Is it too early to start talking 2017/18?

Discussion in 'United States' started by skichic, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    Heading to Colorado late December for around a month. What's the best site for finding self catering accomodation? Planning on basing in Frisco and skiing all the Epic resorts :D
     
  2. jgm

    jgm Active Member

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    It's NEVER too early to talk about skiing.
     
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  3. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    I'm a fan of Airbnb.
     
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  4. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
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    Get on vrbo.com

    Better then airbnb imho
     
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  5. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    I too use VRBO. I've not tried airBNB though, so can't compare.
     
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  6. Barras

    Barras Active Member

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    Similar to @skichic, we are thinking of skiing in the US next year, basically just putting the Epic pass to good use, looking at spending a week in Utah and 2 weeks in Colorado, just wondering what mountains are a must? Is it best to have a car or is there transport available. Probably looking at staying in Salt Lake City and Frisco, also not sure if we would travel in January or March/April, +1 is a teacher so the school holidays are the only time we can get away, might also look a doing a couple of days of back country while we are there as well.

    Any advice from the experienced?
     
  7. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Paging @Astro66 who did pretty much exactly this last year.

    I've done Utah in mid-late January and the snow was excellent.

    Driving in the snow is my worst nighmare, and when holidaying I prefer proximity to the lifts above pretty much all other factors when it comes to accommodation. For that reason we stayed in Park City which is now linked by gondola with Canyons, giving you two Utah resorts in one. Deer Valley is only 4 miles away, assuming you both ski. It's plenty of area to keep you entertained for a week IMHO.

    Park City is a great ski town with lots to do off the snow, but that obviously comes at a price. You'll get lower prices in SLC and if you're happy to drive you'll also get the flexibility of trying other locations depending on conditions and interest.

    I'm off to Breck in CO this weekend so shall report back!

    I can't speak to back country options, sorry.

    One other thing - consider buying the Perisher Epic pass and you'll get free access to Park City / Canyons and a few Colorado resorts too. Well worth the money. [EDIT - sorry, just realised you said you already had one!]

    And watch the US long weekend (presidents day? MLK day?) - it usually falls in mid-Jan and resorts get crowded. [FURTHER EDIT - the public holidays will also be a blackout day/s on your Epic pass so you'll need to pay to upgrade your ticket]
     
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  8. bertys

    bertys Active Member

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    We've done Jan out of Frisco, Wildernest and Silverthorne over the past few years using the epic pass.
    VRBO has become less owners and more agents these days, but if you hunt you can still can in direct contact with owners. A lot of agents now use VRBO to fill their properties and put their bit on top of normal owner prices.
    We hire a car each time from Denver using a third party booking. It is way cheaper than going direct to hire companies. Never had a problem doing it this way. Just search 'cheap hire car denver' in google then trawl through all the sites until you find something. Always rent a car the next size up than what you think. Driving to the big 5 resorts is too easy on the I70. The only time we don't go to Vail or Beaver is if we know it is absolutely dumping and Vail pass will be a nightmare. On those days we just went local to Breck or Keystone.
    We have never really done backcountry as the resorts offer enough side country etc. Vail backbowls, East wall ABasin, or hike too Keystone or Breck. There is no need to go backcountry with those options unless you are hard core.
     
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  9. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    You know you want to ;)
     
  10. bertys

    bertys Active Member

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    Yes Yes I do! :)
    There is some epic lines in CO, but you would really need a heap of experience and local knowledge to venture true backcountry there. Either that or some serious coin for guides.
    What I was trying to convey is that the resorts do offer a fair bit to those willing to hike or explore.
     
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  11. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Saw this thread but didn't want to spread any negativity. The rise of the US dollar is killing the US compared to Canadian Resorts, even if you have the Perisher epic pass.

    But now I've started, here's my rant. :D

    Gratuities: FFS ....... Americans now expect 20%. And even buying a donut from a donut shop, you are given a receipt with a gratuity column. And if you don't see the column and just sign the receipt. The arse-hats help themselves to a 200% tip.

    Then there is the assholes who add 20% gratuity to the bill, then give you a receipt with a gratuity column. If you don't check the bill to see they have already added gratuity. You get stung twice, plus paying gratuity on the gratuity. What a scam.

