Beaver creek vs Deer valley

Roymond

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My good wife turns 50 this year. She has always wanted to try one of the ‘luxury’ US resorts so we have a good excuse to lash out.
We were thinking deer valley or beaver creek. We need some good balance between family friendly, ease of access and minimal attitude.
Anyone with thoughts?
@CarveMan didnt you teach at deer valley?
@MarzNC seems to have skied every resort on the continental US…
We have been happy at sunpeaks/ big white / snowmass to give some idea of the family skill level.
 

CarveMan

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My good wife turns 50 this year. She has always wanted to try one of the ‘luxury’ US resorts so we have a good excuse to lash out.
We were thinking deer valley or beaver creek. We need some good balance between family friendly, ease of access and minimal attitude.
Anyone with thoughts?
@CarveMan didnt you teach at deer valley?
@MarzNC seems to have skied every resort on the continental US…
We have been happy at sunpeaks/ big white / snowmass to give some idea of the family skill level.
I taught at Vail for 3 years and Deer Valley for 4.

Both are excellent, 6 star resorts if you're looking for that sort of thing. But you'll need to bring a stuffed wallet to really enjoy what both have to offer.

I'll put in a disclaimer that Deer Valley has been sold since I used to work there, it used to be owned by exceedingly wealthy families who weren't trying to wring every cent out of the place, but that may no longer be the case. However it would be extremely remiss of the new owners to move away from what made it what it was, but I think the addition of the Ikon pass will have certain consequences.

Anyway I prefer the weather in Utah, Colorado in comparison is a lot higher, colder, windier and just generally more bleak. And it snows more in Utah too, though the Park City areas are about on par with Vail/BC with 350" per annum.

DV wins hands down with access being only 45mins from an international airport, and it's an hour less from LAX to SLC compared to DEN too.

I have to run but I'll post some more thoughts later.
 
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Fozzie Bear

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Telluride........ just sayin. Great town. Heaps of skiing variety. Can go as uber luxe as you want. If you are lucky have lunch in the Telluride Club (was a perk of a full day private).

But would still go back to Zermatt any day of the week.
 
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Legs Akimbo

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Telluride........ just sayin. Great town. Heaps of skiing variety. Can go as uber luxe as you want. If you are lucky have lunch in the Telluride Club (was a perk of a full day private)
And arguably the hardest US resort for access. Unless you are lucky enough for the airport to be open. That would be one heck of an arrival.
 

Roymond

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Telluride........ just sayin. Great town. Heaps of skiing variety. Can go as uber luxe as you want. If you are lucky have lunch in the Telluride Club (was a perk of a full day private).

But would still go back to Zermatt any day of the week.
I’d love to try telluride but access is a little more difficult.
And we also have Europe in the pipeline for a conference trip to Val Gardena.
The coeliac thing with my wife and a couple of kids makes an English speaking destination preferable.
 

Sbooker

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I’ve skied at both but only a few days here and there so my opinion has nowhere near the weight as Carveman. You’d have a ball at both.

But I were heading to the US and were prepared to pay good dollars I would stay over the hill from Deer Valley in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Snowbird and Alta must surely be the best (lift served) combination of snow quality and quantity and varied terrain on the planet. Almost double the snowfall as just a few kilometres further east in Deer Valley. A truly memorable ski experience would be guaranteed.
 
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Sbooker

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And how are you planning on getting back into Qld? Going to take the quarantine on?
 
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CarveMan

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And arguably the hardest US resort for access. Unless you are lucky enough for the airport to be open. That would be one heck of an arrival.
When I decided I wanted to leave Vail I got job offers in both Telluride and Park City, I chose Park City as the airport proximity meant it never got that quiet whereas the vibe from Telluride was to not expect to work between New Year and President’s week.
 
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Fozzie Bear

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I’d love to try telluride but access is a little more difficult.
And we also have Europe in the pipeline for a conference trip to Val Gardena.
The coeliac thing with my wife and a couple of kids makes an English speaking destination preferable.

Skied Zermatt, Cran Montana and Val Gardena last Europe trip (Jan-Feb 2020). I'm challenged with English at the best of times (great for cryptic crosswords though) and not once had a problem with language (Russians excepted). Travelled everywhere by train except where a taxi link was required.
 
