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Need help with ski destination [west U.S. in Feb, family, young boys]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Going mid February
I've skied several times and took my kids (first time for them)to deer valley last year. Nice but pricey.

Here are my factors
Within hour of airport
I would like to stay within 100 yards or so of ski in ski out green or walk to lift
My kids are boys 7&8. They Took lessons 1 day last year. Picked it up well but I plan on them taking more lessons. Would Like good program
Prefer resort with amenities
Shuttle to town. Would like a downtown area to walk around.
Don't mind spending money but deer valley on the slopes is crazy expensive. We stayed on the bus route at deer valley. It was fine but would like convince of slopes.
Would like to save as much as possible.
We went last week in march last year kids spring break and got lucky with snow fall. . I'm scared to take that chance unless you guys can recommend that time of year somewhere.

Lately if I don't stay on slopes and just saving money which would you pick.

Here is cities I've found meet airport criteria. Any thoughts on theses considering my factors.

Steamboat, (park city deer valley canyons), (aspen snow mass), creste butte, vail, Tahoe,sun valley? Jackson hole?

Note: Moved from Trip Reports to Resorts, Travel
post #2 of 11

bamamike: Where did you start skiing before Deer Valley?  I'm in North Carolina.  Started my daughter out at Massanutten in northern VA and we also went to Beech in western NC a few times.  Her first trip out west was to Alta when she was 8 and could ski any black in the southeast, which meant she was good on any groomed blue at Alta.  Totally spoiled after that experience.


I suggest you look around at threads in Family Skiing.  Look under Forums, then Mountain, then Family.


Of the ones you listed, Steamboat and Snowmass make the most sense to me based on what you are looking for besides skiing.  Although if it were me and two kids that age, I would consider options near SLC too.  Could stay at Solitude and ski there and Brighton.  I know Brighton has a pretty good ski school.  But no town like Park City.  Definitely would want a car if staying in BCC.


Where are you flying from?

post #3 of 11
Whitefish. 25 minutes from a nice, sane, airport. Shuttle from ski area to town. Real town. Pretty cheap.

What amenities are you looking for?
post #4 of 11




post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
From alabama. I've skied Breckinridge several times keystone once over the last 20'years and deer valley last year. While I still ski and love it this is more about the kids now. Last year was their first time. The appeal for deer valley was no snow boarders to run kids over. Its also pretty tame as far as skiers older crowd. Again its about them not me but would like something cheaper but i dont want a 2 hour drive from airport. A friend just mentioned big sky Montana specifically moon light basin. They said its the best place they have been for skiing, snow in late march proximity to airport price and kids skiing. .???

I was told there wasn't a town close by though. Late march is my first choice because its my kids spring break but I'm willing to pull them out in February for good snow.

By Amenities I mean if I stay in a resort vs a condo I would expect spa sauna heated pools restaurant on site bar game room and ice rink tubing close.
post #6 of 11

I think if you're willing to sacrifice on "the town to walk around in" Solitude would fit the bill... in that it has


- Nice condo/resort albeit smaller

- As close as it gets to a "Major" airport (i.e. more direct flights and cheaper)

- Very high chance of good snow in late March

- Usually has good late season deals. You should be able to bargain.

- Has a skating rink

- No crowds whatsoever even in peak season

- Deer Valley like grooming


I'm not sure about the ski school.


Other bonuses about Solitude is that Brighton is just up the road, and Salt Lake City is just down.  Park City isn't too far either.

post #7 of 11
Yikes. No tubing here. Used to be, but no more. Ice rink is in town. Not sure about hours relative to team usage. Possibilities might be:
1 - Meadow Lake, a time share place that is a bit far from the ski hill, but has amenities and its own shuttle to the mountain.
2 - Grouse Mountain, hotel and restaurant complex, own shuttle bus. May have sauna, etc.
3 - Lodge at Whitefish Lake, hotel and restaurant, pricey, but closer to mountain, and its own shuttle again. May have amenities. You (or your family) may have seen it on The Bachelor.
4 - Kandahar, on mountain with own, pricey, restaurant that's been featured in magazines. There may be spas and saunas.
5 - Morning Eagle, high end condos, on mountain, well located for the restaurants and the ski slopes. I'm sure they have saunas, etc. and heated ski locker rooms, etc. They have a fitness center.

All that being said, Whitefish is NOT an artificial resort town, like going to Disney World. Crowds outside of holidays are close to non-existent. But, it's about the SKIING, not other activities. Downtown, while cute, is best seen before six, as mostly it's only restaurants open after six. The reason is, people aren't really buying at night, just sightseeing and the shop owners got tired of staffing but not selling. There are a few shops at the mountain. If you have a car, there's also snowmobiling and dog sledding in the area.

Note, if mid February includes the week 10th to 17th, you'll collide with Canadian school holidays. Given we're just across the border, it's like Christmas week almost.

Edit. Checking VRBO, noticed that the dots for the properties DO NOT line up with their actual location. You need to read the descriptions to find out what buildings they are.
Edited by sibhusky - 10/10/13 at 1:10pm
post #8 of 11

Northstar at Tahoe seems to hit all your criteria


1) ski in/out to greens, walk to lift

2) Good Lesson Program

3) Reno airport is close 45 minutes or so, can use airport shuttle too (North Lake Tahoe Express)

4) Lots of shops/amenities in village

5) Shuttle between Truckee/Northstar/Kings Beach/Nevada casinos in Crystal Bay


Heavenly may also work too as long as you are near the boulder lodge for the green terrain.

Generally The Same setup as Northstar


Ways to save, .....


Take advantage of Season Pass Rates From Vail, look at booking through Heavenly/Northstar for Lodging/Ticket discounts


Avoid going presidents week 02/14/14 - 02/20/14

post #9 of 11

I'll have to plug Squaw, although it probably doesn't count as cheap.  It has similar attributes to the ones near nyquist lists above.  But, I think the kids ski school is stronger and tends to do a better job producing skiers.

post #10 of 11

I have been there and done that with my boys, who are now a few years older than yours. Most of our vacations were at the Canyons where we own a place, but you were already at nearby Deer Valley last year.   I assume you want a great ski school for the kids steps from your door, and a condo where you can cook some meals for the kids.  If so, you have lots of options.  But what else are you looking for and how many airline connections can you comfortably handle with the kids?  You should assume all the large areas have the ski school thing figured out for the kids, but please note that some limit class sizes to 4 or less while others go to 8 or more. Your short list has great towns to walk around with plenty to do at night. The kids will want to do something else while on vacation, like take a train ride, go tubing, cross country ski or see a movie.   I'd emphasize the airline travel when making your decision until the kids are older, since delayed or canceled flights are tough on the little guys.  

Edited by quant2325 - 10/10/13 at 6:55pm
post #11 of 11

I like Steamboat for trips with my family.  Relatively cheap ski in ski out condos, shuttle to town.  Cheaper than Snowmass but less upper level terrain. less altitude than Breck or anywhere else in Colorado.

Big Sky/Moonlight Basin is great for me, but it's too quiet after the lifts close for the Woman of My Dreams.  Park City/Canyons causes fights because half of us always want to drive to Alta.



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