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The Overrated/Understated Ski Resort Thread - Page 7

post #181 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

All I know is that my first trip of the season is exactly a month away.  I'm headed to Sun Valley, which has been mentioned as both underrated and overrated.  It will be my first time there.  I guess I should check out the Roundhouse for lunch, huh?  (Snow stake at SV is showing that 6" have fallen today...about time!)

Definitely eat at the Roundhouse. There's nothing like it. Occasionally the place will be booked for a private party, so check and make sure it's going to be available rather than, say, leaving it for your last day then finding out it's closed. We alternate between that and the Lookout, which is a squat ugly building on top of the mountain, but has big three dollar tacos with a salsa bar. The Seattle Ridge Lodge is very comfortable and has great views but I find the food to be more along the lines of the typical overpriced ski lodge food (though maybe better quality than most places).
post #182 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


You know what they say about assumptions. My friends and I used to choose restaurant over cafeteria at Camelback when we were in high school. The food was way better, and it wasn't any more expensive than the overpriced garbage in the cafeteria, save maybe for the tip we split multiple ways. 

Honestly, the cafeteria at the average resort is the worst of the worst, and I can't understand why anyone, let alone hordes of people fighting for space at noon on the dot, bother eating there.  The hardcore folks don't eat lunch at all or bring lunch, saving both ski time and money. Folks that really want to enjoy lunch go to actual restaurants so as to get much better food/experience for the same price or a little more. I'll go to a cafeteria if it's non-peak hours and has actual food beyond hard, dry $15 ground beef discuses (Snowbasin carving station FTW!), but other than that, no. 

It's not about the cost of the lunch... It's about blowing a quarter of your ski day sitting in a restaurant waiting for your table, then your food, then your bill, then your change.

If you can hop a plane to the Aspen airport anytime you want for a spa weekend with a side of skiiing... It's no big deal. Or if you're at your local hill skiing on your season pass... Again, no big deal.

When you get 4 days per year in the Rockies to do the thing you love most, and you know you won't be back to do it again for another 351 or so days, who in their right mind would want to sit in a restaurant? When the day is done there's plenty of time for restaurants.
post #183 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


You know what they say about assumptions. My friends and I used to choose restaurant over cafeteria at Camelback when we were in high school. The food was way better, and it wasn't any more expensive than the overpriced garbage in the cafeteria, save maybe for the tip we split multiple ways. 

Honestly, the cafeteria at the average resort is the worst of the worst, and I can't understand why anyone, let alone hordes of people fighting for space at noon on the dot, bother eating there.  The hardcore folks don't eat lunch at all or bring lunch, saving both ski time and money. Folks that really want to enjoy lunch go to actual restaurants so as to get much better food/experience for the same price or a little more. I'll go to a cafeteria if it's non-peak hours and has actual food beyond hard, dry $15 ground beef discuses (Snowbasin carving station FTW!), but other than that, no. 

It's not about the cost of the lunch... It's about blowing a quarter of your ski day sitting in a restaurant waiting for your table, then your food, then your bill, then your change.

If you can hop a plane to the Aspen airport anytime you want for a spa weekend with a side of skiiing... It's no big deal. Or if you're at your local hill skiing on your season pass... Again, no big deal.

When you get 4 days per year in the Rockies to do the thing you love most, and you know you won't be back to do it again for another 351 or so days, who in their right mind would want to sit in a restaurant? When the day is done there's plenty of time for restaurants.

I understand what you are saying.  In fact, I often skip lunch altogether.  But in many places the sit down restaurant is surprising fast.  Especially compared to a cafeteria that is running way behind cooking burgers.

Tell you server up front that you wan to make this a quick lunch.

post #184 of 195
Pack snacks and lunch on the chair. Or pack snacks just "in case" you can't get a table or the line is too long. Cheaper anyway. Might even be healthier depending on what you pack.
post #185 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post


It's not about the cost of the lunch... It's about blowing a quarter of your ski day sitting in a restaurant waiting for your table, then your food, then your bill, then your change.

If you can hop a plane to the Aspen airport anytime you want for a spa weekend with a side of skiiing... It's no big deal. Or if you're at your local hill skiing on your season pass... Again, no big deal.

When you get 4 days per year in the Rockies to do the thing you love most, and you know you won't be back to do it again for another 351 or so days, who in their right mind would want to sit in a restaurant? When the day is done there's plenty of time for restaurants.

Agree with your goal, but not your methods. Eating lunch at all is wasting time, and I'd say it's only marginally more so in a sit-down restaurant. In fact, restaurants can be less crowded than the lunch hour zoo at the cafeteria. 

