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First West Coast Ski trip

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I've been skiing New England for my entire life, and my 2 buddies and I want to make a trip to Colorado (or Utah, or anywhere that's good/relatively inexpensive for that matter).  We're completely overwhelmed in terms of the logistics of planning such a trip. From my understanding, we basically need to cover:
Ski passes

Hotel

Flight

Travel from airport to hotel (and possibly to and from the hotel to the resort every day)

Food/Alcohol/Entertainment

 

 

What's the best way to go about doing this in the most economic way possible?  I've begun searching for bundled trips but can't seem to find much.  It seems like the all-in cost will be about:
$500 for ski passes (4-5 days)

$500 per person for hotel total ($100 per person, 5-6 nights)

$300 flight from Boston to Denver

$500 food/alcohol/entertainment

 

So basically $2,000. Am I accurate with this? Or can I find bundled trips for less?  Also wondering the best way to deal with travel to/from airport as well as to/from resort.  Is ski in/ski out the best option?  Any help/starting point would be greatly appreciated

 

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel

post #2 of 20

I think you're overestimating the accommodation costs.  You can rent a condo for $800/week no problem, all in.  Split that 3 ways and it's quite a bit less.  Go for a hotel and it's even less than that (again, if you split costs).

post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chezowan View Post
 

Hi All,

 

I've been skiing New England for my entire life, and my 2 buddies and I want to make a trip to Colorado (or Utah, or anywhere that's good/relatively inexpensive for that matter).  We're completely overwhelmed in terms of the logistics of planning such a trip. From my understanding, we basically need to cover:
Ski passes

Hotel

Flight

Travel from airport to hotel (and possibly to and from the hotel to the resort every day)

Food/Alcohol/Entertainment

 

 

What's the best way to go about doing this in the most economic way possible?  I've begun searching for bundled trips but can't seem to find much.  It seems like the all-in cost will be about:
$500 for ski passes (4-5 days)

$500 per person for hotel total ($100 per person, 5-6 nights)

$300 flight from Boston to Denver

$500 food/alcohol/entertainment

 

So basically $2,000. Am I accurate with this? Or can I find bundled trips for less?  Also wondering the best way to deal with travel to/from airport as well as to/from resort.  Is ski in/ski out the best option?  Any help/starting point would be greatly appreciated

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where have you been skiing the most in the northeast?

 

If you do some research, I think you can do as well or better than many bundled trips.  You are in the right ball park but can get lower.  Really depends on your priorities.  It's fair to say that ski in/out lodging is usually more expensive.  Small groups of adults can do much better with a rental car and a rented condo, especially if they are willing to share bedrooms, make sandwiches for lunch, and cook dinners most of the time.  I know guys who fly out for short trips (4 ski days) to SLC and are quite happy to stay in a motel in Midvale/Sandy and take the ski bus.

 

Take a look at this thread for some ideas.  Then come back with questions.

http://www.epicski.com/t/128840/suggestions-for-dirtbag-cheap-trip

 

You can also check out the links under Topics Discussed (right hand column) to find threads about travel to SLC or Denver.  Can't go wrong with either choice.

post #4 of 20

The cheapest trips I've been on involve sharing a condo on a non-holiday week in the Silverthorne (CO) "condo ghetto". We have gotten these through VRBO. Typically they've been $900 - $1,200 a week. If you share one of these with three friends, that's $250 for lodging for the whole week. Go to the supermarket together at the beginning of the week and buy your groceries. Eat breakfast and dinner in and make sandwiches in the morning to pack as a lunch. Denver is by far the cheapest and easiest fly-to destination from Boston, as you seem to have noticed. Anywhere else tends to be much more expensive and generally involves two legs. (Possible exception: Sacramento.) Comb the Internet for lift ticket deals, Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy a season pass-type thing if you find the right one. (A few years ago A-Basin was offering a very reasonable season pass with days at other Summit County areas thrown in.) Sometimes you can get gas station or supermarket vouchers for half-price non-holiday weekday tickets. We scored these for Copper a couple of times from a local relative who collected them for us ahead of time.

post #5 of 20

Fly to SLC

 

Stay in Studio 6 or something similar where you can cook your own meals

 

Get discount ski tickets from one of the ski shops, or possibly through hotel (if they still have Salt Lake Superpass). SLC area tickets are somewhat less expensive than other major resorts, anyway.

 

Rent a cheap car (optional depending on location relative to bus route, but a lot more convenient)

 

Ski at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton (all 30-45 minutes, depending on where you stay and conditions); Part City, Canyons, Deer Valley (somewhat further); Snowbasin, Powdwer Mountain (maybe 1-1/2 hours). For the latter you could stay closer.

