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One Week Trip ... from Boston

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

Our group's number one priority for a week's ski trip is EASE
- easy air travel
- easy access from airport to resort
- easy access from lodging to skiing
(etc.)

Sadly, there are fewer and fewer direct flights from Boston to ski destinations these days. Denver is the best -- and, we've skied more places there because of it.

Taking "ease" into consideration -- we'd love your ideas and suggestions for a week-long trip that includes:
- good snow and variety of skiing for different levels
- good value
- non-skiing activities and apres ski fun

thanks in advance!
kiersten
post #2 of 29
Whistler/ Blackcomb. Once you're there you're there, the two largest ski areas in N.America sharing a base village that has the BEST Apres scene on this contenent. Watch the weather patterns, if it's a bad snow year go somewhere else, otherwise it really can't be beat for size, variety, nightlife and a self contained (no car needed) village.

Or...SLC. But enough others will suggest this option.
post #3 of 29
Direct flight to Zurich. Train to wherever (I recommend Lech).
post #4 of 29
To some extent, it depends on what your most important aspect of convenience is...
When I was figuring out our trip, I considered the length of the drive from the airport to the ski area and ski-in-ski-out loging the most important aspects.

I'm pasting in the list I started for my own use. (Prices are out of date, obviously.) It is orgainized by airport.

Ski areas that are easy to get to...
Organized by airport (served by real airplanes only, no Beechcraft, etc)

Colorado
Note: Denver has Monday and Tuesday off school (19-20 Feb 2007),
but not the rest of the week. Some other CO cities have only Monday off.

HDN = Yampa Valley Regional Airport, Hayden
22 miles Steamboat Springs ski resort
(American, Continental, Northwest, and United) during ski season

GUC = Gunnison Crested Butte airport
AA Boeing 757 12/15/05 - 4/02/06 2241 DFW 12:10 PM GUC 1:20 PM Daily
30 miles from Crested Butte

EGE - Eagle County Airport
on I-70 West ~30 miles West of Vail (so past Denver gridlock)
Breckenridge, etc are ~30 miles further from Vail
Aspen / Snowmass is 70 miles the other direction (Snowmass is known for ski-in/out)
AA 757 thru DFW or ORD or MIA
Continental 737/757 thru Houston (IAH) or Newark (EWR)
Delta 757 thru Cincinnati (CVH)
NWA 757 thru Minneapolis
United 757 / A320 thru Denver
USAir TBD thru Phili (PHL) or Charlotte (CLT)

DEN - Denver
most major airlines (United has a lot of direct flights)
Southwest thru Chicago (Midway) or Baltimore
Summit county areas (Breckenridge, A-Basin, Copper, Keystone)
are closest (Breck is 104 miles) on I-70
Traffic can be an issue where I-70 goes throuhg narrow pass
in the mountaints (Georgetown or the Eisenhower tunnel).
Access to same resort list as EGE, though which are near/far is swapped.

Nevada / California

Nevada and California have only Monday 19 Feb 2007 off school.
RNO = Reno/Tahoe
Southwest thru Las Vegas or Baltimore,
American thru Chicago, United thru Denver
Heavenly (1:15), Squaw (1 hr, 42 miles), Alpine Village (near Squaw),
Kirkwood ( ), Mt. Rose, etc...
(Sacramento CA is an alternate to Reno -- drive is about 2 hours,
and it is serviced by Southwest)

Montana

BZN - Bozeman (Gallatin Field)
Delta, NWA, United, (some big jets, some commuter)
May be an issue with travel days vs price ($574 Tues, $798 weekend)
~50 miles to Big Sky / Moonlight Basin (~1:30 time)
seems to be lots of ski-in/ski-out condos, not all super-deluxe

Wyoming

JAC - Jackson Hole
Delta thru Atlanta or Cincinnati,
American thru Dallas or Chicago
United thru Denver
12 miles to Jackson Hole Ski area (Teton Village)
lots of condos
base village seems to be high end (i.e. no family joints, pizza)
The real nightlife is in the town of Jackson Hole (12 miles)

Utah

SLC - Salt Lake City
American, America West, Continental,
Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Northwest,
SkyWest, Southwest, United
1/2 hour to 1 hour to ski areas
Park City/Deer Valley/Canyons
Alta/Snowbird
Sundance
Solitude/Brighton
Snowbasin / Powder Mountain

WA. OR. British Columbia

there are some, but haven't researched them.
Whistler is a long drive.

