We are in the beginning stages of planning a ski vacation for our family (3&6 year olds). The Last two years we skied Beaver Creek. We're looking at Whistler now. What will Park City give us that Whistler might not?
- Asked by Kerry October 17, 2011
Thanks for your question to "Ask a Snowmama"!
While I have not been to Whistler, I have been to Vail/Beaver Creek, as well as many other areas such as Lake Tahoe, Aspen/Snowmass and throughout the Northeastern US. The best way to respond is to tell you our experience as a family traveling with small children.
My husband and I love to ski, so we have brought our kids on a ski vacation out west from CT, NJ, and now Toronto, every single year for over 14 years. Our children are now ages 3, 9, 12, and 14, and after visiting many places, we have decided to keep going back to Park City, and in particular, Park City Mountain Resort, every single year.
There are several reasons for this: Great accessibility, reliable snow, and a perfect family atmosphere.
SLC is an easy flight from just about anywhere, and from there it is a mere 35 minute drive to Park City. If you don't want to rent a car, shuttles run constantly from the airport. We have come to count on its amazing snow and dry climate to make those winter temperatures feel more moderate.
Signature 3 ski school at Park City Mountain Resort.
Park City has a cozy western town feel with a host of great restaurants that are great for families, fun off hill activities like tubing and ice skating, and shopping nearby to grab necessities. A free public transportation system in town makes it easy to get from place to place.
There are three resorts in Park City - Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and The Canyons - all under 10 minutes from one another. Park City Mountain Resort is right in the middle of the two and closest to the town. In fact, there is even a chairlift and a ski slope that allows you to ski right down to Main Street in Park City.
Once you add up all the mountains in town, there are actually more skiable acres in Park City than at Whistler. Park City Mountain Resort alone has 3300 skiable acres, but has a central area and base that bring it together to take away that overwhelming feeling. Most lifts have terrain that service all levels, which allows families to ski together with ease.
Probably the best thing about PCMR is the ski programs! The Signature 3 and Signature 5 ski and snowboard school guarantee small ratios (3:1 for 3 1/2 to 5 year olds, 5:1 for 6 & up). I found this to be extremely rare, and the result was fabulous instruction for my kids. The rates include ski rental and lunch, and the cost is fairly comparable to Whistler.
Since I now live in Canada, I can also tell you that with the US and Canadian dollar at par, the cost of coming to Canada is more expensive than it has ever been. The benefit of the exchange rate does not currently apply.
Park City is a very manageable town that is easy to navigate and you will spend more time as a family enjoying your time on the hill rather than trying to get from one place to another.
Good luck with your travel planning!
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' authors have or will receive a paid trip to Park City Mountain Resort or will receive other compensation for their participation as an author.