Author Topic: Anyone live by a ski resort?  (Read 1893 times)

Grif

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Anyone live by a ski resort?
« on: June 23, 2018, 01:13:40 PM »
Hi Iím trying to learn about the rental costs of different places that are close enough to ski resorts that I could ski every day. Iím planning to spend 5-6 months starting November 2019 in either the US or Canada. Everyone suggests I just work at a resort but I think I really want to rent a place and take the hit so that I can ski as much as possible. Iím hopefully looking for a cheap place that is maybe $500-700/mo and is relatively easy to drive to a resort. Iím also wondering which pass I would need to get? I know about the epic pass which is pretty affordable. But i donít know how much the rents are near those epic resorts.

Thanks for the help 😄

waltworks

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 01:22:37 PM »
I live at a ski resort (Park City). You are not going to find anything but a room in a house around here for your price range, but if you're ok with that, it's totally doable.

What kind of skier are you, though? If you like terrain parks and cruiser blues, PC is great. If you want deep powder and chutes/cliffs/gnar, you'll be sorely disappointed. Likewise someone who likes PC might hate, say, A Basin or Alta.

If you can be more specific about your skiing preferences, I might be able to help more. If you are just looking for the cheapest housing near decent skiing, then I'd live in Salt Lake (pretty cheap) and do the 20-30 min drive to 8 different resorts with wildly varying terrain/scenes. Pagosa (Wolf Creek) is also cheap but super isolated. Or you could live in Del Norte for practically nothing I'd guess and drive up the pass to go ski anytime. I hope you like rednecks if you pick that, though.

-W

Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 03:10:01 PM »
Hmm to be honest I'm not really an expert so I'm not too picky about the mountain. Just that it has a decent amount of runs. I don't think I would use a terrain park very often. I'm pretty proficient in snowboarding, I can do most blacks but I can't even do moguls without a lot of trouble. Cruiser blues sounds more like my style. I'm actually planning to transition to skiing once I start my season so I'll be pretty close to a beginner for skiing and then I would just learn as time goes on. I'm pretty okay with finding a single bedroom somewhere. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot just so I can achieve my goal of skiing every day. For more perspective on my situation, I'm taking a year off before grad school to just do whatever I want. I've got 30k saved up but obviously I don't want to spend any more of that than I have to!

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll definitely look into those!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 03:15:31 PM by Grif »

waltworks

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 05:15:42 PM »
Get an epic "local" pass if they are still on sale (you don't actually need to be a local to anywhere to buy it). That pass is ~$600, blacked out most places over the holidays and a few other times. But you don't want to be skiing those times anyway, trust me.

That will let you live in/around PC/SLC and ski Park City, which has 400+ runs. You can easily spend a season exploring all of that. If you get bored, you have Crested Butte, Vail, A Basin, Keystone (no blackouts), Breck, etc to the east, and a bunch of decent Tahoe hills to the (decent long road trip) west.

SLC is not dirt cheap but you can find a little crappy place of your own for what you want to spend. Or you can get a room in a house in PC and be part of what passes for ski town life here (it's UT, so it's not too funky or crazy, but it's still a legit ski town). There are also tons of dead end seasonal jobs available if you want to make a few bucks in your spare time.

Get in really good shape this summer - weights, running, yoga. Best shape of your life, preferably. You do not want to get hurt on day 3 of your free year.

-W

waltworks

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 09:17:52 PM »
What do you plan to do during the rest of the season? I assume you are starting your year off right now/at the end of the summer. Do you start grad school in Fall 2018, then? If so, you'll need to think about what else you want to do with your time than ski, unless you want to do a never-summer southern hemisphere jaunt (Perisher is Epic Pass these days!) Or do you just want to spend a winter somewhere? If you can make it to your ski town of choice in the summer/fall, you have a decent shot at finding long term housing. If you wait for ski season when the J-1s show up, you will be screwed.

-W

Steeze

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 10:46:01 PM »
Lived in breckenridge and steamboat springs for a couple years each. Rent was 600-1000 a room in a big house with a bunch of other ski bums.

