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Ski the East...or not?

abc

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Count me in the camp of people who believe that flying is a bigger burden than driving.
...
I live three hours (with no traffic) from an airport with a direct flight to SLC.
Well, I think the cause of your burden is quite clear. There's a direct correlation between the above two line.

I live less than an hour from 3 airport that have many flights. So any given time, I can almost always find direct flights to just about anywhere. (Doesn't mean it's cheap, that takes advance purchase). The equation for me is VERY different than for many others.
 

deadheadskier

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While I know there are additional costs associated with wear and tear on a vehicle, I just got back to Logan. Parking from Friday morning until today was $158. I can fill my Alltrack up five times for that amount and complete two round trips to Wildcat per fill up. So, ten trips. Mind you I also have a 120 mile round trip commute plus tolls on top of the Logan parking expense.

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Smellytele

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So it comes down to everyone's situation is different. Some people live in Gotham and can get on a plane easier and cheaper to get out west. Others live closer to the great outdoors and can drive cheaper and easier to the eastern mtns. Every one has to sacrifice something in life to get something else.
 

abc

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Back to the initial post of this thread. OP is on Loooong Island! His friends "live nearby", which is again LI. That's a looooong way to the mountains! Along their path drive to the mountains, they would have to pass (no, make that "fight their way through crazy traffic") by one or even two major airport with tons of direct flights to the west.

I can see why many of them no longer ski the east.

I, on the other hand, choose to move away from Long Island for that very reason. Too far from the mountains. Not just for skiing but also for mountain biking.

From my house in Westchester, I can still (kind of, sort of) get to the mountains at a reasonable effort (cost+time). So I get to ski the east for about 30% of my days. Though reality being, the more I ski the west, the less I ski the east.

(those days used to be 50/50 east-west. But I've increased my days quite a bit lately. And all the increase are out west! Basically, my eastern days are holding steady but as my western days goes up, the percentage is tilting strongly west :) )
 

AdironRider

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While I know there are additional costs associated with wear and tear on a vehicle, I just got back to Logan. Parking from Friday morning until today was $158. I can fill my Alltrack up five times for that amount and complete two round trips to Wildcat per fill up. So, ten trips. Mind you I also have a 120 mile round trip commute plus tolls on top of the Logan parking expense.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

The IRS isn't in the habit of giving more writeoffs than they have to. The 55 cents a mile give or take is pretty accurate (I've done the accounting for a fleet of 100+ vehicles). And that was in an area where rust wasn't an issue.

I'd be on the downeaster if I was you. You are 10 minutes away from the Exeter station. Easy transfers to Logan from North Station, I usually get to the airport quicker than a cab via T on the blue line.
 

deadheadskier

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The IRS isn't in the habit of giving more writeoffs than they have to. The 55 cents a mile give or take is pretty accurate (I've done the accounting for a fleet of 100+ vehicles). And that was in an area where rust wasn't an issue.

I'd be on the downeaster if I was you. You are 10 minutes away from the Exeter station. Easy transfers to Logan from North Station, I usually get to the airport quicker than a cab via T on the blue line.
I've considered it, but it really depends on the flight. The earliest DE train arrives in North Station at 7:50AM. So, factoring in 45 minutes to be safe to get to Logan plus security lines etc, about the earliest flight you can catch using the DE is 10AM. The return options are also tough to work with.

Ultimately I try and use Manchester or Portsmouth 90% of the time, but this particular trip forced me into Logan.

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Siliconebobsquarepants

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With flying there's other things to go wrong. I took a group trip to Banff years ago the flights were uneventful but one of the others in the group got his ski bag and noticed some dirt on the outside , unzipped to find both pairs of skiis with the tips completely broken off!!

We take a bus to from Calagary , me trying to be helpful unload my ski bag and was about to place it in the outside storage area . Bus driver spots me and goes berserk ....Starts yelling at me and grabs my bag and says wrong hotel . I protested many times but to no avail guy throws my skis back in the bus storage .....WTF . Unload luggage and bus drivers gone !@###$. I went in to the Hotel manager and explained what had just happened . They said "Would look into it " two days later I get my skis back without may bag. Hotel paid for rentals ......Damn :angry:
 

Edd

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I've considered it, but it really depends on the flight. The earliest DE train arrives in North Station at 7:50AM. So, factoring in 45 minutes to be safe to get to Logan plus security lines etc, about the earliest flight you can catch using the DE is 10AM. The return options are also tough to work with.

