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Fly-in, Fly out: <$600

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have been looking at prices for a 4 day, 3 night, trip to SLC next year. but are there other budget friendly places (around $600) that I should consider?

Note: if you think that price quote is ridiculous, think again. I have found SLC trips in the $500 range with lift tickets included.

The main things I am looking for are:
  • Around $600 (lodging, lift tickets, and airfare) and preferably less (duh)
  • I can get to the resort from the airport w/o driving
  • I don't care about "amenities", just snow conditions.

Details:
  • Want to go sometime in February
  • 4 day, 3 nights (fly in early Friday, fly out late Monday)
post #2 of 20
Reno.

IMHO this is way too early to book.  Airfares are mid tier this far in advance. Unless some global crisis causes oil to skyrocket, I think they will be lower later.  Try right after Thanksgiving or Christmas for February at the earliest.  Personally,  I would use priceline a couple of days in advance. 
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 Personally,  I would use priceline a couple of days in advance. 
 

This is an approach I have not dared to consider for plane tickets.  Would this still be sound advice if he's thinking President's Weekend?
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post




This is an approach I have not dared to consider for plane tickets.  Would this still be sound advice if he's thinking President's Weekend?

I haven't tried priceline for flights on a really busy travel day. You don't get to pick your times, just the day and the number of connections.  But if your already blowing a whole day travelling, like from the east coast, what have you got to loose?

I've been using it a lot lately for hotel rooms.   Today I booked 8 rooms for Saturday night at the 4 star Westin/ORD.  $60/night, rack was $179.

I was in Seattle for a Convention a couple of weeks ago.  The convention's hotels were all $200-229/night.  I got the Edgewater for $70. Older 4 star property, but newly refurbished, it was nice.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

But if your already blowing a whole day travelling, like from the east coast, what have you got to loose?
 


That's not neccesarily true.

If the OP is near DC, for example, he could get on a direct flight to SLC leaving 7am and got half a day of skiing in. And can ski almost a full day before heading back to the airport for the return flight. But on priceline, he might end up with a 12 pm flight and miss skiing on Friday!

 

So, there's a lot to lose by NOT getting to choose the exact timing of the flight.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post




That's not neccesarily true.

If the OP is near DC, for example, he could get on a direct flight to SLC leaving 7am and got half a day of skiing in. And can ski almost a full day before heading back to the airport for the return flight. But on priceline, he might end up with a 12 pm flight and miss skiing on Friday!

 

So, there's a lot to lose by NOT getting to choose the exact timing of the flight.


Exactly. I live 2 hours outside D.C. and I have been planning to get in some skiing after my flight in and before my flight out. This is why I use Kayak. It is an aggregate site that takes its booking info from sites like Priceline but still allows you to set the time of your flight. Right now that doesn't matter too much because I won't be booking until about a month before.

Thanks for the Reno suggestion, Shredhead, I never knew it was that close to Tahoe. I can even get a direct flight from my hometown airport.

So any other suggestions?
post #7 of 20
--- Summit County another obvious options.

You'll have to fish out deals on lift tickets. I managed one trip to Loveland with their 4-pack tickets for $129. Total cost is somewhere around $600 even including a rental car. But that's with super cheap (post Lehman economy) air fare, car and lodging. The cost of renting a car vs taking the transport from Denver airport to Frisco is similar. But you lose out on skiing the first day not renting a car.

--- Reno is indeed a good candidate. But it's a bit trickier than SLC. None of the resorts are actually "near" Reno. Unless you rent a car, that is.

So you have to balance wanting to get in a half day skiing (Mt. Rose or Diamond peak) vs the cost of a rental car. Not having a car also limits you to the resorts that have shuttle bus to Reno. 

Lodging in Reno is reasonably cheap. I'd put Reno a little bit ahead of Summit county but far behind SLC.

--- Have you looked at Whistler?

 

You never know if they'll run any air fare special to Vancouver, which would make it doable at your price range. Don't know any cheap lodging though. 
 