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Donza

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Skied Zermatt, Cran Montana and Val Gardena last Europe trip (Jan-Feb 2020). I'm challenged with English at the best of times (great for cryptic crosswords though) and not once had a problem with language (Russians excepted). Travelled everywhere by train except where a taxi link was required.
Yup luxe would be Qatar airlines sky suites to Milan.
Then luxing it up in the Dolomites.
 

Billy_Buttons

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My daddy was born and raised in the Italian Alps.....he preferred skiing in the USA. ;)
 
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DidSurfNowSki

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Both are excellent resorts. Your wallet will be considerably lighter after your trip.

If you prefer endless intermediate runs I'd be tempted to go to Beaver Creek rather than Deer Valley by a hares whisker but you can't go wrong at either.
 

CarveMan

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Both are excellent resorts. Your wallet will be considerably lighter after your trip.

If you prefer endless intermediate runs I'd be tempted to go to Beaver Creek rather than Deer Valley by a hares whisker but you can't go wrong at either.
Yeah coming back to this it’s splitting hairs in terms of the resort experience, also a caveat that it’s been 20 years since I was at BC but I spend plenty of time with people who still work there.

I think I’d rate DV ahead just on the weather and access reasons I mentioned earlier. On snow I think it’s a toss-up and it’s hard to go wrong.
 

MarzNC

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I taught at Vail for 3 years and Deer Valley for 4.

Both are excellent, 6 star resorts if you're looking for that sort of thing. But you'll need to bring a stuffed wallet to really enjoy what both have to offer.

I'll put in a disclaimer that Deer Valley has been sold since I used to work there, it used to be owned by exceedingly wealthy families who weren't trying to wring every cent out of the place, but that may no longer be the case. However it would be extremely remiss of the new owners to move away from what made it what it was, but I think the addition of the Ikon pass will have certain consequences.

Anyway I prefer the weather in Utah, Colorado in comparison is a lot higher, colder, windier and just generally more bleak. And it snows more in Utah too, though the Park City areas are about on par with Vail/BC with 350" per annum.

DV wins hands down with access being only 45mins from an international airport, and it's an hour less from LAX to SLC compared to DEN too.

I have to run but I'll post some more thoughts later.
Although obviously there are things that have changed, I would agree in general.

DV is now owned by Alterra and on Ikon. The price of lodging and food at DV is just as high as it was, relative to Park City or lodging in SLC or Ogden. With an Ikon, still limited on the number of days for DV. In general, DV is being careful to keep their long time season pass holders happy. I think the full season pass is something like US$2500. Continuing to be for skiers only also is important for those pass holders.

My favorite destination out west is Alta. Not having snowboarders is a plus for me. Base altitude is 8000 ft, which means I can adjust in a day or two.

The logistics of getting to Vail hasn't changed. Either a long drive on I-70 from Denver or fly directly into Eagle. There are times when Eagle shuts down due to bad weather. Probably more traffic on I-70 than 5-10 years ago.

I haven't skied Vail so can't comment on terrain. I know my friend who was a middle-age intermediate when he decided it was time to start skiing out west like Vail a lot. He picked it for his first ski trip with some buddies. But he hasn't been back since. Instead he's doing Taos Ski Weeks annually and having fun at other destination resorts on Ikon.

Vail is huge with multiple bases. Beaver Creek is a bus ride away. Less hustle and bustle at BC from what I understand. If I ever get an Epic pass, I would check out BC and Vail during a trip to Colorado. Would want to have plenty of time in order to fully acclimate to the altitude. Hard to sleep much lower than 9000 ft in that part of Colorado.

DV has multiple peaks so learning to go between sections can be a little confusing, but there are free mountain tours. What's unusual is that there is a "expert" mountain tour, not just tours on blue groomers. The frontside groomers can get skied out by the late morning if it hasn't snowed lately. Even midweek it seemed like a lot of the DV skiers quit at lunch time or never made it to the back peaks.

Any trip flying into SLC should include a day at Alta in my opinion. Even if staying at DV. For someone looking for groomers, Solitude and Brighton are fun too. They are on Ikon.
 

MarzNC

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When I skied DV with my ski buddies, we were driving from either Alta Lodge or SLC after Ikon came on the scene.

I know a family from Atlanta who did trips to DV for years. Mother got good at finding VRBO condos that weren't that expensive. She's a lawyer. She got a small condo closer to the base for a trip with just her husband once or twice after the kids were older. Said it was a splurge but worth it.