NM

ABQ - Albuquerque
~1 hr to Santa Fe, 2 hr to Taos, 5 hr to Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

Canada

YCC - Calgary, Alberta
Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village
AA MD80 thru DFW ($568)
Air Canada thru Toronto or Montreal ($US 568 round trip)
It may be possible to use USAir miles thru "Star Alliance"
United thru DEN
Very limited ski-in/out because skiing is in a National Park.
post #5 of 29
Salt Lake City is as easy as it gets.
I had direct flights from Boston (Delta) and no trouble with getting anywhere.
It is the cheapest option too.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrcka View Post
Salt Lake City is as easy as it gets.
I had direct flights from Boston (Delta) and no trouble with getting anywhere.
It is the cheapest option too.
Exactly...short drive from airport to lodging/ski areas.
post #7 of 29
Unless I missed it, your post doesn't say when you're considering traveling, which is a critical bit of info.
post #8 of 29
"Easy air travel" and "Boston's Logan Airport" are mutually exclusive terms.

: :

Seriously, the recommendation about Salt Lake City is spot-on. Can't get much easier than that.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowsport View Post
"Easy air travel" and "Boston's Logan Airport" are mutually exclusive terms.

: :
And so ... Quebec City -- Le Massif and Mt. Ste Anne.

Drive time would equal best case scenarios for door-to-door flights to western resorts or Europe; good snow for the east ("lake effect" from St. Lawrence seaway), good variety of terrain, great city for non-skiing fun; great value when you subtract airfare and you get a little boost from the exchange rate.

Plus the added benefit of no airport security which I just hate these days.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
we're looking at a week sometime between february and early march -- avoiding the school break weeks.

we're also DEFINITELY going west ... for a bigger mountain/bigger snow experience.

if in Utah -- would you stay in park city for the apres ski but do all that driving to Cottonwood Canyon for skiing? Or, vice-versa?

kiersten
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
if in Utah -- would you stay in park city for the apres ski but do all that driving to Cottonwood Canyon for skiing? Or, vice-versa?

That really depends on whether you are a morning person or not, doesn't it? (And how much you plan to drink, I suppose.)


BTW, my trips in recent years have been to JH, SLC, and Tahoe (Reno airport). The first two were from Boston, the third was from Manchester NH. All were easy trips for connections and travel at the other end. I think SLC is the only one where you will get a direct flight, though.
(Denver is the only other direct possibility, so far as I know.)
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
if in Utah -- would you stay in park city for the apres ski but do all that driving to Cottonwood Canyon for skiing? Or, vice-versa?
By vice-versa, I presume that you mean stay in or around the Cottonwoods and ski them, not stay there but ski PC. Right? I would say that if you're going to stick to the Cottonwoods, you should stay there, but if not, you may have better luck in PC or somewhere between the two. There are some reasonably priced places just off 80 that give you decent access to both.

Tahoe also can be a good bet. If your priorities are easy access to the North Shore skiing, value, and nightlife, you'd probably want to do Tahoe City; if they're more like value, nightlife, and reasonably easy access to North Shore skiing, you might want to try one of the North Tahoe casinos (Cal Neva, etc.). Slidingonthecheap.com typically lists deals, as do the resorts themselves.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
By vice-versa, I presume that you mean stay in or around the Cottonwoods and ski them, not stay there but ski PC. Right? I would say that if you're going to stick to the Cottonwoods, you should stay there, but if not, you may have better luck in PC or somewhere between the two. There are some reasonably priced places just off 80 that give you decent access to both.

