Another blog post by Mr. Deals…
When I travel without Mrs. Deals it tends to be much different than when we are together. I like to fly by the seat of my pants, while Mrs. Deals is more of a planner. Every year, I head out west to go snowboarding with some buddies. Typically these trips are somewhat thrown together on a whim and rarely do we have a plan of what mountains we are actually going to. We just pick a state (usually Utah), book flights and figure out the rest a few days ahead of time. So far, we’ve been pretty successful.
This recent trip was no different, and you will all be very proud to know that I booked everything without the help of Mrs. Deals! Ok, I lied, she helped me with one thing, putting in my AAA number to get a better rate at one of the hotels (a moment where I slapped my palm against my forehead). I’m going to give you a glimpse into what it looked like.
Almost every time we go west I take care of the hotel bookings (my friends all know Mrs. Deals is over my shoulder so they don’t worry about me going nuts on price). This trip, we were getting in late to SLC and decided to forgo any fancy places near the mountain and shack up at the local airport hotels. I mean for $64 how could you not? I highly recommend the Springhill Suites right by the airport. It’s practically brand new and the free breakfast helps. The beauty of SLC is that if you are without a planned mountain destination, every place is less than 45 minutes away (though we chose one of the mountains slightly further out for our first day). Another great thing about Utah is that lift tickets (aside from the Park City Resorts) are really pretty cheap (comparatively). At the window, a weekend adult ticket to Powder Mountain was $65. I mean Windham in NY is $72 for a full day and a tiny fraction of the size/quality of a western US mountain.
Anyway, the next two nights of the trip were done with a last minute reservation at the Residence Inn, Cottonwood Heights. For those of you who have been to Utah to ski/snowboard before, you will know that Cottonwood Canyon is home to a few of the best mountains in Utah — Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, & Alta. Now this hotel is a short 15 minute ride to just about all of those mountains. If you want to hit up the Park City Resorts, you are looking at maybe 30 minutes. The best part about this place, aside from the rate of $142 a night we snagged and the fact that you have a kitchen should you want to stock up on near beers and snacks is that it has a heated pool and big hottub, BINGO! A hottub is an essential part of every mountain vacation. Nothing beats hitting up the foamy hot water post beating the crap out of your body.
So lastly, when going to Utah and to any ski destination for that matter its important to do you research on lift tickets. Utah is great, you can practically pick up discounted lift tickets anywhere. All the ski shops have them, even some hotels have them in stock. We found a local shop that had a good deal with Brighton and snagged tickets there. We also managed to grab passes for 5 of us for Park City for $50 each off craigslist. It was actually someone trying to unload their packet of Costco purchased tickets (always check out Costco).
That’s my little rant on Utah. Honestly, if you are on the east coast and want to do a last minute trip out west before the season ends, I’d recommend it to anyone. While they may lessen the alcohol in their beers, they more than make up for it with amazing snow and relatively inexpensive skiing/snowboarding. Oh and if you ever make it out there, go to Hector’s and get the Carne Asada Burrito. Just writing that has made me hungry…
Till next week!