By Eileen Ogintz
PARK CITY, Utah — What’s not to like?
“Amazing food!” says local Gavin Ziesler, 9, after polishing off a rotisserie chicken and avocado sandwich at the newly renovated Mid Mountain Lodge at the Park City Mountain Resort. “We usually bring lunch,” he explained.
“The quality of the snow is really good,” said Teddy Symonds, 11 — whose family had flown 24 hours from Melbourne Australia to ski in Utah’s famous snow.
“I like all the different runs I can do, and watching the competitions,” said Braden Boettcher, 9, visiting with his family from Arizona.
The 2019 FIS World Championships in snowboard, freestyle and freeski events have been underway here from Feb. 1-10.
Adeline Aste, 11, the middle of three sisters who lives about 15 minutes from Park City, offered that the terrain parks on the mountain “are really fun.” Just make sure to bring hand warmers in your pocket, she suggests, “because it’s a disaster when kids get cold.”
Hotel hot tubs are a real plus, adds Braden Boettcher. In fact, we have one right on the deck of our Park City Lodging condo a block from the Town Lift where we can check our skis at no cost overnight.
Older and grown kids will love the proximity to Main Street staying here in a roomy condo with a hot tub; those with younger families might want a place closer to the lifts and ski school.
Today was a special treat for Gavin Ziesler and his mom because his two brothers and dad were elsewhere and they were having a “ski date.”
“This is amazing,” she says, looking around the Mid Mountain Lodge that is housed in a 19thCentury boarding house for miners. “We’re sitting on sheepskin eating really good food—I feel like I have been transported to Europe!”
She adds she can’t think of a better place for a family ski holiday or for kids to learn snow sports.
“The whole town is a big playground for families,” says Ziesler, who counts herself lucky to be raising her kids here. Since Vail Resorts combined Park City Resort with The Canyons Resort a couple of years ago, PCMR is now the the ski resort in the country (surpassing Vail Mountain in CO)—more than 7,300 acres. And if you include nearby Deer Valley Resort, you will find plenty of tubing, ice-skating, sledding hills, indoor pools and hot tubs, not to mention all the places for good eats, the alpine coaster and zip line. Many of these attractions are the legacy of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, which may host the games again in 2030.
And besides all of the terrain at Park City Mountain Resort—including the new High Meadow Park beginner learning area at Canyons Village complete with adventure trails with carvings of local wildlife—Park City is also home to Deer Valley Resort, one of only three in the country that doesn’t permit snowboarding. Deer Valley is known for its groomed trails and for limiting the number of lift tickets sold so that the lifts and slopes never get too crowded.
Gavin suggests at Park City Mountain Resort — because it is so huge — try to stick to one area a day. My kids didn’t and regretted all the time they spent waiting in lift lines and traversing to get from Park City Canyons back to Park City Mountain.
And “I always have a treat in my pocket,” Gavin adds—like a Snickers Bar.
Adeline Aste, 11, the middle of three sisters, offers that browsing on Park City’s Main Street is also fun. “I like that the houses are all different colors,” she explains. Let’s not forget all of the shops and restaurants, which, she adds, are particularly generous to local Trick-or-Treaters at Halloween time.
Adeline always has some hand-warmers in her pocket because “it’s a disaster when you are cold!”
But when a day goes well—like a mom and son ski date—there’s nothing better, Ali and Gavin Ziesler agree.
“A special kind of heaven,” Ali Ziesler says, especially now that all three of her boys can ski black diamond runs with her.