My choice is heavily influenced by familiarity. I grew up in Heber City and the school district offered ski lessons. Every Monday for eight weeks during the ski season they would bus us to Park City for lessons. I participated in this program starting in the eighth grade through graduating high school. I also worked there for two seasons and part of the pay was a season pass.
They have a lot of varied terrain from the bunny hill to Jupiter Bowl and the moguls on Thaynes.
sound off... where do you ride and why? does weather, snowfall, lift lines, lodges, parking, hours, price, etc influence your decision? season pass? day tickets? 5 packs?
I like Brighton, Alta, Snowbird, hell I like them all.
I think the cheapest ticket right now is Brighton, not much for pampering like Deer Valley but then again DV is $90 for a ticket vs $62. Because I go to ski and not to have my ski carried for me I usually choose Brighton or Alta. Then Snowbird if I can get a free pass.
I would say that ticket price has the biggest influence for most people. As nice as Deer Valley is, I am not paying $90 to ski on the same snow. There are local only tickets, but they do run out of those etc. What can I say, I'm cheap. I bring my own lunch and snacks, I only free drink water.
Parking at all the resorts is not great. Probably The Canyons and Deer Valley have the best system. Snowbird can be a pain in the ass, they just don't have lots of room for parking
The resorts are getting unrealistic in their costs.
Its the BC for me and my crew.
they are expanding at quite a serious rate, but i don't know about unrealistic. the ability for me to cover vast expanses of land with zero self propelled ascents for an unlimited amount of time all winter for < $1,000 is pretty good if you can make it out over 20-30 days a year. granted, a day ticket is getting pretty unreasonable, but if you really pay retail prices for a ticket you deserve what you get. there are plenty of pre-season deals for multi-packs and most shops sell discount tickets.
The closest i can get in the backcountry is to buy a sled $$$$$, do my own avalanche control, find a buddy (or a couple) to go up with and drive way out to someplace where i can ride said sled.
The "pure" form of the BC involves me spending WAY more time making my ascent. while it does almost always guarantee fresh snow, you also have to walk away some days due to avalanche danger, and the number of runs per day is much lower.