Thursday, November 17, 2016

Where's the Snow, Uh Oh!

The current gossip is about delayed resort openings, no snow (ouch!) and we hesitate to 'pull-the-trigger'...  As we often say in our business, "Chill out!"

I'm sitting at my desk in Vail, Colorado.  It's snowing right now... a little..... but the forecast is looking good!

Definitely a little late this year.. But we are OK!  Believe me!

I've lived in Vail for 3 decades and have skied thousands of days on Vail Mountain, as well as most all of the other snow resorts in this region.  
There are the VERY special days where I've been blinded by powder shots. (Those are the marketing photos we always show you, hey!) 

And then there are the 'blue-bird', sunny days (We show you lots of these photos, too. Usually these are the ones with the kiddies.)

But, there are the other days...  Sometimes the snow is hard, sometimes it is soft, sometimes it is thick with sun-melt, and sometimes there are bare spots...  These days can probably be coined 'typical'.

However, there just always seems to be enough, and it always good... just different degrees of 'good'. Not to worry.

Let's compare this to other vacation spots... The beach is probably one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.  But, have you been there on a windy day?  How about rain?  Hey, there's even hurricane season.  I can't ever recall a hurricane warning on a ski day.

Now, let's consider the reality of the day you were making your plans versus executing your plan. Even if you are a 'last minute' trip-planner, the weather and snow conditions are likely not consistent from time of booking until the time you get here. I agree the the 'base' measurement of snow is indicative of the cumulative volume of snow fall during the season, and thus tends to differentiate a 
great snow year from an average (or less) snow year.

But REALLY, does it matter how deep the snow is under your feet when you only need the very top to ski or ride on?

And what's under your feet is truly a 'last minute' outcome. C'mon, we all know that snow conditions change from morning till afternoon in any single day!

Summarily, please.... let's relinquish the doubt.  The reality is that there is virtually ALWAYS enough snow for you to have a great day.  It's just a matter of 'how great'... Count on lots of lifts open, a more than decent variety of terrain, and no shortages of challenges, as you wish.  They wouldn't have built them so BIG if the risk was so great :-)

Remember, we are also great for non-ski activities.. spas, snowshoeing, restaurants, snowmobiling, shopping, hot tubs, cocktails, nightlife, kids clubs, and so on..  I am confident that we won't disappoint.  

Thanks for the business.  We hope to hear from you soon.  We'll help you get it right!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How Much Does A Ski Vacation REALLY Cost?

We published this article last year and we have found it to be one of the most popular and VERY INFORMATIVE!!
Here's realistic snow vacation budget guidelines... ENJOY!  J

PS... CALL US!  866-981-SNOW.  The website is a mess while we prep to move into our new site VERY SOON!  Our agents are super-helpful and excited to help you!

Ski destination vacations can be complicated to put together.  You need 'stuff' that you don't need for a city tour, or a beach, etc.  My intention here is to make sure we've covered ALL of your needs and costs, set your budget up accurately, and avoid future surprises. I hope this helps! :-)

Image result for pictures of money signsImage result for pictures of money signsImage result for pictures of money signsImage result for pictures of money signs

Realistically, every snow destination vacation requires that you buy 3-5 MANDATORY components.
The 'unavoidable 3' are lodging, lift tickets, and equipment.  The last 2 'likely' items will be flight and airport transfer. (Those who might drive their own vehicle can be excluded from these last ones.) For the sake of being as inclusive and accurate as possible, we will quote pricing for a 5-component vacation.

(1) Flight: You've got to get from your hometown and to the destination.  Based on arriving to some of the major snow destination airports such as Denver, Salt Lake City or Reno, budget no less than $325 per ticket.  There are lots of ways to make this higher, but probably not much lower.

(2) Airport Transfer or Car RentalThere are several options to bring you from the plane to your resort which include shuttles, rental cars, private limos and possibly even a complimentary ride from your lodging supplier.  But, it is best to budget $150 minimum round trip fare per person, which will cover an entry-level budget.

