Last several years, we had our annual ski vacation at Park City / Canyons, and always had a great time. However, the ski school for the kids at these big resorts was getting way over my budget (over $500 per day for 2 kids), so, for this January 2016 trip, we decided to book a place at the Solitude village to save some $$$ and stay somewhere new. My one and only visit to Solitude was a day visit some 10-12 years ago, so things have probably changed. The marketing info for Solitude all looks great, but I was hoping to get some independent feedback to help me plan the vacation.
1. I'm planning to rent an SUV at the SLC airport. The car rental agency does not state if its an AWD, but I hope it will be. Any idea if I'll also need chains to get to Solitude? What are the general snow chain policies for Big Cottonwood Canyon? If it snows heavily, are there snowplows that keep the road open?
2. I'm hoping to get some night skiing on the night of the arrival at Brighton. How does it compare to night skiing at Park City? Is there enough light to see the terrain? Crowded or not? Any lodges / places that stay open late so I can take a break / warm up. Should I drive from Solitude or is there a shuttle between Solitude and Brighton?
3. Any opinions on dining options at Solitude or nearby areas? If the weather is clear, is it worth driving all the way to SLC for dinner? Any recommendations of good restaurants that would be worth the drive?
4. Wife doesn't ski. Any ideas if there are any fun activities for folks who dont ski?
5. Ski / snowboard rentals for kids - how is the condition of rental equipment at the resort? Would prefer to rent on the mountain, but can also rent from SLC ski shops on the way to the resort.
6. On the way there, I'd like to stop by a market and buy some breakfast / lunch provisions. Also want to buy some beer, wine and maybe scotch / bourbon. Any recommendations for a good store near Big Cottonwood Cyn?