EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Brainstorming - best bets flying out of Boston
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Brainstorming - best bets flying out of Boston

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So despite the lack of winter this winter, I helped get my friends increasingly hooked on ski weekends with trips to Jay Peak, KMart, Loon and Sugarloaf. Sugarloaf was the last possible weekend to ski of the season so we really lucked out, and the 60 degree weather by the end of our runs left everyone in high spirits thinking about where we can go next year. There was a lot of talk about a trip out west, so I'm starting to cobble together ideas on what makes sense for everyone's budgets and convenience.

 

This group is a few experienced skiers and boarders and a bunch of people who really got started in the last two years but enjoy blues and can do blacks if they have to. We don't need amazing accommodations but a good apres ski scene is definitely a plus.

 

We live in Boston and I'm wondering if you guys know of any flight routes that are reasonably priced, like if there are airlines with hubs in both cities or something. Ultimately it'd be good to have a comparison of the whole package in any one place - for example, flights to Denver are generally cheaper than to SLC, but I'm told lodging can often be found more cheaply in SLC, and we'd probably have to rent a car in Denver? Tahoe would also be good because we can rope in friends from the Bay Area, haha.

 

I've only been out west once to Steamboat and no one else has been out there, so I think pretty much anything would be great and novel. I'd love to hear about your suggestions for how to make this trip happen, and hopefully give us a taste that's good enough to convince everyone to go back for years to come!

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Oh, and another thing I'd be interested in is group deals. My parents mentioned that they have friends who do group deals to Europe that, according to them, end up even cheaper than going to the Rockies. Any info on your experiences with things like that is greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

post #3 of 15

hi,

 

Bssc has some trips every year that you should look into...they usually offer some discounts booking before Sept.

 

Otherwise wait for southwest deals out of logan or manchester.

post #4 of 15

When you're traveling with folks of independent means instead of a family group where one person picks up the whole tab it provides a goldenwink.gif opportunity to select a pricier destination or accommodations.  The suggestion to start tracking Southwest Airlines flight costs is a good one.  It sounds like it will be cheapest for airport transfers to rent a car just about anywhere you go because your group size is greater than two people.  If Southwest offers you good rates to SLC I'd look into staying at Park City, skiing there most of your visit and enjoying the après ski, but reserving a day or more to take the rental car to nearby skiing alternatives like Snowbird, Alta (no boarders) or Snowbasin.   

If you have a slightly stronger budget I think your group would really like Aspen; great skiing, scenery and après ski.  I'm sure they would like Whistler too.  Lake Tahoe area has some great skiing and maybe staying at the north end would work best for enticing your SF friends.  I'm sure many other destinations could work for you.

The best time to go west IMHO would be early to mid March when everyone has had a season to sharpen their skills, Eastern skiing is starting to tail off, and the Rockies are still usually in peak form with lots of nice daytime sun and hopefully nighttime powder.smile.gif

post #5 of 15
Quote:
We live in Boston and I'm wondering if you guys know of any flight routes that are reasonably priced, like if there are airlines with hubs in both cities or something. Ultimately it'd be good to have a comparison of the whole package in any one place - for example, flights to Denver are generally cheaper than to SLC, but I'm told lodging can often be found more cheaply in SLC, and we'd probably have to rent a car in Denver? Tahoe would also be good because we can rope in friends from the Bay Area, haha.

 

Direct flights to DEN are relatively cheap and plentiful.  Delta seems to be running a limited number of BOS-SLC nonstops now.  Any other ski destination requires a connection from Boston.  Try a site like Kayak to compare multiple airlines (note that Southwest doesn't show up on search engines).  Pricing can vary wildly depending on how far out you book and how popular a destination is at different times of the year.

 

If you're going anywhere with a big group for a week+, consider that renting a house or condo may be cheaper and/or nicer than getting multiple hotel rooms.  Getting a place with a kitchen can save you a lot on food.

 

As mentioned above, you'll pay less in the early (before Christmas) or late (after February) season.  Late season is generally more dependable.  In terms of snow quality it's best to book things as late as possible, but you might find you can't get cheap lodging and lift tickets at the last minute.

 

Group trips vary too widely in terms of setup and pricing to give an easy answer or recommendation.

