Five Reasons to Book A Colorado Ski Vacation Early

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It’s a common dilemma for vacationing families: Should they book their ski vacation early, or hold out with the hope of cashing in on a last minute bargain? I already have my reservations for February, and Colorado ski vacation planners agree, earlier is always better, and below are five reasons why.

1.) Budget-friendly Offers for Early Bookers

Ski areas are a lot like grandparents: They can’t wait to hear when guests are coming, and they want to know how many people they’re bringing with them. The resorts of Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) offer a slew of incentives for booking early, including discounted lift and lodging packages, and even promotions for saving money on airfare and travel.

Further savings can be had by working with resorts’ in-house vacation planning professionals. “The value of working with a local vacation expert at one of Colorado’s many central reservations operators can reap many rewards,” advises Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass. “They have access to inventory that may not exist online, and have relationships with the properties that no website or online travel agency could ever establish.  They have the ability to seek out holes that properties are looking to fill and can often negotiate special rates while over-riding minimum stay requirements for guests who are flexible, all while providing a personalized level of service that could never be emulated online.”

2.) Make a Down Payment on Family Fun

Ski areas operate much like airlines: The earlier the reservation, the better the bargain. Guests planning on an extended stay may save money by purchasing a season pass or other multi-day lift ticket product. Most ski areas offer the lowest price on a season pass and other lift ticket packages during the spring of the prior season, summer and fall months.

A few resorts even allow skiers and snowboarders to make a down payment on a season pass, locking in the lowest price of the season. Programs like this allow guests and their families several months to set aside money for the ski and snowboard vacation they’ve always dreamed of taking.

In addition, ski areas often offer season pass holders numerous additional incentives such as discounted lessons, equipment rentals, lodging packages, and even promotions with other local businesses.

Another way ski areas are like airlines is in the savings of online purchasing. Whether guests are looking for a season pass or a seven day pass, purchases made in advance and online will likely bring the greatest savings. Walking up to a ski resort lift ticket window to buy a multi day lift ticket starting that day would be like walking up to an airline counter and buying a plane ticket on the day of travel.

3.) The Early Bird Gets the Worm they Want

The more in advance guests book their ski vacation, the more choice they’ll have on lodging properties. It’s hard to find an unsuitable room at a ski area, but booking early means vacationers can request a room just a few steps from the slopes, or on a bus line, or an end unit. “Planning and booking your Colorado vacation lodging and activities such as lift tickets, lessons, equipment rental, child care, and tubing in advance will assure your activities are confirmed for the days and times you want and will often net substantial savings as well,” says Sue Neumann, director of Winter Park Central Reservations. 

Guests will also have more options for flight departure and arrival times and seating choices. By booking early, skiers and snowboarders can ensure they get a room in their favorite hotel, their kids are enrolled in lessons or day care, and they can even secure a reservation at their favorite restaurant.

4.) Vacation Timing Makes A Difference

For families with kids, vacations are normally predicated by school breaks and work holidays, so deciding when to take a ski trip is easy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many other families also on school break and work holiday and who are also planning to visit the mountains during this same period.

To circumvent the masses, consider an off-peak ski vacation. There are certain times during the ski season when the perfect vacation is there for the taking,” says Jill Higgins, director of Crested Butte Vacations. “Early in the season, just after the New Year’s holiday, and late spring are all great times to come ski because any crowds are gone, snow is plentiful and options open up for flights and lodging at a great value.”

5.) Something the Whole Family Can Look Forward To

Having a Colorado ski vacation marked on the calendar is almost better than having presents under the tree. The whole family can savor the anticipation by counting the days until they are all sliding together in the Rocky Mountain splendor. “We make it easy for families by helping them arrange as many details ahead of time so they don’t have to think about it later,” says Tyler Silvernail, director of reservations at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. “We arrange everything from lodging, lessons and rentals, to childcare and dog sledding. The more activities booked in advance, the less hassle it is to plan last minute at the resort when activities may be already booked.”

