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Best "Inexpensive" Mountain Out West?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I am hoping to book another trip out west this year, but I am a little tight on money.  Does anybody know a GREAT mountain that dosn't have super expensive lift tickets, lodging, and food?  I wish skiing wasn't such an expensive sport!

Thanks

post #2 of 21
Your best bet will probably either be in Utah (Brighton, solitude, Alta) or Montana (whitefish, although it sucks to get there)
post #3 of 21
Check out the Spokane area.  There are 5 pretty darned good areas within 90 minutes.  Lots of fairly inexpensive food and lodging.  Normally some fairly cheap rental cars.  An smaller international airport, so pretty accesable.   Oh ya some good snow normally too.
post #4 of 21
I really wouldn't come here (Whitefish) this year.  It's an El Nino year.  Save your visit for a La Nina year.  I swear we've had maybe a foot of snow TOPS since Christmas and I doubt if it's held/stayed (like I bet the base has lost ground since then).  And even I am going nuts with the fog.  I'd like to think January has been so bad that the weather is just BOUND to change....  But, probably not.  There just must be better places to be than here.  

But, to speak to the costs, it is more reasonable here than most places, and we don't have crowds.  But, January has been groomer city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billabilla View Post

Your best bet will probably either be in Utah (Brighton, solitude, Alta) or Montana (whitefish, although it sucks to get there)


 
post #5 of 21
Id say Utah.  We stayed in midvale and boarded at brighton, solitude, and snowbird with airfare, lift tickets, food, and lodging for $900 a person for two people. 
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Envy View Post

Id say Utah.  We stayed in midvale and boarded at brighton, solitude, and snowbird with airfare, lift tickets, food, and lodging for $900 a person for two people. 
 

Wow thats a great deal.  Great mountains too.  I'll check that out, thanks.
post #7 of 21
Check Loveland, Colorado. And check Liftopia for cheaper tickets.

If Salt Lake City, then you can stay in one of the cheap hotels at Midvale, and take the city ski bus daily to any of these four: Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude. To get a better deal on the ski lift tickets, make sure you pre-purchase the amount of days you'll ski with their Superpass. Read here: http://www.visitsaltlake.com/ski/superpass/. When you purchase the Superpass, the city ski bus will be free!
post #8 of 21
I don't plug the local hill much.. how about Moonlight Basin?  Check out the $79 lodging + ticket deal being offered at Buck's T-4.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Envy View Post

Id say Utah.  We stayed in midvale and boarded at brighton, solitude, and snowbird with airfare, lift tickets, food, and lodging for $900 a person for two people. 
 

Better yet, do what the "gather'ers" do, stay at an Extended Stay with Kitchen. Buy grocery and make your own breakfast, lunch & dinner.
post #10 of 21
Bridger Bowl near Bozeman, Mt.  You can find really reasonable lodging in Bozeman and ski for under $50 a day.
post #11 of 21
Consider Wolf Creek CO.  It's one of the highest resorts with one of the higher annual snowfall rates in the country (more snow this year so far than Alta).  Given this and the lack of many visitors assures some of the best and consistent conditions in the country.  The base area is homey and friendly (cubby holes rather than lockers, and most of the staff are local ranchers).  Lodging/food in either the small, but interesting Pagosa Springs or the even smaller but less-interesting South Fork is fairly reasonable.  It's a bit remote though you can fly into Durango to access.
post #12 of 21
And I think the Bozeman bus system serves the ski area so you don't need a rental car.  Good call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Bridger Bowl near Bozeman, Mt.  You can find really reasonable lodging in Bozeman and ski for under $50 a day.
post #13 of 21
OTOH - if you don't want the remote small town experience (and don't mind the SLC big-city scene) you can't argue with this pick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesX521 View Post
...If Salt Lake City, then you can stay in one of the cheap hotels at Midvale, and take the city ski bus daily to any of these four: Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude. To get a better deal on the ski lift tickets, make sure you pre-purchase the amount of days you'll ski with their Superpass. Read here: http://www.visitsaltlake.com/ski/superpass/. When you purchase the Superpass, the city ski bus will be free!

 
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier27 View Post

Hi everyone, I am hoping to book another trip out west this year, but I am a little tight on money.  Does anybody know a GREAT mountain that dosn't have super expensive lift tickets, lodging, and food?  I wish skiing wasn't such an expensive sport!
 