With Denver and SLC, you have the option of skiing half day Monday, flying out around 5-6pm and getting home in the middle of night vs a redeye which get you home in thr crack of dawn. With Reno, red eye is the only way to go.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Summit County might be an option, there seems to be some pretty cheap lodging and it seems easy to get around by bus. The only real problem with Summit is altitude sickness.

 

Vancouver tickets just cost too much, but there are plenty of hostels and bed and breakfasts around Whistler so lodging might be much cheaper.

post #9 of 20

Getting to Summit County is not cheap.  Cost of shuttle van R/T is probably as expensive as a rental car and then you have to deal with the buses when there.  I would rent a car.

post #10 of 20

There is no place like SLC if you are on a budget and looking to get the most vertical and good snow for your dollar, although there are reasons to check out and ski other places.  Staying at Alta/Snowbird is expensive, better to stay down in the valley, but then you have transportation issues.  Better to rent a car, esp if you split the cost with traveling companion, it is cheap.  Also, you really need a car to be able to ski the 1/2 days when you travel.  No reason to book a flight until after August at the very earliest.  In the meantime, try getting a Delta card, you should be able to get a 2:1 ticket(even if 2nd one is $100), or even a free ticket maybe, I have made SO MANY trips to SLC for free!  Give up thinking there is any place cheaper or easier than SLC.  If you haven't been out West before, it is a good place to start, esp., with skiing 1/2 day first and last day.  See Wiki below.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks for the advice SnowbirdDevotee. One thing I should make clear though is that I am not 25, I can't rent a car. 

post #12 of 20

Additional comments on UT options:

-fly to SLC, take public transit and stay in numerous affordable motels around Sandy or Midvale, ski Alta/Bird or Brighton/Soli, search epicski for more on this

-ditto except go straight to Brighton Lodge for some of the more affordable slopeside lodging in UT

 

on the outside chance you dig up competitive airfares, some other carless non-UT options are:

- fly into Jackson, WY and take bus system to base of slopes at Jackson Hole, stay at the Hostel

-fly to Hayden, CO and take bus to Steamboat, look for cheap motel near busline to slopes

-fly to Eagle, CO stay near Avon and use bus to ski Beaver Creek and Vail

 

Add one more day/night to your agenda if possible, you'll thank me later.

post #13 of 20

I've always used the Snowbird shuttle from SLC and managed to hit the slopes by 1 PM. Dec and Apr offer best slopeside deals w/tix, been doing it so long it use to cost $44/niight d.o. with an AMEX card. Going this December.....won't book air 'til maybe Colombus Day.

post #14 of 20

If you can't rent a car, it does limit you to some degree.

 

Denver would not be that great, due to the transport cost and limitation.

 

But I think Reno would still work. You're just limited to the resorts they have bus to. Also, you can't do half day due to the shuttle schedule. So, you might want to fly in the night before isntead. That allows you to get the morning shuttle. Lodging is dirt cheap at Reno so the extra night shouldn't break your budget.

 

Other destination that requires connecting flights will be harder to do.

post #15 of 20

Snokat is right.  If you are looking for the absolutely cheapest trip with the most skiing and can't rent a car.  Fly into SLC, take the shuttle to Snowbird and stash your gear in a locker while you ski the first half day.  Pack light bringing only skibag and bootbag.  Then take Public Bus back down to Sandy/Hotel.  But you have to find a bus that gets you close to a hotel.  I stay at La Quinta and bus is 2 blocks away think, but still a schlep.  Ski full day at Alta 2nd day and third at Bird again.  4th day take Bus to Snowbird, ski until 2pm and take shuttle back down the mountain to catch your 5pm flight back to DC.  That is all very doable, you will get a ton of skiing, the best skiing in the world, for the least amt of money, anywhere.  I have made many 3 nt trips to Utah, from Newark, and this year I actually made a 2 night trip.

 

Here is what you are in for.

