As a certified Altaholic, I thought I got the booby prize when I moved to PC. Not so. I've got three season passes under my belt now and this place rocks.
First of all, to get the best out of Alta/Bird you really need to be above an intermediate skier. Their blue runs are few, crowded and can even be dangerous given the concentration of less than skilled skiers- although at the same time, you'll see the best skiers in Utah there.
PCMR is basically a big blue cruiser resort with this nifty black-diamond mini Alta tacked on behind called Jupiter Bowl. The "experts" who dis PCMR don't know Jupe. They started grooming the front runs this year and (insiders tip) hit Silver Skis or Crescent on your first run- they're 200 feet wide so don't worry about the trees and just haul ass. Sick on a pow day. The King Con area is perfectly pitched for high speed cruising- any ability can ski it, the diference is how fast you want to go. The ski teams (from the U.S. team to the local schools) practice here. With the wide runs and great grooming you can arc turns all day and then wait at the bottom for your wife/kids/friend to catch up. I use it as my gym in the winter. If you like bumps, ski off Thaynes. Big as Outer Limits only soft. And Blueslip bowl is a little gem. It's real steep and fun at the top and on a powder day, fun to yo yo while you're waiting for Jupiter to open. There's lots here.
Deer Valley is a high end real estate project with snow so overly polished it feels like Killington sometimes. Not that it sucks- I ski there all the time- and everything they say about DV on a pow day is true. Best food at a ski resort anywhere, the wife will really love it, and it's a hoot to ski past all the "estates".
But I like PCMR better . I don't understand the Canyons, with it's short double fall lines and narrow trails, but people like it and it's a mile away. Park City gives you all three. They could almost be linked, DV and PCMR already share a rope now. In the future most of the Utah resorts will be- look at a map from above.
Mainly though, stay in Park City because it's a genuine ski town like Crested Butte, or Avon, or Steamboat, Telluride, etc. An authentic 19th century mining town with all the quaint buildings, pretty views and crisp mountain air. SLC is an urban city- it's 3000 ft lower, on the desert floor, and what with the strip malls and freeways, well you get the picture.
Staying at AltaBird or Solitude is an option, but there's no town, just a handful of hotels and a couple restaurants. PC is where I always stayed when I visited, even if it meant driving an hour to Alta some days.It's a great town. (but I'm prejudiced)