We were afraid of our first full summer in the south and in late spring I found myself in the envious position of having 1,100+ Marriott Timeshare points available from the 2 bedroom timeshare we own on Hilton Head Island. I bought the timeshare for $1,000 several years ago and have put it in the Marriott points program. We will never use the actual timeshare unit, a two bedroom with a week in January, (low time on Hilton Head). We bought the week at the Grande Ocean Marriott of Hilton Head as they give local owners use of the common facilities year round even though we only own one week. Katy uses the gym overlooking the ocean often and we plan on taking the grand kids there when they get a little older (notice the plural now of grand kids J ). Our yearly maintenance fee is $1,100 which is quite reasonable when you consider the gym membership, year round use of the facilities and points we now have to trade.
My swap of the points was for an eight night studio unit stay at the Marriott Mountainside in Park City. We were literally at the base of the mountain and the PayDay 6 passenger chairlift. The weather was beautiful in the 70’s with no humidity, and after receiving a bump on the outbound we were all smiles and ready for a week off from retirement at home. The studio unit had microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, and dishes. A king bed, sofa, and overlooked the mountain, the pools, and hot tubs. Although not extremely large or spacious it was just the two of us and we managed just fine. The property does not have dining facilities but at the base of the ski mountain were numerous restaurant choices and we tried most of them. I had the best baked ziti and chorizo sausage I can ever remember. We ate breakfast daily at the a restaurant called the Corner Store right outside the condo lobby.
During the summer months the Marriott is definitely a kid friendly resort… Many of the occupants had younger children that loudly enjoyed the pool and many rides that were set up for the summer at the base of the mountain. There were zip lines, go-carts, merry-go-rounds, and the chair operated to the top of the mountain. We enjoyed the adults only hot tub in the evening and quickly got into the Park City pace of life.
The quaint downtown was empty during midweek and heated up on weekends. Lots of antique stores, artist galleries, restaurant choices, and another Marriott timeshare property on the end of Main st. It was small town America, gone upper class. There was also a chairlift in town to the top of the mountain and we took the ride our resort up PayDay and then down the town chairlift into town. ($11 each) with beautiful views.
In addition to the time we spent in town and at the resort, I arranged a half-day trout fishing adventure with Utah Pro Fly Fishing. Our guide (Jerry) picked us up right on time at the hotel and supplied absolutely everything we needed. I bought my one day fishing license over the phone $14.95 including service charge. Jerry had all the rest: snacks water, waders, fly rods, net, flies and walking stick. He also brought along a tremendous knowledge of the Weber River where I caught three nice browns and two whitefish with a concoction of split sinkers and the tiniest fishing flies I had ever seen. The price was $260 for the afternoon and Jerry had us stay an extra hour over the normal four hour trip as fishing was slow. He also invited Katy and I to join he and his girlfriend for the caddis hatch that evening on the Provo river. The old guy was tired but I was touched by this young man inviting us to share his passion with us after only a few hours knowing one another. But then again, I found all of the locals in Park City to be warm friendly people.
We also ventured about one hour east into the Wasatch National Forest up to Mirror Lake recreational site. At about 10,000 feet elevation we didn’t do much heavy hiking but did make it half way around the lake which was being enjoyed by many families.
Yes we will go back to Park City next summer. The weather was fantastic with no humidity and clear blue skies. I’ll set up another day fishing with Jerry and noticed a few nice golf courses in the area as well. One of the big benefits of Park City you hear about from skiers all the time is how easy it is to reach from Salt Lake City Airport. They weren’t kidding you. Less than 45 minutes on highways and good roads and you’ve gone from the flat of Salt Lake to 7,000 feet in the mountains and cool air that felt of springtime.