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The Future Of Westfest

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  • The Future Of Westfest

    This thread is open to all for comment, not just those who attended Westfest. We are asking for input to help make Westfest a more popular and inclusive event for those with Epic pass benefits.

    We just completed our fifth Westfest, and had a great time. Over the years Sempai and I have tried to provide a unique and affordable experience for those who want to enjoy the best of Utah's skiing conditions. The original event was actually held in Park City and visited Deer Valley, The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort. Unfortunately that was a low snow year with only average conditions and Park City also turned out to be expensive for lodging, food and entertainment. So, for the next year we decided to go where the snow is deeper and hotels more reasonable; the Cottonwood Canyons. For the last four years we have stayed in Sandy and visited the four Cottonwood resorts of Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude. We have had great conditions, sometimes epic, but times change and as the event grows we need to adapt.

    The basic idea was for Westfest to be a Sat/Sun two day event, with the opportunity for folks to make it into a long weekend by adding the Friday, or Monday, or both. We planned on visiting each of the four Cottonwood resorts on each day and using the Super Pass for lift tickets. However, a lot of folks have the Epic Pass and want to go to the new Park City/The Canyons mega resort. So, I would like to throw out a proposal and see how people feel about it. If you have an alternative please feel free to express it here.

    The event would still be a four day event and based around the Towne South area in Sandy. As the two resorts we have the must fun at, we would do Solitude on the Saturday and Brighton on the Sunday. Our traditional banquet would still be on the Saturday night. The Friday and Monday would become "Flex" days, so those with resort passes can take advantage of them. To be honest, the Monday has never really been popular, so we could even change that day to a Thursday.

    The Epic Pass covers Park City and The Canyons
    The Mountain Collective covers Alta and Snowbird
    The Powder Alliance covers Snowbasin

    These would still be days where attendees could meet up and ride with other skiboarders, it would just give them the flexibility to use their pass benefits. For instance, Sempai, Courtney and Russ would ski Park City and Mrs Wolf and I would ski Snowbasin. Of course Snowbird and Alta would still be available for those who wish to ride there. As Brighton and Snowbird are less expensive than Alta/Bird, this would also give us a chance to save on lift tickets.

    We had considered alternating the fest between Park city and The Cottonwoods, like Shredfest alternates between North and South Tahoe, but the same four days in Park City runs about $500 more!

    So, here is a tentative schedule:

    Thursday - Flex day for Alta/Bird, Snowbasin, Park City
    Friday - Flex day for Alta/Bird, Snowbasin, Park City
    Saturday - Solitude
    Saturday Night - Banquet
    Sunday - Brighton

    Of course we don't have to change anything if everyone is happy. What do you all think?
    Just these, nothing else !

  • #2
    I had quite a bit of fun at all of the resorts, but Alta didn't quite measure up to the others. I don't think it's just the conditions because thinking of all of the terrain at each resort, I just don't think Alta would be the place I'd want to spend a powder day. The trees are more sparse and it seems like things would get skied out pretty quickly.

    Park City was a blast and there's a ton of terrain to explore. Russ was an excellent tour guide, and I would be happy to spend more than one day there in the future. I'll likely continue to buy an Epic Pass.

    Solitude and Brighton seem to be fun regardless of conditions so it makes a lot of sense to continue keeping those as the core days.

    Snowbird this year was pretty fun, but given how gnarly it can get there during storms, it seems kind of hit and miss. If we had a group willing to commit to 3 days of the Super Pass I could be game for that. It'd give us a little flexibility in case we would rather spend another day at Solitude or Brighton instead of Snowbird.

    Overall, I could see myself spending 5-6 days riding Utah, especially if 1-2 of them were at Park City.

    I've enjoyed staying in the Sandy area because it's not too far from the airport and there are plenty of restaurants and stores nearby. It definitely helps having everyone stay in a relatively close area as far as carpooling.

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    • #3
      I would agree that Alta is the weak link out of the four resorts. With that said, I still enjoyed myself there. I do think conditions can make or break the experience. I remember us having a good time at Alta last year (except for when it started to rain). We found some powder in the trees and went down some steeper chutes.

      My only problem with Alta and Snowbird is with how windy those two resorts can be. Even with the halfway decent conditions we had at Snowbird it was miserably windy riding certain lifts. Brighton and Solitude so far have been more pleasant in that regard.

      I would love to ride again at Park City. The problem with adding PC to the Westfest schedule is not everyone has the Epic Pass, and the one-day ticket price is outrageous. There's also the extra expense of lodging in Park City. We can all continue to stay in Sandy and commute to and from PC, but that will be a major headache when it snows.

      I'm thinking we do what Courtney basically did this time around and add Park City as an optional day to the official 4-day Westfest lineup, either before or after. PC is large enough to spend two days there if people want. We can put that out there for the people who want to ride there. Lodging in PC only a couple days wouldn't break most people's bank, but spending all of Westfest there might.

      As far as the official days of Westfest go, I say make Thu/Fri Snowbird/Alta. I'd go with Snowbird on Thu, and Alta on Friday. We could switch things around if need be depending on the weather. Solitude on Sat and Brighton on Sun. This has worked well so far, except Brighton was a bit busy on Sunday this year. It was still tolerable though.

      I'm open to other suggestions. Maybe others have ideas that we aren't coming up with. Let us know.

      2013 Spruce Sherpas w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
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      • #4
        Staying in Sandy it's an easy run down to Robert Redford's Sundance. The skiing isn't nearly as epic as the Cottonwoods but for someone that's never been there it's an interesting experience that gets talked about on TV once in a while..


        • #5
          Originally posted by shortydude View Post
          Staying in Sandy it's an easy run down to Robert Redford's Sundance. The skiing isn't nearly as epic as the Cottonwoods but for someone that's never been there it's an interesting experience that gets talked about on TV once in a while..
          Sundance is a good resort. They have some great big open bowls. You can find terrain that's just as good as the cottonwoods. If you have an extra day. On occasion they will have bigger dumps than the Cottonwoods
          Boards: 15 Blunt XL / 13 Slapdash
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