Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Photo from The Hollywood Reporter

With the Sundance Film Festival kicking off January 19, many are jetting off to Park City to catch the latest premieres, mingle amongst the celebrities and hit the slopes of the country’s largest mountain resort. And with many of the country’s ski destinations blanketed in fresh powder, we looked into the best way to plan a mountain escape, whether looking for an ultra-luxurious experience or simply to maximize your time and money.

“Unlike cruises or safaris or complex itineraries, many never consider using a travel agent or specialist when planning a ski trip. That’s a big mistake,” writes Forbes Contributor and travel buff, Larry Olmsted. Upon consulting with some of the nation’s expert travel agents and ski experts for a recent piece, Olmsted found, not only can they save you money, they can do the seemingly impossible. They can secure accommodations at the swankiest resorts and properties during the height of Sundance or arrange a top private ski instructor when you’ve been told none are available.

The ski experts can curate the perfect, highly personalized trip and are very well versed on each destination, knowing which resorts are truly ski-in/ski-out, which are an easy walk to the lifts for little skiers, and which have the poshest amenities, from saunas to massage rooms. And typically, ski travel specialists are free, with no fees on top of booking.

Among those making Olmstead’s list of pros are Rick Reichsfeld of Alpine Adventures, the official ski travel supplier for Virtuoso, the network of the nation’s high-end travel agents, and Sarah Plaskitt of Scout Ski who Olmstead tasked with arranging his ski adventure to Japan. Ski.com, the biggest of the major ski specific travel players, excels at packaging complete ski vacations, including ones that will cover multiple destinations in one trip.

Vail Resorts, which owns and operates a portfolio of resorts worldwide including Park City Mountain Resort, Vail, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek, has reservation specialists at each location and offers detailed booking information at Snow.com. Its hospitality division operates numerous properties, including hotels, condos and private residences, giving it an advantage in securing accommodations in the luxury market.


One of the much anticipated Vail Resorts-managed properties coming to Park City is bringing 63 new contemporary, slope side residences to Canyons Village for those looking to enjoy the Sundance lifestyle year-round. Apex Residences will feature a collection of three to five-bedroom, ski-in/ski-out townhomes, penthouses, and residences, as well as a private clubhouse with outdoor pool, spa, lounge, and bar. While in town for this year’s event, you can take the Retreat and Lower Sunrise ski runs past the Apex site, situated at the highest elevation in Canyons Village. The first homes are set to be completed in time for the 2018 film festival. Learn more at ApexParkCity.com.