10 Days - Christmas and New Year - Options?

Discussion in 'United States' started by Scooter, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Hi Folks,

    So here's the deal - was considering doing another trip to Steamboat so I asked the owner (nice guy, been great to deal with and very fair in terms of pricing etc.) of the property we have stayed in previously if he was willing to consider us staying again and he was......but.....his family might use the place over Christmas and New Year.

    So he comes back with family will use the place a week over Christmas and New Year and I'm thinking OK that's not so bad (wishful thinking maybe :oops: ) I can plan around that so I see some cheap Air New Zealand flights into Denver and I grab them. Guess I'm committed (into Denver at least) so time to start looking at options for a week in that Christmas and New Period then I get an update.....actually its a bit longer....BUGGER!!

    So now I need to look at options for 10 nights - this was knowing 7 nights was going to be an expensive pain in the backside which to be honest should have stopped me committing to the flights, but you know - I wanted to head back to Steamboat.

    Anyway, thought I would come and ask the ski.com.au brains trust to give me some ideas and options.

    I have been hitting up contacts and making enquiries in regards to trying to get alternative accommodation for the duration of my stay (flights have me arriving Denver on the 29th November and departing on the 22nd January - so a reasonable US stay). So far not coming up with any suitable options but I keep trying....

    Given I could stay pre and post that Christmas and New Year period where I have stayed previously I have been trying to make enquiries for a 10 night stay over that period in Steamboat and......:eek: .....Bloody hell!!! Seriously outrageous quotes so not sure this is going to be an option (@absentskier - you have had a cast of thousands at your place - how are you looking this Christmas/New Year - we will take under the stairs LOL).

    If we ski Steamboat (and right now if I don't sort something that suits and is within budget will look at alternative options - will mean my cheap flights will no longer be cheap but other destinations would no doubt offset that - Steamboat isn't the cheapest destination and US generally is going to be expensive more expensive than say Canada given exchange) we will have IKON passes so could go to anther IKON resort but then I'm in the same boat trying to sort accommodation over that crazy expensive Christmas and New Year period. It could be an option?

    Fly somewhere else (non snow)? Flights are probably going to be problematic (expensive) over the period and if we did NY or LA (maybe finally take my kids to Disney Land) aren't I just going to have the same issues with accommodation (scarcity and price)? What would be some good destinations over that period?

    Had thought about a grabbing a car in Steamboat and doing a road trip? Where? Are car hires more expensive over the Christmas and New Year period?

    Anyway as I said - give me some ideas people :D

    Gotta be honest and say who travels over Christmas and New Year? Think I have been spoilt in the past - in terms of skiing that's a period I want to avoid (because of crowds etc. on the hill and in fact on the odd occasion haven't skied due to crowds and how busy it is but you can do that when you are there for awhile).

    Thanks in advance and will look forward to hearing some ideas :thumbs: (I'm already in trouble for booking flights having me away 54 days so this little hiccup in accommodation has me decidedly in the bad books).
     
  2. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    Bit of a dilemma there Scooter!

    Can't accommodate you at our place, sorry! Already 11 of us over that period!

    You have summed up your options quite well though. Given that you will have to pay for accommodation at Steamboat anyway, I'd take this as an opportunity to see something else. Then you need to work out whether that be will another resort (that takes Ikon Pass), or something else entirely.

    We are big Disney fans, but NOT when it's too busy. I wouldn't go over Christmas or New Year.

    My early thinking would be to hire a car (and I can help show you some tricks to try and get the best deal) and go and see some of the amazing places the USA has to offer. Moab, Zion, Canyonlands, Monument Valley etc. Go on some hikes and great drives. If you have you gear with you, you could also get some skiing / boarding in on the journey depending on where you end up.
     
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  3. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local
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    You should be able to find something cheap in Salt Lake City and then Hit up Alta and snowbird on the ikon pass
     
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  4. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

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    This - about as snow sure as you can get. Or drive up to Jackson as there is cheap accom there. Another option would be Big Sky or Snowmass but the $$$$$$$ could hurt.
     