 

Utah:

 

If you ski the Cottonwoods areas (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton), you can stay pretty cheaply in the SLC suburbs like Sandy.  There are also some buses up to the resorts.  I rented a car when I was out there.  Limited apres.

 

In the Park City area (Canyons, Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons) lodging is generally more expensive.  It's about an hour drive out from SLC.  Park City is more of a hip ski town as opposed to an industrial slum like the outskirts of SLC.

 

CO:

 

From DEN it's 90-120 minutes up to the Summit County areas (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, Keystone, Copper, A-Basin).  You can get shuttles to take you up and back from the airport, and there are some buses, etc. that go around between towns and resorts, but a car is easier.  Lodging varies, as does apres.  If you want to be very close to a resort you'll probably pay more than in SLC, but things are more reasonable in the Dillon/Silverthorne area.

 

Aspen is pricey and a long haul (4 hours) from Denver.  But really nice.  Aspen itself is a cool town, and you can get by without a car if you stay somewhere near the shuttle routes to the ski areas.

 

Tahoe:

 

Tahoe's kind of a pain to get around without a car.  If you stay in Reno or Carson City lodging is cheap, but it's an hour+ back and forth.  Near the lake it's more expensive.  Again, pricing depends on how far you away you are from popular destinations.  Apres/evening entertainment is probably better around Heavenly, what with the casinos in South Lake Tahoe.

 

The major resorts at Tahoe are split between the north shore (Squaw/Alpine, Northstar, Mt. Rose) and the south (Heavenly, Kirkwood).  When there's snow the route around the west side of the lake closes, making it a longer trip between those areas.

 

Whistler's another option.  Haven't been there.  Hear it's awesome.  Lots to do.  No idea on housing costs, but I'm guessing expensive if you want to stay close to the resort itself.

post #6 of 15

I just came back home from Boston and got a good rate to Denver on a non-stop and didn`t have to pay for my golf clubs with Southwest.

post #7 of 15

IME, a natural first trip from the east is Breck, with a side day or two to Vail. Denver's a cheap fly from Boston, rent a SUV, and you're set. Both resorts have a variety of terrain for a variety of skiers. As Mathias sez, a condo can be a good deal if you have a bunch of guys and plan to cook some of your meals. And of course there's Keystone, Copper, the rest if you long for even more variety. 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks you guys - these are all great ideas. It's 91 degrees right now in Boston but my thoughts are on snow hehe

post #9 of 15

Bags fly free on Southwest.  This is a significant fact when going skiing.  I can't imagine doing a week with just one bag ($25-$30) so you can add $100-$120 to your round trip airfare on most other airlines if you take your own skis/boards.  You won't find a non-stop to SLC but I think SWA is now flying non-stop to Denver out of Logan.

 

Can't help you much on night life.  I pay to go skiing, not drinking...tough to beat the nightlife in Boston, especially if you're a bunch of single guys.  Most ski area bars are 95-5 male.

 

Check out vrbo.com for accomodations.  You can get some very high-end lodging for very low $$$.  An example: a group of 6 of us rented a 3000 sf condo that had ski-to access (it was about a 50 yard walk up a very gentle incline to get to a lift) at Jackson Hole and the cost for 7 nights was around $800 per person.  Only 2 of us had to share a room...the others all had their own room.  Incredibly high end place for the cost of a Comfort Inn.  We had a couple of chef wanna-bes in our group so our savings on meals allowed us to hire Bob Peters to show us his favorite spots for a half-day.

 

I like Tahoe for the variety of resorts...don't miss Mount Rose over by Reno...in years past they ran 2-fer-Tuesdays which makes for some incredible skiing at an extremely low price of admssion.  Lots of high-end places on VRBO in that area.  SWA flies to Reno and Sacramento.  For our JH trip, a few of us flew SWA to SLC and rented a car for the drive to JH...you lose a day on both ends, but it's pretty nice scenery and a whole different world from what you see in the NE.  Didn't need the car once we got to JH...resort shuttles and public transportation back to the town of Jackson were plentiful and easy.

post #10 of 15
You can shuttle your group from Denver International to Frisco fairly inexpensively per person, stay in Frisco fairly reasonably and use the bus system to ski Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. If you rent vehicles, you also can get to Vail and Beaver Creek.
post #11 of 15

Consider flying to Geneva and ski Chamonix. Lodging, food and lifts are considerably cheaper than US--might even out.  I wonder if there might even be nonstops from Boston. 45 van ride from Geneva to Cham.  You get one free bag internationally--rules vary by carrier but you can often put two pairs of skis in one bag for free and combine two people's gear in the second, plus carry ons. There would be the added expense of  guides (about 75 euro per day per person 2 years ago) which you would want at least a few days--certainly for the Vallee Blanche and to ski the best stuff off the Grand Montets, which is on glaciers.  

