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Tips for Planning Family Ski Trips from flatlands (Midwest, SE, Mid-Atlantic, NJ/NYC/CT/RI, Ontario) - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Thread Starter 

Family of five from Virginia--3 boys age 6 and under--who had a fabulous time at Snowmass for spring break.  Everyone benefitted from lessons.

 

Planning thread started in August 2014

http://www.epicski.com/t/128644/steamboat-or-copper-for-beginner-intermediates-1st-week-of-march-snowmass-too

 

Trip report for 2/27 to 3/8/15

http://www.epicski.com/t/133555/snowmass-trip-report-2-27-15-3-8-15

post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 

Even though summer is just starting, not too early to be planning for holiday ski vacations during the next school year.  For families who want to rent a condo and need to pick a destination early on, can get early bird discounts if book before Sept or Oct.  Definitely more lodging options if book before Thanksgiving.  For those who can be a bit flexible and need to fly, one alternative is to book flights sooner to lock in dates, but hold off on the exact ski destination.  That can make sense if flying to Denver, SLC, or Reno (for Tahoe).

post #33 of 52
Thread Starter 

Planning thread by a high school senior to set up a Christmas vacation for himself and his brother with their grandparents.  Grandparents won't ski but happy to drive the boys from Texas to Colorado.  He did a good job of researching on his own, as well as getting input from EpicSki members as the plan evolved.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/141704/colorado-ski-tour-driving-from-tx-second-half-of-dec-2015

post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 

This thread was started by someone in Missouri and then bumped by a father in Oklahoma.  Both are beginners interested in a family trip during Thanksgiving week, most likely by driving to Colorado.  Even those in the families who have skied before are no more than intermediate.  While it's pretty early, more and more ski resorts are snowmaking as soon as temperatures drop enough in order to open by Thanksgiving week.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/141983/where-to-ski-in-late-november-beginner-intermediate-from-missouri/60#post_1906965

 

For beginners and intermediates interested in lessons, early season group lessons at destination resorts are often taught by experienced full-time instructors because new instructors have not completed training yet.  A couple lessons early in a ski vacation can make the rest of the time more enjoyable.

post #35 of 52

Thought I'd add on our plans for this coming winters ski trip. Last winter we did a Thanksgiving trip to Keystone as our kids first ski trip to CO. This year we're upping the ante with a Christmas-New Years week trip to Winter Park. I started brainstorming and researching the trip in mid-July and then we started booking the trip in mid-late August when I noticed that some of the condos I had been looking at started to book up.

 

The one thing I noticed is that prices really jump for the holiday week, which of course makes sense. We had initially looked at the week before Christmas, but changed our minds as we could take a longer trip by going between the holidays. Also, there is a wide variety in prices of comparable condos, with the less expensive properties of course being the first to book up. Our first 3-4 choices for condos booked up very suddenly in mid-August, which was then the impetus for us to get moving and book our own lodging.

 

As much as I loved the slopeside accommodations we had at Keystone last year, the slopeside options at WP during Holiday Week are way beyond our budget. We looked at several properties and condo complexes both in WP and Fraser. We had a property in Fraser at Eagle Ridge at the Summit that we were going to book, but then the owner started increasing the price on us. When they raised the price the second time we gave it up and booked our next choice. Thankfully that owner was very straight-forward, quick to respond to email and easy to work with. That is the norm from my experience with VRBO owners - I'm not sure what the deal was with that other owner, it was a very strange deal. The Meadowridge complex in Fraser was a complex that we particularly liked for its Clubhouse and pool/hot tubs, but the properties themselves seemed a bit old/outdated/dark.

 

My wife will only be skiing one day, so we wanted a place that she would be comfortable hanging out in and that would be enjoyable. I know I wouldn't want to hang out in an outdated, dark, forgotten ski condo and wouldn't expect my wife to either. 

As a result we opted for a nicely furnished 2-bdrm condo with incredible views in the town of Winter Park. The one downside is this particular complex does not have a pool/hot tub/clubhouse, but does have a jacuzzi tub. It's somewhat close to the train tracks, so there could be some noise, but on the flip side it is very close to WP resort, probably 2 miles or less and is on the shuttle route. This will allow me and the kids to grab the shuttle and leave our vehicle for my wife. Or she can hop on the shuttle and meet us for lunch, etc. Plenty of options and should be a short walk downtown if we want to shop, go out to eat, etc. and it's not too cold. The condo cost was $1,190 including cleaning fee, tax, etc. for 6 nights.

