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Where to ski with the Best Bang for the Buck???

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I live in Ohio and want to take a nice trip this winter. Where and when should I go? I am a school teacher and realize that it is pricier during holiday times-but I may be willing to make that sacrfice to do during my vacation period.

I got back into skiing a few years ago and want to go somewhere fun with a night life and great skiing. I want to stay in the States.

What/When/ and Why would you reccommend your place.

Thanks in advance!!!
post #2 of 14
Canada is generally a much better deal than in the States. You can fly to Calgary, rent a car and hit many nice areas for much less than it would cost you to go to Colorado. If you want the best deal in the States go to Salt Lake City, but stay in Sandy and not up at one of the mountains. They have deals on the lift tickets and cheap shuttles to the ski areas. Lodging and food is at city and not resort prices.
post #3 of 14
You need to give us some more information.

What kind of terrain do you like (steep, trees, etc.)? What kind of snow (groomed, powder, sierra cement, etc.)?

How confident a skier are you -- do you speed down double-blacks, traverse blue groomers, or something in between?

How long a vacation are you thinking of? Do you have friends who live in SLC, Denver, or Reno? Do you have a lot of frequent flier miles?

Are you planning to go solo or with existing friends? Are you looking to find people online to share costs (lodging, car, etc.)?
post #4 of 14
Big Mountain Montana
Jay Peak VT

Are two examples. I am sure others will give you some more choices.
post #5 of 14
We have been going to Utah for years. Depending on where you go, it's cheap. Deer Valley/Park City/The Canyons are pricy, but that's where the mountain night life is at. The Cottonwood Canyons are A LOT cheaper. Lift tickets at Brighton/Alta/Solitude are around $40-45 a day, whereas PC is $75. If you stay in Sandy or near SLC you will have the nightlife of the city, but not necessarily with all of the vacationers and the mountain atmosphere.
post #6 of 14
I forgot one other question: When are your school holidays this year? Where to ski during President's Week and where to do so in early April (when my kids have two weeks off) can be entirely different questions.

I agree with WasatchSkier that Alta, in particular, is a fantastic bargain, but won't be good for you if you prefer groomers over untracked snow. Also, staying outside the canyon during the prime ski season would be cheaper, but could result in you losing the powder days.

As you might guess from my handle, I primarily ski Alpine Meadows, which is a relative bargain at $41 a day except during absolute peak holidays (Xmas, MLK, President's Day). Again, it depends on what kind of skiing experience you're looking for. I've posted suggestions for others here and here, mainly touting Granlibakken, a relatively cheap place just south of Tahoe City with shuttles to various resorts -- it's an especially good option if you want to put in a couple of days at Squaw, Alpine, and maybe Homewood.
post #7 of 14
Don't forget that there are many smaller resorts that often cater to locals and so are not as inundated at holidays. Something like Wolf Creek or Monarch in Colorado. I'm sure there are similar resorts in other states that are not expensive. If you are thinking Christmas, then you have to consider snow coverage in the mix.
post #8 of 14
Well, Mom, I'm surprised you didn't mention Santa Fe or Taos. Pretty good nightlife in both, definitely low season, great food. Lot depends on snow, of course. Santa Fe is only about 2 - 3 hours from Wolf Creek. 160 miles to Durango, another 90 miles from there to TRide. Lots of choices in a good snow year.
post #9 of 14
Look for trips the begining of January. Low crowds, usually the airlines and resorts have post Xmas deals for lodging and lift tickets. I'd look at going to some place like Vail or Breck. Then you have your choices of ski areas, such as Keystone, Copper, A Basin, Beaver Creek. But if you have to go during the holidays, and you want to avoid crowds, maybe Steamboat.

Park City is another option. You've got The Canyons, Deer Valley right next door. Alta, Snowbird, andSolitude are just an hour away.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
Park City is another option. You've got The Canyons, Deer Valley right next door. Alta, Snowbird, andSolitude are just an hour away.
Right but with lift tickets $70 or more for the Park City areas, can you honestly put it in the "bang for your buck" category? The west side of the wasatch has that best bang for the buck...

L
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Well, Mom, I'm surprised you didn't mention Santa Fe or Taos. Pretty good nightlife in both, definitely low season, great food. Lot depends on snow, of course. Santa Fe is only about 2 - 3 hours from Wolf Creek. 160 miles to Durango, another 90 miles from there to TRide. Lots of choices in a good snow year.
True, true. But if he's thinking about Xmas, the snow here can be a risk factor. We are all praying for a better year. (we are due after the disaster last year).

Wolf Creek is three hours door to door. Monarch is four hours from Santa Fe and Angel Fire is another NM resort that is not too pricey. Taos is already a destination resort and at Christmas may not be much less expensive than the usual suspects in CO. Santa Fe, if it is a good snow year, is a small but very respectable mountain with good challenge, great tree skiing and some easily accessible, not too difficult, back country in the Big T area. Also, if it's a good snow year, you can NOT beat Santa Fe for a charming Christmas. They close down Canyon Road. All the homes and galleries along the way decorate their buildings with farolitos and they light bonfires in the streets for the Christmas eve walk. Neighbors give out hot cider and walkers burst into song. it is truly magical. And, Pro Musica does a wonderful concert of Christmas music (not your typical carols) in the Loretto Chapel. buy tickets early.
post #12 of 14
Sounds like you want fun night life, intermediate slopes, must travel during holidays and can handle a pricey destination if good value: lots of choices but first look for one of the less expensive hotels or condos (if more than 1 or 2 in group) at Snowmass (my pick) or Steamboat, CO; or try Park City, UT, which could be a little cheaper than other two, but maybe more crowded. You would also like Breckenridge (more crowded) or Vail (more costly). Heavenly, CA or Whistler BC are also options. Basically, you're looking for a good sized ski area with a very lively town nearby.

Now if it were me and I wanted to be real crowd and price conscious, I would drive my car from Ohio and ski Eldora, CO, stay & party in Boulder, then ski Loveland/Arapaho Basin/Breckenridge, CO and stay & party in Breckenridge and maybe sneak a day/night in at Vail (back bowls).
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
Right but with lift tickets $70 or more for the Park City areas, can you honestly put it in the "bang for your buck" category? The west side of the wasatch has that best bang for the buck...

L

There are stay and ski package deals to be had at Park City, plus you can get the Utah Super SKi pass for inexpensive lift ticket options. Not to mention ski free your first day when you show your airline boarding pass. But, would agree that lodging in Park City area can be expensive.
post #14 of 14
Hi Andrew,
I am also a teacher. This year I am going to Colorado for our Spring Break April 7-14. I got a flight to Den. for $383 and I am renting a condo for $600 through VRBO.com in Dillon. I plan to ski the Summit Co. areas.
Another great place for you to go to would be Park City. You do not need a car once you get there-the transportation is fantastic. My union belongs to Working Advantage and I got really good deals on lift tickets to PCMR and the Canyons. Of course, I couldn't find any discounts for DV-but you should splurge to go there one day. Last year, we went over President's day weekend. Great thing about PC is that you fly into SLC and then Park City is only about 45 min. away.

Good luck!
BTW, I don't think Canada is such a good deal-with the dollar's value low and the taxes they charge on EVERYTHING-it is no cheaper than the US.
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