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Is Park City the right fit?

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Houston, TX
Level Contributor
16 posts
3 reviews
Is Park City the right fit?


My husband and I are planning a winter getaway next Jan/Feb. We visited Whistler last year and LOVED it, but we may be traveling with our then 20-month old and it isn't the most convenient place to get to.

What we liked about Whistler and would like to find elsewhere:

-ski-in/ski-out (we stayed at the westin which was super convenient)

-Whistler village was right at the base of the mountain. No car necessary for meals, drinks, shopping, etc

-plenty of options for dining/window shopping/sightseeing

-again, no car necessary

We would like somewhere in North America that is relatively easy to get to. We were considering Park City, but I am confused by all the different areas (DV vs Park City). Does it meet the criteria listed above? If not, other suggestions?

Sidebar, we are NOT seasoned skiiers. While Whistler was great, it was probably a little advanced for us (I was pregnant so did other activities). So slopes that are beginner friendly would be helpful as well.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
12,662 posts
268 reviews
1. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

Whistler Village is a bit unique so you won't find exactly the same thing.However, you will find a number of resorts that are close and for sure find resorts that are built around real towns with real character. Park City, Aspen, Breckenridge are all good examples of that. Park City has the added benefit of being 35-40 minutes from the airport. Driving to Whistler, you wouldn't have even made it to West Vancouver by the time you would be in PC.

Park City is built around the core of an historic old Main Street of a 19th century mining town. Lots of history and character that has been preserved. More restaurants and shops than Whistler and far more diversity in the greater Park City area.

Park City Mountain Resort is just above Main Street with lift access right to Old Town (Marriott Summit Watch, Sky Lodge). The primary base area for PCMR is a five minute shuttle away and has it's own plaza of restaurants, hotels (Marriott Mountainside), etc.

Deer Valley is a five minute free bus ride from Main Street. It has multiple base areas. There's plenty of ski in/out lodging but not as many walking distance restaurants.

Given your interest in being in Whistler Village, I would suggest you look first on Main Street in Park City and utilize the Town Lift to PCMR. It's not the same ski in/out you had at the Westin but you'll have a lot more within a closer walk and a great feel of an historic downtown.

You do not need a car. 35-40 minute shuttle from airport ($40) and free bus system all through town.

Third resort is Canyons, which is a few miles from downtown. Great resort but not as close to the action as you want to be.

Have fun.

Torrey, Utah
Destination Expert
for Torrey, Capitol Reef National Park
Level Contributor
1,097 posts
47 reviews
2. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

That description makes me wish I still skied!

San Antonio, Texas
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
Level Contributor
2,023 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

Yes you don't need a car but with three it might be cheaper then the shuttle.

I agree in PC there is more then Whistler Village, but that's an apple to orange comparison. Whistler is a compact walking area, PC is not except for Main Street.

If you are going to PC I would suggest DV for you. They have a very nice day care and have great service. They have free overnight ski storage, however you do have to take the skis to the storage area, there is not ski valet like the westin to do that for you. The valet that DV has will help you unload your ski from your car.

You will not find the crowds like whistler at DV, no snowboards too. If you are wanting that walking experience than stay downtown and take the city bus to DV. If you rent a car, that will give you more choice of places to stay and just drive to downtown to walk around.

Park City, Utah
Level Contributor
11 posts
40 reviews
4. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

I recommend staying in Silver Lake Village at Deer valley. There are some great hotels up there and plenty of restaurants within walking distance. Plus the hotels up there offer a free shuttle to Main Street and to other local resorts. I would recommend getting a shuttle from the airport so you don't have to worry about weather conditions(roads can be slippery and SUV rentals are expensive), parking(it is very hard to find spots near Main Street at night) and most hotels have a free local shuttle. My friend runs a small vacation booking service called Exclusive Excursions (www.exclusiveexcursions.net) and he can give you some local knowledge and get you some good package deals on everything you need for your ski trip!

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
25 posts
22 reviews
5. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

First things first, you will find nice beginner runs at both Park City Mountain Resort & Deer Valley. Having learned to ski as an adult I highly recommend lessons. I didn't do that and still regret it! I think I would have improved much quicker. One other important note is to check your dates with the Sundance Film Festival. Town is very crowded! Might be your scene, but something you should consider.

The drive from Salt Lake is sooo easy. We have two kids & always rent a car. Freeway all but last few miles and those are flat & mostly straight. It is just a 35 minute drive. We like to drive to dinner and usually visit Cottonwood Canyons resorts too. Parking has not been a problem for us in Park City. There is a free garage "behind" Main Street. There is also is a free shuttle all around town. We prefer our own car, but many friends have used shuttle just fine.

Main Street is for dining & shopping. There is lodging, just depends what you like. There is a Marriott on Main Street that gets very high reviews. You could use Town Lift but you need to ski down to ski school. Town Lift drops you in the middle of the mountain. If you're a first timer, not a great idea! There are all levels of runs from top of Town Lift.

You could stay in Deer Valley and drive or take shuttle to Main Street. It is really close! 5 minutes tops. There are free Park City shuttles and some of the high end resorts have their own. Nice because they would drop you right off where you want to be!

Park City might not be same as your experience at Whistler but I don't think you will be disappointed. There are some amazing restaurants, beautiful views, fabulous lodges and of course great powdery snow. Give it a try, the easy drive from the airport makes it worth a try!

Park City, Utah
Level Contributor
126 posts
1 review
6. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

Note that both Silver Lake Village (Deer Valley) and the base of Canyons are master planned villages with ski in ski out access, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. much like Whistler Village, however smaller, as to be expected given Silver Lake Village, Canyons Resort Village, and Historic Main Street. All have different personal favorites, and you will enjoy any/all, but my personal favorite is Canyons which is the largest resort in the Park City area, largest in Utah (but can't go wrong with any of them).

San Antonio, Texas
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
Level Contributor
2,023 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

It says you have small children. The daycare is at Snowpark at DV. Silverlake would be a big hassle, using the daycare.

8. Re: Is Park City the right fit?

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