I worked at a hotel owned by the resort 4pm-midnight and could ski every single day and got a free pass. You can also work weekends as the mountains are packed with weekend warriors. Easy to pay rent and get by indefinitely working 3-4 days a week, especially if you wait tables or bar tend.

Living in employee housing is a good deal too. People from all over the world, always a party to go to, and prices are cheaper than in town.

Breck is super nice since you are close to keystone and A-Basin, plenty of public transportation, and a decent scene at night. Recommend to anyone to live there, but go for a full year at least. Kayaking and downhilling is just as fun as skiing.

wbranch

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 12:42:11 PM »
I am in North Idaho and don't ski but there are a few ski-resorts at one hour drove and even more within a few hours drive. I did a quick search and found this spot in Kellogg ID, $450/mo studio fully furnished: https://spokane.craigslist.org/apa/d/fully-furnished-studio/6624708596.html

Minutes to Silver Mtn, short drive to Lookout Pass at ID/MT border. Could also do a day trip to Schwietzer in Sandpoint or longer trip up to Whitewater in Nelson BC. Mount Spokane and 49į Degree North are within 2 hr drive. No idea how the passes work.

waltworks

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 04:57:15 PM »
Silver Mtn doesn't look terrible at all (I've never skied there, but 2k of vert is legit!) but if you're going to spend an entire season somewhere, you are probably going to want more terrain than that within easy reach. For true ski-bummage, you're basically looking at the I-70 resorts in CO, the SLC/PC area skiapalooza, or Tahoe, in the US. There are a ton of places with good skiing, but those are the 3 places with LOTS of good skiing (and lots of advanced good skiing), enough that you won't get bored skiing every day for an entire season.

-W

Steeze

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 10:37:13 PM »
Silver Mtn doesn't look terrible at all (I've never skied there, but 2k of vert is legit!) but if you're going to spend an entire season somewhere, you are probably going to want more terrain than that within easy reach. For true ski-bummage, you're basically looking at the I-70 resorts in CO, the SLC/PC area skiapalooza, or Tahoe, in the US. There are a ton of places with good skiing, but those are the 3 places with LOTS of good skiing (and lots of advanced good skiing), enough that you won't get bored skiing every day for an entire season.

-W

Bozeman, Montana is also a great place to ski bum. Bridger Bowl & Big Sky by public transit, decent university town, some decent jobs to be had, and lets not forget Jackson Hole all within a short drive! Live right in Big Sky for easy access if you don't mind the small town. Plus Yellowstone National Park & Glacier National Park are right out your door in the summer, also great places for a ski bum to work in the off season w/ affordable employee housing etc.!

clarkfan1979

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 10:37:53 PM »
I lived in Breckenridge during the 2003/2004 ski season and got 123 days. Bragging rights for summit county is 120 days. I also did it in between undergrad and grad school. I was a snowboard instructor at Breckenridge. Lessons start at 10:00 a.m. but the mountain opens at 8:30 a.m. so you can get quite a few runs in before you start your day. You get an hour for lunch and lessons end at 3:30, so you can get 1-2 more runs at the end of the day (3:30-4:00).

Best shape of my entire life. I could barely recognize myself.

I agree that you should buy the Epic Local Pass. This will give you 3 options (Summit County, Salt Lake or Tahoe). I think Summit County wins because A-Basin has the longest season. They typically open late October and close the first week of June. Most other resorts are done during the 2nd or 3rd week of April.

The other option is the California Pass (Mammoth, June, Big Bear and Snow Summit). Is housing near June less expensive? The Mammoth season is mid November to early June. Mammoth has tons of sunshine and will provide the best goggle tan.


Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 04:14:05 AM »
Get an epic "local" pass if they are still on sale (you don't actually need to be a local to anywhere to buy it). That pass is ~$600, blacked out most places over the holidays and a few other times. But you don't want to be skiing those times anyway, trust me.