In addition, by booking early guests leave themselves plenty of time to plan what they need to pack and what gear they might need. They also have time to research various destination options by reading reviews and browsing resort guides and websites. Colorado’s ski resorts encourage skiers and snowboarders across the globe to book their vacations now and put a picture of the ski area they plan to visit on their refrigerator to remind themselves and their families and friends of the good times to come.

For more information on Colorado ski vacation planning please visit:

·         www.ColoradoSki.com

·         www.Steamboat.com/Plan-your-trip/getting-here/steamboat-central-reservations.aspx

·         www.TellurideSkiResort.com/trip-planning

·         www.CopperColorado.com/winter/plan_and_buy

·         www.StayAspenSnowmass.com

·         www.WinterParkResort.com/plan-your-trip

·         www.SkiCB.com/plan-your-trip

·         www.DurangoMountainResort.com/bookyourvacation

 

Where to Find Ski and Zen

If you’re looking for a place where you can find ski and zen together, Resorts West invites gourmands, yogis and ski enthusiasts to enjoy an indulgent mountain getaway featuring wine classes, a private chef, spa treatments and luxurious accommodations. Now THIS is the way to take a ski trip! Check out the four-day, three-night Mountain Zen Package begins with a touch of adventure to work up an appetite as guests enjoy a scenic snowshoe tour followed by a 60-minute paddle board yoga session in a 10,000-year-old natural hot spring with Park City Yoga Adventures. Set in an enclosed crater with a natural skylight, the hot spring is filled with soothing minerals, including magnesium and sulfur.  The yoga session is designed for all abilities. To unwind before dinner, guests enjoy a 60-minute massage or fireside facial in the comfort of their luxury 4-bedroom condo. I just got back from here, and it is AMAZING!!

You’ll arrive to your refrigerator (and pantry) stocked with your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Relax in the comfort of home with a dinner prepared by Chef Joseph Saladyga, who offers four-course meal of organic, locally-inspired dishes. A flight of three wines, expertly chosen to complement the meal, accompanies dinner after a 30-minute wine pairing class led by a certified sommelier from the Fox School of Wine (this is a total blast)!

The Mountain Zen package also includes a day of skiing at Park City Mountain Resort and a day of winter horseback riding. All guests receive daily housekeeping, complimentary car service (just dial for a ride) and a private concierge. All accommodations feature a private hot tub, private baths in each bedroom suite, a gourmet kitchen, modern appliances and relaxing outdoor decks or balconies.

Package Summary: 

  • Five nights at a 4-bedroom luxury condo or private home with private hot tub.
  • A 60-minute massage or fireside facial for four guests
  • Snowshoe and crater yoga adventure for four guests
  • Lift ticket for four guests to Park City Mountain Resort
  • Winter horseback riding adventure for four guests
  • An evening of organic, locally-inspired gourmet fare for four guests prepared by Chef Joseph Saladyga of Savoury Kitchen
  • Professional wine pairing by Fox School of Wine. (Wine pairing includes three custom bottles, tasting notes and a half-hour private class.)

More information is available at 1-877-773-1117.

About Resorts West

Since 1999, Resorts West has led the luxury accommodations niche at each of Park City’s three world-class ski resorts, setting the standard of excellence with unparalleled service and luxury properties. The Resorts West vacation rental properties range from 2-bedroom slope-side condos to 8-bedroom private villas, each offering private concierge service and housekeeping. Resorts West also exclusively manages the Ski Dream Home at Deer Valley Resort. Their properties are too incredible for words!

