Skiing in Park City, Utah

With perfect powder conditions and fewer crowds Park City, Utah, is a good option for agents looking beyond the Alps next winter, says Tracey Davies

Soaring over pine trees draped in foot-thick royal icing, a glistening mountainous wonderland as far as the eye can see, I feel like Elsa from Frozen as I swing on my snow-dusted chairlift. Famously home to ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth’ – light as thistledown and as generous as Disney snow– Park City, Utah could be the ultimate ski destination for Brits next year.

Rippled across Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, along the western tail of the Rockies, Park City Mountain is now the largest ski resort in North America. I’m, at best, a confident novice on the slopes and love nothing more than gently cruising down wide, tree-lined green runs enjoying the view.

However, the beauty of skiing in Park City, Utah, is that its resorts cater for all levels – from a Bambi-on-ice skier like me to slalom superstars like Stein Eriksen, the Norwegian Olympian who made his home here.

Add in the elevated customer service – ski valets, anyone?– consistently top-drawer snow conditions and a buzzy après scene which runs the full gamut from fancy finedining restaurants to spit-and-sawdust bars, and it’s easy to see why Park City is called ‘Winter’s Favorite Town’.

USA over Europe

Utah camp
Family fun around the campfire

After the poor snow conditions in the Alps in recent years, increasing numbers of skiers are crossing the pond to get their snow kicks. With more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain and Utah’s consistently excellent snow record – last season saw a record-breaking 612 inches of the white stuff – Park City sells itself to snow-hungry skiers and snowboarders. It benefits from a wide range of hotels, lodges and condos, from swanky five-star pads like the Four Seasons, Goldener Hirsch and Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley to comfortable chains like DoubleTree by Hilton, Hyatt Place and Best Western Plus in Park City, making it accessible to mid and upper-range budgets.

Compared to Europe and other ski regions, the snow is Park City’s biggest selling point. Perfect for powder-happy off -piste skiers, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort both have a diverse expanse of slopes from easy greens to double- black diamond runs, wooded trails and mogul hills. While several hotels, lodges and condos around Park City Mountain Resort have skiin/ski-out access, the free Park City Transit network connects the rest to the slopes.

Add in the snappy 35-minute transfer from Salt Lake City International Airport (compared to the two-hour-plus transfers expected at Colorado and most European resorts) and Park City is one of North America’s most accessible ski areas.

Alternative to Aspen

Utah lodge
Deer Valley resort in Park City

As the largest resort in the U.S. Park City Mountain is great for a convenient, easily accessible – albeit via a 10.5 hour international flight – snow-sure skiing holiday for couples, friends and families.

For high-end clients, propose Deer Valley, an upmarket ski-only resort – one of only three in America – which the World Ski Award’s has named America’s Best Ski Resort for 11 years running. Renowned for its immaculate groomed runs and worldclass customer service, daily numbers are limited which means fewer crowds, quieter lifts and plenty of room on the slopes. Add in a clutch of luxury properties with spas, rooftop pools and fi ne dining restaurants and its ‘alternative-to-Aspen’ vibe has become increasingly popular with the occasional celebrity as well as the non-skier market looking for a wellness winter break.

Any après-ski?

Utah cafe
Royal Street Cafe

After a day on the slopes, head to Historic Main Street, the former silver mining town’s main drag, for some après-ski adventures.

As pretty as a Dickens’ Christmas card, the Victorian shopfronts, quirky gift shops and art galleries, not to mention the sheer wealth of sports bars, saloons and restaurants, are as much of a draw to Park City as the slopes. Try a shot ski – a ski lined with shot glasses – in the No Name Saloon, Main Street’s buzziest late-night bar which attracts a friendly, mixed-aged clientele.

Historic Main Street is also the beating heart of the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent fi lm festival in the U.S.

It is held every January with rare screenings and premieres held at various venues, including the glorious 1920s Egyptian Theater. Although accommodation prices peak during the festival, the slopes are deliciously quiet and there’s an increasingly high chance of spotting a Hollywood star in the wild.

Beyond the slopes

Aside from movies and moguls, there are plenty of other winter attractions to enjoy on and off the slopes. Ski touring (also known as backcountry skiing), cross-country skiing and tubing are popular off -slope activities, while snowmobiling and dog sledding are thrilling ways to explore Utah’s snowy plains.

Home of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games – and the preferred hosts of 2034 – the Utah Olympic Park is also a big selling point. Visit the Alf Engen Ski Museum, which incorporates the Ski Hall of Fame and the Eccles 2002 Winter Olympics exhibition.

However, the real highlight is the thrilling bobsleigh experience on the official Olympic track, where you go from 0-60mph in a cloud of powder. Heaven.

Book it with… Ski Independence

A seven-night stay at Park City Peaks hotel, including flights from London to Salt Lake City, direct with Delta plus shuttle transfers, starts at £2,044pp. Based on a December 10 2024 departure with two sharing a hotel room. Epic Passes valid at Park City Mountain Resort start at £475pp for six days of skiing.
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