By: Ashley Chu
Although winter in Cleveland hasn’t had much snow this year, skiing/snowboarding season is still on! Whether you want to drive an hour to our local Boston Mills/Brandywine, or go across the country, it would be a blast. This is why I want to rate my experiences at some of the resorts I’ve been to, so you could choose which one is best for you. Just as a preface, I am a skier and have never snowboarded, so my opinions may be different from all you snowboarders out there.
Deer Valley, Utah
Deer Valley is located in Park City, Utah close to the Park City ski resort. I recently went this winter break for the second time, and I had an amazing time. The skiing conditions were incredible and so were the views. They have a wide range of terrain such as moguls, groomed runs, beginner friendly runs, and tree runs. Deer Valley also has a ski school with a bunch of talented, friendly instructors who teach a wide range of skiers from beginners to advanced skiers. I went with a group of my family friends that my family and I always ski with, and we skied together with an instructor. Even if you are advanced or are a pretty confident skier, the instructors are still great to help show you around the mountain. They take you to the ins and outs of the resort, through secret unnamed trails, and you can get through the lift lines quicker 🙂 Overall, the lift lines are pretty efficient and not that crowded though. Deer Valley also has various hotels and houses that you can stay at that are close to the resort. They even have a ski valet where you can drop off your skis at the end of the day and pick them up the next morning; very convenient. The food up on the mountain in the lodges is delicious- they have tacos, pho, salads, burgers, and so much more. There is also an amazing spot up on the mountain called Rime Seafood with great lobster rolls and other seafood platters along with a stunning view. I 100% recommend eating here if you end up going to Deer Valley. The only downside of Deer Valley is that there are no snowboarders allowed.
Park City, Utah
I’ve only been to Park City for one day, but it was a lot of fun. Since I wasn’t here long, I wasn’t able to experience all of the mountains especially since the conditions that day were brutal. It was cold and windy so some of the lifts had to close early. Park City allows both skiers and snowboarders (which sometimes means it could be a little more crowded). The lift lines typically take longer than Deer Valley, but they aren’t that bad. I didn’t take any lessons here, but I know that they offer ski school similar to Deer Valley. The mountains are beautiful and they have a variety of runs too. At the bottom of the mountain, there is a small town(ish) area with restaurants and ski shops. After a long day of skiing, you could go to Park City’s town to relax, hang out, and dine in amazing restaurants. When you are dropped off near the parking lot of the resort, it is a bit of a longer walk to get to the lifts, but it’s good exercise I guess (you can practice carrying your skis all the way!). Overall, I had a great time at Park City and would definitely go back.
Holiday Valley, New York
Holiday Valley Resort is in Ellicottville, New York (around a 3 hour drive). They have terrain parks, some moguls, groomed runs, and more. I’ve been four times and had a great time each visit! One of my favorite things about Holiday Valley is their waffle cabin which sells the best warm, chocolaty, and delicious waffles ever. It is perfect for a mid-ski snack especially when eaten with their famous hot apple cider. They have fun little spots on the mountain too like the mountain coaster. You can stop by and ride the coaster and ski off after! There’s also a playground in the forest if you want to just chill too. And unlike Deer Valley, Holiday Valley allows both skiers and snowboarders!
If you’ve never skied/snowboarded before, I definitely recommend trying it one day, and I hope this article makes you excited to get on the slopes!