PARK CITY vs. Staying Near Other Utah Ski Areas
Park City has three of Utah's major resorts (Park City Mtn. Resort, Deer Valley, and the Canyons). Park City is traditionally a historic mining town, quaint with historic charm, Historic Main Street in the "Old Town" district with shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. While it is a historic town, being a secondary host city to the winter games with two venue sites and holding many Olympic festivities, you may already know that Park City also offers much of the sophistication that one needs for convenience and comfort for a week long vacation. Also, just a few minutes out of town on I-80 is Gorgoza Park, a Tubing park with fun stuff for kids.
Park City is well-suited to the ski vacationer. 40 minutes from the SLC Airport, in Park City you have an entire town that is dedicated to ski tourism and vacationers, you have quick access back to SLC if you want to go there. Generally speaking you are within 5-to 15 minutes to skiing at any of Park City's resorts, have free in town transportation to, great dining and night life, a movie theater, community theater, 3 major supermarkets, and if you want to go to the Cottonwood resorts you will be there in an hour.
Visitors looking for a full vacation experience may find themselves challenged for entertainment, culture and convenience after just a day or so in areas other than Park City.
SALT LAKE CITY
The heart of Salt Lake City is about 40 minutes from Park City. We do not recommend SLC itself as the place to stay for your ski vacation (though the SLC chamber of commerce and tourism would probably disagree). SLC is mostly a big city centered around the Mormon Church in the downtown area, and various suburbs spreading out from there. About 20 minutes east of downtown is the Wasatch Front. (Wasatch is the name of the mountain range you would be looking at heading to either SLC or to Park City). The Wasatch Front also is also the portal for the road leading up to Park City, or about 10 miles south is portal to the Cottonwood canyons which leads to some of Utah's other well known resorts (Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, Brighton).
DISTANCE TO SKIING
If you are staying in Salt Lake City and want to ski all over Utah (Park City resorts and the others) you are not much better off for driving time than if you stay in Park City, where you will have a much better vacation in our charming resort town. From Salt Lake City you are be about 35-40 minutes to skiing at the Cottonwood Resorts, and about 40 to Park City skiing. But, in SLC you will be in a big city for the week, which may or may not be something that appeals to you for your mountain skiing Vacation.
SHORT SKIING VACATIONS for serious skiers & boarders
For serious skiers or snowboarders wanting to do a ski/board intensive trip, then all the extra luxuries and flavor you will find in Park City may not be as important to you. Staying in the other ski areas might have appeal to you for this sort of trip, depending on the level of experience you have.
While a nice private, romantic getaway can be had in the other ski areas, you may still prefer all of the options that Park City has in fine dining, novice to expert mountain-appeal, and all around culture concentrated around the town.
STAYING IN THE COTTONWOOD CANYONS (Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, Brighton)
These are fine ski areas, but unless you are a hardcore skier, you will find yourself missing out on the other things such as fine dining options, unique shopping, an historic town. All these things and more are part of the whole vacation experience, and when skiing in Utah you can only find this in Park City.
The Cottonwood canyon resorts (Snowbird, etc) are up narrow canyon roads, and not in resort towns. One serious consideration about the Cottonwoods is that the roads which lead up to both of these Canyons are prone to avalanches, and while thousands of people ski there every year, many people in Utah prefer not to ski the Cottonwoods because of the dangerous drive.
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