That will let you live in/around PC/SLC and ski Park City, which has 400+ runs. You can easily spend a season exploring all of that. If you get bored, you have Crested Butte, Vail, A Basin, Keystone (no blackouts), Breck, etc to the east, and a bunch of decent Tahoe hills to the (decent long road trip) west.

SLC is not dirt cheap but you can find a little crappy place of your own for what you want to spend. Or you can get a room in a house in PC and be part of what passes for ski town life here (it's UT, so it's not too funky or crazy, but it's still a legit ski town). There are also tons of dead end seasonal jobs available if you want to make a few bucks in your spare time.

Get in really good shape this summer - weights, running, yoga. Best shape of your life, preferably. You do not want to get hurt on day 3 of your free year.

-W

What do you plan to do during the rest of the season? I assume you are starting your year off right now/at the end of the summer. Do you start grad school in Fall 2018, then? If so, you'll need to think about what else you want to do with your time than ski, unless you want to do a never-summer southern hemisphere jaunt (Perisher is Epic Pass these days!) Or do you just want to spend a winter somewhere? If you can make it to your ski town of choice in the summer/fall, you have a decent shot at finding long term housing. If you wait for ski season when the J-1s show up, you will be screwed.

-W

Hi Walt sorry for the delay! Thanks for all the interest. Yeah Utah sounds pretty good because I also want to explore the national parks there. I will be looking into Park City and Salt Lake City! And yep I'm very cautious about getting hurt. That's one of the only things that could really mess things up!

I'm actually planning this to begin May 2019 and then ending most likely August 2020 and starting school right there in fall 2020. So I'm planning way ahead. I will spend a few months that summer probably doing things with family and then going to ski after August 2019 or so. After 4-5 months though I think I will try to do something else! I have a friend who wants to do some crazy things and he will start right around the time I'm done skiing. He wants to walk across New Zealand the last I checked. A crazy idea, although it's too early to see how that plan will turn out.

I probably should have just put it in the original post, but I have 30k saved up and I'm not trying to spend it all but I AM trying to spend enough to get the best possible year of my life out of it. My thinking is I can most likely replenish it very quickly after I get a job. But I won't be able to take year long furloughs once I have a job.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 04:33:37 AM by Grif »

Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 04:25:57 AM »
You might look into sharing a ski lease - which is a 4 to 5 month furnished lease during ski season. In the Tahoe area they can run from $1500/month on up and can be split amongst several people. Some (those who still have jobs elsewhere) who may only use it on weekends and holidays. I did a 3 bbedroom one 2 seasons ago that was $2k/month split between 4 people.  Its a good way to spend a season skiing but not be locked into a long term lease or roommate situation. I have lived full time at a small ski resort in Calif. Its inexpensive but the skiing sucks at the 2 local resorts due to snow (or lack of snow) conditions.

ETA: Do you have a preference for east coast or west coast? Mountain west has best snow imho but more expensive. Here's a thread I started a couple of years ago with lots of great suggestions. I deleted my posts for privacy reasons so its kind of disjointed


https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/best-(and-cheapest)-mountainski-towns-to-move-to-after-fire/msg1103353

Hi Spartana! I think I'm more partial to west coast only because I've always skied in the west. And I never had a problem doing that. And Thank you that thread is perfect! @waltworks you were commenting in that thread from two years ago too! You're definitely a helpful soul!

Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 04:39:34 AM »
Lived in breckenridge and steamboat springs for a couple years each. Rent was 600-1000 a room in a big house with a bunch of other ski bums.

I worked at a hotel owned by the resort 4pm-midnight and could ski every single day and got a free pass. You can also work weekends as the mountains are packed with weekend warriors. Easy to pay rent and get by indefinitely working 3-4 days a week, especially if you wait tables or bar tend.

Living in employee housing is a good deal too. People from all over the world, always a party to go to, and prices are cheaper than in town.

Breck is super nice since you are close to keystone and A-Basin, plenty of public transportation, and a decent scene at night. Recommend to anyone to live there, but go for a full year at least. Kayaking and downhilling is just as fun as skiing.

