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Best undiscovered ski towns - Page 4

post #91 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by theelk View Post

I could not agree more with Leadville.  I cannot believe that Cooper does not expand or somebody does not start something new in the nearby area.  The town needs something to spice up their economy.   It was vibrant enough in the old days to be considered for the state capitol.  Cooper however, is a super cool mountain;  my wife and I took the family there when our youngest (2 years old) spent the day in their nursery.  A girl from the ski school who did not have a class came over, set her up with equipment, and gave her a short indoc out in the snow.  You would NEVER see that at Vail Resorts and she still claims it was her first ski day.smile.gif

 

Cooper is actually owned by the town of Leadville, and leased to the operators.  Leadville is a town still hurting from transitioning to a post-mining economy- the whole superfund cleanup really had an impact on tourism, even though the area (and the Silver King driving tour) is beautiful.  The reopening of the climax mine helps some, but it is still a town being run on a shorestring budget.

 

They are at a crossroads with Cooper. Recently the lease came up, and there was some discussion that they get a new operator in to expand. They ended up going with the same folks who have been managing the area, which i think is the right call.

 

Cooper is certainly not on anybody's list as a destination area, but the atmosphere, charm, and the connection with how resorts USED to be run (with experiences like the above) make me a big fan of the operation. I heartily recommend Cooper for folks looking for someplace to learn to ski, folks coming to Summit looking for a "tuneup" day to start off their ski vacation, and they usually get pretty good early season snow when nobody else has advanced runs with coverage anyways.

 

I can't help but mention this, because I draw heat in every other thread. I enjoy skiing Cooper much more than Vail and Breck. After I put up with $20 parking and hiking through synthetic base villages for what really are some very unipired mountains, I begin to appreciate how much charm a place like Cooper has. Sure, I'm not going to get challenged, but that doesn't make it a fun, laid back place.

post #92 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

Sweet, this is looking back towards Ouray? What a beautiful Victorian town in the middle of nowhere. I remember driving from Ouray to Silverton in July of i think it was 2001. Coming out of Ouray there are utility poles on the side of the road that the tops were level with me looking out the truck window. If someone drove off the side of the road I don't know if they'd be found.

 

That's Uncompahgre Gorge. There are no guardrails because avalanches are so prevalent that they would be replacing them every year. A little over a month ago I drove 30 ft moving van with all of my worldly possessions over that in driving rain. It redefined "pucker up" for me.

 

I haven't driven it in winter yet. Red Mountain Pass really redefines what Colorado mountain dirving is. The only paved pass in Colorado that is comparable is Independence, and that is both closed in the winter and has guardrails.

 

I guess Wolf Creek before the improvements was pretty nasty too (mainly the hairpin on the West side where it is 1000 feet straight down if you don't negotiate the turn), but again, it has guardrails.

post #93 of 98

I went back and re-read the OP, just to bring it back to the definition, for the purpose of the OP, of what an undiscovered ski town is.  He actually stated the best "emerging" ski towns, the "up-and-comers, the newly improved, or newly discovered, or just the great ski towns that haven't gotten the press they deserve."

 

So it doesn't have to be an obscure or relatively unknown town, rather one that's off the national or international radar as a destination town.  What we, the "lunatic fringe" who spend time on ski forums in August and September, think of as a "bucket list" destination might not be any near the awareness of the audience for whom this piece would be intended.

 

In that sense, just about any place that any of us here really like (that isn't already known to the general population) would qualify.  Most people, even non-skiers, have heard of Whistler, Aspen or Vail, Jacskon, maybe Banff or Steamboat, certainly Tahoe in general, though not likely many of the actual towns other than Reno. 

 

Most non-skiers or seldom skiers would not know about just about everywhere else.   Even at the last Gathering in Tahoe, when I proposed Sandpoint and Schweitzer as a destination for the next Gathering, several people came up to me later and asked, "What was that resort you were talking about?"    To me that's a perfect example of what the OP had in mind. 

 

I'm sure some of the communities mentioned in this thread are cool place, but I don't get the sense that they're towns or resorts that the general skiing population would love.  We're talking vacationers here, not the hard-core lunatic fringe.  

post #94 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post

Yeah that's the last section heading north before you get into town.

 

That road is the only thing stopping me from hitting Silverton on an unguided powder day. I DO NOT want to drive that thing with a foot of fresh snow, no guardrails and a massive cliff mere feet from my tires. 

 

Don't worry, they close it when it's like that. CDOT partnered with CAIC a while back (after losing a few snowplow drivers), and things are much more safe. Or just spend the night in Silverton and avoid the whole thing! :-)

 

This is why they close it ...

 

 

post #95 of 98

Personally, since I'm not part of resort management, I think Whitefish has had enough discovery.  Its main claim to fame is being uncrowded.  If we become known to everyone, that will go away.  We're famous for not being famous, if you get my drift.  Best to leave it that way.  Same thing with Schweitzer.  Face it, if we had lines, who would be willing to brave the fog?
 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

I went back and re-read the OP, just to bring it back to the definition, for the purpose of the OP, of what an undiscovered ski town is.  He actually stated the best "emerging" ski towns, the "up-and-comers, the newly improved, or newly discovered, or just the great ski towns that haven't gotten the press they deserve."

 

So it doesn't have to be an obscure or relatively unknown town, rather one that's off the national or international radar as a destination town.  What we, the "lunatic fringe" who spend time on ski forums in August and September, think of as a "bucket list" destination might not be any near the awareness of the audience for whom this piece would be intended.

 

In that sense, just about any place that any of us here really like (that isn't already known to the general population) would qualify.  Most people, even non-skiers, have heard of Whistler, Aspen or Vail, Jacskon, maybe Banff or Steamboat, certainly Tahoe in general, though not likely many of the actual towns other than Reno. 

 

Most non-skiers or seldom skiers would not know about just about everywhere else.   Even at the last Gathering in Tahoe, when I proposed Sandpoint and Schweitzer as a destination for the next Gathering, several people came up to me later and asked, "What was that resort you were talking about?"    To me that's a perfect example of what the OP had in mind. 

 

I'm sure some of the communities mentioned in this thread are cool place, but I don't get the sense that they're towns or resorts that the general skiing population would love.  We're talking vacationers here, not the hard-core lunatic fringe.  

post #96 of 98
Thread Starter 

Spot on DU. Thanks.

 

Enjoying the conversation.smile.gif

post #97 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 Face it, if we had lines, who would be willing to brave the fog?

 

Good point.     OK, everybody, stay away from Schweitzer and Whitefish!!!!   wink.gif

 

Places like this have their loyal vacationers as well as locals.  When I was at Schweitzer last year, I ran into a couple who have gone there for about 15 years straight, after first traveling to the usual bucket list destinations.

 

Digaaron, I hope you're getting what you need for a good article.  Not that I want to spoil any place for the locals, but it's nice to see deserving places get some positive coverage.   

post #98 of 98

^^^  +1.  I was reluctant to mention Sandpoint at first but thought it fit the OP's quest.  He already had it on his list so, no harm as he was writing about it anyway.  But yeah, I'm with you and sibhusky on keeping the crowds away.

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