  5. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Mate - your not trying hard enough - what's a few more :p Just a quick question - you brought your IKON passes yet? I thought you were supposed to be able to add a <12 year old to a full adult pass and it was like $140 or something. I had a play the other day and I am buggered if I could see how - could only do the Child Pass which is $549

    I hate going to Movie World etc. on a weekend where queues are 40-60 mins etc. so preference would certainly been not to go if it was going to be busy but yeah, I guess thinking about it busy holiday period = busy Disneyland. What about the start of December?

    Last question about IKON pass was it 5 or 7 days at the other resorts (like Jackson)? I swear their website is crap - "up to 7 days" - so is that 1 day or 7? how hard would it have been to spell out specifics.

    Oh and @absentskier - school me on USA Car hire - what do I need to know? I see Chunky has a thread so I will keep an eye on that but was interested specifically on insurances etc. - also if you hired in Steamboat would the cars have winter tires or M&S?
     
  6. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Seems SLC would be an easier drive than say heading up to Jackson. Having never been to SLC how do you go getting up to the resorts? Is it dependant on having a car or are there options (good bad or ugly?) up to each of the hills?

    I had a quick look and it looks like there is a daily Greyhound service from Steamboat to SLC - probably originating in Denver - never look that into it (just did its like $29 :eek: - bit cheap than Go-Alpine who I have used all these years). The Steamboat - SLC service is $45 so would be <$200 (one way) for the 4 and would save the hassle of hiring and driving etc. but its a bit of a slog so did you need a car when you are in SLC?
     
  7. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    There are buses to all the resorts from downtown Salt Lake. A car is more convenient.
     
  8. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    What are the rough travel times and is there a central depo of some sort? I knew a car was going to be more convenient I just wondered how inconvenient it was going to be not having one. Also what's SLC like as a city? And what are some non snow things to see and do if we did stay in town?
     
  9. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    https://www.skiutah.com/blog/authors/erika/ticket-to-ride-uta-upgrades-ski-bus
    https://www.skicity.com/skicity/getting-around/ski-bus/

    I stayed in Salt Lake for a week many, many years ago. My recollection is that there is not much in town apart from the Mormon Temple which is OTT. There are sports teams and stuff. I didn't go to the mud bogging, which is a lasting regret.
     
  10. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Fo getting to SLC from Steamboat think about Amtrak from Denver to SLC. The train leaves Denver at about 8-30 am (assuming it is on time - a big assumption. It originates in Chicago and a lot can happen on the Great Plains in winter) and you get to SLC in the late evening. A spectacular trip through the Rockies. Timetable
     
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  11. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    The USA is made for cars, very little public transport. If you want quality public transport head to Japan. ;)

    Here you go Scooter, take the kids to see some bison, but you'll probably need a car.

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/solitude-brighton-utah-a-family-trip-report.59647/#post-1925976

    If you scroll down to the second page of my above trip report you'll see the other sightseeing we did in Utah. :)
     
  12. MarzNC

    MarzNC Hard Yards

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    For more than you need to know about travel to SLC and skiing at Alta and Snowbird . . .
    https://www.snowpak.com/utah/salt-lake-city

    When staying in SLC, have a lot more flexibility with a rental car for a small group. Traffic in the city is not bad. The city roads include plenty of wide boulevards and it was built on a grid so not too hard to figure out. The UTA Ski Bus is a good backup plan when there is a powder storm if don't want to deal with the slow drive up and down the canyon. With dry roads, it's 30-40 min depending on where you stay in the city. Snowbasin and Powder Mountain aren't on the Ikon but could be worth considering for a day to get away from the worst of the holiday crowds.

    SLC has things to do for a day or two but really depends on interest. Like all cities there are quite a few museums, an aquarium and places to shop. If indoor rock climbing is of interest, there is a huge climbing gym that's pretty impressive. The Olympic museum and venues in Park City are worth half a day.

    Driving from SLC to Jackson is 5-6 hours. Staying in town there are a fair number of less expensive options but not that many total rooms.
     
  13. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    The cheap add-on Ikon pass for kids was a limited time deal only.

    December 3, 4 and 5 would be doable at Disneyland, particularly if you plan what you're going to do in advance. It is a bit of an art-form.

