EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › New York to western US/Canada mid-March deals?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New York to western US/Canada mid-March deals?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've dilly-dallied planning a ski trip for my daughter's school break, the week of March 15-22. I'm completely flexible in terms of location, as long as there is good skiing, and our dates are flexible, as long as they're in that range.

I will be travelling with my wife (non-enthusiastic beginner) and 12-year-old cautious intermediate daughter. I like more challenging skiing, but would have fun in any western resort. I've been looking at airfares to the usual suspects, Salt Lake, Denver, Jackson, Hayden, Montrose, Kallispell, Spokane, Reno, Albuquerque, etc. Fares range from around $500 and up, which makes the overall cost of the trip pretty steep.

Just wondering if anyone is aware of any deals, either for airfares, or for lodging/lifts, that would make the venture more reasonable.

Denver is by far the cheapest, with the most nonstops from NY, but I don't want to go if the front range resorts will be a zoo that week, so any thoughts on that would be appreciated too. (My only experience there is Winter Park, last year.)

If not, perhaps we'll just drive to somewhere in New England.

Thanks very much, everyone!
post #2 of 24

Probably one of the big ski tour operators would be your best bet.  They lock in bulk fares at the beginning of the season, so you might not pay any extra at all.  How flexible is your wife?  What about storm chasing and waiting to decide on 3/13?

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm fine with storm chasing. She's not quite as spontaneous. Given my experience flying lately, I would think most flights would be sold out by then though.

I'm not familiar with the ski tour operators. Do you know any names?

I guess along the same lines I could look into whether local ski clubs have trips then.
post #4 of 24

If I were you (and I've been where you are), after developing a short list, I'd pick for the locations with good things for non-skiers (or less enthusiastic beginners) to do, aka a nice ski town.   ....because if the CFO has a miserable time, maybe next year, no bucks, no Buck Rogers...   Breckenridge would lend itself pretty well to your cheaper air going into Denver, and with it you gain the options of a lateral to A-Basin or Copper while there. Probably skiing Copper would be my focus if flying into Denver, assuming the spring break squall of humanity descends on Breckenridge?  

 

However, here's another thought, if the "less enthusiastic" variable isn't too tricky...  With a twin problem of high air and a major ski holiday to work around, I paid very little two seasons ago to go to Snowbasin.  It's a world-class ski resort who's drawback is also its benefit when on a budget trip during a notorious ski week -- there's no lodging at its base so its less crowded.  However, you can snap up on http://www.vrbo.com  a condo in Eden, Utah, about a 15-20 minute (and the closest) drive to the Snowbasin base.   As such, it was obviously significantly cheaper than something in a more convenient Park City location.  And yet, the  property was what you'd expect of a ski condo, with an outdoor (community) hot tub, the area rural, the interiors ski themed and cozy -- as opposed to the other low-budget approach, staying in budget SLC could-be-anywhere lodgings and driving up the canyons each day.  When dealing with a property owner versus a property manager, you can use your eleventh hour booking to your advantage -- if their property is still vacant, take a look at what they charge when the value season starts sometime in April and counter-offer them that.  What's more, at Snowbasin, I'd expect skiing practically right up to the lift loading areas compared to the spring  break crowd crowd you'd find in Summit County (or the main Utah resorts).  Downside is the first paragraph.  No quaint ski town if she wants to ski only a half day or something. Upside is for her and your daughter, its confidence-inspiring beginner and intermediate runs have a lot to offer, with a great, fast, modern lift system, and famously gorgeous, modern lodge facilities.  Upside for the guy looking for more challenging terrain, Snowbasin is off the charts great skiing.

 

But air sure isn't cheap.  I'm headed to SLC in earlier March and I've never paid so much per person on air as I have on this trip.  Experiment with pricing air out of alternative airports.  I fly out of Philly, but I saved $125 per person flying out of Newark, NJ -- found a $117 deal for "stay/park/fly" shuttle service (parking my car there for the week, staying the night before, and shuttle service to and from) and still came out  way ahead -- would have had to pay to park my car either way.  


Edited by kitchener - 2/24/13 at 2:27pm
post #5 of 24

I think one of the biggest is ski.com.  You can also to to  skitops.com for a list.

 

Good Luck, let us know how it goes.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Probably one of the big ski tour operators would be your best bet.  They lock in bulk fares at the beginning of the season, so you might not pay any extra at all.  

