A Tale of Two Park Cities

Don't tell mom you're staying here, but the Chateau Apres (800.357.9372; www.chateauapres.com) is where to stay and save while rocking out on the slopes and in the après-ski department. A slightly garish alpine-cum-gingerbread creation, this 32-room lodge (plus two hostel-style dorms with bunks) won't exactly get the home fires burning, but it's clean, convenient (a short walk from the Park City Mountain lifts and Main Street), and cheap ($90 for a double; $35 per bunk berth). Better, it's a great place to meet fellow skiers and travelers and get in on the local scene.

If this sounds too spartan for your tastes, Park City boasts hundreds of condos for those traveling with a crowd, or B&B's for something simple, sweet, and cost-effective. Even though some properties might be a distance from Main Street or the slopes, a free shuttle service means you'll never be far from your desired locale. Check out the Park City Chamber of Commerce's lodging locator, plus their "Hot Deals" section. Here you'll find late-breaking deals on the town's 120 lodging properties, updated weekly each Monday. Visit www.parkcityinfo.com for more. Après-Ski

You've scrimped, you've saved, all in the name of ripping up some of Utah's best snow. Congrats, now it's time to treat yourself (some more). Free fun is never far in Park City, with numerous concerts, costume events, arts festivals, and film events -- including the Sundance jamboree in January, where you can score reasonably priced $10 tickets to individual screenings, maybe even including a Q&A with the director and cast into the bargain. Stay on the ball and pre-register online for advance ticket info (www.sundance.org), or get in the "Wait List Line" at theaters an hour before screenings for a chance to scoop up any extra tickets. If you're not in town for the festival itself (and face it, rooms will be scarce and prices inflated), sneak in for free film screenings pre-Sundance in January to get a flavor of what's coming up.

Other places to eke out savings (and have fun in the process) are at the resorts themselves, which throw free bashes throughout the season. Deer Valley hosts the Freestyle International World Cup for two days each January, a great time to watch hot-dogging superstars race each other down the Olympics moguls course and get big air off the freestyle ramps. Their athleticism will either inspire, amaze, or terrify you. This annual event also features live musical entertainment and fireworks. The ten-day Winterfest -- Park City's self-styled "non-stop, ten-day party" to celebrate its 2002 Olympics legacy -- runs from February 2-11 in 2007.

Back on Main Street, you don't have to be a gourmand to forage. Reasonably priced eateries, pubs, and grocery stores abound, including the legendary spit-and-sawdust No Name Saloon and Grill (447 Main St., 435.649.6667), where local ski bums, ski patrolers, and visitors in the know come to drink, dance, and party. In no time at all, you'll be back in turn-of-the-century mining mode and wondering how the hell Utah got that dry-state rep.

PLEASURE IN THE PARK

The Scene

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