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Logistics at Park City, Canyons, Deer Valley

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are moving to Park City and trying to choose where to get season passes to for next ski season. The early discount season tickets for Canyons have to be bought by April 15 and PCMR will have an April deadline. Our son will be 4 and has loved the limited time he has had on the slopes so far. I don't know the area well, am out of state, and have only skied the bunny hill at DV (playing with my son). I comfortably ski blues in Colorado and my husband is an advanced skier.

All advice would be appreciated but my big question is just logistics. It takes a lot of prep to get a preschooler in gear and skis on a hill, I am wondering if it is easier at some PC resorts than others. At this age, I think mileage on the hill (& treats) are key to him continuing to love it. Time waiting in transit and lift lines is usually not as fun as a snowman or a run.

Canyons...
I have heard that parking plus gondola ride means at least a half hour to get from the car to where you ski. Is this right? I am a bit intimidated by this idea while lugging gear and a small child. More intimidating is the prospect of trying to get a child who doesn't want to leave the resort back to the car... Am I overthinking this?

Also, I understand adults can get the Epic pass and kids under 5 are free. Do I have to wait in a ticket line for his free lift ticket each time we go?

Is there enough green here, easier blue for a preschooler? Lift lines?

Crowded?

Cost is nicer here

PCMR

How hard is it to get from car to hill? I have heard underground parking is a season ticket add on here. Is it closer?

Enough easy green or easier blues? Crowded?

Lift lines? Is FastTracks necessary not to be stuck in lift lines all day?

I think that preschoolers can get their own free season pass, which would be nice.

Cheaper than DV, Pricier than Canyons

Deer Valley

My experience was that parking at Deer Valley was pretty easy, free, and got us on the hill quickly.

Map looked like there would be good runs to progress to...

It was a bit icy early in the day when we were there, but blame mother nature...

Definitely most expensive option. Ouch. Even 4 year old tickets cost money.


I am trying to figure out which option is most likely to allow us to just pop over to the hill easiest. Pretending for the sake of argument they are all free...

Any help or advice would be deeply appreciated.
post #2 of 15

I have skied all three resorts and if I were bringing a child would choose PCMR over the other two.

 

The Canyons requires a combination of lifts and gondolas before you get to the heart of the resort. The Deer Valley parking lot is so massive they have a shuttle to get you to the lifts. Both resorts are huge and spread out. The Canyons especially has a number of remote areas, maybe due to the resindential areas in the resort.

 

As long as you get to PCMR early you have a 100 yard walk to the first lift. The easy terrain is close to the main hub and the is a good flow between the different regions. There used to be a site run by "Park City Moms', I can't find it now but here is a similar site.

 

http://braveskimom.com/why-our-family-loves-to-ski-park-city-mountain-resort-utah

 

Others may have better local knowledge, but my first impression would be PCMR.

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedAdvice View Post

PCMR

How hard is it to get from car to hill? I have heard underground parking is a season ticket add on here. Is it closer?

 

It is the key to a good life.  Into the garage, out of the weather so you can dress the kid at your leisure.  Elevator so no little legs trying to climb steps in ski gear. If you go the locker route, you can park on the 2nd level and locker room is off to the right.

 

If the kid's going to get into skiing, the Park City Ski Team locker room is right before the regular locker and having the season pass and the garage parking makes that whole ski parent support work way easier.  If kids going to school in PC, then all his friends will be skiing PC not DV.

 

If I lived in PC, I'd have the Deer Valley season pass, so comfy and skiing so cushy but if you want to challenge yourself, plenty of that at DV.  

 

And I wouldn't worry about the shuttle from the lot at Deer Valley, you pull up and the ski valets help you out with all your stuff, put your skis on the stands and you are right there with the kid, hubby goes and parks.

post #4 of 15

 Welcome! You won't believe the summers...

   I've been in Park City for ten years and raised two kids here.