 

I've always wondering about this.  Tour operators out of Toronto that serve the all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, have some pretty incredible deals, especially since Toronto is so expensive to fly out of.  This is because they charter their own planes, and work out deals with the resorts.  For less than $1000 you can fly to an island and stay at a decent resort with all your food and drinks included.  If you wanted to take a commercial flight to the same islands on a normal airline, it would cost you close to that... without the hotel or anything.

 

For some reason, I've never seen this for skiing.  Even the ski.com and skitops.com sites don't appear to include flights with their packages- out of any centre they serve (at least from what I was able to see).  You'd think a major centre like Toronto (or New York) could support something like this to one of the major resorts.  Does anyone know why?

post #7 of 24

Joe:

I was in the hotel/property management when I lived in Aspen.   Skican which can be accessed via the skitops, held incredible power over the resorts.  Many of these operator organize the trips for the biggest ski clubs.  Your best bet will be if you can add on to a club trip that they already have organized.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good advice so far. Still thinking. The Snowbasin idea is intriguing. Is there anything else to do in Eden or environs, or is it just a bedroom suburb to SLC/Ogden?

As far as the clubs, I inquired, and most book months in advance.

I also haven't seen air deals with tour operators, and the ski.com lodging didn't strike me as a great deal, but I'll investigate further.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm now seeing nonstop fares to Denver (mainly on Delta) for under $300.  I will likely do that and then figure out the rest.  Perhaps rent a car and drive to Aspen, or investigate something closer to Denver. 

 

Suggestions for a nice trip drivable from Denver would be appreciated as well.  The only time I've skied Colorado was last February, and we went to Winter Park.  We had a great condo room for a reasonable price, and I enjoyed the skiing.  I would be happy going back to Winter Park, but wouldn't mind seeing other areas as well.  I'm sure I'll be happy with the skiing anywhere there.  Are Copper/Keystone nice to stay at, or not too much going on after the lifts close?  My wife will ski a bit, but will probably also like to walk/hike around, or even go running.  From what I've heard, Breckenridge will be super crowded that week, but I don't know the college or Denver area school schedules. 

post #10 of 24

Unfortunately, no.  While the properties themselves are less an "Ogden suburb" and more a lodging community servicing Snowbasin (hot tubs, ski-themed decorations, picturesque views), you won't find any kind of ski town, or shopping, or a lot of restaurant choices.  However, that's also an advantage is it helps make a world-class resort like Snowbasin a budget choice.  On the other hand, the base area at Snowbasin itself, with millions of dollars sunk into it for the 2002 Olympics (the Downhill events were held there), is famous for its marble bathrooms, among other things, lol.  On the other hand, Park City is (I think) just under an hour south of Snowbasin, so you can motor down there for fine dining and a stroll along Main Street.  And I don't think a 4x4 is necessary.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKS View Post

Thanks for the good advice so far. Still thinking. The Snowbasin idea is intriguing. Is there anything else to do in Eden or environs, or is it just a bedroom suburb to SLC/Ogden?

 
post #11 of 24

As far as driving out of Denver, I think you're on the right track with staying at Copper/Keystone.  Last time I was there, I found good housing deals at Keystone, but for the skiing, I preferred Copper to Keystone, so if you can find comparable lodging costs for both, the latter would get my vote, and as you say, I'd suspect Breckenridge would be more mobbed (but it's got a great ski town you can drive to in the evenings).  I can't think of anything to do with Aspen would lend itself well to the term "on a budget," lol.

 

Based on that airfare, I think you now know where you're going!  You should grab it before it changes, then work out where you'll stay afterwards.  By the way, as I mentioned in my Snowbasin suggestion, I'd still check http://www.vrbo.com -- you can use your last minute shopping to your advantage.  If I were a property owner with a condo in Keystone or Copper and it was still sitting vacant at this point, I'd be negotiable, I suspect.   If you see anything intriguing, look at what they offer in their value season starting sometime in April, and start by offering them that. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKS View Post

I'm now seeing nonstop fares to Denver (mainly on Delta) for under $300.  I will likely do that and then figure out the rest.  Perhaps rent a car and drive to Aspen, or investigate something closer to Denver. 

