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Ski trip for 2 people for >2k?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hello everybody!

I am sitting here in sunny Florida wishing I had snow covered mountains outside instead of a golf course. Anyways, I have a question for all of you.

I would like to take a ski trip out west and am looking for a budget trip. I am a lower lever advanced Skier and my girlfriend is a beginner having only skied a total of 4 days so far. I am really looking for a resort where I will not be limited but my girlfriend can have 2-4 runs where she can learn. We are planning on doing this trip Feb 1st-6th. 

 

Here are the things we will need:

Flight for 2

Ski only rentals for 2 (non demo mid grade is fine)

Hotel (We don't care about the hotel just need a clean bed) As cheap as possible 

We would like not to have to rent a car but if it is considerably cheaper to stay 20-30 mins outside the resorts and drive in everyday we will do so. 

Lift tickets for 4-5 full days of skiing.

 

Can't think of anything else off the top of my head. 

 

Is this possible for less than 2k? If so what resorts or locations would this be possible? 

 

 

Thank you all for you great help!

 

post #2 of 31

not sure its possible cuz from florida everywhere is a long flite!

 

salt lake city is worth considering, but can't promise it'll come in at 2 grand or less.  I've gotten accommodations in the city (temple plaza hotel i think right near the mormon square next to the train and bus to the hill for $80 to $100 ($100 on the weekends).  the superpass provides a reasonable rate on lift tickets; last trip worked out to be about $40 a day i think and that includes the mass transit up and down either canyon.  the ride is a drag but it saves money and keeps this flatlander breathing and feeling way better than if i slept up at the hill.  the downtown train can transport you to affordable eateries and the hotel i mentioned should be near the country's largest nordstroms that wasn't quite done when i was there 2 years ago.

 

Not sure what a plane ticket to billings, mt, would cost you but red lodge has snow right now and i bet your florida dollars may go further in south central montana.

 

either way, have a blast!

 

dave

post #3 of 31

I would first look for the best deal on flights that you can. I think you can have a budget trip at a lot of places, but there could be a lot of variation in airfare cost to different points west. The SLC area is often where people like to take budget ski trips so check that, but also look at Reno and Denver. And figure out if your home airport offers flights directly to any ski resorts (like Steamboat or Mammoth) and check those prices.

 

Once you've found a good price on airfare, then you can start figuring out how to do the rest of the trip cheaply (there are lots of threads here about budget Utah and CO trips).

post #4 of 31

Check Taos, NM.  I booked a vaca for 2 there for presidents day (higher than normal prices/no deals) for a little over 2k for 2 people (but we got our flights with miles - .  I'm sure if you go feb 1-6 it will be less.  Also this is with ski in/ski out lodging and car.  If you budget it up by staying off piste (say town of taos), and take shuttles/buses to/from airport/taos/ski area you can save even more.  I've heard its about a 30 min drive from town of taos to ski area.

Checking expedia real quick, there are plenty of flight/hotel/car vacations to taos for around $500/pp (leaving from orlando). That will leave you with $1k for lift tix, food etc and should keep you within budget.

 

There are plenty of pillow to powder deals online in the area as well, which may be able to get you more savings on lift tix, etc. Or check liftopia or something for discounted lift tix too.

 

hope this helps.

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for everybody's input. Before making this thread I was looking at SLC. Right now if we fly out of Tampa, we can do it for 317 per person and I think that is pretty good. We can ski 2/2-2/5 and leave the first and sixth for travel days. 

 

What hotels have the bus stops close by that can run us up to snow bird or alta? How long is each way about? 

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

I forgot about Taos! 500pp for flight hotel and car is good. Any other suggestions people? How about the bus trip from SLC hotels to the slopes?

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

The closest airport to Taos is Santa Fe is that correct? Also doing a quick expedia from MCO to SAF with hotel and car the cheapest is $607 where did you see $500?

post #8 of 31
post #9 of 31

I plugged your dates into expedia:  tampa to denver airfare $269 ea departs Tampa 850am on 1st, departs Den 430pm on 6th, with midsize car rental about $113, a hotel around Dillon/Silverthorne ~100 per night (e.g. LaQuinta), liftopia lift tics at A-basin and Copper 2 days ea, and 4hr tic at Loveland on the 6th about $500 for two people.

Total:  ~$1150 not including food

You could probably cook up something similar for SLC.

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post

Use this link and you'll be under $1500 total...

 

http://www.southwestvacations.com/Deals/Deal.aspx?deal=396&intcmp=SWA-TABTXT_SLC_120911&Referrer=S0824

 

 



That was $1500 including car rental.  We booked a similar deal earlier and we're staying at the Crystal Inn.  We paid about $550/pp and it includes flight, accommodations for 4 nights and 3 days of lift ticket.  The Crystal Inn includes full breakfast and a "light dinner" too.  We'll be adding in 2 days of lift tickets and car rental.

