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SLC ski bus worries

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm in the midst of planning my first trip to the SLC area, for next Feb/Mar ish. I'm already convinced by you fine folks to stay at the Extended Stay in Sandy. The ski bus looks like a great idea so I don't have to worry about chains/4WD, not to mention the extra cost of a rental car.

BUT: Just been looking at their schedules for the LCC route (from UTA ski schedules page). It doesn't look terribly easy or convenient for a female newcomer to the city who doesn't ski all day!

1. Is it really true that the LCC bus only goes once a day in each direction?

2. Does the LCC bus really not pick up at 9500S/2000E park-and-ride on the way up? Will I therefore need to take the TRAX from Sandy to the Midvale Fort Union station? Or is there a better way to connect the two services?

3. Does the LCC bus actually stop at 9500S/2000E park-and-ride on the way down? It says so in the schedule, but if it doesn't stop on the way up, I'm wondering whether this is correct.

From what other folks here have said about staying in Sandy, I got the impression that the bus services were great and easy to use. Have I missed something?

Any advice will be most appreciated!
post #2 of 22
Dude, rent a car. It's like $20 a day.

Dont fuss with the bus.
post #3 of 22
Where do you rent a car in SLC for $20 a day?
post #4 of 22
As of now it's $210 for a week, but last year we rented 4WD and I changed the reservation 3 times. It started at $450 about 4 months out. Found a deal for $340 about 3 months out and finally ended paying $280 about 3 weeks out. All the mentioned prices included all taxes etc... As to the bus, the Extended Stay at Fort Union(where we stayed last year) is very near the bus stop and is still $250 per week including taxes and have added free in room wireless high speed internet this year. A great deal.
post #5 of 22

You have made a great choice for a ski trip! The rail/bus system works well and you should not have any problem getting around if you choose to use it.

I am not a local, but I have traveled there several times. Going from memory here... I believe the #98 bus that leaves from the 7200 S (Midvale/Ft.Union) going to LCC always goes through the Park & Ride at 9400S/2000E (not 9500S?). The buses run fairly on time and about every 30 minutes.

I have stayed in Midvale (La Quinta) for the last several years since it is a very short walk to the Midvale/Ft. Union Trax/Park & Ride where the buses pick up. When I stayed in Sandy @ the Marriott, the Sandy Trax rail station was about a 30 minute walk. The Trax rail ride from Sandy to the bus Park & Ride at 7200 S (Midvale/Ft. Union) is about 5 minues, but I believe the rail service is less frequent than the bus service.

The bus trip to LCC or BCC takes about an hour. If you get a car, I think you could make the trip in 30 minutes. If you plan on skiing at night at Brighton (BCC), you can squeeze a little more time out of the day if you have a car, since you don't have to worry about catching the last bus out.
post #6 of 22
Originally Posted by SkiAddict1
I'm in the midst of planning my first trip to the SLC area, for next Feb/Mar ish. I'm already convinced by you fine folks to stay at the Extended Stay in Sandy. The ski bus looks like a great idea so I don't have to worry about chains/4WD, not to mention the extra cost of a rental car.
Just rent a car. If the snow really flies, just park at the park/ride at the entrance to the canyon and get in line. I've been to SLC on 7 different trips and only had to do this once (March 2002 - 60 inches of snow in 48 hours - slide came through one of the lodges at Alta). Never dealt with 4WD or chains.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Many thanks for all the info and advice. Getting a car is very tempting, esp with the info re the P-n-R, but I'm trying to do this as cheaply as I can! I'll definitely look into the Midvale place, but the Sandy one sounds better since there's a mall across the street where I assume I'll be able to get my groceries etc. (Also the Canyon Sports down the road for discount lift tickets!) I think I'll email the SLC visitors' bureau and see what they can tell me about the busses. If I can reliably switch busses at the 9400S/2000E P-n-R then that'd solve the problem.
post #8 of 22
I would recommend Extended Stay Midvale over Sandy when catching the bus, it is a lot more regaular.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Julie, is that for both BCC and LCC buses? I want to ski as many resorts as I can, being my first time in the area. (I'll be there two weeks) So is Midvale still a better choice? (Also note that I need a grocery store and a discount lift tix place within easy walking distance)
post #10 of 22
I have stayed at both of those Extended Stays before. I have to say rent the biggest car/4WD you can afford, pay attention to what the weather is going to do, and ride the bus or have a local bear pick you up if there is snow. I have yet to ride the bus but by all reports, they are great when needed. The ES in Sandy is a little more walking distance friendly to shopping and restaurants but the one in Midvale is also fairly close to those luxuries. With a car you can travel between Sandy and Midvale in under 10 minutes which I seem to do for some reason on every trip.
post #11 of 22
[quote=SkiAddict1 I want to ski as many resorts as I can, being my first time in the area. (I'll be there two weeks) [/QUOTE]

