Travelocity Highlights 2007 Spring Skiing Trends

From Extreme Backcountry Skiing to the Best Champagne Powder in the U.S., Travelocity Reveals the Best Places for Spring Skiing in 2007

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 20, 2007–Travelocity editors, including the newest contributing editor and ski guru Larry Olmsted, have carved, dug and traversed tirelessly to uncover the latest trends in 2007 spring skiing. Although skiing is universally considered a “Winter Sport,” some of the savviest travelers don’t even hit the slopes until spring has sprung. Avoiding blizzard-like conditions, icy mountains and wind chill factors, spring skiers will be some of the luckiest travelers this year if they’re armed with the right information.

“What many may not realize is that springtime offers some of the best ski conditions across the board, including warm and sunny climates, cheaper travel deals and plenty of deep powder,” said Larry Olmsted, Travelocity contributing editor. “You don’t need to suffer to enjoy sliding on snow.”

Travelocity editors have compiled a list of this year’s top spring skiing destinations, latest trends, and best locations to carve through the slopes.

Spring Break 2007 (Feb. 23 – March 26) Top Ski Destinations:

1. Denver
2. Salt Lake City
3. Reno
4. Vail Eagle
5. Steamboat Springs
6. Vancouver, BC
7. Jackson
8. Bozeman
9. Montrose
10. Calgary

2007 Spring Skiing Trends and Tricks of the Trade:

For the Extreme Skier: Ski resorts have been turning it up a notch and now offer skiers a new variety of ‘extreme options’. The trend started with Wyoming’s Jackson Hole which offers guided, controlled backcountry tours and lessons. A must for all extreme skiers, these backcountry tours include a safety lesson, loaner avalanche transceivers and probes, and lift access to areas previously only available to skiers by hiking.

It has expanded to places such as Telluride and Aspen Highlands. In Colorado, Breckenridge and Aspen Highlands built new lifts to reach their highest, steepest terrain, opening chutes, glades and bowls that once required lengthy hikes. Breck’s new chair is the highest lift in North America. Snowmass and Beaver Creek opened new cliff areas over the past two years, and they have steep chutes that will keep skiers in awe for years to come.

Cat skiing, which typically involves machines used to smooth ski runs throughout resorts, is the newest way for skiers to reach the unreachable. In Colorado, Keystone and Copper recently began using cats like lifts. Keystone sells one-ride snow-cat shuttles to its high-altitude North and South Bowls for just $5 a ride, offering access to untracked, in-bounds backcountry-style skiing in Bergman and Erickson bowls. Just down the road, Copper offers skiers a free cat shuttle to the top of Tucker Mountain, with more than 1,200 vertical feet of the resort’s most challenging terrain.

For the Intermediate Skier: Ski popularity began to wane in the 80s and 90s primarily because it’s such a difficult sport to master. It took decades, but skiing finally took a page from golf’s recent history and mastered the art of clinics, lessons and ski camps through their immersion ski school approach. Now, skiers are invited to take multi-day courses in an organized program with the same instructor.

Many of these programs and specialty camps are all-inclusive combining luxurious lodging, fine dining, parties and the best equipment. Due to their growing popularity, specialty sessions are now offered in steep skiing camps, mogul clinics and women’s clinics, while offering the same for snowboarding or tele skiing. Many clinics are taught by former Olympians or World Cup Racers, from the Mahre brothers at Deer Valley to Tommy Moe in Jackson.

For the Beginning Skier: Many ski resorts offer unbeatable ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes through on-site villages, which make it easy on beginners. Recent upgrades to these all-inclusive villages and accommodations include pedestrian access to food, shopping and entertainment via gondolas or plaza style walkways. From Heavenly’s growing casino and ski village to Breckenridge’s new gondola linking Colorado’s largest historic district with the base area and eliminating the need to drive, skiers no longer have to dig to find fun off the slopes.

Travelocity’s Top 3 Reasons to Ski Spring 2007:

— Warm and Sunny: Jackson Hole is known for its frigid conditions in January and February, but things really heat up in April. Temperatures range from 40 to 50 degrees during the spring months on this warm mountain.

— More Snow: Many regions, like central Colorado and the Sierras, statistically get more snow in March than any other month. If there is one thing snowboarders and skiers can agree on, it’s the more snow the better.

— More Bang for the Buck: The busiest days at just about every ski area in North America are Christmas to New Years week, President’s Day, and Martin Luther King weekends. Since all of these holidays fall in December, January and February, many ski resorts drop prices on lift tickets, lodging and even airfares for March and April. And, if you know where to look, there’s good skiing to be had almost into summer.

Where to Find the Best Snow:

Thanks to the Internet and more flights direct to ski country, you don’t have to plan a trip months in advance. But where should avid skiers plan their last minute trips to take advantage of the best snow this year?

— Whistler, British Columbia was a better mountain for biking than skiing at this time last year after an unusual drought season. In 2007 they are experiencing record snowfalls.

— Lake Tahoe area in California offers a dozen or so resorts, some of which average nearly 60 feet of snow annually. Some of the top resorts, such as Heavenly, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood, see the most snow annually.

— Colorado’s Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin usually close in the late spring months because they run out of skiers before snow.

— Mt. Bachelor, Oregon goes into July on average years and is already having a snowfall stunner this year.

— The Park City, Utah region, including nearby Alta and Snowbird, often remains open until mid-May thanks to 500 average inches of its famed “champagne powder” each season.

About Travelocity

Travelocity(R) is committed to being the traveler’s champion — before, during and after the trip — and is the only online travel company that guarantees not just the price, but the entire travel experience — see for details. This customer-driven focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the sixth largest travel agency — booking $10.1 billion in travel worldwide in 2006. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business(R) for corporate travelers,, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG), a world leader in travel commerce.

About Larry Olmsted

Larry Olmsted is the renaissance man of sports and travel, scouring the world for the best skiing, golf courses, biking, diving, you name it. But when he stops breaking a sweat he is a sucker for luxury hotels and an avid cook and food junkie. He writes equally passionately on golf and wine, skiing and watches. He is a contributing editor to several publications, including Cigar Aficionado, US Airways Magazine, and Elite Traveler, writes a golf travel column for USA, and his work has appeared everywhere from Golf Magazine and Elle to Outside, Men’s Journal and Men’s Health.

Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222
Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790

SOURCE: Travelocity