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questions about Utah trip??

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have a group of 7-9 guys that are looking into an early Feb. ski trip to Utah. Thinking of Snowbird and Alta. Where should we stay? Looking for a condo or house. If we do rent a SUV and stay in Sandy how great are the possibilities that the roads get shut down. Should we not rent a vehicle and bus it? We also want the "mountain town experience" or else we might as well stay in SLC ? We will be skiing Fri. sat. Sun. so does it get overcrowded? Any info will be appreciated but curious about lodging. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 22
Alta/Bird has the best skiing in Utah. But there is not much "mountain town experience".
post #3 of 22
Whenever a group of us heads out there, we either rent a house in Cottonwood Heights (mouth of Little cottonwood), or just stay in the lodge at Snowbird. It all depends on who is going and if they are want to check out other places (solitude/brighton/PC/snowbasin/etc) or

We always rent an SUV cuz its easier to get to the grocery store/airport etc.

If sticking to Alta/Bird, I would check out the lofts at the Bird lodge and also private rentals via vrbo.com
post #4 of 22
oops, by little cottonwood I meant big cottonwood
post #5 of 22
Check out the Canyon Racquet Club in Sandy through www.vrbo.com. The condos are big, reasonably priced, right at the entrance to Big Cottonwood Cayon, just down the road from the entrance to Little Cottonwood, and around the corner from the Lift House. I think the owners can help you get a good price on car rental as well. There's no "mountain town experience" really. For that, you might have to check out something in Park City.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info everyone. I don't mean to sound so touristy when I say " mountain experience" I just don't want to stay in a house in the suburbs. When it comes down to it I don't care, I go to ski and am wiped out at the end of the day.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by loco13 View Post
Thanks for the info everyone. I don't mean to sound so touristy when I say " mountain experience" I just don't want to stay in a house in the suburbs. When it comes down to it I don't care, I go to ski and am wiped out at the end of the day.
You might want to look into the Alta Peruvian (or one of the other lodges at Alta). It's perfect for people who "go to ski and are wiped out at the end of the day." You don't even have to think about your meals, since they're all included. Everything you need to ski and relax is right there: the slopes, the bar, outdoor pool and hot tubs.
post #8 of 22
I would stay up on the mountain if cost isn't an issue. At that time of year there is a good possibility of the roads closing and you could miss out on some of the best skiing of your life. Why take that chance? At the Gathering last Feb. We managed to sneak up the road before they closed it at like 5 AM. We interlodged at Alta until the lifts opened. Even the locals in our group had a day to remember. So unless you want to get up at 4 AM if it dumps and try to get 8 other guys motivated stay up there. Or you could ski sloppy seconds but that isn't an option as far as I'm concerned.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
I would stay up on the mountain if cost isn't an issue. At that time of year there is a good possibility of the roads closing and you could miss out on some of the best skiing of your life. Why take that chance? At the Gathering last Feb. We managed to sneak up the road before they closed it at like 5 AM. We interlodged at Alta until the lifts opened. Even the locals in our group had a day to remember. So unless you want to get up at 4 AM if it dumps and try to get 8 other guys motivated stay up there. Or you could ski sloppy seconds but that isn't an option as far as I'm concerned.
yeah like the scariest LCC drive of all time....just remember I did in a 2wd.
post #10 of 22
Definately check out www.vrbo.com. The owners typically rent their places for 20% less than realtors and are very nice and easy to work with.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifamily View Post
Definately check out www.vrbo.com. The owners typically rent their places for 20% less than realtors and are very nice and easy to work with.
i've seen places in downtown slc listed as ski condos on vrbo, so make sure you double check the location before you commit.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
i've seen places in downtown slc listed as ski condos on vrbo, so make sure you double check the location before you commit.
No kidding, I only saw one Alta listing that was actually up the canyon!

If you have a bunch of guys coming in from all over the place for just a couple of days. It's much easier to stay in the canyon and just have everyone take the shuttle. That way you don't miss a day when Bob schedules a noon departure and you don't leave till 5.
post #13 of 22
Personally I think there are advantages to staying in Cottonwood Heights - less weather, more grocery shopping and the like to save on expenses. But you're in a city or at least a city/suburb-type experience. I do it because I don't care and things are so close. But you need a vehicle, usually SUV is best IMO. We usually go to PC or elsewhere one of the days so it works.

But I would second a place like Peruvian, Goldminer's Daugther or any of the other Alta/Snowbird lodges or condos too if you want to be up there. There's more resorty stuff at Snowbird obviously. Then you don't need a car. You can get to BCC on the bus too if need be. There are shuttles everywhere also and meals are great in my experience, no worries. If you get a deal it's cost competitive to doing a condo and vehicle and you're up there. Only thing is getting acclimated to 8000 feet or whatever - just take it easy for a day or two. For sleeping take your Melotonin .

