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Planning a trip to Utah

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey all, just wanted to ask some questions and get your advice about my first trip out west.

I ski and son rides. The wife does neither. I'm 50 and my son is 13.

I was thinking about Park City since it looks to have the town right there for fun after the slopes.

We will be renting our equipment because I don't want to bring it with me. Plus I'm sure I will need different skis for the conditions in UTAH. I ski in the North East.

How much should I expect to pay for my airfare, hotel, lift tickets and rental?

I will be flying out of Philly PA or newark NJ.

Are there better deals later in the season that I should wait for?

I think 5 days is a good stay.


Thanks

Happy New Year!

Steve
post #2 of 12
I live in NYC and have done the Park City/SLC thing for a couple of years/trips.

Park City (the Town) is the best if you are interested in after ski/town activities, or in case anyone in the party wants to make it a half day (or non-day, in you wife's case). The bus system is terrific, free, and frequent. That being said, rental cars are so cheap @ SLC (<$30/day), that you may want to flexibility of having a car. As far as I remember, no one charges for mountain parking.

Park City Mountain and The Canyons will accommodate skiers and snowboarders. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the Canyons when we went out there last year. I peg it in the middle of Deer Valley and Park City on a variety of dimensions. Deer Valley may be a better introduction to skiing for your wife, but your son will be out of luck - no boarders. You also should buy tickets the day before at Deer Valley because they capacity control the mountain; probably not an issue if you avoid a holiday.

We have historically flown CO out of EWR, but they cut the direct service, so are now traveling DL out of JFK. SLC is a Delta Hub, so they or US Air may serve from PHL. We've historically paid about 278/round trip, and given where airfares are so far this year, I can't imagine having to pay more (at least from NY).

Hotel wise, we always rented condos - 2br, 2br with hottub has run us about $1000-1200 for four nights.

For rentals, expect about $40-50 / day if you rent in Park City or at any of the mountains. You can do better if you rent in Salt Lake City, I believe, though I have never done this.

In terms of time of year, we've historically gone mid-February through 1st weekend of March. 5 days will be a good trip.

In full disclosure, my girlfriend and I are going to SLC this year again in late January, but are staying in SLC and going to ski Alta and Snowbird. We are just going by ourselves this year, so we're fine in a SLC hotel and no apres ski scene.

In my view, Salt Lake City offers the easiest, best, and cheapest way for East Coast skiers to go out west. I've written off most of Colorado for anything less than a full week because of the travel pains. You can also catch a red-eye from SLC back east, maximizing skiing while minimize time away from work (if that's a bad thing....).

Enjoy.
post #3 of 12
Use the search feature - there is a ton of info on this.

That said, have you ever skied the west? You will find even in Park, the snow is so nice and ice is virtually unknown as we have it here in the east.

You can spend a fair amount over in PC compared with staying in the valley down in Cottonwood heights or even Sandy. But it's not as cool as up in Park - it's a city I think 2M people live around there in the valley.

Cost is not as bad as Aspen but it can be close. If you find a typical condo in park (not on the hill) I'd agree that $1500 is probably a fair estimate of the low side and it goes up. On the hill at Deer Valley it'd probably be the most, comparable to Aspen. I think there are deals at the Canyons, although you probably don't want to ski there an entire week.

As an intermediate you will be happy with the choices in PC. That said, it's a different experience and world in LCC and BCC. More snow, more of a mountain experience. Do a day over there, there is the Canyon hop van which for the price of a lift ticket you can get a ride over and back. Or if you're renting a car just drive over.

If you really get addicted to the snow in the LCC or BCC, try staying up there. It's quiet but a hardcore skier's dream. More expensive again though.

You can even try a trip from PC up to Snowbasin and I think most skiers would recommend it - less crowds, awesome lodges and a lot of vertical, great place!

