Perhaps some of you are interested in Snowboarding during the offseason.
My recent trip to Vietnam got delayed and then finally canceled. There were full flights, snowstorms in Chicago, then 2 weeks of rain in Vietnam. I decided to make the best of a bad situation and headed to Salt Lake City to learn to snowboard.
Salt Lake is served by most of the major airlines.
There are several resorts within 30 minutes drive of salt Lake City. I was told to try out Brighton, as it had the most forgiving terrain and some of the best snow.
If you buy lift tickets at the resorts, you'll pay the highest price.
The Hotels sell a "SuperPass" for $58 which includes a round trip ride on the public ski-bus (park and ride) and your lift ticket to any of 4 resorts. Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird. the snowbird Tram is included in this price. At Brighton, it includes night skiing as well. You can also purchase lift tickets at the sports shops in Salt Lake for a few dollars less than at the resorts.
Lift Lines- On Saturday, after a week of snow (50 inches), after 3 weeks without snow, the resorts were slammed. That said, I waited 2-3 minutes max for a chairlift! The small parking lots limit the number of people at Brighton and solitude.
The public bus company in Salt Lake operates several routes up to the resorts. There are park-a-ride lots along the routes and signs as you get close indicating which lots still have space. The busses are pretty convenient as they have chains on the tires and can get you up to the resorts when the canyons are closed to all but 4WD or cars with chains. the fare is $7 round trip. See the SuperPass described above.
Also, Parking at the resorts is limited. On weekends the bus can be VERY busy, especially with kids being dropped off by their parents at the park-and-ride stops. It's a good idea to board at one of the first pickup points as it might be full by the last stop before going up the canyon. I had to push and shove and otherwise act like an animal to get on a bus back down the canyon on Saturday and Sunday. I missed 3 busses as kids jumped the line and swarmed the busses.
I like to stay down in Salt Lake where there are plenty of restaurants and bars. The liquor laws have been relaxed recently and you no longer need a membership etc. in Salt Lake.
The Motel 6 was advertising $39/nt if you're on a budget. I stayed in 2-3 star places for around $45/nt.
You might consider avoiding the downtown area if you want free parking with your hotel. At very least, confirm the hotel offers free parking.
I would prefer to stay in Sandy or the South Jordan area. It's full of restaurants, hotels, malls, etc.
All the usual suspects. consider renting a 4WD of a car with chains if your in a group. The ski bus will set you back $28 /day for 4 adults. It might be worth paying extra for a 4WD. I was solo and rented a $20/day economy car. I drove up to the resorts twice and took the bus on days when it was snowing. Again, they close the canyons to all but 4WD or chains when it snows. You could get stuck at the top if it snows while you're skiing. State Police are checking each car before if goes up or down the canyon.
You can save by renting your gear down in Salt Lake City. There are brochures all over the place with e various shops offerings.
Lesson / Rentals / Lift Ticket- Brighton offers an all inclusive package including gear, lift ticket, and a group lesson for $85 per day. If you said "Lucky $13" you got $13 off...final price $72.
I took two lessons and was very satisfied with the instruction. If your 2 hour group lesson has no other people in it, you get a 1 hour private lesson instead. I ended up with a private lesson ($85/hr), rentals ($30), and a lift ticket ($58) all for $72. That's a sweet deal.
24 hour, Lifetime Fitness and others have facilities in Salt Lake. It's pretty sweet to stop in for a steam / shower on the way back to your hotel.
Everything and anything in Salt Lake.
I hope this helps if you're considering a trip out!
2007- Naish Thorn, Torch 16/12, 2008 10M Alliance. '07 Naish Thorn 144 Cape Doctor. Naish Midwest Team. GoPro Cameras! Red Helmet and Fashionable Football Shirt.