    Fast Food Tax : You order a $40 meal. You get stung for 20% gratuity. Then if the food is determined unhealthy. You get hit a 5% food tax. Then paying in US dollars you get slugged 30 something percent more. So you think you have had a $40 meal. When the credit card bill comes, you've paid nearly $100. Eating out in the US is highway robbery. They say one price. When the bill comes, it's filled with fees and surcharges. In the end I just ordered my food, then bent over and told them to be gentle. :eek::eek::eek:

    Ski School : I wanted to put Young Astro in an Advanced Ski Lesson. Vail Group Lessons are pure extortion.
    Vail Group: Normal, AUD$300 per day. Limited to 4 students, AUD$500 per day
    Canada: AUD $60 per day. And quite often, due to quieter resorts, the lesson was private.
    Freestyle day for teens.
    Vail Group: AUD$500
    Canada: AUD$90
    And to cap it off. At a Vail Resort. You turn up for the lesson. The lift is closed due to weather. You're told to bus to another lift. You get there late. Lesson is gone. No refund offered. Apparently it's your fault for not checking Twitter. I told them that Twittering is something that a Twit does. So no wonder they use it.

    Ski in / Ski Out Accommodation: For a family of 4.
    1 Bedroom and Pullout sofa. AUD$135 a night in Canada.
    1 Bedroom and Pullout sofa. AUD$300 a night at Vail Group Resorts.
    Same bed. Same room. Just nearly 2 and half times more.

    Off Piste: Vail Group just love roping off the runs to herd the cattle down the same groomers. It's farking ridiculous.
    In Canada, I'm skiing with a bunch of groomer lovers. So I ski ahead and duck off piste, then ski back on piste to join them. Rince and Repeat all the way down. Impossible at the Vail Group resorts. All the groomers roped off like your in a house that has been baby proofed.

    Car Hire: Renting from the tree hugging San Franciscans is about 40% more for a SUV than Vancouver. I guess the exchange rate doesn't help.

    Having done 5 seasons in Canada, and 2 seasons in the US. It costed about 50% more for my 4 week stints in the US, even factoring in my free epic pass.

    Conclusion: Go to Canada.

    End rant. :D
     
  12. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    Lol. I've booked and paid for the USA this year, but you've almost convinced me to abandon it just to avoid the tipping issue!!

    That said, we are leaving the kids at home this time, so can avoid the insane ski school charges. Next time we take the kids overseas, I doubt it will be to a Vail resort.
     
  13. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    I've been sayin "Vail Sucks" for decades, to occasional derision.
     
  14. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    I'm just having a bit of a laugh. :D

    But economics has sent me back to Canada. Already bought the tickets to Vancouver. $1100 each. I will be back to the US. But the dollar needs to change. :thumbs:
     
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  15. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Perhaps you should consider Austria with me and DSNS next year.
     
  16. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Bookings at bar pit already pencilled in. :D

    Seriously, If I went to Europe without Mrs Astro, all my worldly possessions would be strewn over the front lawn.

    If I went to Europe with Mrs Astro, all my worldly possessions would need to be sold to pay for her spending spree. LOL
     
  17. Kletterer

    Kletterer Addicted Member
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    Ok We can ease on up to it. ;) 4 odd months to go .
     
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  18. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    I'm fine with the tipping in USA now. But NEVER for counter food with no service. That is never expected.

    You learn the ropes the more you do it.
     
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  19. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    And @Astro66's observations about groomers being roped off etc certainly doesn't apply to where I ski (Steamboat). It's an amazing place for mixed ability groups with extremely good tree skiing next to just about every groomed run.
     
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  20. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    If they don't expect it. Why is it on the receipt ? Cups of coffee. Even the souvenir shop.
     
  21. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Standard print on receipt rolls. Irrelevant.
     
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  22. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Yeah Steamboat isn't a Vail Group resort. OP and the poster that KBird tagged me on, explicitly said Perisher Epic Pass. So only Vail Group resorts.
     
  23. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    If you don't fill it out and sign it. It's an open cheque. They can add any amount they like. And they did.
     
  24. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Mate I'm not quite sure what you're saying, but it sounds like you are describing fraud as opposed to the way the US tipping system works. Once you sign a bill for a particular price, no one is permitted to add a tip in.
     
  25. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    I will say this about Vail though - my biggest fear is that Vail will buy Intrawest and therefore Steamboat and Winter Park. Hopefully it would be blocked under anti-trust laws because I don't want that to happen!
     
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  26. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Actually I'll correct myself. Intrawest operate Winter Park but the local government owns it.

    Sorry for the thread hijack BTW!!!
     
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  27. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    I have heard of this happening, albeit on the interwebz. eg unwary tourists leave the tip and total lines blank, sign the credit card receipt,and the unscrupulous server fills in the blanks. Or, that they "accidentally" key it into the eftpos machine incorrectly.

    Also the "suggested" gratuity being added to the bill automatically does irritate me immensely.

    None of these would be such a drama if the US moved to proper modern eftpos terminals with PINs instead of signatures.

    I generally find tipping very uncomfortable and wish it was as simple as leaving a few bucks on the table when you leave.
     
  28. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Ok. My wife buys a $2 donut from a donut shop. Pays by credit card. You get a thermal paper printed receipt you have to sign. Below the amount, is a tip and total. She didn't have her glasses and didn't expect them there, so she just checked the amount and signed.

