USA Trip 2012/13

Discussion in 'United States' started by absentskier, Jan 15, 2012.

  1.  
    CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com Moderator Commercial Member

    I'd ski Aspen every time over the I-70 corridor.

    It does get less snow but I rate it higher in every other metric.
  2.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Lower cost? he was asking for a low cost option IIRC - he had a limited budget!
  3.  
    absentskier

    absentskier Addicted Member

    LT cost is a limiting factor and for this reason Aspen does remain a long shot.

    In case anyone is interested, I have calculated the cost of season passes for our family, 15 lessons for our two older kids (half day if available), and 15 days child care (again half day where available)for our little one at various resorts. The cost difference, as you can see, between resorts is huge. I am not saying that my kids are going have 15 lessons each, but it does help to understand how much it would cost if they did. Obviously this does not purport to deal with the other major costs, being accommodation and transfers.

    Whitefish = US$4495
    Schweitzer = US$5076
    Heavenly = US$5737
    Whistler = C$6293
    Keystone = US$6662
    Copper = $7458
    Breckenridge = $7832
    Canyons = $8381
    Aspen / Snowmass = $8549
    Steamboat = $8913

    The odd one out in terms of value is Whistler. This is because it has a great C$1080 15 (all day) lesson package for kids. I wish more US resorts did this.
  4.  
    Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Did you use "early bird" season pass prices in your calculations ? Often there is a HUGE difference in the price between early bird passes and passes purchased later in the season.

    Also regarding childcare, if you have more than one child it is cheaper(and easier) to get a nanny to come to your condo and look after the kids.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  5.  
    absentskier

    absentskier Addicted Member

    Yep, earliest bird prices above! And I agree about the nanny / sitter. I still found the above exercise interesting though. Lots of quirks, such as Breckenridge's lessons being significantly more expensive than its co-owned neighbour, Keystone. And Steamboat $$$. Now of course throwing accommodation into the mix is the next step, and that requires emailing owners on VRBO.
  6.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Aspen spring deal probably as good as it gets imo
    Kids eat , ski, rent free with paying adult if using resort accom
    can do it cheaper with accom further away , but ski in ski out you can go back for lunch instead of eating out .
  7.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    If your ever going to take family to Aspen i meant , thats me soon [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  8.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Sure will LT, I've just been too below par with the virus which kicked in two weeks ago the day I arrived home to do much, back at work this week but still feeling crook. Worst bronchitis in decades. Our perspective from a number of trips to Sun Peaks and some other resort style ski-in/out places, most recently Big Sky, is that if that if that aspect is a priority then a resort makes the most sense, why Breckenridge. It is kind of like beaches in Sydney via a vis on the Barrier Reef - just as good beaches but an urban area all around. It is this aspect which we are looking at for some trips now, i.e. so we can take in a movie, go to town, having a car so as to be mobile in terms of the different Epic pass resorts (incl Keystone, which I really liked) etc, catching up with different folks and so on. In that frame of mind locking onto resort kind of accommodation to the exclusion of alternatives which align with the other objectives of being in Summit County kind of defeats half the purpose of going there, for us anyway. I took a few pics of the base area LT speaks of and will put them up. Staying in a condo in Frisco is probably what we shall do next January, 10 mins from the car park with everything we might need on the slopes in the car just two minutes from the lifts. Sure Summit County does get busy on fine weekends but even so it is nothing like Oz or NZ and being there for a while you just go easy on the weekends and do something else.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  9.  
    tbnext

    tbnext Dedicated Member

    We are heading to telluride for jan/ feb after a week in NYC then a week to drive to telluride. Looking for any suggestions on the week between. I'm thinking Boston 2 days and Washington 3 days then somewhere on the way. Any suggestions?
  10.  
    tbnext

    tbnext Dedicated Member

    Sorry to hijack, I just looked at the rest of this thread. I thought it was a more general one.
  11.  
    Snowfi

