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Is Winter Park the best combination of skiing/value/convenience for a family? - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


So back to the base and the extra season(s).

On another thread we heard Vail say they were done with winter expansions for the time being to focus on summer. Resorts are selling MTB season passes - are biker days worse than skier days? Is a mountain resort a viable summer vacation vs. the beach when there is a river, summer festivals, a gondola to mid-mountain to access hiking and a host of other activities?

We assume skiing will be the end of ski resorts. Which is only true if you believe that the winter infrastructure is only useful for winter and that you cannot profitably grow return on assets by monetizing other seasons.

 

You are right that resorts truly turning into 4 season places may make things less cataclysmic.

 

But what I was referring to is the expansion related to skiing. It seems everyone is talking about cutting new trails and putting in lifts.

 

Resorts may be making inroads to getting to a point where summer may actually be a moneymaker (instead of minimizing the offseason losses), but resorts beds remain mostly empty in the summer- they aren't building those new condos because that next trampoline they open up at the base is going to sell out all of their existing rooms for the whole summer. The money is being sunk chasing skiers.

 

Anyways, this obviously isn't the thread to whine about this again, so I'll stop my usual diatribe.

post #62 of 83

We did 2 days in the Winter Park just because I'm three program and one in the Steamboat Mavericks with my 3yo last winter.  They were both great- but my daughter preferred Winter Park since they let her ski all day other than lunch (the second time she got an all day private and they put in a ton of runs based on her tracker device.)  I find Winter Park plenty family friendly, but my daughter loves riding the buses and the cabriolet. 

 

I was blown away with both programs- each time I told them the skill we were stuck on and she came out at the end of the day doing awesome on that skill.  We usually did 3 days of practice between lessons.  I do think she got a lot more skiing time at Winter Park than Steamboat.  I really love the 3yo program at Winter Park and we will try and get another day or two in there before my daughter's birthday if we can.

post #63 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
 

FYI, According to WP's website, there is a shuttle stop behind balcony house which would allow you to skip the cabriolet and march through the village. It's considerably closer to the kids' ski school and very near the ticket window/Zephyr lift. If you are driving and want to park your car, that is another story, but by taking the free shuttle bus from town or Fraser, you can be dropped off much closer.

 

When schlepping kids, and everything that they just must have to make it through the day, the bus could be a challenge.

 

With that said, when I used to stay in Winter Park, I never drove to the base area. The bus got me much closer than I could park, even then. My truck stayed in covered parking until it was time to go back to Fort Collins.

 

I also did not drive back to FC at 4:00 in the afternoon. I relaxed in the condo, ate dinner, and left for home at about 7:00.

post #64 of 83

Old thread bump because I'm looking at a similar scenario for next season.

 

All things being equal, I would go to SLC. But they're not. Not when you are flying in from the East and on a budget with first time kids. For whatever reason, flight prices have gone way up for SLC this year and I assume will be for next.

 

Through my own criteria, Budget, walking distance to the lifts (kids),  good intermediate type mountain for parents ...I basically ended up funneling everything to either WP or Keystone. There were others that were close, but none checked all the boxes like these two. The elevation is the only thing that worries me, but we will be careful. Copper was the only other one really in the mix, but for some reason, the accommodation seems to be more expensive. This is mid to late March

 

Any other thoughts or considerations you experts would look at here?

post #65 of 83
WP has been offering some all inclusive deals that looked to me as cheap or cheaper than anything else. That included on resort lodging and DIA shuttle. Getting on resort is the #1 thing for an easy launch in the morning, so to me the package deals are the score to get in budget range.
post #66 of 83
Thread Starter 
Hi, OP here.

For me, it's come back down to Steamboat again...it's just easier for us. And flying to Hayden with one connection is the same price as flying to Denver direct. And the shuttle is short and inexpensive....

Also, it seems like SB doesn't raise prices as much in march spring break periods...
post #67 of 83

Between Keystone and Winter Park, I would go Winter Park all the way.

