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    Thread: Park City, Utah - Hotel, etc

    1. 12-29-2011 12:16 PM #1
      I am looking to go to Park City, Utah to ski for an extend weekend in February. Cany anyone recommend any affordable places to stay? Would I need a car, or do they have shuttles to take people to the slopes?

      What are the differences between all of the ski areas?

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      12-29-2011 02:53 PM #2
      There is no such thing as "an affordable place to stay" in Park City in February.

      My mom wintered in Park City for many years. If you're in town, you don't want a car. The locals call it "No Park City" since it's so tough to deal with a car there.

      The town of Park City has 3 ski areas.

      Park City Mountain Resort is right in the center of town. It gets by far the most skier visits. The traffic tends to make for a poor skiing surface. Groomers or firm bumps. The Jupiter lift (advanced terrain) is high elevation and usually has a surface more like AltaBird and Brighton/Solitude where they get a lot more snow with less skier traffic. If you're staying in town, it's super-convenient and just fine if you're looking for intermediate groomed cruisers.

      Deer Valley doesn't allow snowboarding and has very upscale facilities. The base lodge cafeterias have better food than most good restaurants. The lower Snow Park base lodge is extremely car-friendly. The adreno-junkies sneer at the place as being nothing but groomed cruisers for rich people. I think it has some of the best tree skiing in the world and their advanced terrain is plenty entertaining enough to keep me interested. Most of their customer base is intermediate and completely ignores all the good terrain so the surface holds up well and doesn't track out quickly on a powder day. You aren't trading elbow shots with the Powder Nazis like at Snowbird on a big powder day. Mom used to have a season locker in the Snow Park lodge. Oak lockers, oak benches, nice carpet, piped-in music. It was a nice way to start and finish the day.

      Canyons is kind of weird. My season pass used to work there back in the 1990's so I have a lot of days there. It's laid out on a bunch of ridge lines. Your skiing is 1000 feet of vertical at a time with a traverse to get to the terrain at the top and a runout back to the lift at the bottom. The lower part of the mountain doesn't hold snow well. A lot of it is south-facing and bakes out in the sun. On a bad day, it's mostly New England hardpack. On a good day, it's superb since it's huge, has modern lifts, and doesn't get a heck of a lot of skier traffic. 9990 is the signature advanced lift at high elevation. Like Jupiter at Park City or Empire at Deer Valley, it's high elevation terrain with a microclimate where it gets more snow.

      If you're on a budget, you want to stay down in Salt Lake. There's tons of cheap lodging in Midvale and Sandy or you can find deals at the downtown hotels. Lift ticket prices are much lower at Brighton/Solitude and Snowbird/Alta and you can get discounts at the local ski shops. You're in Anywhere, USA strip mall sprawl but you're not paying Park City prices for the lodging, bars, and restaurants. You can go ultra-cheap and just use the bus route or rent a car. You can go with a cheap FWD car and take the bus up if it's snowing. 4wd cars are stunningly expensive at the airport so you don't want to go that way unless you're splitting the cost with several people. It's also interstate highway up to Park City so you can drive there in a cheap rental car most days.

      The four ski areas in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons get 2x the natural snow of the Park City ski areas. There are plenty of outstanding days to be had in Park City but the odds are better at Alta/Snowbird and Brighton/Solitude. Powder Mountain is my favorite in Utah but it's lower elevation, gets less snow, and has sun bake problems. The place is huge but has old lifts and no resort infrastructure so nobody goes there. When it's good, I go there. If it's really bad and has melted or hasn't snowed in a couple of weeks, I go to one of the places in the Cottonwood Canyons where it's higher elevation, northern exposure, and a better shot at packed powder.

      If you opt to stay in Park City, you really don't want a car. There's shared van service from the airport that will run you about $40.00 each way. Park City is the only place in Utah that actually has any kind of resort scene so it's by far the best place to stay. You're unlikely to find reasonable prices in February.

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      01-04-2012 03:22 PM #3
      I've avoided Park City/Deer Valley the past 2 years out there, and stay with a friend in West Jordan, SLC. Comfort Inn in Sandy can be had for $60/night if you're looking for cheap. It's ~25-35min to Alta/Snowbird/Solitude/Brighton.
      The Canyons is good when I ski with my friend that works there and knows where to go. Brighton/Solitude for Honeycomb Canyon and backcountry. Alta/Snowbird for chutes/powder bowls. Fox rent-a-car is cheapest for a 4WD vehicle because it's a 5-10min shuttle off-airport. I managed to get one for $210 for 4 days and returned it by midnight. Any other rental chains will be $5-600 for a 4WD for a week.
      Last edited by Derek Zoolander; 01-04-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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      01-05-2012 12:19 PM #4
      Just fyi. There's no snow here.

