We had decided to skip our annual family ski trip this year for several reasons including schedule and cost. I say I had accepted it, but I guess I really hadn’t because I kept an eye open for deals. When Deer Valley offered their Kids Ski Free days (one free lift ticket for a child per one adult lift ticket purchased), I presented it to David.
He’ll admit he was hard to win over, but we finally agreed we’d love to make it happen, even if it was a quick, whirlwind of a trip. And that it was! We flew out Saturday morning, leaving Charlotte for a connection in Detroit. Mechanical issues delayed our initial flight and we missed the connection, which had us on another flight flying east to DC before hopping on another flight to Salt Lake. Not ideal to add another 6 hours of travel to the start of a short trip, but the girls were troopers.
We were all quite exhausted when we pulled up to our 2 bedroom/2.5 bath condo at The Lodges around 8:55 PM local time (10:55 EST). Still, we were thrilled that Skis on the Run accommodated us, fitting us in our room at 9:00 PM so we’d be ready to go the next morning. Plus, this trip, the girls each had their own bed instead of sharing, which made a huge difference in comfort.
We chose Deer Valley and The Lodges because we’ve been before and know it so well. We partnered with Deer Valley in 2019 and visited again in 2021. We know the mountain works well for our family (a lot of greens and blues), the service is excellent, the routine of getting to the lifts is smooth and seamless, and the accommodations are nice and convenient.
Sunday morning we let the kids sleep as they needed to before walking across the courtyard to breakfast. Included in the stay in a complimentary breakfast buffet which is incredibly convenient. They offer a wide selection of food and beverages and it’s a great way to fill everyone up before hitting the slopes.
After breakfast we suited up (I have limited gear recommendations as I am still rocking my mom’s bibs and mittens circa 30 years ago), grabbed our lift tickets from the front desk, and our skis from the concierge. We were on our first lift by 10:00- the bunny hill!
I was excited to see how quickly the girls reclaimed their skills and after two times down the bunny slope, we took up off the mountain. We spent the morning into the early afternoon on blues and greens. We hit up our favorites, Homeward Bound and skiing by the Bear House, more than once.
We stopped early afternoon, all still full from breakfast, for a cookie and a beer before taking back off. The girls got a little more brave in the afternoon and we started finding the runs through trees to play on, which they loved.
We stayed on the mountain until it shut down, then dropped our skis off with the valet and headed back to the condo for the hot tub. The Lodges has a heated pool, a small hot tub, and a large hot tub all near each other. David and I enjoyed the hot tub while the girls bounced between the pool and hot tub with seemingly endless energy.
As we started to get hungry, we headed back for showers. Then we grabbed to go pasta for the girls from The Brass Tag, the restaurant at The Lodges, and set them up with a movie. David and I then headed to the bar at The Brass Tag and proceeded to carb load. The brick oven pizza was excellent!
We all slept hard that night and were up and ready to do it all again the next morning. Monday started off much the same with the breakfast buffet and heading to the mountain. We lucked out with fairly warm temperatures so no one had frozen finger or toes. There were no lift lines. It was a clear sky kind of day. We took full advantage of this and skied all over the mountain.
We stopped for lunch on the mountain at Empire Canyon Grill. Nothing tastes better than a burger and beer on the mountain! Though the girls might argue that hot chocolate reigns supreme. After lunch we were on a focused mission to hit every wooded trail area and spent the entire afternoon weaving through trees.
We stayed until closing again, feeling the temperatures beginning to drop quite starkly as we finished our last run. We dropped off our skis and boots, picked up a complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, and headed to the hot tub.
Being our last night, we decided to visit a favorite of ours, Daly’s Pub & Rec at The Montage Deer Valley. Deer Valley offers complimentary transportation within 4 miles, so they dropped us off and picked us up which is hugely convenient.
Daly’s is a hit with us because the food is good and the family entertainment is excellent. They have a slew of games from video consoles to foosball, but our crew was most excited about the two bowling alleys, which are tucked just inside the restaurant. We had a grand time on our last night!