 

Doubly so if you are not considering staying right at the base of Keystone- the shuttle drop off at Keystone forces you to make one of the longest treks anywhere all the way through the village to the lifts.

 

Winter Park is less crowded, has great terrain and great terrain progression for everyone except top-tier experts looking for serious steeps, and has a really nice beginner area.

 

Keystone has some pretty good mogul skiing, some pretty good groomer skiing, and trees that tend not to get touched. However, the layout of the frontside for a beginner is a mess. Basically most of the front mountain funnels into Schoolmarm at one point or another- leads to congestion and skiers of wildly varying abilities sharing a run. Packsaddle Bowl used to be great for beginners, but now that is the terrain park.

 

It is a ton easier to stay offsite and save at Winter Park as well. Park on the Mary Jane side and the free lots are next to the ski slope. Park, boot up, ski down to the lifts- an option that has disappeared at most places these days.

post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

Between Keystone and Winter Park, I would go Winter Park all the way.

 

Doubly so if you are not considering staying right at the base of Keystone- the shuttle drop off at Keystone forces you to make one of the longest treks anywhere all the way through the village to the lifts.

 

Winter Park is less crowded, has great terrain and great terrain progression for everyone except top-tier experts looking for serious steeps, and has a really nice beginner area.

 

Keystone has some pretty good mogul skiing, some pretty good groomer skiing, and trees that tend not to get touched. However, the layout of the frontside for a beginner is a mess. Basically most of the front mountain funnels into Schoolmarm at one point or another- leads to congestion and skiers of wildly varying abilities sharing a run. Packsaddle Bowl used to be great for beginners, but now that is the terrain park.

 

It is a ton easier to stay offsite and save at Winter Park as well. Park on the Mary Jane side and the free lots are next to the ski slope. Park, boot up, ski down to the lifts- an option that has disappeared at most places these days.


Thanks for the feedback. A couple of things to consider.

 

We would be staying right at the base of Keystone I suspect. There are plenty of 1 bed condos in the village by the looks of it. For WP, I'm probably looking at the Founders Pointe place across the road there. The routine will basically be get up, make breakfast, walk to lifts with kids, drop them off at ski school, ski on our own (mostly Blues probably), then pick em up at 3.30 and probably call it a day. Walk back, hot tub....dinner...bed...repeat.

 

I'm thinking we will rent a car from DIA, though wouldn't rule out a shuttle if getting supplies was possible, we'll end up doing some cooking in the condo for sure, if not most/all of the time.

post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC68 View Post

Hi, OP here.

For me, it's come back down to Steamboat again...it's just easier for us. And flying to Hayden with one connection is the same price as flying to Denver direct. And the shuttle is short and inexpensive....

Also, it seems like SB doesn't raise prices as much in march spring break periods...


thanks, I think we're in slightly different "boats" here as flying to Denver is by far the cheapest way for me to get to any mountains.

post #70 of 83

WP is great, the only downside is lack of ski-in/ski -out accommodations. Copper would be another great choice.  Keystone is a fun day or two of skiing, but I wouldn't want it to be my home base.

 

What about Breckenridge?  No lack of places to stay.  Plenty of intermediate terrain. Can easily walk to pretty much everything in town including to get groceries.  I'm a bit biased though. It's always been one of my favorite places.

post #71 of 83
http://www.winterparkresort.com/landing-page/fly%20and%20drive.aspx

That's the Fly and Drive package link. Obvious dependency on origination point, but it contains very cheap round trips and you are taking advantage of "fourth nite free" lodging deals as well as discounted lift tickets. WP will serve your daily plan very nicely - you can see the much of the mountain on blue terrain and not just via traverses.

As a side note, WP sells kids ski school four packs at Christy Sports before the season starts. That is a great discount if you can find a way to get them, but non-refundable once you buy.
post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post
 

WP is great, the only downside is lack of ski-in/ski -out accommodations.

