Here’s How to Embrace the Ski Bum Lifestyle to Save Money During your Trip to Park City
Living inside all of us is a typical ski bum. The type of ski bum that vows to be the first one on the chairlift and last off the mountain. The kind whose diet consists mainly of PBR and those free crackers they give away for chili in the dining area. And the one that cares way more about having the latest gear than working light bulbs in their home. The thing the ski bum in us wants more than anything (except free food) is an affordable ski vacation to Park City. Here are tips on how to navigate a mountain town known for its influx of Teslas, Lamborghinis, and Porsches in the most affordable way possible.
If your plan includes skiing all day and partying till the bars close, then all you really need is a comfortable and convenient place to lay your head for a few hours before the sun comes up and you do it all again. Check out these continually affordable hotels throughout Park City and the surrounding area.
- Hyatt Place Park City: This newly built hotel is within a slightly longer walk of the cabriolet at Canyons. You can expect your standard Hyatt amenities such as free hot breakfast, spacious rooms, and an in-hotel pool.
- Park City Peaks: Located in the heart of downtown, this hotel is affordable for the accessibility it gives you. You can take the free shuttle or walk to both the base of Park City Mountain and Main Street from this property.
- Best Western Landmark Inn: With all the comfort of a standard Best Western, this Kimball Junction hotel is a short bus ride to the main slopes. Walk to a variety of nearby restaurants or do some discount shopping at the nearby Tanger Outlets.
- Newpark Resort: This recently built hotel is located on the outskirts of Park City but within spitting distance of all the main attractions. It’s known for being family friendly and comfortable.
- Hampton Inn & Suites: Known for its reliability and affordable rates, this chain hotel has a variety of standard hotel rooms, ideal for a quick getaway. Also located in Kimball Junction, you can to and from the slopes easily on the free bus route.
- PowderWood: This older property, located right off the highway in Park City, has the feel of a vintage apartment feel. Though you may not be getting the red-carpet treatment, the price is right and the beds are comfortable.
Sure, a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread will cost you approximately $5 and can feed you for about 3 days. And you can always creatively use the in-room coffee maker for ramen. But if you’re looking to try something a little bit different and possibly eat more than just two items on the food pyramid, these local restaurants have just what you need without breaking the bank.
- Alberto’s Mexican Restaurant: Open until 11 pm, this one-stop for burritos is a local ski bum favorite. Especially because entrees range in price from $3-$7.
- Anaya’s Market: Located in the back of a relatively unmarked grocery store, you can buy delicious street tacos for about $2. Depending on the day, they offer everything from carne asada to beef tongue.
- Davanza’s: Just steps away from Main Street, this laid-back restaurant has greasy pizza and $3.50 Bud Light Pints. We recommend the Philly Cheesesteak for only $9. Though anything on their menu will get you full fast.
- O’Shucks: Sure, you can choose to get a $28 Filet Mignon at O’Shucks, but you can also get $5 hot dogs and $3 Schooners (a literal goblet of beer). Plus, they have free peanuts, which depending on how much your newest skis were, might be enough for a whole meal.
- Mod Pizza: This chain restaurant just made its way to Park City but luckily, it kept the non-Park City prices. Get a personal pizza with all the toppings your heart desires for around $8.
- Maxwell’s: Nothing tastes quite as good as a large slice of New York-style pizza after a day on the slopes. If you’re traveling alone stick to ordering slices for $3/piece. If you’re traveling with a crew, nothing beats their specialty pies.
A good day on the slopes isn’t quite complete without an apres drink. If you haven’t heard yet, Utah’s drinking laws are a bit squirrely but here are some places in Park City you can get buzzed on a budget.
- No Name Saloon: This is our staff pick for go-to bar for a good reason. You can always find a brew or even a glass of wine at a reasonable price, especially for being on Main Street. Plus, with an extensive burger menu and delicious fries, it’s dependable for a late night snack.
- Park City Brewing: Though it’s located on the outskirts of town, this local brewery is a must-stop if you’re on your way back to Salt Lake. On weekends, pitchers of their Hooker Blonde Ale are $10, which is simply unbeatable.
