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If you've skied the 'Bird before, the terrain at Alta is very similar as they're right next to each other- so if you liked Bird you'll like Alta. Snowbasin is cool, it's just out of the way and gets wind-ripped very easily (though that won't be an issue right now with this high pressure system we're in). Deer Valley has some of my favorite trees in Utah and a lot of the gapers that ski there don't ski them so they usually hold up well for long periods of time-- it's just Deer Valley, so obviously expensive.
I'd go Brighton one day Alta the other if for no other reason than they're higher elevation so the snow will probably hold up a little better than the PC resorts this weekend.
I live in PC so some of the SLC/UofU homies on here can probably give more detail, but generally the place to live is in the Sugarhouse neighborhood. Rent is cheap, it's right by the U, and it has a cool/younger vibe. Still very easy access to Big/Little Cottonwood, and the entrance to Parley's to get you to PC is right there.
As far as food my personal favorites in SLC are Pat's BBQ (self explanatory) and Bayleaf (greasy breakfast food, cheap, plentiful). I'll defer to the valley guys for further info on that subject.