Bundle your lodging with lift tickets to get the best price.
As with all real estate, location is everything for ski lodging. You want to make sure that you are close to the ski resort as possible (ski in ski out is the dream!) as well as within close proximity to the town to indulge in après ski.
To get the most out of your lodging budget, you need to think off-peak. Try to avoid the holiday season and the weekend rush. You can usually land a deal early in the season or late in the season.
Price for ski lodging is usually a function of its location and timing. If you're working with a tight budget, skip the big name ski areas for the local favorites. They are less touristy and maintain a more relaxed atmosphere. The trade-off is that there are less options and they don't have the brand recognition.
The first step is to choose where you want to ski. Major ski destinations like Colorado and Utah are home to many resorts – everything from the big brand names, local hangouts and the family favorites. Lodging for smaller resorts are more limited but offer more value whereas bigger names have more options but comes at a price.
The next step is to pick lodging which suits you. For the most part, it's a matter of finding an affordable ski lodge as close as possible to the slopes. Once you have found a property you're interested in, plan out how you are going to get to and from the slopes. Is there a free shuttle bus that takes you to and from the resort? Or is it within walking distance? Or better yet, is it ski-in ski-out?
Ski-in-ski-out lodging is simply accommodation which is connected to the mountain such that you can just 'ski out' in the morning and 'ski in' at the end of the day.
This is important because when we imagine a "ski vacation", we don't think packed shuttle rides, uphill slogs while shouldering skis or the long drive home. Our brains just forget these inconvenient details, going directly from the slopes to a nice cozy lodge. In order to make this vision a reality, you need ski-in/ski-out lodging which isn't cheap.
9am - 8pm MST, 7 days a week