Ask Jill: Which Park City Resort?
My family and I will be coming to Park City in a couple of weeks. Any tips on where to stay? I have 3 kids so need a two- bedroom that we can walk to the slopes from. My kids are 10,9,4 years and are starting out. The older boys have skied but will need lessons and I will take them out in the afternoons. My daughter ( 4 years) will be on skis for the first time. I need black slopes with moguls ideally. Where should we stay and ski. I know you work at Canyons; my wife would like Deer Valley. I was planning PCMR. Any thoughts? Thanks.
LOL. The good news is that the three resorts are close enough that you can try them all! I’d say for beginning kids you would want- and need- to start at Park City Mountain Resort. Deer Valley has a great ski school but the green terrain is limited. You’re either on the lower bunny hill (Wide West) or skiing a cattrack/road. DV is known for intermediate groomed skiing and killer food. Canyons is basically the same- a flat hill with a magic carpet, one beginner chair/hill (with one wide run) and then a HUGE transition to the next level; which means your kids will spend a ton of time on High Meadow before they’ll see any of the rest of the mountain. PCMR rocks for beginners. Tons of greens all over the mountain and their kids instructors are there because they like teaching kids rather than because it’s their first year in America.
Ski school group lessons run about $200+/day per kid. I’d recommend getting a private instructor the first day for all three. Have the instructor get the boys going and while they’re doing laps, the teacher can work with the four- year-old individually and show you how to ski with her so you can take her out for a bit each day and save $$. After the first day, do a group lesson and don’t be afraid to split the kids up. Often one will learn faster than the other. They’ll do better if they are with kids their own level. It’s cheaper than a half-day private to sign them up for a group lesson and arrange to meet them at lunch or after if you want to ski with them.
I would recommend two or three days at PCMR and then surprise your wife with her DV day. Make reservations for lunch at Royal Street at Silver Lake Lodge. It’s basically the same food and prices as their cafeteria next-door but without the desperate plea for a table and the long wait in line for a burger. You have to get the homemade ice cream sandwich for dessert!
The best black diamonds are at Canyons- steeps, long vertical, easy access. They do have bump runs but the best moguls seem to pile up at PCMR. After you’ve beat up your knees, you’ll love that DV break. If you do go to Canyons, take an Advanced Mountain Experience ($184). It’s an all-day group of no more than 4 skiers that’s more like a steeps clinic than a lesson and it often winds up as a private for expert skiers because, well, there aren’t that many experts who sign up (even though they should). It’s a great, inexpensive way to learn the ins and outs of the mountain while getting pointers that up your game. Plus, if you hate skiing alone like me it’s an awesome option.
As far as lodging, DV has the biggest selection of slopeside condos. Even if you stay at Canyons you’ll still be trudging through the Plaza in ski boots. There are some cool accommodations on the north side of PCMR at Silver Star. Check with Resorts West, VRBO and Flipkey to see what’s out there.
Let me know if I can help with anything else!