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Park City Ski Resort Profile
By Logan Campbell

Summary: Park City Mountain Resort had its biggest moment in the spotlight hosting the ski and snowboard Giant Slalom and the Half-pipe at the 2002 Olympics.

World-class athletes have been in Park City for decades, though. The gnarly mountain groomed Utah local Ted Ligety for his 2006 Olympic gold, and has attracted many other Olympians and X-Games stars such as Tanner Hall to make Park City their home. As host to an annual World Cup Ski Race and Robert Redford's illustrious Sundance Film Festival, Park City and its active nightlife defy Utah's tame reputation.

Like all skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, there is plenty of snow and great terrain for everyone at Park City. There is something attractive to everyone here- challenging slopes for expert skiers, a renowned terrain park and half-pipe for the freestyle riders, bunny hills for beginners and perhaps best of all: plenty of things to do when your ski day is over.

With shopping, movies, bars & clubs, sledding, ice skating, and an amazing variety of high-class international restaurants for a town of 8,000 people, you can see why many Hollywood celebrities (and even former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney) have moved in or purchased a second home in town. People flock to Park City to strut their style. Whether it's the houses, the top notch skiing and boarding skills, or the clothing, the combined efforts of Hollywood and the Olympics invading an old Utah mining town make Park City truly one-of-a-kind.

Do not expect to visit PCMR without spending some significant cash, but it will certainly be an exciting and memorable experience. If you want to minimize the damage to your wallet, consider staying in a more affordable Salt Lake City hotel and driving up the easy 30-45 minutes for the skiing and/or partying in Park City. Shop the grocery store for sack lunches, and look for discounted lift tickets at REI, Smith's Food & Drug, or at a ski rental shop. Visiting Park City during the peak times of the season can cost a lot more as well. Things really pick up the week before Christmas until kids go back to school after New Years. Also, avoid Presidents' Day weekend if possible. Weekends tend to be a bit busier than weekdays of course.

If you want to stay in Park City, there are plenty of places to stay for a bit higher cost than in Salt Lake (again, especially at peak times of the year).

It would be wise to rent a car to get to Park City from the Salt Lake airport, though a shuttle or taxi ride is an option. Transportation within Park City is actually quite nice- there are free buses going to and fro all day and well into the night, with several routes hitting key lodging, skiing, and shopping destinations.

Lodging Choices: Lots of hotels, condos, and homes right at the resort or in the town. Salt Lake City offers more affordable options, only 30-45 minutes away.

Terrain: 3,100 feet (17% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 33% Expert)

Highest Elevation / Vertical Drop: 10,000 feet / 3,100 feet

Snow: 360 inches per year

Activities for Non-Skiers: Great shopping on Main Street or at the Outlet Mall, movies, fabulous restaurant selection, art galleries, sledding, ice skating, the works.

Ski School: Has all the usual options for adults and kids of all ability levels.

Day Care: Full and half day care is certainly available.

Getting There: Only 41 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport, just follow I-80 East until you see start seeing signs for Park City. Four-wheel drive is highly recommended, though you can live without if the weather is clear throughout your trip. Shuttles and cabs are available to get you there from Salt Lake. Free buses will take you throughout the town of Park City and the resort.

Insider Tip: Find significantly discounted lift tickets at Smith's Food & Drug in Park City or at REI in Salt Lake.

Logan Campbell is a local Utah skier, middle school teacher, and writer with published works of fiction, poetry, op-ed, and now ski reviews. Contact Logan by email- lcampbell@mcgillisschool.org.