First post here. I am looking for a resort to take my family of five to in late February for four or five nights. I have three kids ages 6, 8 and 12 and my wife and myself. Me and the oldest are snowboarders while my wife and two younger daughters ski. Ability levels range from beginner/intermediate for the two youngest to intermediate/advanced for the rest of us.
I have done a lot of research and am having problems finding a resort that balances good conditions and terrain, not too many crowds, and with nice lodging choices and options for dining and maybe a little shopping. We typically prefer nicer and larger hotels and resorts with plenty of amenities, though a nice quaint lodge would be fine too. We are happy to spend a bit for a nice place, just want to avoid the ultra-expensive options such as the Four Seasons and St. Regis. My son and I would love a good chance of powder, while the girls would prefer groomers with some nice soft snow. Also, we'd like to get away from the typical wind and blizzard conditions that we have on our home mountain (Mt. Hood) and have a chance at sunny, or at least calmer conditions.
In the end I think what we are after is a family friendly resort with some degree of apres ski options. The resorts I have considered so far are:
- Whistler - Great village and tons of lodging options. Crowded and possibly inconsistent conditions (rain, fog, etc...)
- Snowmass - Nice resort for families, lots of lodging/dining/shopping options and can ski Aspen as well. Expensive and likely crowded and maybe not as much snow potential as other areas.
- Park City/Canyons - Offers a lot of options when it comes to skiing as well as dining, shopping and other activities. However, crowded, expensive and once again, snow can be a question mark.
- Jackson Hole - Similar to above resorts. Also terrain may be too advanced for my younger two.
- Grand Targhee - Good snow likely, not too crowded, but not much to do aside from skiing. Conditions could also be unfavorable for the non-diehards (or they could be great).
- Solitude - A lot like Grand Targhee, but not as big of a resort. Maybe a bit updated in the lift department over Targhee and looks like a step up in lodging options as well.
Would anyone care to comment on the above resorts or offer some other ideas? I don't know if the perfect resort exists for us, but I'd like to get as close to possible. In a dream world my perfect resort would be: Whistler Village filled to about 1/4 capacity, at the base of Grand Targhee during a dump, but with Colorado bluebird days and groomed runs for the kids. Oh yeah, a good and reasonably priced ski school would be nice as well!