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January 26, 2012

Winter Has (Finally) Arrived! And So Have the Ski Deals.

A much-needed powder day at Snowbird (Matt Crawley/Snowbird Resort)

After returning last week from a trip to most of the ski resorts of Park City and Salt Lake, I was ready to write about how Utah’s snow-making skills have managed to turn a year of dismal snowfall into a surprisingly robust ski experience of groomed runs and bluebird skies. But then, three days after I got home, the snow came. Four feet of Utah’s famed powdery, light snow fell across the state’s resorts between January 18 and 22. Terrain that had been closed all season (both on- and off-piste) was suddenly ready to accept the first tracks of 2012. Snowbasin now reports a robust 73-inch base, while Alta and Snowbird rank highest for the SLC-area resorts, boasting 71- and 67-inch bases (respectively). Park City has also seen its fair share of much-needed snow (just in time to clog the streets during Sundance), with a base depth that starts at 43 inches.

Colorado also benefited from the late-season arrival of Old Man Winter, with more than two feet of snow blanketing Arapahoe Basin, Aspen/Snowmass, and Eldora, while most other Rocky Mountain resorts saw between 18 and 20 inches.

And with all this snow comes a rush of great deals that should have skiers and snowboarders scrambling to cash in their frequent-flier miles. Park City-area resorts still offer their Quick Start program, which lets you swap your boarding pass for a free lift ticket at The Canyons, Deer Valley, or Park City Mountain Resort for the same day you arrive (it’s a 45-minute drive to the resorts from the airport, meaning that if you land at 11:30, you should be mid-run by 1:00). Pair that with promos like Deer Valley’s Ski and Stay Package (which gives you 25 percent off lodging and lift tickets when you book a minimum of three nights); The Canyons’ Final Night Free, which  gets you…yep…a free night’s  stay (after a minimum of three nights); and the Early Week promo at Snowbird, which gives you lodging and a lift ticket for $99 (two-night minimum, Sunday through Thursday).

Just prior to the snowfall, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort announced one of the better deals—a Storm Chaser package that includes three nights lodging, breakfast, and lift tickets starting at $314 at Hotel Terra and Teton Mountain Lodge, which is available through the end of January. Jackson Hole, which has seen 118 inches to date, also offers a $99 White Sale package, which includes a lift ticket and one night at an Aspens condo (two-night minimum for two people).

Copper Mountain, which has 96 trails open, boasts a solid family-friendly deal, offering 54 percent off a three-night stay in a condo, ski passes, $60 in food and beverage credit, and free skiing for the kids. Colorado’s Crested Butte makes things even easier with Fly, Stay, Ski, which includes airfare in addition to three days of skiing and four nights of lodging for $599 if you book by January 31.

Tahoe-area resorts are also benefiting from a burst of fresh snow, with package deals like Northstar-at-Tahoe's Winter Lodging Deal a $115 ski-and-lodging package that includes two free lift tickets per room.

Sadly, winter has been marked by more official snow dances than actual snow for pretty much the entire East Coast. Regional resorts still boast good snow-making, with groomed runs open at top resorts like Snowshoe, Killington, and Sugarloaf. We just hope that this region of the States falls victim to the same sort of late-season snow that the rest of the country has been fortunate enough to receive (and we say that not just because we live on the East Coast).

All deals mentioned here are subject to specific booking dates. Check with the applicable resort for details.

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Related Topics: Last Minute Trips · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Deals


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