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Utah Ski Lodging

TIPS on Planning an Annual Snowboard & Ski trip.


01-04-08

Our annual ski trip is coming up this month during Sundance weekend and I'm looking forward to it.  There's very little left to do since everyone has pretty much been confirmed with flights and payment.  If you are the organizer for any ski trip, no matter what size, I can totally relate.  It truly is like herding cats.

Here's what to consider:

What is the size of your group?  Our 3 homes can hold a maximum of 25 people.  In our case we our booking all three houses for the same dates.  I recommend planning this at least 6 months in advance so that you have the best chance of getting all 3 houses for the same dates. 

Have strict deadlines.  When planning so far in advance what inevitably happens is that people back out for whatever reasons.  Out of the original 25 people who had originally committed, 4 ended up backing out.  Also have a wait list when you reach capacity, because those people who were on the wait list are now in.  We still have more people who want to go but there is simply no room for everyone to be comfortable. 

Car Rental - should be the last thing that you plan.  Why?  Because you want everyone to get their flights first.  Coordinate what time people are going to be arriving at the airport and have them share.  Plan on having no more than 2-3 cars per house.  This especially depends on the size of the vehicle.  Whille I was staying at the 4 bed with hot tub, I visited the guests who were staying at the 4 bed with sauna.  They had one super super large passenger van the one that holds 15 people.  That will not fit in the garage and they had to park diagonal in the driveway so that the vehicle would not hang out into the street.  These houses were built in the early 80s and were not designed to fit big SUV's either.  Regular size cars and small to medium size SUV's will fit inside the 2 car garage however the super large SUV's like Ford expeditions or Surburbans will have to be parked in the driveway. 

Create a free private FACEBOOK page for your annual ski trip.  I posted all of our information for guests there so that they don't drive me nutz by asking the same questions. It's private, so it can't be seen by all your facebook contacts.  You have to invite people to this private page.   We also have friends that don't know each other so it's nice to see their facebook pictures and see who you are going to be vacationing with.  Get's people pumped up.  Everyone can post pictures, talk to each other, post their flights, post the house addresses and instructions, make announcements like seeing a Warren Miller Flick before the vacation, etc...

ROOM ASSIGNMENT - This is very important.  If you are in charge of placing people you absolutely need to create a bedroom chart.  I created a house and bedroom chart using excel.  This will change continuously up to the last minute because of people dropping out and coming in.  Couples and families get placed first and then you can plan where the singles get placed.  I do not reveal room assignments until the last day.  Think of it like planning a wedding seat assignment. 

More to come...


Date: 02-17-08

Whether you are organizing an all girls ski trip, an all boys ski trip, or an annual friends and family ski trip.  Our Utah vacation condos will be perfect for the occasion because of cost, location, and comfort.

How we do it.

Since in our real lives, we are of the working class and tightly woven into our careers, we decided that our careers are not making us any younger and need to start planning fun annual ski trips again like when we were in college.  Now every year we plan an "annual ski invitational" and send out invites several months in advance to 25 of our closest, coolest, and most entertaining friends.  For one week, we block off all three houses which are located in the same neighborhood only steps apart.  So walking over to the house is super easy and convenient. 

Each ski condo houses guests with certain demographics.

4 Bedroom House with the Pool Table & Hot Tub: Couples or singles
4 Bedroom House with Sauna: Family with kids
3 Bedroom House with Hot Tub: Couples or Single

It's a good idea to have a designated fun house where everyone can congregate.  The house with pool table and hot tub was perfect.  It was nice that no one had to drive to hangout with each other. 

The houses would take turns hosting dinners which was really nice.  Some houses are better at cooking meals than others.  The house with the singles and couples ordered Thai food, taking the easy way out.  That was the house that I was in.  This was my vacation too, even though I am the host, I had no intention of cooking for a big crew.

The house with the families hosted an amazing family style meal.  Started with fabulous wines, some wines even recommended by a local sommelier (email if you are interested), the food was totally tasty and made with love, and the desert was totally creative, they made snow ice cream, using the fresh snow from outside the house!!!   I was so impressed and delighted, I realized that I should have stayed in this house instead of the "fun house".  Next time I need to be where the winos and the cooks are!  The kids were well behaved and made personalized wine doilies so every dinner guest knew which wine glass was theirs.  The kids celebrated by drinking some type of juice in a champagne flute.  This whole evening I was taking mental notes on who to invite for next year.  It's a huge plus if you your guests love to cook and entertain!  What a great crew of people to vacation with!  :)

This years trip was a huge success.  Guests got to ski all 4 resorts.  There was a lot of autonomy and space to do your own thing. 

I noticed that several guests (including myself) were much slower in getting to the slopes.  There were the early risers (my husband, the wannabe ski bum) those who need to get fresh tracks, especially when there's been a new dump of powder the night before.  Then there are the leisurely slow risers who need coffee, breakfast, take a peek out the window type of thing.  And they usually have their own car or took the shuttle to the slopes.

Meeting up with the group posed a challenge who all have different ski levels.  Cell phone coverage is spotty.  If you have radios, bring it.  Otherwise make sure that you have a solid time and place where everyone can touch base like lunch at the lodge. 

The kiddies were put in ski school all day, they looked and skied great.

Finally be sure to know where the medical clinic at the resort is located and ski with at least one other person especially if you are skiing terrain, trees, black diamonds, anything non-groomed where patrol won't be able to find you easily.  Even though we are all good skiers unexpected accidents do happen and it's important to know where to go or have another person help you out.  We had a few ugly spills on this trip.  I hope this doesn't happen to you or your group so I'm sending good ski Karma in "spirit finger" fashion your way!! 

The other part of it was that Utah received an exciting amount of snow this year and some were not used to skiing in it. 

If you are organizing a trip and need help planning and blocking out all three houses drop an email or call.  I'd be happy to check availability.

Sincerely,
The Powder Princess  :)

DA Realty, LLC.,
Tel:   (858) 610-4361
Tel:  (619) 339-5234
Fax: (866) 596-3183
Website: www.PerfectPowderHomes.com
Email: info@perfectpowderhomes.com       
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