All things said, I am seriously considering rebooking now, with a couple restrictions.
- Jan 8-9 through 12
- March 27-30
- Air - Ideally somewhere Southwest flies, since I can rebook air travel without fees, and I don't have to pay extra to take my board
- Ground - somewhere I can use ground transport from airport to hotel, and shuttle from hotel to mountain, because I am not a fan of driving
Ohh boy.....well let me chime-in. I love these questions.
I cannot endorse Breck. Breck was my first "out west trip" and it is beautiful. I'm from PA and I was hooked. Then I got to experience Utah. Then I got to experience Tahoe.
Breck is a Pain in the Hiney to get to. Fly to Denver and take Shuttle for 2 hours to Breck or rent a car? Meh. Breck doesn't get the huge snowfalls, generally. It can get decent snow and on certain years when everyone gets snow (2011), it can get a ton. However, In January....Breck IS FRIGGEN COLD!!!
Heavenly (South Lake Tahoe) is also difficult to get to with the drive from Reno to SLT. Beautiful views, decent snow, and local mountains that when it snows....IT SNOWS!!! (Kirkwood)
Park City....A little of the same, but much easier to get to from the Airport. While Breck is COLD with OK snow, PC can be a little Warmer with about the same snowfall. PLUS, there are some resorts near Park City that generally get much more snow than all of the above places, similar price, and easy access to the airport.
Soooo......It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to stay in a ski town....I might suggest Park City or Breckenridge. South Lake Tahoe is pretty spread-out unless you are staying at the base of Heavenly.....plus, the whole Heavenly layout blows for ski-in/ski-out. If you are going with a specific focus on riding, stay somewhere in the Salt Lake City area and ride Brighton or Snowbird. Unlike the other places, you can spend part of one (or both) of your travel days on the mountain before or after you get on a plane. It is very difficult to do that at Breckenridge or Heavenly.
PLUS, trying to Judge now, what the snow will be in Jan or March is very difficult. I will say this. I've given-up traveling in January. The base/snowpack is usually mediocre and it is much colder at all spots. If it snows, thats great. If it doesn't, then it is boiler-plate/hardpack/gnar/yuk! IN MARCH, it still snows (usually more than January) and if it isn't snowing and the sun is out, it is usually much nicer weather and the hard-pack becomes mashed taters.
FOR SURE, I suggest booking in March.....take a sick day on March 31.