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Affordable ski trip from ATL to out west?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm going through some serious withdrawals right about now. I've been away from snow for too long. Looking for recommendations on where to go at the beginning of January.

I'm an intermediate skier who is plenty happy on blues and some light blacks, and I'll also be traveling with people who are more or less beginners (only place they've skied is North Carolina). My biggest concern right now is keeping the trip somewhat affordable. Roundtrip airfare out of ATL is proving to be exorbitant.

I'm considering going back to Big Sky, where I worked last year, but plane tickets could run us $500 RT per person. That cost could likely be set off by the discounts in lodging I could get from friends that still work at the resort.

Anyplace out west is still a possibility. I'm just looking for the best combination of low airfare, lodging, best snow, and shortest lift lines. I've found airfare to UT and Tahoe that is significantly cheaper than flying to MT.

Nightlife would be a plus as well. Any recommendations on where to go or strategies for sniffing out deals are greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 18
If you have no snowboarders with you I would suggest Alta or Deer Valley in UT. If one of you wants to snowboard then Solitude would also work well.
post #3 of 18
You should be able to find cheaper flights from ATL to BZN.  Bozeman has subsidized flights from Atlanta, so I think you can get a deal for $300 - you'll have to shop for it, but I bet it's out there.
post #4 of 18
you're best bet is trying for ATL to SLC.  Both Delta hubs, so i'd guess frequent flights between the two
post #5 of 18
I'm not sure it gets more affordable than staying in the valley and skiing different SLC area resorts. There are threads on where to stay if you search (Sandy is popular).
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
hmm....the SLC idea is intriguing...I'll have too look into it. Is SLC the best city to stay in or are there others that may be closer to the resorts and friendly to a group of 23 and 24 yr olds? Thanks for the help guys.
post #7 of 18
I second the mention of solitude. I think it would fit perfectly with your description. There are rarely lift lines and the snow conditions are probably the best out of the two canyons when it hasn't snowed in a while. Sure the terrain isn't huge, but its still a blast. The base is much lower than usual right now, so it could be a gamble.

ps Solitude sucks hardcore, please everyone stay at alta and snowbird.
post #8 of 18
 Dan, when are you headed out?  My daughter and I are leaving ATL on the 7th if January going to Colorado.  Since Airtran flies to Denver, I find the flights to Denver to be much cheaper than the ones to SLC.  Competition is a wonderful thing.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
From the little research I've done, Solitude looks like a definite possibility. Their lift passes aren't sky high either, so that's a big plus.

Roadrash, somehow I completely forgot about airtran. I've been hung up on Southwest not having service in ATL that I just kind of glossed over the other big discount airline. Thanks for reminding me. I'm trying to get plans together for the beginning of January, are there any resorts in CO that wouldn't have massive crowds around that time?
post #10 of 18
post #11 of 18
Hi, Dan.

I'd do the SLC thing. I go out of CLT. Priceline has $250 beginning of January before the name your own price. You can get it down to under $200 using that. Have same out of ATL.

I went three times last year. Stayed at the Natoional 9 in Midvale, on 7200 S, for less than $200 for a week and there is another extended stay place just down the street. Its on the ski shuttle line too just have to walk down a block. I rented a car though cost me like $150 I think. Then hit Craig's List or Liftopia for a break on lift tickets.Or buy discounted tickets at the ski rental places but try the former first.

I got spoiled bad I was last there March-April last year it never stopped snowing for a month it seemed like! I kept extending my trip. I had never skiied powder. Well I got a crash course, crash being the operative word. But I started to get the hang of it. Anyway I skiied Alta, Brighton, Pow Mow and Solitude. You are right Solitude is probably the place you will like the most lots of beginner and intermediate terrain, no crowds (amazing) and laid back vibe.

Alta is, well Alta. Great choice of diverse terrain but its a local's mountain also and people get bent real easy in the lift lines on pow days. Snowbird is right there next to Alta but thats a lots of advanced terrain from what I understand.

Brighton is full of snowboraders and PowMow is great if there is lot of snow but its a 45 drive.

