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cheap rockies ski trip from ny

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I am looking to get some tips on the most economical way to take a 2 week trip out west this year. I would like to minimize travel time: no connections if possible, close to airport, and have free or cheap busing from hotel,  I'm thinking Utah (which area is best there?) but am open to any suggestions. should I look for a travel agent (online ski specialists)? 

Any masters of the cheap trip out there? Spread the wisdom!

P.S. I'll probably be a lone wolf if that makes a difference. 

Alex

post #2 of 24

USE THE SEARCH BUTTON! THIS HAS BEEN DISCUSSED TO DEATH!   UTAH IS THE ANSWER with SKI SALT LAKE SUPER PASS. OR GO TO COLORADO AND GET THE EPIC PASS. JONG

 

 

post #3 of 24

Shoal’s got it in a nutshell; SLC or Denver. Many would say SLC is best choice, but CO can be good deal too, esp if you get a significantly cheaper airfare to DIA over SLC. Here’s one specific scenario for solo trip to Denver, contingent upon bumming a free or shared ride to Summit County on I70 from a friendly stranger at the airport on a busy Sat or Sun, otherwise pay ~$60-80 one way shuttle ride from a service like CME, prepay $429 for Summit Pass good for unlimited skiing at Breck, Keystone and A-Basin, good ski areas that will keep you occupied for two straight weeks. Stay in a cheap motel (~$60-80) like Super8 in Dillon or Quality Inn in Silverthorne or Frisco Lodge in Frisco (can personally vouch for this one), all near I70 about 2 hours from airport. Important to verify that motel choice is close to a bus stop for the free Summit Stage that can take you thru all weather to Breck/Key/A-Basin each day you want to ski. Bring lots of ramen noodlessmile.gif

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the great tips James and Shoal you did offer some great advice. Maybe you could offer some search tips or link some relevant threads Shoal, because I actually did search but haven't found anything that really advised me on flying direct from NY/NYC
Thanks.
Alex
post #5 of 24
You have two weeks. So, what's the big deal about making one connection if you have to? And what's this business with minimizing travel time? Why, with 2 weeks for fun, games, and drunken hijinx, would you have to rule anything out that fits your skiing criteria because it's an extra hour or two of travel time - If I may be so brazen? All that aside, the obvious choice is Utah. Will you rule that out if you had to change planes in Denver?
post #6 of 24

Hi Alhoff, don't pay any mind to the trolls, they think this place is a library, it's not, there are plenty of skiers willing to help you plan your trip. 

 

For a two week trip you would want a good variety of ski areas available from your base. 

The three spots for this would be Tahoe, Colorado or Salt Lake.

The cheapest option is SLC and it just happens to have the best snow and arguably the best terrain, with 8 resorts w/in an hour.

Check the WIki link below, go to Orbitz and stay in Sandy or Midvale, right on the border of SLC, or in SLC itself but that would probably costs a few more dollars. 

The Super 8 has a bus stop across the street, but it might take almost an hour to get to the resort, it's a city bus, not a ski shuttle.  And you could walk to a few restaurants at nt.

http://www.hotels-rates.com/hotels_reservations/property/58184/

A car should cost <$30/day and is well worth it, that way you have total mobility to ski all the resorts.  Otherwise you would likely have to take a cab from the airport to the hotel, 25 minutes.

For Colorado and Tahoe the resorts are >1hr away, and I'm not sure about shuttles to get to other resorts from your hotel.  And if you stay slopeside anywhere, it is going to cost you.

Another Salt Lake option is to find cheap lodging in Park City itself, might be hard for 1 person, but the resorts are all closer and your transportation to the 3 resorts is no hassle.

You can fly direct from NYC to Denver and SLC, but not Tahoe.  You could leave Newark at 7am on Delta and be skiing Utah by 1pm, if you rent a car, and on your last day ski until 2pm and take the 5pm home, direct.

Another way to save money is get the AmExpress credit card, it's free, and get 25K Delta miles just for signing up.  Most of the tickets are more than 25K miles, but if you are flexible, you should be able to find one for 25K miles.  Most of my many trips to SLC I have flown free using Delta miles.   Go to Delta.com and use this link,

http://www.delta.com/awards/home.do?EventId=ENTER_APPLICATION

search for a flight and see if you can find one for 25K around when you want to go, then get the credit card, but i might take almost a month till they are in your account.

