Your favorite lodging tips and tricks

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by marjoram_sage, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    A lot of you here travel a lot for skiing. I wanted to ask your tips and tricks around lodging. I use points earned from business travel and credit cards but they run out quickly in ski towns. I have also sat through time share presentations if the deal is good (e.g. $400 for 3 nights at Marriott Mountainside Park City). I don't plan to buy a time share and have no problem saying no to a timeshare sales pitch.

    I have a little bit of dislike of Airbnb due to their strict cancellation policies, weird house rules that you have to keep track of and the cleaning fees. I also prefer not to shovel snow, something I had to do in an Airbnb. I do like having a kitchen as it helps me minimize food cost.

    Obviously, ski in ski out is awesome but it comes at a steep price. I'm happy with a shuttle to base area. It's great to be able to do a trip without car as AWD rentals are expensive.

    Next year, I am on Ikon base and Mt Rose pass. I will likely be on Epic local pass year after as I would like to ski Kirkwood. I will probably maintain a combo of Ikon/Epic with an Indie Ski Resort. If I ever take a trip at Christmas again, it will probably be at an Indie Ski resort. In future, I will probably try to ski for a whole week between MLK and President's day and another full week in April. There will be a couple of 3 day extended weekend trips.

    Resorts of particular interest to me are:
    • Snowmass
    • Mt. Rose
    • AltaBird (will go with a friend who goes there every year)
    • Park City/Deer Valley
    • Schweitzer
    • Pow Mow (learn to ski powder)
    • Targhee (learn to ski powder)
    • Brundage
    • Silver
    • Telluride
    • Taos
    • Sun Valley
     
  2. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Stay at a nearby town in place of at the resort town.
    Hailey ,ID is less than 10 miles of flat driving from Sun Valley.
    Sagel, ID is just across the bridge from Sandpointe (Schweitzer).
    Silver Mt., stay at the condos, splurge and splash; they are a pretty good deal on their own.
    Utah, stay in SLC. Scenic, NO. Cheaper YES.
    If you run Best Western Points January is often a killer deal for using them, last year was 10,000/ night.
     
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  3. Thread Starter
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    marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    I have not collected Best Western points but this looks like a good reason to start doing that.
     
  4. Beartown

    Beartown Chasing the dragon Skier

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    Kind of depends on your budget situation. I've stayed at a bunch of these places, mostly ski in/out, but that's pretty expensive. Also, some areas are really easy without a car; others no so much. All depends on the experience you want. Some places, slopeside is awesome but really limited on food options (AltaBird, Targhee, Taos, SV, PowMow). That might be no problem for you, just something to think about.

    At Snowmass, I've stayed at the Westin and just up the road at a condo complex called Top of the Village. Both were great for access to the hill and village, but kinda pricey. The further you stay from the village in Snowmass, the cheaper it gets. I'd use VRBO and airbnb.

    At Altabird, cheap means staying in SLC/Sandy/Cottonwood heights and driving or shuttling up the canyon, but this can leave you unable to get up during a big storm or on a crowded bus from the park and ride. At Alta, Goldminer's Daughter is a popular option, but it's expensive and kind of dorm-like. I've stayed in a few ski in/out VRBO houses/condos between the two resorts, as well as at the Cliff Lodge, which is very nice but again, spendy.

    Park City if filled with hotels, condos, houses of all stripes/price ranges. Stay at the St Regis in Deer Valley, but it costs an arm and a leg. There's a bunch of hotel/condo options on the Canyons side, but then you have to drive or shuttle to PC to eat/shop (if you're interested in that stuff). You could even stay in Kimball Junction or even SLC, depending on your tolerance for the commute.

    At Schweitzer, I've just stayed in Ponderay or Sandpoint. hotel rooms. cheap, easy.

    Pow Mow just find a hotel room in Ogden. Lots of options. Nice to have a car to get there and Snowbasin, and probably overall cheaper than staying closer and paying more for lodging.