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Consider flying to Geneva and ski Chamonix. Lodging, food and lifts are considerably cheaper than US--might even out.  I wonder if there might even be nonstops from Boston. 45 van ride from Geneva to Cham.  You get one free bag internationally--rules vary by carrier but you can often put two pairs of skis in one bag for free and combine two people's gear in the second, plus carry ons. There would be the added expense of  guides (about 75 euro per day per person 2 years ago) which you would want at least a few days--certainly for the Vallee Blanche and to ski the best stuff off the Grand Montets, which is on glaciers.  

 

Currently no BOS->GVA nonstops.  (That one I know, I do it every year at Christmas.)  You can do one-stops through Montreal, London, Paris, or Zurich.  Or you can fly nonstop from NYC.  I think I've paid in the $600-700 range RT the last few years.  Book that one WAY out, they'll gouge you at the last minute.

 

I don't know how expensive the food/lodging is in Cham, but the lift tickets and guides aren't cheap.  You'll probably get a better bang for your buck -- and more consistent snow -- in the Western US or Canada.  But it is awfully pretty over there, and Cham's on my bucket list...

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Currently no BOS->GVA nonstops.  (That one I know, I do it every year at Christmas.)  You can do one-stops through Montreal, London, Paris, or Zurich.  Or you can fly nonstop from NYC.  I think I've paid in the $600-700 range RT the last few years.  Book that one WAY out, they'll gouge you at the last minute.

 

I don't know how expensive the food/lodging is in Cham, but the lift tickets and guides aren't cheap.  You'll probably get a better bang for your buck -- and more consistent snow -- in the Western US or Canada.  But it is awfully pretty over there, and Cham's on my bucket list...


Why GVA? Zurich is usually cheaper and a lot more flights. (that's where I usually fly into).

 

Train to just about all the resorts in Austria/Swiss.

 

I don't know how large a group you're talking about. I've always just call up the hotel and book a few rooms. Usually beat packages offered by travel agents.

 

Avoid Christmas and New Year. Easy as a piece of cake.

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


Why GVA? Zurich is usually cheaper and a lot more flights. (that's where I usually fly into).

 

Train to just about all the resorts in Austria/Swiss.

 

I don't know how large a group you're talking about. I've always just call up the hotel and book a few rooms. Usually beat packages offered by travel agents.

 

Avoid Christmas and New Year. Easy as a piece of cake.

 

GVA is a LOT closer to Chamonix.  To get to Cham I think you'd have to fly to Zurich, then take a train that goes through Geneva!

 

Many of the Austria/Switzerland resorts are fairly equidistant between them, so flying to Zurich is probably easier and cheaper if you're going somewhere further north.

post #15 of 15

Two years ago room in Cham was 75 euros--room was fine as long as both of us weren't out of bed at the same time, and we were around the block from the guides office which is nice since you book in the eve for the next day. guide was 75 euro a person to be put in a group of strangers. 100 euros for the more extreme stuff, I think they'll want to see how you ski first. Lifts (Mont Blanc Unlimited which includes Aiguille du midi, top of the grand montets, courmayeur, and a bus trip to verbier (the latter only with a 6d or longer pass) was about 50 euro's per day.  45 minute van to and from geneva was 25 euros each way--hopefully you don't get the same russian driver trying to make up time as I did on the return. A word to the wise--to go to the top of the Grand Montets you have to make a reservation on the tram if you don't have a guide. There are two pistes from the top. Otherwise you are on a glacier and need avy and crevasse rescue gear (and knowledge). Comparing the week we spent in Chamonix with the week we spent in whistler, cham was definitely cheaper except for the airfare (we live in california) and Cham should be on every skier's bucket list.  Whistler too but a lot closer to the bottom--why? Why is Whistler on the list--because it's more like the alps than other North American resorts.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Brainstorming - best bets flying out of Boston