check the weather the morning of. If there's weather, then bag it.

 

There's also Park City which isn't all that much further...

post #14 of 22

ah, the Salt Lake City Shuffle, and all in one day!

 

On arrival it would be a good idea to go to the rental car desk first, then grab your luggage, then haul your luggage to your car in garage.  If there are two of you one of you would go to rental desk while others grab luggage and wait on the Arrival island.  The driver would have to exit the airport and loop around and pick-up at Arrival island. 

 

Snowbird is the closest resort to airport, although Alta is only a few minutes further.  Once you get out of airport, there are plenty of exits with shopping centers where you can park with some room, unpack, organize and dress for skiing. 

 

When driving back to the airport, drop your luggage off with the bell cap at the Departure island, before you drop your car off, (you'll have to loop around airport to get back into rental garage) although there may be a fee if you don't have the proper credit card program. 

 

If you are at Snowbird and flight is at 5pm, you could easily ski to 2pm, giving yourself 15 minutes to stop at parking lot in SLC and change, then 45 minutes to drive to airport for 3pm.  But if it's snowing you should give yourself 30 minutes extra to get down the canyon. (or even an hour if its' a heavy snowfall)

 

post #15 of 22

I've done the ski till 2 and flight out at 5 once. I prefer to ski Alta since I can ski straight to the parking lot. If it's not snowing, you can actually pack right at the parking lot. (the day I was leaving, it was lightly snowing). I arrive at the airport with plenty of time to make my flight.

 

For return, I just drive straight into the garage where the rental return is. Park off to the side before actually driving up to the return lane, and pack right there. (my packing is slightly more complicated since I'm jamming two pair of skis into a single Sportube). Once finish packing, put everything back in the car and drive up to the return lane. Drop car off, walk across to the terminal. 

post #16 of 22
I'd ski till 3.
post #17 of 22
Just as a point of reference, I landed in SLC last night and the airplane door opened at 8:21 PM (flight was scheduled to land at 8:49). At 8:35, I had the rental car parked at the passenger pick-up lane. By 8:48, my wife was putting our skis in the back of the car and we were ready to go. By 9:05 we were pulling into our VRBO property in Murray. Pretty amazing!
post #18 of 22
Did this just Wed - easy, peasy.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govnor View Post
 

Would be about 5pm. I can only get in to SLC at 9.12am...hence, the time crunch!!!

 

If you know the lay of the land, you'd can easily get 4 (maybe 5) hours of skiing in. SLC airport is about as easy to get get into/out as any city, plus the ski areas are close to the airport. Others have given good advice. Here are some additional thoughts.

 

I often ski in Utah and fly out at 4-5 pm that day. 2-2.5 hours is all I need for leaving the ski area (prior to flight takeoff.) And that has always allowed plenty of time prior to take-off (at least 30 minutes, sometimes an hour), but I know the drill well (and I don't like to cut things too close. Could cut it closer, but not worth it to me.)

  • Rental car checkout/return is likely to not be your biggest time sink. Provided your rental counter is at the airport and one of the standard rental outfits (Enterprise, Alamo, etc.)
  • Study road maps. Know the most direct road to the ski area and the most direct road back.
  • Study ski maps. Know which base you are hitting and how to hit the trails you most want to hit.
  • If you don't pre-pay for gas, know where the fastest gas station is relatively close to the airport. Or prepay$$$$ for gas. Map like this may help.
  • Have a backup plan for ski areas. If the Cottonwoods are having 4wd restrictions and you don't have a 4wd, head up I-80 to The Canyons.
  • Alta Albion base has a nice private changing area. But I'm not too bashful about changing in a semi-public area if I'm in a hurry and my underwear covers what it needs to cover. And is clean.
  • I pack my ski bags in the cell phone waiting lot of the airport (RHS of the access drive prior to the rental car drop-off but after the turn for the airport "industry" area. I've made that wrong turn.) I'm anal about my gear (pack stuff around my skis in my ski bag, pack boots at the bottom of a wheeled duffel, dry stuff off, etc.), and I can do that in 20 minutes. If I wasn't as anal, 5 minutes tops. Waiting lot via Google Maps.
  • Ski or boot rentals will kill time. But so can unpacking/repacking gear. YMMV.

 

I'd say go for it.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow!! I appreciate all the effort and knowledge here folks!! Certainly, you have all persuaded me it can be done and dare I say talked others into doing this in the future!

 

However, unfortunately for me, there are other factors involved here, on top of logistics, I think I would be pushing myself extremely hard to make this happen. I'd have to get up at 4am at the latest (San Diego) and I'd be "home" very late. I have to be semi-functioning the next day as well, much to my sch-grin. As painful as it is to let this go by, my Spidey Senses are telling me to wait for another day on this one!

post #21 of 22

Quote:

 

  • If you don't pre-pay for gas, know where the fastest gas station is relatively close to the airport. Or prepay$$$$ for gas. Map like this may help.

 

This is a big one. There aren't any obvious places to fuel up close to the airport. The best bet is the Redwood exit off I-80. It's two exits before the airport. There is a Chevron (I believe) just north of the interstate.

post #22 of 22

I always just gas up at the Cottonwood 7-11.   It's 20 miles to the airport, but the gauge is still pegged.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Swiftness/Smoothness of renting and returning car at SLC airport?