PARK CITY, Utah
-- One of the challenges of planning a Rocky Mountains ski vacation
is choosing the right resort. Not only does the terrain vary widely
from mountain to mountain, but each resort can differ dramatically
in amenities and ambience.
The Park City
area has a triple advantage over many of its competitors because it
has three world-class ski resorts in the neighborhood: Deer Valley,
Park City Mountain Resort and the Canyons. The three cooperate in
cross-marketing their resorts and the Park City area as a
When you come to
the Park City area, you dont have to pick one resort, said Bob
Wheaton, general manager of Deer Valley Resort. The ski areas are
so close that visitors can come and experience all
Valley garners top spot
continues to draw the lions share of attention, having just been
awarded Ski magazines prestigious No. 1 spot as Best Ski Area in
Our claims to
fame are snow conditions, slope grooming, great food and guest
services, Wheaton said. We also have some awesome
invested $8 million in improvements for the coming season,
including replacing a triple chairlift with a high-speed quad lift
and expanding the Silver Lake Ski Corral, Lodge Deck and Village
The resort is
also distinctive for being one of the few ski areas left in North
America that does not allow snowboarding, which can be considered a
blessing or a liability, depending on your point of
We are ski-only,
but if you have a snowboarder in the family, there are two
[boarder-friendly] resorts next door, he said.
In fact, not only
does Park City Mountain Resort welcome snowboarders -- or riders,
as they are colloquially known, but the mountain snagged the No. 10
spot for Excellence in Terrain Parks in Ski magazines ranking this
year. There are four terrain parks in all, including the newly
expanded Eagle Superpipe, with its 22-foot-high walls.
Mountain Resort, which showed the biggest increase in Ski magazines
overall rankings this year -- from No. 8 to No. 5 -- has the added advantage of being
accessible via a chairlift that stops on Main Street in downtown
perhaps the least nationally known of the three area ski mountains,
is notable for its varied terrain, Wheaton said, as well as for its
accommodations at the Grand Summit Hotel at the base of the
Ranked No. 14 in
the Ski magazine survey -- up eight slots from last year -- the
area scored well for its family programs, terrain, grooming,
scenery and service.
All three resorts
are accessible via free shuttle buses that link them with each
other and with downtown Park City, Wheaton said.
But diversity is
just one of the draws to the Park City area. Because of its
proximity to Salt Lake City Airport, visitors can get from the
terminal to the slopes in an hour.
The importance of
this accessibility cant be overstated, Wheaton said, because it
enables visitors to ski the first day of their vacation, maximizing
their vacation dollars.
ticket on arrival day
To reinforce this
message, the Park City Area offers a free lift ticket at any of the
three area ski resorts on arrival day.
Visitors need to
register prior to arrival at www.parkcityinfo.com and present their airline
boarding pass on arrival.
touted the attractions of downtown Park City, which boasts dozens
of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, cinemas and live
The town plays a
huge role in drawing people to the area because of the multitude of
things to do here, he said.
Those who do,
however, are not limited to the ski trails but can also try
lift-assisted snowtubing, helicopter skiing, cross-country skiing
and wilderness snowshoeing, Wheaton said.
Perhaps the most
unique aspect of Park City is that it is one of only a handful of
destinations that has hosted the Winter Olympic Games, which took
place in Utah in 2002. Visitors can visit the Olympic Museum or
attempt a pass on the high-adrenaline bobsled track.
information, call (800) 424-DEER or visit www.deervalley.com.
reporter Felicity Long, send e-mail to [email protected].
details on this article, see Utah to kick off winter season with a blizzard of