Ski Salt Lake Utah 2011 – time to slide but where is the snow?

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I was in need of a mileage run to end the year, but having fun with my dear bride in Utah was better than just flying by myself somewhere and back! We originally booked the trip with vouchers from IND-SLC round trip and all but $120 was covered so I used Capital One points to pay that part. Then my favorite friend, the schedule change, came a-callin’ and I was able have the flights changed from IND-SLC to SBN-DTW-SLC! Yep, saved 3 hrs driving each way for free! Not only that but my upgrades cleared both ways to 1st class before we even departed.

SBN has had some major work done and the new terminal is almost done and very spiffy as you can see.

Our CRJ out of SBN went fine but boy did the plane next to ours need a new paint job.

As always I followed my own advice and stopped into the oraoxygen spa for a massage. Christine was very very good and I suggest you do this, (here is the number for the spa – 734.247.4770), as soon as you land and the FA says you can turn on your phone, call and check wait times and set an appointment so you just walk up! After my chair massage we were then off to the SKYCLUB for a glass of wine pre-flight.

Our flight was an Airbus 320. All was on time and went smooth. Once arriving at SLC we picked up our car at Alamo ( a Chevy Cruze – worst car I have ever rented never again ), again this part was free, paid for by Capital One points, and went north to the Home2Suites Hilton hotel in Layton on Points Stretcher ( that we all hope comes back for 2012 ) for 7500 Hilton points per night. Not bad compared to the standard points rate.

The rooms were fine. Nothing special but nice. One thing about the room was there were power ports all over. In the lamps – I mean everywhere. Also, the bed was comfortable, continental breakfast was fine, and no joy for an upgrade despite being Hilton GOLD. So if you are keeping track, flight, car, hotel – all free so far.

The first day we headed out to Snowbasin, the site of the 2002 Olympic downhill, and had a blast as you can see. They have not had much snow so part of the mountain was not yet open but conditions were still good and crowds were light!


Lisa and I had not been on skis for a year so it took a while to get our legs back! The big plus was lift tickets were free on my bride’s Capital One card as I called and was told lifts count as transportation up the mountain. How kool is that?

We turned in early as pretty much everything was closed on the 25th eve and we wanted to get an early start for day two on the slopes.

For day two we went to probably my favorite ski spot on the planet – Alta.  Again the crowds were light and conditions were good. Not great but better than at Snowbasin. Most of the snow was natural but to show how bad this winter has been, they had already used up their entire water allotment to blow snow for the year. If you go to Salt Lake, and ski (no boarders here) please make the time to try it. You will love it!

Dinner tonight was an experience from our friends at We went to a place just north of where we were staying called  jasoh!  Again the coupons did not disappoint as oh my was the food great! The place has both a 5 star and a brew pub side. We went 5 star and both had a great steak dinner. I am amazed how many home runs you can hit with these things and save big bucks on great food. I will be back for trip two in 2012. Congratulations to all who got in on the last deal by the way!

Our final day we went to another one of our favorite old stomping grounds Brighton. We wanted to go to Powder Mountain but the snow was just too poor. Brighton is where this photo was taken I feature in my about me part of the blog. We skied a little less than days one and two as this old body does not have the “last run” stamina anymore I had in years gone by. But as you can see from the photo, wow is this a beautiful part of the planet to visit in winter!

Our trip home was on a 757-200. I like the seats much better on the Airbus 320 we had on the way out. I had a chance to play with the Ebay free GOGO internet and here is the speed I got upload and download.

Also I did find out that you can use the multi-browser trick to get 30 min free again and again. I did have a small issue on the flight and talked about it live in flight  here at Flyer Talk  if you want to find out more what happened.

So what did this little adventure cost me. Air free on ETV’s and C1 points. Car free C1 points. Hotel free Hilton points. Some lifts free C1 points. Food some free coupons. I did end up paying for a few lift tickets on my Citi ThankYou card as I have some spending to do on that after my last round. I also paid for gas for the rental. Lunch was Subway each day for $7.00. The way I add up the costs I had a $2000 vacation for about $500 all in. I love points and what you can do! – Rene


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  1. Hi Mike – it will show up classified as “entertainment” on your statement so you have to call and they will then apply points to the transaction and from what I have been told it should work for any ski place but YMMV! – Rene

  2. Great report. I think the hotel is a great deal for 7500 points as most hotels charge $200+/night easily during peak season.

    I saw more weeds and rocks on the mountain than I ever have. It was like going there in early fall, unreal. At least the crowds did stay away.

  3. From what I was told yes. Every time every day. You just call them and they give you credit manually. Kool stuff you learn reading! – Rene

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