Travel to where you want to go and get a taste. I need access to relatively cheap airport, so Jackson would be out for me. SLC is a great central location with a growing population base and a large number of activities. It also doesn't have the same Big City feel as other places. Like you said, there is also Park City, but that is pricey, too. You could also consider Portland, Oregon or Reno, NV. I assume there will be building still going on for some time in SLC. Denver is a messy haul to the resorts.
Traveling the States and Taking Pictures