    Ikon pass is unlimited at:
    • Mammoth Mountain, CA
    • Steamboat, CO
    • Stratton, VT
    • Tremblant, QC
    • Winter Park, CO
    • Big Bear Mountain Resort, CA
    • Blue Mountain, ON
    • June Mountain, CA
    • Snowshoe, WV
    • Copper Mountain, CO
    • Eldora, CO
    • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, CA
    And also:
    • 7 days @ Thredbo, NSW
    • 7 days @ Deer Valley, UT
    • 7 days @ Jackson Hole, WY
    • 7 days @ Big Sky Resort, MT
    • 7 days @ Killington, VT
    • 7 days @ Revelstoke, BC
    • 7 days @ Sugarbush, VT
    • 7 days total @ Aspen Snowmass, CO
    • 7 days total between Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird, UT
    • 7 days total @ SkiBig3, AB
    • 7 days total between Loon Mountain, NH, Sunday River, ME & Sugarloaf, ME

    With car hire, your options depend where you're renting from. The key is to look at lots of different websites and see what comes out with the best overall deal. So from Hayden, you're limited to Hertz, Budget and Avis. So look at the American sites and numerous European sites to see which comes out in front. And use a generic discount code (such as one of the airlines) to get a bit of a discount too. I have booked multiple rentals using the Avis Romania website, for example, because it's been cheaper than others (once you factor in loss damage waiver etc). You can also look at an aggregator / broker like Economy Car Rentals as they sometimes have good deals.

    Hiring in Hayden, Denver, SLC, other wintery places, you will get M&S, not winter, tyres.
     
  14. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Our FOUR season passes for Tomamu cost us $565 in total this year. Should have come to Japan. :p..........:out:
     
  15. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    I'm going to have to check that - I thought Steamboat moving to IKON and dumping the local passes was sold as (for the <12 passes) being cheaper than the old pass + kids ski free - at $999 + $549 that is definitely not cheaper.

    And yeah @Born2ski - season passes are getting ridiculous in terms of cost (some resorts are :eek:). For Steamboat if you are going to ski for 7 days that's the cut off where its cheaper to grab a season pass - 7 Days!!!

    @absentskier - The 5 and 7 days is the difference between the full pass and the base pass. Like I said I reckon the website is crap - they just don't make the info readily available (like black out dates etc.).

    Thanks @Legs Akimbo - for the info. Just need to see if the IKON pass qualifies for free travel on those busses.

    Thanks @MarzNC - Ill have to read a bit more about SLC
     
  16. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    The discount on the kids pass was definitely advertised as having a short cut off date.

    I just had a look at the Ikon pass site again and it all looks pretty clear to me. The “Compare the Passes” section sets it all out.
     
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  17. Zeroz

    Zeroz One of Us
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    Forget Disneyland over Xmas/NY. We went to Disneyland a few times (we lived in the US) and it's critical to use this.
    Avoid any and every peak period. After Thanksgiving and to Xmas is excellent.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty
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    It’s more complicated than that now. Disneyland is much busier in traditionally quiet weeks now than it used to be. But as I said above, December 3, 4 and 5 this year should be okay.
     
  19. Zeroz

    Zeroz One of Us
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    Not really. A more detailed view, for 2016, but you get the idea. Attendances are remarkably predictable. Avoid weekends


    [​IMG]
     
  20. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    I've done the late January/early February mid week Disneyland a few times. Sometimes you spend more time walking along where queues might be in crowded times than actually queuing. Except Nemo, but Nemo is serious crap. And Autopia. I've never done Autopia, but what is it about Autopia?
     
  21. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us
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  22. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    Look on a map or online and find a small resort in UT or CO or ID that's 4 or more hours from a major city but with some local population. It will be somewhere you've never heard of but will still have better skiing than anything in Oz. Accoms, lift prices and crowds will be nothing compared to zoo time in the big resorts. You'll meet actual local people and have a great time learning about a new resort your friends never knew existed.

    OR go to a big city Denver or SLC that isn't itself a big attraction at holiday time. Accoms can be had for normal prices and you can seek out less known ski areas that draw a more local crowd.