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Alta: anyone have exp renting in Park City?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am planning our family ski trip--first time to UT and we want to do Alta. I've pretty much decided on that over any other ski area, even Deer Valley, based on lots of love for Alta's kid prog and "something for everyone" runs. I want to find the best place to call home.

Trip will include:
me, 30, a green/blue skier
dad, 31, blue skier
sis, 4 and a newbie
brother, 7 and a newbie
Pop, 55, never skied, but is an avid biker/daredevil--he'll love it
Maw, 54, never skied and is nervous about an old knee injury

Maw had knee surg in 1972 and has alot of trouble with her knee hurting on stairs and when walking really hard (like excercise walking). SHe is in good shape (cyclist) but is thinking she cant ski as much, if at all, due to knee. That is another post later on, though.

My question is: I know there isn't a ton to do for nonskiers in Alta and I'm about 50/50 that we should stay somewhere that Maw can find fun things to do in case she doesn't take to the slopes.

Here are my options:

1. Rent a condo in Alta with a kitchen that will sleep us all. This is my favorite option. We've condo-ed before at Telluride and had a great time.

2. Stay at a lodge in Alta. Worried about cost and comfort for potential nonskier Maw.

3. Rent condo in Park city or Salt Lake City and drive in. This would give us the option for lots of other activities if Maw doesn't ski. We are low key and enjoy a long dinner and a beer, but don't do hardcore shopping. Ice cream, bookstores, toystores, etc. I'm worried about the transportation issue with this option. How do we all manage to go our separate ways --some to ski/some to play--with one car?

Anyone have experience renting a place in Park City and then skiing Alta?

Thanks.
post #2 of 12
I don't think it makes sense to stay in Park City and plan on skiing Alta everyday. There is plenty of skiing at the 3 Park City resorts for your level of skier. Alta would be a VERY boring place for a non-skier to have to hang out for more than a day or so. The scenery is beautiful, much more than Park City, but how long can you stare at a white mountain. I would suggest staying in Park City and plan on skiing one day at Alta or stay in downtown SLC and take your pick daily for the skiers and let the non-skiers find something to do in town. Probably best to stay in PC. Alta is close to one hour from Park City and fine for a day trip but not everyday. There is plenty for you to explore in PC on your first trip out west.
post #3 of 12
Based on your skill levels and non skier issues, I totally agree with Snowbird Devotee. In Park City you have 3 large resorts which have more terrain suited for your skill level. Also, would be easy to hook up with Mom for lunch if ski PCMR or Deer Valley. Also, for someone with knee issues, they might find skiing easier on knee than they think if they stick to groomed runs, which the park City areas have more of than Alta. Also, for kids have tubing park, snowshoeing for MAW, etc. Not that it's the reason I'm recommending PC, but I have a 3BR condo for rent if if you decide on PC.
post #4 of 12
Forget about staying in Alta with your group of 6 people and only one blue skier. Go there for a day and than decide if you want to come back. Plus , there is nothing to do there - there is narrow canyon , 2 parking lots and beautiful mountain. The only reason for Alta lodging is to have all powder to yourself when road is closed because of the snowstorm.
Stay in SLC or Park City and try all the resorts - DV , PCMR, Canyons, Alta, etc...
post #5 of 12
The advice so far makes a lot of sense.