In general, taking the bus in Park City makes more sense than driving. Parking is a pain. My ski buddy has friends who retired to Park City about 5 years ago. When they ski DV, they ride the bus from their condo in Park City with their ski boots on. So if staying at DV and interested in enjoying downtown Park City, easy to take the bus. Downtown is perhaps 10 blocks long and 2 blocks wide. Quite fun to walk around before or after a nice meal.
 

oreo

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I live in Park City.

I agree with most everything that's been said. Park city downtown is 5 blocks long and essentially one street. It's on a good incline, so it can feel longer :).

You don't need a car in Park City, unless you want to go ski somewhere else apart from Park City / Deer Valley.

As for Alta/Snowbird, they get 30% more snow and is a much more 'expert' mountain but it's not a luxury experience and traffic on a powder weekend will mean a frustrating ~2 hour drive from park city (usually 45mins). Deer Valley easily ticks all the things you're looking for in your OP.

Try to avoid sundance film festival time period (late January) , you'll pay a significant premium, won't be able to get into restaurants and getting around town will be nuts.

As an FYI, Park City is expensive. But it's not Telluride expensive ( lol ) and most of the 'weird' alcohol laws have disappeared. 10+ years ago they were really onerous alcohol laws but it's essentially no different than Australia, even looser in that you can buy beer in the supermarket/Convenience stores.
 
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MarzNC

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As for Alta/Snowbird, they get 30% more snow but it's not a luxury experience and traffic on a powder weekend . . .
Doesn't apply to the OP, but staying at Alta Lodge or any of the independent lodges in Alta can be a luxury experience. Definitely get spoiled since breakfast and great dinners are included. Great fun when lucky enough to be settled in before a powder storm that closes or delays the opening of the canyon road.

I skied Alta as a tween intermediate long ago. Never forgot how much fun it was. When I went back in the 1980s and 1990s as an adult intermediate, it was still my favorite even staying in SLC. My daughter's first experience skiing out west was at Alta, ages 7-12. She was a better skier than I was by age 11, thanks to Alta Ski School. She skied Devil's Castle a few years before I did.

I didn't start skiing off the groomers until after age 55. Didn't start staying regularly at Alta Lodge (long personal history with the owners) until the last decade. What I didn't expect was becoming an advanced skier capable of enjoying Catherine's and Supreme Bowl. One of my favorite PSIA L3 instructors out west is at Alta. Irony is that he lives about 30 min from my house in NC. He been spending the winter in SLC for about 20 years.
 

oreo

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You're super isolated staying up at Alta. The grooming is terrible. Alta (and snowbird) are great ski resorts. Truely, two of the best in the USA for advanced and expert powder skiers. But they have serious shortcomings in services (restaurants, shopping, grooming, green & blue terrain). There's a reason the holiday crowd (esp. the luxury crowd) go to Park City/DV.
 
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MarzNC

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You're super isolated staying up at Alta. The grooming is terrible. Alta (and snowbird) are great ski resorts. Truely, two of the best in the USA for advanced and expert powder skiers. But they have serious shortcomings in services (restaurants, shopping, grooming, green & blue terrain). There's a reason the holiday crowd (esp. the luxury crowd) go to Park City/DV.
Agree that anyone who wants to go shopping or try out a range of restaurants would be sorely disappointed staying in a lodge at Alta. However, it's a great place to relax while staying slopeside. The routine is to have a leisurely breakfast, ski until lunch time, have a sit down lunch, ski more, relax more, enjoy dinner for an hour and a half, go to bed early, and repeat. Lunch at Alta Lodge or the Rustler is a option if interested in an alternative to the on-mountain food options. Unlike Snowbird, these are independent businesses.

I respectfully disagree about green and blue terrain at Alta. Far better than Snowbird. I skied both as an intermediate in the 1990s. My daughter had a grand time on blue groomers for a few years as she improved as a tween. I have a few friends who learned to ski as older adults who love the groomers at Alta, greens and blues. Being skiers only is a plus. I know people from the southeast who are perfectly happy lapping Rock 'N Roll most of the day. The seniors who have returned to Alta Lodge year after year for a few decades are totally spoiled by the ambiance, skiing, and food.
 

CarveMan

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I'd love to spend a week up in Little Cottonwood. I proposed to my wife at the bottom of the Gunsight on a bluebird powder day.

I've also skied there with my mum, she would ski the blue groomer under the lift, I'd traverse off into a bowl or the trees and hunt some pow/terrain, and meet her at the lift. It's actually great for that.
 
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