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SLC Ski Bus, Uber, and Superpass

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm back at work today after four days of skiing the best snow on earth.  When researching this trip I found very little current information on using the ski bus from SLC to LCC/BCC.  Also since UberSki was so new there weren't too many posts about that.  I will try to share some advice and information for those planning a similar trip.  Skiing can be an expensive sport so I try to keep my expenses down whenever possible.

 

SkiBus - UTA:

My group of three stayed at the Hyatt Place/Cottonwood and rode the skibus Sun, Mon, Tues, and Wed roundtrip into LCC.  The nice thing about this hotel is that is prior to all the Park and Rides on the route.  The bus stop is a four minute walk from the hotel front door.  Our experience is the park and rides only added a handful of skiers.  Sunday we caught the 990 bus to Alta/Bird at 7:45A and it was standing room only with employees and some skiers.  We arrived at Alta - Albion Center no later than 8:30A.  The rest of the days we caught an 8:15A bus that got us to either Alta/Bird prior to rope drop.  This later bus was less crowded.  

Our return trips were usually around 4:15 to - 5P and depending on the cycle we could be the only three on the bus or it was standing room only.  The 990 and 960 routes run two buses about 15 minutes apart and then there is a 35-40 minute gap.  So if you caught the second bus you usually got a seat.  We did our Apres ski in SLC so as not to miss the late bus.

Some tips-

-Buses drop you as close to the lifts as you could get.  We used Albion Center at Alta and Creekside at Snowbird.

-Your paper Superpass voucher gets you on the bus on day one and then you can use you RFID card going forward

-You can text UTA your station ID and it will tell you the estimated time of the bus arrival for the next 90 minutes.  I found this helpful in the AM.  At the resort stops it didn't work.

-The iRideUTA and Transit Apps were helpful.  The iRideUTA shows you were your bus is in real time.  This was helpful when the 990 bus broke down on Wednesday.  The 960 bus picked us up and the UTA had a replacement bus waiting for us at the next park and ride.

-There are racks for your equipment on the buses.

-I always brought a change of shoes because standing on a bus in boots for 40 minutes is not fun.

 

UberSki:

We used a UberXL for our trip back to the airport.  The fare was $97.  There were no UberSkiX available and a normal UberSki would not have handled our big rolling ski-bags.  A normal UberSki up to LCC from cottonwood was $33-41 dollars but I expect at peak times that could be more. 

Some Tips-

-Ride the bus to LCC/BCC

-Shop ahead of time for an airport shuttle.  There are cheaper options.

 

Super-Pass:

We booked five nights at the Hyatt Place-Cottonwood.  We paid for four nights and got the fifth night free.  We got 10 super pass vouchers which was 10 lift tickets.  The deal included two lift tickets per night for up to two people.  Our room was big enough for three men and everyone got their own bed.  Great hot and free breakfast from 7-9AM.   We redeemed the paper vouchers each day for lift tickets.

Some Tips-
-Redeeming the vouchers is quick and painless.  You do it at any ticket window.  Only give the cashier the vouchers you want to redeem.  I think I inadvertently gave them one too many on Sunday.  She then passed back one that had been redeemed and I had to call the SuperPass office to get the number of the voucher that had not been used yet.  I received great customer service from them.
-You get discounted ski rental at the resorts but we used the Powder House in the Hyatt parking lot.

Overall:

We had a great trip.  I got a 1/2 day private lesson from at Alta with a referral from EpicSki.  It easily brought my ability up two levels and opened up so much more of the mountain to me.

In short the three of us got lodging, breakfast, lift tickets, and transportation to and from LCC for $550 per person for five nights and four days of skiing.  A great value in my mind.

 

 

 

post #2 of 19
Great post and great trip. Thanks for sharing the detailed logistical info. Most folks would rather just rent a cheap midsize car for a couple hundred bucks a week than use the alternatives you chose. How would that have worked for you on this trip?
post #3 of 19
I have never seen the Super Pass vouchers you mentioned. Was this part of a deal booked through the hotel specifically?
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Great post and great trip. Thanks for sharing the detailed logistical info. Most folks would rather just rent a cheap midsize car for a couple hundred bucks a week than use the alternatives you chose. How would that have worked for you on this trip?

Honestly, after taxes and fees I couldn't find a vehicle that would fit all our gear and three men for a couple hundred dollars. We spent $130 on airport transfers so it wouldn't have been too much more to rent a car, but I find that it can be a real hassle. The bus and taxis minimized our gear shlepping. We like to have a few beers after skiing and in the evening so we don't need a designated driver.

The weather this week would have not been a problem for a 2wd midsize but if we would have been blessed with a big dump of powder we wouldn't have been able to get up the road without having chains in the vehicle which add to the rental costs.

So far we have had excellent luck with buses in Utah and Jackson Hole.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

I have never seen the Super Pass vouchers you mentioned. Was this part of a deal booked through the hotel specifically?

If you google Utah super pass and then click on hotel deals you'll find about 25 lodging options that provide a variety deals that include free super passes for Alta, snowbird, Brighton, and solitude. When we checked in the hotel handed us an envelope with ten papers with unique serial numbers. I turned them at the ticket window for one pass per day per person.
post #6 of 19

@skiWV1220 : thanks for writing up the UTS Ski Bus in detail.  Have heard talk by guys from the southeast using it when staying in Midvale for years but wondered how it actually would flow.  $500 for 4 days of skiing is a familiar amount, not including airfare.  A few guys take public transport from the airport (TRAX, bus).  Last year I took the bus back to Alta after a friend who lives in SLC picked me up for lunch and ski shop hopping during my late season trip.  I usually get a car when have staying with friends in the city instead of at Alta Lodge.  So far, have not needed to ride the bus as a backup plan for a big snowstorm.