 

For lift tickets, I opted for the WP 4-pack for me and my son at a cost of $179 each. I'm once again going to try for cheap option for my daughter. Last year we took advantage of Vail's School of Shred for 5th graders, which is a free pass. This year, I've applied for the Colorado Ski Country USA's 6th grade passport for her at a cost of $99, which provides 4-days of skiing at all of it's member resorts. I was a little concerned about potential blackout dates, but when registration opened for the passport I inquired and they assured me that the only blackout they have this year is at Wolf Creek, so we should be all set. If something comes up and that doesn't work out, then I'll buy my daughter the 4-pack also.

 

We'll once again be driving. It takes longer, but will save us $1,500 or so vs. airfare for four plus rental car. This also allows us to haul our own skis, snowshoes, etc. without having to worry about airline baggage fees, excess bags, or having to deal with rental equipment. We spent an afternoon last year snowshoeing above the Dillon reservoir and it was a highlight of our trip, so I'm sure we'll use them a couple times this year. We'll also do some tubing and may look at a dinner sleigh ride or some other special dinner event as both my daughter and I will celebrate our birthdays during our trip.

 

The big question mark in our plans is miscellaneous costs - food, souvenirs, activities. We'll likely eat all of our breakfasts in the condo, pack sandwiches or similar for lunch for the most part. Dinners we'll probably splurge a bit more, but even so I can see us eating at the condo a couple of nights also. A dinner sleigh ride could easily cost us $300 or so, but we're ok with that if it seems like a good choice - good reviews, good food, etc. For now I'm penciling in $1,000 into our budget, but that can and probably will change.

 

Total estimated cost for the trip:

 

Condo:   $1,190

Hotel:     $0 (one night on way out in North Platte or Denver depending on departure time, free with hotel points)

Lift:        $536 (two WP 4-packs @ $179 each, one 6th grade passport @ $99, one $79 buddy pass for my wife)

Gas:       $300

Misc:      $1,000? (estimate for food/dining out, tubing, sleigh ride?, souvenirs?)

Total:      $3,026 

post #36 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle93 View Post
 

Thought I'd add on our plans for this coming winters ski trip. Last winter we did a Thanksgiving trip to Keystone as our kids first ski trip to CO. This year we're upping the ante with a Christmas-New Years week trip to Winter Park. I started brainstorming and researching the trip in mid-July and then we started booking the trip in mid-late August when I noticed that some of the condos I had been looking at started to book up.

 

[snip]

 

Total estimated cost for the trip:

 

Condo:   $1,190

Hotel:     $0 (one night on way out in North Platte or Denver depending on departure time, free with hotel points)

Lift:        $536 (two WP 4-packs @ $179 each, one 6th grade passport @ $99, one $79 buddy pass for my wife)

Gas:       $300

Misc:      $1,000? (estimate for food/dining out, tubing, sleigh ride?, souvenirs?)

Total:      $3,026 

Thanks for sharing your planning experience.  How many total days for the ski vacation, including driving days?  You and the kids are skiing 4 days and your wife only 1, correct?

 

I used to book VRBO condos in Sept or as late as early Oct for mid-season trips but have found that it pays to put down a deposit during the summer if at all possible.  I look for owners who are willing to do 100% refunds if plans change more than 30 days before the start date.  I can certainly imagine that the best deals for a family during Christmas holidays book up very early.

 

It's definitely easier to pack when driving for a ski trip.  Especially for a family where everyone has their own ski gear.

post #37 of 52

The trip will be 8 days / 7 nights total, with about 14 hours of driving there and back.

Me and the kids will ski 4 days, my wife just one day.

 

I agree with you on the VRBO condos. The one we booked, required a $500 deposit at time of booking, which converts to a refundable damage deposit. Full payment is then due 7 days prior to arrival. 100% refund if we need to cancel up to 30 days prior to arrival. Beyond that point it depends on if owners can re-book or not.