- Umbrella Bar: This iconic après spot has almost ski-in/ski-out access from Canyons Village. And better yet, it has $6 beers on tap and even cheaper PBR in the can.
- Wasatch Brew Pub: With famous beers such as Polygamy Porter, Evolution Amber Ale, and Provo Girl Pilsner, this Utah-based brewery is a go-to for local beer. Get a pint for $6 or since sharing is caring, a pitcher for $13.
- Squatters Roadhouse Grill: Home to the Hop-Rising Double IPA, this bottled brew is consistently the cheapest high-point beer you can find. In other words, order a few of these beers and at 9%, you’ll be set for a great night out.
You’re here to ski, which means the number one thing you need to buy is lift tickets. Though you might have a bit of sticker shock when you first see the price of a day ticket, there’s no need to get your long underwear in a bunch. Here are some tips for saving on ski tickets:
- Buy a Season Pass: If you plan to ski for 6 days or more, it makes buying a season pass worth it. Park City is part of the Epic Pass and Deer Valley is part of the Ikon Pass, both which give you days all over the country. For a breakdown on season passes, check out our 2018/2019 Season Pass blog.
- Buy ahead of time: Tickets will be cheaper if you purchase them in advance. As soon as you have your dates picked out, buy your tickets. You can browse Park City Mountain tickets here and Deer Valley lift tickets here.
- Ski Half Days: As soon as the clock strikes noon, tickets get cheaper. It’s ideal for people who aren’t really morning people anyway.
To be a skier (or snowboarder), you need the gear. A stop at any of the local thrift shops will help you build a one-of-a-kind outfit that’s most importantly stylish, second most importantly warm, and third most importantly waterproof. As for skis, boots, and poles, or a snowboard, renting gear is the most affordable way to get on the slopes if you don’t already own gear. Check out these Park City gear shops that offer reasonable rentals. For added savings, book the days you want to rent gear ahead of time.
- Park City Sport: With two convenient locations in town, you can easily rent both basic ski packages or demo the latest skis. Let them know you booked through Stay Park City for an extra 20% off. Plus, Park City Sport rents out gear, which makes it easy if you happen to live in a state where it doesn’t snow.
- Aloha Ski & Snowboard: Consistently offering some of the most affordable rates in Park City, you’ll be able to find any of the gear you need at their eight locations around town. Make sure you mention you booked with Stay Park City for 20% off.
- Ski Butlers: Take advantage of unparalleled convenience and get your skis delivered directly to your hotel. With Ski Butlers, you’ll be able to swap out gear as you want it to fit or for the changing conditions. Get 10% off when you book ahead of time here.
Other Cost-Saving Tips
You shouldn’t have to empty your piggy bank jar or use your laundry quarters to afford your Park City ski vacation. Here are some tips to help you save during your next visit.
- Pack your lunch: It’s no surprise that on-mountain lunches are quite pricey. Though nothing beats the buffalo chili at Park City Mountain or the Short Rib Pot Pie at Deer Valley’s Royal Street Café, bringing a classic ham and cheese sandwich in your pocket will help you save big. Stop at either Smith’s grocery or Fresh Market for the best priced grab-and-go meals.
- Take the bus: There’s no need to rent a car for your vacation to Park City. The free city bus is a convenient way to get around. Download the mystop app to plan your trip into town or to any of the resorts.
- Avoid Coming During the Sundance Film Festival: Every year for 10 days in January, the film industry descends on Park City. During this time, hotel prices skyrocket, restaurants require reservations, and Main Street is filled with people. The benefits of traveling at this time are that the mountain is usually empty and for some reason, it always snows during that week. But, if you are looking for affordability, we recommend looking outside the dates of the festival.
- Book Early: From lessons to gear rentals to lodging when you book before December, you’ll be able to take advantage of a wide array of book-early deals.
- Share: They say sharing is caring, and that is especially true on a ski vacation. Lodging, nachos, pitchers of beer, and much more become affordable when you split the cost with friends. Plus, your vacation will be more memorable.
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