Tahoe also can be a good bet. If your priorities are easy access to the North Shore skiing, value, and nightlife, you'd probably want to do Tahoe City; if they're more like value, nightlife, and reasonably easy access to North Shore skiing, you might want to try one of the North Tahoe casinos (Cal Neva, etc.). Slidingonthecheap.com typically lists deals, as do the resorts themselves.
If you want nightlife, go to St Anton. It starts before you gets your boots off and ends when the sun comes up.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
epic ... gee my guess is you really ONLY like to ski europe. :-)

given exchange rates and flight durations, we won't be making it to europe to ski this winter. sorry about that!

to answer other's questions ... our group's priorities are skiing first and second and socializing third ... BUT we're away for a week and do want to have some fun! good snow and resorts that offer something for the intermediated through low experts is necessary, too.

thanks
post #15 of 29
Go where you want. I just want to point out that Europe is an overlooked option for East Coast skiers. A direct flight to Zurich is 7 hrs. SLC is 5 1/2. If you can't get a direct flight, your flight times could be longer going out west. If your most convenient airport is Denver your ground transfer times will be comparable to those in Europe and probably more of a hassle. In Zurich the train station is under the airport and will take you direct to many of the ski resorts. Finally, skiing in Europe does not have to be expensive lift tickets for example are much cheaper than in the US and hotel options run the gamut. It seems to me that a place like St Anton easily meets your requirements especially when you consider the Apres that you are interested in and that you said you want a "big" mountain. The Arlberg region dwarfs anything out west. How's 6,000 vertical feet.

I'm not saying it's the only place to ski, but you have to try it for yourself.
post #16 of 29
I keep saying each year "I gotta do a Austria or Switzerland" trip - cost is comparable if you get a package deal. Vertical is unrivalled for sure. Only thing I wonder about is snow. It seems it can be a gamble especially since most of the deals need to be reserved so far in advance.

SLC - I find it hard to beat. Snow's always there and great. Depending on the number of people try renting a condo. Depends on what you want also - on mountain is not cheap, neither is PC but staying in the valley is less of a vacation experience. If you don't care about that aspect it's truly a bargain to stay in the valley.

PC you will not get the amount of snow as the Cottonwoods, but it's still good. It's more convenient and interesting off the hill certainly.

If you haven't been I'd suggest it but beware because it gets addictive - you start thinking "I can get away this weekend" when a storm dumps snow in the Wasatch. Combine that with being able to land the plane and ski the same day for free - it's so tempting! The slopes are soooo close up there.

The other thing is Tahoe - there's a lot of skiing up there and if you've never been, you should go and experience it - nothing quite like it in the US. Plus they always get a lot of snow. It's not quite as easy as SLC but still one of the best for total acres, variety, coverage and scenery.
post #17 of 29
Our group's number one priority for a week's ski trip is EASE
- easy air travel
- easy access from airport to resort
- easy access from lodging to skiing Salt Lake City -- Hands down
(etc.)

Sadly, there are fewer and fewer direct flights from Boston to ski destinations these days. Denver is the best -- and, we've skied more places there because of it.

Taking "ease" into consideration -- we'd love your ideas and suggestions for a week-long trip that includes:
- good snow and variety of skiing for different levels SLC - lots of variety Try each of the areas for a day
- good value SLC - Stay in town share the cost of a rental vehicle
- non-skiing activities and apres ski fun SLC - If you go for Urban type activities. You do miss the "ski town and shops" and "ski bars" but the town offers its own unique "hot spots"

Plus you mentioned you have been to the Denver area. Try the SLC area. The skiing seems to have a different flavor. Try it, I think you will like it.


post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
I keep saying each year "I gotta do a Austria or Switzerland" trip - cost is comparable if you get a package deal. Vertical is unrivalled for sure. Only thing I wonder about is snow.
It's a gamble everywhere. I've been to Alta/Bird 5 or 6 times and NEVER been there for a big dump. Now I am staying away for the local's sake as I must be a snow jinx. I've been to Europe 5 times and been dumped on every time. I'm 1 for 3 in JH and 0 for 1 in Tahoe. Never had much luck in CO either.
post #19 of 29
hmm... weird I've had some good luck in Ootah then. Seems every time I get some fresh. Nothing really god-like maybe but certainly a foot or more.