And that was it! We were up early the next morning to take advantage of the complimentary buffet before our ride back to the airport. Gratefully our travel home was much less eventful than our travel out there. I placed a grocery order from the plan and we were back home doing laundry and cooking dinner by 5:00 on Tuesday.
I’m so grateful we made this trip happen. It was fast and furious, but we packed in so much fun into those couple days. David did admit to me in the hot tub that he wished we had added on one more day, something he knows I was pushing for 😉 But alas, a wonderful time!
I asked my IG friends if there were any questions that would be helpful to answer about the trip, and here are the answers to the most FAQ!
Deer Valley Family Ski Vacation FAQ
Did you get a package deal for lodging and skiing?
Yes. We purchased Deer Valley’s Family Value Package. It’s 20% off lodging and kids ski free (a free lift ticket per child per adult lift ticket purchased). At The Lodges it also includes complimentary breakfast. For full details, click here.
How did you get your girls started skiing?
We started when they were quite young, ages 6 and 3 years old. We first went on the east coast to sip a toe in. We visited Snowshoes, WV and put the girls in ski lessons. We were hooked! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy to ski with young kids (the layers, the whining while getting ready, the cold toes, the discomfort), but for us it was worth it and now we are super grateful we can ski quite enjoyably all together. See: 12 Straight Forward Tips for Taking Kids Skiing
Is The Lodges Ski In and Ski Out?
It is not a ski in and ski out facility but they do make transportation SO easy. First of all, Deer Valley offers complimentary ski valet at the base of Snow Park Lodge. So you literally ski down, pop your skis off, and walk 20 feet to drop them to the attendant for free overnight storage.
They also offer complimentary shuttle service between the base and The Lodges. The shuttles run every 3-4 minutes it seems because there was always one waiting for us. The drive is 2 minutes, about a mile down the road. It’s hugely convenient.
Can you give a ballpark figure on what a trip like this would cost?
A lot of questions about budget/cost. That’s hard to answer because there are so many factors to consider, like do you own gear (from bibs to helmet, etc), how many children do you have (it’s a large multiplier for everything from rental equipment to lift tickets), are you flying or dirivng, do you need ski school/lessons (those can be a couple hundred dollars a day).
Things that helped us save on this trip:
- Using Skis on the Run for boot and ski rental. They come to you and cost less than other options.
- Kids ski free. Lift tickets are pricey and getting a free lift ticket per adult per day is a big savings!
- Complimentary breakfast. We usually make a grocery trip but our crazy travel day didn’t allow for it. Having a big, hearty, complimentary breakfast is a big cost saver.
- 20% off lodging, which was part of the special package deal.
- Booking flights through our Sapphire rewards credit card.
- A rough breakdown of this quick trip for us: flights were about $400 each, the place was about $2000 total, and the 2 day lift tickets were about $700 total, and the equipment rental was about $400 total.
What did you use for transportation to and from the airport? Do you need a rental car?
We don’t need a rental care because of the complimentary Deer Valley transportation within a 4 mile radius. For airport transportation, we’ve used Kristauf’s Transportation for two trips now and they’ve consistently been flexible, reliable, and professional.
Why was a trip this short worth it?
Because it kept our annual streak alive! The kids really enjoy skiing and being able to practice their skills, even for two days, was a lot of fun. Ski trips are some of our favorite family memories, so even a short trip like this felt very much worth it to us.
How was The Montage? Was the bowling at the hotel?
The Montage is gorgeous! Now we’ve only really ever experienced Daly’s, but from what we’ve seen, I’d recommend it. It’s clean, the staff is professional, and the drive up to it is beautiful! There are two bowling lanes right inside Daly’s Pub and Rec. They cost extra for both shoe rental and play.
What are your favorite places to eat?
In 2019 we got to experience all The Deer Valley restaurants, so check out this post for that information. We haven’t been enough to venture into the close by Park City spots, but I have had the following recommended to me: Chimayo, Firewood, and Yuki Yama Sushi.
If you have questions I didn’t answer, please leave them in the comments. And if you have a favorite ski spot, please share it with me! 🙂