    Snowfi Active Member

    We took the kids (8 & 6) to Big White and Breck in Jan just gone. At Breck, we stayed at the base of Peak 9 at Beaver Run in one of their two bed (no stairs) rooms for two weeks. It wasn't the cheapest or the most expensive but once you look at closeness to everything and a free shuttle (which other parents of young kids were using without the need for babyseats/booster etc). Its an older apartment complex and we made the acquantance of a number of maintenance workers but everything was clean and problems (hairdryer blowing up, hotplate not working, door falling off hinges etc) sorted quickly and without fuss. The shuttle works well, and many of the resorts have them. You get a cheap phone from Walmart in Frisco and then call whenever you are ready for it to pick you up. The other free buses around the place (to frisco and keystone) are fine, but the keystone one was crowded. The Beaver Run resort is next to the ski school but we didn't use it. Many people have already spoken of the benefits of Breck but I will add the runs off Peak 9 are not the same grading in Aust. The greens are flats, the blues are greens and the blacks are blues (except for one to the far left as not enough snow and one to the far right running down to the Peak 8 connector mid-station). Everything is lovely and wide open. Note however they have a shocking policy of grooming new snow on Peak 9 up till 10am. For you, Peak 10 and the side of Peak 8 are close by! After 18 days in Big White, the girls were wizzing down the black runs and doing the Nastar (6 yo got a gold and put my sliver to shame). We also took a paid transfer to Vail for the day. Will we go back? Probably not, it was great but we will continue go to Big White (where we have free accomodation and the ski school is amazing) for 2014 and 2016 while the kids are still able to go to ski school. Then, we liked Vail and will likely return there at some point. My parents, on the otherhand, are looking at returning to Breck for the third year in a row next year.
  12.  
    getmart

    getmart New Member

    we found some cheap flights to LA in late December via Auckland booked but didn't pay for them before Qantas cancelled all the Auckland to LA flights & now looking at around $500 more minimum.

    We even looked at going via Hawaii but now that Air Australia has gone, that's no longer a cheap option.

    We have to be back by about Australia Day as 4 teachers in our group & we wanted to go for around 3 1/2 weeks. Only cheap flights we can find now are via China for $1650, which seems an awfully long way to get to USA.

    Anyone have any suggestions.
  13.  
    Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Part of the Furniture

    Dig a bit deeper and you will get there with less pain. Is it really worth spending an extra 12+ hours for a 13 hour flight just to save a couple of hundred dollars?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  14.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    This^^^

    I skimped on flights once & its slow & painfull. I pay more for flights & shave the accom , makes for better holiday imo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  15.  
    skiflat

    skiflat New Member

    You really need a GOOD DEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  16.  
    smitty484

    smitty484 Part of the Furniture

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  17.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    I only just got it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  18.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Seeing as we have to start looking at dates for next year I've been looking at what the airline web sites are coming up with in Economy to get a feel for when it might be for me anyway, using SYD-DEN-SYD. Cheapest on Qantas is $3532 departing Jan16th and $2857 departing 17th. United (shudder) prices are practically the same, and again with the 17th being when shoulder starts.
  19.  
    McNads

    McNads Dedicated Member

    Re. best airline deals:
    - I've always gone through an agent and got the best prices that way by a country mile, having compared the online price v. the agent price for the same flight at the same time (maybe I just have a good agent?)
    - If you're prepared to go via Asia to save $$ then take a good look at Korean Air, I totally rate them. Agent will definitely get far cheaper price then online deals with Korean.
    - Qantas won't do their sales for next winter until late this year (if this last season is anything to go by). I could have got BNE - LAX - SLC return for $1,550 this year. I imagine that the Carbon Tax will add to Qantas prices, but by how much I have no idea.
  20.  
    mx_boarder

    mx_boarder Part of the Furniture

    Qantas dropped to $1199 MEL-LAX very late last year from memory, a few weeks after I paid $1380 of course [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  21.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Last year I remember Q to Denver via DFW was $3100 shoulder as a 'sale' price to celebrate, cough-cough, opening that route. That was in August or something like that, and it ended up in later sales being about $2100, lower than UA (whose price didnt change at all).
  22.  
    mx_boarder

    mx_boarder Part of the Furniture

    Yes $1380 was 'sale' and it dropped further a few weeks later, whaddaya gunna do.
  23.  
    McNads

