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Couple of Utah questions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I will be coming out to the SLC area January 4-9 with a group of friends. We will be renting a condo in th Park city Area and plan to ski 4 days between alta, snowbird and PC. Is this considered holiday times? Are there holiday lift ticket prices? Would you expect it to be real busy?

We will be skiing Friday-Monday and plan to probably spend three days at alta/bird and One at PC. Any reccomendation on which will be a better experience as far as normal crowds are concered on what days?

What would be the best and most economical way to ski alta/bird? Obviously the combined ticket offers the most freedom but its pretty expensive at 64/day. What are your thoughts on the combined ticket? The superpass through travelocity is a great deal at about $130 for 3 days but you have to pick one resort/day. Any other deals to consider? I have found the canyon sports prices and that will be good for PC. Maybe student deals?

I'll probably have some more question as we get closer, thanks for any help.
post #2 of 17
1st week of Jan will only be crowed the 1st few days. Then most of the holiday crowd will be heading home by the time you are here. There will be relatively little people here. Lift ticket prices will all be full price at that time (hint: get cheaper tickets in SLC ski shops).

Saturday is mobbed at PCMR. Unfortunately, that will be the case pretty much every resort, as that is the offical Mormom ski day. Sundays will be the least crowded, as that is all day church day for the Mos. The other days will be fine.

If you are going to ski both Alta and Snowbird for two days, get individual discounted tickets in SLC. Both mountains are huge and will easily keep you busy for a day. A word of advice, though: don't skimp on cheap lift tickets to the smaller resorts. This is Utah, and all the big resorts are well worth the price. Skimp on things like lodging and dinners instead. That wont affect you skiing.

post #3 of 17
I will answer in the order asked:

1. For lift ticket purposes, no. For lodging purposes, probably. For crowd purposes, unfortunately yes for the first 4 days.

2. Lift tickets will be their normal rate.

3. Yes, it will be real busy for the first 4 days. Of course, there is one area that you did not mention that caps its ticket sales.

4. Does anyone in your group board? If so, you could either: a) ostracize them and call them names like "snowboard loser"; b) "accidentally" run over their board 8 or 9 times with a vehicle; c) avoid Alta and the heretofore unmentioned area; or d) see if they want to ski Alta a day or two since that will likely be your least crowded day. However, at this point I feel compelled to ask why you would want to drive 2 hours to ski Alta/Bird when you have 3 world class resorts with (now) great conditions within a 6 mile radius when you will be there for such a short time. For PC res it makes sense, because it's nice to take the trip to Alta for a day and let it rip, but for a one-time deal, you might at least consider confining yourself to PC area resorts (you can also do a back-country connect from DV and PC to LCC areas if you are really gung-ho and a good skier in good shape).

5. I am combining an answer to everything from "economical" to "deals." The combined pass is a great deal and very economical. You can always get reduced rates from third-party vendors for just about every area. You can ski for free in park city the first day you get there. Just need your boarding pass. There are student rates at every area.

Hope this helps. Have fun.
post #4 of 17
As PCskier stated, you can ski free at the PC resorts on your day of arrival, but in addition to your boarding pass you need to sign up on the web-site and bring a completed form to the reosrt. I forgot the web-site for the free pass, but someone here will mention it.

Since you're not from ski country, you'll likely find that what the locals consider "crowded" is going to be like a Tuesday at most areas in the northeast . I was there last year for the first time and people were moaning about the crowds and the lines were a few minutes long and the trails are so big there is plenty of room. Same thing goes for the "ice".

Also, someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but I don't think PC to LCC is anywhere near 2 hours in good weather.
post #5 of 17
I forget the exact URL, but the free ski deal you're looking for is from the Park City Chamber of Commerce and it's called "Quick Start." You need to print the coupon from their web site and don't forget to hang onto your boarding pass from the flight. It's only valid if you ski the day you fly, so take an early morning flight. Basically you end up getting a free half-day. We use ours at Deer Valley, since they have the most expensive lift ticket, but if you're already planning to do PCMR, go for it on your first day for free.

For normal lift tickets, we always go to one of the ski shops in SLC. Canyon Sports has discount tickets for PCMR, Canyons and Snowbird. Nobody has discounts for Alta, but it's already about the cheapest lift ticket in the country anyway.

If you don't already have your condo booked, you should stay on the outskirts of Park City, close to the Canyons. Then you are right near the interstate and only 45-55 minutes to Alta (slightly less time to Snowbird) and very close to the Park City resorts. My eastern buddies and I do Utah this way every year for a week and will be there right after you (1/13-1/18). The crowds aren't so bad in between the holidays and the Sundance Film Festival, which starts on 1/17. The drive from "outer" Park City (Canyons area) to Snowbird/Alta is not that bad.

