Archive for March, 2021

What Is The Biggest Ski Resort in the USA?

March 8th, 2021

Skiing & Snowboarding are such popular sports and really offer a great break from the Winter blues. Ski season in the USA generally lasts from about mid November to mid April depending on the resort & weather conditions. All ages can really enjoy this sport & you’ll see tiny kiddies through to octogenarian ski clubs on the slopes. There are so many ski resorts in the USA that it can be hard to choose which one to visit. Yes there are the big names like Vail & Aspen world-famous resorts, known throughout the world as great ski areas & deservedly so.

But do you know which is the biggest ski resort in the USA? Major changes are afoot and the biggest ski area in the USA is now Park City Mountain Resort.

Ski resort operating giant Vail resorts took over Park City, after it was already running next door Canyons ski resort. These 2 fantastic ski resorts are being combined to make one giant ski resort called Park City Mountain Resort. Major investment is adding a new “interconnect” gondola to connect the 2 resorts between the Silverlodge lift in Park City & the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. In addition to this new lift there will be major upgrades to Kingcon chairlift changing it to a 6 person high-speed detachable chair & increasing capacity. The Motherlode lift is being upgraded to a 4 person high-speed detachable lift from the old fixed grip chairlift, making it much easier to access the slopes.

From the new interconnect gondola it will be possible for skiers & riders to unload at the top of Pine Cone Ridge (snow conditions permitting) & ski or board down to Thaynes Canyon. There are also going to be new runs from Pine Cone Ridge down to the Canyons Iron mountain area.

So if you love skiing there will be so much to ski at this one mountain. The new ski resort will have 7300 acres of terrain, bigger than Vail and have a great variety of runs from green beginner, through to blue intermediate pistes & black expert areas. The total combined lifts will stretch for nearly 23 miles & the vertical rise will amount to 34,400 feet. Altogether there will be 17 peaks to swoop down, after checking out the views from the top of course. The 14 bowls will be paradise in the powder & after all this area of Utah, USA does get 355 inches of snowfall on average per year, so chances of some epic freshies are high. Over 300 ski runs will be marked & over 150 park features for those who love to strut their stuff in the terrain parks. 8 half-pipes including the super pipe will also be ideal for those who love to get big air.

The whole resort is being called Park City Mountain Resort and will still be connected to the Town of Park City & historic Main Street via the Town lift. The old canyons village is being re-named canyons base area at Park City, but the ski runs rising out of the village will all be part of Park City Mountain Resort.

Which American Ski Resorts Have the Shortest Airport Transfers

March 8th, 2021

There are so many places to ski around the world, each with their own pros & cons. Here we focus on the american ski resorts and travel times. You may be travelling domestically or internationally, but no matter where you’re coming from, staying near an airport shortens your overall travel time. So it maybe a quick hop from an american city or an international flight from the UK, Australia, New Zealand or South America, but it’s always convenient to have just a short transfer to the ski slopes to get you on the snow more quickly.

Many ski resorts in the USA are near regional airports allowing you to fly close to where you’re staying and skiing.

Aspen & Snowmass ski resorts have the shortest transfer times. You can fly directly into Aspen Pitkin airport right in the mountains from many cities around the US, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston & Chicago. From there it’s a very short 10-15 minutes drive or airport transfer to Aspen town, where Aspen Mountain (Ajax) is located and where the famous town of Aspen with its many shops, bars, restaurants & nightlife hums with activity. Snowmass is also only about 15 mins transfer from Aspen airport. Snowmass is the largest of the 4 Aspen mountains and where most of the ski in, ski out lodging is. Often airport transfers from Aspen Pitkin are included with an accommodation booking, making it super easy to get to your ski lodge quickly & conveniently.

Eagle Vail airport is another example of a regional airport near several ski towns. Beaver Creek si the nearest about 25 mins from Eagle Vail and Vail itself is about 40 mins from there. Beaver Creek is a hidden treasure of a resort and because most day visitors come from Denver, many of them stop at Vail and don’t go on the extra 10-15 mins to get to Beaver Creek. If you fly into Eagle Vail, Beaver Creek is the first ski area you get to and with less people is one to try. Vail ski resort is of course famous for having the largest amount of terrain in Colorado with its incredible back bowls, especially fabulous on a powder day, plus its front side groomed runs for more intermediate skiers & snowboarders.

Now Jackson Hole airport is close to its namesake ski resort of Jackson Hole, just 30 mins away by car or shuttle airport transfer. Jackson Hole ski resort is located in Teton Village and is well-known for its expert runs including “Corbet’s Couloir”. However lesser known is the number of blue, intermediate runs it possesses and every lift (except the tram) has access to at least one blue run, to give you some peace-of-mind. Guests who fly into Jackson Hole airport can also access the nearby ski areas of Snow King and Grand Targhee.

Salt Lake City is an international airport with daily flights from Paris & Amsterdam as well as many US cities including Los Angeles & San Francisco, particularly helpful for our Australian clients. From Salt Lake it’s a super quick 35 mins transfer to Park City ski resort, now the largest in the USA. Since Park City & Canyons ski areas were connected by the Quicksilver gondola, this ski area now just called Park City Mountain is huge and offers endless skiing & snowboarding opportunities even for people who are staying for two weeks or more.

Also nearby is Deer Valley Resort, just 45 mins from Salt Lake City airport. This ski only resort is named the number one ski resort in North America by ski magazine year after year and has a plethora of luxury ski in, ski out lodging. The short transfer makes Park City & Deer Valley ski resorts convenient choices, especially with the Town of Park City less than 5 mins away for your to enjoy with its historic Main Street, shops, bars & restaurants.

Salt Lake City also allows access to other Utah ski resorts including Brighton, Alta, Snowbird & more.

Denver International airport is home to at least 2 direct flights from London, wonderful for UK skiers who want to experience the delights of the powder skiing in America. British Airways & Norweigan Air both currently offer direct flights during ski season, with United flights being added towards the end of March / April for Easter. With this direct flight, it’s then easy to hop straight on a shuttle up to one of the Colorado resorts. Breckenridge & Winter Park are approximately 2 hours drive away or sometimes less, depending on snow conditions. Alternatively Vail & Beaver Creek are just over an hour away. Aspen & Steamboat can also be accessed from Denver, but a bit further around 4 hours transfer, so the regional airports can be more convenient.

These are some of the main ski resorts in America close to an airport with short transfers, making your journey quick & easy. Make the travel time short, check into your accommodation, jump into your skis & be on the slopes in no time, happy skiing!

Helen Gienke, Chalets USA.