The only frustrating thing is when it's dumping the day you have to leave, which has also happened a few times :
post #20 of 29
I would go for UT. Easy in and out. Great skiing. Plenty of apres if you stay in PC. I've had great luck there over the years and have been dumped on more often than not. Only problem is it can be snowing like a banshee in the mountains and the airport is wide open - you can't get snowed in.
post #21 of 29
I'll chime in on the Zurich possibility. Lisamarie and I hit Switzerland last year for a long weekend of skiing in Davos. The Swiss trains run like clockwork (of course) so despite it actually being 3 trains (one from ZRH airport to Zurich Hauptbahnhof, one I think to Chur, and then a cross-platform switch to get to Davos) it was a simple journey. Other areas might even be closer.

Walking out the door in Davos Platz we were across the street from the tram. And it was a quick train ride down to San Moritz to meet up with Matteo ("Nobody") and his uncle for a lovely ski day there (think Italian - 4 runs and lots of time on the deck drinking and watching the scenery - both inorganic and organic varieties )

Fares are not always as high as you think. Could be an exciting trip.

It's not all that challenging a mountain, but Bormio Italy was a blast too. There was an article in Ski back in the 2000-2001 season raving about it being undiscovered by Americans. Of course that meant I promptly dug up a package deal that was $963/person for r/t airfare Boston to Milan, transfers from Milan for the 2 hour bus ride up past Lake Como to Bormio, hosted by Deborah Compagnoni's cousin, (Deborah Compagnoni is from the Bormio area), a 6 day lift pass, and half-board (breakfast and dinner), all-in.

It's an old medieval town, with a natural hot springs spa, lots of authentic feeling, plus newer stuff near the lifts. And Bombardinos! The local drink, even sold by one of the ski schools at its downtown school headquarters and bar.
Just note that this particular ski school is much better at mixing drinks than they are at teaching modern technique. (believe it or not, Lisamarie loved the trip, she just hated the ski school)

We stayed in a tourist-class (perfectly nice but not high-end) hotel, the Hotel San Vitale right in the old downtown. Free ski bus or you can walk the maybe 1km to the tram.

I think we booked through Central Holidays. They've since gotten bought up by some travel agency that then went Ch11 post-9/11 but then got spun out in the reorg to somebody else - they might still have these good deals. Probably a little more now, but was a great value. Their website is whacked - still says "Check back after Sept 2006" but they do have Bormio 7-night packages listed as an option.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Go where you want. I just want to point out that Europe is an overlooked option for East Coast skiers. A direct flight to Zurich is 7 hrs. SLC is 5 1/2. If you can't get a direct flight, your flight times could be longer going out west. If your most convenient airport is Denver your ground transfer times will be comparable to those in Europe and probably more of a hassle. In Zurich the train station is under the airport and will take you direct to many of the ski resorts. Finally, skiing in Europe does not have to be expensive lift tickets for example are much cheaper than in the US and hotel options run the gamut. It seems to me that a place like St Anton easily meets your requirements especially when you consider the Apres that you are interested in and that you said you want a "big" mountain. The Arlberg region dwarfs anything out west. How's 6,000 vertical feet.