Hey Steeze thanks for the info! I'm still juggling between getting a job or not. It sounds like the right job can make the whole season worth it, whereas a bad one can make it terrible. Do you know anyone who had a bad job/situation? Or did you meet a ton of people who were all enjoying theirs?

Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 04:59:23 AM »
I am in North Idaho and don't ski but there are a few ski-resorts at one hour drove and even more within a few hours drive. I did a quick search and found this spot in Kellogg ID, $450/mo studio fully furnished: https://spokane.craigslist.org/apa/d/fully-furnished-studio/6624708596.html

Minutes to Silver Mtn, short drive to Lookout Pass at ID/MT border. Could also do a day trip to Schwietzer in Sandpoint or longer trip up to Whitewater in Nelson BC. Mount Spokane and 49į Degree North are within 2 hr drive. No idea how the passes work.

I do keep hearing some things about Idaho. That little place for rent looks wonderful actually! I looked at those mountains and the passes and the mountains do look a little small but they did have other benefits like ice tubing and waterpark access and stuff. I guess I'm trying to get as close as I can to some big mountains though. Say is there anything else you do in Idaho that you really like?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 05:03:07 AM by Grif »

Askel

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2018, 06:20:06 AM »
Sounds like you're kind of young maybe? 

If so, stay the hell away from the resorts. 

Resort skiing is for prime, grade-A, consumer suckers.

The entire resort and the town surrounding it is designed to strip you of every last dollar they can whilst serving up a completely milquetoast skiing experience devoid of any real excitement, adventure, or challenge.     

Get yourself some climbing skins and a van with a good heater and chase the snow. Epic skiing for days without having to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of being herded onto the lifts and to refresh yourself with overpriced beers and burgers afterwards. 

Shit, with $30K you could do this for YEARS. 

Steeze

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 07:55:24 AM »
Work wise, I would say it is a net positive, good way to meet new people and have some guilt free spending money. Almost everyone you work with will be a ski bum and cool to ride with on your off days.

As far as bad situations, I would caution against a day job. Maybe teaching snowboarding is ok because your riding, but if you are stuck in a lesson when there is 24" of fresh you will hate your job. Overnight shifts are tough too, had friends that worked front desk at the hotel midnight to 8am, but they rarely made it to the mountain at a reasonable hour. Also will want to minimize weekdays since there are less people on the hill.

My best setup was bussing tables at a nice restaurant. Worked 5pm-10pm 4 days a week. Made 100-200 a shift cash. More than enough to get by, and super low expectations from management.

Anything in the 4pm-midnight time frame is prime. Best job I have heard of, my friend is a back country photographer. Edits photos and video at night and goes on back country tours all day. Makes bank and skis deep powder everyday. Tough to get into I'm sure.

Anyway, best of luck. I think it's really reasonable for you to take a year (or three) and not spend any of your stash. If you go to a bigger place like SLC, you might even find a good career in your field afterward and stay indefinitely.

All this talk is making me want to move back ASAP!

wbranch

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 09:42:45 AM »
I am in North Idaho and don't ski but there are a few ski-resorts at one hour drove and even more within a few hours drive. I did a quick search and found this spot in Kellogg ID, $450/mo studio fully furnished: https://spokane.craigslist.org/apa/d/fully-furnished-studio/6624708596.html

Minutes to Silver Mtn, short drive to Lookout Pass at ID/MT border. Could also do a day trip to Schwietzer in Sandpoint or longer trip up to Whitewater in Nelson BC. Mount Spokane and 49į Degree North are within 2 hr drive. No idea how the passes work.

I do keep hearing some things about Idaho. That little place for rent looks wonderful actually! I looked at those mountains and the passes and the mountains do look a little small but they did have other benefits like ice tubing and waterpark access and stuff. I guess I'm trying to get as close as I can to some big mountains though. Say is there anything else you do in Idaho that you really like?