(3) Lodging This is where you have the most flexibility and costs will vary, depending on how much you want to spend.  For the sake of quoting minimums, you really need about $75 per person per night, based on 2 people staying in a well-located, modest and comfortable accommodation within a short distance from the lifts.

(4) Lift Tickets The best deals on lift tickets are found by purchasing a lodging/lift inclusive package.  Although the lift ticket rates can vary substantially from resort to resort, it is wise to budget about $85 daily per adult.

(5) Equipment Rentals You can skip this one if you own your own gear, yay! Plan on about $35 daily to get you a decent package of skis (or snowboard) boots, and poles.

SOOOO....  Let's get a total based on a 4-night, 3-day snow destination vacation for 2 people, who will share a hotel room close to the base of the lifts and resort village.

The knowledgeable team at Snow Sport is well-armed to offer you the best value, most hassle free, vacation out there! We can't wait to hear from you soon.
PS - Give us a CALL! 866-981-SNOW. Our website is admittedly a mess while we transition to our site, currently a construction site.  Besides, our agents are SO INCREDIBLY helpful!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Ski Season Dreams are Starting Again

A perfect Colorado Summer

I moved to a Ski Resort town in 1997, in the summer.  I remember super-imposing the snow on to the green slopes during the months of June and July.  Waiting and waiting to see more white as the patches on the highest runs became smaller and smaller with the warming, sunny, Colorado days. Then, in August something happened, I started having snowboarding dreams, and not just a dream about being on a mountain in the snow but being on MY mountain, in epic snow.  I shredded like a pro, even on grass (not sure why I dreamt a grass filled run in the middle of a 'snow dream' but it didn't matter in that world, I still shredded that grass like no other)!

Colorado Snow Doesn't Quit!!

I got into the ski season with the excitement of these 'shoulder season dreams' to guide me and found that the dreams had actually increased my confidence.  My interpretations of the mountain were somewhat skewed in my 'dream world' but the sensation of sliding was there and it amazingly transferred to practical application, I went faster, caught more air and had more carefree fun than I had thought possible.  I logged just over 120 days that first season and slipped into summer happy for warm weather, adventure and sun.

June and July of the following year were filled with 4x4 drives, trips down the river and many sunny afternoons by the local pool.  I had stopped super-imposing snow on the runs and had taken to hiking the open, green slopes a few times a week to learn the mountain better.  There is something vastly different about sitting on a halted ski lift in the warm summer breeze than on a crisp winter morning as the wind whips your face.  A perspective and calm is achieved that can be aspired to on the busiest of March days.  The grassy runs looked steeper, the summit, higher and the only way up was by foot. A definite appreciation is gained for the lifts as soon as walking up the slopes is the sole option.  I was primed, I was ready and the season was just a few short months away.

Glorious Hike under Colorado Sun

My 'ski dreams' started again, in August, just like clockwork.  This time I was lofting off huge jumps (I don't do that); taking face shots of powder and _screaming_ fast tree runs (I do enjoy both of those).  The dreams came almost every week and I could 'feel' riding when I had them, waking up sometimes out of breath or breathing hard for the feat I was accomplishing in my dreamy, snowy world.  Once more, my unreal world transferred to reality and I had another amazing season, increasing skills, improving technique and becoming a good and conscientious snow slider.

What Dreams are Made of......

Fast forward to today, coming to the end of my 20th summer in Colorado.  As the years have progressed and life's priorities have overtaken my own, the dreams still come.  I expect them to start any day now and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for adventure.  As an older, but in no way aged member of the snowboarding community, I now enjoy hiking to sweet terrain and exploring back country more than skiing the same old run 'in bounds'.  I hope my dreams show me skinning up pristine slopes and making remarkable powder turns on sugary inclines.  This year I'll tackle skiing for the first time since I was 14.  If my prior years' dreams are any hint, this year's should bring me easy runs on mellow slopes at slow speeds.  JUST KIDDING, I am looking forward to another amazing year on the slopes and know my dreams will show me just how awesome this winter will be!!   =) Irish

Are YOU ready for Snow Sport in 2016?  Just give us a call, we can get you THERE!!