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New England Bang fo Buck

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I created a spread sheet to help me decide where to spend my hard earned dollars this ski season. I realise this an overly "quant"ish approach, and that there may be flaws in my methodology.

 

Where is the cheapest skiing in New England? So far I have collected data on ski resorts in New Hampshire and Vermont, comparing vertical feet, ticket price, and distance from Boston. Ticket prices are mid week, and take advantage of college discounts if available. (Some of these are even cheaper if you are military, or can do a two-fer). Distance is factored into ticket price based on average 25mpg vehicle and AAA listed average of $3.37 per gallon in New England. I hope to do Maine next. As there are other forms of discounts available (online, ski shops/clubs etc.), this data is more for a general sense of affordability than anything else.

 

NH Affordability
Mountain Distance(from Boston) Ticket Price Vertical Ft. Vert ft per $ (after gas)  
Balsams 216 40 1000 10.17  
Pat's Peak 81 46 710 10.47  
Crotched 80 45 875 13.14  
Brett Wds 158 70 1500 13.32  
Gunstock 98 63 1400 15.66  
Black Mt  145 30 1100 15.92  
Mt. SPee 98 68 1510 15.99  
Ragged 100 47 1250 16.9  
Attitash 148 63 1750 17.00  
Loon 131 78 2100 18.53  
WildCat 154 63 2100 20.09  
Cranmore 137 49 1750 20.36  
Cannon 146 55 2180 23.10  
Waterville 127 53 2020 23.15  

 

(edited to account for round trip gas. thx Kdaffy)

 

Vermont Affordability
Mountain Distance(from Boston) Ticket Price Vertical Ft Vert Ft. per $ (after gas)
Suicide 6 140 43 650 8.05
Bromley 168 49 1300 13.79
Mt. Snow 155 75 1700 14.56
Jay Peak 226 75 2150 15.81
Stowe 205 88 2360 16.47
Stratton 154 69 2003 18.12
Okemo 164 77 2200 18.15
Burke 189 51 2011 19.72
MRG 198 45 2000 20.33
Magic 163 39 1700 20.50
Sugarbush 189 75 2650 21.04
Smugglers 223 60 2610 21.73
Killington 159 79 3076 25.24

 


Edited by LeonGuillot - 12/17/11 at 9:19am
post #2 of 15

Interesting, especially since we plan to stay with family in Wenham, MA (North Shore) and do some trips to Wildcat & Cannon. Looks like a good idea.

 

I think your VT result is a little skewed by K-Mart's claim of 3000 vertical. Is there any place there you can do more than 1500 at a time? Nobody skis from the top down to the gondi base at Bridgewater, unless you have something to read along the way for the last half.

 

 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

that is a good point about Killington. In fact, I think if we looked closer, vertical feet may not be the best indicator of "fun" or "bang" (so to speak) for a lot of these hills. Maybe total acreage? This in not a science though, so we have to draw the line somewhere...

post #4 of 15

you can make the same argument for total acreage as with vertical...is bretton woods (most acreage in NH) the most fun?

 

but like you said, this is just looking at statistics..

 

maybe we can start a poll to see if we can get to a fun factor model?

 

i.e. survey people and find out what = fun? vert, acreage, % expert terrain, ski school quality, base area amenities (i.e # hotel options, # bars, # spas,etc), etc, then assign weights to each one of these measurable statistics to calculate a fun per $ number.

 

im willing to make the spreadsheet if someone will do the polling and data gathering.

 

leonguillot and i worked together to make a cool little spreadsheet for this...i cant post attachments here, but feel free to put it up leon.

 

 

post #5 of 15

Another factor not included are discounts. I know at Wildcat for example there was at least one day a week when, if there were 2 people, you could essentially get a 2 for 1 deal. There are lots of discount ticket deals out there.

 

I also wonder about the vertical as the primary "bang" number. The best example on your list is Stratton and MRG both with essentially 2000 feet. However, the experience for virtually everyone at these 2 mountain is wildly different. I don't know what the substitute data would be (I know what's important for my enjoyment, but not for anyone else). But an interesting chart in any case.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

There are resort review sites like On the Snow that work with user ratings, which is probably the best way to count such subjective criteria.

post #7 of 15

Maybe try something like the reviews over here at Epic, from the own community.

post #8 of 15

Another factor in your calculation is lodging cost.

 

Most of Vermont is over 200miles away. I don't know about you, but there's no way I would do that as a day trip. For me, 100 mile is already the limit for a day trip. Anything longer than that, I had a heck of a hard time keeping my eye open on the way back (going there isn't the problem, it's coming back after a hard day of skiing, anything longer than an hr and half is totally impossible)

 

I found I go to some places that has higher lift ticket cost because I know of good loding at lower cost. I can actually come out ahead.

