I've never lived near a large western ski resort in my lifetime and the opportunity for me to do so might be here since I have a flexible job that allows for working 100% remotely. This idea is still just a concept in my head, but I think it's something I should really consider. Spending thousands of dollars each winter for only 1-2 weeks of skiing is something I've grown accustomed to out of necessity, but at least once I'd like to really enjoy a lengthy ski season while my health, career and finances allow it. I'm not looking to make a permanent move, but instead am considering a temporary move to an area with a few resorts for 2-3 months, possibly for the 2018 season. It's worth noting that I'm not looking to be a "ski bum" living in a truck in the parking lot for pennies a day, I'll pay for a comfortable home/apartment for a short time. Since I'll need to buy gear and ski passes, I'd start planning early to capitalize on off season and early season pricing. Has anyone on the forum done something similar and can you share your experience and any advice?
There are obviously lots of questions, the big questions that immediately come to mind are below. I don't expect anyone to have specific answers to these questions, I'm just looking for some general advice as I start to think if I can make this a reality for next year.
- Location. SLC is at the top of my list due to proximity of many ski areas and my love for Alta/Snowbird. CO and Tahoe are on my radar for variety. I love the idea of Denver but it's a good drive to many resorts and the weekend commuting on I-70 is not fun. I am used to and probably prefer city life but a short time in a "ski town" (e.g. Jackson, Telluride, Aspen) might also be a great experience and a better opportunity to build some more meaningful relationships than cities sometimes present. Total cost will definitely be a big factor in any location decision.
- Housing. Are there options for a short-term lease that isn't crazy expensive? Renting a place month to month seems like the easiest answer, assuming there is availability. Extended stay hotels might work but I expect that costs more. What can I do with my home (I own) during the time I'm gone? I can afford to leave it vacant while still paying some rent elsewhere, but that seems like a lost opportunity. However finding a tenant for the same 2-3 month period might be a challenge. I've read a little about home swapping so this might be something I'd consider. I would prefer to live alone unless I can find a friend to join me on this adventure. Having unknown roommates is not my ideal choice unless costs require me to go that route. Good wifi will be a mandatory since I work remotely.
- Furnishings. I would not want to buy or move furniture for such a short term stay, so I'll highly prefer furnished apartments or extended stay hotels.
- Transportation. How can I arrange for a car for just a few months at reasonable prices? Are short-term 2-3 month leases a thing? One option might be to drive my current car across the country but my car isn't a great choice for snowy mountain roads. My car would work if it's not a daily driver and there is alternative transit to the resorts (Uber, shuttles, etc.). Another option might be to target an area where I don't need a car and can rely on a combination of walking, public transit, Uber and ski resort shuttles. I'd prefer to have my own vehicle but if it's only for a couple of months I could probably get by without if my housing location is walkable.
- Skiing. If in an area like SLC, is there a cost-effective way to get a pass to several nearby resorts giving me some skiing options or is it better to get a pass at one and just buy occasional single day passes for other places? The epic pass is great value but if I'm in SLC I'd prefer passes to the either the Sol-Bright or Alta-Bird over Park City if I elect to pick just one resort. I'll need to buy at least one pair of skis and more ski clothing since I live in a warm climate, but gear costs shouldn't be too excessive and they are things I'll be able to use on future ski vacations. I currently rent demos since it's easier than travelling with skis when only getting 4-8 days on the slopes per year, and it ensures I get the right ski for the conditions every time.
- Taxes. I imagine there is a max number of days you can work in a state before you are responsible for paying taxes in that state. This is something I must investigate further, but could have a significant impact on my finances since I currently work/live in an area without a state income tax.