in SLC. Anybody suggest a a good place to get "season" rates for 19 days' rentals?
Or maybe better, purchase USED equipment and just donate them at end of trip?
Could you be more specific about what you're looking for and why you are intent on renting?
I hope you have your own boots. If not, you definitely don't want to spend 19 days on some of the best mountains in the world on beat up, packed out rental boots. Get fit and enjoy your season.
19 days is more than a full season for the vast majority of resort skiers. You will be far better off buying new (or new "old" stock from last year) than renting for that period of time.
The math doesn't really work in your favor. Assume $40/day for demo level skis/poles. That's $670. For $699 you could get a pair of Rossi E98 (or some other ski in this range), plus ~180 for a decent set of bindings. Then you have a ski that's great for most of the conditions you'll see, and you get to keep them at the end of the season. They'll still be just as good next year.
You can get a fine set of poles for under $50, so thats a nonstarter.
You might argue that by renting you can get a narrow ski for a hard-snow day and a fat ski for a powder day, but do you really want to be standing in line at the rental shop in the morning with hundreds of your closest friends trying to get that perfect powder ski in your size?
Buying used can be a good option if you know what you want and the skis are in good condition.
Buy new boots that fit - keep them for years.
Rent skis, or just buy used skis. Should be able to buy last years latest and greatest for 1/5 the price of new. If you dont want to lug them around....just leave them in hotel/condo when you go - still cheaper.
How about investing in boots (you're going to get near-unanimous recommendations here to do this, and carrying a boot bag onto a plane is nowhere near the hassle of traveling with skis), and take advantage of the many on-line deals for NOS (new old stock) skis? Study ski reviews (EPIC gear reviews are a good resource), pick a ski that your interested in, google it, and you'll find links to half-a-dozen or more of these outfits offering last years models (or 2 yrs old or more) at DEEP discounts. Level Nine sports and skis dot com are 2 that come to mind. Order your skis and bindings online and have them delivered to your hotel, condo mgt office, etc. (People that ship their skis rather than take them on airplanes are doing this a lot, shouldn't be a big deal.)
When you arrive, take your new skis to a local shop, buy yourself some boots (that you're going to keep for awhile) and have them adjust the bindings to your new boots. (ideally, this will be included with the purchase of new boots) Cost comparison to 19 days rentals shouldn't be too bad, you might even be able to re-sell the skis before you head home - start advertising them almost as soon as you get them, explain they'll be available the day of your departure.
Get your own boots. Buy some skis at REI then return them at the end of your trip telling them you're not 100% satisfied
Kidding.. I'd never return used merchandise anywhere for any reason unless it just turned out to be total crap.
Get your own boots and rent demo (higher end) gear at the resorts or a local shop when you get there.
Many shops have season rentals, but it depends on your ski level and these are usually intermediate skis. It is up to you to decide if you want to be on intermediate skis for 19days. People have been giving you good advice, for this length of trip, the benefit of buying or having your own equipment starts to even out the cost.
Wherever you go, ask to talk to the manager, explain what you want and see if you can come to a deal.
For example: http://www.christysports.com/seasonrental/
Dec24 is also peak holiday season, so be sure to call around early december and get this straightened out before the holiday rush.