 

We've stayed in several VRBOs over the last few years in Keystone, Breck, San Diego, Idaho (Yellowstone area), etc. and the biggest thing I recommend is to go with your gut instincts. If the communciation (verbal or email) is clear and easily understood, that's a good sign. If anything seems overly vague, owners won't clarify or if anything seems shady (raising rates after submitting a booking request, etc.) than I'd look at a different property. If someone is going to try to pull one over on you during the booking process, what are they going to do after your stay in terms of not refunding your damage deposit, etc.?

post #38 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle93 View Post
 

The trip will be 8 days / 7 nights total, with about 14 hours of driving there and back.

Me and the kids will ski 4 days, my wife just one day.

 

I agree with you on the VRBO condos. The one we booked, required a $500 deposit at time of booking, which converts to a refundable damage deposit. Full payment is then due 7 days prior to arrival. 100% refund if we need to cancel up to 30 days prior to arrival. Beyond that point it depends on if owners can re-book or not.

 

We've stayed in several VRBOs over the last few years in Keystone, Breck, San Diego, Idaho (Yellowstone area), etc. and the biggest thing I recommend is to go with your gut instincts. If the communciation (verbal or email) is clear and easily understood, that's a good sign. If anything seems overly vague, owners won't clarify or if anything seems shady (raising rates after submitting a booking request, etc.) than I'd look at a different property. If someone is going to try to pull one over on you during the booking process, what are they going to do after your stay in terms of not refunding your damage deposit, etc.?

 

You clearly qualify as a family who are completely hooked on skiing. :)

 

Completely agree about how to get the best out of VRBO.  I always ask assorted questions before making a choice.  Some are real questions about the property, while others are questions about the area for which I actually already know the answer.  When there is a shuttle in the area, I always ask how far the nearest bus stop is.  When carrying skis and boots, makes a big difference if walking 5 min or 20 min.  Rarely use a shuttle bus with a VRBO rental since I arrange trips with friends that include having a car, but how the owner answers usually tells me whether or not they are locals who ski/board or an out-of-town owner who doesn't ever use the unit during the winter.

 

Another advantage to booking early for non-holiday weeks is that can make it possible to negotiate a better deal.  I've had owners offer to drop the cleaning fee or the tax.

post #39 of 52
Thread Starter 

Even after a trip is set up, asking specific questions can be useful.  This thread was started by a father wanted to find out more about the options for getting his family from the Denver airport to Beaver Creek.  After he provided more details in Post #16 about his family, in particular that his wife won't be skiing, he got not only advice about transportation but also other suggestions from people who know BC pretty well.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142632/beaver-creek-drive-or-shuttle-from-den

post #40 of 52
Thread Starter 

Below are few tips about creating a thread looking for advice related to planning a family ski vacation.

 

These tips apply to any thread in EpicSki.  However, for questions about family trips, there are advantages to posting in less busy forums such as Family Skiing or Resorts, Conditions and Travel instead of General Skiing.  Family Skiing is moderated more carefully to try to help keep threads from going too far off topic.

 

*  Longer thread titles can help knowledgeable folks notice the thread.  For family trip planning, the timeframe for the trip, destination region, home region, age range of children (<8, tween, teen) are useful to include.

 

*  Be prepared to answer questions from people interested in giving advice.  May take a day or two to get replies.

 

*  Check back in a week or two and "bump" by posting a follow up question.  Some other members may notice the thread after the new question.

 

*  Even if you have several types of questions, better to ask in the same thread instead of starting separate threads at the same time.  If there is a gap between your questions, the thread gets "bumped" to the top and anyone who replied is notified because the thread is in their Subscription list.

 

*  Posting a brief "trip report" or update during or shortly after the trip is appreciated by those who provided advice.

post #41 of 52
Thread Starter 

Not really thread for a family in the flatlands, but is a good example of a father planning for his tween son's first experience outside the northeast.  The original thread title was very general and did not include the name of the ski area or timeframe.  After the title was changed (with the OP's agreement, can only be done by a Moderator), the discussion took off.  Post #44 from another father who has directly relevant experience includes a few great videos of that family enjoying Monarch.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142966/monarch-in-feb-is-it-enough-for-a-father-and-son-from-nh-vt

 

To request changing a thread title, click on the Red Flag and put the new title in the comment.  All Mods will see the note.

post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 

A thread by a mother planning a short trip in early Feb including a non-holiday weekend, flying from Chicago.  Started out with a couple places in mind but ended up at Snowmass as the discussion evolved.  The original thread title was changed to add Snowmass after the decision was made about where to go (with OP's agreement).

