So question to those that know- Are Summit deed restricted properties readily available? Most people I know in the Aspen area wait years for a suitable property.
Not to mention that based on what I saw on the housing authority website, you can buy a lot more house in the Glenwood area- much more than a box or townhome.
The Peak 1 neighborhood is nice place- the bike path right there is neat. BUT, the houses have always reminded me of housing on a military base- probably because they were built for similar purposes.
Biking season in Summit is much shorter than Glenwood and the climbs in the roaring fork valley blow away the climbs in Summit....they just aren't on a bike path but Independence Pass is head and shoulder above Vail Pass or Loveland Pass as a climb and McClure is no slouch.
Life at 9000 feet is hard...winter hard, shoulder season lasts till june at the earliest, you deal with hordes of Denver people and tourists in both summer and winter.
Don't get me wrong.....I'd live in Summit over Denver if i could swing it but if could swing that I could swing being further away from Denver and that would be a big win in my book...ymmv
As far as ski season lengths, my ski racing girls are done, worn out and ready to do something different after championships in March. It's all I can do to get them out on skis after mid march. Ski season for them is fun and a grind. On the other hand they do get to start skiing at Copper before the mountain opens in mid-Oct assuming we can make it up and they love early season turns. They would not get that in the roaring fork valley.
I'd still pick UT if I was the OP.
The passes out of the Roaring Fork are world-class rides. Indy is simply brutal.
Not to mention that Glenwood-Aspen is a legit ride in itself. Its not a pass, but you still climb a couple thousand feet over 40 miles- 80 if you round trip. The miles spin away a lot faster, but you definitely feel it.
As for the canyon, it is a great after-work ride- 1.5 - 2 hours
Also, the Carbondale-Marble trail is being built- when I lived there it made it to the mouth of the canyon. That will be another amazing ride when completed, largely following the Crystal River Railroad railbed (like the Frisco-Copper trail follows the DSP&P railbed)
Regarding season length, we had Spring days where we skied in the morning, then dropped back down to 6000 feet elevation in Glenwood, sat in the pool, used the waterslides, and then went for a bike ride.
The lakes also stay much warmer at the lower elevations. I run stand-up jet skis as one of my favorite summer activities, and I got a longer season in the Rifle-Glenwood area than I could ever get on the front range. I would run my boats on Rifle Gap from May 1 to October 1.
I don't know enough about Utah to comment, but if I had the choice, I would live away from crowds and big cities. I was lucky enough to get the choice and love every minute of it.