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Average Destination Ski Cost - Not for the frugal

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Against the advice of Mr. Vertical I will post this value perspective here.

 

www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/53116877-79/ski-lake-salt-tripadvisor.html.csp

 

"The cost of one night’s stay in a hotel, a basic ski-rental package, an adult one-day lift ticket, and a local meal and a beer at ski resorts."

 

"A frugal traveler can take a Salt Lake ski trip for $239... the most expensive destination is Vail, which costs $746. Park City is third on that list at $667, about $6 cheaper than a trip to Aspen. Two other Colorado resorts, Telluride and Steamboat Springs, round out the top five in the most-expensive list."

 

"The travel site calculating the nightly rate to be $122. That was only 50 cents more expensive than North Conway, N.H., which finished second in the poll, its overall costs coming in at $1 more than Salt Lake City. Vail, once again, had the highest hotel costs, at $582 nightly. Park City’s nightly lodging costs were pegged by TripAdvisor at $524."


Edited by Powderhorn - 12/15/11 at 8:16pm
post #2 of 19

It is certainly not a cheap ski hobby if you want to do the resort ski trip thingy. I suspect if you really work it, you can get that price down a bit by going at off-peak early season, and late season periods. Got a trip planned to Vail/BC, with air, lodging, lift tix and car rental, I'm already out $209/day. So a skiers got to eat, right? I shudder to think of the cost for food. Going to be lots of eating at the condo and bringing a PB&J in the backpack to the slopes. I suspect the demand is there if the prices are what they are these days. And, yes, it was sticker shock when I was researching Vail...

post #3 of 19

Since you're going to continually spam us, what's your take on the skilink?  How will it effect Solutude or more importantly, the Powderhorn lodge?

post #4 of 19

Seems kind of expensive if you're really talking "frugal traveler." Cheap hotel room $50-60, discount ticket to Soli/Brighton $60, not sure how much rentals are ($30-$40?), $15 for a burger and fries (which is what their meal is based on) and $5 for a beer. That's about $140. I realize Trip Advisor is dealing in averages, but the Tribune article should mention that an actual frugal traveler could do the trip for half of what they're estimating.

 

Also who the hell spends $750 for one day (outside of the rich)? That doesn't seem very average at all.

post #5 of 19

Misleading title.

 

Those numbers are more for "average" skier rather than "frugal" skier. 

 

If you read carefully of the article, it's the AVERAGE cost of lodging! Any bear who had attended the Salt Lake City Gathering 2 years ago will testify our lodging cost was 1/3 of the average quoted in the article.

 

When there's an average, it means there're some that are BELOW average. That's where "frugal" skiers go to.

 

 

 

post #6 of 19

You can always book your travel separate and get discounted lift tickets at sites like. www.LiftTickets.com . If you can save 50% on the price of lift tickets it should drop your overall travel cost dramatically. 

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Since you're going to continually spam us, what's your take on the skilink?  How will it effect Solutude or more importantly, the Powderhorn lodge?

 

Sorry about the spam. Seriously.

 

Having trouble coloring inside of the lines.

 

Can or should I delete this thread?

 

If you are kidding I can lighten up.

 

I am against the skilink and don't think it will happen.

 

Keep in mind this is just my opinion which doesn't matter.

 

As a selfish snow slider I look at it from the perspective on what do I gain or lose from this?

 

1. Access to The Canyons. I like Solitude much more than The Canyons. I would not give up Solitude groomers and ride the gondola to chase Park City powder if a storm ever came in that way? I understand the convenience vacationers would enjoy to gondola over or wealthy wives might ride to shop.

 

2. Access to Solitude. The Canyons into Solitude adding more skiers in line? No thank you. If they unload the gondola before 9:00 the Solitude locals will be invaded. The gondola brings ticket sales into Solitude so I can see the motivation for the owners, but Solitude skiers should be against it. Ask any Solitude skier how awesome it is when LCC closes and Alta invades.

 

Borrowed idea: Economy sucks. Less money. Less people ski vacationing. The Canyons is overdeveloped. Solitude is probably overdeveloped. 99% unoccupied. So what can we do to fill these beds and sell lift tickets? Gondola.

