This is what I came up with for a ski vacation. For me the planning is part of the enjoyment of the trip. I must vacation President's Day Week which means I must plan well in advance to save. Came up with choices A, B and C. All start off the same and end the same as I already have my plane ticket with travel insurance.
Leave Portland at 5:55pm with change in Atlanta and arrive in SLC at 11:57pm. Spend 2 nights at Motel6 in Midvale, Ut. Ski at Snowbasin and The Canyons-free tickets mentioned in ski deals thread I posted. From here the choices diverge:
For the snow, the terrain, the hot springs, and the chill towns, South Colorado is my first choice for a ski destination. The drive is about 7 hours, but I like to drive so I will just quit early on my second day in Utah. The Rico Hotel http://www.ricohotel.com/index.html
and the Orvis Hot Spring lodging http://www.orvishotsprings.com/
look nice and are fairly priced. The Rico Hotel has offered Telluride tickets at up to 40% off in past years. Ticket offers for the hotel will be known in the Fall. Actually seems like a nice jester by Telluride to help business in some of the surrounding towns during the low season of winter. Rico is 45 minutes to Telluride and it looks real pretty. http://tellurideskiresort.com/TellSki/index.aspx
Then it would be down to Silverton, http://www.silvertonmountain.com/page/home
for a Thursday Reservation-get them early as they are prime with the mountain resting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Several Guide services in the area. Mountain Goat has been recommended to me by several people, http://www.mountaingoatskiguides.com...-903-7892.html
The San Juan Mountains have a reputation for having a very skittish snowpack, but also a wonderfully light one. Hotel cancellation is 30 days out. I will need to feel pretty good about the base snowpack and the for cast to go this way due to the cost and driving distance.
This is a great choice too and if the snow year is drifting up North, then that will be fine. Leave Salt Lake and drive to Idaho Falls where there is a 24 hour gas station that members of the Idaho Falls Ski Club can buy discount tickets http://www.ifskiclub.com/
Cost to join is $25 and last year tickets to Grand Targhee cost $52 and Jackson Hole cost $62. You are either limited to 3 tickets per mountain or 3 total per member. Not sure on the reliability of tickets at the gas station-2 other places that close at 6pm also sell them. I have sent an e-mail asking these questions and I will update this when I know more. Google Maps lists Idaho Falls as an alternate drive from SLC to Jackson adding 20 minutes on for a total of over 5 hours. 3 hours and 40 minutes is the round trip from Jackson to Idaho Falls, so buy on your way in. Winter driving could greatly add to these times.
Real good deal on lodging can be had at the Motel6 http://www.motel6.com/reservations/m....aspx?num=0328
which I have reserved at a weekly rate of $220 before taxes. This is for a room that has: 2 FULL BEDS NS, MICRO-FRIDGE, WIFI and a flat screen tv. Cancellation is 1 week prior or loose first night charges. Now mind you this is the cost for Presidents Day week Saturday to Saturday. I got this rate by calling Motel6 and making sure I booked it for at least 7 nights, thereby receiving the weekly rate. Location is descent in Jackson and it looks good in the photos for basic lodging. I would ski Jackson Hole http://www.jacksonhole.com/
Grand Targhee http://www.grandtarghee.com/and
the Backcountry http://www.tetonat.com/
Stay in Salt Lake City at Motel 6. Same room features as Jackson, same price. This would be the typical SLC thing, although I would look into BC which I did not do when I was there 7 years ago.
Flight out of SLC is at 12:50 am so that saves both on a day with the rental car and lodging while allowing a full day of skiing. Breakfast in Atlanta on the way back arriving in Portland at 11:50 am.
Because I enjoy driving in the west I can have three choices which give me the best chance for finding good snow. About 2 months out for Silverton reservations for Thursday-could always hope for a cancellation. 1 month out is the escape date for Rico Hotel. 3 weeks out is mailing date for Idaho Falls Ski Club.
Last year I went on this trip to Lake Tahoe. I did find that Southwest had gone up on their prices and so I flew United out of Boston and I ended up staying with a friend and not in the cabin in Markleeville. http://timefortuckerman.com/forums/s...t=markleeville