Are you looking for a quick weekend getaway, a holiday ski trip, or even a long-term investment in one of the country’s Top 10 ski destinations? Park City’s world-class powder challenges old stand-bys Vail and Aspen, offering a unique blend of convenience, community, and opportunity.
Lose the connection
With SLC just 40 minutes away on a nearly-continuous interstate route, Park City is a breeze even during snow days. You could leave home in the morning and be at the slopes by lunch time, avoiding a flight to Denver or connecting flights limited to only a few airlines into high-altitude, single-runway fields. Plus, with three of Ski Magazine’s Top 10 resorts – Deer Valley, Canyons, and Park City Mountain – within minutes of each other, Park City is never short of variety.
Like Vail, Park City provides free transit to resorts and amenities, including the 2002 Olympic Park. A free trolley also stops almost anywhere along Main Street. Going to Aspen? Bring exact fare. Park City’s topography even favors hoofing it. It sits under a full thousand feet more atmosphere, at a cozy 7,000 feet.
Not just for the snow
As with any Top 10 resort community, there are hundreds of restaurants, bars, and shops in Park City, in addition to the luxury hotels and rental properties. Utah’s notoriously confusing liquor laws were also recently rewritten to be more tourist-friendly. Perhaps there really are more chefs per capita than Paris, but with a census population hovering around 8,000, it’s not difficult to claim quite a few “per capita” records. In particular, the city boasts (legitimately) the most alcoholic beverage businesses per capita in the entire state.
Park City is also a year-round destination for outdoor activities and art. January brings the Sundance Film Festival, and summer concerts are a chance to relax after a day of mountain biking, fly fishing, or hiking the countless trails and streams. Even though winter is Park City’s claim to fame, mountain biking is truly world-class. The International Mountain Bicycling Association awarded it Gold-Level Ride Center status – the highest honor and the first and only to earn it.
Of course, if you visit Park City in the winter, you’re there for the snow. The deep lake-effect snow is as dry and fluffy as you’ll find anywhere. Low overall humidity also keeps the powder fresh for days after a good storm. Plus, the diversity of trails and skill levels, along with high-speed and heated lifts, keeps everyone on the move.
Not afraid of commitment?
If you’re serious about the ski and snow lifestyle, there are ample opportunities to invest directly in the Park City community. Ski slope property has always had its own personal allure, but the town has much more to offer than a mere ski village like Vail, with better long-term value than you might find in in Aspen – or even California or New York.
Unlike many other cities, Park City’s active real estate market remains strong, with the lowest inventory since 2007 and half of all closed sales paid in cash the last two years. Pending sales have almost doubled over 2009, while the median price is up 4% since last year, now around $485,000. Concerned about taxes? Summit County recognizes the importance of non-primary residents to the economy, keeping property taxes around 1% of actual value. If you make Utah your primary home, you can even expect a 40% discount.
Looking to explore one of the rising star ski communities? We invite you to take a few minutes to see what Park City offers and plan your next visit to this world-class destination!
Words by Jason Burke
Producer: Patrick Howell