http://www.runawaygetaway.com/destin...Park-City.html
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow. THanks, y'all. I am now thinking we should try to make DV our home mt and try a day trip to alta later in the week once the kids learn to ski. Perhaps leaving the weakest links behind to enjoy PC and ice cream. I do have a full year to decide and deconstruct...I so love planning ski trips!
post #7 of 12
I really can't understand why anyone would want to stay in Salt Lake City and drive to ski. I have been to Utah three times and every time I pass through SLC on my way back and forth to the mountains, I can't get over how much the place stinks, literally. There is so much pollution in that city! And I am from NJ where everyone says our air is so bad!
My eyes starting tearing and my throat started hurting just passing through that god forsaken place. It is absoutely beautiful in the mountains, though. IMO, I think you should rent a condo in Park City, and drive up to Alta for a day. PC is a great place to stay. Great free bus system so people could travel around on their own, fab. shops and restaurants. I liked DV the best out of the 3 resorts.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobojo View Post
I really can't understand why anyone would want to stay in Salt Lake City and drive to ski. I have been to Utah three times and every time I pass through SLC on my way back and forth to the mountains, I can't get over how much the place stinks, literally. There is so much pollution in that city! And I am from NJ where everyone says our air is so bad!
My eyes starting tearing and my throat started hurting just passing through that god forsaken place. It is absoutely beautiful in the mountains, though. IMO, I think you should rent a condo in Park City, and drive up to Alta for a day. PC is a great place to stay. Great free bus system so people could travel around on their own, fab. shops and restaurants. I liked DV the best out of the 3 resorts.
I'd pretty much agree. The advantages of staying in the SLC area are generally costs and being centrally located to visit a bunch of different areas. It doesn't feel like a ski resort village (indeed, often not any snow). It's a large, urban area with lots of car dealerships, chain restaurants, strip malls, etc. I do think you owe it to yourselves to visit Alta, and maybe Solitude. It's high alpine scenery is quite a bit different and, IMO, Alta is great for beginners and intermediates. There are some very nice greens off the Sunnyside and Cecret lifts, the blues off of Sugarloaf are fine for low intermediates. And if you're comfortable on the blues off Sugarloaf you can pretty go all over the mountain because there are groomed blues off every lift. And I've never felt that anything marked blue at Alta should have been marked black. The limitation is that the amount of groomed terrain is not extensive and the best of Alta is off piste. The PC resorts have TONS of blue terrain but I'm not sure they're great for beginners who need easy, uncrowded, greens. I've not skied PCMR so can't speak to that but there is very little green terrain at The Canyons, though lots of blue terrain. And I don't recall much green terrain at DV either. The bus system in PC is pretty good and there are deals that will transport you from PC to the Cottonwoods Canyons resorts (include a lift ticket) and they didn't seem ridiculously priced. It's close to an hour from PC to Alta, pretty easy drive (unless there's heavy snow) that skirts SLC. I'd probably stay in PC and do a day trip early in the trip to Alta. Once we skied Alta we were spoiled. BTW, take a look at Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, especially if the snows good. Powder Mountain is very retro but very uncrowded, friendly and fun. Snowbasin is going to be more friendly to blue skiers than those still wanting green terrain, but it's very pretty, has great lifts, and absolutely unbelievable lodges.
post #9 of 12
Yup - PC and drive or even use the shuttle - for $80 or so you can hop over to LCC or BCC and ski for the day (lift pass included).

But there is more to do/see in PC for someone that doesn't ski. In fact at PCMR you can almost ski into town - there is the town lift. Or go to DV and hang out in the lodge. You could even day trip up to Snowbasin, worth the ride with even nicer lodges.
post #10 of 12
Maw wouldn't mind hanging in the lodges at Snowbasin.

She might be able to take the gondola up to the Needles Lodge??

The food there is fantastic and the lodges are comfortable and very gorgeous, to say the least.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxfordbirth View Post
Wow. THanks, y'all. I am now thinking we should try to make DV our home mt and try a day trip to alta later in the week once the kids learn to ski. Perhaps leaving the weakest links behind to enjoy PC and ice cream. I do have a full year to decide and deconstruct...I so love planning ski trips!
With your skill level and group, everyone would be much happier at Deer Valley. Alta is more of an experts/hardcore skiiers mountain with very little to do besides skiing. I can't imagine skiing the same couple of green and blue runs all week there.

The Park City area offers so much green and blue terrain that you will never worry about getting bored. Plus, there are plenty of non-ski things to do there.
post #12 of 12
This one is easy. Make Park City the home mountain.

You have a great mountain for all levels and an incredible ski town with restaurants, shopping, everything - plus a grocery store. Park City Mountain has bowls, glades, lots of blues and blacks, and there is a main green that links a lot of runs together, making it easy for the beginners to ride the lifts with the advanced skiers.

Deer Valley is a mere 5 minutes away by shuttle or car. Another great mountain. Satisfies ski levels up to high advanced. Experts may get bored, but anything less and you'll love it.

The Canyons is a mere 10 minutes away. Another very good mountain. Good for intermediates, and you can find your favorite peak and stay there for hours - or split the day into 3 peaks. Probably takes a good two days to ski all the peaks.

All three of those mountains are incredibly diverse and offer tons of terrain. My experience at Alta was that you get either easy blue/green or really tough blacks. Not a lot for the non-expert and quite frankly its kind of difficult to navigate. Y
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