Here’s when the sinking economy has its benefits: ridiculously low airfare to big ski towns. How’s this deal for the recently laid-off snow fanatic with some severance to spend: $69 roundtrip to Crested Butte, Colorado from Washington, D.C. on American Airlines. The catch is it’s only $69 if you fly on some off-days, but if you’re making the trip to Crested Butte from Washington, you’re going to stay more than just a weekend. (It also costs more to ski down the mountain at Crested Butte than to fly a few thousand miles to it).
This happened upon my screen while I was surfing, out of pure curiousity, for somewhere to go over the upcoming President’s Day weekend in which I will likely have four days to kill (my office tends to give us an extra day to pad a 3-day weekend, whcih is nice). And having been fully spoiled by 10,000+ feet mountains covered in fluffy powder out in California, the options of ski “resorts” around the nation’s capital are pretty grim. And with being the sole breadwinner ina shaky economy, I have to be smart about how we spend our travel budget, like much of America and the world, really.
So imagine my delight to come across the $69 Crested Butte deal. I was about to drive us to Wintergreen Resort and all 4,000 of its vertical feet. Virginia’s “Premier Ski Resort”. There’s more: from Chicago to Vail, you can score $120 roundtrip; Miami to Steamboat Springs is $112; New York City to Vail is $195. Scan Craigslist for a vacation rental for cheap and be prepared to buy lift tickets with all your gear, including goggles and helmet, on your head, so you can pass as a child next to your husband and get the child’s price. (This is tried-and-true).
Now I’ve never been to Crested Butte, but I did have a graduate school classmate who lived there for several years as a ski instructor and just loved it. And for $69, it sure beats going to Wintergreen Resort.