Wild Utah: What kind of visitor is best suited to patronize your resort?
Solitude: Our primary target is families with kids under 14. We feel we're
a great destination for families to learn the life-long activity of snowsports
- a place where you can bond with nature, family and yourself if you choose.
Our secondary market is the "core" local skiers and riders. As other resorts
see more and more traffic on big powder days, locals have learned about our
short lift lines and powder that stands up for a few days after a storm.
WU: What is your resort's number one feature?
S: Honeycomb Canyon - 400 acres of off-piste terrain. It's like backcountry
touring - only you're in a controlled, resort environment.
WU: What causes the biggest headaches for visitors at your resort?
S: The fact we only had one "true" day lodge, and, it is hard to get to.
This problem will be eliminated next season (05/06) with the unveiling of
a 12,000 square foot day lodge and high speed quad in the Moonbeam area.
WU: What's new for the 2004/2005 season?
S: A complete rebuild of our snowmaking system. Not that a resort receiving
500" of natural snowfall would need snowmaking - but it allows us to prep
areas on the mountain that get high traffic or a lot of sun during the day.
We blow snow early in the season onto these high traffic areas and are traditionally
done the end of December.
Solitude is home to Honeycomb Canyon, the response to Big Cottonwood naysayers
and proof that you don't need to be amidst a crowd to ride the steepest, deepest
lines. Instead, a short traverse into Honeycomb is pleasant, without feeling
clustered, and brings you to lines that remain fresh even days after a storm.
One of the most beautiful areas in the Wasatch, Honeycomb Canyon parallels
Silver Fork Canyon and provides skiers with 400 acres of backcountry-styled
bliss, all within the confines of Solitude's boundaries.
High Points: Unbelievable Terrain & It's Rarely Crowded
Low Points: We'd need at least 20 free lift tickets to find
Free Tip: Ski Solitude on the weekends to avoid the crowds.
With the unsurpassed selection of world-class ski resorts in the area, we
hate to say that we've spent the least number of ski days at Solitude. Perhaps
we've been there more than you have, but we haven't been there enough.
On our first trip, we pounded our brains out in Honeycomb Canyon, wishing
the whole time that we had a local or a guide to show us the choice lines.
We found plenty, but knowing the best stashes takes years of exploration or
a really knowledgeable local.
The difference between Solitude and everything else is how keyed-down things
are. Solitude would love to be one of the top Utah resorts, pulling down a
half-million skier days each winter season; but they're not and they don't.
If you ski there, you'll wonder why. The mountain is beautiful. The terrain
is excellent. The amenities are world-class. The lifts are nice; and the snow
is more than plentiful.
The food at Solitude covers the usual ski resort range. The Last Chance Mining
Camp has your basic, expensive, decent food with loggy tables and big windows
to look up at the ski mountain. Creekside is a little nicer, with tablecloths,
wood-fired pizzas and Soup De Jour (that's the soup of the day). St. Bernard's
is closer to fine dining-and while the food is great, the prices seem very
reasonable compared to most any fine dining in Park City.
Basic après ski can be had at Last Chance, but we'd pick The Thirsty Squirrel
over that. Our first choice for après ski would be to drive one mile down
the canyon to the Silver Fork Lodge.
Really, all we can say about Solitude is we hope to spend a lot more time
there. Solitude is the most under-rated resort in the area. It has all the
big mountain terrain that Alta does; it has low-end and high-end food; it
has a beautiful village; it has real estate for sale; and it's snow quantity
and quality blows away 99 percent of the resorts in the entire world. And
as a real bonus, you can buy a Sol-Bright ticket, which allows you to ski
Solitude and Brighton.