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Did you used to ski, but then when you had kids you aren’t sure when is appropriate to get them out on the snow?Are you looking for a place to help you get your family back into either skiing or snowboarding? Check out Snowbasin in Utah as a great spot to take your family.
It used to be that if your kids were 6 or under, the only real scenario for them for ski school was to send them skiing. In an effort to get youngsters out on the hill sooner, Burton has developed a special snowboard and teaching system geared to get kids as young as 3 years old out on the snow and learning to Snowboard right away.
In case you haven’t heard of the concept, it is called the Burton Riglet Park. There are currently 38 Riglet parks in the US and we stopped by the newest one at Snowbasin in Utah, which just opened on December 20th. So now instead of waiting until they are older, starting at age 3, your kids can learn the basics of snowboarding by jumping right into the action. It is a great concept and is introducing kids to snowboarding much sooner than they have been able to do in the past.
We focused primarily on the Riglet Park and snowboard lessons for Mason and Chloe and they both had a blast. Their instructors were great and they had a perfect (and super fun)introduction to snowboarding that already has Chloe begging to go again!
Here is more information about Snowbasin’s Riglet park and lessons.
In addition though, we dropped Jimmy off at day care and took a tour of the resort with two great Guest Services guides. And yes, the daycare is AWESOME (Jimmy put them to the test by crying nearly the whole time and they still loved him…um, he’s kind of a Mama’s boy)
From a family perspective, here are a few of the major highlights that we wanted to share about Snowbasin.
- Our favorite aspect of Snowbasin is the accessibility to the bunny hill and to the best terrain on the mountain, all right out of the parking lot/lodge. You’ve got the Little Cat Express where the kids practice and figure all of the basics out.Then on the other side of the lodge, you’ve got the John Paul Express which goes directly to the most difficult stuff. When the kids are young, this is huge since if you are in for lunch with the kids and Mom or Dad wants a few quick hard runs, it doesn’t take 3 – 4 lifts to access the best terrain.
- Snowbasin is a beautiful resort. The lodges are super nice with a very upscale feel, but at the same time, this year they cut their season pass prices in half, making it accessible to many more families. On top of that the scenery is great. The peaks are beautiful to look at
and you’ve got great views from all over the resort.
- Kids ski free until they turn 7, so for getting your family into the sport, it’s an awesome savings, or they have the learn to earn program, where you pay for 5 lessons and rentals and you get a season pass once you’ve completed them. So you save if you are up for teaching your kids on your own or turning it over to the professionals to get them up and going, then having the rest of the season to practice.
- The day care is conveniently located right off of the John Paul lift, so if it is a great powder day and you want to take a few hours to enjoy without the kids, you have quick access to everything. The Child Care was also reasonably priced, for 3 & up $40/half day and for 6 mo to 3 yrs, $55/half day.
- Snowbasin in conveniently located, being 35 miles north of Salt Lake City (45 from the airport). Also, you compare that mileage to what we are used to in Colorado and from the airport to the Loveland, the first of the resorts off of I-70, it is 80 miles. Denver area, you’re looking at
- The crowds go to many of the other Utah resorts, so other than a little congestion where everything converges at the base (the pro & con of being a convenient location where everything takes both leaves from and comes down to), we never ran into lines on the rest of the resort.
- We could find a place to sit in the lodge (or even outside because the weather was great) even during the crowded holiday season. This is great since many other resorts we’ve been too are either overcrowded and there is no place to sit or the seating is only for the people eating the resort bought food. It was a great place to take breaks when our kids needed and even afforded Jimmy some nap time in the afternoon.
One downside is that it is only a day resort. There isn’t lodging close by, so if you are looking for a hotel or lodge at the base, you won’t find one. But in the future that isn’t going to be an issue as they will continue to build out the resort. See the projected 50 year plan here. In the meantime, it is a great destination for families looking to get into the sport or to have a reasonably priced experience.
All things considered, we really had a wonderful time as a family at Snowbasin and on all things that we consider important to having a great time skiing with our family.
Special thanks to Snowbasin for the facilitating the whole family experience, on mountain tour, Riglet park lessons and daycare. Great facilities, great programs and a great family resort.