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For travelers eyeing a ski vacation this season, the week of January 9-14, 2017 is the ideal time to hit the slopes.
According to recent research from mountain vacation package provider Ski.com, that's when travelers will find the lowest prices, the smallest crowds and some of the best weather conditions for skiing and snowboarding. The Aspen-based company analyzed weather information as well as cost and arrival data from more than 25,000 reservations to reach its conclusion.
Just how much of a difference does it make?
According to Ski.com's research, a five-night ski vacation for four including two-bedroom condo accommodations and lift tickets at Colorado's Beaver Creek resort during the week of Jan. 9-14 costs about $1,674, compared to $3,049 per person for the same trip during the Christmas holiday.
Although travelers can save big and avoid long lift lines at other times in the season, the second week in January is likely to bring more favorable ski and snowboarding conditions.
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"Early January is often a great time to ski because most resorts have had time to build up their base depths to levels that are usually above average for the season and open the majority of their terrain, if not all of it," meteorologist and OpenSnow forecaster Joel Gratz said in a statement.
"By early January, the risk of limited terrain openings is diminished."
Ski.com's research also shows that arrivals for the week of Jan. 9-14 are half of that during Christmas week and on average 44 percent lower than any week in February.
"Resort travelers with flexible schedules consider price, crowds and snow conditions as top factors when planning the perfect ski vacation," said Ski.com's vice president of marketing Dan Sherman in a statement. "While the absolute best pricing and least crowded resorts can be found in early December and late April when conditions are less predictable, we found the second week of January to be the perfect time for those who want the best possible combination of all three factors."