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Design my Holiday!!!

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Greetings all!

Me and my ski buddies want to come to North America next year for our ski trip. We plan to fly over and hire a car for a couple of weeks, touring around the resorts where the snow is.

Can any of you give me an idea of which airport is within striking distance of the most (high quality) resorts? Any tips on touring this way?

Advice and opinions much appreciated.



Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #2 of 54
Probably the most central airport to a lot of great skiing, as well as the easiest to get to, due to the number of flights in and out, as well as short connector flights to other places, would be Denver Internations (DIA). Another choice would be SLC (Salt Lake City). The advantage to Denver, is that if you want to fly, rather than drive to other areas of the country, there are a huge number of cummuter flights from Denver. You could fly fron DIA to SLC, Reno/Tahoe, Seattle, Vancouver Canada, Glacier Intl airport (Whitefish Montana - Big Mountain and the nearby Canadian resorts, like Red and Fernie). You could also fly to places like Taos New Mexico, anywhere in California, or anywhere in N America.

If you plan on only driving once you get to the States, and have not settled on where you want to ski, Denver would probably the best choice, with Salt Lake being a close second. If you know where you want to ski, pick the closest airport to that area.
post #3 of 54
I would have to agree with JohnH. The second best location would be SLC. If you plan on skiing CO and are coming during the heavy snow season however you might consider Grand Junction. It's a little farther out then Denver but it is also much lower in Altitude and rarely has closures due to weather. (this being said you would most likely need to make a stop somewhere outside of the Rockies to go through customs to take advantage of this airport)<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited June 19, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 54
If you are going to roadtrip I'd fly into Calgary or Vancouver. This for the Northern Rockies, Interior B.C. Whistler, Lake Louise Tour. Eastbound out of Vancouver, West out of Calgary. Drop south for Bridger(Montana) Jackson (Wyoming) ( though i've heard complaints about the lack of intense nightlife from some there(English).) SLC(Utah) ( Watch out for the OLympics). All great places. If you only have two weeks, and like the Commonwealth ties, stay up in Alberta and B.C. There is tons of great skiing and boarding to be had. Dropping into the States can spread you out mile/kilometer wise.
post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I've just looked into flights - I can get from London to Denver for under £300, which is pretty good. But I also looked into internal Denver - SLC, which was almost the same price!!! Do you guys know of any websites with cheap US internal flights?

I like the Canada option, but have skied there before (admittedly only Whistler / BC) and never in the US.

What resorts could you get done in a fortnight flying into Denver, and do you have the time to suggest an itinerary?

I'd really appreciate it and I'd treat you to a night on the tiles if you're in the same place at the same time!!


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #6 of 54
Check out http://www.travelocity.com and http://www.expedia.com for some chances at cheaper flights.
post #7 of 54
The lowest moisture content snow, ie. the best chance of fluffy dry powder is in Utah, due to the Great Salt Lake.Snowbird/Alta. probably have the most unique snow on earth. Most like down under,is mopst likely in the Pacific Northwest, Whistler, Mount Baker etc.

Greatest number of resorts along a single stretch of highway, would be Interstate 70 and you fly into Denver or Eagle/Vail for that one. Copper Mountain, Vail/Beaver Creek, Loveland, Breckenridge/Keystone/ A Basin not too far away etc. Lots of skiing and variety in Colorado. Utah the drier snow, and the Pacific Northwest [USA States of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada,Canada-provinces of Albeta and Britich Colombia ] most like down under.

Hope this helps, and when you come to North America, may your travels lead to lots of .....

Happy Skiing !
post #8 of 54
let's see... I'm probably missing some, but the locals (BobB and others) would know if I am.

From Denver, it's an easy drive to:

Winter Park
Vail/Beaver Creek
a little further to Aspen/Buttermilk/Highlands

You can also drive, but it's a good 6 hr drive, to Crested Butte. And Purgatory is somewhere out there.

