As with many ski towns, Park City was originally established as a mining town. In the 1860s, flocks of people moved here to pursue riches in silver mining. At this time the streets were lined with saloons and featured a very popular red-light district. In the 1930s mineral prices fell due to the depression, and the town felt the effect. Business collapsed and the population dwindled. Over time things got better and in 1963 Park City Consolidated Mines built the first chairlift on what was then known as Treasure Mountain. At this time, $ 3.50 would get you a weekend pass to go skiing and sledding. Times have changed a bit since then, but the skiing is still world-class, and the town offers many cultural events and festivals.
Now that you have a little history of the town, lets take a look at what there is to do during the winter months. Skiing and snowboarding is by far the most popular, but there are many other winter activities to be enjoyed.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Park City offers three distinct choices for your skiing or snowboarding vacation. Deer Valley Ski Resort offers 1,750 acres of skiable terrain with a vertical drop of 3,000 feet. On average Deer Valley receives about 300 inches of snow per year. It features 19 lifts, and 88 trails with the longest trail traveling 10,560 feet. This resort was rated #1 by Ski Magazine in 2001 and 2005. Although the terrain is great and the runs are endless, Deer Valley does not allow snowboarders. Skiers of all types can enjoy this wonderful mountain resort. The resort opened in 1981, and ever since then, it prides itself on providing high quality service both on and off the mountain.
The next resort on the list happens to be the largest ski and snowboard resort in Utah. The Canyons Resort features 3,700 amazing acres of skiable terrain, with 200 + acres opening for the 2006/2007 season. This skiers and snowboarders paradise features 17 lifts and 152 trails with the longest run being 13,200 feet. The resort also features 2 terrain parks and 6 half pipes. This ultimate winter playground also features a ski and snowboard school that can help the beginner, or the most experienced expert.
The last resort on our list was home to the 2002 winter Olympics. Park City Mountain Resort offers 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, and is consistently ranked in the top 10 North American resorts because of its varied terrain, ease of getting there, terrain parks and family programs. Park City Resort offers 15 lifts and 104 trails, with the longest trail traveling 18,480 feet. Park City offers 1 superpipe and multiple terrain parks for those that are looking to test their skills. Park City, offers something for everyone with fabulous skiing, snowboarding and many other winter activities.
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
Snowshoeing can be a great family activity. This is a great way to spend time together, get some exercise and to take in the fabulous views of the Rocky Mountains. Park City offers hundreds of trails to choose from, including beginner all the way through advanced. For more information visit Park City snowshoeing [http://www.parkcityinfo.com/events/fallwinter/snowshoeing.asp].
Cross country skiing can be a very rewarding activity. It can be both demanding and rewarding. Park City offers miles of groomed trails, or you can take a custom tour to view the Rocky Mountain sky line! For more information visit [http://www.parkcityinfo.com/skiing/crosscountry/]
If you dont have your own equipment, there is no need to worry. There are many places where you are able to rent the neccesaary equipment. Many of the resorts offer equipment rentals, or you can visit any of the many shops in town to get set up for your next adventure.
For the fastest way to cover a lot of terrain and view the Rocky Mountains, try a snowmobile tour. There are many companies in Park City that offer everything from the basic tour, to the most intense excursion. Many of the companies will arrange pick up or transportation from where you are staying. Snowmobiling can be a great group activity. Take the whole family, or plan a business outing to bring your team together. For more information visit Park City snowmobiling – [http://www.parkcityinfo.com/events/fallwinter/snowmobiling.asp]
Sundance Film Festival
If you plan to be in the Park City area in January, the Sundance Film Festival is not to be missed. It takes place January 19-29. The Sundance Film Festival was started in 1981 by Robert Redford and provides developing artist a place to showcase new and independent work. This is a great time to come to Park City to enjoy skiing, the festival and to do a little bit of celebrity site seeing. For more information please visit [http://festival.sundance.org/2006/]
Park City Lodging Dining and Nightlife
Park City offers an abundance of lodging choices. Hotels, condos, private residence clubs and private homes are the most popular choices for travelers. Hotels can be found slope side or in the heart of the downtown area. Each hotel offers something a little bit different depending on how much you would like to spend. You will be able to find small budget hotels or very expensive high class luxury hotels. The high class hotels are well worth the money. From the moment you walk through the lobby doors, you will not have to worry about a thing. After staying at one of these types of hotels, you will never want to stay anywhere else.
Another Park City lodging choice for large groups or families would be a condo rental or a private residence club. A condo rental can be a great choice for a family. Many times condo rentals dont offer the full services of a hotel or a private residence club but offer full kitchens and all the main ingredients to make your family trip memorable and more affordable. Private Residence Clubs are becoming the lodging choice of the future. These clubs can offer 2, 3 and four bedrooms suites in large complexes. These can be quite luxuries with a full staff including concierge, bell staff, ski valet, and sometimes twice daily maid service. A private residence club can be a great choice for a family getaway. Park City offers many choices for dining and nightlife activities when the playing is done for the day. The downtown area offers over 100 restaurants and bars to choose from.
Many of these establishments are award winning and serve some of the best dishes in the Intermountain West. Once you are done with diner, head out to a jazz club, dance club or just hang out at one of the many eclectic bars. Making the decision can be the toughest part because there is something for everyone in this town. Most restaurants and bars are very close to each other, or they are just a short free bus ride from where you are located.
Which ever activity or activities you choose to participate in while you are in Park City, you are sure not to be disappointed. We have only begun to scratch the surface with the activities listed above. The best advice is to do a little planning and research before you visit, so you can make the most of your next winter adventure to Park City.
Mike Buczek works for Blizzard Internet Marketing representing Premier Resorts. For more information on winter activities and Park City hotels please visit [http://www.DeerValleyLodging.com]