Many families in Fairfield County (including my own!) embrace the onset of winter because it means the ski season is upon us. There are many great family oriented ski destinations all within a few hundred miles. These resorts are excellent spots for beginner skiers to try out the sport, with a variety of green runs and expert instructors. However, there are also some amazing options beyond the Mississippi for those families looking to explore some new ski territory.
In this post I want to focus on Deer Valley, Utah – one of the most convenient and family friendly ski areas out West. Deer Valley Resort is located within a 45 minute drive of the Salt Lake City airport, making it easily accessible. There are several direct flights daily from the New York area. Deer Valley offers a range of lodging options from condo rentals to luxurious ski on and off resorts with specialized kid’s programs, including the Montage and The St. Regis.
Personalized attention is a focus at Deer Valley. The resort offers a convenient ski valet service at the base: the ski valet will take your skis from your car to the racks while you park your car. If using the ski valet is still too tiresome, you also have the option for paying for overnight heated equipment storage at the base so that you don’t need to bring your gear back and forth each day.
Deer Valley’s skiing is as family friendly as it gets. Parents with young skiers will appreciate the no snowboarders rule at Deer Valley. The ski school at Deer Valley continues the focus on personalized attention by offering expert instruction through either private lessons or what they call their “Max 4” lesson program, which never exceeds a 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio. The more well versed skiers in your family might want to take advantage of Deer Valley’s “Ski with a Champion” program, where you can spend a half or full day skiing with one of six olympic skiers.
The terrain at Deer Valley will appeal to all members of the family. Deer Valley is known for its expert grooming and long blue cruisers. 27% of the ski runs at Deer Valley are rated green and 41% are blue. Beginner skiers can choose from “learn to ski” areas and wide green trails that are perfectly manicured. More challenging options await the expert skiers in the family off of the Empire Express lift.
Not only is Deer Valley family friendly, but there are many great activities off the mountain for families as well. The historic mining town of Park City is only a few minutes drive from Deer Valley and offers charming boutiques, art galleries and several great dining options. There is also a museum geared toward kids that has interesting exhibits about Park City’s transition from a mining town to a ski town (and even has the original town jail!). The Gorgoza tubing park is also a quick drive from Deer Valley. Or if you want to mix it up a bit and ski some new terrain, the Park City/Canyons resort is a very short drive away and even has a lift that goes straight to downtown Park City if you want to stop mid day in town for lunch.
When you and your family are ready to venture West for your next ski trip, I recommend you consider visiting Deer Valley!
Also, check out this link for the best ski poles!
Lisa Primmer is a luxury travel planner with Elli Travel Group, and a mom of 3 kids in Darien. She can be reached at [email protected] and you can also follow Lisa on her Facebook page The World Well Traveled.