Westgate’s Internet Service Sucks
The Westgate Resort in Park City is fine — As Long As You Don’t Need to Ever Use the Internet!
That’s right. By corporate design, the internet domain at the Westgate will intermittently bump you offline. Sometimes after thirty minutes; sometimes after less than a minute. Right in the middle of answering an important email. Right in the middle of completing an online transaction. Right in the middle of trying to get whatever chores you need to get done so you can go out and enjoy your vacation in this incredibly beautiful area.
When you try to sign back on, the system often won’t accept your Access Code, even though you typed it in correctly. And so you can try to clear that Error Message by clearing out your browser’s cookies, before you can start over again from scratch. But then you will lose all the passwords to all your sites. Yep, that’s right — your email account, your facebook, your bank, everything, will need to be re-logged into from scratch. Hope you’ve got all those passwords handy. Because they got cleared out, too, along with your cookies. Oh, and sometimes even that cookie-clearing process doesn’t work to get you back online at the Westgate. Maybe try back later in a few hours. Sometimes it works then. Sometimes not. 3:00 a.m. seems to be a pretty lucky hour.
As a result, a pile of normally simple internet-requiring tasks, such as obtaining your Utah fishing license, or seeing a map and directions to any of the terrific recreation spots in the region, or making plans with friends, or downloading a file somebody is trying to send you and text messaging you about why haven’t you responded, things which would have taken under an hour to get done back home, can take you literally over six hours to try to get done at the Westgate. No joke.
Or you can do what seemingly everyone else does, and that is drive up the mountain about a mile and a half and use the free internet at Starbucks. That is, if you can find a parking spot there. Or a table. It’s packed, with people just like you, laptop in hand.
You never realize how many times a day you need to use the internet, even briefly, until you can’t. If you have a friend staying at the more affordable Peaks Resort about fifteen minutes drive from the Westgate, you can use their free WiFi. It works fine. Sign on once, and you’re good to go as long as you need it. Same with the Park City Ski Resort. Or the Hampton Inn, or the Holiday Inn, for that matter. Let’s see — they’re paying less to lodge than you are at the Westgate; they’ve got breakfast included; they’ve got free WiFi that works — hmmm.
While workers at the Westgate are working hard to try to make the resort a more visibly attractive place to entice people to buy timeshares, including jackhammering from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm to fix the pool area, or replacing the flooring outside the elevator with a different color, or repainting your balcony, the internet policy at the Westgate, which is apparently designed to frustrate you to the point that you will shell out even more money to pay for their paid internet service, is busy turning your expensive vacation into Another Sh**ty Day in Paradise.
The Fitness Room is great. The pools and hot tubs that work are nice and warm. The rooms make very efficient use of the space. The area is to die for. There are incredible bike trails and hiking trails throughout the mountain community of Park City. Just don’t take any pictures, none that you might want to send to anyone. Because then you’d need the internet.
Until the Westgate corporate execs do a better job of figuring out why people are not coming back, why their mid-week occupancy is less than 50% when the surrounding resorts are near capacity, and re-thinks their policy of intentionally inconveniencing their guests to extract a small additional profit from them, don’t consider a stay at the Westgate anything close to an all-inclusive relaxing vacation spree. Not unless you want to include hours of frustration on- and off- line in your daily routine.