 

Any better ideas?

 

As a peace offering for the spam, I made this for you.

The Canyons.jpg


Edited by Powderhorn - 12/15/11 at 6:41pm
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Seems kind of expensive if you're really talking "frugal traveler." Cheap hotel room $50-60, discount ticket to Soli/Brighton $60, not sure how much rentals are ($30-$40?), $15 for a burger and fries (which is what their meal is based on) and $5 for a beer. That's about $140. I realize Trip Advisor is dealing in averages, but the Tribune article should mention that an actual frugal traveler could do the trip for half of what they're estimating.

 

Also who the hell spends $750 for one day (outside of the rich)? That doesn't seem very average at all.



I don't know where you fortunate souls hail from, but you are lucky bums.  Let's start with $50 airport extended parking or a cab.at least a $250 plane ticket and that will only get you to SLC or Denver or Reno/Tahoe.  Next, pay $110 for a rental car minimum, rent skiis at $30-45 / day, pick up your $88 dollar lift ticket , stay in your $90-139 hotel room at Kimball Junction .  Skiing is not cheap.  You can shave off $30 by skiing some of the lesser resorts in Utah (or Alta), but why go to Utah if you're only going to ski Brighton?

 

Now imagine you try to go to Whistler or Big Sky or Telluride?  Yikes.  Big money.  If any of you want to give me tips on doing it cheaper without compromising the skiing- give me some options for Schweitzer or Crystal Mountain- two places I'd like to try if I could afford to go this year.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander View Post



I don't know where you fortunate souls hail from, but you are lucky bums.  Let's start with $50 airport extended parking or a cab.at least a $250 plane ticket and that will only get you to SLC or Denver or Reno/Tahoe.  Next, pay $110 for a rental car minimum, rent skiis at $30-45 / day, pick up your $88 dollar lift ticket , stay in your $90-139 hotel room at Kimball Junction .  Skiing is not cheap.  You can shave off $30 by skiing some of the lesser resorts in Utah (or Alta), but why go to Utah if you're only going to ski Brighton?

 

Now imagine you try to go to Whistler or Big Sky or Telluride?  Yikes.  Big money.  If any of you want to give me tips on doing it cheaper without compromising the skiing- give me some options for Schweitzer or Crystal Mountain- two places I'd like to try if I could afford to go this year.


The article was pretty specific: lift ticket, hotel room, rental package, meal (burger + fries) and beer. It didn't include car rental, plane tickets or anything else. So that's $750 for one day without travel expenses.

 

post #10 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michigander View Post



I don't know where you fortunate souls hail from, but you are lucky bums.  Let's start with $50 airport extended parking or a cab.at least a $250 plane ticket and that will only get you to SLC or Denver or Reno/Tahoe.  Next, pay $110 for a rental car minimum, rent skiis at $30-45 / day, pick up your $88 dollar lift ticket , stay in your $90-139 hotel room at Kimball Junction .  Skiing is not cheap.  You can shave off $30 by skiing some of the lesser resorts in Utah (or Alta), but why go to Utah if you're only going to ski Brighton?

 

Now imagine you try to go to Whistler or Big Sky or Telluride?  Yikes.  Big money.  If any of you want to give me tips on doing it cheaper without compromising the skiing- give me some options for Schweitzer or Crystal Mountain- two places I'd like to try if I could afford to go this year.

Are you talking Crystal WA or Crystal MI?  I see you are from MI, but if you mean WA you can do it pretty cheap (midweek hotel multinights from $220 INCLUDING 2 lift tickets, cont. breakfast, dinner...condos from $260 again with 2 lift tickets but not food.  Pick up weekly rentals on your way in for $80/week).  However Crystal WA would not really qualify as "destination" resort as in the article cited.  I would say it is one of the better/bigger day ski areas, although there is on-mountain lodging (above prices for same), limited dining, no real nightlife.  Since I live in the area I don't know much about the lodging qualty.  I just "won" (bought) a 3 night package at a charity auction, so will be staying there sometime late this season - will seem kinda odd when home is 1:15 drive away.