    McNads Dedicated Member

    $1,380 is still a great fare no matter how you look at it ;-)

    If you look at Qantas' season graphs, there is a huge variability between prices for different times of the year and the lowest is from sometime during January through to end of March from memory. Of course, if you buy now for next winter they will SMASH you, they're not worried about filling planes that far out.

    I'm going to the states next year (yay, first time) and I won't be booking flights until the end of this year. If Qantas don't come through with the sale fares (highly unlikely IMO) then I'll just go Korean or Virgin or Air NZ.
  24.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    I just paid deposits on two Epic Locals season passes for 2012/13: $49 each with the balance in mid September - probably rules out going to Japan with the local ski store guy.
  25.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  26.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Bit the bullet LT. It seems to be the same kind of deal as Perisher's Freedom season pass - pay deposit at the end of the season just finishing and then the balance in the autumn.
  27.  
    vet

    vet Dedicated Member

    I renewed my Squaw/Alpine pass and I also paid the $49 down on the Heavenly+Nstar+ Kirkwood pass. My current thinking is to take a month in mid March to mid April 2013. If more work means an earlier extra trip is needed, I've got offers to stay in palaces gratis in Bel Air and near Truckee. That's right cheaper than B2S can get. Woohoo! I'm now a fair dinkum Free Skier. How Bonzer is that!
  28.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    I was going to wait to see how next Nth winter shaped up but with MrsH already needing to nominate dates I jumped in with the early Monday afternoon (Oz time) the deadline for the Epic 'Freedom' pass looming.
  29.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Yes Fastman just did the same.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  30.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Look at it this way - next season cannot possibly be as bad as this season! [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  31.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    ^^^
    I can't believe how lucky we were, it must be the 888 number plate we have.
  32.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Sholuld be double checked but I think what the cutoff of 15th April 2012, the 100th year to the day since the Tiranic went down, is the number of day 'buddy' discounts which attach to the pass. After the 15th that will be less. That will still be of benefit to us.
  33.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    MrsH is keen, she is already booking her seat for January, at least for the outbound flights, mainly because her sister, the WWW, is going with her and coordinating the Perth-SYD connection with the SYD-DFW sector is already becoming an issue.
  34.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Don't throw water on her sister then [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  35.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    She booked a Jan 17th departure as that is the first day in 'shoulder', and that does tend to book out earlier. I think I may overlap with the WWW but have to ensure MissH doesn't, as long as they are apart the WWW is OK. We have to wait and see how MissH's university entrance hopes for next year clarify before I or both of us make our reservations.
  36.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Ok so we will see you in late January? and hopefully Miss H as well
  37.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Yep, and I hope so LT
  38.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Im backing up for another US trip , probably january at this stage & Tahoe on radar, weather permitting. Shall book just to LA again & see what unfolds. Gotta get better conditions / options next season surely.
  39.  
    Haka_Tours

    Haka_Tours New Member

    Just a note, if I were you, I would do Disneyland at the end of the trip for the kiddos. It will likely be their favourite portion of the trip (not that skiing/snowboarding isn't great, but Disneyland is MADE for children!). Better to save that to last when they will be feeling down on going home; in the beginning they'll be excited already just going to America! Alternatively, since you're flying in and out LA (right?) you could always split your time in Disneyland up; maybe a little at the start, a little at the end. Just a note though, Disneyland is very far away from LAX. It is located in Anaheim, and that is a town/city outside of LA (though there are busses that go directly there).
  40.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    Cheers haka,
    We've just done Universal at the end of last trip , as thats what the kids wanted . The are boys 11 & 13. I asked about Disney & they were'nt fussed, maybe a few years ago yes.
    And they luv staying on snow & skiing as much as other attractions, which is great for us, so we are lucky there.
  41.  
    absentskier

    absentskier Addicted Member

    Been a while since I posted in my own thread!