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/143365/february-family-ski-trip-alta-or-grand-targhee-from-chicago-snowmass-suggested

 

To request changing a thread title, click on the Red Flag and put the new title in the comment.  All Mods will see the note.

post #43 of 52
Thread Starter 

Father taking first ski trip involving flying.  Already booked lodging in Driggs for trip with wife and son for Christmas week before starting the thread.  Planning to ski Grand Targhee mostly, with day trip(s) to Jackson Hole.  Wife doing other stuff in Driggs while father and son go skiing.  Father asked for advice about bringing skis and where to eat.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/143534/grand-targhee-jackson-hole-questions

post #44 of 52
Thread Starter 

Questions asked in early Sept about spring break trip

Quote:

Originally Posted by AJD67 View Post
 

We have a family tradition of skiing during our kids' spring break.  The problem is that it keeps getting later in the season, and this year we are looking at the first week in April.  We love Steamboat due to the smaller crowds, nice green/blue cruisers with in/out tree skiing for the kids, somewhat affordable ski in/out lodging, and nice town.  But, with the lack of snow last season, that trip was almost a disaster and it was 2 weeks earlier than this year.  Does anyone have suggestions for early April Skiing with beginners/intermediates (kids 8-12yr)?  We have thought about Utah (Cottonwood resorts like Solitude, Alta instead of PC due to elevation/snow), Whistler, Big Sky, Breckenridge (don't love the beginner runs there though), others?  Thank you!

 

Mod note: Moved to Family Skiing

 

   Update in early Nov, in response to question from another parent doing trip planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJD67 View Post
 

We have taken the advice to hold off on booking a bit until we get a sense for where the snow will fly this year with El Nino.  Flights and Condos don't book as early for after Easter.  We are leaning toward Snowmass or Copper based on what I have learned on this forum and other research.  Those have been described to me as having easier cruisers at a high altitude / north facing to give us the best ski conditions that late.  We also want a bit of a village with ski in/out condos, so those seem to fit the best for us.  We would really like to go to some other places like Whistler, but have decided to save those for when our kids are stronger skiers.  I will let you know when we actually book.  Good luck

 

To get to the original post, can click on the Forward icon (green arrow).

post #45 of 52
Thread Starter 

Father who was hoping to drive to Stowe with 7yo asking for advice in early Dec about where to fly out west during winter break.  Both father and son are intermediates.  Decided to go to Snowmass.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/144248/looking-for-a-western-sub-with-great-conditions-right-now-intermediate-father-w-7yo

 

Quote: Post #1
Originally Posted by kicker75 View Post
 

Howdy.  Looking for some advice from west coast skiers.

 

Was planning on a lengthy ski trip with my 7 year old son next week to Stowe in VT, but concerned that the conditions (and quality/amount of trails) are going to be less than ideal with the warm weather we're having in the east.

 

So decided, what the heck, we'll hop on a plane and go west instead.

 

Don't know much about skiing in the west, and wondering what resorts around the Rockies were looking really good right now?  Looking for a resort that's kid/family friendly and that's more in the mid-mountain region that the far west coast.  I am an advanced intermediate and my son is an intermediate, so looking for blue & single black trails on piste mostly. (some off piste as well)

 

Looks like there's going to be a huge snow in that region in the next few days.

 

Anyway, any good suggestions for current conditions?  I hear great things about Snowmass, Vail, Breckenridge, but open to an experienced opinions.

 

Cheers!

 

Moderator Note: moved to Resorts, Conditions & Travel (under Mountain/Resorts)

 

Thread was moved to a more appropriate forum soon after Post #1.  A little info about father & son was added to thread title to make it clear it was a family trip for intermediates.  Could also have been put in Family Skiing.  More people look at Resorts once the season starts.  To get to the original post, can click on the Forward icon (green arrow).

post #46 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

A thread by a mother planning a short trip in early Feb including a non-holiday weekend, flying from Chicago.  Started out with a couple places in mind but ended up at Snowmass as the discussion evolved.  The original thread title was changed to add Snowmass after the decision was made about where to go (with OP's agreement).

