Living on Kauai, our kids don’t have any exposure to skiing, snow or a winter for that matter.
After researching several places to ski, we chose Deer Valley, UT. Deer Valley sits above Park City and is about 40 miles from the Salt Lake City airport. Rent a car and enjoy a beautiful view on your drive to Deer Valley. We stopped in Park City to grab lunch prior to checking into the hotel. We were pleased to find little shops and restaurants on Main Street as you go through the town of Park City. We found a great wine shop and picked up various types of wine to bring to the hotel. Park City looks like a Thomas Kincaid painting.
About Park City:
Park City is a city located in Summit County, UT.
The city is 32 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and 19.88 miles from Salt Lake City’s east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. In 2010 the population was 7,558. It is a very touristy area – where the visitors outnumber the residents – much like Kauai where we live.
After a population decline following the shutdown of the area’s mining industry, the city rebounded during the 1980s and 1990s through an expansion of its tourism business. The city currently brings in a yearly
average of $529,800,000 to the Utah Economy as a tourist hot spot. There are three major ski resorts: Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and Park City
Mountain Resort. The Park City and Deer Valley ski resorts were the main locations for events at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Park City is the location of the United States’ largest independent film festival, the Sundance Film Festival. It is also home of the United States Ski Team and training center for members of the Australian Freestyle Ski Team. Park City has the largest collection of factory outlet stores in northern Utah, the 2002 Olympic bobsled/skeleton/luge track at the Utah Olympic Park, and golf courses. There have also been movies filmed in Park City- for example some of the scenes from 1994’s Dumb and Dumber. Outdoor-oriented businesses such as backcountry.com, Rossignol USA, and Skullcandy have their headquarters in Park City. The city has many upscale luxury retailers, clubs, bars, and restaurants, and has nearby reservoirs, hot springs, forests, and hiking and biking trails. Most importantly in my book – Park City is also the original home of the Mrs. Fields Cookies chain!!!!
The St. Regis Deer Valley is a very family friendly hotel offering several activities which are complimentary. Prior to check in, we stepped into a funicular which took us up to the hotel entrance. The view from the funicular was breathtaking. Our kids enjoyed a hot apple cider and hot chocolate bar from 3-5 p.m. daily. After skiing in 16 degree weather, it was a great way to relax and read a book in the large living room or recap on our day of skiing. The hotel offers s’mores each evening in an outdoor patio setting with a fire pit. A silver cart rolls out and the kids can assemble all of their own s’mores.
During the day the activities included playing pool and video games in a game room, swimming in an outdoor heated pool amidst snow, and gingerbread house decorating. The view from our room was filled with pine trees which were lit up in different colored lights. The room was cozy with a fireplace inside. The lobby is a cabin feel, which is very cozy but upscale at the same time. The lobby has floor to ceiling glass where you can view the snow falling while sitting next to a fire place. One very convenient perk is the house car that takes guests to Main Street and back so you don’t have to drive down the hill to Park City in the snow.
Stop off for snow tubing at Gorgoza Park In Park City. They have snow tubing for all ages, snow mobile rides and heated
yurts to relax in. The kids had a blast as I video taped them flying down the lanes. The park has a lift to carry the rider and tube up the hill.
Snow Mobile information: There are pint-sized snowmobiles for the little ones to ride around in a loop again and again. Available for kids aged 5 to 12 who would just love to rev up and zoom around their groomed track.
Our son wanted to snow board, which is not permitted at Deer Valley ski resort. We researched different places nearby and Canyons Ski Resort seemed to be the most family friendly and cost effective.
Canyons offers ski lessons in a group or one on one, they have a lodge to eat lunch, rental shop for equipment and shops that sell ski gear.
$$ saving tips: If you plan to ski several days in the Park City, stop off at Costco and check out their ski lift ticket booklet. We went to Costco in Salt Lake and they had a special, if you purchased a camelback (backpack with water spout for exercising) then a ski lift booklet for multiple resorts came with it for $50.
Be sure to bring your own ski pants, jacket, hat and googles to Gorgoza Park so that you don’t have to purchase equipment there.
We chose a group ski/snow boarding lesson for the kids at Canyons Ski Resort. No one else showed up to the lesson and as a result our kids ended up with a private lesson for the cost of a group lesson. While there are no guarantees, it is a significant price difference. We went to Canyons during the peak season. Our first time skiers were on the chair lift in under an hour. The lesson includes lunch for the kids and they do not allow the parents to be with the kids during the lesson or lunch. There is a pick up and drop off time.
5wheelsto5star is featured monthly in Destinations Travel Magazine