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Advice for Discounted Day Trip in CO [groomers in Jan, driving from CO Springs]

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Extensive reader, but first time posting:

 

My 63 year old father and I will be going skiing this January when I head out from VT to fist my folks in CO Springs.

 

My father, nor I, are particularly interested in backcountry, trees, or off trail skiing, and both of our equipment is groomer focused (I ski Rossi Experience 83s, my Dad renting). This is essentially the one time a year my Dad goes skiing.

 

My Dad and I are not looking to drive more than about two hours, would prefer high-speed lifts, and would like the cost to be as low as possible (<$75 /pp). I figure midweek (Tue, Wed, or Thurs) crowds will not be a deciding factor.

 

I have skied Loveland several times, but the #2 Chair is slow, and the on trail terrain is limited. We have also skied Monarch once, but it is rather small, though both are much less expensive.

 

I could list every major 2-4-1 and quality discount in VT/NH, but I would appreciate help and advice to know what good options would be out there for us. My Father is retired military if that helps, but I am not.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 26
I think you pretty much covered the closer/lower budget ones. Copper Mtn would be just a little farther than Loveland at maybe 2.5 hours from CS. Has lots of the terrain/lifts you are looking for. Usually you can get tickets off Liftopia for Copper at about your upper limit. Another discount is to look for Shell gas promo, buy 10 gals and get two for one deal at Copper. Not sure if it's been announced yet for 2014-15 season.
post #3 of 26

For high speed lifts you are sort of limited to Summit County. Not sure if that is within 2 hours from CO Springs (~1 - 1:30 from Denver.)

 

My vote is for Copper if they are on the Shell Buy-one-get-one pass. Buy 10 gallons of gas at a participating shell location and you get a voucher. Should be ~65 or 70 a person. Copper has lots of cruising terrain, good snowmaking should it be necessary and plenty of lift capacity. 

post #4 of 26

From Colorado Springs probably the fastest trip will be to Breckenridge.  Still pushing it to get there in 2 hrs.

post #5 of 26

Came to post about Copper and the BoGo at Shell.   That's you best option IMO.

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
 

From Colorado Springs probably the fastest trip will be to Breckenridge.  Still pushing it to get there in 2 hrs.


Yea, but they aren't going to be able to do Breck for less than $75/pp.  Maybe $115/pp.

 

Mike

post #7 of 26

In the unlikely chance Copper doesn't do the Shell BoGo deal this year, you should be able to buy Copper tickets on liftopia for around $75:

 

http://www.liftopia.com/ski-resort-info/product/211/CO/Copper-Mountain-1-Day-Lift-Tickets.htm#01-2015

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

Copper sounds like the general consensus. I do not think an extra drive time will be as big a detriment as not having to pay more for lift tickets.

 

The Shell 10 gallon 2-4-1 sounds like the best day trip options. Liftopia does not seem to have much for CO.

 

Granted I am used to skiing locally in VT, where lift prices are lower, but I am surprised at the lack of midweek discounts for the major resorts in CO. I can ski anywhere in VT for under $50 on a day trip, including Stowe on a non-holiday Saturday.

 

Thanks for the input!

post #9 of 26

welcome to the rockies!  i don't know of anyone who has a mid-week discount.  keep in mind this is vacation skier driven so there's no incentive for the resorts to offer such discounts.  I think Copper would be great for you but please keep in mind 70 traffic conditions; especially on the way home depending on the day and time.   

 

 

BTW- directions, 2:27

 

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Colorado+Springs,+CO/Copper+Mountain,+0509+Copper+road,+Copper+Mountain,+CO+80443/@39.2832012,-106.6739223,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x8713412ea1e6d22b:0x418eeb92f5e86b13!2m2!1d-104.8213634!2d38.8338816!1m5!1m1!1s0x876a5ffe5676b391:0x2eb83ef91681530!2m2!1d-106.160554!2d39.478525!3e0

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 


I have done I-70 to Silverthorne before skiing Loveland the next day, and the trip back to the Springs in the evening. Thank you for the reminder to keep those things in mind. We are flexible about what day of the week we will go skiing, so we might be able to visit on a day with better road conditions.

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Follow up questions about Copper Mountain:

 

Does EpicSki have an unofficial guide? The tab and a forum search did not return anything I noticed.

 

If there is not an organized guide then:

 

Any tips for parking?

 

Best place to grab lunch? Is brown bagging even a real option? It worked at Loveland with parking for first-chair being so close to the lodge.

 

Lockers? I prefer not to gear up in the parking lot.

 

Best runs? Areas to avoid? Best strategy for skiing Copper's best highlights? My Dad may stick to all Blues, but I would love to know what the easier advanced trails might be?

 

Thank you again to everyone that has commented. This has been much more helpful than I was even hoping it might be.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralVT08 View Post
 

Follow up questions about Copper Mountain:

 

Does EpicSki have an unofficial guide? The tab and a forum search did not return anything I noticed.

 

If there is not an organized guide then:

 

Any tips for parking?

 

Best place to grab lunch? Is brown bagging even a real option? It worked at Loveland with parking for first-chair being so close to the lodge.

 

Lockers? I prefer not to gear up in the parking lot.

 

Best runs? Areas to avoid? Best strategy for skiing Copper's best highlights? My Dad may stick to all Blues, but I would love to know what the easier advanced trails might be?

 

Thank you again to everyone that has commented. This has been much more helpful than I was even hoping it might be.

