Originally Posted by m0rph3us
So, keen to get some recommendations as to resorts on the west coast (Canada or the US) that are decent.
Had sussed out Big White (maybe as a combo with Silverstar) and Mammoth as options (and maybe Fernie) but keen to get views or other suggestions. Given the distance, cost and need to book in advance, reliability of snowfall is pretty important (and I'm pretty set on ski-in ski-out too).
I know you want ski-in and ski-out but...
You can start by flying into Southern California then do a midweek day trip to Mountain High ,2 hour from about every where in Los Angeles. The weather is pretty predictable and they will have a lot of man made snow, although I had rare snow date at the end of December 2012 which was really good. You ski in and ski out of your car.
From there. once you are in LA you can fly out to Mammoth, Tahoe, Salt Lake City, or Colorado depending on where the snow is. Flights to Mammoth are always open because they basically started commercial flights only a couple of years ago and people in California love to drive their own cars 6 hours to Mammoth. In Mammoth there are tons of ski in ski out, but they have a lot of shuttle around town. You are either going to shuttle to the mountain or shuttle to the restaurants. Staying at "The Village" is basically ski in ski out, and walking distance to shops, but it is $$$ pricy. I no longer do ski in ski out because we don't use the kitchen in the condo of these places, but if you have kids , ski in and out makes more sense. There are three ways to rent: vacation rental by owner, condo rental via management company, rental from Mammoth Resort, you pay for convenience.
If the condition are bad for driving , they will do slow plow escort but it is usually for just a short distance.
June Mountain is 40 minutes away from Mammoth, it is just far enough to have totally different weather. It is a good backup plan for Mammoth, they will reopen June next year, but I don't know to what extent. There might be a storm in Mammoth but clear skies in June and june is always empty.
If you want to fly into Salt Lake City - You can stay in Down Town and take a shuttle to 4 different resorts 30-40 minutes away. You can also do ski in and ski out at those places but I want the options. The first time I went, I rented a 4WD car to drive everywhere, it doesn't make much sense with the transportation that they provide.
You can also fly from LAX to Eagle Colorado for Vail.
When people make the drive to Mammoth they know that they wont be stranded at an airport due to weather. If weather is so bad that they can't even drive, they won't be able to make it up there. I've been there for a week and my truck was buried under 5 feet of snow. Even then the conditions weren't harsh, although I now carry a snow shovel with me.
You can gamble and book a place far off in the future or pay a little extra and know exactly where the conditions are good next year.