 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander View Post



I don't know where you fortunate souls hail from, but you are lucky bums.  Let's start with $50 airport extended parking or a cab.at least a $250 plane ticket and that will only get you to SLC or Denver or Reno/Tahoe.  Next, pay $110 for a rental car minimum, rent skiis at $30-45 / day, pick up your $88 dollar lift ticket , stay in your $90-139 hotel room at Kimball Junction .  Skiing is not cheap.  You can shave off $30 by skiing some of the lesser resorts in Utah (or Alta), but why go to Utah if you're only going to ski Brighton?

 

Now imagine you try to go to Whistler or Big Sky or Telluride?  Yikes.  Big money.  If any of you want to give me tips on doing it cheaper without compromising the skiing- give me some options for Schweitzer or Crystal Mountain- two places I'd like to try if I could afford to go this year.



I honestly don't know why Crystal is as expensive as it is. There is not much in the way of lodging at the mtn, and maybe that's why the prices are high? We skied with some friends of ours fm Eastern WA, who wanted to stay at Crystal, and there were no discounts for lift tickets for weekend stays. Although I think you can get mid-week lodging and ticket deals at Crystal. (Check the website, or sign up for e-mail specials.) I always recommend people stay in Bellevue, WA, rent a car, and then you can ski Alpental 50 minutes away. Stevens & Crystal depending on road conditions are about 90 minutes. And you have access to lots of nice restaurants/shopping, and you are only 20 minutes from dwntwn Seattle.

 

Personally for someone who can drive to Whistler, it is cheaper to drive up and ski there than to fly out to CO or UT, and still get a place that is either ski in/out, or almost ski in/out for a heck of a lot less than you would pay for something comparable to LCC or BCC UT resorts. And certainly a lot cheaper than Vail, or BC. I am honesty surprised at just how much more money lodging is at Vail/BC than Whistler. I have gone with groups to Whistler in late January or early Feb. and stayed in ski in/out for half the price that I am paying for similar lodging in Vail/BC.

 

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


The article was pretty specific: lift ticket, hotel room, rental package, meal (burger + fries) and beer. It didn't include car rental, plane tickets or anything else. So that's $750 for one day without travel expenses.

 



You're right.  I overlooked that when I saw $750.  

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post



I honestly don't know why Crystal is as expensive as it is. There is not much in the way of lodging at the mtn, and maybe that's why the prices are high? We skied with some friends of ours fm Eastern WA, who wanted to stay at Crystal, and there were no discounts for lift tickets for weekend stays. Although I think you can get mid-week lodging and ticket deals at Crystal. (Check the website, or sign up for e-mail specials.) I always recommend people stay in Bellevue, WA, rent a car, and then you can ski Alpental 50 minutes away. Stevens & Crystal depending on road conditions are about 90 minutes. And you have access to lots of nice restaurants/shopping, and you are only 20 minutes from dwntwn Seattle.

 

Personally for someone who can drive to Whistler, it is cheaper to drive up and ski there than to fly out to CO or UT, and still get a place that is either ski in/out, or almost ski in/out for a heck of a lot less than you would pay for something comparable to LCC or BCC UT resorts. And certainly a lot cheaper than Vail, or BC. I am honesty surprised at just how much more money lodging is at Vail/BC than Whistler. I have gone with groups to Whistler in late January or early Feb. and stayed in ski in/out for half the price that I am paying for similar lodging in Vail/BC.

 


Thanks for the tip about Bellevue.  That looks to be pretty far from Crystal Mountain though.  Is it worth being centrally located from a ski standpoint?  I have not heard much about Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass.  Worth the time?

 

post #14 of 19

It's been discussed a lot, but with some advanced planning, you can save a lot on lift tickets in Colorado (and elsewhere)- particularly if you consider places like A-Basin, Copper, Winter Park and Loveland for those skiing less than 7 days a year.  For those skiing 10+, their are cheap season passes.

