Sometimes dashing through the snow is not as blissful as the postcards of sleigh rides across snowy fields make it seem. More often than not, holiday vacations begin in cramped family cars where the kids in the backseat are losing interest in their DVDs and traffic is blocking your exit. Making it to your parents' house may sound like an impending nightmare, a necessary evil of visiting the family.
As local hotels and lodging properties are realizing, destination family vacations, where groups book blocks of rooms and meet in a single location is a rising trend. Multigenerational travel, where multiple generations of a family are meet in one vacation destination, is growing. And it applies to Park City.
"Park City, like other ski resorts and mountain destinations, is experiencing much more multigenerational travel," said Bill Malone, the President and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Visitors Bureau. "Park City is a part of this social phenomenon. You see it on the slopes, grandparents with kids at the lodge, and mom and dad on the hill."
"That vacation works in places like Park City, which has so much to offer," he added. "This is not just a town in the mountains with nothing but skiing. We have arts, fine dining and concerts, which works well for us because it's such a broad base that our product appeals to."
According to a report from Travel Guard, an international insurance company, people are not just traveling to see their families, they are traveling with them. Agents reported a majority of clients traveling during the holidays, with an estimated 40 percent traveling with multiple generations. Only 11 percent of travel agents reported that clients are traveling only with their children during the holidays.
Multigenerational travel trend is not limited to the holiday season. Rather, people are doing so throughout the year, with agents reporting that 35 percent of clients take multigenerational trips at least once a year, the report stated. An estimated 34 percent of families are taking multigenerational trips every two to three years, with most multigenerational travelers planning vacations around life event such as birthdays, anniversaries and family reunions.
On Sunday, Allan Sexter and his family, 20 people in total, checked into a Park City hotel, traveling from New York, Boston and California, representing three different generations.
"Multigenerational travel is growing as a trend at Canyons every season," said Mike Goar, the Managing Director of the resort. "It's one of the reasons we offer such a variety of programming such as snowshoeing, sleigh rides, Zip Tour and spas. We want to be an all-inclusive destination for our guests with plenty of options for guests who might now ski or snowboard."
At the Goldener Hirsh Inn at Deer Valley Resort, General Manager Kelley Davidson has seen similar trends.
"It is a growing part of our business," Davidson said. "We are targeting that market, though we have not yet developed ads completely around multigenerational travel. We have so many people, especially grandparents, who want to have winter vacations together.
"If families live in different cities, we've seen that they meet here at the resort," he added. "People are coming from all over to Utah as opposed to going to each other's home. People are choosing a neutral location."ext week