Ultimately I try and use Manchester or Portsmouth 90% of the time, but this particular trip forced me into Logan.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

For ski flights from our area the fastest way is to just drive straight to Logan unfortunately. Manchester has no direct flights that I’m aware of to anyplace that matters. Taking the bus from Portsmouth saves $ on parking, but the equation changes fast as you add people.
 

Skrn

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Flying is definitely more complicated logistically and expensive. But there are things you can do to make flying cheaper and less stressful.

1. While airfare adds additional cost, I found ski resort hotels in the west are a lot cheaper than the east. For example, it costs me $90 a night to book a suite (for family of 4) at the mouth of cottonwood canyon during Christmas. This would be easily $250+ in east resorts. There are more options to have cheap and high quality meals too.

2. For some destinations like SLC and DEN, airfare can be low when most airlines first publish the fares 11 months out, it can also drop 1-2 months out if they don't sell and you can flexibility. JetBlue publish airfares 6 months out. That is also a good point to buy as the price can be low. If you watch early, pretty easy to score fares that are under $250 to SLC and under $300 to DEN. Destinations like Aspen, Steamboat, Jackson tends to higher.

3. Cost wise, if we are talking about skiing an week during high season (Christmas/new year, MLK, Feb vacation week), I will be able to save more money from hotel and meals in SLC or DEN that more than offsetting the cost of airfare. And you have less crowds and better snow.

4. There are certain credit cards covering baggage delay/loss/damage. If you use those cards to pay for airfare, you don't need to worry about checked skis too much. Because if they don't arrive on time you can demo skis with costs reimbursed by credit card company.

5. Normally the same credit cards cover trip delay/cancellation, I just came back from a steamboat trip when return flight was cancelled and rebooked to next day. I ended skiing one more day with hotel/meal/taxi costs reimbursed.

6. Specifically, flying to SLC has minimum risk in weather delay, because it rarely snow in the valley. Delta and JetBlue are relatively efficient airlines with less delay/baggage issues. Uber Ski is super convenient.

7. The more you travel, the less you bring and less stress on your way. Also the more you travel, the less lead time you built in and spend less time in airport.

Personally I skis a lot in the East and took multiple trips to west. Not arguing if you should or shouldn't ski the east. But if you do fly to ski the west, hope these tips can save you some $$ and hassle.
 
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All this talk of heading west has me thinking of a trip to Snowbird for myself. Anyone have experience between Iron Blossom, The Lodge, and The Cliff hotel rooms? Just book the cheapest, or is one preferable?
 

Hawk

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I have to make the assumption this person is single? Which makes me think, how many of us here are single vs. have families in tow? Changes the equation.....

Also, someone mentioned equal time Boston to SLC vs driving North? Some bad math in those calculations when you look at the all in travel time.
Nope, married with one kid. The kid goes with him about 50% of the time. He has it totally dialed in.
 

Zand

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Flying is definitely more complicated logistically and expensive. But there are things you can do to make flying cheaper and less stressful.

1. While airfare adds additional cost, I found ski resort hotels in the west are a lot cheaper than the east. For example, it costs me $90 a night to book a suite (for family of 4) at the mouth of cottonwood canyon during Christmas. This would be easily $250+ in east resorts. There are more options to have cheap and high quality meals too.

2. For some destinations like SLC and DEN, airfare can be low when most airlines first publish the fares 11 months out, it can also drop 1-2 months out if they don't sell and you can flexibility. JetBlue publish airfares 6 months out. That is also a good point to buy as the price can be low. If you watch early, pretty easy to score fares that are under $250 to SLC and under $300 to DEN. Destinations like Aspen, Steamboat, Jackson tends to higher.

3. Cost wise, if we are talking about skiing an week during high season (Christmas/new year, MLK, Feb vacation week), I will be able to save more money from hotel and meals in SLC or DEN that more than offsetting the cost of airfare. And you have less crowds and better snow.

4. There are certain credit cards covering baggage delay/loss/damage. If you use those cards to pay for airfare, you don't need to worry about checked skis too much. Because if they don't arrive on time you can demo skis with costs reimbursed by credit card company.

