Once upon a time you had to reserve Christmas vacation week at your favorite ski area a year in advance, with a minimum seven-night stay. When I worked in the ski biz (late 80's, early 90's), families would check out after the New Year, groggy and tired - but alert enough to book that condo for the following Christmas vacation (albeit with a slight rate increase). Christmas to New Year's was a sell-out in ski country.
Times have changed - travelers are savvy and the world is at our fingertips on the web. Skiers and riders can watch the weather, and wait for last-minute deals. And the tradition of going to the same resort year after year has been replaced with going wherever is trendy (and has the highest trail count).
What does this means for you? There is still lodging to be booked for this peak holiday week. You have probably heard and seen ads for Christmas and New Year's lodging availability at ski resorts throughout New England. That's a sure indication that they have vacancies, and you have an opportunity for a last-minute ski vacation. New England resorts are blowing snow at every chance to expand terrain, and planning fireworks and festivities next week to make the season as white and bright as possible. So do a little web surfing, make a few calls and you can find that condo or hotel room, and get your family a ski getaway (even if it's just for a few nights).
The alternative is staying home with the kids on school holiday. Without big piles of snow in the yard to climb on, they will be climbing the walls, facebooking themselves into a frenzy, and tweeting themselves into a twitter. Don't you think it would be better to get everyone outside on a hillside for some snow social and alpine exhilaration?
Photo by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.