Riding High in Park City

In terms of ski vacations, Utah—and specifically the Park City area—is hot, although skiers might prefer the state’s ski areas be downright chilly, and according to Park City officials, even in early October, there was already significant drops in temperatures and new snow accumulations. But for this winter season, we can honestly say Utah ski vacations are hot—so hot, in fact, that for the third consecutive year Deer Valley Resort, one of Park City’s ski areas, was named the number one ski resort in North America by the readers of SKI magazine.

Additionally, all three of Park City’s ski areas—including The Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resort—were ranked within the top 20 resorts in North America for the 2009/2010 season.

“The Park City resort rankings help travelers get an idea as to what the area has to offer,” says Bill Malone, CEO of the Park City Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Having all three of Park City’s ski areas within the top 20 resorts in North America gives travelers great confidence in their vacation decisions. This is a great recognition….”

And indeed, these three resort areas offer a triple treat on Parleys Canyon and are all located within a 5-mile radius. Skiers will also love the fact Park City operates a free area-wide bus service between Deer Valley Resort, Main Street Transit Center, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons Resort. In total, the Park City area offers 53 lifts, 371 trails/runs and more than 9,000 skiable acres.

Lisa Kerkela, Funjet Vacations’ relationship and buying manager for ski, says that one of the best reasons to take a ski vacation to the Park City area is because skiers will “…be able to experience all three [ski areas] during one ski vacation without excessive driving. There is something for everyone in the Park City area—from terrain parks to groomed runs, from art galleries to nightclubs, and with its close location to Salt Lake City airport (about a 35-minute drive), getting there is easy too.”

park city mountain Park City Mountain—whose scheduled ski season will run from Dec. 5 to April 11, 2010—includes diverse terrain covering 3,300 acres, award-winning terrain parks and an abundance of high-speed chair lifts providing unlimited fun and adventure. It is the only resort to offer ski-in/ski-out access to Park City’s historic Main Street via the town lift.

Here, there are groomed signature runs that let intermediates get a taste of advanced terrain and there are nine bowls and up to 50 groomed runs every day. Recommend clients explore the trees in the new Motherlode Meadows terrain or discover the steep passages of Jupiter Peak. Or, they can further test their skills as a boarder in one of its four award-winning terrain parks.

For families, Park City’s kids programs are among the best in the country and provide the perfect balance of fun and learning as they feature child specialist instructors who blend ski instruction with educational activities in Park City’s Children’s Learning Center.

Speaking of families, there’s the lighted, lift-served tubing hill at Gorgoza Park. For smaller tubers, there is also a miniature snowmobile track at the Fort Frosty Snow Play Area. Participants hop in the Toboggan-styled cars of the Alpine Coaster and hold on as they whoosh down the mountain past the beautiful Alpine scenery.

After a day on the slopes, clients can refuel at any one of Park City’s hundreds of restaurants and bars, serving up the widest variety of cuisine and assuming they have any energy left, participate in some of the best nightlife in the Rockies. All this before retiring to a lodging property guaranteed to meet any party size and budget.

The Yarrow Resort Hotel, for example, offers a convenient location within the heart of Park City providing a full service of amenities. The free Park City shuttle stops at the hotel’s front door and delivers visitors to Park City’s world-class ski resorts and historic Main Street within minutes. Rates are $79 per nights now through Dec. 17, 2009.

Additionally, Park City Mountain Resort is offering a Family Value package with savings up to $698. The package includes slope-side lodging for two adults and two children, as well as two adult 3-day ski lifts. A minimum 4-night stay is required. Rates start at $257 per adult per night.