 

Have you been there since they built a village at the base? These may not be exactly ski in your door, out but there's plenty of walk in and out condos at the base, including Founder's Point.

 

Winter Park is a great choice for a family with intermediate parents. The beginner lift area is really wonderful and at mid-mountain so you can sneak up on them at lunch time or just do a ski-by to see how they're doing. You'll have a blast.

 

You can take the free shuttle direct to the Safeway in Fraser, but there are fun things to do in the valley with kids for a no ski day that you'll be happy to have a car for.

 

Such as the Fraser Recreation Center and the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch

post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
 

 

Have you been there since they built a village at the base? These may not be exactly ski in your door, out but there's plenty of walk in and out condos at the base, including Founder's Point.

 

Winter Park is a great choice for a family with intermediate parents. The beginner lift area is really wonderful and at mid-mountain so you can sneak up on them at lunch time or just do a ski-by to see how they're doing. You'll have a blast.

 

You can take the free shuttle direct to the Safeway in Fraser, but there are fun things to do in the valley with kids for a no ski day that you'll be happy to have a car for.

 

Such as the Fraser Recreation Center and the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch

 

Well you can tell how long its been since I've been to WP.  I took a look at the Village and it looks great and it definitely would seem to fit the bill for what he is looking for.  We used to stay at the Iron Horse when it was the only ski in/out game in town. 

post #74 of 83

I live in Frisco, so I have a lot of experience with most of the resorts mentioned, plus this season I'm working as a part-time instructor at WP.  I don't much like the easier terrain at Keystone, which tends to be icy and very unpleasant, and there is very little real expert terrain at Keystone. Most of the instructors there seem to be very young and transient.  I like Breckenridge a lot, and it's where I tend to free-ski most, but there really isn't much in the way of close-in accommodations.  I'm very impressed by WP at the moment, where the whole situation just feels a lot less "corporate". Most of the instructors have worked there for many years, and there is very varied terrain that is fairly segregated by difficulty level, which makes the teaching situation considerably safer than at Keystone or Breck (my wife was hit by a snowboarder on Sunday at Breck). WP does take very good care of the kids.  I haven't been to Steamboat for 20 years. 

post #75 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

http://www.winterparkresort.com/landing-page/fly%20and%20drive.aspx

That's the Fly and Drive package link. Obvious dependency on origination point, but it contains very cheap round trips and you are taking advantage of "fourth nite free" lodging deals as well as discounted lift tickets.

Nice deals...Charlotte, even being one of US Airs major hubs, never has deals like this to ski areas...mad.gif
post #76 of 83

If you live in Charlotte, according to the weather channel tonight, you should have a powder day outside your door!

post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
 

If you live in Charlotte, according to the weather channel tonight, you should have a powder day outside your door!

Not exactly.  At least not in Raleigh.  The snow was pretty wet and then changed to sleet and freezing rain.  Did get at least 4 inches, if not more.

post #78 of 83
Thread Starter 
Like everything else...Charlotte gets better snow than Raleigh.biggrin.gif

I was tempted to ski down Randolph Rd when they closed it last Wednesday.
post #79 of 83


Since you posted this one season ago, I'm interested in the choices you made and how it worked out. Although I have based out of Taos in the past, I too chose Winter Park and I thought I'd check in with your experience there.

post #80 of 83
Thread Starter 
We ended up at Steamboat again, and going again this coming season.
post #81 of 83

I'm already planning my next ski holidays for my family and it was really interesting to read all your thoughts and experiences. Considering Steamboat now after what I read, would check into it for sure. 

To through some useful info here, couple years ago we went to Whistler blackcomb and my kids enjoyed a lot. Also true that the guys I booked everything with were pretty good, I believe this is their site if it could be useful for someone http://whistlerskiexperience.com

post #82 of 83
Thread Starter 
Spam?
post #83 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by S Peter View Post
 

I'm already planning my next ski holidays for my family and it was really interesting to read all your thoughts and experiences. Considering Steamboat now after what I read, would check into it for sure. 

[snip]

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