“There are not many places in the world where you can get to the beach in an hour, the desert in two hours and snowboarding or skiing in three hours. You can do all that in California.” –Alex Pettyfer
Even though you can go to the beach, desert and skiing in California, our family likes to vacation Park City, Utah each winter! Our whole family loves to ski, so this year, we decided to rent a house and ski for 4 days before heading back to San Diego. My son, Ky, is seven, and skied in ski school at Deer Valley last year. I decided to put him in Park City Mountain Ski School this year, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of the entire trip! Here’s why Park City Mountain Ski School impressed me this winter:
Easy Online Lift Ticket and Ski School Booking
Looking online at Park City Mountain, I found that I could buy everything I needed right on the website! I booked Ky’s ski school ticket easily and quickly and even added the equipment rental information in! It was simple to understand and pay all on the website. (Although, you can also purchase ski school tickets easily at the Sales Office at Park City Mountain!) It confirmed my order and instructed me to have my skier there and ready by 8:45am. The website said that the class would leave for the hill promptly at 9:00am. Like any other mom, I thought, “Ok no problem, 9am. Got it.” We got to our rental house in Bear Hollow, about 5 minutes from the ski hill, and settled in nicely for the evening. After driving all day, settling in, and then checking out No Name Saloon (see how much my fiance and I love this bar here), my 7:00am alarm rang very early the next morning. I pressed snooze a few times, and finally got out of bed around 7:30am. I woke Ky up quickly and had him eating breakfast and putting his snow clothes on within a few minutes, a miracle in itself for most mothers.
Preferred Parking (and 30 Minute Parking for Ski School Drop Off)
By the time I was pulling out of the driveway with Ky and his snow gear, it was 8:10am, only 50 minutes before his class left for the hill. I was worried. While I drove down the road to the Park City Mountain entrance, I tried to calculate the timing in my mind. Fifteen minutes to find where to park, fifteen minutes to find the rental shop, and fifteen minutes to get him ready and to the instructor would put us there right around 9:00am. Perfect, now I just had to find the parking lot, the rental shop, and the ski school area. No big deal, right?!
I was actually surprised how easy it was to navigate Park City Mountain Canyon Base area. There were ski school signs pointing all the way to the correct area, and even a 30 minute parking lot very close by! I parked quickly and we jogged up to the lodge to find the rental area. (Halfway to the lodge, I had to run back to the car to get Ky’s gloves and neck warmer that we had forgotten.) We went in the first office I could find and asked where the ski school rental area was. A friendly instructor said he would show us, and walked us over a few buildings to the rental area.
Quick and Easy Rental Fittings
The lady in the rental area checked Ky in for ski school, gave me my parent ticket (to match with his ticket when I pick him up), and started fitting him for boots. She told me he needed goggles, and my heart sank. I froze. I had forgotten his helmet (with goggles attached) in the garage of our rental home. I was so disappointed in myself, but she assured me that it would all work out and that I wasn’t the only one who forgets things. I called my fiancé, and he (thankfully) said he would run the helmet up to us. I overheard another parent trying to figure out if his wife returned the skis that his two kids needed for school, so I felt a little better about my own mistake. I recalculated the timing, and figured we would find his instructor with plenty of time.
Then, another rental staff member came by and said, “Where are your snow pants buddy?” My body froze again, how is it possible that I almost forgot his gloves in the car, forgot his helmet and goggles at home AND forgot to have him put snow pants on?! I called my fiancé back, and got a little teary-eyed as I listened to his voicemail box and figured my son wouldn’t have time to get everything he needed before 9:00am now. There was no way I could get his snow pants there in time. Then, the rental employees told me there is a kid’s shop right next to where the ski school meets! They got his skis fitted to his boots, and sent us out on our way, all within 10 minutes! We ran to the parking lot and met my fiance to grab the helmet and goggles, and then ran to the kid’s shop to see if we could get snow pants in time.
Ski Shops Right On Campus
“I need the quickest, cheapest snow pants that fit this little man,” I said as we walked in the doors of the kid’s shop. I figured the lady would think I was crazy, but instead she quickly grabbed some snow pants from a rack nearby and held them up. I said, “perfect” and had Ky try them on. “Don’t worry, I specialize in rushes,” she said as I hurried Ky along, trying to get him to button them in time for the class. They fit him perfectly and I paid quickly!
Happy Ski School Instructors
We got outside and I got his gloves and neck warmer on. We walked over to the big blue flags for ski school, and an instructor came right up to us with a smile on his face to inquire about his level of experience and program I had put him in. I took a deep breath, we had made it in time! I gave Ky a kiss as the instructor explained everything to me and then walked Ky over to his group of classmates! The instructor made it all seem fun and exciting for Ky, so he couldn’t wait to start the ski day. I checked the clock on my phone as I walked back to the car. It said 9:02, perfect timing.
Park City Mountain made it easy to park, find rental equipment, buy extra gear, and get my son to ski school, all in less than an hour. Although, I would recommend making sure you have everything you need before leaving your home/hotel so you aren’t missing anything. I would also recommend giving yourself an hour like we did, just to enjoy the process and not need to hurry at all. Ky had an amazing time at ski school and even went back the next day too! Overall, we loved the Park City Mountain Ski School experience! Have you skied at Park City Mountain or Deer Valley in Park City? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you!