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/143365/february-family-ski-trip-alta-or-grand-targhee-from-chicago-snowmass-suggested

 

To request changing a thread title, click on the Red Flag and put the new title in the comment.  All Mods will see the note.


Here's the mini-TR by the OP after their trip to Snowmass.  Family clearly had a good time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by debra View Post
 

Hello!

We are back from a wonderful long ski weekend at Snowmass and I wanted to say a big THANK YOU! to everyone who helped us decide where to go and gave us great advice. 

 

We decided to fly directly into Aspen given our limited time, and got lucky with a timely flight and good weather. Earlier in the week flights had been cancelled but ours left and arrived on time. With a transport (no rental car!) we were at Snowmass so quickly.

 

The slopeside lodging was great - so convenient.

 

We rented with Gene Taylor's Sports, which was easy and fast.

 

We had great weather - a little chilly on Thursday (2/4) but it warmed up a little each day, and by Saturday, we were sitting outside during lunch. And the best part was that the sun was shining bright all 3 days that we skied. The scenery and views were fantastic, exactly what I was hoping for.

 

The terrain (blue cruisers! ;)) was perfect for us. My son enjoyed racing down, while my daughter and I cruised along feeling safe and enjoying the views. Husband and son explored some of the black runs, too.

 

And while I could tell that there were lots of people there, the lift/gondola lines were never very long. The only time I really felt the crowd was one day at lunch when there were people hovering waiting for a free table, and when the lift stopped and the line backed up a little. 

 

I would definitely go back to Snowmass.

 

Thanks again!!

post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 

Not really about planning, but a very good trip report with pics for a family from the northeast who decided to go to Banff on relatively short notice because the northeast season was dismal in 2015-16.  It can be useful to have current passports to open up options besides the U.S.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/145926/sunshine-lake-louise-feb-15-19-2016

post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 

A father from NYC who got good advice in Feb when planning a spring break trip in March.  Had decided that in 2016-17 it made the most sense to fly to ski at the Canadian Rockies with his wife and teen daughter as well as another family.  He has experience planning trips that include intermediates so non-skiing activities were important too.  There is additional info because the OP (Opening Poster) stayed involved in the thread by asking more questions as the planning evolved.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/145705/canadian-rockies-in-march

post #49 of 52
Thread Starter 

Not exactly a planning thread, but perhaps useful for a family with younger kids thinking about doing a spring break trip to Park City.  In this case, they got lucky and got good snow after a late season powder storm.  One advantage of Park City is that there is stuff for a non-skier (wife/mother) to do.  The Olympic Center and museum is definitely worth a few hours for all ages.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146549/pcmr-3-28-4-2

post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 

For those who are thinking about Big Sky, there was a discussion started by a father in California in the Big Sky 2015-16 thread.  Starts with Post #180 and goes until Post #202.  Note that two lifts are being replaced for the 2016-17 season, which will be an improvement for advanced skiers.

 

Quote: Post #180
Originally Posted by agreen View Post
 

I was looking at the trail map for areas that would be nice for my family (beginner wife and 4/8 yr old daughters) to ski and came across Spirit mtn with the Lewis and Clark high speed quad. Some maps don't show this part of the mtn though and it looks like there is lodging at the base of the Cabin triple lift but I cant seem to find any rental properties there. Seems like a quiet part of the mountain and wondering if anyone could give me any info. On the trail map there looks to be several pomas or other surface lifts that connect condo/housing complexes. Thanks!

 

Usage tip: The green arrow in the Quote above is a "forward" link.  Hover over it until you get the pointing hand pointer, then click to go to the original post/thread.

post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 

A planning thread started in August for an early season trip to Colorado with a few teens who are beginners.  The initial question was about Winter Park, Loveland, and/or Arapahoe Basin.  Keeping as low a budget as practical was an issue.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147290/winter-park-or-loveland-week-before-christmas

post #52 of 52
Thread Starter 

A planning thread in Sept 2016 that actually includes plans being made by two families in Ohio considering a ski trip to the northeast.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/147521/seeking-input-on-no-vermont-from-columbus-oh/60

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