You won't find this in the "library"!

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by alhoff View Post

should I look for a travel agent (online ski specialists)? 

 


So you're probably not all that proficient on this internet thingy? ;-)

 

Nobody uses travel agent any more. Not for a lone wolf anyway. Go online to browse air fare to yoru hearts content. orbitz, expedia, travelocity... The best I found is kayak.com

 

To save money, you don't want to rent a car. The only non-car area is Salt Lake City. That also happens to have the lowest motel cost doesn't hurt.

 

Besides flying out of New York city airports, don't forget Newburgh and White Plain. The saving of not having to pay for airport parking for 2 weeks may work out to off set the air fare.
 

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanx a lot that is some great advice snowbird devotee and atnyc. Since renting a car is not really an option right now i think maybe SLC is where i will concentrate my efforts. Now i just have to figure out the best 2 weeks to select. Is it better to wait or book in advance,  like now?

post #9 of 24

Salt Lake may be your best option, but it is possible to do other places without a car also...here we have the Summit Stage which can be convenient depending on where you are staying- I usually take it from Frisco to Breck and Copper- it also goes to Keystone (and A-Basin during the main season), but I find it easier to drive to those places.  From the airport, others have mentioned CME.  For longer trips here, a season pass is usually the way to go.

post #10 of 24

UT vs CO vs Tahoe:

 

Those are the most popular destination for those of us coming from the less snowy part of the country. In my years of skiing them, I found the following (but I might miss somethings):

 

1) CO (Summit county):

 

Pro: - super-inexpensive season pass!

       - relatively short and inexpensive flight from the east coast. Though that advantage is offset by the cost of getting from the airport to the resort.

 

Con: - expensive day ticket for most resorts

        - relatively expensive lodging even off mountain

        - need a car to get from airport to Summit (over $100 by shuttle) Also, the distance means it's nearly impossible to ski on arrival day.

        - high altitude bed base, can be a problem for some

 

2) Salt Lake City:

 

Pro: - Easy to find very inexpensive lodging everywhere (off mountain)

       - Relatively cheap day ticket deals can be found quite easily

       - Car not neccessary (though nice to have). Shuttle bus from SLC to the Cottonwood canyons. (Shuttle bus to Park City is cheap also, no need for car once there but lodging at PC cost more)

       - Resort to airport less than an hour, possible to ski on almost full day on both arrival and departure day

       - Sleep low, ski high. No potential altitude problem.

 

Con: - Slightly longer flight and a bit more expensive air fare

        - For devoted frequent returnee, forget about season pass unless you ski A LOT of days! 

      

 

Tahoe:

It's kind of midway between CO and UT in many regard:

 

- Lodging is more expensive than SLC but less than Summit County.

- Both day ticket and season pass are midway between UT and CO.

- Flight is longer from the east coast. On the other hand, there're plenty of overnight (redeye) flights so no wasted travel days.

- Car is neccessary

- Snow is heavier

- Scenary is fabulous

 

No matter how I do it, they all end up being more or less similar in cost. At least for short trips. For me, traveling out of New York City, SLC works out to be a little less expensive, also more snow time and less travel time. On longer trips, the balance can shift either way depending on whether I can get discounted lift tickets for Summit County. Without discount tickets, CO Summit county loses out to SLC big time due mostly to the relatively high cost of lodging.    

post #11 of 24

Re cars: I've been getting acceptances on some exceptionally low bids on priceline.com that make renting an affordable option.

post #12 of 24
I'm going to be a pain in the ass and insist on an answer to what is the issue about being on a plane for an extra 60 to 90 minutes? I'm morbidly fascinated by the seemingly over the top requirements that some people add to the final equation of seeking out the best ski experience.

I certainly understand the cheapness factor. Hands down, I get it. And I understand the quick flight in/out concept for a long weekend, or maybe even a week. Or anytime that you have to travel with kids or a grandma who wets the bed. But, slap my ass and call me Sally, what are you going to do here, ski 14 days straight without a break and you need to save an hour on either end?

Maybe I'm too old to understand how 112 straight hrs. of skiing isn't enough - No, I must ski 114 hours! Extra hour to SLC=Con!

WHAT?

