With Sun Valley, Idahos entry into Ski
magazines top 10 awards, several new luxury properties in Jackson
Hole, Wyo., and a new ski mountain in Montana, the Big Sky region
is coming into its own among snow sports enthusiasts looking for
new destination ski experiences.
The following is
a sampling of improvements and specials for the coming season in
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana:
Seasons Jackson Hole, which opened last year, has brought
luxury to this rugged ski area with its ski-in/ski-out access and
pampering service. Ski valets are on hand to carry your equipment
to the lift and tune your skis overnight.
That said, the
property is family-friendly, with a Kids Club for children age 18
and younger offering gaming stations, a pool table, foosball table,
TV, movies, books and toys.
are Kids Fun Nights, complete with arts and crafts, games and
dinner and nanny services.
At Jackson Hole
Mountain Resort, children under age 17 can take part in activities
at the Kids Ranch, where they can play at Fort Wyoming, an outdoor
Wild West sports playground; take Ske-cology, an interactive
program combining ski and snowboard lessons with environmental
education; or test their mettle at Team Extreme, where they can
tackle the steeper trails with a ski instructor.
Families can also
take a guided snow-coach tour through Yellowstone National Park,
cross-country ski in Grand Teton National Park or hunker down for a
sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge.
After a day in
the snow, families can warm up at the hotel in the heated hot
springs-style outdoor pool and three outdoor hot tubs, accompanied
by complimentary hot chocolate and smores.
Packages at the
148-room, 24-suite property follow:
Ski Free and
Ski Spree, available Dec. 2 to April 2, includes a daily lift
ticket to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and daily equipment
rental for two. Rates start at $455, double, from Jan. 2 to 22;
$670 from Jan. 23 to April 2.
good through April 2, features accommodations for two and a
50-minute spa treatment. Prices begin at $385, single or double,
from Jan. 2 to Jan. 22; $590, single or double, from Jan. 23 to
Free, good Jan. 2 to April 2, includes a fourth night free for
guests who pay for three nights.
819-5053 or go to www.fourseasons.com.
Agents can help
skiers save up to 50% on an early season Ski Free package at
Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole. From Dec. 3 to
Dec. 24, participants pay from $150 per room per night, double, for
accommodations with a fireplace; breakfast for two at the Granary
restaurant and lift tickets for two to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
or Grand Targhee.
Grand Targhee typically
opens before Thanksgiving; Jackson Hole is slated to open in early
Ranch accommodations feature stone fireplaces and hand-crafted pine
furniture and include suites, studios with full kitchens, two- and
three-bedroom luxury condos and executive homes. The property also
features a Wilderness Adventure Spa. A complimentary shuttle
service is available to link guests from the slopes into
443-6139 or (307) 733-8833 or visit www.springcreekranch.com.
Mountain Lodge in Jackson Hole features 79 condominium
units that can be broken into 128 hotel suites and rooms, all
located slope-side at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and less
than a mile from Grand Teton National Park.
The lodge is
gearing up for the upcoming ski season with a variety of new
programs and packages.
The Tip Top
Tune package includes four nights of on-slope accommodations, three
days of skiing or snowboarding at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort,
daily breakfast and an equipment tune-up. Also included is a
Skiers/Riders Tune-Up Massage at the new Mountain Lodge Spa. The
package starts at $690 per person, double.
Dream package includes four nights of slope-side accommodations,
three days of lift tickets and daily breakfast at the Lodges
Cascade Grill House. The price is from $550 per person,
The Home Away
From Home package features four nights in a one-bedroom condo, $100
worth of stocked groceries upon arrival, three days of adult lift
tickets, a family sleigh ride to Solitude Cabin for dinner and
daily breakfast at the Lodges Cascade Grill House. The package
starts at $565 per person for a family of four with two kids age 10
packages are available from Dec. 3 to April 2 and do not include
tax or resort fee. Visit www.tetonlodge.com or call (800)
River Lodge & Spa in Jackson Hole unveiled a How Sweet
It Is package designed to highlight the mountains new Sweetwater
chair lift. Available Dec. 3 to April 2, the package includes an
80-minute Sweet Earth Wrap per person, inspired by the hydrothermal
clay and minerals at Yellowstone National Park.