 

Ski into Spring at Fairmont Hotels

I have been fortunate enough to ski in Banff and Aspen in the past few months, but if you’re looking for other options for great ski trips, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts invites families and friends to hit the powdery slopes to take full advantage of exclusive ski packages ideal for a spring break getaway. With properties located in some of the best mountain destinations in North America, including the stunning peaks of the Canadian Rockies, the elite mountains of Colorado, and the charming villages of Quebec, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts offers ski enthusiasts a variety of locales and authentic experiences to choose from. Perfect for “après ski,” Fairmont guests can enjoy world-class dining, shopping, spa experiences and tailor-made excursions, leaving them refreshed and rejuvenated this spring. I want to go, don’t you? Check out these awesome spring ski specials:

The Canadian Rockies

  • The Fairmont Banff SpringsThe Luxury Ski the Canadian Rockies Package includes accommodations, self-parking for one vehicle, a total of two tri-area ski passes per room, per night (valid at Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Ski Banff at Norquay), shuttle service to the ski hill, daily à la carte or buffet breakfast, a daily access pass to the Willow Stream Spa and complimentary ski and snowboard storage as well as all gratuities. Available through April 30, 2014, rates start from $499 CAD.
  • The Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseThe Lake Louise Family Ski Experience Package includes deluxe accommodations, two lift tickets, one in-room movie, and a $25 Deli credit for treats. Complimentary transportation between the ski hill and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is also included. Available through April 20, 2014, rates start from $359 CAD per night.
  • The Fairmont Jasper Park LodgeFamilies can hit the slopes with the Family Ski Experience. Package includes accommodations in a Fairmont Room, transportation to and from the ski hill, as well as family ski lift tickets for two adults and one child. Available until May 4, 2014, rates start from $339 CAD per night.

Quebec

  • Fairmont Tremblant: Families can enjoy Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains with the Family Ski Experience Package, which includes accommodations, one ski lift ticket per adult and $50 CAD food & beverage credit per day through April 12, 2014 starting at $357 CAD.

The Ultimate Tremblant Ski Package offers ski-in/ski-out access, as well as an array of activities for all ages. The package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast, and one ski lift ticket per adult through April 12, 2014. Rates start from $409 CAD per night.

  • Fairmont Le Château FrontenacThe Family Ski Experience includes accommodations, full buffet breakfast for two adults, two adult one day ski lift tickets for either Mont Sainte-Anne or Stoneham, one in-room family movie rental and a special in-room delivery of popcorn and juices. Available until April 26, 2014, rates start from $429 CAD
  •  Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu: Families can take on The Charlevoix Family Ski Experience, including accommodations, ski lift tickets for two adults and two children at Mont Grand-Fonds, cookies and milk, and an in-room movie per night. Available until March 23, 2014, rates start at $289 CAD.

For those looking for an adrenaline rush, the Ultimate Le Massif Ski Package offers accommodations and ski lift tickets for adults at Le Massif, which has the highest vertical drop in Eastern Canada. Available until March 23, 2014, rates start at $299 CAD.

Whistler

The Fairmont Chateau WhistlerThe Ultimate Ski Experience package provides ski-in/ski-out access to the famous Whistler Blackcomb, co-host of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The offer includes mountainside accommodations (with a two-night minimum) and one Whistler Blackcomb dual-mountain ski resort lift pass per adult, per night. Available through April 21, 2014, rates start at $283 CAD.

Colorado

Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge: The Franz Klammer Family Ski Experience includes accommodations in a two or three-bedroom residence, children’s welcome amenity, two adult lift tickets daily (excluding arrival day), complimentary ski valet, complimentary airport transfers from Telluride or Montrose airports, and complimentary valet parking. Available through April 6, 2014, rates start from $475 USD per night (four night minimum).

St. Patrick’s Day Herb Dip & Kid’s Cooking Class

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, and I am so excited that I will be spending my Saint Patrick’s Day teaching a Kid’s Cooking Class at the Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah. We we will be making kid-friendly apres ski snacks to make in the condo. See more information about this fun class on the“Snowmama” website. One of the recipes I’ll be making in the class is this healthy, easy and very simple Saint Patrick’s Day Fresh Herb Dip. It’s a great way to get the kids to try fresh herbs such as basil and dill and to eat fresh vegetables. I like to use reduced-fat Greek yogurt in this recipe because it has so may health benefits and is filled with protein which is perfect after a long day of skiing. Enjoy this recipe on Saint Patrick’s Day or any time of the year.