 

If you have some friends/family willing to share with you, nightly lodging cost can come way down, even at a nice place.  Having a kitchen can save a lot on food.  Other good tips http://www.epicski.com/a/ski-north-americas-finest-resorts-for-less-than-100-a-day

post #15 of 19

I think you can find a good deal pretty much anywhere if you look hard enough. I just booked a trip to Vail for 5 nights with 4.5 days of skiing for a total of $1,303 w/tax and fees. That price includes the air (Chicago to Eagle), lodging, 4 day lift tickets, and the round trip shuttle from Eagle airport. The half day skiing is because BC will give me a free lift ticket with my boarding pass when I arrive, so I should be on the slopes by noon. I thought that was a pretty good deal for Vail, now, I'm not staying in a 5 star hotel but why bother when your never in the room anyway.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander View Post

Thanks for the tip about Bellevue.  That looks to be pretty far from Crystal Mountain though.  Is it worth being centrally located from a ski standpoint?  I have not heard much about Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass.  Worth the time?

 


Bellevue is centrally located, as Toadman says, but you have to drive to everything.  If you want to go somewhere to ski and stay on the hill, then it's not for you.  The problem is that there are no destination resorts in Washington.  People here don't even call the places we ski at "resorts," we call them "ski areas."  This reflects the psychology of going to a place with essentially no lodging, shopping, or partying.

 

If you can stomach driving to various places, then Bellevue would give you a great option to ski three places with outstanding terrain.  Crystal is the big boy but Stevens Pass has everything someone who's looking for a challenge (or not) would want.  It also has more, and often better, snow than Crystal. It could keep you well entertained for at least a couple of days. Click on the "Stevens Pass" link in my signature line to find out more. 

 

Toadman did not mention Snoqualmie Pass because it isn't worthy of a visit from afar.  It's just like a bunch of cow fields which have been jacked up on one end.  The place he mentioned is Alpental, which is owned and operated by the same company and is just across the freeway from Snoqualmie but is in another skiing universe.  While it is a small area in acreage, the terrain is steep and challenging and there is good back country access. It is very much worth a visit, just make sure you do so when the snow level is right because the base is below 3000 feet. 


Edited by Posaune - 12/17/11 at 6:50am
post #17 of 19

I don't think a lot of people know what the heck they are doing. 

 

Use miles to book your airfare, or fare watch like a hawk. 

Don't eat on the mountain and bring a sandwich.

Get a condo and eat in.

Don't stay on the mountain.

Split the car among a group of you and watch prices like a hawk. Or have someone who lives locally and will drive their own car. 

Don't go skiing at places like Deer Valley or Vail.

Find lift ticket deals on Ebay, Craigslist, boarding pass, preseason ticket sales like 4-packs, costco, liftopia, , Descente Passport, etc. Buying tickets at the window is for suckers.

Get you own gear rather than rent. You can get really good stuff that is used. 

Don't go over xmas.

Stay with someone you know if you can.

Consider going in April. 

 

Do all of these things and you can erode the per day cost big time. All I care about is skiing and these things combined let me ski more. 

 

 

 

 

 

post #18 of 19

A couple years ago, I went to Steamboat Springs twice. The first time we flew into Denver from San Diego and got a Rental car and found out most rental companies do not allow chains, the second time I drove my 4WD Avalanche (with chains). If you calculate the cost per person to fly plus cost of (standard) rental, it is usually a wash, and 4WD/AWD rental is way more, plus we can bring all our skis and pack food and extra gear.

 

Last year, I decided to drive the wife on a 10 day Vegas/Red River/Taos/Sunrise trip after our usual January race at Mammoth for her birthday, much easier than flying, no missed flights, easy to shift dates, etc. Personally I could have skipped Vegas all together and got a couple more days skiing, but....

 

Spacecase

post #19 of 19

The last time I was in SLC (year before last) we got a motel for 3 of us in Sandy for $238 for 8 days.

Admittedly, that was an exceptional bargain.   But less than $70 per day is not unusual.

Even if you don't do a  prepackaged package, the motels often have discount vouchers for their guests.

 

The huge increase in rental car prices has been painful.  The car used to be an incidental expense.  Now it is usually the most expensive thing (more than the room or the lift ticket).

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