Skiing economics (part 2) – accommodations

Snacks in Vail
Homemade brownies are a welcome hostess gift!

Ski shares, room rentals, and friends, oh my!

Last time, I wrote about all of the logistics involved in enjoying a fun day in our mountain resorts.  I concluded that it is possible with military-like planning and precision or a thick wallet, but some alternatives may exist.

Ski Shares

There are “ski shares” and rooms for rent in mountain towns.  On the East Coast, friends get together to rent a beach house in the Hamptons or Fire Island.  Similarly, a ski share is basically a group of friends (or strangers!) who pool their funds to rent a (usually ridiculously overpriced) home for the entire ski season.  And when I say overpriced, I’m not kidding!  Think $5000 for a studio apartment, as advertised on Craigslist.  This exceeds the price per square foot you’d pay even in Manhattan.  Once the funds are pooled together, the group must find a place friendly to multiple people.  Planning out who stays in which bed when can be accomplished on a shared calendar.  This can be a great way for people to avoid the hassle of going back and forth when tired from an intense day on the hill.   As long as someone is willing to coordinate the logistics, ski shares can be a great solution.

Room Rentals

I also know people who have rented a single room in another’s home for the season.  Like a ski share, a seasonal room rental offers the benefit of a place to rest your head at the end of a long day.  If you don’t mind sharing living space with strangers, or know people with a room to spare, this could work out well.  Personally, I am leery of any situation where I am sleeping in close proximity to strangers.  So, this would never work for me.  I would also be concerned that the host/owner would impose limits on what parts of the home the tenant could use.

The Holy Grail: Your Own Home, or a Friend’s

The best situation, of course, is owning your own place or staying with a friend who does.  Being in the mountains for days or weeks on end can become monotonous.  Visitors add a bit of distraction and entertainment.  When the guest also offers to bake something delicious, run errands, or otherwise make the host’s life easier, that visitor will most likely be invited back.  And yes, I speak from experience here!