JetBlue and Southwest both have some of the first flight deals I have seen match up with the awesome Black Friday / Cyber Week deals the resorts are running on Lodging. Anyone with an Epic Pass can save another 10-20% on Lodging at either Heavenly or Kirkwood (North Star's selection wasn't as good but the discount applies there as well)
On top of that HotWire has 55% off AWD Rentals (a must) which is almost exactly half what I paid when I was in Tahoe for New Year's Eve last year.
NYC to Reno has been running $325+ — these cheap ski trips save ~45% and get you there Non-Stop on jetBlue.
For anyone who hasn't heard Tahoe got 2+ ft over the Holiday — meaning even if you head out next week or the week after you are pretty much guaranteed good early season snow (unlike last year!).
A word on airlines
As mentioned up top this one goes on either jetBlue OR Southwest. The advantage of jetBlue being that many dates have Non-Stop flights available while Southwest offers two free checked bags (which includes your ski / board bags).
From a cost perspective jetBlue has the cheapest flight ($188) but bag fees run $30 for the 1st $40 for the 2nd each way — ski bags are the same cost. Southwest has flights from $206 (One-Stop) but saves you $140 in bag fees round-trip so for most people that is probably the cheapest option.
Southwest leaves from La Guardia while the cheap jetBlue flights leave from JFK.
Cheap Kirkwood Black Friday Ski Lodging
So the option I will probably jump on is Kirkwood. Unlike the options at Heavenly Kirkwood has some killer options that are essentially Ski-in-Ski-out (or just across the street anyway). The Meadow studio seems like the best deal for me (since I will cook and save a few bucks while I am there) — generally $109 - $115 depending on the dates.
I couldn't get the Epic Pass coupon code working so for now use the: Kirkwood Black Friday Deals link.
If you don't care about cooking there are hotel room options $99/nt which are for sure the way to go. Also of note: Kirkwood 1 bedroom Condos have a pull out couch — so that's going to be cheaper than getting two hotel rooms if you have 4 people going together.
Obviously Kirkwood doesn't have as much going on (beyond the snow) so if you plan to go out etc. Heavenly is probably the way to go.
Cheap Heavenly Black Friday Ski Lodging
It's generally WAY more expensive to get ski-in-ski-out in and around Heavenly — and also doubly so if you are trying to get something with a kitchen to cook in and save a few bucks.
That being said if you are looking at options for high season through January and February Tahoe has to be one of the best deals around. I had planned on booking a trip to Breck to take advantage of the Black Friday discounts but even with the discounts January and February are $250/nt plus — so no go there for me.
Hence the additional stoke that Heavenly has some good options (on the California base side) starting at $99/nt. They were also nice enough to put together some calendar graphics that make it way easier to find the cheaper dates:
Just like Kirkwood above there are TWO links you can use that have some differences as far as availability — first the Heavenly Black Friday Heavenly Deals, second Epic Pass Holder Heavenly Deals which saves another $20/nt or so. You need an Epic pass for the second one...
Not quite as good as last year's deal that was right in the Village on the Nevada side — but not half bad either.
Cheap Hotwire AWS SUV Rentals
Yeah. AWD is a necessity. If you DO have an Epic Pass I would definitely recommend renting a car — Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood all have incredibly different personalities — so if you have the pass (meaning it doesn't cost anything extra) I would absolutely try to see / ski them all while you are there.
On that note — Hotwire has 55% off AWD Rentals on MOST dates that I tried and was the cheapest of the sites I looked over:
Best deals (only available some dates) are for sure the Premium SUVs which usually run $90/day+.
Don't pay too much attention to the discount percentage (that was fluctuating as I searched) an AWD in the $30ish range is dirt cheap for Reno which is a smallish airport (unlike — say — Salt Lake City where I just booked my AWD rental for my Park City trip week after next for $12/day — also on Hotwire)
If you want to book the $188 RT flights on jetBlue click here. Otherwise follow the directions below to book with Southwest.
How to Book on Southwest
Since southwest doesn't allow direct links to specific dates, the best way to go about this is to hit the Southwest Low Fare Calendar. From there enter the airport you want to fly from (LGA to RNO) and then select January (alternately November, December or February):
That should land you on the right calendar. You are looking for the flights that are $106 on the way out there, and $103 or $106 on the way back. Generally the sale covers November through February.
Once you select a date you want to hit continue at which point you are looking for the Non-Stop 'Wanna Get Away' flights (which for some reason are generally cheaper than those with more stops).
Southwest Free Change Fees
One of the best parts about Southwest is that they cover free change fees. That is freaking KEY when you may want to push your reservation around to avoid an incomming NYC side storm.
This has saved more times than I can count. The Free Ski Bags things helps too. If you want to book on jetBlue use the links below.