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Skiing on a Budget: Park City, Utah

With a yearly average of 350 inches of snow and gorgeous mountain terrain, it’s hard to imagine a better place for skiing than Park City, Utah. Their motto, “The Greatest Snow on Earth” says it all. With premier skiing and other winter activities, Park City makes a perfect spot for a great winter getaway.

Affording a luxurious ski vacation may be another matter altogether, but this year, by taking advantage of Park City Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau offers and careful planning, even those with limited budgets can make their dollars go farther in Park City.

Two Great Reasons to Visit Park City, Utah, This Year
With the economic climate still giving a hit to the tourism industry, Park City is making it more affordable for visitors to come to their city this year. They offer two unique programs, both of which are detailed fully at www.ParkCityInfo.com.

The first program involves a free day of skiing, so travelers to Park City, Utah, will want to arrive early on their flights in to Salt Lake City’s International Airport. This shouldn’t be a problem as the airport offers some 700 flights daily, with slightly less than half of those arriving before noon on any given day. The program is called Quick START. To participate, simply use your boarding pass to obtain a free one-day lift ticket at one of three unique resorts in the Park City area.

The second program is the Ski Free-Stay Free plan, in which visitors receive a free night’s lodging at a participating Park City resort, along with a free day of skiing with the purchase of a 4-night package. Again, see the Park City website for details.

Transportation Savings
With the range of carriers serving the Salt Lake City Airport, travelers should be able to easily locate an affordable flight into Utah. Park City is about a 35-minute drive, and travelers can save money by using one of the many affordable van services than run 24 hours a day between the airport and Park City.

Once in Park City, travelers will be happy to learn that Park City offers a free city-wide bus service that is clean, cozy, and ski-friendly. Best of all, this free city service is run on biodiesel, so it’s green too!

Lodging
While some ski resorts can do serious damage to the traveler’s wallet, Park City offers a wide range of accommodations. Budget lodging can be had in local hotels for as little as $70-100/night. For those with large groups, consider condo rentals, where the price per head is significantly reduced (along with adding an option for cooking your own meals).

For those with recreational vehicles (Rvs), Park City offers two RV resorts, where the price of accommodation can be reduced to under $20 per night.

Food and Entertainment
With more than 100 unique restaurants, the dining options in Park City range from fast food to gourmet cuisine, and everything in between. Budget dining choices range from bakeries and delis to inexpensive Mexican restaurants to pizzerias to Western style barbeque, all within any budget traveler’s means. Where budgets can go wild is in the apres ski drinking and partying that goes on late into each night in Park City.

Seek out alternative entertainment from the bar scene, and there are sure to be more budget friendly ways to experience Park City. From free weekly concerts sponsored by the Utah Music Festival to gallery hopping on the first Friday of every month, Park City offers a range of entertainment options.

Extend this thinking to the great outdoors. While a week of lift tickets can be expensive, there are lots of alternative activities during the day as well. From Olympic hopefuls practicing at the Utah Olympic Park (admission to the park is free) to special events like the Snowboarding Grand Prix and the Visa Freestyle International Moguls and Aerials, there are plenty of other activities to be had at Park City. Also consider ice fishing, skating, tubing, and sleigh rides. It’s all there to be enjoyed.

Finally, remember to be true to yourself. Spend according to what’s most important to you. For some travelers, this may mean a nicer resort, for others, more days on the slopes. A vacation doesn’t have to be a budget buster if travelers seek out the deals on offer this year. With a little planning, you too can find yourself amidst the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”

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