    She gets back to the hotel. As I had purchased from that shop. I ask about the tip. She says, what tip. I send her back to fill out the receipt properly. A different cashier gets the receipt, and someone had added a $5 tip for a $2 donut, and put $7 as the total.

    Not every over the counter store print the additional columns, but many do. So if you're not expecting it. It can catch you out.

    But if they do print it. Then they are expecting you to fill it out. And they are not expecting a zero amount.

    I quizzed my son in San Francisco about the practice. He said he noticed the trend to adding tips to everything. It's justified under the pretense that the employer is paying them below minimum wage because consumers will pay tips.

    So basically, if the store proprietor adds the columns to the receipt. He is not legally obligated to pay minimum wages.
     
  29. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    I fill in NIL on the check and write in the total as the grand total, but then leave cash. As the waiter tends to fill the role of cashier rather than one paying at a reception desk as you leave it always gets a very favorable reception.

    Indeed. I dropped a dollar, or was it two, as a tip once at the coffee kiosk in Peak8 Breck's cafeteria and the young bloke there just about fell over backwards, so unexpected was it.

    Good points @Astro66 regarding costs etc but what works well in the US vis a vis Canada, and particularly in terms of utilising the Epic pass say, is having a car to get around Summit/Eagle counties. To maximise the gains from that approach one really has to stay, like @bertys off resort, in Silverthorne/Dillon/Frisco and this enable one to save on accommodations/food etc vis a vis Canada so it evens out.

    But for 2017/18 I will entertain the idea of what I put in this season's thread, i.e a week or so in Purgatory @ Durango then maybe another 10 days road trip in the southwest, maybe preceded by a couple of days in Welch Village Minnesota for OG1 to take in a novice/low-intermediate women's camp there.
     
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  30. driz

    driz Active Member

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    I recently spent a bit over a week in SLC and stayed at the Home2 Suites - SLC East, right near the ramps for the I80 up to Park City. As it was during Sundance the prices anywhere near PC or Canyons were ridiculous, and this was less than £100 a night. I would highly recommend this if you're skiing Canyons / PC with an epic pass and want it a little bit cheaper. The hotel has a small pool + hot tub area, room had kitchenette and was comfortably sized and modern.

    Also about $10US for an Uber into downtown SLC (and less to Sugarhouse) which actually had surprisingly good nightlife.

    Driving was pretty easy, AWD with M+S tyres, but traffic was occasionally bad during snow. Downside... traffic, upside... fresh snow. And gave time to drink coffee from the co-located drive-thru coffee place, 'Bjorn's Brew'.
     
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  31. tr+h

    tr+h Dedicated Member

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    Yes. Too early. I got told elsewhere that trip reporting shouldn't start till 4 months before wheels-up! ;)
     
  32. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    I saw this here in SP once too. Had a big night out with some Poms staying in the same hotel as me. One place we went to included a 15% gratuity on the bills. Luckily I was still sober enough to notice and word up the others before they got double dipped.
     
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  33. bertys

    bertys Active Member

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    Totally agree @Astro66 about tipping and eating out costs. This year we ate in nearly every night of our 3 week trip, which doesn't suit everyone, but as a family of four it was far more economical to buy groceries and do it this way.
    After doing 4 CO trips to Vail resorts over the past 5 years you soon work out not to pay Vail accom costs. You'd be a fool to go through their booking agents.
    We rented a 3bed/4 bath house for less than $200Aud a night in Silverthorne. (Above), but that required negotiation with the owner and longer stay ie 3 weeks in Jan.(quieter time).
    We don't ski Australia, and just buy early bird epic local pass, which for the money gives us the most variation of any season pass in a small area accessible by car. We've done the single Canadian resort option before but our family gets bored skiing same single resort for entire holiday. The epic pass gives you better option to chase better conditions and switch it up daily. If you want to ski several Canadian resorts during a holiday, then ski pass cost sky rocket for a family, and you normally lose days for transit due to their geographic locations from each other.
    We normally ski the US over Canada, cause we use Virgin FF, hence what we save on flight costs we can put to ground costs. I do a budget/costing every year, and still find the upfront cost for our family is less to the US than Canada. I am a tight wad however, and spend countless hours researching every proposed trip to find the best value for every component.
    Basically everyone is different in what they want in a ski holiday, and what suits us, would horrify others. The main thing I have learnt from 20 years of Nth Hemi trips, is have several trips in mind, research and price them for your needs and then choose what suits you, not others, cause they aren't coming
     
  34. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
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    I did a driving trip around Utah a few years ago.

    If you want to base yourself somewhere I second park city.

