Well Colorado used to be a good bet. Evidently Ullr has canceled winter around here.
So, Utah is one of the better places. Good snowfall and snow quality. Powder stashes last for a decent amount of time after a storm. The airport is pretty decent. The biggest advantage there is if you are renting a car, once you complete your paperwork you walk out the door, across the street, and get your car. No shuttling around to get your vehicle. The ski areas are anywhere from 30 minutes to just over an hour away.
You can find cheaper lodging in Salt Lake too, and be very close to the areas. I believe if you stay in Sandy, you can be a little over 15 minutes away from Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton. Park City gives you the Canyons and their name sake. Less snow there than the aforementioned Cottonwood resorts. Powder Mountain and Snowbasin are north of Salt Lake above Ogden. Less crowded, with a big less snowfall than the cottonwoods too. At least as much as the Park City areas though. With less visitor demand at places like Powder Mountain, stashes last. There is lodging to be found in Eden and you can catch a free bus from there to Pow Mow. Snowbasin is maybe a 15 minute drive. You can also stay in Odgen for probably less and have just over a 20 minute drive to either area.
Drawbacks are basically the after you're done riding scene. Some are going to disagree with me, but finding outstanding food is not easy in Utah. Pretty plain jane. Not horrible, but I have yet to go to a place that I have to revisit when I am there. Alcohol rules are messed up, but have relaxed a bit recently. Still, if you want to drink at where you sleep, 3.2 beer is what is sold at the grocery stores. The state run liquor stores charge more and are open weird hours. Plus only one location per city. The snow and terrain are killer though, and the aside stuff has never made me not do a trip to Utah.
Tahoe. Kind of feast or famine. This year seems to be on feast though. Also, if it's not snowing it's typically sunny. Lake views are stunning around Tahoe. I'd look at Squaw/Alpine, Sugarbowl for North Shore stuff. Though Lake views are not really there for those areas. The terrain is far superior to Heavenly. South shore is where Heavenly lies. Which is decent, but if you go there, plan on hitting Kirkwood too. 30 minutes or so West from SLT. Great area and one of the snowiest in the US. Sierra and Homewood are nice small areas to visit too.
March is the snowiest month at both locations. January can be just fine at either of the two spots, just colder. Especially in Utah.
*sorry missed your part about ground transportation, Park City best fits the bill. Though if you just did Heavenly and fly into the SLT airport, you can walk out of the hotel to the lift on the south shore. Probably good rates to be found at some of the casino hotels.*
Last edited by killclimbz; 11-29-2012 at 01:42 PM.