just leaving today, having stayed at escala for 5 days with wife and 3 children between 11-14. we are frequent travelers, but this is our first vacation to a ski resort. we rented a 2 bdrm unit. below are our pros and cons of the resort-
-new property, large living room, high end kitchen appliances.
-ski school was great and well staffed. the kids and adults were equally pleased. the staff at the school is well organized and very nice.
-lots of trails, no lift lines even at feb vacation week but be aware there are very few green trails.
-quick ride to the main drop off for the gondola, rentals etc
-very close to supermarkets and shopping, just 2 or so miles down the road. park city is also very close. terrific location.
our location faced the sunrise ski lift. this is very noisy at night because it is a staging area for the snow cats and ski mobiles which causes frequent beeping from midnite to 4-5 AM. we would strongly recommend giving up views and face the inside towards the pool.ear plugs are necessary because...
...we had to leave the windows open in the units because the room was so hot. we had the heat off the entire vacation and even with the windows open the 2 thermostats currently read 73 degrees and go as high as 75. i can't explain the heat source, the fireplaces when off are warm but i don't think it's just that.
-the sunrise lift does not open until 9 am which is too late to take if you want to ski out and make it to the ski school. it doesn't make sense why they don't start it at 830 which would be a true ski out experience. if you aren't going to the school this should not be a problem.
-bring a book light if you want to read in the bdrms, as they are very dark and poorly lit.
-the master bdrm is tiny, just enough room for the bed and bureau
-the pool is small, but you can ride down to the grand summit which has a large pool. there are two hot tuns though which are very nice.
-the shuttle service is very hard to predict. half the time we had a ride in less than 5 minutes, the other times it was 20-25 minutes. it was not consistent even at certain times of the day. it made it hard to know how far in advance to get ready.
-check in time is 5 pm, based upon our experience wouldn't expect anything earlier during the busy season. i think the problem is they have far too little staff cleaning the rooms, which are large and take quite a bit of time to clean.
we would give this resort a slightly positive recommendation. on the one hand feel very privileged to have an opportunity to stay somewhere this nice. the overall space is good and a good value compared to equal space at the grand summit. the noise and heat in the rooms made it uncomfortable.
i think the biggest issue for the canyons to resolve is staffing levels and professional supervision. there are so many instructors on the mountain. at times it seems like their yellow jackets were more prevalent than visitors. but staffing at the resorts was too light. the other issue was the staff is so young. they are very nice and willling to please, but are not capable of handling problems or following through on what they promise.
all of this said, the skiing was great and that is what probably counts the most. i hope this helps.