USA 2016 - 2017 Trip Plans/Thoughts/Reviews

Discussion in 'United States' started by absentskier, Apr 28, 2016.

  1.  
    PG2736

    PG2736 Active Member

    Thanks all, my wife doesn't ski every day and hence likes to have a bit of a village that she can walk around (and spend money!)...hence why we aim for the bigger resorts...as opposed to some of the smaller Canadian resorts.
    The premium for an equivalent resort at Vail to whistler (i.e. The Westin , pan pacific etc excluding currency) is nearly double...and even that is for a smaller room. We have been spoiled by some good deals at whistler and we usually try and spend a couple of weeks there so is a bit hard to justify...if we want to have a similar standard accom and time at Vail. Steamboat could be an option.
     
  2.  
    Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Jackson, Snowmass and Telluride all have a real town attached or a short bus ride away. Jackson has other things like trips into Yellowstone.
     
  3.  
    Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Jackson is awesome for kids, there is more than enough terrain to keep them busy and the ski school is amazing. I would never rule it out because you think it is to advanced. They are very well set up for families and I wouldn't hesitate to send someone there with little ones. Also there are many ways down through the hard stuff that any intermediate can do, just have to pick your lines and know the area a bit. I wouldn't hesitate to ski every lift with my whipper snappers now :D
     
  4.  
    Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

    Excellent. Someone has essentially asked exactly the same question I had. Kids even about the same age (will be 7 and 9 and hopefully both using poles by then).

    Looking at our current plans it seems skiing will be the first part of Jan (10 days or so), and also keen to do some other things in that time, but wanting to get an idea which areas tend to have more reliable snow (saw someone say maybe not Park City resorts???).

    My wife is an advanced skier who only skis some days as doesn't have the legs for it.
     
  5.  
    absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Any of the above suggestions - Aspen, Jackson, Telluride, Steamboat, Big Sky - plus heaps more like Whitefish, Park City (normally good cover by January), Tahoe resorts, Mammoth, the list goes on.
     
  6.  
    Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

    Ha ha. Good to know!

    That's the problem. I'm finding the list overwhelming! First trip to US (for skiing). Been to Whistler before.

    I'm finding the Epic / MC to be an added complication. eg we want accommodation as close to mountain as possible (ski in ski out would be great but $$$$$), and it seems that most resorts would then throw in lift passes. Ski school can obviously be $$$$'s too so trying to juggle all of that and meet the needs of a decent village / other things to do near by becomes a brain explosion when it is so many potential resorts. Kind of fun though. ;)
     
  7.  
    Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

    For what it is worth we normally get a Thredbo Season pass, so a lot of options on there good.
     
  8.  
    McNads

    McNads Dedicated Member

    I'm a diehard advocate for Telluride. Absolutely love the place, awesome for families, caters to all skier abilitites.
    Cons (for you) to consider are that it is somewhat remote by US standards (this is a pro for me as it means no crowds) and it doesn't normally get as much snow as other areas that early in the season (Telluride snow depth peak typically occurs mid-March). A poor start to the season snowfall wise would be my only concern for your dates.
     
  9.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    Hi PG2736 and Funky
    We travel with our now 7 year old and have been to a few of the resorts you are considering. We are very spoilt and have a long wish list for choosing resorts. The highlights are we like on snow apartment accommodation, close airport, a nice resort village, a town closeby for those afternoons off and grocery shopping (preferrably with a free bus connection) and a resort which will have more than enough to occupy all boarders/skiiers for the entire trip - we prefer to stay in one or two resorts and get to know them well.

    Jackson - awesome. Great facilities, nice village with access to town by regular paid bus service. Lots of things to do like dog sledding and the elk refuge. A Mountain you could stay at forever and never get bored. Fantastic kids snow school and terrain to satisfy everyone and the Adult Camps are something everyone should do at least once - your skiing/boarding will improve exponentially. Downsides - seriously expensive! The cheaper accommodation in the village we used to use has been knocked down for more expensive apartments. Lift passes are expensive and so is snow school (but it is excellent). The less expensive village apartment accommodation is really a bus ride to the village. The "extreme" attitude and frantic powder day craziness can be off putting, annoying and intimidating.

    Steamboat - family fun. Nice village but get ready to walk up or down - not flat. Great bus service to town and around the village. Good variety of restaurants in the village. Nice town with all the services you would expect. Lots of fun activities in town - particularly for little tackers. Strawberry park hot baths are a great side trip. Steamboat powder cats are sensational but will ruin you for riding in bounds. Downsides - seriously expensive snow school which was a bit average. Village is very spread out and more car orientated than most. We found the resort to be fun but not amazing (we may have been spoilt by the cat skiing) and if purely based on inbounds terrain we wouldnt head back.