There's also a lot to be said for ski-town atmosphere and nightlife. Park City has both. SLC has neither.
post #6 of 17
I should've looked it up before submitting my last post.
The URL is:
post #7 of 17
Sounds like you have a good plan. You may get lucky with the crowds. Usually between new year's and MLK day it is the low season, so you make get lucky with the crowds.
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by northeasterner View Post
Also, someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but I don't think PC to LCC is anywhere near 2 hours in good weather.
I was counting there and back.
post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by Garick View Post
What would be the best and most economical way to ski alta/bird? Obviously the combined ticket offers the most freedom but its pretty expensive at 64/day. What are your thoughts on the combined ticket?
No way do you need the combined ticket. Either resort will keep you plenty busy for a full day. Funny, in the old days before they were connected, I used to think how cool it would be if you could ski from Snowbird to Alta and vice-versa. Now that you can, I never do.

Another cost-saving tip: forget the tram pass at Snowbird. You can get to every run from the chairs and save a few bucks. The tram itself is fast, but the line often is not, so overall the chairlifts don't cost you any time.
post #10 of 17

youmay want the superpass

If you are skiing the mainly the lcc and bcc you may want to check out the superpass. I was able to buy this pass on travelocity for three days while only paying for two. Pretty sweet deal.

learn more at their web site:
phone: 801-534-4900
post #11 of 17
>Another cost-saving tip: forget the tram pass at Snowbird.
no, no, no. the tram is my favorite part. Lining up with other dedicated skiers from all over the world. Even though it is >20 yrs old the tram still feels like a state of the art ride that will whisk you up the hill in 7 minutes. The scenery is spectacular! and better than any other SLC lift(well, arguably little cloud). I always enjoy the chatter around me. you will be cramed and squashed in with 124 others, standing shoulder to shoulder. Keep your ears open, you will hear talk of summer skiing in South American and New Zealand and travel to far off corners of the earth. Sneak a peak into the beautiful eyes of the women standing around you. When I stand in that tram, I know I am with my "own kind" worshipping at the altar of the slippery snow gods, partaking of the sacriment of gravity, which is very very plentiful at the bird. It is a privledge to ride that tram! Don't miss it to save a few bucks, you won't forget it. (pack a sandwich if you must)
post #12 of 17
Jeez, what's up with this drivel about buying the combined Alta/Snowbird pass? That's for gapers only. What a waste of money.

What kind of a wuss can't find enough skiing in a day at either resort? You ski a day at Alta, you ski a day at Snowbird. Save the cash for the full tram ticket as SD suggested above. The only time a combined ticket makes sense is if you only have one day to ski LCC and you've never skied either place before.

You locals might have some legitimate reasons (i.e. being able to hit all possible secret stashes on a big powder day) but to recommend the combined ticket for tourists is a naughty pile of poopoo IMO.
post #13 of 17
On the other hand, I could be wrong. I just realized that there is now a combined multi-day pass that is cheaper than I remembered the single day pass going for a last time I was there.

On second thought, maybe I'm the gaper.
post #14 of 17
As an alta/bird pass holder myself I see no point to someone visiting in getting an alta/bird pass. You are better served by by seperate lift tickets.

I would get a tram ticket but if the line gets long using PX to the tunnel to ski down to MBX gets you there alot faster if the line is over 25min long. Plus you get to ski a lap in mineral before you hit the cirque traverse.

If you come up to alta/bird PM me I can get you some good snow at either after most has been tracked out. Another thing if you were to book a private and not only will get a great lesson at snowbird...but you will also get line cut privileges on all the bird lifts including the tram.
post #15 of 17

Standard Utah response

It sounds like you've never been - so I would suggest skiing at least two of the three PC mountains to check them out. I don't know your levels but they keep most people busy and satisfied, unless you're a hardcore pow/steep/offpiste person.

I'll skip the obligatory "go to Snowbasin on the weekend" for your next trip.

I presume you have a vehicle. If you don't you can use Canyon Hop and they have discounted lift tickets for A/SB. Else go to "canyon sports" - look it up, it's in the valley.

If you go out in SLC a night check out this place for a good time (Mormon's gone wild Port O call

btw - mods - suggestion: can we get a Sticky for Utah info - there has to be at least 1-2/week!
post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by asland View Post
If you are skiing the mainly the lcc and bcc you may want to check out the superpass. I was able to buy this pass on travelocity for three days while only paying for two. Pretty sweet deal.

learn more at their web site:
phone: 801-534-4900
I second this, I'm going Jan 1 - Jan 8 and bought this pass, the 5 day one (with a free day) and it was $183US per person ($36US per day) for Alta/Bird (including tram, not sure if you can go between resorts, not a concern), Solitude and Brighton.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the suggestions, looks like the superpass is the way to go for LCC at least. We are definitely most interested in the terrain that alta/bird offer. The day at PCMR will be spent mostly to experience a real terrain park and of course much of the mountain too.

I was not aware of the drive time from PC to LCC, we'll have to deal with it. I was not in charge of lodging, if there is better nightlife though it will make up for it.
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