|I agree though that the two major factors are convenience and cost.
|it takes too long to get there from the east, we loose 2 days of skiing due to travel. Utah is a great choice in that we can fly there in the AM and be on the slopes in the afternoon. Plus it is cheap airfare to get there.
Exchange rate may not be a factor by the time next season rolls around. Granted, there's no escaping Whistler being simply a lot more expensive than SLC or Summit County even in favorable exchange rate. But if I want a cheap ski vacation, I'll be x-c'ing out of a Albany motel!
Convinience to Whistler is no worse than say, Summit County. Although the flight time is an hour longer, Vancouver is also an hour behind Mountain Time. So you arrive the same hour local time as you do at Denver. Same hour and half to get from airport to resort too.
But NO DRIVING AROUND EACH MORNING to get to the different hills! Get on the same lift each day, you're all set to ski different mountains! (Not to mention how convinient it's for apres when everyone stays close by)
Worse than SLC, of course. Everywhere is compare to SLC, even Jackson Hole. Most of us from the east coast will lose 2 days traveling to and from JH. And the air fare to JH aren't cheap either. The same will be true of Big Sky too.
If convinience and cost are the consideration, I don't see western bears coming east. It's a lot more expensive to ski the east, both in lift ticket and lodging prices. That's why we eastern bears can afford to go west so much: better snow AND not much more expensive even factor in the flight.