     We buy passes at PCMR and locals coupons at Deer Valley. With Vail taking over the Canyons and the Epic Pass competition, PCMR now gives out three free tickets each to Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird. 

 

   I like PCMR because it's very big and the crowds spread out. It has massive terrain parks that suck up snowboarders like mosquito traps. The blue groomers are very wide and long and multiple abilities can ski together. The back bowls have great expert terrain and are like a smaller version of the Cottonwoods- which are only 45 min away...PC is great for families. People who have a hard time there simply don't know the mountain.

 

 

  Parking is adjacent to the hill, on a weekday you can park next to the First Time & Eagle lifts, but the lot gets full on weekends and late, so it pays to get an underground parking extra for one family member.

You don't need fast tracks except on Christmas week and then a ten minute wait is about the max. Most of the time you pretty much ski right on the lift...

PCMR has lots of kids and the kid's passes were free up until ...six? They're still cheap after and I added night skiing for an extra 75$ to make the kids eligible for the nine free lift tickets.

 

The Canyons is fine if you like the 1/2 hour commute from your car to the lift and walking a quarter mile in ski boots carrying gear. Otherwise, it's downhill from there. Some of my friends love it, but I've skied there with them a bit and still don't get it. Too many dangerous crowded bottlenecks, narrow trails, not much snowmaking (they don't have the water rights that PCMR and DV have)  plus, the endless cat tracks past mansions that nobody lives in gets old. There's expert terrain there, I've skied it, why it's somehow special eludes me....

 

Deer Valley is fun, but can get crowded.  I prefer PCMR for an every day hill. Also, as a Utah resident, you can get an Alta Gold Card in august for $99 that lets you ski for $39 all season. Nice to have in your pocket on a powder day.

 

  You're gonna have fun....

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post

 
 As a Utah resident, you can get an Alta Gold Card in august for $99 that lets you ski for $39 all season. Nice to have in your pocket on a powder day.

I hadn't heard about this. Sounds great!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx View Post

 If you go the locker route, you can park on the 2nd level and locker room is off to the right.
...
 If kids going to school in PC, then all his friends will be skiing PC not DV.

These are key. It sounds easy, which means we will ski more.

I'd rather ski where he has friends who can ski. If we can find another family to ski and have fun with, that would be great!
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedAdvice View Post

These are key. It sounds easy, which means we will ski more.

I'd rather ski where he has friends who can ski. If we can find another family to ski and have fun with, that would be great!

PC is a great place to raise kids by the way. Great schools. If you live in the flats around the golf courses, nice biking area for kids growing up. Great NPR local radio station. Mountain biking and reservoirs for water skiing. For some reason ski kids like water skiing and mountain biking.

If the kid really gets into skiing and makes the Park City Ski Team, there's the Winter School so they school in Summer and ski in Winter. A great incentive for good grades plus the PCST training is good for getting into top ski schools like Dartmouth, Boston College with ski coach having some sway on acceptance. No scholarships typically but an extra that gets you in plus that becomes a nice social and athletic anchor at school.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Sounds like a great place to grow up!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedAdvice View Post

Thanks. Sounds like a great place to grow up!

Better place to stay a kid forever.  We call it "living the dream" with every kid on the ski team hoping to be the next Ligety or at least making a living out of skiing.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
As long as my husband and I don't have to grow old and family memories are mostly outside, it sounds good...
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedAdvice View Post

As long as my husband and I don't have to grow old and family memories are mostly outside, it sounds good...

Not sure PC has the fountain of youth going, though I hear people at high altitude live longer.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post

 
 As a Utah resident, you can get an Alta Gold Card in august for $99 that lets you ski for $39 all season. Nice to have in your pocket on a powder day.

I think your info is a little aged, though I wish it weren't. The Alta Gold Card used to be $99, and maybe was for adults and kids, but alas, those were the good old days; the adult Gold Card was $249 this year. frown.gif Alta Copper Cards are only good for a 20% discount, and cost $149 for adults and $99 for kids. For reference, current kids' lift tickets are $42 at the window, $37 for reload of the $5 RFID Alta Card, and adults are $79 window, $74 reload.