5. Normally the same credit cards cover trip delay/cancellation, I just came back from a steamboat trip when return flight was cancelled and rebooked to next day. I ended skiing one more day with hotel/meal/taxi costs reimbursed.

6. Specifically, flying to SLC has minimum risk in weather delay, because it rarely snow in the valley. Delta and JetBlue are relatively efficient airlines with less delay/baggage issues. Uber Ski is super convenient.

7. The more you travel, the less you bring and less stress on your way. Also the more you travel, the less lead time you built in and spend less time in airport.

Personally I skis a lot in the East and took multiple trips to west. Not arguing if you should or shouldn't ski the east. But if you do fly to ski the west, hope these tips can save you some $$ and hassle.

I agree that lodging in Utah is very cheap compared to anywhere in the east. Twice as much for me to get a room in that big beautiful destination city St Johnsbury as it was in Midvale (which has EVERYTHING you need right there and only 20 minutes from Snowbird). The other hotels I was looking at in Utah even up on the edge of the Canyons was still incredibly low...you'd be paying $200+ in the east on a weekday to get that close. I wouldn't put Colorado in the cheap category though (although still less on average than the east).

If you do have a little flexibility, JetBlue bestfarefinder.com is your friend. Haven't looked in a while but even flights to STEAMBOAT were recently under $300 round trip from Boston in late March. It was possible to do Denver and SLC for under $200 round trip.

For me by far the biggest money sucker in SLC was renting an SUV. Quickly realized it wasn't necessary. It's possible to get by without a car at all while you're there because the bus routes are everywhere and go to every mountain. If you're like me and want a car just for the convenience of being able to drive around to find good food and stuff like that, then all you need there is a car. If it's snowing and the 4X4 laws are in effect in the canyons, find a parking lot and hop on the bus. On the other hand, Colorado is nearly impossible to do without an SUV so can't cut that cost there.

EDIT...I'll be damned. Right now you can do Wed-Wed in March to Steamboat for $198 roundtrip from Boston.
 
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jimk

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East-West Ski Career in a Nutshell:
- started skiing in the mid-Atlantic in 1967, primarily day-skiing at an assortment of areas within 2-3 hrs of Wash DC. Me and my older brothers at Camelback 1968

- 1971 made first out-of-region ski trip to Whiteface and Stowe with family during Christmas week. I made my first return to Stowe in 2010 and took this photo:

- 1972-87 folks owned ski cabin one mile from Blue Knob, PA, they and my 3 sibs had season pass those years and skied 25-50 days per season. My folks at Killington 1977:

- for first 40 of my ski years I did 90% of my skiing in the mid-Atlantic, but many winters I would take time for a week trip to New England or out West, made first Western trip in 1976 to CO. Sweet home Blue Knob, PA:

- in the early 2000s my four kids reached HS and college years and I started skiing more out West, East-West split of ski days close to 50-50. My family at Eldora, CO:

- Between approx 2008-2014 my son and I visited more than 50 different ski areas together. He had grown to be as avid or more about skiing as me and we saw a lot of the best areas in N. America. Son and I at Cannon Mtn:

- Son got "real" job in SLC in 2015 and also became part time instructor at Snowbird. I still have my home in Wash DC area, but now my ratio of ski days becomes about 75% west and 25% east. I got in the mode of flying to SLC about 3 times a winter and quickly learned to accept the hassle of flying for some good skiing. My son at his adopted home Snowbird:


- Will probably continue the western focus in future as long as son has a place for me to crash in SLC.

The difference between me and a lot of you is that you guys live 2-4 hrs from good New England skiing at nice places with 2000' of vertical or more. I live 2-4 hrs from places where 1000' is big and skiing that is limited to man-made snow runs almost exclusively. This motivated me to search a little farther and wider for good skiing.
 
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abc

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Prime season:

Utah lodging makes Colorado feel REALLY expensive!

And Colorado makes Vermont feel REALLY expensive!

So for those of us who don’t have a ski housein VT? It’s a question of “how often do I feel like paying an arm and a leg to ski in VT?”. And if it’s expect to rain, or frigid temperatures plus wind chill, the long lines and crowded slopes... our answers are pretty unanimous!