The northern Bitterroot mountains do not have the high peaks that are further south in ID or in other mountainous states. But they are very rugged, steep and thickly forested. Snowfall is high, 500+ inches at the ID/MT divide this past winter. Areas of the ID Panhandle and NW Montana are considered temperate rainforest due to the combined amount of rain/snowfall. We mainly snowshoe and do lower elevation hiking in the winters, but I have been looking into altai skis for a backcountry exploring option. The only issue is finding the time. Spring, summer, and fall is all hiking, fishing, camping and hunting. On June 10th we had an awesome hike to an alpine lake and experienced a small blizzard. June 17th we did a hike to a high peak and saw 8 mountain goats. Fun stuff like that. At least not when I am working too damn much.

waltworks

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2018, 10:02:55 AM »
   Get yourself some climbing skins and a van with a good heater and chase the snow.

Dude is a self-professed beginner skier with presumably no avy gear, experience, or (as of now) partners to ski with. If he gets that stuff, great plan. As of now? Terrible one. Resort skiing is totally awesome if you do it right. Backcountry skiing is totally awesome if you do it right too, but not until you know WTF you're doing.

The "living in a ski town" thing is also a big deal to some people, of course, and it's getting a LOT harder to do the vanlife thing near any of the resorts around here these days. You'll get ticketed for sleeping in your car all over the Wasatch now. :(

-W

Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2018, 10:16:12 AM »
Sounds like you're kind of young maybe? 

If so, stay the hell away from the resorts. 

Resort skiing is for prime, grade-A, consumer suckers.

The entire resort and the town surrounding it is designed to strip you of every last dollar they can whilst serving up a completely milquetoast skiing experience devoid of any real excitement, adventure, or challenge.     

Get yourself some climbing skins and a van with a good heater and chase the snow. Epic skiing for days without having to pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of being herded onto the lifts and to refresh yourself with overpriced beers and burgers afterwards. 

Shit, with $30K you could do this for YEARS.

Yeah pretty young haha! I wouldn't worry too much about me at the resorts.. I'm the kind of person to bring my own food to everything and in general I'm pretty cheap. I think the lift pass is worth it.

I do like your idea and I've considered some true ski bumming while doing vandwelling. As much as I want to do it I'm just completely inexperienced with it. For me I feel like my mindset is not right until I'm FI. I guess instead of living a low cost low income life my plan is to have my year of fun then try to get that high paying job so I can be free quicker.

Grif

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2018, 10:26:00 AM »

Well there's skiing in New Zealand too (where sister lived and worked for a year after her stint in Mammoth) so maybe you and your friend can combine a season of skiing with travel there. Oh and Mammoth can often stay open thru late June and even  July 4th a year or 2 ago so it can be a good option. Kind of isolated though. I live at Big Bear and get the Calif Pass so can ski at Mammoth too. I have access to a place that costs $15/night there thru a ski club (no new peeps allowed though) but I have friends who do ski leases for around $500/month per person.

Unfortunately I don't think my friend skis! He's a hardcore hiker though. Thanks for the info on California. There's a loooooooooot over there I want to do, not just skiing but hiking and visiting too!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 10:29:53 AM by Grif »

Russ

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 11:03:29 AM »
If you're into partying all the time, nothing wrong with locking yourself into a resort
but I'd get bored after a while
a touring setup can be cheaper than a season pass, you can ski way more interesting places, live cheaper, go wherever you want
do some hut trips, do some ski mountaineering, that would be the life

ToTheMoon

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2018, 12:52:48 PM »
If the US dollar stays strong, you could consider Canada for your skiing adventure.

The RCR pass gets you access to Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberly, (and Nakiska, but it isn't awesome) resorts https://skircr.com/purchase/rcr-rockies-season-passes/#.  I am in Golden (Kicking Horse is about a 10-15 minute drive up) and the other resorts are about 2-3 hour drive from here.  There is also Lake Louise, Sunshine, and Revelstoke ski resorts within 1- 2 hours from here.  Silverstar, Sun Peaks, and Big White are also good options and are all relatively close to each other (though I do not think there is a specific pass that includes them all.) 

(The ski touring in the area is also amazing, if you decide to try that out at all.)

Rooms are available to rent in a shared house within your price range ($500-800 CAD/month) and I think you would find similar pricing around most of the other resorts.