 

 

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Another factor not included are discounts. I know at Wildcat for example there was at least one day a week when, if there were 2 people, you could essentially get a 2 for 1 deal. There are lots of discount ticket deals out there.

 

I also wonder about the vertical as the primary "bang" number. The best example on your list is Stratton and MRG both with essentially 2000 feet. However, the experience for virtually everyone at these 2 mountain is wildly different. I don't know what the substitute data would be (I know what's important for my enjoyment, but not for anyone else). But an interesting chart in any case.



 There is more MRG type terrain at stowe then there is at MRG.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

Another factor in your calculation is lodging cost.

 

Most of Vermont is over 200miles away. I don't know about you, but there's no way I would do that as a day trip. For me, 100 mile is already the limit for a day trip. Anything longer than that, I had a heck of a hard time keeping my eye open on the way back (going there isn't the problem, it's coming back after a hard day of skiing, anything longer than an hr and half is totally impossible)

 

I found I go to some places that has higher lift ticket cost because I know of good loding at lower cost. I can actually come out ahead.

 

 

When I was younger, I often did the up-and-back day trip from Boston.

I would usually have to take a short nap at a rest area about half way back.

I can tell when I can't stay awake, and pull off rather than fight it.

 

These days, I only do up-and-back with more than one driver.  When by myself, I usually go up the night before and drive back home after skiing.

 

To complicate the spread sheet, local motels often have discount vouchers for lift tickets for the local ski area. (These are separate from the ski and stay deals on the websites, which usually don't apply to a single guest. The dreaded "per person, double occupancy" fine print).
 

---------------------------------------------------

 

If you are storm chasing (which I highly recommend if you can make the flexibility), then the mileage probably ought to be weighted a little higher, since the drive will take 50% longer than usual.  (100% longer  for really good storms.)


Edited by mdf - 12/21/11 at 10:09pm
post #11 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post



 There is more MRG type terrain at stowe then there is at MRG.

I hope I can make it to the Eastern Gathering, cause I haven't had much luck figuring Stowe out on my own.
 

 

post #12 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaffy View Post

you can make the same argument for total acreage as with vertical...is bretton woods (most acreage in NH) the most fun?

 

but like you said, this is just looking at statistics..

 

maybe we can start a poll to see if we can get to a fun factor model?

 

i.e. survey people and find out what = fun? vert, acreage, % expert terrain, ski school quality, base area amenities (i.e # hotel options, # bars, # spas,etc), etc, then assign weights to each one of these measurable statistics to calculate a fun per $ number.

 

im willing to make the spreadsheet if someone will do the polling and data gathering.

 

leonguillot and i worked together to make a cool little spreadsheet for this...i cant post attachments here, but feel free to put it up leon.

 

 



Trying to rank the areas would lead to endless arguments, but I'll bet you could get a broad consensus on an A, B, C grouping by quality of expert terrain.  Not 100% agreement, but close enough.

 

For example, shooting from the hip I would say

A = Stowe, Smuggs, Jay, Magic, MRG, Sugarbush, maybe Killington

B = Loon, Wildcat, Cannon, maybe Attitash, maybe Waterville, maybe Okemo

C = the rest

 

post #13 of 15

I agree Acreage needs to be factored in along with Vertical Drop.  But some places have what I may call artificial vertical; one trail that goes way down to a lower extremity but really offers nothing.  Killington's 3000+ vertical is based on flat run out trails that go down to route 100.  Killington's effective vertical drop is substantially less, but obviously there is lots to ski there.  Gore is also guilty of increasing posted vertical drop with terrain that is very hard to get to and requires a lot of walking.  

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Trying to rank the areas would lead to endless arguments, but I'll bet you could get a broad consensus on an A, B, C grouping by quality of expert terrain.  Not 100% agreement, but close enough.

 

For example, shooting from the hip I would say

A = Stowe, Smuggs, Jay, Magic, MRG, Sugarbush, maybe Killington

B = Loon, Wildcat, Cannon, maybe Attitash, maybe Waterville, maybe Okemo

C = the rest

 


That's an excellent idea!

 

Except which goes into cat A is very personal.


Back to the OP, if skiing from top to bottom is how you like to ski, your spread sheet does exactly what you need!

 

post #15 of 15

The best way to get the most bang for your buck is following liftopia and seeing when and where they got the deals going.

 

 

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