 

For those interested, here's what the inside of a ski bus looks like.  Not many seats.  So boarding farther away from LCC/BCC is a good idea.  Meaning if you have a 2WD car but need to take the bus on a powder day, best to park at a Park & Ride farther out.  If skiing Alta, can be worth boarding at Albion instead of Wildcat.

 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiWV1220 View Post

If you google Utah super pass and then click on hotel deals you'll find about 25 lodging options that provide a variety deals that include free super passes for Alta, snowbird, Brighton, and solitude. When we checked in the hotel handed us an envelope with ten papers with unique serial numbers. I turned them at the ticket window for one pass per day per person.

Thanks. I just looked at the Cottonwood Hyat you stayed at. It came out to $1500 for a double queen room for four nights with two free tickets per day. For two of us that comes out to $750 each for four days skiing. I can beat that by about $500 booking the components individually. The deal probably works better with higher occupancy. I do organize a trip for about twenty skiers each year to the Cottonwoods, so I think it would work well for that. Thanks for the info, it's a nice option to have.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
The
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

Thanks. I just looked at the Cottonwood Hyat you stayed at. It came out to $1500 for a double queen room for four nights with two free tickets per day. For two of us that comes out to $750 each for four days skiing. I can beat that by about $500 booking the components individually. The deal probably works better with higher occupancy. I do organize a trip for about twenty skiers each year to the Cottonwoods, so I think it would work well for that. Thanks for the info, it's a nice option to have.

Totally. The third person is what makes it a great deal for us plus the free fifth night. We got five nights for the price of four and only had to purchase two lift tickets outside of the deal.

I ran the numbers both ways for the four of five cheapest options and originally the holiday inn express midvale was the least expensive option on the level we prefer. After discussing it with our group they wanted to be as close to the bus stop, rental shop, and lcc as possible so we switch to Hyatt.

One thing I might add about staying in slc is that you can cancel with 24 hour notice and no deposit. That is pretty amazing considering what would happen if you were staying on the mountain.

For your larger group the Hyatt would be great. If you enjoy local dives you'll need to get a pitcher of evolution amber and a garlic burger from the cotton bottom inn. Very friendly with great local flavor.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiWV1220 View Post



and a garlic burger from the cotton bottom inn. 

Thumbs Up You forgot to mention that the cotton bottom's (located in Holladay) giant garlic burger is only about 7 or 8 bucks and contains enough garlic to ward off vampires for weeks.:D

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

icon14.gif  You forgot to mention that the cotton bottom's (located in Holladay) giant garlic burger is only about 7 or 8 bucks and contains enough garlic to ward off vampires for weeks.biggrin.gif

$8.50 and it comes with a bag of Lays served by the friendliest people you'll ever meet.
post #11 of 19


Great post! I'm think about a LLC trip next weekend possible staying at the Hyatt Cottonwood. Your post answered a lot of questions I had about the ski bus. Thanks.

post #12 of 19

We skied the Cottonwoods the last weekend of January when it stormed. We were staying in Sandy and decided to take the Ski Bus up to Solitude rather than risking the rental car. We got on the bus at the first stop after the Trax station in Sandy where it starts. It was so full that there was only room for about ten of us to get on, with standing room only. We left about twenty disappointed skiers at the bus stop. This was several stops before the Park and Ride at the bottom of the Canyon, which we drove straight past without stopping. We stood all the way, and it was a long trip with huge back ups getting up the Canyon to catch the powder. I know it's not like this everyday, but be prepared to not get on several buses on a weekend powder day, even the early ones.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whumpf View Post


Great post! I'm think about a LLC trip next weekend possible staying at the Hyatt Cottonwood. Your post answered a lot of questions I had about the ski bus. Thanks.

Enjoy your trip! Hope you have as good as luck as we did. I'd do the exact same trip again. As you see from other posts there is risk/reward in every choice. Our back up if the bus was full was going to be uber or uber ski.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiWV1220 View Post


As you see from other posts there is risk/reward in every choice. Our back up if the bus was full was going to be uber or uber ski.

 

It's a learning process as well. The next day went caught the early bus at the Trax station and all got seats.

 

I did a little more looking around and found a similar deal to yours that is more reasonable for two skiers.It is a queen room with two queen beds for four nights, including eight Super Pass vouchers, for $1060 at the Country Inn and Suites. So for two guys we each get our own bed and four days skiing the Cottonwoods for just over $500 each. Not too bad.

post #15 of 19
What are some of the cost effective ways to get to and from the airport without renting a car?

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post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekweezle View Post

What are some of the cost effective ways to get to and from the airport without renting a car?

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We grabbed the first taxi on the curb and it was a flat rate of $60 to our hotel.  The uber back to the airport was $97, but our uber driver runs his own transportation company and I'm sure he is negotiable when paying with cash.

 

Larry Barron

(435) 901-1528

 

If you check yelp there are several highly rated services.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekweezle View Post

What are some of the cost effective ways to get to and from the airport without renting a car?

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To where?  A motel in the city or Park City or Ogden?  Also makes a difference how many people and how much luggage is involved.

 

For a few guys on a budget trip, possible to take TRAX rail from the airport, then a bus (or two?), and end up at a motel in Midvale next to a bus stop for the Ski Bus.  But renting a 2WD car can work if they aren't all bringing two pairs of skis.  Then the Ski Bus is the backup plan for skiing LCC on a powder day.

post #18 of 19
Probably a hotel/motel in Sandy or Midvale. Arriving late at night by taking the Delta redeye.

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post #19 of 19
Obviously it varies from week to week, but I've always found the car rental prices in Salt Lake to be very reasonable. I was there the last weekend in January and got a 2WD midsize 4DR sedan through Enterprise at the airport for $93 total. That's for four full days for less than $100, not bad.
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