In short, where is the best place, least crowded place to go when flying to Denver over xmas break?
I hate going to CO over Christmas. I hate crowds, the extra expenses, and the iffy snow. I have a strong preference for Utah (Solitude, Alta, Brighton, Snowbasin). With that said I'm stuck going to CO because all my sisters are going because they "got cheap flights to Denver". One sisters likes Winter Park. I have not been there over Xmas break. There will be a party of about 8 people. 6 skiers, 3 are green easy blue types. 2 non skiers. I don't want to break the bank on lift tickets, ski rental, lodging. Is that even possible?
A few questions
1). How bad will the crowds be around that time?
2). Is Winter Park the best place to go in our situation? What about Copper Mountain, I love that place
3). Besides a long drive to Wolf Creek what is best for lack of crowds and not too bad a drive from Denver?
4). How far is it to Steamboat? How bad would it be there?
Places I've skied in CO (ranked by my best guess for our situation)
Places I won't consider
Keystone (hate it, as do everyone I know)
Vail ( too big, too expensive and corporate stale)
I suspect the Aspen area and Wolf Creek are too far to drive from Denver
In my mind I'm guessing Steamboat or Copper would fit the best, but would like opinions.