Whether you’re heading to Park City for your annual ski vacation or are planning to give Utah’s famous “Best Snow on Earth” a try for the first time, booking your trip early should be at the very top of your fall to-do list. Park City is one of the West’s truly special places, with its historic storefronts, walkable shopping and fine dining — and all of this is at the foot of some gorgeous, snowy peaks that are just waiting for you to come out and play.

If you’re still hesitating, here are six big reasons you should get a jump on your winter holiday plans and book your Park City ski vacation today:

  1. It’s Bigger and Better Than Ever

Did you know that Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons Resort have merged? These two premier ski destinations now form the largest ski resort in the United States, and the inaugural year is shaping up to be one big celebration! The Park City Base Area provides classic skiing at its finest, with the Olympic spirit still burning brightly since the 2002 Salt Lake City games. Canyons Village is just four short miles from Park City, and there’s easy transportation to and from downtown via local bus service and the gondola. With these two major attractions now working together, the 2015-2016 season is going to be huge. Book early so you don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of history this winter.

  1. Take Advantage of Peak Snow

sLike all things skiing-related, the timing depends on the weather conditions, but, in general, the ski season gets started at Park City and The Canyons on Thanksgiving, and both areas tend to have a respectable number of trails open for the long holiday weekend. Deer Valley is scheduled to open to skiers during the first weekend in December, and lift tickets are already on sale. (If you need an incentive to get cracking on your vacation planning, check out Deer Valley’s weather conditions and countdown to opening day — it’s sooner than you think!)

True snow bunnies know that the best skiing in Utah doesn’t come until much deeper into the season, though. It typically takes a good four to six weeks from opening day for all trails to open and for the mountains to have a reasonable base of snow built up. The end of January and all of February see the most steadily snowy weather, and this period is consistently the best time to hit the slopes in Utah. If you want peak snow, book your trip for February so you don’t miss out on the best runs of the season!

  1. Holidays Fill Up Fast! Don’t wait.

If your travel dates aren’t flexible due to work or school commitments, you’ll be competing for lodging and lift tickets with everyone else looking to make that long weekend or week long ski trip a reality. Die-hard skiers who can’t wait to get started on the season tend to fill up the resorts during Thanksgiving, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s attracts families with kids on school break, college kids meeting up with friends between semesters and weekend warriors who are using up their last flex days before they lose their vacation time at the end of the year.

While those holidays are big around the country, ski country also makes special observances of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the third Monday in January and Presidents Day on the third Monday in February. These long weekends fall right in the midst of peak snow season, and snow bunnies love to take advantage by adding a day or two to either end of the holiday weekend to make a nice, long ski holiday for themselves. In fact, many schools in the area have a four-day weekend for Presidents Day, and schools in Park City are closed for the entire third week in February. If you’re hoping to hit the slopes during any of these holidays, it’s best to book well in advance to have your choice of rooms and amenities — not to mention snagging a room with an amazing view!

  1. Plan Around Flight & Vacation Deals for your Ski Vacations to Park City!

If you’re flying into Salt Lake City for your Park City ski vacation, you already know that the lowest airfare is available when you book your flight early. A recent study shows that customers in the United States get the best deals on flights when they book about 54 days in advance — that’s almost two months ahead of time! You can also score better prices on airline tickets for those winter ski vacations, you need to be booking flights on off-peak days like Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, so it’s a good idea to shop around early to get your best deal.

Once you’ve nabbed your best price on airfare well ahead of time, don’t delay on booking the rest of your Park City vacation, especially if you are looking for less common blocks of time, like a Tuesday through Monday window. For the best selection of vacation rentals or places to stay to stay, lock in early so your savings on airfare don’t go to waste to make up for unexpected difficulties with your lodging. Make sure to check out the vacation deals for local companies online which usually have a few packages available to take advantage of. Line those deals up with your dates and flights, and you have a winning combination for savings!

  1. Take Advantage of Sundance and Other Special Events

As if Park City’s outstanding skiing wasn’t a reason enough to enjoy a winter getaway here, it’s also the home of the renowned Sundance Film Festival. This year the festival runs from January 21 through January 31, and the celebration of independent and artistic films attracts cinephiles and many of Hollywood’s biggest stars to the area. It’s also the single biggest event of the year here, so if you want to rub elbows with your favorite celebrities, book your room well in advance — they get snapped up quickly!

There are also lots of other special events and performances throughout the winter. Check out these highlights:

  • 18 – Dec. 20: The Park City Holiday Spectacular at the Egyptian Theater
  • 24: Santa Claus visits Deer Valley Resort!
  • 31: Ann Wilson of Heart in concert at the Eccles Center
  • 6 – Jan. 10: The Village People in concert at the Egyptian Theater
  • 6: NPR’s Ira Glass lectures at the Eccles Center

If you want to catch the films at Sundance or any of these other great events, lock in your vacation dates sooner rather than later! Sundance Film Festival fills up fast!

  1. Snag an Early Vacation Deal

Lots of people are on the prowl for last-minute vacation deals, but a survey of ski package special offers reveals something surprising: Most deals expire in November, meaning that you can actually find more bargains on a wider variety of packages and lodging options when you shop early. You might get a once-in-a-lifetime deep discount at the last minute, but the odds are actually against it.

Ready to find the perfect accommodations for your Park City ski trip? Whether you’re looking for hot tub relaxation or high-flying adventure, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for among our outstanding collection of hotel and vacation rental properties. For the best selection, get started with your booking today!