I have trouble taking posts like this seriously when an extra hour is considered a Con for a guy who can get away to ski for 2 weeks straight! Guess I'm just jealous - that's part of it. I do have a lot of skis in my basement to stare at though = Pro!

If you have a fear of flying, OK, I get it. Understood. Perfectly valid.

I get the logistics, the cost issues, travel to/from resorts & airport, snow & terrain considerations, nightlife, food, men to women ratios. But for the sake of all humanity....why the airtime issue? You're not flying to Japan, or did I miss something? I DEMAND AN ANSWER BY NOON TODAY EASTERN STANDARD TIME, OR MY DEMANDS WILL INCREASE AND HOSTAGES ARE A POSSIBILITY!

(I better add a smiley face in here...biggrin.gif...There, see. I'm sane)




Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post



       - relatively short and inexpensive flight from the east coast.
       - Resort to airport less than an hour, possible to ski on almost full day on both arrival and departure day



- Slightly longer flight and a bit more expensive air fare



        - Flight is longer from the east coast. On the other hand, there're plenty of overnight (redeye) flights so no wasted travel days.

post #13 of 24



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

I'm going to be a pain in the ass and insist on an answer to what is the issue about being on a plane for an extra 60 to 90 minutes? I'm morbidly fascinated by the seemingly over the top requirements that some people add to the final equation of seeking out the best ski experience.I certainly understand the cheapness factor. Hands down, I get it. And I understand the quick flight in/out concept for a long weekend, or maybe even a week. Or anytime that you have to travel with kids or a grandma who wets the bed. But, slap my ass and call me Sally, what are you going to do here, ski 14 days straight without a break and you need to save an hour on either end?Maybe I'm too old to understand how 112 straight hrs. of skiing isn't enough - No, I must ski 114 hours! Extra hour to SLC=Con! WHAT?I have trouble taking posts like this seriously when an extra hour is considered a Con for a guy who can get away to ski for 2 weeks straight! Guess I'm just jealous - that's part of it. I do have a lot of skis in my basement to stare at though = Pro!If you have a fear of flying, OK, I get it. Understood. Perfectly valid.I get the logistics, the cost issues, travel to/from resorts & airport, snow & terrain considerations, nightlife, food, men to women ratios. But for the sake of all humanity....why the airtime issue? You're not flying to Japan, or did I miss something? I DEMAND AN ANSWER BY NOON TODAY EASTERN STANDARD TIME, OR MY DEMANDS WILL INCREASE AND HOSTAGES ARE A POSSIBILITY! (I better add a smiley face in here...biggrin.gif...There, see. I'm sane)
 


You PITA question is best directed to the OP. I was merely providing the data point to his original question.

 

I never had the luxury to do TWO weeks. The best I've managed was a long week. Many of my trips are indeed weekend trips. So I've got to get the timing issue figured out. Being able to ski the first and last day (travel day) is paramont when on trips of less than 5 days! I'm not singly focus on fight time alone. It's the total travel time to the slope that really matters, which you can see rather clearly in my post.

 

As for the OP, I do feel your pain in understanding his priority.
 

post #14 of 24

Another idea - If you don't mind waiting to go west until late spring (when the good local skiing is likely over anyway) you could probably build a very affordable trip around this event in CO: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/95925/the-2011-epicski-gathering and maybe get rides, roommates and other economies of scale from savvy ski trippers.  For a lone wolf it would be a good pack to run with.

post #15 of 24
Very sorry, it was actually meant for the OP, I wasn't paying enough attention and thought that was his summary I was reading/quoting since it seemed to focus on his original issues with flight times. redface.gif

My brain fart aside, I understand your post completely, and agree with the time on slope dynamic. Hence, my bewildered mental constipation at the extra hr. to SLC being a Con for the OP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post



 


You PITA question is best directed to the OP.


Edited by carvemeister - 11/15/10 at 9:17am
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by alhoff View PostThanx a lot that is some great advice snowbird devotee and atnyc. Since renting a car is not really an option right now i think maybe SLC is where i will concentrate my efforts. Now i just have to figure out the best 2 weeks to select. Is it better to wait or book in advance,  like now?

Just curious why you are going for 2 wks?, esp if you have never been out West skiing before.  Why not take 2 five day trips, one in January and one in March?  Another option is to do 5 days in SLC and 5 days in Colo or Tahoe.  You could take a bus from Denver Airport to Summit County and find a hotel that has the shuttle mentioned above, that way to will get a tour of the west, stead of just skiing the 4 resorts available by bus in SLC.