    Telluride - have not been there but it is on the list. Accommodation being on the expensive side means we have not got there yet.

    Aspen/Snowmass - Great people watching town. Surprisingly we did not find it expensive (except snow school at Snowmass - take out a second mortgage). Heaps of restaurants, galleries and shopping and lots of things to do. Downsides - snow school had more of a child minding attitude, yes, we will look after your child while you have a fun day rather than let us teach your child to board/ski. None of the 4 resorts will keep everyone busy for more than a few days - you will be taking the bus to different resorts each day. Taxis around town are expensive - no free bus to the supermarket etc.

    Others to consider: Copper, Mammoth, Breckenridge and many more.

    Our Pick - Whitefish Resort Montana. Small village with extremely well priced ski in/out (or close) accommodation. Large uncrowded resort with great terrain and very economical lift prices and snow school prices. Amazing snow school which really focuses on getting kids up and going and riding with their family - can not rave about them enough - the only one close would be Jackson which was twice the price. Free bus around the resort and Free bus down the mountain to the town of Whitefish. Glacier National park to explore, town of Whitefish is great fun. Down to earth, relaxed resort.
    Downsides - village shopping and restaurants are limited and the convenience store in the village does not have a lot of options. No nightlife in the village - nothing like Whistler or Aspen - one pub and a couple of restaurants and shops. Kind of isolated - flights in and out not as frequent as the more popular resorts (you fly in to Kalispell)
    Pro or con depending on your output - after a couple of days you will be recognised regulars - particularly your kids. The bus drivers, ski school organisers and coffee shop attendants will call you by name, know your favourites and in our case divert the bus to drop you at your door as Mr 5 looks a bit tired.
     
    :thumbs: Funky and absentskier like this.
  10.  
    Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

    Silva, thanks for the long and considered post. Kind of the post I was looking for! Everything has it's pluses and minuses... which is fine, but when the list is long... I get headaches.

    I'll check out Whitefish. Getting there may well be an issue, given where our side trip is to afterwards.

    It looks like Jackson may be another option too if we can get good prices.
     
  11.  
    absentskier

    absentskier Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Where is your side trip?
     
  12.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    You can fly into Kalispell from Denver, Salt lake city and Seattle several times a day. There is also direct flights from San Fran through winter. The airport is about 25mins from the resort.
    We have booked airfares - got a good deal so booked early - flying Virgin and Delta - just under $6K for 2A1C depart Jan 6 and return Jan 25. If you do decide to go there start checking the resort website as they have some good deals - up to 40% off accom and lift passes which come up every now and again. The central reservations is very good to deal with.

    Jackson is a great holiday - if you can get accommodation and lift passes at a good price its a great place. You can often get ski 14 pay 10 and kids ski free deals if you book accom through Australian agents. We asked for the same deal from Central Reservations and they equalled it as long as we paid before leaving Australia.
     
  13.  
    Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

    Orlando for Disney and to visit relatives... Skiing will be first.

    We may break up the trip on the way there and back too (maybe Hawaii), once we get an idea of things.
     
  14.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    From all the resorts I mentioned I think there would be 2 flights to get to Orlando - the hub city would depend on which airline you flew with ie: from Jackson, Aspen, Steamboat and Whitefish flying United you would fly through Denver or Salt Lake City.
     
  15.  
    Funky

    Funky Dedicated Member

    Yes it looks that way, which is a bit meh... but it will depend on connection times I guess. The flight times are fairly long from the hub, so will likely lose the day anyway, but it may cause me to go somewhere else once I work everything out.
     
  16.  
    PG2736

    PG2736 Active Member

    Silva, thank you very much. This is really helpful. For this trip I think we are getting close on Snowmass but still could change!
     
  17.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    You will have a great time at Snowmass. If you are planning to use ski school both your children are over 7 so it is much more affordable ($229 for 2-6 year olds, $134 once they are 7). Make sure you use the free bus service to explore the other mountains - they are well worth it. On a clear day the hike to the top of the bowl at Aspen Highlands is worth it. A few evenings exploring the town of Aspen are also well worth the effort. Lots of shops, galleries and people watching. The VIK program at Snowmass (Very Important Kid) is worth a look - lots of great free activities for kids, check it out here: http://viksnowmass.com/ the Wildside with ACES and ALL Access Snowmass are particularly good.
     
  18.  
    PG2736

    PG2736 Active Member

    Update - we have booked vail! Managed to get a good rate staying at the Manor Vail Lodge hotel.
     
  19.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    Vail will be awesome. Have a fantastic time