I'm not saying it's the only place to ski, but you have to try it for yourself.
I agree. I think lots of folks don't even think about Europe. We went to Saalbach last year, stayed in a 4* hotel with half board (huge breakfasts and dinners). I'd priced a bunch of trips. From here, everything I looked at it would've cost us more to go to Big Sky, and definately more to go to someplace like Vail or Aspen. And about the same as a trip to Steamboat staying in decent but not high end accomodations. If costs are the prime consideration, I think it's hard to beat lodging you can find in the Sandy/Midvale area of UT. You can probably do pretty well in Summit County, CO as well. It's true, the current exchange rate will hurt you if you buy much. Saalbach hadn't had snow for a while. Snowed a little while we were there but no big dumps. Still, the snow quality on the groomed terrain was about what we found at Deer Valley the year before. The apres ski has to be experienced to be believed. We've found folks in Austria very friendly. The Arlberg seems to be pretty snow sure midwinter. That said, of the places I've skied, I'd rather ski at Alta than any other place I've been. But Europe is a great all around experience. When we were in UT we stayed in Park City. Really enjoyed PC as a base. It took us about 45 minutes to get to Alta. If you want a resort village feel in UT, I think PC is probably the base of choice, then drive to whatever area you want to ski in the morning. Worst case is that you won't want to drive a couple of days and you ski at one of the local areas. There are worse fates.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
the number one consideration for this group will be travel time and ease
- think direct flights and then a rental car being optimal ... schlepping our luggage around is not part of the "ease" program

:-)
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye View Post
the number one consideration for this group will be travel time and ease
- think direct flights and then a rental car being optimal ... schlepping our luggage around is not part of the "ease" program

:-)
Charter a private jet and fly directly to the resort of your choice where you are met by a chauffered limo and driven to a first class resort with bell service. Jackson Hole and the Four Seasons, perhaps?
post #25 of 29
... hmm ... so if money is no object - maybe Aspen. Fly in, they shuttle your skis around for free mountain to mountain. Getting a limo wouldn't be a problem there!
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
money is not one of the first considerations -- I never said "no object" ... hahaha ... if it comes down to a few hundred more to make life easier, then that's not a big deal.
post #27 of 29

Easy trip

If you're looking for an easy trip and quick access, Salt Lake is the way to go. It's not a super-busy airport, so you're not likely to get air traffic or weather delays. And you can pick up your rental car and be to a mountain in under an hour! There should be nonstopsto SLC from Boston!
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterK View Post
Charter a private jet and fly directly to the resort of your choice where you are met by a chauffered limo and driven to a first class resort with bell service. Jackson Hole and the Four Seasons, perhaps?
Actually, depending on the size of your group, this can be a great option. I looked into it after going to W/B. For a group of 10, the price of a chartered flight was about the same as everyone buying first-class tickets. But you have the benefit of direct loading the plane, shorter flight time, rental car meets you when you land, customs meet you on the ground (no going through the lines), and you get the whole plane to yourselves.

In terms of ease though, I still recomend W/B. Flying through Mineapolis/St Paul is easy (flying through Montreal or other Canadian stops SUCKS - customs and connections = BAD). I've flown both going to and from Logan to Van. Once in Van, you hop a van, and are driven to W/B (about an hour and a half though some incredibly scenic areas, including the bald eagle capitol of the world) and then there is no need for a vehicle around W/B, everything is right there or easy walking distance. Also, another added plus for easterners, W/B is relatively low, so altitude is rarely an issue.
post #29 of 29
Just to clarify about Aspen. They have a free service where at the end of the day, you tell them which mountain between the 4 you'll be skiing and they move them free of charge. The airport is really near downtown Aspen, and a few minutes from Snowmass so it is convenient. You don't need a car - the busses are free and useful. The only thing is getting your stuff to the hotel but that shouldn't be a big expense.

It's more $$ than SLC but IMO is very convenient and a great place to ski. You can find deals also - not everything is super highend. Eating at restaurants will definitely be more, as will shopping and most other things.

W/B I've heard is also very skier friendly as far as not needing a car etc. Tahoe you're gonna need a car.

fyi - at the ski show (Boston) this weekend there was a club there who does week long trips to Europe I found. Prices somewhere between $1100-$1500 for one week, air, transportation, lodging, skiing, breakfast and dinner included. There were still spots available for all 5 or so trips they are planning including Feb vacation. If you add everything up all things considered, it really is affordable. I'm trying to talk myself out of it . PM me for more info.
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