Try the sites Kevin listed for airline tickets. But getting into the smaller airports, especially during ski season may be more expensive than it's worth. Plus, by the time you wait for the connector flight and fly to the other areas, you could have been there already. Especially Vail and Steamboat.
post #9 of 54
I would try www.farechase.com or www.qixo.com for cheap internal flights, saves a lot of time scanning other discount airfare sites.
post #10 of 54
Get the true ambiance of the Rockies by starting your journey in at Jackson Hole then driving up to Fernie, BC. There are all sorts of old towns along the way in Montana and quaint out of the way ski areas. You will definitely want to ski at Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Big Mountain and Fernie. Small ski areas along the way worth skiing are Grand Targee, Bridger Bowl, Discovery & the Montana Ski Bowl.
post #11 of 54
Alberta and most of the BC Interior are not Pacific Northwest style mountains( wet snow). It is unfortunate that the Calgary International Airport will be closed for the 2001/2002 winter season due to the changing caribou migration patterns, as it would have been half the cost to ski in Canada as compared to the US. Better luck in 2003!!
post #12 of 54
Denver does have fairly cheap direct flights from the UK. So using Denver as a base for skiing many area's, here is a fortnight of fun!

Copper Mtn.
Beaver Creek
Aspen Mtn.
Aspen Highlands
Grand Targee
Jackson Hole

Better hire a car with unlimited mileage.
Have Fun!
post #13 of 54
Some flights out of the U.K. will take you to Chicago. You can go right to Jackson from there. Easy to drop down to SLC or up to Bozeman for Bridger and Big Sky. Head southwest and hit Sun Valley, Idaho. Hell, quit school, your job, whatever and stay a whole winter, that is the only way you'll get a good taste of North America's sliding potential!
post #14 of 54
When we were in Banff last year we could not get over the number of British skiing there. the main reason being that there are direct flights from somewhere in the UK (might be Manchester?) that go to Calgary. One 8 hour flight and a short drive and they are in Banff. Plus the pound goes a long way in Canada.

We have done one road trip where we flew into Vancouver, and the drove through BC and Alberta. Very worthwhile and a lot of great ski areas to visit - we avoided Whistler as we had already been there. On our next trip next year, we are flying into Calgary and then driving the other direction. We are going to drop over the border to Big Mountain, won't stay too long in the US as the NZ dollars buys next to nothing in the US.

Suggestions for cheap rentals is the Hertz Snow package, the discount booking code has been SNO1 for the last few years. Avis have a similar deal. Hertz Vancouver have Ford Explorers, and Calgary have Cherokee Jeeps. The Explorer has more luggage space.

JoCanadian - I've got my tickets booked to Calgary for Feb 2001/2002 - I hope that the migrating caribou will be stopping long enough for my plane to land!
post #15 of 54
twoKiwis - Let me know when your flight's due, and I'll send out my pet timberwolves to clear the runway....
post #16 of 54
Thanks for the offer Jimmy, I was getting a bit worried about all my well laid plans getting messed up by a few caribou.

In New Zealand, at the smaller airports, it is quite common for the pilots to have to do a low flyover to scare the sheep off the runway before landing. We could always give that a go.
post #17 of 54
I've never skied anywhere but Colorado. If you're gonna come here, just make sure you leave - ha ha.

Anyway, park yourself in Summit County. You're a half hour to Vail/Beaver Creek, 15 minutes to ABasin, 10 minutes to Copper. 40 minutes to Berthoud Pass. I mean, the greatest skiing anywhere.

That's my suggestion.

If you come, let me know. I'm always looking to meet a new bloke. I ski during the week. And, I can show you where the best skiing is.

post #18 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice everybody. I'm getting too excited already, and have orderedloads of new gear for next season - helmet, new boards, jacket, pants...

I have a brochure from a company called ski safari, but do any of you know of any other companies who do this sort of thing?

I expect I will still be posting here at that time so I'll be sure to let you know what the plans are and hopefully meet a few of my transatlantic bear buddies!!



Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #19 of 54
Avoid the tour companies. Buy a cheap ticket on priceline.com and find a cheap room anywhere in Summit County. As everyone has said, from there you can be at any number of resorts in thirty minutes. Rent a cheap car and ski at Berthoud, Winter Park, Loveland, A-Basin, Keystone, Breck, Copper, Vail. All withen thirty minutes.