    Southwest fly from Orange County (John Wayne Airport) to Denver, which is great for Disneyland.

    We still haven't decided between Steamboat (in many ways our preference) and Breckenridge. Given that about 60% of our time there is either peak holiday period or weekends, from all reports Steamboat is less crowded. Much lower risk of altitude sickness too (which the +1 has little appetite for!), although obviously this is not the determining factor. This is not the sort of trip where we will be zipping off to the neighbouring resorts on a regular basis either, so that 'plus' of Breckenridge is somewhat negated. Both have lots to do and I'm sure would be great. We have friends who will be in Steamboat for a week or so too, so that is a factor.

    Decisions, decisions...
  42.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Steamboat this time, Breckenridge next time absentskier. MrsH did her flights for next Jan today so as to be sure she is on the same flight as the WWW, the 1st day of shoulder (Thu 17th), returning home the Sat a bit over two weeks later. Myself I'm waiting for the ski club to post its western trip schedule for next winter, which they normally do in May, to see if I can work that in to pick dates, and am watching for Business specials.
  43.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    We were considereing Steamboat too if Tahoe has a late start like this year . My youngest struggled with altitude sickness for days @ Snowbird , puts a downer on a trip when someones crook, & we all drank plenty water etc etc, he was sweet eventually when he took some pills. So if we do Colorado , we'll pass on Aspen & Breck until he can deal with it better.
  44.  
    mjmmjm

    mjmmjm New Member

    Thought I would say something seeing how the US has recieved a bit of a bad wrap on here lately. Despite being in Tahoe for almost a month between jan and feb where we had very little snowfall I would love to go back there again next year. I had more fun on my US trip in 2012 than I did on my Japan trips in 2010 and 2011 (though we are likely headed back to Japan in 2013). So much fun to be had over in the states.
  45.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    I dont know if its a bad wrap mj. Ya gunna get a poor season from time to time. Im backing up & from the sounds of it skidown, snorks & co may do the same.
    Japan will always be there & I agree with you. So much to do there besides ski. Good times [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  46.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Fingers crossed for a decent winter next season. Just booked a 2BR condo in Breckenridge for 16 nights from Jan17th to cover the time MrsH is there.
  47.  
    vet

    vet Dedicated Member

    I'm crossing everything
  48.  
    tbnext

    tbnext Dedicated Member

    Anyone have any good airfares. My plan is into new York late dec and leave telluride late feb and am gobsmacked by my potential cattle class fare
  49.  
    Skiing Makes Me Board

    Skiing Makes Me Board Active Member

    Have also looked at flying into NY at about Christmas.
    Have come up with a few "reasonable" options.
    JAL Syd-Tokyo, Tokyo-JFK is probably looking like one of the best at the moment.
    Might even stop for a few days on the way home...
  50.  
    Hacski

    Hacski Dedicated Member

    Every so often I compare'm: Qantas v United. From SYD-DEN return on the dates I will probably do Qantas is $2792 with one stop (DFW) whereas same dates on United with one stop (LAX, which is ok for them - same terminal) is $3068. I have a 20% discount voucher to compensate for last Feb's debacle which brings it down to $2623 but add on the 2nd bag check-in fee of $70 eac way takes it up to $2763, just $29 short of Qantas and that is with the 20% discount!!!! The Continental merger must mean they are upping their prices. No contest between the two: Qantas.

    On the other hand in Business it switches: Qntas is $10387 (via DFW) whereas UA via LAX is $8800 or $7208 with the discount, and Qantas in PE is $5361. UA Business isn't bad but their seats are 2-4-2 on the 747(downstairs), same as PE on Qantas. So if I feel like a splurge it will probably be PE on Qantas rather than Business on UA.