    The cottonwood resorts are fun but to give variety you probably want to stay in slc and drive
     
  35. Zeroz

    Zeroz Dedicated Member
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    I don't understand your issue. This is exactly the business model of Vail Resorts. It's not a secret.
    Reel 'em in with a cheap lift pass and make it up selling expensive associated stuff.

    Vail Resorts CEO interview:
    http://forums.ski.com.au/xf/threads...hts-reviews-thread.64067/page-15#post-2466816

    As Katz sees it, “Our company is less about skiing and more about vacations.”

    When Vail introduced the Epic Pass, Katz says, “people thought I was crazy. They assumed we had made a mistake and that the board would fire me and undo it.”

    But the CEO figured that skiers who purchased the pass would corral their friends into joining them on the slopes, skiing more and buying more food, hotel rooms, and ski lessons.
     
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  36. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki Dedicated Member
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    Is it too early to start talking 2017/18 - You've been really prudent and responsible by staying local during the last few Northern Hemisphere ski seasons, now get your skates on and start planning for a 2017/18 ski trip!

    Accom - I used airbnb, it was great. Also check out vrbo.

    Paying for Meals - Pay for meal + tip in cash. There's an app to figure out tipping too. Lots and lots of great places to eat in Frisco.

    Hire a car - You'll need one.

    Lastly, take lots of pictures of when you ski Copper Mtn and post them up on the forums to make us all feel Jelly. Skip A-Basin, Keystone, Breck, Beaver Creek as they are obviously rubbish :p
     
    #36 DidSurfNowSki, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  37. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Again on our recent trip I heard several local Coloradans say the skiing is better at Copper (or at least as good) than Breck and Keystone.

    I'll have to find out for myself in the next few years!
     
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  38. bertys

    bertys Active Member

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    Copper is a good mountain. Had a few fun days there over the years. Rate it the same as other local CO resorts.
    Kids had a great time doing Woodward ski lessons there.
    Due to that certain poster, any mention of it gets people's attention on this site :).
     
  39. K_Bird

    K_Bird Active Member
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    I've got to say I'm quite turned off the idea of Copper, simply because it's been rammed down my throat so often (including via unsolicited PM). I feel like if you have to sell something that aggressively, there must be something wrong with it...

    Probably a completely unfair judgment, but it's hard to get past that first (and second, and third, and millionth) impression.
     
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  40. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    I've been inclined to agree, but Copper looks to be on the US ski demo/review circuit. I figure it wouldn't be if it was total shit.
     
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  41. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    My family tend to look at the NH winter holiday as more of a lifestyle change, than a ski holiday.

    So we try to participate in as many different winter activities as we can, as we can't do it in Australia. Things like skating, ice hockey, (both playing and going to live games). Participating in race days and special event days like a Freestyle Day. Backcountry and skinning. Special Lodge activity nights.

    So we are best to base ourselves right at the resort, so we can just walk out and partake in all the activities. And when you do have to just walk outside, it's so much easier to convince the family to take part. But as you say. Its an individual thing.

    Staying off the mountain is pretty much the same price, both in the US and Canada. But staying at the resort is just so much cheaper at places in BC, like Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks.

    So if you are prepared to stay off mountain and don't mind car or busing to the resort each day , then the Vail Resorts are a good option if you already have the Epic Pass.
     
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  42. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki Dedicated Member
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    Yep, explains a lot. :p
     
    #42 DidSurfNowSki, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  43. skichic

    skichic Addicted Member

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    That's me!
     
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  44. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Don't let a small shit Australian travel agent put you off. He has nothing to do with Copper.
     
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  45. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    Then someone from Copper should tap him on the shoulder and have a quiet word in his ear.
     
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  46. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Why would Copper even know about this bozo?
     
  47. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Active Member

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    NA Deals / SkiUSA4Less / etc / etc sure made a lasting impression. I remember how under his first moniker he spruiked his deals and referred to his web site and the only contact mentioned there was a PO Box you mailed your money to. A bit of research indicated the corporation he mentioned was a front for a different one, which itself was closing down.
     
  48. bertys

    bertys Active Member

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    The joys of forums unfortunately.
    It's funny how people can be put off a resort (Copper) by one tosser, or posters who constantly put down an area. ie Sun Peaks, Whistler, Niseko etc.
    While it's good to get advice, we are all different, go experience it for yourself and form your own opinions.
    You may love what you have been told sucks by another, or vice versa.
     
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  49. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Dedicated Member
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    The only way to truly get an honest review about a resort is to ski it yourself IMO. Gap years or backpacking for a couple of months is a great way to view many different resorts.
     
  50. absentskier

    absentskier Old And Crusty
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    Plenty of people give "honest" reviews about their experiences at resorts, including me and hopefully you. If you mean that the only way to know whether you're going to like a resort is to go there yourself, then I agree.
     
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