    5. 01-05-2012 04:37 PM #5
      god dammit. I'll be out there next weekend.

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      01-07-2012 02:52 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by mrivera View Post
      Just fyi. There's no snow here.
      38" base mid-mountain at Snowbird and 106" for the year. That's not bad for Thanksgiving but awful for January.

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      01-20-2012 10:55 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
      38" base mid-mountain at Snowbird and 106" for the year. That's not bad for Thanksgiving but awful for January.
      I didn't think it sounded too bad, but when I got out there around New Year's, it was a sorry sight. Warm weather doesn't make snow stick around. Now they're finally getting a good storm system.
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      01-21-2012 05:28 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by atchudy View Post
      Would I need a car, or do they have shuttles to take people to the slopes?
      If you end up staying in PC, the bus is free and will take you to the three resorts in town. Definitely don't need a car unless you are leaving town.

    9. 01-24-2012 03:56 PM #9
      Don't mean to jack the thread but what about Heber City? I found some cheap hotels there when I search for Park City and Vicinity. It looks like an easy drive.
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      01-24-2012 05:10 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by WoLfBuRgJeTTa View Post
      Don't mean to jack the thread but what about Heber City? I found some cheap hotels there when I search for Park City and Vicinity. It looks like an easy drive.
      Definitely an option but it's completely outside of the PC scene. Night life, etc won't be the same but if saving money is the name of the game, go for it.

    11. 01-25-2012 10:16 AM #11
      That idea is out the window, nightlife is important, how is it in PC or is SLC where to be? I'm going M-F President's day week, what should i expect?
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    12. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      01-28-2012 09:36 PM #12
      Park City is the only resort town in Utah with any nightlife. There is more in Salt Lake City but it's spread out around the city. Not what you'd want to do without a car and some local knowledge. In Park City, it's all clustered together and walkable.

    13. 02-14-2012 05:25 PM #13
      I ended up picking a place to stay in Park City about 5 minutes from PCMR. Anyone know if there is any public transport to get from Park City to Snowbird/Brighton? I thought about staying closer to there but I didn't want to sacrifice nightlife.
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      02-15-2012 11:21 AM #14
      ...guess im too late....but when i went to PCMR two years ago I booked a place (duplex home) through VacationRoost.com....It was awesome and Cheap!

      also, canyons over PC in my opinion....but definetly take the ride to the bird. If i recall their were buses that took you there for $25.

    15. 02-15-2012 04:42 PM #15
      Idk when I'm going to be back so I want to hit it all before I leave. I think it would be a bit of an injustice to go to Park City and not ride PCMR, I got the time so I figure why not. And I checked out Vacationroost for the heck of it and I got a better deal, but thanks anyway. I'm over going balls out on a hotel room that I am never in, so much money gets wasted on that when I go on vaca

      I figured a bus would be able to get me there but Google Maps is estimating a 2 hour bus trip!!! Is that accurate?
      Last edited by WoLfBuRgJeTTa; 02-15-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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    16. Member GeoffD's Avatar
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      02-24-2012 02:33 PM #16
      Other than Jupiter, I think PCMR kind-a sucks. Way too much traffic for the number of acres and the amount of snow they get. Canyons is bigger with a tiny fraction of the skier visits. Deer Valley has very intermediate customers so the trees and ungroomed cut-trails are mostly ignored. Right after a dump, the tree skiing at Deer Valley is fantastic.

      Most of the time, AltaBird is way better than the three Park City ski areas. AltaBird gets 2x the natural snow and is less prone to getting sun baked.

    17. 02-24-2012 04:18 PM #17
      Exactly, Deer Valley tree runs are great with fresh snow. Mineral Basin at Snowbird is great when they have fresh snow too. I loved Alta.

    18. 02-29-2012 11:10 AM #18
      Just got back a few days ago, I didn't mention it before but I board, not ski. I liked PCMR a lot. Canyons was huge, but I only got one day there because they were closed due to high winds the first day I went, so I can imagine it has more to offer than what I got . What I got was OK, definitely like PCMR more. total opposite from what you guys are saying, less crowded, trails were less tracked, more snow, and just more fun to ride in general. I'm going back next year and dedicating 2 days to the Canyons to see what it really has to offer but overall when I was there, less snow, much more people, and some trails reminded me on back here in the Poconos which was surprising since nothing at PCMR gave me that feel.

      Never made it to Snowbird or Brighton, didn't have a car or the time to get out there without a car and my hotel did not offer a shuttle.

      Nightlife however wasn't hard to find, No Name Saloon and The Downstairs were the big hang outs.
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