    Targhee. I've just stayed in Jackson or Teton Village and driven over, but you should be able to find something cheap in Victor or Driggs. Again, nice to have a car. Not sure what shuttles there are to the mountain.

    Telluride. I've VRBO'd in town, which is walkable mostly. Kind of a pain to get to T-ride without a car, but there are shuttles from Montrose. Mountain village is condo-heavy, so VRBO is your friend, but your food options are kind of limited. Can take gondola into village or town, which is unique but kind of a PITA for regular use.

    Taos. Just got back. Stayed at the Blake. super nice, really expensive. A few condos in the village and on the way to the mountain from Taos, but kind of limited overall. there are shuttles from town if you wanted to stay there. VRBO options all over.

    Sun Valley. I just VRBO'd in Ketchum and drove to the lot every morning. Pretty ample parking. Again, car plus lodging further away might be cheaper than no car with close lodging. also depends how you're getting there. Direct flights can be pretty expensive. If you have time/energy driving in or flying into Boise might save you enough money to offset car rental.
     
  5. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    30% off in Canada, as long as the exchange rate holds....
    Ikon - Banff, Revelstoke. Stay in Banff and bus it. Revelstoke stay in town too.
    Epic - Whistler-Blackcomb - slope side. Try Whistler vacation rentals.

    Banff and WB have shuttle from the airports too.
     
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  6. Thread Starter
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    marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    yeah.. Banff would be perfect for April trip. I have been there in the summer. Lots of spectacular lakes. How do they look when frozen?

    My buddy in Seattle will drag me to Whistler one of these years. They have a Hilton there where I can stay with points.
     
  7. Thread Starter
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    marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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  8. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

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    We tend to stay at the same places. We have found our places by booking.com. We tend to use the same places getting to know the owners and such.
     
  9. David Chaus

    David Chaus If I am skiing the world is a perfect place. Skier

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    I am a Worldmark owner, and have used it at Whistler a few times, Bend/Bachelor a couple times, Coeur’d Alene (close to Silver Mt, a bit far for Schweitzer), South Lake Tahoe, several times at Wolf Creek, UT (very close to Powder Mt and Snowbasin), McCall, ID (great for Brundage and Tamarack), and Canmore for the Banff resorts. Also stayed at West Yellowstone overnight once after Jackson and Grand Targhee before driving home. I still have yet to stay at Steamboat, Grandby (Winter Park) Taos, Pagosa (Wolf Creek), and Park City (at the Canyons) and Midway (close to Heber City).

    None of these are ski-in-ski-out, but typically a short drive. Whistler Cascade Lodge is a 5-10 minute walk to the gondolas, or take a free bus. Canmore is a drive to get to Sunshine or Lake Louise, but probably the most spectacular setting.

    The accommodations are typically pretty good, not necessarily luxurious, but usually well-maintained condo-type units with standardized appliances and cookware/utensils/dishes. Even a 1-bedroom will usually have an additional Murphy bed, so you can often have 4 people in a 1 bedroom unit.

    That said, I will use Air BnB when needed, have had good luck so far.
     
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  10. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    For Mt. Rose I'd stay in Reno, the south end of town or maybe north end of Carson City. If you want to do Mt. Rose and some of the north lake areas (Squalpine, Northstar) I'd stay in the northwest part of Reno. 50-50 to get to the areas.
     
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  11. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

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    Best time to go to Whistler is early to mid April because by then the crowds are gone and everything is on sale 30-50% off in addition to the 30% discounted CAD dollar.
     
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  12. Thread Starter
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    marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    Several locations for resorts on your wonderful indie ski list. It will serve me well.

    Great advice. That's when I will try to go. Are the conditions slushy that time of the early or it will be good for all day skiing?
     
  13. aubergine

    aubergine Booting up Skier

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    I'd +1 on that Best Western comment. There are a couple in Sun Valley, and the one by River Run is walking distance to the lifts. Just got back from the Truckee one this afternoon, from a very windy couple of days at Squaw.