The major expense variable you left out is airfare, if your home base is in the east, as your username suggests. This is particularly an issue if you are not already based in a big metro area. I've done this research a few times, and what I generally find is that while the suggestions for more out of the way locations - Montana, W. Colorado, etc. - SOUND great, the cost of flying there from the east becomes prohibitive. Fares to these destinations can be three times the price of a fare to a big city. And if you are on a tight schedule, that is also an issue, as those places typically require two transfers (or even three, if you live in the boonies): [Your Regional Airport, maybe] ->Big Eastern Hub -> Big Western Hub -> Final Destination. By contrast, flying into the major western airports like Denver, SLC, and Sacramento is relatively inexpensive and easy. My two cents.
post #15 of 21
It depends...

As a destination UT is great for convenince (easy and cheap to get to from many places), accessibility to many quality resorts within an hour from SLC, and cheap lodging. But the ski rates at Alta ($66), brighton ($58), or solitude ($62) are not inexpensive. And the passes, fuggedaboudit. Discounts are available in some cases but they are not that great. I actually think those prices make the tram pass at the bird look like a good deal for just a few $ more. Also the salt lake valley is not really all that great in its self, mostly poluted sprawling strip malls and suburbs as far as the eye an see.

If you want to visit for a longer trip then air fare is amortized over a more days or you can just drive. I think CO with the cheap pass is much more intrigueing.
post #16 of 21
You can sometimes get good deals on flights from BWI to SLC.  And The Canyons has some great late Spring "ski and stay" packages.   
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

It depends...

As a destination UT is great for convenince (easy and cheap to get to from many places), accessibility to many quality resorts within an hour from SLC, and cheap lodging. But the ski rates at Alta ($66), brighton ($58), or solitude ($62) are not inexpensive. And the passes, fuggedaboudit. Discounts are available in some cases but they are not that great. I actually think those prices make the tram pass at the bird look like a good deal for just a few $ more. Also the salt lake valley is not really all that great in its self, mostly poluted sprawling strip malls and suburbs as far as the eye an see.

If you want to visit for a longer trip then air fare is amortized over a more days or you can just drive. I think CO with the cheap pass is much more intrigueing.


 

Are lift tickets at other destination resorts more affordable? Those sound like great deals to me. 

I agree with your take on SLC though. Not exactly a "nice ski town".
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

It depends...

As a destination UT is great for convenince (easy and cheap to get to from many places), accessibility to many quality resorts within an hour from SLC, and cheap lodging. But the ski rates at Alta ($66), brighton ($58), or solitude ($62) are not inexpensive. And the passes, fuggedaboudit. Discounts are available in some cases but they are not that great. I actually think those prices make the tram pass at the bird look like a good deal for just a few $ more. Also the salt lake valley is not really all that great in its self, mostly poluted sprawling strip malls and suburbs as far as the eye an see.

If you want to visit for a longer trip then air fare is amortized over a more days or you can just drive. I think CO with the cheap pass is much more intrigueing.


 

Tromano,
This sounds like you want to keep the slopes to yourself    Good move, I owe you a beer!  

You must be smoking some sweet hooch if you think that Alta, Brighton, and Solitude at those rates are expensive though!  Plus you didn't mention that you can go to Canyon Sports around SLC, in PC, or in Sandy and get another $8-$12 bucks off the lift tickets easily- the locations are convenient, I use them every time.

You got one thing right though, it is a sprawl town, and in my opinion, some of the most mediocre dining you can find in a major city in the entire US.  I'm consistently disappointed with the options and the meals in SLC, Provo, and Orem.  I am lucky enough to have a buddy to crash at his place and use a kitchen!  My only saving grace!
post #19 of 21
No Brainer - Utah

See if the Quick Start pass isn't blacked out for when you come and you save a day's pass cost.

Fly in early and out late afternoon and you save a hotel night stay.

Discount passes are readily available, and certainly cheaper than CO-I-70 prices.

Cheap(er) rental car rates, hotels in the valley are cheaper - like I said - no brainer.
post #20 of 21
Utah for sure.

You ski all day by the time you get done you want to hit the hot tub, crash, and do it all over again next day.You can take a bus to the resorts for $7 round trip from Midvale.

I skied for a week for under $1000. That's 7 days. Price 7 full days or skiing, lodging, and airfare anywhere else. Tahoe area sometimes is close as far as $$ if you hit it right.

Airfare to Bozeman or Gunnison? Forget it. Want to drive 4 hours from Denver? I have done the math on a lot of places SLC always comes out way ahead.
 

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone.  Seems like BCC and LCC are the best places for the price and great skiing.  I'm going to plan a trip there in april.
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