Good on you for planning so far out - I hope you have a great adventure!

Clean Shaven

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2018, 01:32:49 PM »
I don't think it was mentioned earlier in the thread - look at the Ikon pass too. Similar to the Epic one, but not Vail owned.

Askel

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2018, 09:47:43 PM »
You'll get ticketed for sleeping in your car all over the Wasatch now. :(

Duh. Of course you're going to get shit if you pass out in mom's minivan in the parking lot of the Peruvian.   

Telecaster

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2018, 11:42:22 PM »
A couple things to consider, if you are open to living near ski areas, but not in a ski town:

Try Ogden Utah (or Ogden Valley, which is different than Ogden City).  There are a couple very good nearby resorts (half an hour-ish drive) plus the Salt Lake resorts are within easy driving distance.  Cheaper than Salt Lake and definitely cheaper than Park City.

Or try Boise ID.  There is a ski hill close by, and number of others that are withing reasonable driving distance. 

PrairieBeardstache

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2018, 09:37:25 AM »
If the US dollar stays strong, you could consider Canada for your skiing adventure.

The RCR pass gets you access to Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberly, (and Nakiska, but it isn't awesome) resorts https://skircr.com/purchase/rcr-rockies-season-passes/#.  I am in Golden (Kicking Horse is about a 10-15 minute drive up) and the other resorts are about 2-3 hour drive from here.  There is also Lake Louise, Sunshine, and Revelstoke ski resorts within 1- 2 hours from here.  Silverstar, Sun Peaks, and Big White are also good options and are all relatively close to each other (though I do not think there is a specific pass that includes them all.) 

I did this this last Winter. If you're not a proficient skier, Kicking Horse will kick your ass, hard. But it is a great mountain, Fernie relatively close and more intermediate friendly. Sunshine/LL being the big resort hills feel like a walk in the park relative to the others.

Golden is a great town for skiers, less resorty than Banff. Fernie is in between the two in terms of resort like.

That said, I highly recommend the Canadian Rockies. If you want great skiing and great resort town my personal favorite is Whistler, but that can be very expensive.

TrMama

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Re: Anyone live by a ski resort?
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2018, 12:42:59 PM »
If the US dollar stays strong, you could consider Canada for your skiing adventure.

The RCR pass gets you access to Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberly, (and Nakiska, but it isn't awesome) resorts https://skircr.com/purchase/rcr-rockies-season-passes/#.  I am in Golden (Kicking Horse is about a 10-15 minute drive up) and the other resorts are about 2-3 hour drive from here.  There is also Lake Louise, Sunshine, and Revelstoke ski resorts within 1- 2 hours from here.  Silverstar, Sun Peaks, and Big White are also good options and are all relatively close to each other (though I do not think there is a specific pass that includes them all.) 

I did this this last Winter. If you're not a proficient skier, Kicking Horse will kick your ass, hard. But it is a great mountain, Fernie relatively close and more intermediate friendly. Sunshine/LL being the big resort hills feel like a walk in the park relative to the others.

Golden is a great town for skiers, less resorty than Banff. Fernie is in between the two in terms of resort like.

That said, I highly recommend the Canadian Rockies. If you want great skiing and great resort town my personal favorite is Whistler, but that can be very expensive.

Ditto to this plan. The exchange rate for you is fantastic right now, and isn't likely to get any better until you guys get a new president. Your $30,000 US is worth $39,931 CAN. Working might be off the table though.

Some of the resorts in the Canadian Rockies offer combined passes, but if you want to really branch out, a Gold pass from the Canadian Ski Council. It gets you 20 (?) days at any hill in Western Canada. Not cheap, but would be a kickass add on to whatever season pass you get.

The other thing I'd keep in mind is that with skiing every day, your skills will increase pretty rapidly. You may be comfy on blue groomers now, but after a month or so, those runs are going to be boring. While I agree that going off the resort is too big of a stretch this year, look for a hill that has some more advanced terrain for you to move to as you get better.

Have a blast! Skiing is my FIRE plan.