 

The Crystal Inn is right next to a ski bus stop, but the extra $50-70 per person for an economy car rental is worth the convenience IMO.  If its storming, we'll probably hop the bus... which I forgot to mention is included in the package we booked.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubayachts View Post

The closest airport to Taos is Santa Fe is that correct? Also doing a quick expedia from MCO to SAF with hotel and car the cheapest is $607 where did you see $500?



I did MCO to ABQ (albuquerque). about an hour drive more than santa fe, but cheaper. Is an hour in the car worth $100 p.p.?

post #12 of 31

I'd suggest checking Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz for ski packages for air + hotel. Check TPA into DEN and SLC. See what pops up. Then check VRBO.com for Park City and Keystone, Copper, Breck. etc. See what pops up for your dates. You might also want to check the ski resorts websites to see if they have any lodging + lift ticket deals. Might be cheaper to build a trip ala carte.

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 

Anybody have any information on the bus service that runs from SLC area to snowbird/ alta? Where are the pickups, how often? Any bus website with more information?

 

post #14 of 31

you should find the hotel i mentioned in my post.  The two years i was there, there was a pickup point two blocks away from the hotel up near the old trainstation that is now a mall.  it was in front of a hotel that i think was a hilton.  if you catch the first bus, you get to the hill when the lifts begin running.  that bus drops you off at a point and then you board a bus to go up the mountain, the bus you board is based on which canyon your going up...one bus for solitude brighton and the other for alta snowbird.

 

my recollection was i had a helluva time finding that information before actually going to salt lake city.  not enjoying crowded saturday skiing, i used that day on the first trip to ride the bus up the mountain and figure out the schedules. 

 

the trick with bus info is that you essentially have to take a city bus to the park and ride for the ski hills then you get on the ski bus. 

post #15 of 31

Google Utah Transit Authority.  But most will say buses aren't worth hassle when you can rent car for around 100-140 for a week whether SLC or Denver.

post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks everybody for their help and responses. I think I will be doing a SLC trip this year. I am still going to rent a car but I am just worried about if there is a big storm I still want to know the low down on a rental car just in case. 

 

How are the conditions normally for early February? 

post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Google Utah Transit Authority.  But most will say buses aren't worth hassle when you can rent car for around 100-140 for a week whether SLC or Denver.



Where are you finding car rentals for 100-140 / week and what kind of car are you getting?

post #18 of 31

I don't know that most people would say that. That sounds like a cheap, crappy FWD car--not what you want to drive up the CCs. So if it snows, as you'd hope it does for your ski vacation, you're stuck with the hassle of taking the bus anyway, and the expense of paying for a car.

 

The buses aren't great for early morning trips up there (particularly powder days) because they get packed. But they're fine if you don't mind leaving a little later in the morning. At least they were the times I've used them.

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RISkier View Post



Where are you finding car rentals for 100-140 / week and what kind of car are you getting?


from expedia for a midsize car out of Denver for his dates.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

I don't know that most people would say that. That sounds like a cheap, crappy FWD car--not what you want to drive up the CCs. So if it snows, as you'd hope it does for your ski vacation, you're stuck with the hassle of taking the bus anyway, and the expense of paying for a car.

 

The buses aren't great for early morning trips up there (particularly powder days) because they get packed. But they're fine if you don't mind leaving a little later in the morning. At least they were the times I've used them.

Regular car not so risky from DIA to Summit County on I70, esp since you could use free summit stage once there.  But I confess I'm not the best on vehicular choices in snow country. If you only knew the ski places I've been with cheap, crappy FWD and RWD carsredface.gifbiggrin.gif
Scubayachts, have a fun trip!

 

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 

How bad does it have to be snowing for the local police to shut down the highway? How often does this really happen? 

post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 

Is there a good website that shows historical snow data for the ski areas (alta, snowbird)? The only data I could find was for SLC area not the slopes. Is early FEB generally a good amount of snow at the bird/alta?

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubayachts View Post

Is there a good website that shows historical snow data for the ski areas (alta, snowbird)? The only data I could find was for SLC area not the slopes. Is early FEB generally a good amount of snow at the bird/alta?


The Alta website has that info.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

I don't know that most people would say that. That sounds like a cheap, crappy FWD car--not what you want to drive up the CCs. So if it snows, as you'd hope it does for your ski vacation, you're stuck with the hassle of taking the bus anyway, and the expense of paying for a car.

 

The buses aren't great for early morning trips up there (particularly powder days) because they get packed. But they're fine if you don't mind leaving a little later in the morning. At least they were the times I've used them.