 

Suggestions for a nice trip drivable from Denver would be appreciated as well.  The only time I've skied Colorado was last February, and we went to Winter Park.  We had a great condo room for a reasonable price, and I enjoyed the skiing.  I would be happy going back to Winter Park, but wouldn't mind seeing other areas as well.  I'm sure I'll be happy with the skiing anywhere there.  Are Copper/Keystone nice to stay at, or not too much going on after the lifts close?  My wife will ski a bit, but will probably also like to walk/hike around, or even go running.  From what I've heard, Breckenridge will be super crowded that week, but I don't know the college or Denver area school schedules. 

post #12 of 24

A-Basin has a 3-day pass for $119, good any 3 days of the season.  You can buy discount tics for Copper at any Summit County ski shop or supermarket.  Only deals on the Vail Resorts is to buy a week in advance online.  Just got back from 3 weeks in SC.  Crowds are minimal during the week, especially at Keystone and A-Basin.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK, slight tangent.  I was discussing the Denver option with my wife, who travels a ton for business, and apparently she has sufficient miles for most or all of our travel, on either United or American.  If that pans out, that opens up most airports in the US!  

 

My only western skiing has been Winter Park, CO, Crystal, WA, and Stevens Pass, WA.  Now that I think I have serious options, where to go??  Doesn't seem worth it to use the miles for Denver, which is a cheap flight anyway (though it seems to be the only non-stop option).  

 

Fantasy time.  What do you think for a 6-day trip?  Salt Lake, Jackson, Montrose, Telluride, Hayden/Steamboat, Reno, Bozeman, Spokane, Anchorage...?

post #14 of 24

Ha!  Then I'd say follow the snow.  That said, Jackson Hole -- plenty of wow factor for a less enthusiastic wife (Grand Tetons, great town), and bigger-than-life skiing.  


Edited by kitchener - 2/26/13 at 9:22pm
post #15 of 24

Get away from any lift lines.  JH, with a day at Targhee and one in Yellowstone should be a lot of fun.  What about Sun Valley?  Taos?  Steamboat would be fun, but it seems like the snow is better elsewhere right now.

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

Jackson is at the top of the list, for skiing, scenery, access to national parks, bison, guysers, etc.  My only concern is whether the skiing will be any fun for my daughter and wife.  The only green terrain is off of the Teewinot lift, which doesn't look like it goes up very high. If my daughter is in ski school, I'm sure they'll eventually take her to blue runs so she can see more, but, barring a miracle, my wife probably wouldn't get beyond that first lift.

 

I'll look through other threads on beginners in Jackson, though. 

post #17 of 24

See if you can get flights into Aspen(ase)?  Between Buttermilk and Snowmass, we have some of the best beginner terrain anywhere.

post #18 of 24

Can you figure out a way to do a couple days at Targhee?  My impression is that it's better for cautious intermediates than JH.  Could stay slope side or in Driggs if you have a car.  I found cute little motel for our stop over on the way to the Big Sky Gathering from SLC.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Can you figure out a way to do a couple days at Targhee?  My impression is that it's better for cautious intermediates than JH.  Could stay slope side or in Driggs if you have a car.  I found cute little motel for our stop over on the way to the Big Sky Gathering from SLC.

I think simpler will end up being more satisfying for everyone involved.  There are far too many choices, but I'm leaning towards someplace that has more for everyone.  I like the idea of Snowmass (assuming I can find reasonable lodging), Utah, Telluride, or Steamboat.  Park City is appealing on many levels and it would also give me the chance to ski Alta at least one day.  I also like the idea of a more relaxed and affordable stay up near Snowbasin (especially after seeing some of 4ster's photos).  

 

I will have fun no matter where I go (I manage to have a blast in the Catskills), so I think the most important part of the equation will be making everyone else involved as happy as possible.  

post #20 of 24

An advantage of flying into SLC is that assuming wife and daughter have a good time, then repeat visits are relatively straightforward.  I enjoyed Steamboat as an intermediate quite a while back but wouldn't be interested in going every year.

 

Have they been at high altitude?

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Have they been at high altitude?

We were at Winter Park last year (~9,000' at base) with no adverse effects driving straight there from Denver.  Took it easy first day or so, didn't drink much alcohol, and drank tons of water.  

post #22 of 24

If you're using miles, I'd fly into a mountain airport to maximize the value.  SLC while more than Denver, is still a relatively cheap airport to fly into.

post #23 of 24
Jackson is an awesome town. Other places I'd consider for the town: Breck, Beaver Creek, Telluride, Whistler
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm leaning towards Snowmass or Steamboat at the moment, for the family-friendly aspect.  I don't think travel awards were available for flights to Telluride (TEX or Montrose), and I've heard Breck will be crowded, so I'd like to go a little farther afield.  If anyone knows of a good value slopeside condo available in March, please PM me.  Like I said, I'm still flexible in terms of location.  The lodging value will be the deciding factor. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › New York to western US/Canada mid-March deals?