Living in Salt Lake City during ski season
June 16, 2009 2:44 PM   Subscribe

I want to spend Jan-Apr of the 2010 season snowboarding in the Salt Lake City resorts. Can you guys help me figure out where to live in SLC (three months at a resort is just too much $$, and plus I'd like to be able to get away from the mountain on the days I don't ride) , and the best way to go about securing a place?

There's really only two things I really need (that I can think of right away) as far as the apartment is concerned:
1) Must be on one of the bus routes that heads up to Snowbird/Solitude/Brighton (I don't care about Alta obviously). This part is non-negotiable, simply because I know it's anywhere from a 45-60min ride up to the mountain, and I am so not a morning person - I need to be able to stumble a couple of blocks to the bus stop after getting ready. Also, since my driving skills are non-existent (no driver's license - this was why Denver and the Colorado resorts were eliminated from consideration), acquiring a car is not an option.
2) Basic amenities (groceries, laundry, restaurants, bars) should be within an easy bike ride (I'll find a beater on craigslist), or short bus ride away, again because of the no car requirement. Walking distance would be nice, if possible.

I've been told by my airport shuttle driver (I was out there at the end of the season in April) I should look in Cottonwood Heights, and that rents for a studio or 1BR would run from about $750-900 a month, and that finding something short term should not be a problem. Is this where I should be looking? What other neighborhoods should I be aware of? Of course I'm going to be looking on craigslist for a place, but are there any real estate brokers I should know about? What other things do I need to know?
posted by Calloused_Foot to Travel & Transportation around Salt Lake City, UT (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There are a ton of basic amenities clustered around the Family Center shopping center near the intersection of Union Park Drive and Fort Union Blvd. in Midvale. There is a ski bus that runs right up Fort Union to Big Cottonwood Canyon, giving you easy access to Brighton and Solitude, and I believe you can transfer to a Snowbird bus near the mouth of the canyon. I would also imagine that rent in Midvale will be cheaper than in Cottonwood Heights.

Another option would be to look for something in Sandy near the Sandy Mall. Still a lot of amenities nearby, and I'm pretty sure there is a bus that runs up 9400 South to Little Cottonwood Canyon. UTA took their ski routes/schedules offline when the ski season ended, so I can't verify that right now.
posted by baho at 6:05 PM on June 16, 2009

Sorry I don't know much about the bus routes, but I can vouch for Sugarhouse as a great neighborhood. I lived there for 6 months and it was a cool place.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:56 PM on June 16, 2009

Sugarhouse is going to be a longer bus ride as it is farther from the canyons, but as far as what you are looking for when you aren't on the slopes, I agree that it might be the best choice in town. Very walkable, and much more of a nightlife than most of your other options.
posted by baho at 6:41 AM on June 17, 2009

Response by poster: Well the uta map (pdf) seems to still be on the site, though I haven't found the schedule - I guess what I have to do now is google up another map of the city, and figure out where exactly the neighborhoods are in relation to the ski buses (I'd like to spend more time at Snowbird than the others, so I'd like to be on the line that goes up there). Sugarhouse sounds great for the off days, my worry is just how much extra time and effort will required to get up there in the mornings, though I'll have to balance that with the fact that I know no one there, and a purely residential neighborhood would be bad because I won't be there long enough to get involved with anything. Can you elaborate some more on what kind of neighborhoods Midvale/Sandy/Cottonwood heights are?
posted by Calloused_Foot at 9:58 AM on June 17, 2009

Response by poster: BTW - if anyone is still following this, I'm setting up camp in a hotel in Midvale near the shopping center baho mentioned - the ski bus stops (982/983) are down the street, and the cost is comparable to the short term sublets I could find, and with a hotel, I'm more comfortable flying blind, having never seen the place.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 7:58 AM on September 28, 2009

Response by poster: Hey folks - OP checking in again (I've been in Midvale since early Jan) with a few things I've noticed that future car impaired snowboarding/skiing visitors may find useful:

- There are buses going to all four local resorts (Brighton/Solitude/Alta/Snowbird) from a park and ride located at 6200 South Wasatch Blvd in Cottonwood Heights. These buses run about every half an hour from about 7 in the morning to about 5:45, depending on the resort. There are other park and rides that have ski bus stops, but this one is the terminal that buses serving all four resorts stop at. It would be convenient if your lodging allowed you to get to 6200 easily.
- There are also two lines that are considered ski feeder lines, as of this writing (Feb 2010), they are the 72, and the 220. The 72 runs between the TRAX station at 7200 South (Fort Union Blvd), and the park and ride at 6200 South Wasatch. The 220 passes through downtown, and Sugarhouse, but unfortunately only runs to the park and ride at 9400 S 2000 E - the only ski bus that stops there is the 992, which goes to Alta/Snowbird - you're SOL if you want to go directly to Brighton/Solitude. While the 220 does cross the 72's route on Fort Union, you want to keep transfers to an absolute minimum. Salt Lake City has decent public transit for a western American city, but if you want to keep any sort of sane schedule, do not count on Bos/NYC/SF/Chicago style coverage. This is unfortunately why I had to rule out staying in Sugarhouse - if the 220 went to 6200 S Wasatch, I would've stayed in that neighborhood.
- If you're riding Solitude on a weekend or holiday, and you're staying until the lifts close, don't run for the 4 o'clock hour buses - hang out and have a beer (or hot chocolate) or two - the bus goes up to Brighton first (Brighton seems to be the locals mountain, and gets lots and lots of school kids), and will likely be SRO when it stops at Solitude. Or take a bus up to Brighton and squeeze in a night session (4pm-9pm, not available Sunday), and catch the employee bus back down at 8:35pm.
- If you're not buying a season pass, buy the salt lake super pass instead of individual lift tickets from the ski shops - the super pass can be used at any of the four resorts, so you don't have to make up your mind about where to go until that morning. It also serves as a bus pass so you don't have to worry about have correct change. The bad thing is you have to use up all the days you've purchased in a week, or you lose them. I'd go with a 3 or 4 day pass (there will be days you just don't feel like getting out of bed, or it might rain) - just buy additional ones as you need them.
- If you're staying out past the last TRAX/bus (12-12:30 depending on the line), make sure you have at least one number for a taxi service - while taxis can be legally hailed in SLC, they aren't particularly abundant compared to eastern cities.
- Don't go totally apeshit and force yourself to ride everyday if you're not used to doing that - I did that in January, and I had more crummy days than I should've because I was like a kid let loose in a candy store. I'm a little more relaxed about taking days off this month, and I haven't had a bad day yet.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:26 PM on February 16, 2010

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