 

Pocket sandwich wins every time. 

post #186 of 195
Personally, I've eaten around 11:15 for decades. Lots of empty tables. Yes, there's the desire to hold off and hope you out-wait everyone else, but by then the food's all dried out and near as I can tell there's way more people eating late than early.
post #187 of 195
Aspen offers passholders 20% off food before noon. Generally their restaurants are well designed, with food stations instead of lines.
My SOP is a self serve cup of soup in the Sundeck at 2PM.
If I go to Snowmass, it's with my wife and it's a much more relaxed day. Gwyenn's sit down serves breakfast till 10:30. They give each table a basket of killer baked goods and it's only $10-14, if you don't suck down a bunch of fresh squeezed.
I understand Joe's angst, he just picked the wrong place. Up for Pizza or Elk Camp are probably the fastest.
post #188 of 195

This thread was the impetus for joining the board as my internet search "vail bowls overrated" yielded this one.  Lunch topics were not very interesting to me though as I go to ski rather than to eat.  I suspect one made an assumption that any lodge would have an accessible and quick style cafeteria which most areas do.  When I ski with my kids, I find I need a good place to take multiple breaks for hot chocolate to warm up so nice views are an added bonus.

 

My quick takes with the caveat I haven't skied CO since a college trip a number of years ago which included Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Vail, Copper.

 

Colorado

* Breckenridge was ridiculous.  Merging blacks onto an uphill traverse green.  One of the most poorly laid out ski areas I have been to. OVERRATED.

* Keystone was not very memorable.

* A-Basin was fast and steep as I recall.  It was the middle to the end of our trip though so my legs were fairly trashed at that point.

* Vail.  Skiing the back bowls was very cool and my first deep powder experience.  Certainly expensive, somewhat crowded, but it had what I thought was the european flair.  I had the run of my life on blue ox, highline, or some similar trail in skiing a perfectly shaped and soft mogul run from top to bottom without stopping.  When I wish I was 20 again, I think of that run.  Ugh.  Breck, Keystone, A-Basin do not have similar memories.

 

* Copper.  Black || Blue || Green.  Perfect.  Perfect set up and layout for a ski ever ever.  Would go back there in a heartbeat.

 

Wyoming - only skied Jackson Hole.  Underrated for beginner and intermediate terrain???  I have not traveled too much, but I have never seen so many capable skiers in my life and difficult terrain.  I would not recommend it for greens or blues as I only recall a very small area for the beginners and the blues were not akin to blues anywhere in New England.  My ski buddy and I hired a guide and we tackled mostly blacks with some double blacks.  I recall leaning on my poles alot trying to catch my breath.  Beautiful ski area.  No way it is overrated.

 

Utah

* Park City.  Similar to Vail in how it felt upscale.  There were runs where I could ski a black and my significant other could watch at the bottom from a blue that intersected.  It was a nice way to ski together while having an opportunity to ski different levels of terrain.  Possibly a little overrated for how expensive it is.

* Solitude.  Had fun there but I recall feeling like I was going to get hit on every trail we went.  This was partially due to the slow pace of my companions (one of which was hit) and the terrain we skied. 

* Alta.  Loved it.  The caveat being it was the only day I skied alone on our 3 day trip so I was able to ski at my own pace and my own terrain.  Pretty much skied while humming Blur's Woo Hoo the entire time.  No way Alta is overrated IMHO.  No snowboarders is also a huge added bonus.  Beginners and intermediates alike scrape the snow as bad or worse than a full-out snow plow.

 

Northeast

* Too many OVERRATED areas to mention. 

* NH: Loon & Waterville Valley: crowded and blah.  Ridiculously OVERRATED.

* VT: Killington is one - crowded, expensive, mishmosh and difficult to navigate.  Southern to Mid VT: Stratton too crowded and blah.  Okemo.  Ridiculously flat at mid-mountain - ridiculously overrated and one of my least favorite "big mountains" in the northeast.  I have only skied Jay Peak a few times but it never seems to have the 'epic' conditions it promises.

* Pico. Killington's little brother who is nicer and more manageable in size and crowd levels. UNDERRATED

* Stowe.  Has the only remotely european flair in the Northeast.  Ridiculously overpriced.  Good ski area if you can score a decently priced ticket.  Also good area to share the experience between various levels of skier.

* Gunstock in NH was a pleasant surprise.  Not very challenging from what I saw but has a beautiful view of Lake Winnipesaukee and very close to Boston.  Reasonable lift tickets and crowds as well.  Great views and hot chocolate at the top!

* Bretton Woods is also a nice family area with great views of Mt Washington.  Not very challenging.    Great views and hot chocolate at the top!

* Sorry, not a Maine guy.  Have skied Sugarloaf and Sunday River.  Tremendous personal bias but OVERRATED!

 

Favorite Northeast and "local" area

* Sugarbush.  Castlerock Chair. BEST SKI TERRAIN IN THE NORTHEAST PERIOD!!!  Certainly one of the most challenging.  If there is snow covering it which doesn't seem to ever be adequate. UNDERRATED!!!