That VRBO thing looks great. PM me for my guy I've used in the past also if you're interested - he's been good to me for 10+ years heading out there.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Are there house / condos to be rented at the base of the resort? Are there places to eat at the base or are they all the resorts establishment?
post #15 of 22
>how great are the possibilities that the roads get shut down. Should we not rent a vehicle and bus it?
Buses are for the locals! and are quite a hassle, always better off with cheapo car and only use bus in snow emergency. Chance of road being closed to SUV only is about 25% or so. Save a few bucks and rent a Hertz Subaru.
>We will be skiing Fri. sat. Sun. so does it get overcrowded? Any info will be appreciated but curious about lodging.
Crowds are usually tolerable, avoid Wash B-day.

For such a short trip consider a hotel. I've stayed at MidVale LaQuinta many times and recommend it, will be back this year. B-fast included. Come home tired, shower, rest. Hang out with the guys at dinner for an hour or so, settle down, bed. You don't need a living room.
Staying up in canyon is expensive. Plus you have to worry about altitude. Iowa is pretty flat. You'll rest and recharge Much better sleeping down low, and you won't be missing much.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by loco13 View Post
Are there house / condos to be rented at the base of the resort? Are there places to eat at the base or are they all the resorts establishment?
There are condos up the canyon, they all go for around $150 or more per bed per night. This site has a pretty good rundown of what's available:

http://www.altalodging.com/

For restaurants, everything up there is pretty much clustered around the resorts, the food at snowbird varies from pizza stands to sushi and upscale dining, and alta tends to be more rustic, with a few fancier places like the collins grill. Alta is not really a resort, so a lot of the restaurants are independently owned. There are about a billion restaurants down in the valley if you gets sick of paying resort prices. This page tells you what is available at Alta:

http://www.alta.com/pages/food.php#watson

and here's snowbird's:

http://www.snowbird.com/dining/diningguide.html

as far as I know, that's pretty much it for what you'll find up the canyon.
post #17 of 22
I disagree that having a car and staying in a crappy motel in the valley is more cost effective necessarily, especially if you consider food (quality also) in the equation. Plus there are fewer worries with it once you're settled - it's a different vibe where you're there apres ski in the pool hanging out and all you have to worry about is how much beer money you will have by the end of the trip . You're not rushing with the lemmings to get up there or back. The bus is the bus - it works for the most part. If you're up there you can take it to the other side, but you deal with the schedule of the bus.

Although I've done both and if you have a group doing a condo can be VERY cost effective.

If you stay up at Alta (or SB for that matter) you can ski to the other resort with a little planning of your runs.

Just something to consider the whole package vs piecemeal.
post #18 of 22
a few more things to consider. a hotel is $70/nt, for two, and certainly not crappy,Crystal Inn, Super 8, LaQuinta, all fairly new, in fact, I only stayed in a condo once, (but have about 25 hotels trips in), and it was Crappy! and worn. hotel has nice FREE breakfast, I always love chatting with the other skiers, super cool people! many SLC devotees, also, you can get $53(2008) lift tickets at the front desk. Also, it might? be hard to get condo for only 3nts. If it snows, head up to Solitude. the BigCottCanyon is easier to get up in a storm and Solitude is good skiing. I stayed at the Cliff almost a half dozen times in my youth, but it costs, $25 breafast, exp lift tickets, limited dining choices and more than you need for a guy group. I think of Alta lodging more for a family or couple, or just a few guys, and Snowbird condos are expensive. It can be quite a hassle at the canyon bottom in a storm though, but that adds a little excitement sometimes!

I'm getting pysched, going to book my subaru now, just found a 2 for 1 delta coupon that i forgot about, and just got the thumbs up from the ladies for an early Jan aspen trip with family. Save a few bucks, go cheap! and go Twice!

i was just talking to my buddy and we both agreed, meeting the other dudes at breakfast and such is a highlight of our trip. you miss all that at a crummy condo. and it is nice to have a private hotel room to get a little peace and rest.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
yeah like the scariest LCC drive of all time....just remember I did in a 2wd.
Yeah, but when you know the driver has race car driving chops, you don't really have to worry about getting there.
post #20 of 22
yeahbut - what about meeting all the great skiers at the lodge?! They are all there to ski or whatever. You have dinner and apres to actually hang out for a while. You meet some REAL interesting people too .... The food - I will pit Peruvian food against motels any time. Healthy and tasty stuff.

I only do condos when I have a big enough group anyway so there's people to talk with. It works ... about day 4 or 5 you might get sick of each other talking anyway but ... either way it's great to have options. Dollar per night is certainly as good or better than a motel and you have a lot more room with a kitchen etc. if you want to cook.
post #21 of 22

Vrbo

Quote:
Originally Posted by skifamily View Post
Definately check out www.vrbo.com. The owners typically rent their places for 20% less than realtors and are very nice and easy to work with.
Except that un-ethical Realtors have started advertizing on it. So watch out
post #22 of 22
umm please do-tell. Care to elaborate??!

I've only used a guy that I have experience with so ... there's some safety there. But it's always good to have alternatives so long as they are reputable.
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