Plenty of light fluffy snow—close to 400 inches a season. Plenty of sunshine. A place that really loves families.
Welcome to Park City, Utah, home to Park City Mountain Resort, famous for its world-class parks and pipes that tweens and teens especially love, as well as innovative children’s programs that are changing the way kids learn to ski and snowboard.
A big plus: the town is just a little more than 30 miles from the Salt Lake City Airport. You won’t need to take two or three flights to get here (there are 700 daily flights from around North America) or rent a car– not with convenient shuttle service to and from the airport and Park City’s first-rate free bus system.
You’ll love that there’s direct access to the slopes and the summit right from historic Main Street in the middle of picturesque Park City. Originally a hub for silver mining in the late nineteenth century, and today lined with restaurants, bars, shops (Park City has 300 to choose from!) and galleries, it’s easy to get back and forth. (Learn more about the history of the miners during a free daily Historic Mountain Tour at Park City Mountain Resort.)
Family vacation planning has never been so easy, thanks to Park City Mountain Resort’s online Vacation Planner. It enables you to create your family’s own customized itinerary—everything from lodging , lifts and lessons to spa treatments, dinner reservations (there are more than 100 restaurants to choose from!), hot air balloon rides, snowmobile adventures, and of course, the resort’s Alpine Coaster– yes, that’s a roller coaster on snow with a track that’s over a mile long. It’s just one of three in the entire country, and the only one in Utah.
Of course, they’ll scream their heads off on the Alpine Coaster. So will you. And just five miles from the resort, there’s tubing at Gorgoza Park, where even your kindergartners can ride mini snowmobiles. The littlest snow bunnies in the family will love the outdoor Fort Frosty play area complete with a tubing carousel.
What I like best about Park City Mountain Resort is how kid-friendly everyone is. When parents said they didn’t like leaving their little skiers and snowboarders in big ski school classes, the Utah resort initiated a Signature Five Program which guarantees no more than five kids in a class (the 3 ½ to five year old crowd has one instructor for every three kids). Even better, no more soggy hot dogs or lukewarm mac and cheese for lunch, and no more putting kids on the chairlift with strangers; the entire class can ride up with their instructor on a six-passenger chairlift and eat together on the mountain.
“We listened to what our guests wanted and have reinvented the way children’s ski and snowboard schools are structured,” explained Peter Curtis, president and general manager of Park City Mountain Resort.
The teens will love the night skiing, and of course, the world-class parks—there are four terrain parks to choose from and the Eagle Superpipe. Park City Mountain Resort’s terrain parks have consistently been ranked in the top ten by readers of Transworld Snowboarding magazine. Tell the kids they’ll be honing their tricks in the same parks where stars Shaun White, Tanner Hall and others train (teens will want to check out pcride.com.
You’ll want to check out the new Interactive Trail Map. It not only helps you and the kids get a better sense of the mountain before you arrive, but enables you to plan your days on the mountain to suit everyone of varying abilities and terrain preference —thanks to the Family Mountain Tours you can print out. You’ll be able to choose so that a gang of different abilities can ski and ride together—happily.
And thanks to the resort’s new online Adventure blog, you can also get advice from families who have been here– tips on everything from what to pack, where to take the kids to eat and what activities you should definitely not miss.
The best part: you’ll be having too much fun to care if the kids ditch you on the mountain.
See you at the top!