    I think a lot of the tips & tricks that will be proffered are just ways to stay somewhat cheaper, but at pretty big disadvantages in terms of time/distance. I think you'll be better off trying to find times when you can visit that are less peak priced. For example I remember booking condos at Vail once and the first week of Feb was much cheaper than 2nd. Why? Driven by local vacation/school calendars.

    I'd try and see what those nuances are like. Maybe Canadian calendars are different.

    Also, it's not a huge savings but sometimes AAA, AARP, Govt, or Farm Bureau rates can be a better deal for hotels -- if you are able to prove membership.
     
  14. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

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    At Whistler it can rain or be slushy, especially on the lower mountain at any time, and foggy. However the best chance of seeing the sun is in April. You do know, don't you, that they have garbage bags with the WB logo and the arm and neck holes already cut....way too prepared for rain, imo.
     
  15. Tony

    Tony tseeb Skier

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    Friends have Worldmark and I’ve stayed with them in Reno and all the locations on NV side of So. Tahoe. The Roundhill location has a lot of units, is newer and across highway 50 from shopping center with Safeway and a few restaurants. It’s a better location for going to Mt Rose than Kingsbury, but it’s still about an hour with a lot of two-lane and 8900’ pass. The Reno location is downtown and not that great for Rose (but closer than So. Tahoe), and OK for Squaw/Alpine. I think all the locations near Tahoe require reservation far in advance unless you can go Mon/Tues/Wed nights. Great that you got in via resale. Two good websites are wmowners.com and tugbbs.com

    Another friend and I use hotels.com (owned by Expedia) which gives you a free night for every 10 nights you stay through them. We often book within an hour or two of arrival. Their website makes it easy to compare motels by cost and ratings, then we figure out which is most reasonable combination and try to find one that includes breakfast and hot tub. If you are booking further in advance through hotels.com, make sure you can live with and follow cancellation options/rules.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  16. Thread Starter
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    marjoram_sage

    marjoram_sage newly addicted to skiing Skier

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    I did most of my reading on those two websites. Very nice helpful people on both forums.


    The Worldmark in Reno doesn't look good in the pictures. I probably will never stay there. Current plan is to stay at Staybridge suites in Reno for Mt. Rose. Large rooms with a kitchen and flexible cancellation policy. I have enough IHG points for 10 nights so I think I can get through next season.

    If I'm skiing at Heavenly, then I will book either of the WorldMark locations. I will book some weekends in advance. The skiing on NV side of Heavenly was a lot of fun a couple of weekends ago. Far fewer people than the CA side.

    I used this in the past but I have been mostly traveling with hotel points so haven't needed to use it.
     
  17. mikel

    mikel Out on the slopes Skier

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    If you are thinking about Telluride and staying in mountain village I would start looking for lodging deals now. Several places are now on a similar schedule as pass products. Prices will go up at the end of this month for next ski season.
     
  18. SpikeDog

    SpikeDog You want Big Air, kid? Skier

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    Psst! If you are going to Aspen, stay in Carbondale. Generally, $300 / night in Aspen, $200 in Snowmass, and $100 in Carbondale. I've said too much already........
     
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  19. aubergine

    aubergine Booting up Skier

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    Another thing you can do is try to figure out local bus routes / shuttle systems to minimize expensive rental cars. I recently flew into EGE, got a rental car for 1 day ($57) to get to Frisco, and stayed at a hotel near the Transit Center. Used Summit Stage (free) to get to the ski areas. And when leaving, I took Bustang ($12) into Denver, and from there an Uber ($38) to the airport, after meeting some friends there overnight.

    If I'd kept a 4WD car the whole time - which I don't bother with at Eagle - I think the rates I was looking at were $300-$400 based on time and a point to point surcharge.

    Also I usually call up hotel desks and ask all the details for how the buses work in practicality. In February I went to Solitude/Brighton and picked the Hampton Inn BCC because the free bus (with Ikon) stopped in front, and as the front desk correctly noted, their stop is before the big car parking lots, so one can get a seat when it gets crowded. So I would suggest speaking with properties to find out everything you can.
     
  20. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Industry Insider Team Gathermeister

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