I'm planning a trip next week to go snowboarding somewhere in North America and would really appreciate some advice budget and equipment wise. Right now I am staying in downtown Chicago so there aren't too many slopes near me but I don't mind travelling to Canada/Colorado/etc for this trip. I'll be going by bus/train preferably, but plane is also okay if prices are reasonable.
I'd like to keep the expenses as low as possible and the number of snowboarding days as high as possible (don't we all), but right now I'm thinking $1500-2500 USD as the absolute maximum. I'll be going with my brother and we're both beginners (I've snowboarded for two days in the Swiss Alps with an instructor, fairly comfortable with blue trails - brother is a complete beginner).
I've taken a look at the rental prices also, and it seems that renting a full set (boots + board + bindings) for a week would easily cost about $250, which after a simple Google search shows that an entry level set would cost about $300. Should I just buy the set instead of renting?
So far I've looked at Whistler and Breckenridge. Both seem a little out of my budget unfortunately.