With the West enjoying a spectacular November and the big holiday season fast approaching, there's no time like the present to book that ski getaway.
In the Rockies, Winter Park, Keystone, Snowbird, and other resorts enjoyed some of their best openings in history. In Lake Tahoe, area resorts enjoyed a series of storms that blanketed parts of the Sierra Nevada in 10 feet of powder.
Some of the best ski deals currently available include:
Ski Deals in Colorado
At Crested Butte Mountain Resort (tel. 800/810-7669; www.skicb.com), kids 12 and younger will ski for free when lodging is purchased through the resort's Crested Butte Vacations. During the holiday season, Crested Butte has the "Grandest Christmas" package: a family vacation for a family of four with four nights at Crested Butte for under $1,000 if booked by Dec. 18. All season long, Crested Butte is also offering airline deals with the : Buy two airline tickets get a third free.
Book four or more nights at Aspen/Snowmass (tel. 800/308-6935; www.aspensnowmass.com) from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10, and get a night free plus a "Perfect Storm" card good for discounts on ski and snowboard lessons as well as additional in-resort discounts. The deal must be booked by Dec. 17, 2010.
At Steamboat (tel. 970/879-0740; www.steamboat.com) in Steamboat Springs, purchase three nights of lodging through Steamboat Central Reservations (tel. 877/783-2628) and ski free for vacations before Dec. 18, 2010 and after April 1, 2011. With Steamboat's "Kids Ski Free" and "Kids Rent Free" packages, skiers and snowboarders under 13 receive free lift tickets when a parent or grandparent buys five or more days of lift tickets; same goes for equipment rentals.
Ski Deals in California
Kirkwood Mountain Resort (tel. 209/258-6000; www.kirkwood.com) is the only major Tahoe-area resort offering no-blackout passes that access the mountain during the holidays. Prices go up Dec. 15, so buy now to lock in adult prices from $239 for five-day passes to unlimited passes at $699.
At Heavenly (tel. 800/432-8365; www.skiheavenly.com) before Dec. 20 (and again in late season), book two nights' lodging and get two-for-one lift tickets and the third night free. The Heavenly ski package starts at about $135 per person per night.
Ski Deals in Utah
Book four nights of lodging at the four resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons -- Snowbird, Solitude, Alta, and Brighton -- and a Ski Salt Lake Super Pass good at all four resorts by Dec. 15 and get up to 25 percent off your room and the fourth day of skiing free. Check out the participating lodgings here.
In Ogden Valley -- home to Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Wolf Creek Utah -- lodging deals abound: The Red Moose Lodge (tel. 801/745-6667; www.theredmooselodge.com) is offering 20 percent discounts to those who enter the promo code "whitesale" until Dec. 10. Basinview Lodging (tel. 877/686-4733; www.basinviewlodging.com) is offering ski-and-stay packages that includes a pass to both of the above resorts starting at $100 per night. There are additional Ogden Valley deals here.
Winter Deals in Wyoming
In Yellowstone National Park (tel. 307/344-7381; www.nps.gov/yell), the "Frosty Fun at Mammoth" package starts at $109 per person for two nights and includes lodging at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, two breakfasts, a private hot tub rental, and additional perks. Book through Yellowstone National Park Lodges (tel. 866/439-7375; www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com).
Ski Deals in Canada
Opening six days early (Nov. 19) thanks to favorable conditions, Whistler Blackcomb (tel.888/403-4727; www.whistlerblackcomb.com) is offering a ski-and-stay package until Dec. 19 that starts at $107 per person per night.