Someone on here said you have about a 1 in 4 chance of a powder day on a 4 day SLC trip.  Given the cost differential of about $120 vs $400-500, I'll take the el cheapo over the SUV any day.  If there's powder where driving is an issue, I'll be on the bus, or driving up BCC / Park City / Snowbasin where closures aren't as much of an issue.

post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thank you Joe! Looks like I will go with the cheap FWD car for this trip. 

post #24 of 31

you may wish to check too with hotel packages for adding skiing, wife and I took a trip 4  yrs back and most hotels, even the modestly priced had a ski package and breakfast for two.   We decided to splurge a bit and stay a the Little America down town, the total then was around $180 but it included two lifts to pretty much any resort other than I think Deer Valley.    Other hotels were less (as noted by Joe Schmoe, the Crystal: http://www.crystalinnsaltlake.com/specials-packages.php) but we didn't mind the downtown given an indoor/outdoor pool and 2 room suite.

 

Anyhow, a package seems to give the best bang and if you can leave late, could conceivably ski a good part of the day on last ... or visit the town if you have a rental.

 

As noted prior, if it does snow, most any current model FWD has traction control and one can hit Snowbasin a bit north but Mostly major roads (which i loved) or Park City/Canyons/Deer Valley which are just off I80.  I will say Deer Valley was interesting to visit, I prefer other places but both us figured to split and visit as many resorts as possible for the days there.  We even hit Brighton at night just because we could ... That in itself was fun as night skiing is a bit different and taking longer breaks (it was very cold) and hitting the dinner/pub was nice just meeting folks and having a few drinks.

post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post


The Alta website has that info.

 


Someone on here said you have about a 1 in 4 chance of a powder day on a 4 day SLC trip.  Given the cost differential of about $120 vs $400-500, I'll take the el cheapo over the SUV any day.  If there's powder where driving is an issue, I'll be on the bus, or driving up BCC / Park City / Snowbasin where closures aren't as much of an issue.


 

If you plan your trip right, you should have more than a 25 % chance cool.gif

post #26 of 31

im trying to plan a trip at the same time, so im doing research too.. i tell you what, your girlfriend can stay with me, and then you can get a smaller cheaper room! Send Pics.

 

Just Kidding of course

 

i do know that rental cars are a lot cheaper on Hotwire out of Denver. No not 4 wheel drives, but you can get a car for a week for $140 or less. 

 

 

** Actually i just checked Hotwire and you can get a midsize SUV at SLC for $13.66 a day. Not sure if they are AWD

post #27 of 31

I've only been to SLC once, with my nephew. Last season, Martin Luther King Day weekend. Based on his recommendation we stayed in the Red Lion Inn just outside of the center of town, rented skis at Utah Ski and Golf right across the street, and used public transportation to get up to Alta./Snowbird.

 

The hotel was maybe ten miles north of LCC, and there was a bus stop in front of the hotel with a route that went right up the canyon.

In past years apparently the bus to the canyon had a lot more runs, but the schedules had been cut back a lot and so the earliest bus would get you to the hill about an hour after it opened. (Note that anyone looking for lessons at Alta would miss the morning group, and thus sacrifice an entire afternoon of post-lesson reinforcement unless you went for a private lesson.)

 

So instead we walked three or four blocks to the light rail line (lugging our gear) and took that south to the end of the line, connecting with another bus up the canyon. From hotel to hill took maybe an hour and fifteen (?). One day the canyon was closed due to weather, so we were stuck for about an additional hour standing around in an open bus depot in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do.

 

I had a 5:00 or 6:00 PM flight back east. Turned out that from about 11:00 to 2:00-something there were no buses leaving the top of LCC, which put me at SEVERE (about guaranteed) risk of missing the flight unless I left the hill after only a couple of runs (or made a really good new friend who gave me a lift back to the hotel, which is what happened).

 

Next time I'll rent a car at the airport, and stay closer to the canyon. Otherwise, I'll study the bus routes closely, then cross-reference hotels, rental shops and restaurants to find a spot at the base of the canyon with everything close by. In either case I'll take a much later flight home. And I'll go maybe a month later.

 

I had a good time in SLC: the people were nice, there were a lot of good restaurants, and the skiing was great. All of the locals were apologizing for the crappy conditions, it was all tracked out and rained like hell one day. But since I'm in Michigan it was like being at home, only a lot taller and prettier. I plan to go back.


Edited by chilehed - 12/22/11 at 5:58am
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


 

If you plan your trip right, you should have more than a 25 % chance cool.gif



I'm 0 for 2 for powder in February.  Flight prices and work schedules dictate I book at least a month out.

post #29 of 31

Good thread. I'm in much the same boat. I flying out of Indy and have it down to about $2300 (with an SUV). Staying at Crystal Inn. 3 days of skiing in the canyons, tickets, rentals, food etc.

 

I should mention this is late March.

post #30 of 31

Our family trip from Australia for 5 weeks was $3300 pp for 3 of us with international airfares, Southwest, a few days in Yosemite, in-resort 1 to 2 bedroom condos, car, travel insurance, and passes to Squaw, Kirkwood, Nstar & Heavenly. But I buy bits n pieces over the year when the prices are best.

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