Fast forward to spring time (late March/April), lodging cost falls like a rock. The difference between VT and UT got a lot smaller. And the mountain emptier too. That’s when I feel like skiing the east.
 

KustyTheKlown

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you nj and nyc area people complaining about the distance are just soft as shit.

i live in brooklyn new york.

i ski 50 days a year. maybe 45 this year because i'm throwing my girlfriend some bones and skipping this weekend to see the disco biscuits.

i ski 30 days in the east. i ski 20 days in the west. the overwhelming majority of my eastern days are in vermont. mostly central or northern vermont. maybe like 2 days in the catskills.

i work a m-f 9-5. i use 75% of my vacation days to ski out west. the other 25% saved for summer trips that the girlfriend gets to plan entirely. i do not use PTO to ski the east. skiing the east is a purely weekend pursuit, or maybe the occasional last minute sick day for a big storm. my boss gets it.

i drive thru the night on friday nights. i sleep in my car. i stay in shit motels. i drive back exhausted, get home at 9 pm, go to sleep, and go to work.

i am almost 34 years old. i foresee myself maintaining this schedule until 40, at least. god willing, by then, i can buy something and relocate at least part time to the mountains. i'd probably choose a second home in vt, not out west. the skiing is better out west. the soul of it is better in the east.
 

KustyTheKlown

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Prime season:

Utah lodging makes Colorado feel REALLY expensive!

And Colorado makes Vermont feel REALLY expensive!

So for those of us who don’t have a ski housein VT? It’s a question of “how often do I feel like paying an arm and a leg to ski in VT?”. And if it’s expect to rain, or frigid temperatures plus wind chill, the long lines and crowded slopes... our answers are pretty unanimous!

Fast forward to spring time (late March/April), lodging cost falls like a rock. The difference between VT and UT got a lot smaller. And the mountain emptier too. That’s when I feel like skiing the east.

what?

salt lake city motels are like $50 and within 45 minutes of the cottonwoods.

frisco/silverthorne/dillon motels are ~$150 (ie., the most expensive of the three places you mention)

killington/rutland area motels are <$100.

manchester stratton/magic area motels are ~$100.

waterbury/stowe hotels are ~$125.

no matter what state/region, just stay in the towns/cities and not on mountain and don't be prissy about the quality of your lodging and it doesnt need to cost very much.
 

kingslug

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Back to the initial post of this thread. OP is on Loooong Island! His friends "live nearby", which is again LI. That's a looooong way to the mountains! Along their path drive to the mountains, they would have to pass (no, make that "fight their way through crazy traffic") by one or even two major airport with tons of direct flights to the west.

I can see why many of them no longer ski the east.

I, on the other hand, choose to move away from Long Island for that very reason. Too far from the mountains. Not just for skiing but also for mountain biking.

From my house in Westchester, I can still (kind of, sort of) get to the mountains at a reasonable effort (cost+time). So I get to ski the east for about 30% of my days. Though reality being, the more I ski the west, the less I ski the east.

(those days used to be 50/50 east-west. But I've increased my days quite a bit lately. And all the increase are out west! Basically, my eastern days are holding steady but as my western days goes up, the percentage is tilting strongly west :) )
I cant change my location on my profile but im in stamford ct now and the club is based in NYC..thats wshy i can go to Stowe all the time..only a 5 hour drive
 

abc

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what?

salt lake city motels are like $50 and within 45 minutes of the cottonwoods.

frisco/silverthorne/dillon motels are ~$150 (ie., the most expensive of the three places you mention)

killington/rutland area motels are <$100.

manchester stratton/magic area motels are ~$100.

waterbury/stowe hotels are ~$125.

no matter what state/region, just stay in the towns/cities and not on mountain and don't be prissy about the quality of your lodging and it doesnt need to cost very much.
OK, I was wrong in the price range of Colorado. The cost of lodging had increased substantially since the last time I had to pay to stay there. (since I now have a free place to stay, I haven't paid for lodging for some years. My information was outdated)

My bad.
 

BenedictGomez

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i'd probably choose a second home in vt, not out west. the skiing is better out west. the soul of it is better in the east.

That may change once you see the difference between 2nd-home property taxes out west versus Vermont. Ouchie.
 
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