Also included are
four nights accommodations, daily breakfast and three days of
skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Rates start at $2,529,
double, not including tax. Call (866) 975-ROCK or visit www.rockresorts.com.
enthusiasts looking for uncrowded slopes and a host of on- and
off-mountain snow activities may want to consider a visit to
Big Mountain Resort in Whitefish.
the Summit House, a cafe and bar, are under way this season, with
new furnishings and a new menu.
development, to the tune of $12.5 million, will include a new day
lodge, expanded novice terrain and a hotel-conference
Both the hotel
and the Outpost Lodge expansion will be ready for the winter
season. A new Base Camp Kids Center features childcare and ski
The mountain can
accommodate some 1,600 people in a variety of lodging options, from
condominiums and townhouses to hotels and motels. The Morning Eagle
Lodge in Big Mountain Village, for example, offers ski in/out
accommodations and shops at the Morning Eagle pavilion.
There are 3,000
acres in all, with 91 trails -- the longest of which, Hellfire, is
3.3 miles -- and the resort features plenty of tree- and
bowl-skiing. The terrain is mixed, with 20% for beginners, 50% for
intermediates and 30% for experts, all served by 13
New for 2005-2006
is a five-day winter pass priced at $175 per person, good for five
days of skiing or riding during the winter season, excluding Dec.
26 to Jan. 1 and Feb. 18 to 20.
deals include Hibernation House Value Season packages starting at
$65 per person, per day, double, for lodging, lift tickets and
breakfast. The special is valid Nov. 23 to Dec. 17 and April 1 to
Kids age 6 and
under ski free, while adults pay $49 a day for lift tickets during
regular season, $39 in early and late season.
In addition to
downhill skiing, visitors can cross-country ski at Glacier Nordic
Center; snowshoe along trails on Big Mountain, Whitefish Lake,
Round Meadows and Glacier Park; and snowmobile from the Big
Mountain summit with the Montana Adventure Company. Families can
bundle up in elk furs on a dogsled tour along 12 miles of
Stillwater State Forest trails with Dog Sled Adventures on Big
Mountain or ice skate at the Stumptown Ice Pavilion.
858-4157 or visit www.bigmtn.com.
will offer joint lift tickets for the coming season that also allow
visitors unlimited access to neighboring resort Big
The two resorts
comprise almost 5,300 acres and 23 lifts serving terrain for a
variety of skill levels. Of the runs at Moonlight Basin, 25% are
for beginners, 50% for intermediates and 25% for advanced or
At the Moonlight
Basin base area, the Moonlight Lodge offers a gourmet restaurant
called the Timbers and a full-service spa.
the Madison base features a Wild West-style dinner theater at the
Jackass Creek Saloon.
For families, a
Moonlight Mountain Kids childcare center caters to kids ages 6
months to 8 years with such activities as sledding, ice skating and
snow shoeing; a Night Owls program operates several evenings a week
for children ages 5 to 12.
For the winter
season, the reciprocal Lone Peak Lift Ticket is priced at $78 for
adults and $59 for juniors and seniors, available at both Moonlight
Basin and Big Sky Resort. Kids age 10 and under ski free. Call
(406) 993-6000 or visit www.moonlightbasin.com.
Valley is marking its 70th anniversary this winter with an
early-season package set to run Nov. 23 to 27. It includes four
nights lodging, three days of skiing and a Thanksgiving dinner with
all the trimmings.
The package is
priced from $293 per person, double, not including tax. Visitors
can also tack on a pre-holiday package, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19,
that includes one nights accommodations and a lift ticket for $64
per person, double.
Families can take
advantage of a Kids Stay & Ski Free program that runs in
conjunction with both packages, enabling children under age 16 to
ski and stay free with parents at a Sun Valley Resort
The special is
good for one child per parent and is valid from Jan. 2 to 30 and
March 4 to the end of the season.
is a Lift Exchange Program, which allows skiers and snowboarders to
use their multiple-day lift tickets on other goods and services
Options include a
massage at the Sun Valley Salon & Day Spa; snowshoe rental and
lunch at Trail Creek Cabin; ice skating and lunch at Gretchens
Restaurant; Sunday brunch for two at the Sun Valley Lodge Dining
Room; dinner at the Ram Restaurant and a movie at the Opera House;
dinner for two at Bald Mountain Pizza and a movie; and a sleigh
ride and lunch at Trail Creek Cabin.
Visitors to Sun
Valley will notice a host of on-mountain improvements, including a
new 425-foot superpipe for skiers and snowboarders and a renovated
Sun Valley Inn Convention Center with more than 12,000 square feet
of meetings space. Call (800) 786-8259 or visit www.sunvalley.com.
reporter Felicity Long, send e-mail to [email protected].