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10 Most Underrated Ski Resorts - Page 7

post #181 of 187
Originally Posted by mallthus View Post

I'd agree about Eldora. I live in Longmont, which is in the same county as Eldora, and people have asked me if they're still in business. <doh!>


Also have to agree about their operations. I like that their cafeteria is, by ski area standards, inexpensive. Unfortunately, it's also overcrowded, ugly and not very good. Don't get me started on the restrooms, which would have been considered ready for an upgrade in the 1980s and which are wholly inexcusable in 2014 when daily lift tickets are just shy of $100.


I think the biggest miss for Eldora has been their pass product. They tried being part of Epic last year, but I'm pretty sure that was a flop, as they're part of RMSP this year. I think that'll turn out to be a better fit, as they missed the boat (IMHO) on Epic by only being on the full Epic pass (not on Epic Local) and, even then, not promoting it at all. I'd not have known it if I hadn't happened to see Eldora's logo on the Epic ad on a bus one day. At least they're doing a slightly better job pimping RMSP, which at just over $500 is a better price point for Eldora inclined skiers anyway.


They've got a new master plan approved that ought to make it better, with base improvements, more lifts and an expansion of the Lookout. Not that any of that was showing last year.


Finally, I know that their operating permit is very restrictive, prohibiting, for instance, summer bike ops. I don't know if their new master plan addresses this.

Eldora's operations are terrible.


I only skied there twice last year and nearly saw a large lawsuit unfold. One of their lifties at the top was downloading the main summit double, and I don't know if the liftie at the top forgot to give the chair number to the bottom liftie (as is pretty standard) or the liftie wasn't paying attention, but I was standing there in line when the downloading liftie was almost at the bottom and yelling to the liftie running the controls to slow it down. The liftie didn't see him, didn't hear him, and didn't slow the lift down.


This is a fixed grip double that has a pretty quick line speed. Well the liftie downloading literally tried to hit the ground running, but he still couldn't get out of the way of the chairlift fast enough since it was running full speed. It caught his leg, which mad the chair go back around 30 degrees, and swing around the bullwheel. Thankfully the skiers waiting on the other ski of the bullwheel were watching the whole thing and jumped out of the way before the double chair violently swung into them, otherwise they probably would've had a broken knee from turning around to load the chair.


The next day, there was a rare East to West storm that the front range only gets once or twice a season. Eldora got 19 inches while summit county only got about 6. Anyways, I was on the same double chair I mentioned earlier and my ski was only about 4.5-5 feet off of the ground, and that area not roped off. Forget tapping someone on the head, it was around neck level. And I took 4 more runs, and that area still wasn't roped off. Around 11:30 ski patrol finally figured it out and roped it off. It was in a pretty obvious spot, but for the sake of liability perform some due diligence. 


The staff who work their don't care. I heard last year that the ticket office wouldn't even offer the Epic pass at first, stating they had to be "validated" by Vail.


The list goes on and on. What it boils down to is they have a lack of daily procedures, or good managers to ensure those procedures are being followed, or both. They need to get bought out by someone that knows what they are doing, because this is by no means an all-inclusive list, just go to yelp.


Edit: Made spelling less offensive. 

Edited by skiNEwhere - 9/17/14 at 2:31pm
post #182 of 187
Eldora. One word.
post #183 of 187

Send me your address. I'll make sure you get a cookie in 4-6 weeks

post #184 of 187
Originally Posted by HippieFlippinNM View Post

The parking at Peak 9 was definitely not free last March.  I even tried to pay off the parking attendant with some goods and he jovially declined.  


But there is something to be said for being a local at a tourist destination.  I remember skiing freshies in trees that weren't all that off the beaten path, more than a week after the last storm.  At a local's mountain, that stuff gets tracked out in a matter of hours.  Like I said, my friends who know Breck like the back of their hand love it.  They have it all figured out and they rarely encounter gaper tourists in the places they are skiing (6 Senses is one I remember, as well as Lake Chutes, 9 Lives, and Needles Eye).  I've skied a couple of those and wasn't terribly impressed, but I'm not a local at Breck and I don't know it all that well.  

The free parking is not at Peak 9. It is in the airport lot about 3 or 4 miles down the road. then you take a bus. I used to like Breck a lot better before it blew up in popularity and development. Although they have opened up a lot of new terrain since the mid 1980s, back then you could park for free right next to the lifts at Peak 8, and it was hardly ever crowded. It's still a fun place to ski for me but I might consider it a bit over rated simply due to the hassle factor. As you mention, you really need to get to know it before you can avoid crowds and super-long, super flat cat tracks.

post #185 of 187

Hmmm...how about:


Red Mountain


Powder Mountain


Magic Mountain (possible out of business--I haven't looked in a while)

post #186 of 187

While this list is far more reasonable that the "uncrowded" list, I agree with most of the dissents above.  It's easy to say areas like Castle and Discovery should be on the list. But it's more relevant to discuss those on the list that perhaps should not be.


Places like Targhee and Alpine Meadows that are "in the shadow" of marquee neighbors make some sense.  Taos, as the standout area for terrain of its region by a country mile, does not.  The same can be said for Crystal.  MRG is quite distinctive in Northeast context also.

It's not really an underrated list - it's a list of hills that aren't heavily marketed as or lack the infrastructure to be destination resorts for the Ski magazine advertiser rankings. .

This accounts for the 3 standout areas above being on the list because they are regional areas and not marketed nationally (well, Taos is some).


Crested Butte falls on my overrated list because you hear all the buzz about its extreme terrain, and when you go there you're lucky if you find much more than half of it open.


These definitions are slippery.  To me underrated means the actual experience exceeds the reputation among most skiers.   That's not exactly the same thing as being unknown like Castle or Discovery, and is subjective to what each skier thinks an area's "reputation" is.   By contrast I see specific criteria that define "uncrowded" and thus posted my own list in that thread as an improvement and basis for further discussion. 

post #187 of 187

saddleback up here in maine. everyone just goes straight to sugarloaf 45 mins away. I'm fine with it though, as a result though it almost never crowded which is just the way I like things. maine has a bunch of smaller places as well that really no one outside the state knows even exist. 

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