"Very few people want to do winter trips, and once they do, they don't do them very often"
I haven't seen that here. I was booked(we are small) last winter(09) and everyone but one group that went last year re-signed up for a winter trip(10) again. The one that didn't has another Grand trip this year in August, and 2 of the folks that have gone the last two years have already signed up for another winter trip(11). One guy in particular I saw down there did two back to back 30 days and he loved it. I too want to do a winter trip for 30 days
November to February definitely isn't the high demand year but hiding out for 30 days in the canyon is cheaper than being on the rim
The awesome Irish folks sent a great video of them swimming around and getting sun tans, they love our winter
Their first trip was an 11 day, and this year they bumped it up to a long 14
Alaskans and Canadians don't seem to mind either. One group in particular was so resourceful they made a hot water heater out of copper tubing that is heated by their fire. It's pretty cool and while people are enjoying the fire it spits out hot hot water. Brilliant. Well, while I don't want to candy coat the winter, I did see alot of folks loving it over the years. It's nice to have the option to grab a winter trip if one isn't available in the shoulder seasons.
Hot Water Heater by Fire:
Take a 5 gallon bucket and punch a hole near the bottom fitting a white pvc threaded doohicky out to the outside. On the outside put the corresponding pvc nut on the doohicky. Take about 8 feet of 3/8 copper tubing and run it out 3 feet or so with one circle(or more for more hot flow) in it sending it back near the other end. Connect the Doohicky to a radiator hose and to the 3/8 copper tubing end. Off the other end of the copper tubing connect another hose to fill up your dishwash or solar shower.
Fill up the pail with water and then place the copper tubing right in the coals. It takes a few minutes to heat up the first water but once you get it going it comes out hot!