 

My ski buddy is a Whiteface Mountain convert though.  I have yet to ski there as the 'iceface' moniker has stuck in my mind.  The fact that the mountain top had a wind child of minus 114 degrees a couple of days ago doesn't help.  The fact it has the Lake Placid mystique certainly does.

 

Requests:

* what ski areas am I missing in not skiing in the Northeast US/Canada, Rockies, or Pacific NW?

* what would be a good area to indoctrinate ~10 y/o kids into "big mountain" skiing?

* any european areas that are accessible from a cost perspective as well as I don't want to kill my kids inadvertently going off-piste?

post #189 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidew View Post
 

[snip]

Requests:

* what ski areas am I missing in not skiing in the Northeast US/Canada, Rockies, or Pacific NW?

* what would be a good area to indoctrinate ~10 y/o kids into "big mountain" skiing?

* any european areas that are accessible from a cost perspective as well as I don't want to kill my kids inadvertently going off-piste?

Welcome to EpicSki!

 

You might consider a separate thread for suggestions about where to go with the kids.  What worked for me was a late season stay at Alta Lodge (kids are free in April) when my daughter was 7.  She learned in the southeast and could ski blues at Alta after a day of ski school.  Was hunting powder on the edges of the groomers since it was a blue sky day after a powder storm.  Of course after that she was completely spoiled, so it became an annual tradition.  Sounds like you haven't skied Snowbird, so that's clearly missing from your list.  Snowbasin is another option worth considering for family when flying to SLC.

post #190 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidew View Post
 

This thread was the impetus for joining the board 

 

That's a darn good first post.  Welcome!

post #191 of 195

Over-rated: Killington

 

Killington is vast but also impersonal. It is always crowded being the most popular mountain in NE. And because of that, it gets a lot of "weekend warriors" and bus tours and this often leads to a lot of out of control snow boarders (and skiers). It has 22 lifts but that is not nearly enough, and many are decades old (I believe the gondola is broken at the moment). Mount Snow and Okemo being smaller have 20 lifts for example.

 

Be it the price of lift tickets or lodging or food it is very expensive for what you get - more expensive than a world class resort like Vail.

 

Many of the facilities are in need of dire maintenance, including some of the lifts and common areas.

 

After skiing, there is no place to go for anything remotely resembling decent food. And, hotels are few and far between. The so called town of Rutland feels like the armpit of the world. Town is basically comes down to a garish "strip" and a few college-type bars.

 

While Killington is the biggest ski mountain in the East, it's more of an awkward hodgepodge of various mountains making it difficult and annoying to get around and take advantage of the entire mountain. The trails are often all over the place crossing each other everywhere.

 

While larger than most/all other NE mountains, not the case when it comes to actual trails open or even acreage of skiing. Killington does not have much in terms of snow making capabilities - not in terms of its size. It has about 500ac while mountains like Sugarloaf, Okemo and Stratton have 600+.

 

The grooming is pretty awful. The snow is often terrible, compact granulated snow, iced over except under trees cover.

 

Killington faces North so it tends to be colder and windier than many other mountains.

 

I have experience with their ski school and it's average at best. Most of the instructors are young and fairly inexperienced.


Edited by naja - 2/17/16 at 12:17pm
post #192 of 195

Obviously someone doesn't know Killington.

post #193 of 195
Thread Starter 

Eldora.....the days of it being the non crowded I70 destination are dead. Also, the terrain is lame-o.

post #194 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 

Eldora.....the days of it being the non crowded I70 destination are dead. Also, the terrain is lame-o.

You, sir, have overrated Helldora.

post #195 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidew View Post

 

Requests:

* what ski areas am I missing in not skiing in the Northeast US/Canada, Rockies, or Pacific NW?

* what would be a good area to indoctrinate ~10 y/o kids into "big mountain" skiing?

* any european areas that are accessible from a cost perspective as well as I don't want to kill my kids inadvertently going off-piste?

 

Whiteface is as good as your friend says, especially if you're into high speed cruising on steep groomers. I was there on the Saturday before the Super Bowl expecting the worst, after all the rain they had during the week combined with several days of freezing temps.  While it snowed an inch or two during the day... they had made piles of snow to salvage what should have been a disaster of a day. It was actually fun.  I find they make good quality snow there too... maybe its the cold.  Long story short is that years of snowmaking upgrades has made the Iceface moniker obsolete.

 

Mont Ste Anne and Le Massif are the other two eastern resorts you can't miss... especially if you combine that with a trip into old Quebec, which is as Euro a city in NA as you can get.  Skip Tremblant... its definitely overrated... especially here in Southern Ontario where its the default big mountain in the East. 

 

I've been to most of the major resorts in Colorado and Utah, and hands down a 10 year old would most enjoy Snowbasin and Brighton. Both resorts offer up REALLY fun terrain, and most of it isn't too crazy. Snowbasin has better vert (longer runs) and more open bowl skiing, Brighton has better snow and tons of easy tree skiing.  

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