The City Slicker’s Guide to Ski Travel:
City folk - we tend to be in a hurry, a little demanding, and in desperate need to short circuit potential hassles. Logistically smooth processes are at a premium so that the allure of the mountains is fully realized. Our experience as a Chicago based family of 5 who regularly travel to Park City can serve as a benchmark for our fellow metropolitan travelers.
Transportation Options to the Airport:
In my married without kids days we schlepped ski gear on the “El” many times for $2.25 per ride /per person ; however, let’s be honest, the idea of kids, ski gear, and luggage on the train to O’Hare - probably ain’t happening. More realistic options include:
- A Private Car (SUV or Van) for a family of 5 to the Airport $95-$100 (one-way).
- Parking in a remote lot near an airport and shuttling to the airport anywhere from $55 to $85 a week.
- The friends or family drop-off: the implied promise of a bottle of Kistler Cuvee Elizabeth (http://www.kistlervineyards.com/ ) for the trouble.
Gear Transport Options:
OK, the Volkls and your perfectly dialed-in Lange boots are along for the ride. Most airlines generally accept one item of ski equipment per customer as checked baggage as long as it is securely encased in a suitable container.
- A reasonable assumption for a family of 5, counting skis and boots for the adults, (each counts as 1 checked bag) might generate 7 checked bags and amounting to $245 in baggage fees.
- Alternatively, one could forward skis with a service like Luggage Forward which runs about $168 (roundtrip) from Chicago to Park City.
- Ok you are bringing your Lange boots but leaving the Volkls at home. Why not demo a new pair of skis every day!
- Finally, if your family has settled on a go-to destination that you intend to ski every year then renting a storage unit is the long term winning option. We keep every shred of our family’s gear in a good size storage locker at Summit Storage ($42/month) dramatically reducing logistics issues and yielding untold matrimonial harmony.
Transport from the Airport to Park City:
If you have ideas of traversing all parts of the Wasatch outside of Park City then a rental car makes sense.
- Premium rental car companies Hertz and Avis will run $600-$900 a week whereas some of the smaller companies you can secure a small SUV fitting 5 from $400-$500 a week.
- If you plan on staying with Park City and frequenting any or all of the 3 resorts then a roundtrip shuttle service (Luxury SUV up to 5 people) runs about $360 .
- Park City has a free bus service (http://www.parkcity.org/index.aspx?page=422) that gets you and your family in and around the 3 resorts easily. If you do not rent a car we highly recommend this resource.
If avoiding lines, advanced planning, or finding excellent deal appeals to you then getting a jump on tickets with PCMR’s lift ticket channel (http://deals.parkcitymountain.com/) where saving up to 35% is within your reach. Also within the Chicagoland area Costco offers excellent multi-day passes for PCMR.
Choose wisely and within parameters that fit your family’s tolerances and patience and enjoy your vacation.
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The views expressed on Snowmamas are those of the individual authors, who are independent contractors of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Killiington Resort and may not be factually accurate. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Park City Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Killington Resort, its owners, its management or its employees. Snowmamas' will receive compensation for their participation as an author.