I made (and highlighted) a couple of corrections for you.
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I made (and highlighted) a couple of corrections for you.
There is a lot of very cheap, nice, condos at the base of Durango Mountain Resort- thank development far beyond demand.
You have already missed the window for cheap season passes though, but perhaps the cheap condos allowing one to walk to the slopes makes up for it.
DMR is a very friendly mountain to intermediates- they groom a lot of terrain. It does have some solid advanced terrain as well- plenty to feel accomplished, but not much that is going to kill you.
I just recommended DMR to somebody. I feel dirty.
Ketchum, ID. Right on Sun Valley's doorstep. Nice old town with a beautiful natural setting and lots of options for non-ski activities. Lots of rich folk which may mean high costs.
I wonder if you'll find a place that has the access requirements that you want and is within your budget. There are lots of places that are within 20 minutes or less of a mountain that would be amazingly good, but when you add a ski area in town prices skyrocket. Now you're competing with the rich.
If search is extended to the ~20 minute drive range that would open a lot of options too. Ski Santa Fe, NM would be great too, but probably too expensive.
Bob is correct about Texans at Red River
But town is very close to ski area and probably not too expensive compared to most such locations.
+1 for Ketchum. I am not up on the preschool scene but I've never been to a more walkable ski town except for Aspen (some of the ideas people have given you above are really stretching it). And the extra nice thing is that all the essentials--the grocery stores, hardware, drug store, etc,--are all downtown. It's not like some towns where it's become a tourist entertainment district but then you have to get in your car and drive to a strip mall outside downtown for the basics. Ketchum sits at the foot of Baldy (Sun Valley ski mountain). The ski area is about 6 blocks from downtown and free buses go there. The transit system in general is free and good. I've met people who say they almost never drive, they just bike and bus. There's a Costco and other chain stores in Twin Falls, 1:45 away. Boise is 2.5 hours. Ketchum has a ton of retired Seattleites and its a popular spot for us Seattle people to vacation or have second homes, so there is more of a West Coast vibe (good Asian food!) there than other spots in the interior West. I do not think Ketchum is expensive compared to Seattle but don't know about the difficulty of renting single family pet friendly homes. The thing that doesn't meet your criteria: ski passes are not reasonably priced.
For those following and/or contributing to this thread: Thank you. I spend 20 minutes to several hours following up on each suggestion, so please don't think your contribution is going to waste.
One of things that I have learned from researching where to spend our sabbatical, first Cost Rica, then, Guatemala, is that there is no perfect place. Not even close. It is actually an intensely soul-searching exercise trying to figure out what is really important to you, especially when you realize that some of the things you really want may not be admirable to the vast majority of certain groups. In other words, don't tell the Costa Rica expat community you are having a hard time without Amazon. They get out the stake and the gasoline.
Thanks to all.
Has anyone suggested Glenwood Springs, CO yet? Has Sunlight near by for skiing, and if they're so inclined, Aspen/Snowmass about 45 mins away. The walmart is right in town and the Costco is over in Gypsum (about 25 minutes away). Not too sure about the pre-school situation though.
I want to throw in the length of ski season as a consideration, and a reason to think about Summit County Colorado were there is typically good skiing through May. Skiing ends almost everywhere else early to mid-April. An extra month or two of skiing would be worth some other trade-offs, at least if skiing is your focus.... which of course it should be!!!
In addition to cheap passes, there are also cheap season lesson programs at Breck and Keystone. I'm not sure about the current status, but these links should give you an idea:
I'd guess preschool costs are going to be prohibitive, but there is at least one Montessori school in downtown Breck walking distance from the lift. If economics were not a consideration (!?!?!) living walking distance to Breck would seem ideal. I saw an article in the paper there is even a bi-lingual preschool that is supposed to open there this fall:
Edit: I just notice the Breck Lesson program take 4 year olds and is only $750 for Thurs-Sunday for the season. Looks like a cheap preschool option to me!
I can highly recommend Bozeman, Montana! Beautiful setting, home of Montana State University (many and varied cultural events), outstanding skiing with 15 minutes to Bridger Bowl (excellent kid's ski program and super reasonably priced) and 45 minutes to Big Sky, great shopping with a historic downtown boutique type shops and all the big box stores on the west end, great fishing minutes away, several smaller towns within 15 miles (Belgrade, Manhattan, Gallatin Gateway, Churchill). Top notch schools and pre-schools. I'm a bit biased as I grew up there and continue to go back to ski and relax. Lastly, the air service in and out offers several non stops, one of which is to SeaTac!
^^^ Ooh, I like the Salida, CO idea. It's a great town and should be pretty affordable, but Monarch is a bit of a drive for skiing, maybe too much for up and back twice each day. Maybe a 3-4 day/week full-day preschool program, then have full-day family days the other days?
You probably are familiar with it. Short hop to Mission Ridge. Longer trip to Stevens Pass. All shopping available. Close to home for you if that is what you want. I'm positive that housing is reasonable. Don't know about bilingual preschools, but Spanish speakers are not hard to find there. Lots of apples.
And there's lots of really good beer in Hood River!
Santa Fe, NM has a Dual-Language public elementary school that goes Pre-K to grade 7. (see link above) There are also private preschools which have both English and Spanish speaking kids enrolled.
The mountain is 18 miles from the center of town. It's not big, but has a good ski school and is fun for the 2-3 hours and family time scenario. Also the lift tickets are cheap. And then Taos is a little less than 2 hours drive and Pajarito is a blast for kids and is 1.5 hours away and Wolf Creek is a powder mecca and is 3 hours away. Wolf Creek is also a great kid's mountain and the town is easy to visit with kids. Santa Fe doesn't have to be super expensive, especially since you are looking at winter season and summer is high season for SF. It has a Costco, although it's not a shopping mecca. Albuquerque is 1 hour away and has Big American Shopping Malls. What Santa Fe does have is great music and art and the Santa Fe Institute free public lecture series.
Taos seems to meet all of your requirements. Look for a place in Arroyo Seco, Valdez, Arroyo Hondo, El Prado, or the surrounding areas and you will be centrally located with town 20 minutes in one direction and the mountain 20 minutes in the other. Half the town speaks Spanish so bilingual schooling shouldn't be an issue. Great mountain with world-class terrain. Extremely affordable. PM for more info.
Taos can't be any worse than a place you don't speak the language.
Wasn't there a Zima-like drink called "Taos" many years ago? I think that is the source of my initial mildly negative reaction to Taos. This is obviously totally unreasonable.
^ They aren't talking about a permanent move....they are talking about 6 months. Your descriptions of the cultural nuances of the area are accurate, but the emphasis on violence and crime are a bit over the top (this isn't Espanola). Most people (Native, Latino, and White) are incredibly friendly. They are typically hard-working and have impressive family values. I mean if it is good enough for Julia Roberts then.....wait a minute......she bought her land from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld....nevermind.
All kidding aside, Taos is a unique place for sure. It either excepts you with open arms or it chews you up and spits you out. All depends on the type of person you are and how well you assimilate to the local culture. People that are spending 6 months there skiing typically will not be exposed to the darker side of things (this happens most often when people decide to get involved in the local drug scene, which exists in every city across the nation whether you are aware of it or not).