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One of the major miles and points fueled trips we take most years is a family ski trip. Thanks to peak season hotel and airfare prices, lift tickets, gear, and lessons, ski trips are just expensive no matter what (here are tips to save as much as possible). However, airline miles and hotel points can bring them back into the realm of doable on a reasonable budget.
Because of the seasonality and high demand nature of ski trips, I plan many of them at least one ski season in advance, sometimes two. Usually what this means is I secure the hotel portion of the trip on points as far in advance as possible since hotel award nights are subject to standard room availability. The further in advance you plan, generally the better odds you have of that standard room being available on points. You can usually change those hotel award reservations until 30-60 days in advance during ski season, so booking way in advance usually isn’t too stressful since I can back out without penalty until much closer to the travel date.
Another perk for super advance planning is that some programs (such as one that rhymes with rarwood) that have higher “peak season” points rates sometimes don’t have those higher points prices loaded when you are booking close to 18 months out, so you you can even save points by planning way ahead in some situations…
Anyway, I had one of our winter 2017 ski trips pencilled in at the Westin Snowmass that is located right on the mountain. Then, Hyatt announced that they would be moving the Hyatt Centric Park City property up from a Category 4 to a Category 5 property for all new reservations made on or after August 1, 2016. This property is a flat out steal as a Category 4 and just 15,000 points per night during the busy ski season, so this move doesn’t surprise me in the least. However, it does represent our last opportunity to use the Hyatt Credit Card anniversary nights valid at Category 1 -4 properties at this resort.
Since it has been a while since I skied in Utah anyway, this change in category was good motivation to bump this trip from Colorado to Utah and not only secure nights at just 15,000 Hyatt points per night, but also use my Hyatt credit card anniversary night. Not only will we not pay the room rate on nights we are using free night certificates or points, but we also won’t pay taxes or the resort fee. As an added bonus, flights into Salt Lake City from Houston are generally much more reasonable for winter weekends on miles or dollars than into Aspen or similar.
As you can see below, rates for many winter nights at the Hyatt Centric Park City are legitimately around $700 per night. This means that paying for one of the nights by using an anniversary night that you get for having the Hyatt Credit Card and paying its $75 annual fee is a steal! If you want to do the same, remember to do so before August 1, 2016 when the property moves to a Category 5 property.
The Hyatt Centric Park City in the winter is currently one of the very best properties to use your anniversary Category 1 -4 night certificates from an overall value and cost perspective. I will be sad to see it jump categories, but I’m thrilled to have locked it in for next ski season before that happens!
As for our trip to the Westin Snowmass, we have simply bumped it forward a year to ski season 2018…and it actually cost fewer points for the long weekend we picked in 2018 than it would have cost us in 2017!
Anyone else squeezing in a redemption at the Hyatt Centric Park City hotel before it changes categories on August 1st?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.