Vince F. helped me out tremendously he lives out there and showed me around. I am heading out that way probably beginning of January if thing work out. But I will be out there sometimes in the next month to 6 weeks you can bet. If I can help you with more info PM me. Good luck and have fun. Won't find a less expensive way to get to world class skiing.

Oh, I saw the NC thing. I learned to ski at Hunta and northeast in general but I ski Sugar, Beech, Cat now since I live in SC. When I first drove up Cottonwood Canyon all I could think, once I got over the shock and could think again, was "you're not in NC anymore!
Edited by theconz - 12/11/09 at 4:55pm
post #12 of 18
Last year we went the second week in January, and except for a Saturday at Vail (horribly crowded), we didn't see much of a crowd anywhere (we skied Copper on Thursday, Keystone of Friday, Vail on Sat and BC on Sunday).

My daughter and I are leaving ATL on the 7th this year and are going to ski Monarch for a couple of days and then move and hit Copper and/or Cooper for a couple, depending on conditions.  Next to Wolf Creek, Monarch has probably been getting the best snow so far this year, and other than Christmas and Spring Break it is empty, and cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan9124 View Post

From the little research I've done, Solitude looks like a definite possibility. Their lift passes aren't sky high either, so that's a big plus.

Roadrash, somehow I completely forgot about airtran. I've been hung up on Southwest not having service in ATL that I just kind of glossed over the other big discount airline. Thanks for reminding me. I'm trying to get plans together for the beginning of January, are there any resorts in CO that wouldn't have massive crowds around that time?
 
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback guys, keep it coming! I spent a good bit of today nailing down a price point for different airport, lodging, and ski resort combinations. I was really excited about Jackson Hole's "Buy 2 Flights, Get 2 Free" promo til I looked at the trail map...doesn't look like a mountain for any novices...

I've found extremely cheap airfare to Utah so far ($220 RT) thanks to theconz, with the next cheapest airfare being to DEN for $355 RT. Now if I could only find a decent price point for on mountain lodging so I wouldn't have to worry about the sky high rental car prices (everyone in my group is under 25)...
post #14 of 18
post #15 of 18
Dan I hear you on the car rentals. If you are under 25 they really bend you over big time. Don't eliminate the shuttle its is cheap and reliable and runs in the worst of weather even when chains or 4 wheel drive required.

But if you really want to be slope side check out the Snowpine slopeside at Alta.

http://www.thesnowpine.com/index.html
 
At the end of last season I caught a deal at the Snowpine so I moved from the Nat 9 to the Snowpine my last week there. I got a dorm (women and men seperate, sorry!) bunk its clean, quiet, nice big bunks, 2 to a cubby but I had no one else in the upper bunk. They feed you breakfast and dinner have a nice TV room ski storage area.Can walk to the GMD if you want bar scene, not far.

Right now the dorms are $90 and thats a good deal for slopeside and meals. Super deal in fact. You ski out the back door, past the hot tub (nice after a day of skiing) and right to the rope tow between the Albion base and the WIldcat base. You can shuttle to Solitude I think may have to switch shuttles. But the Albion side of Alta alone has more green and blue runs than Sugar, Beech, Cat and Appalachian put together.

And the fresh chocalate chip cookies they put out are real good too!
post #16 of 18
 I'm looking to book Steamboat for Jan 17. Flights were $360.

I have kids and the kids fly and ski free which probably makes it a bigger deal than for somebody not with kids.

But still, the airfare isn't that bad.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I found airfare on American Airlines for $180 per person round trip to SLC. With a discount code I have I think may get it down to $136 per person! This could turn into one hell of a deal. Only bad thing is my brother just re-injured his ACL so it's looking like a no go for him...hopefully I can find someone to fill his spot.
post #18 of 18
I am sure you will find someone to fill it. You will love it there.

I just got my AC30's out of the shop gonna hit Sugar or Beech or Cat next week I think.

Man $63 to ski on 2 trails. Talk about gouging! If I didn't need my fix I would just wait. Thats ballsy to charge that much with next to nothing open but they got ya by the short hairs nowhere else to go.

Seriously thats as much as any of the Utah lift tickets. If I could get airfare on the cheap on 2 days notice I'd just go to SLC.
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