Our club took a ski trip to Utah in Feb/March 2008. The experience left us with big smiles and happy memories. We were a small group of long time skiers still looking for the next great mountain.
I had mixed feelings about taking our group to a new area that: a) wasn't a quaint old ski town b) wasn't ski in/ski out and c) had only hotel rooms (no condos). However, the experience truly exceeded my expectations. Layton is about 25-30 minutes north from the Salt Lake City airport. Although it is not an old, quaint town, the area has everything. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard, which included a full breakfast. They also gave us a free pizza party during the week and there is a Manager's Reception on Wednesday that includes drinks and appetizers. Some rooms come with mini fridges and I understand a fridge is available to anyone upon request. I requested a room with a fridge and was changed with no problem. Room size was quite comfortable. Facility has a hot tub, pool and work out area. Also, The Summit Bar is located right inside the Marriott. We were walking distance from many restaurants as well as a Super Target (carries groceries and beer) across the street.
We were 1/2 hour from Snow Basin & about 45 minutes from Powder Mountain. The skiing was phenomenal! Snowbasin is a gorgeous facility done in the style of Sun Valley. Lots of groomed runs. It even has an elevator if you can't handle the steps at the end of the day.
Powder Mountain has 5500 acres of terrain. You can ski with or without trees, on or off trails. I never really knew what off trail skiing could mean until I skied here. You have to hike or take a Snowcat to some of the runs, but in the next few years they are adding ski lifts to accommodate accessibility. It had no lift lines, great snow, friendly people...really the best of everything. We skied fresh snow all day the second day after a snowfall.
The restaurants where we dined had the optimum balance of good service and good prices. I highly recommend Mimi's (walking distance). They have an eclectic menu with fabulous food and a fun atmosphere. Go on Sunday night and you'll have the place to yourself. For a little Irish flavor go to MacCool's. They specialize in lamb dishes but serve good food for any palate in a festive, friendly Irish atmosphere. After you eat, play a game of tabletop shuffleboard or real darts and I'd like to add, the wait staff at both of these places made me feel like a regular.
We also ate at The Mandarin in Bountiful one night. Best Chinese food in Utah! They mix styles to come up with a whole different spin. The best thing to do with a group is to sit at the large table in back and order a variety of entrees that everyone can taste. We did this and determined we only needed to order half as much food as we would have if everyone had gotten individual entrees. Just remember to get really good directions before you go there, it is a bit tricky to find.
At both mountains and wherever we went in Layton, everyone we encountered was like a goodwill ambassador for the area.
We received help in putting the trip together from Brandon Berrett at Davis Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Call him! He also gave us a local's tour of some off run skiing at Powder Mountain. I highly recommend that you give this area a try next year. Everyone will think you're a genius for suggesting it!