(Check out my family guide to fun in the snow.)
Vermont, for example, is touting $29 packages, including professional lessons, equipment rentals and a beginner lift ticket at resorts all over the state (http://www.skivermont.com/learn) while each of Utah’s 14 resorts offer special discounts and deals for beginners (http://www.skiutah.com/winter/deals/deals/lssm) and New York State’s ski areas are offering 10,000 $10 lift tickets to be used on Jan. 10. (Visit http://www.iskiny.com from now until Jan. 9, 2013 and click on the 10/10/10 logo where you’ll be directed to the entry form.)
For those who can afford deluxe on the slopes (the Montage Memories package starts at $595 a night) it doesn’t get any better than the ski-in, ski-out Montage (with its own Compass Sports rental shop and ski valet where they buckle and unbuckle your boots) and Deer Valley, five minutes from Park City’s historic Main Street (http://www.visitparkcity.com) and just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City National Airport.
We’ve chosen Deer Valley (http://www.deervalley.com), where the number of lift tickets is limited each day to prevent crowds, and the Montage for a girls’ getaway that will combine some time on the slopes. (though Deer Valley is known for its groomed terrain with six peaks, there is plenty of expert caches to discover, as long as you aren’t snowboarders — no snowboarding allowed here) with some pampering (Montage has the largest spa in Utah) and good eats.(Deer Valley is famous in ski country for its food.)
We also have the opportunity to explore Park City — from the Park City Museum (http://www.parkcitymuseum.org) that tells this town’s story from mining to snow sports (did you know underneath Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort there are some 1,000 miles of mining tunnels?) — to the Utah Olympic Park (http://www.olyparks.org) where you can hitch a ride down the length to the Olympic bobsled track. Did I mention that besides Deer Valley, Park City boasts two other huge ski resorts — The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort, where you can meet some of the local and visiting Snowmamas (http://www.snowmamas.com).
I’m just glad for the rare opportunity to spend some just-us-girls- R and R with my daughter Reggie, who lives in San Francisco, and her college roommate, Meghan McCloskey, just back from a two-year stint in the Peace Corps and living in Washington, D.C.
The Montage has everything from great views (we watch kids playing in the snow outside our window) to great places to cozy up by the fire (we loved the Vista Lounge with live music and the hotel’s own microbrew) to great eats (the farm-to-table Apex restaurant is awesome for breakfast, as well as dinner, complete with Utah Trout and foraged mushrooms.)
Downstairs, there’s Daley’s Pub Rec a gourmet gastro-pub where you can bowl, play billiards and arcade games or watch basketball on TV while chowing down on your burger.