For air - Delta has the non-stops. I use free tickets on my skymiles to get trips out there. You can ski the same day because you get there around 10AM - quickstart is the program, google it.
post #4 of 12
Craig's List has quite a few holiday accommodation deals in PC, it appears quite a few Canyons condo owners put their places up for short-term rental. However the Canyons is very out of the way for nightlife, as-is the other lower-cost area, Kimball Junction. There's a bunch of cheaper chain motels there.
post #5 of 12
Take a look the condo units in Kimball Junction. Crestview or Powderwood. I stayed there in March of '07 for $272 a night for 6 nights and this price included a 4x4 Toyota Highlander.

Kimball Junction, I thought was the perfect location. It felt like a mountain stay rather than a city stay. Snowbasin was an hour away and the 4 other mountains we skied were all less than an hour. The best part about KJ is Park City is just minutes up the road. Perfect location for a storm day....ski one of the 3 mountains 10 minutes away AND dinner is in PC just 5 minutes up the road with some great shopping and nightlife.

NOW THIS>...........You will love Utah no matter where you are. We found it to be fabulous in EVERY way!!

Enjoy!
post #6 of 12
If you stay in Kimball, there is quite a few decent eateries there and at least one good bar (Suede Blue, I think it was called). That's where Wild Oats is, and a chain supermarket, and wal mart. And if there, you shoudl take the opportunity to head up to the Olympic Park, where they had the SLC ski jumping and bob sled etc events. It's pretty good!
post #7 of 12
Steve, look at something slopeside at Park City, that way your wife can walk around town during the day. Don't rent thinking you need special equipment for Utah, you don't, but I can understand why you would want to avoid the schlep, plus there now may be an airline cost factor. Consider taking the early morning flight and skiing half day first day, and you can also do that on return, leaving SLC at 5:00PM to EWR or PHL. (late arrival)
post #8 of 12
Sounds like night life is very important to you and I would guess more important to your wife since she isn't a skier. If so, then stay in Park City. Deer Valley and Alta are out since your son is a boarder. However, if you are after the legendary Utah powder then LCC is not to be missed. Last night Snowbird received 12", Alta 13". By comparison, Park City received 7" and Deer Valley 6", Canyons claims 9".

The paper reported today that there have been a lot of last minute bookings due to the snow dumps just before the Christmas holiday. I don't know what bargains are now available.

I don't know about renting "different" equipment unless you are really after the deep stuff. I know there is a service in Park City that will deliver specialty skis right to your door. Don't remember the name, do a search as other have posted about this as well.
post #9 of 12
If you want to rent your skis, I would still bring your boots along. Lots of people actually just carry them on the plane.

http://www.wasatchpowderskis.com/ or canyonsports.com will deliver your rental skis to you.

You have already had some very good advice and I will second or third the idea of checking the "vacation rental" section of the SLC Craigslist. If you do stay in the Kimball Junction area, you will have an easy time getting to LCC or BCC. I don't know why people say it takes an hour. I live very close to KJ and it takes me 35-40 minutes to get to Alta, Snowbird, Solitude or Brighton unless the weather is really bad. Then it might take an hour. At KJ there's also a Holiday Inn Express, Best Western and Hampton Inn.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post
Sounds like night life is very important to you and I would guess more important to your wife since she isn't a skier. If so, then stay in Park City. Deer Valley and Alta are out since your son is a boarder. However, if you are after the legendary Utah powder then LCC is not to be missed. Last night Snowbird received 12", Alta 13". By comparison, Park City received 7" and Deer Valley 6", Canyons claims 9".

The paper reported today that there have been a lot of last minute bookings due to the snow dumps just before the Christmas holiday. I don't know what bargains are now available.

I don't know about renting "different" equipment unless you are really after the deep stuff. I know there is a service in Park City that will deliver specialty skis right to your door. Don't remember the name, do a search as other have posted about this as well.

"Skis on the run" will deliver equipment
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuff46 View Post
"Skis on the run" will deliver equipment
I remember seeing their vans zooming around. Not a bad service, in busy times, the rental shops are hammered and you wait for ages to get all your gear.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuff46 View Post
"Skis on the run" will deliver equipment
Yeah, the other one is:
http://www.skibutlers.com/
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