You don't need to worry whatsoever about getting a hotel in SLC early, there are plenty of rooms always, the only thing is you wanted a specific hotel closest to the mtn that has a bus stop.

The Super 8 does, realize it is going to be about an hour ride each way.  It is about 25 minutes by car, more on a snowy day.
 

post #17 of 24

I love the skiing outside of SLC, but if I was stuck in the hotel in the valley for two weeks without a car, I'd go postal. 

 

From NY, I think I'd just go to Europe.

 

http://www.ski-europe.com/

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks again for additional ideas folks. S.D. I have been thinking about the two separate weeks thing you mentioned but something I like about 2 week vacation is that a bit into the second week I forget that I have to go back to the job and can really begin to relax.
I've been to Summit county (lived there) it's great, ditto on Tahoe. but Ah ain't never been to Utah and now I think I'm gonna do it especially because it's an easy in/ out from NY/NYC and especially cause Snowbird & Alta look awesome and 3specialy cause SLC seems cheap(ish) though it's no Poughkeepsie!
On a side note, if I read powder mag correctly bridger bowl is real close to Bozeman which seems like a HAPPENIN town, or is skiing carless not so good there?
post #19 of 24

Good summary at_NY!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by alhoff View Post

On a side note, if I read powder mag correctly bridger bowl is real close to Bozeman which seems like a HAPPENIN town, or is skiing carless not so good there?


I thought the MT guys were trying to keep that a secret.

post #20 of 24
IMO, Bridger is not big enough or easy enough to do without a car to be stuck there two weeks. Big Sky/Moonlight is definitely large enough for two weeks, but not so convenient to Bozeman.

For two weeks, I'd pick the SLC area. You can stay one week in Park City and use the bus system to get to three different ski areas easily, then take a hired car to Alta/Snowbird or one of the other canyon areas for your second week.
Edited by sibhusky - 11/15/10 at 4:53pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

IMO, Bridger is not big enough or easy enough to do without a car to be stuck there two weeks. Big Sky/Moonlight is definitely large enough for two weeks, but not so convenient to Bozeman.

For two weeks, I'd pick the SLC area. You can stay one week in Park City and use the bus system to get to four different ski areas easily, then take a hired car to Alta/Snowbird or one of the other canyon areas for your second week.


PC, DV, Canyons...what's the 4th?

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

IMO, Bridger is not big enough or easy enough to do without a car to be stuck there two weeks. Big Sky/Moonlight is definitely large enough for two weeks, but not so convenient to Bozeman.

For two weeks, I'd pick the SLC area. You can stay one week in Park City and use the bus system to get to four different ski areas easily, then take a hired car to Alta/Snowbird or one of the other canyon areas for your second week.


PC, DV, Canyons...what's the 4th?


I can't count.
post #23 of 24

Two weeks in Utah, this sounds like a dream challenge to me.

 

I'd spend a couple of days in different locations.

 

Something like 5 days in LCC, 5 days in PC, 4 days in SLC (Solitude,Snowbasin,Powder, Interconnect Tour)

 

Just my $.02

post #24 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

For two weeks, I'd pick the SLC area. You can stay one week in Park City and use the bus system to get to three different ski areas easily, then take a hired car to Alta/Snowbird or one of the other canyon areas for your second week.

 

That's actually a pretty good game plan, provided the OP can find decent-priced lodging at PC. Only one shuttle ride out to PC and the stay can be done without car quite easily.

 

If the OP is going out to PC on arrival, don't forget to take advantage of the Deer Valley "Quick Start" deal to ski it for cheap (or free?) the first day.

 

I usually do Alta on departure day. Slide down to the parking lot and jump onto the car/bus. (in Snowbird, you have to negociate through the plaza area in ski boot or waste time changing...) Start stuffing stuff into my bags while enroute down the canyon. I only change after I checked in at the airport!

 

Although the last time I went for a week long trip there, I rented a car for a couple days at the end of the week (weekend rate). The car allows me to sample area outside from SLC, and also allows an extra 1/2 hr skiing on departure days by not having to wait for the bus.

 

Much of my trips were extended weekend type. I rent a car (usually the cheaper weekend rate too) for those trips to maximize snow time
 

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