 

Details at http://www.skiutah.com/index.html

post #6 of 20
Niggle. Neither Utah or Colorado are coastal. So, it may be the "West", but not the "West Coast". For that try the ski areas in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post
 

Fly to SLC

 

 

The OP is coming from New England. He mentions flying out of Boston. Since I've just been through the whole airfare shopping thing again, I want to emphasize for people in the west, who seem to think of Salt Lake as being easy to get to, that it is NOT easy to find affordable convenient flights to Utah from Boston. There are many more and more affordable options to Denver, notably including a nonstop on Southwest, which is arguably the first choice when other things are equal due to their generous baggage allowance and flexibility around changing flights. In my experience it's typically 50% to 100% more to fly to SLC than to DEN from New England.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

The cheapest trips I've been on involve sharing a condo on a non-holiday week in the Silverthorne (CO) "condo ghetto". We have gotten these through VRBO. Typically they've been $900 - $1,200 a week. If you share one of these with three friends, that's $250 for lodging for the whole week. Go to the supermarket together at the beginning of the week and buy your groceries. Eat breakfast and dinner in and make sandwiches in the morning to pack as a lunch. Denver is by far the cheapest and easiest fly-to destination from Boston, as you seem to have noticed. Anywhere else tends to be much more expensive and generally involves two legs. (Possible exception: Sacramento.) Comb the Internet for lift ticket deals, Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy a season pass-type thing if you find the right one. (A few years ago A-Basin was offering a very reasonable season pass with days at other Summit County areas thrown in.) Sometimes you can get gas station or supermarket vouchers for half-price non-holiday weekday tickets. We scored these for Copper a couple of times from a local relative who collected them for us ahead of time.


Great info above.  Here's additional info of a general nature:  http://www.epicski.com/a/how-to-do-a-really-cheap-ski-trip

A specific scenario for one week and 6 out of 7 days ski trip is to:

buy a Loveland fourpack off their website, and get a couple tickets from Liftopia for Arapahoe Basin. 

Fly into Denver, rent cheap car, stay at Georgetown Mtn Inn for about 100 per night and commute to Love and A-Basin both within about 30 minutes.  Nice lowball trip.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Niggle. Neither Utah or Colorado are coastal. So, it may be the "West", but not the "West Coast". For that try the ski areas in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Only Whistler and Vancouver's small North Shore ski areas, and Vancouver Island's small Mount Washington in British Columbia are coastal. The other dozen or so major B.C. resorts are in the B.C. Interior and have dry snow comparable to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

The OP is coming from New England. He mentions flying out of Boston. Since I've just been through the whole airfare shopping thing again, I want to emphasize for people in the west, who seem to think of Salt Lake as being easy to get to, that it is NOT easy to find affordable convenient flights to Utah from Boston. There are many more and more affordable options to Denver, notably including a nonstop on Southwest, which is arguably the first choice when other things are equal due to their generous baggage allowance and flexibility around changing flights. In my experience it's typically 50% to 100% more to fly to SLC than to DEN from New England.

 

While airfare to SLC is more, everything else is cheaper.  Lift tickets are ~$20 a day cheaper, lodging is $50+ cheaper (if you use priceline or a similar website), and food is cheaper since you're staying in SLC eating normal priced food and not at a resort eating resort priced food.  Most of the low cost hotels at the base of the canyons also include a free breakfast so even that factors in.

 

You do lose the benefit of staying up in the mountains, but for my crew, this is a bonus.  We don't get together too much anymore (kids, jobs, etc), so having regular city stuff to do is fun- though we're usually too pooped to do anything too exciting... we still haven't made it to a Jazz game in four years!  If you're single too, you might prefer the "big" city nightlife options, as mountain town nightlife is HIGHLY male dominated... there's not too many groups of 20-something women taking ski trips!

 

Also, though more of a PITA flight wise, the SLC resorts are easier to get to than DEN, which partly offsets the extra flight time.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Niggle. Neither Utah or Colorado are coastal. So, it may be the "West", but not the "West Coast". For that try the ski areas in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

 

Ok, Niggle -- I'll see your "not coastal" and raise you the fact that Vermont has no coastline, and New Hampshire has only a smidge (that we don't really count) -- Maine is really the only coastal EC skiing state (in New England -- pax, more southern ski states) and most of that skiing isn't on the coast, either (though isn't there a ski area behind Camden, qcanoe?).

 

Edit: :D 

 

(Of course, Colorado is almost Midwestern.)

post #12 of 20

Wow, from Boston>SLC the direct 7am on way out and 5pm on way back direct with Delta in late Feb is $818.  One good thing about SLC is I leave at 7am from Newark or PHL and am skiing by 1pm.  Then on way back ski until 3pm and take 5pm flight home.  Or work half day and leave on 5pm flight out.  Depends on what value of lost work is.  But $818 negates those savings.