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/Utah08#slideshow/5171384293277708290

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/09FebSnowbird#

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/09FebAlta#

http://picasaweb.google.com/GlennCz/SLC2010#

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Snokat is right.  If you are looking for the absolutely cheapest trip with the most skiing and can't rent a car.  Fly into SLC, take the shuttle to Snowbird and stash your gear in a locker while you ski the first half day.  Pack light bringing only skibag and bootbag.  Then take Public Bus back down to Sandy/Hotel.  But you have to find a bus that gets you close to a hotel.  I stay at La Quinta and bus is 2 blocks away think, but still a schlep.  Ski full day at Alta 2nd day and third at Bird again.  4th day take Bus to Snowbird, ski until 2pm and take shuttle back down the mountain to catch your 5pm flight back to DC.  That is all very doable, you will get a ton of skiing, the best skiing in the world, for the least amt of money, anywhere.  I have made many 3 nt trips to Utah, from Newark, and this year I actually made a 2 night trip.


Can you get from airport up to Snowbird free? Or do you have to pay for the shuttle?

 

For those of us who can rent car, the cost of the shuttle is not that much better than the cost of a rental car on a weekend deal. 
 

post #17 of 20

When I was sixteen I did a 4 day trip to SLC for less than six hundered

 

I'm starting on the West Cost so it was a little easier but went a bit like this

 

9-10am ish arrival. 

Free airport shuttle included by my motel (think it was best western but can't remember for sure)

Stashed luggage in lobby, walked round the block to bus stop caught the ski bus to snowbird. Skied one of the most awesome storm days of my life.

Ski bus back down.

Next morning 2.5 ft at solitude, 

Following day back for refills at solitude

Final day was at Alta and was from opening bell to about 2pm. 

1 way airport shuttle.

 

Could walk to dinner (wendy's mcdonalds etc) every night, breakfast was at the hotel, lunch was bought ahead of time from the gas station and stashed in my pack. 

 

Was a last minute decision, bought the tickets when I saw the forecast. At 16 years old the trip pretty much wiped out my savings but was some of the most epic pow of my life and pretty much the best 5-600 i've ever spent.

post #18 of 20

Nov.-Dec 8th is $99 a night(3 nights min.) w/ tix at Snowbird, shuttle $68 r/t. Same price as last season.

 

If you never had a first tram at the Bird after a 2-day dump, ask yourself, what am I waiting for? Early December you own the place mid-week.

 

My first December trip to Snowbird was in '90. Arrived to early season 'scracthy' conditions on Little Cloud for our afternoon warm-up.

Started snowing that night, you could see the lighted cross from our condo disapppear. Dumped all day so it was off to the woods. Yeah, tram was closed. Snowed all night 'til just before dawn. Awoke to the sound of avi control. First, first-tram at the Bird. Find your spot on the cirque and ace-it! Priceless!

 

My bud wasn't so lucky on his first cirque run. He ogerred and had to do S&R for a ski. When he made it down to the bottom where you stop and check your line, he pulled up to everyone there and asked me why I didn't stop and help him look for his ski? Everyone there cracked up. Ernie says, I guess I said something pretty funny, huh? Priceless!

 

Sorry, I digress..............


Edited by snokat - 7/16/10 at 4:27am
post #19 of 20

I flew out of NY to SLC this past April. The flight was supposed to be 7am, we didn't lift off till 7:50. Had to wait about a 1/2 hr for the next shuttle in SLC (missed one waiting for my luggage). I checked into the Cliff Lodge at noon & was on the slopes by 12:30. That included renting equipment. Can't beat that. Shuttle was $68 round trip + optional tip.

 

It cost me more than $600 but just giving you an idea about the timing.

post #20 of 20

It's about the timing no doubt. The Early Bird Special, that's what they call it, only has so many rooms to offer at these prices. Usually can't get one after the 8th of Dec or so. I haven't been there in April, always Vail/Summit Co., though this past April I should have. col

 

December is tough on skis if you are waiting for the first big dump, my bro finished off some K2s the first day on the cirque, I've wasted a pair of Rossis myself. April is easier on your gear.

 

Use to live in Jersey, so I flew out of Phila thru Cinnci on Delta to SLC, hop the shuttle get the room and be trammin' before 1 PM.

 

Funny thing, one of my posse has a condo in Ogden that he is keeping open all season. Invites just went out, so how is Snow Basin?

He tells me they had a lots of 'snog' from the weird jet last year. Who's an expert on Snow Basin?  Not a hijack!

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