rent a car - if you are there for 2 weeks you'll want to ski PC and Snowbasin. Find the cheapest little thing you can and take the bus if canyon driving is hazardous. Thrifty has economy cars for beginning march for $149/week including taxes. Get to Canyon Sports everyday and you'll save enough to almost pay for the car.
post #12 of 22
Enterprise is always the cheapest, sometimes Thrifty is good too.

Oh, and that Extended Stay joint is a dump, FYI. Cheap, but there's a reason.
post #13 of 22
Dear skiaddict#1,

We have stayed at the Super8 in Midvale on more than one occasion. There is a large grocery store within a half block and bus service to both LCC and BCC also stops within a half block. I believe that there are 4 or 5 busses daily. Check out their website and try to get a schedule. It's a little hard to read until you understand it - at least it took some study on my part. The motel will also sell you a discount pass that will allow you to ski any of the LCC or BCC resorts and it also includes the bus ride up and back. Last year, if memory serves correctly, the pass was $44.00. A great deal - especially for Snowbird.
Have a great time.
post #14 of 22
JGIDDYUP, where did you do all that dealing? Hotwire? Pray tell. Gracias!
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow, this is all great info guys, thanks so much!

garyskr, thanks for the Super 8 recommendation. I'll keep it in mind but I do want a kitchen -- when I've stayed at other Super 8's, they've had a microwave available, sure, but no cooking dishes etc! Kinda useless. With a full kitchen(ette), they tend to have the dishes etc as well as the appliances...

xdog1, can you tell me what you don't like about the Extended Stay? I'm not terribly fussy with where I lay my head, so long as the walls aren't paper-thin. When I'm skiing hard I need a good sleep! I'm not expecting 5-star luxury.

Thanks also for the rental car company advice -- I will rent a car for the second week. I really am doing this on a strict budget -- esp since the NZ Dollar only buys 70c US (at best)! I will probably ring around places like Rent a Dent during my first week in SLC and literally go with an old banger for the second week. Although $149 is pretty good!
post #16 of 22
For what you are looking for, the Extended Stay will be fine. They are no frills but are far from being a dump.
post #17 of 22
Skiaddict the Extended Stay is fine. It's clean and comfortable with no frills as cornbread said.

Gpaul I just kept checking orbitz & the company websites every few days looking for a better deal. Rental car reservations can be made and cancelled at will, so just keep checking.
post #18 of 22
http://www.rideuta.com/Default.aspx for bus/ trax info for all of salt lake valley. Doubt if they have the ski buss schedule yet posted.
post #19 of 22
Tks jgiddyup. That's what I normally do, I already reserved at LAX, 18 days $265 Ford Focus, doubt something cheaper will pop up. But, I look nearly every day JIC.

SkiAddict1, do this: E-mail or call the hotels/motels you've selected, and nicely demand a WEEKLY rate, you'll probably get a better deal (we did).
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes it turned out what I was viewing was the summer bus schedule! Oops... : Serves me right for getting excited about my ski trip when it's still summer over there!

GPaul, that's an amazing rate for 18 days! Does that include taxes and insurances? Thanks for advice re Extended Stay and weekly rates. I will of course post a trip report when I get back to NZ
post #21 of 22
Everything except insurance (covered by a special $24/rental Amex program).

Last year towards November Advantage Car Rental started offering some great deals, check their site often.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks so much...I will
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