 

The PHL>SLC direct flight I looked up is $620, which is crazy and getting expensive.  But I almost always fly for free because I work the credit card mileage offers.  Been doing so for years.

 

You shouldn't have to pay $100/nt per person to sleep if you are looking for budget.  In SLC we pay about $35/nt per person with breakfast and the room is fine.

 

Either way, don't get too worked up about your choice. SLC or CO.  Hopefully you can do one one year and the other the next.  If you keep it in budget, you'll be more likely to do so. 

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
 

Wow, from Boston>SLC the direct 7am on way out and 5pm on way back direct with Delta in late Feb is $818.  One good thing about SLC is I leave at 7am from Newark or PHL and am skiing by 1pm.  Then on way back ski until 3pm and take 5pm flight home.  Or work half day and leave on 5pm flight out.  Depends on what value of lost work is.  But $818 negates those savings.

 

The PHL>SLC direct flight I looked up is $620, which is crazy and getting expensive.  But I almost always fly for free because I work the credit card mileage offers.  Been doing so for years.

 

You shouldn't have to pay $100/nt per person to sleep if you are looking for budget.  In SLC we pay about $35/nt per person with breakfast and the room is fine.

 

Either way, don't get too worked up about your choice. SLC or CO.  Hopefully you can do one one year and the other the next.  If you keep it in budget, you'll be more likely to do so. 

last 2 sentences Thumbs Up    slc superpass is very good, as well as the 4pack for copper and winter park, other 2-3 days many choices near summit county,co.

 

enjoy!!!

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

last 2 sentences Thumbs Up    slc superpass is very good, as well as the 4pack for copper and winter park, other 2-3 days many choices near summit county,co.

 

enjoy!!!

 

 

And if a person hurries, there's the Intrawest Passport -- six days at each of six different resorts (36 days total).  In Colorado, WP and Steamboat; in the Northeast, Tremblant and Stratton.  The cost is $589 for the first adult, $449 for each additional adult (do not have to be related), $249 / teen (ditto).   

 

 

We're skiing WP w/ friends in February.  We figured that, buying 2 adult and 1 teen, skiing 5 days in WP and 6 at Stratton (11 days), we'd be paying $39/day each, which is a decent deal.  Prices are good through Oct. 20.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Niggle. Neither Utah or Colorado are coastal. So, it may be the "West", but not the "West Coast". For that try the ski areas in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
Only Whistler and Vancouver's small North Shore ski areas, and Vancouver Island's small Mount Washington in British Columbia are coastal. The other dozen or so major B.C. resorts are in the B.C. Interior and have dry snow comparable to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

I considered naming resorts, decided it was too much work for a niggle. 😀
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Niggle. Neither Utah or Colorado are coastal. So, it may be the "West", but not the "West Coast". For that try the ski areas in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Ok, Niggle -- I'll see your "not coastal" and raise you the fact that Vermont has no coastline, and New Hampshire has only a smidge (that we don't really count) -- Maine is really the only coastal EC skiing state (in New England -- pax, more southern ski states) and most of that skiing isn't on the coast, either (though isn't there a ski area behind Camden, qcanoe?).

Edit: biggrin.gif  

(Of course, Colorado is almost Midwestern.)

Except that a New England, "not coastal", resort is under two hundred miles from the coast, whereas Salt Lake is over 700 miles. The states are smaller on that side.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post


Except that a New England, "not coastal", resort is under two hundred miles from the coast, whereas Salt Lake is over 700 miles. The states are smaller on that side.


Ok, ok.  Granted.  But in New England, you can't get there from here.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Except that a New England, "not coastal", resort is under two hundred miles from the coast, whereas Salt Lake is over 700 miles. The states are smaller on that side.


Ok, ok.  Granted.  But in New England, you can't get there from here.


Or, ya ken't get the-ah from he-ah...


I feel like that about parts of Idaho, I don't think that's a coastal feature.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chezowan View Post
 

Hi All,

 

I've been skiing New England for my entire life, and my 2 buddies and I want to make a trip to Colorado (or Utah, or anywhere that's good/relatively inexpensive for that matter).  We're completely overwhelmed in terms of the logistics of planning such a trip.

 

Lot's of the posters here are right, you can cobble together your own trip for less than $2k each, but if you're already feeling completely overwhelmed, I recommend against it. If you're happy flying Southwest (their baggage policy really is nice for such a long trip), check out the packages at southwestvacations.com: they've got some great deals on ski trips through Denver, Salt Lake, and Reno (the skiing's not as good, but the apres scene is fantastic), and I've always had good luck dealing with them. Or try an old-school travel agent--Costco, AAA, or just Googling local travel agents should work. Enjoy anticipating a great trip rather than stressing over getting it coordinated.

post #20 of 20
Or find a buddy who loves planning trips. The more you do it, the better you get at it.
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