The real deal this year is the $99 kid's rate for the Mountain Collective Pass, which gets them two free days at Alta/Snowbird (that is, a total of two days at either Snowbird or Alta), plus 50% off the window rate, which works out to $21/day this year, for as many more days as they want. And the same goes for Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson, Mammoth, Squaw/Alpine & Whistler Blackcomb. For an adult Alta or Snowbird skier who's not sure they'll break even on a season pass, I suspect the $359 MCP is a better deal than the $259 Gold Card, but I haven't run the numbers, and then there are all the intangibles, like knowing you could ski somewhere else if you wanted to, or the uncertainty that the Wasatch Shared Benefit (see below) will be repeated.

Another wrinkle: this was the first year for the "Wasatch Shared Benefit" (a terrible name!). "Qualifying" season pass holders (unrestricted full adult, young adult, college, military, etc.) at PCMR, Alta, Snowbird, and Deer Valley got three free days at the other resorts, and I don't think there were any blackout dates. So if you and your spouse (doesn't apply to kids) just want occasional access to an LCC powder day, your PCMR passes might get you there--assuming, of course, that they do it again. It's not on PCMR's page anymore, but here's the description on Alta's website. Given the perceived threat of Vail Resorts' influence (and I'm not entirely clear what that influence is), I'm hoping they not only offer it again, but that they add a few more resorts to the list. And that they come up with a name that's not quite as dorky. spit.gif
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post

 
The Canyons is fine if you like the 1/2 hour commute from your car to the lift and walking a quarter mile in ski boots carrying gear. Otherwise, it's downhill from there. Some of my friends love it, but I've skied there with them a bit and still don't get it. Too many dangerous crowded bottlenecks, narrow trails, not much snowmaking (they don't have the water rights that PCMR and DV have)  plus, the endless cat tracks past mansions that nobody lives in gets old. There's expert terrain there, I've skied it, why it's somehow special eludes me....
I was taken there by a buddy on a day which ended with me getting stuck in the muck and bonking my head really hard, but even before that happened I was kind of baffled at what my friend saw in the place and entirely confused by the layout. I particularly couldn't figure out why he thought the McMansions were such a feature. confused.gif OTOH, it was the whackiest snow I've skied on yet, so I thought maybe I didn't give it a fair chance.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post


I think your info is a little aged, though I wish it weren't. The Alta Gold Card used to be $99, and maybe was for adults and kids, but alas, those were the good old days; the adult Gold Card was $249 this year. frown.gif 

   Right! It is more- it was $149.00 this year- I checked my reciept. You gotta buy before Oct 1. Still, it's $39 a day with the card, so it pays for itself pretty fast. If I still lived in SLC I'd buy a full season pass... 

 

Time was, in the early 90's, season passes were sold out every year, so they had a lottery for new ones. I kept missing it, but if an immediate family member had one, you got in. My girlfriend had one, so I married her.  :) I would have married her anyway, but we had a December wedding just to be timely...

 

PS; The Wasatch Benefits passes did have blackout dates- the usual peak holidays. That didn't make it any less great.Saving our Snowbird tickets for late season...hoping they'll continue the program next year...

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

I think your info is a little aged, though I wish it weren't. The Alta Gold Card used to be $99, and maybe was for adults and kids, but alas, those were the good old days; the adult Gold Card was $249 this year. frown.gif  
   Right! It is more- it was $149.00 this year- I checked my reciept. You gotta buy before Oct 1. Still, it's $39 a day with the card, so it pays for itself pretty fast. If I still lived in SLC I'd buy a full season pass... 
Oh, you're right, of course the $249 they're showing now is the bumped up rate. $149 is not bad at all; in fact, it's great by just about any measure.
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