Your favoriate Xmas ski resort nearly
I am now working on finding a ski resort for a few family during Xmas break. I started at snowshoe and found their rates pretty high. It will be almost $2200 for a family of 4 to ski for 4 days. Is that what we should expect to pay anywhere?
Please advise. Thanks,
Snowshoe can get kind of expensive.
I'm partial to them though. You may want to check out what Canaan Valley/Timberline has to offer. I've found their prices to be a little more reasonable (although I've not been there over the X-Mas break)
Tricky thing about Xmas around here is whether you'll get an area with a lot of terrain open at that time. Sometimes it's a crapshoot. Snowshoe is great in that regard. Next best is Seven Springs and Wisp (IMHO). All three have tremendous snowmaking capability and generally favorable weather. A small condo at Wisp might be the most economical for your group?? Many rental properties/outfits there including Railey's (a DCSki sponsor). There should be lots of threads on this kind of topic if you search, here's one that is sort of related: http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads22/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB1&Number=1361&Forum=
Unfortunately, any ski resort during the holiday season is outrageously expensive. SLC for Christmas week cost us appx $6000 for a week including lodging/lift/airfare/rental car.
To make a point, my sister never uses her condo at SLC during holidays as she makes $450-500 per night on the rentals and that pays a hunk on the mortgage.
If you want to have a lower cost ski trip, may I suggest going to Snowshoe -before- the Christmas holidays. The rates are lower, the crowds are smaller and you would have a much pleasanter experience, especially as beginners. Every year we do a 4 day trip the weekend before Xmas and have always had a really nice time.
I have to admit, Snowshoe is a favorite with us too. It's close to DC, suitable for families, has some of the best PSIA instructors in the area, and a top snowmaking team; if you can't find snow to ski on at Snowshoe in December, you won't find it any where in the Mid-Atlantic.
I am now working on finding a ski resort for a few family during Xmas break. I started at snowshoe and found their rates pretty high...
If the "resort" part of your requirements is less important than the skiing and cost reduction parts, you can do what we have done some years. You can stay at a nearby, but in-town motel (with kitchen) that is within easy driving distance of a ski area, ski, check out the local points of interest whether they be bars, outlet stores, covered bridges, or whatever, and when you get bored with one area, pack up and head down the road to another area until you have had your fill. For the motel, you can pick anything from ultra-cheap mom&pop places to higher end chains and still come out way ahead of staying on the mountain.
While such a do-it-yourself, nomadic approach is obviously not for everyone, for the right groups, you can get a lot of variety and an awful lot of skiing in at low cost, even during the holidays.
For example, we have stayed at the very nice Holiday Inn in downtown Rutland, and sampled Killington, Pico, etc on different days for surprisingly low cost during the holidays. At the other end of the spectrum, we have also stayed at tiny mom&pop motels in the middle of nowhere and sampled un-crowded, non-destination ski areas like Ski Denton, Bristol & Greek Peak during the holidays for even less cost.
Just a thought.
Tom / PM
If the "resort" part of your requirements is less important than the skiing and cost reduction parts, you can do what we have done some years. You can stay at a nearby, but in-town motel (with kitchen) that is within easy driving distance of a ski area, ski, check out the local points of interest whether they be bars, outlet stores, covered bridges, or whatever, and when you get bored with one area, pack up and head down the road to another area until you have had your fill.
Tom is right .. That idea would probably work for 7 Springs as there are a whole bunch of good motels in nearby Somerset which would also give you access to Hidden Valley and Laurel (if they open this year). Snowshoe, on the other hand, would be a hike from Elkins, 45-90 mins depending on weather. There are several motel chains in Elkins such as EconoLodge, Days Inn and Super 8. Also there are several nice B&Bs but I don't know if they operate over Christmas holidays.
I think Physics Man has a good idea. I have also found Snowshoe to be ridiculously expensive during the holidays. If I could make a suggestion, why not rent a condo or house at Hidden Valley. They have excellent realestate for rental. The ski area is family oriented and is never usually crowded. You are a short 15 minute drive to 7Springs and 25 minutes to Laurel Mountain (which is suppose to re-open this year). Going a little further, you can drive to Wisp or Blue Knob in about 50 minutes. And there are cheap family oriented restuarants in Somerset. There is also xcountry skiing and an indoor pool at Hidden Valley. Contact Mountain Resort Properties if you want to check out the Hidden Valley rentals.
Jane, if you have a group of 4-10 persons, you can save a lot of money on lodging when skiing at Snowshoe by staying in one of the cottages at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. The town of Cass is about a 20 minute drive from the Top of the World check-in area at SS. The cottages rent for about $90-$110 per night on weekends. They all have complete kitchens, so you can also save on meals. The park's website is http://www.cassrailroad.com/cottages.html
I acknowledge that some of my fellow DC Ski members have in another string identified the downsides to staying off the mountain--snowy roads, no ski-in-ski-out, can't drink in the SS bars and then simply stagger back to your slopeside condo, etc. The relevance of these criticisms varies with your particular situation. But it seems to me that for a moderatly large family-oriented group that places some priority on saving money it makes sense to check out the cottages at Cass.
The lift tickets work out to be cheaper when you lodge at snowshoe, though, don't they? Or is off-site lodging so much cheaper that you still save money paying the full lift ticket price?
OTOH, I think that area ski shops sometimes sell discounted lift tickets for snowshoe. Worth looking into for anyone considering off-mountain lodging.
Ski Chalet generally has discounted lift tickets for Snowshoe. I don't recall if there are limitations on the number you can buy or how the Ski Chalet discount compares with the Snowshoe package price or if the tickets are valid for holidays. Ski Chalet generally doesn't offer the discounts until after the season starts so that might be an issue if you want to get all your booking done early.
I can tell you that if saving money is the primary factor, stay off-property and either buy the tickets at the window or check out the Ski Chalet tickets. I've bought them from Ski Chalet in the past and we went up for the weekend. They may not apply for the X-Mas holiday. The package discounts are not that big so the lodging delta is definitely the better savings.
At Canaan Valley Resort, it looks like you can do 4 nights in a hotel (lodge) room & 3 days skiing for 2 adults & 2 kids for around $1000. This doesn't include food. And you have 2 mountains to choose from (Canaan & Timberline).
Not too bad.
The beauty of buying lift coupons in advance at Ski Chalet is that you can return them for a full refund if you don't use them. The only thing to be aware of is that they should be returned during the period they were valid for. I don't believe you can return lift tix for peak season in off peak season.
I am happy to report that I found a very good group rate at 7 Springs. Ours is $726 for our family of 4 including 3 nights of stay, lift tickets, breakfast and 1 dinner. I got 10 families to qualify for the group rate.
Wow, that sounds pretty hard to beat!
snowbird and none other. can get a 41 dollar tram and chair ticket. much cheaper than anything in the east. and the lodging in the city is ten million times cheaper than that of snowshoe........
go west or go home.
nothing aganist skiing or riding in the east bc i do it all the time. west is best.