I've skied Banff and it is great. It will simply "feel" too much like Europe. You'll have more fun here.
post #20 of 54
Johnny Boy: Are you doing your ab work to prepare for this trip?

Then I saw my reflection in a snow covered hill.....

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #21 of 54
I prefer Salt Lake over Denver. The ski resorts are SO much closer to the city. Only a 15-mile drive from the edge of town to 4 major resorts. Of course, if it's an option, I'd do both. I grew up in Denver, and I really like it too.

For flights: Frontier Airlines is going to have the lowest fares between the two cities. Contact them directly.

Reverend Poppy
post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 
Lisamarie - still crunching! I'll let you know when we're coming over and we can meet up so you can assess my physical state!

post #23 of 54
Johnnyboy - speaking of conditioning, work on your lung capacity if you are going to Summit County. The bases of the mountains are at 10,000 feet. Maybe start doing laps at a pool - underwater. If you go straight there from sea level, you'll spend 2-3 days with burning lungs. Drink lots of water when you are there. It helps.
post #24 of 54
Thread Starter 
One more question - we were considering mid to late Feb. Is this a good time?

Also, do any of you know a good way to get cheap car rentals because I found one this morning rolling in at $1500 for two weeks!!!!


Seriously, all your help ios greatly appreciated, the more info we can gather the better. Keep it coming!



Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #25 of 54
Mid to late Feb is the perfect time to go. Although they usually get more new snow in March, but the conditions should be great.

You should be able to get an SUV (Explorer or Blazer) for $400 (US) for a week. If you can get the right coupons, you can get them as low as $35/day. You need to shop around a bit. There is no harm in waiting. I've even arrived at the airport, then gone up to the rental counters to see what sort of on-the-spot deals I could negotiate. If I find a better deal than the one I reserved, I'll cancel the reservation (make sure there is no cancellation restrictions/fees).

Maybe if someone here at epic runs across a good coupon, we could send it to you. I get them in the mail once in a while.
post #26 of 54
Thread Starter 
JohnH, that wouls be absolutely fantastic. If any of your guys come across any of these coupons, please do let me know. My e-mail is johnrochester2000@hotmail.com.

Of course, if any of you happen to be looking for someone to drive your van or SUV around the country next Feb, I'll see what I can do...

Thanks again for the advice John. I think we'll probably not risk getting something at the counter as we are coming so far it would be quite a bummer to not get anything!



Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #27 of 54

Definitely make a reservation. Sometimes the rental companies will be totally out of SUVs for when you need one. But when you get to the airport, if you don't have a good deal, see if you can find something better.
post #28 of 54
you can also try priceline for rental cars, although not sure you would want to make the reservation this far out. Never know who will be in business next year. Also if your budget is limited and who's isn't, there are a couple of hostels in Summit County.
http://www.alpenhutte.com In Silverthorne
http://www.firesideinn.com in Breck

Have also heard that http://www.newsummitinn.com/ has good rates, in Frisco.
post #29 of 54
I second the motion... RESERVE NOW! SUVs sell out quickly in the winter and the good deals are now, not when the rest of the world is booking ski vacations. Getting good prices on rental cars is even more difficult and confusing than getting good prices on airline tickets. Check http://www.travelocity.com and poke around on the rental car web sites. The prices are very variable and you can stumble across web-only deals that aren't available to a travel agent. Advantage Rent-a-Car is offering a $176.51 per week/1050 mile SUV deal in Denver on Travelocity for the week of Feb 15. If you go to their web site at http://www.advantagerentacar.com, it's $144.51 with unlimited miles for a Suzuki Viagra. Beware that you'll pay an extra 23% in taxes and $1.60/day in Denver so it'll be closer to $200/week.

You'll have a difficult time beating $200/week unlimited miles on a mini-SUV.
post #30 of 54
I wouldn't get a mini SUV. You won't be able to fit much in it. I like to be able to fit my skis inside the vehicle for safety reasons.

On Kima's note about cheap places to stay; I stayed at the Fireside Inn in Breck once (season before last). DON'T. The place is a total dive, and you end up sleeping in a room of bunkbeds with a bunch of sweaty drunks that you don't know, and snore like trains, and their crap is all over the floor.
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