 

No Unofficial Guide for Copper, but @segbrown is the EpicSki Ambassador.

 

To see the list of Ambassadors, look at the top of the Resorts section homepage.  The list also has links to Unofficial Guides.

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/ambassador-roster

post #13 of 26

@segbrown was taking case care of some very important "unofficial" duties yesterday  that involved the ushering-in of the winter and proper homage to Ullr.....  I'm sure she'll respond....  maybe with a picture or 2.  Anyone who takes 70 owes her a beer for her beautification efforts..

post #14 of 26

Yes, it's true, I spent yesterday preparing the way for ullr. O come all ye faithful.

 

Here is another option for bogo tickets: http://eduproject.com/the-e-book/ski-deals/

 

I have a half-finished unofficial guide :o, or maybe it's just half-started, but in any case I can help out with logistics. Have an appt this morning, will get back to thread  later.

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralVT08 View Post
 

Follow up questions about Copper Mountain:

 

Does EpicSki have an unofficial guide? The tab and a forum search did not return anything I noticed.

 

If there is not an organized guide then:

 

Any tips for parking?  Main Lot 'Alpine' take shuttle bus to Union Creek.  Shortest walk to lift.

 

Best place to grab lunch? Is brown bagging even a real option? It worked at Loveland with parking for first-chair being so close to the lodge. If you start from U-Creek.  They have food and booze.  Brown bagging allowed.  LOTS OF KIDS!  If the weather is good T-rex grill at Timberline or Flyers Soup shack.

 

Lockers? I prefer not to gear up in the parking lot. Union Creek has WC, rentals, and lockers on first level.

 

Best runs? Areas to avoid? Best strategy for skiing Copper's best highlights? My Dad may stick to all Blues, but I would love to know what the easier advanced trails might be? Union Creek Quad then Timberline for Blues.  'S' Lift for more advanced - can be used as a Blue back to Timberline.  EZ access to Copper Bowl (if open).

 

Thank you again to everyone that has commented. This has been much more helpful than I was even hoping it might be.

You can also start your day skiing out of Center Village.  Just use American Flyer lift then head to Timberline.  C.V. has all facilities (In 'Jacks') you ask about just a longer 'uphill' walk from the shuttle stop.

 

This plan takes consideration of your other comments. 

 

There are miles of other terrain I would recommend.  For a one day trip this might be all you need.

 

If you have time - take a guided tour.  Ambassadors guide around blue and lower terrain.  Last year they were starting at top of the 'Eagle' lift at 10A and 1P daily. 


Edited by ali pine - 10/8/14 at 7:35am
post #16 of 26

A basin might be another option to look at.  They have some high speed lifts and you can get liftopia tickets there for under $75.

post #17 of 26

^^^ Yes, cheaper tickets can be had for A-basin and Loveland, but Copper is well worth the extra cost for the OP.  It's just such a better groomer mountain, and has high speed lifts.  On a weekday in January you will be in groomer heaven at Copper!

 

Here's the plan I'd suggest plan:  Get there early so you get first lift and fresh corduroy.  Park in the free parking and take the shuttle to the center village (or pay to park there).  There are lockers in the building with the ticket window.  Take the American Flyer lift.  Now ski all the blue runs served by the Timberline lift.  Those are the easiest blues on the mountain.  When you are done there, make your way over to the Rendezvous lift for the views and to ski a very easy high alpine bowl with a groomer cut down the middle.

 

Now on to steeper groomers.  On a weekday, head to the American Eagle lift and hit the couple moderately steep groomers there.   Skip that on the weekend because it's more crowded and head straight to the Super Bee lift in the East Village.   If you are ready for lunch, the $5.99 lunch specials at Copper Station at the base of the Super Bee are the best lunch deal anywhere.

 

Now up the Super Bee to the steeper blue groomers.  Ski Andy's Encore top to bottom first, it's one of my favorite groomers anywhere.  On the way back up the Super Bee, check out Rossi's Run under the lift at the bottom, a fun groomed black run.  Hit that if it's not too steep.  Try out all the various groomers served by the Super Bee.  It's an amazing lift with 2300 vertical feet of great skiing for just an 8 minute ride.

 

Or... you could just do a free mountain tour:

http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/the_mountain/ambassadors

 

Have fun!

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
 


Yea, but they aren't going to be able to do Breck for less than $75/pp.  Maybe $115/pp.

 

Mike

Military is $75 per person and his dad should be able to buy tickets through the Academy in the Springs

 

Edit: Also keystone could be an option as well. I would have your dad call the outdoor rec center at the Academy and se what deals they have going on. If you are going in late January you might hit the Snofest which is annual military appreciation week at Keystone and lift tickets are usually heavily discounted. I would avoid Keystone on a weekend but mid week shouldn't be a problem.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
 

Military is $75 per person and his dad should be able to buy tickets through the Academy in the Springs

 

Edit: Also keystone could be an option as well. I would have your dad call the outdoor rec center at the Academy and se what deals they have going on. If you are going in late January you might hit the Snofest which is annual military appreciation week at Keystone and lift tickets are usually heavily discounted. I would avoid Keystone on a weekend but mid week shouldn't be a problem.

I was thinking this, too ... Keystone groomers are a blast on a January weekday. 

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

The military option is something I had looked at, but only season passes were listed on the resort websites. With many lift ticket prices only just now coming out, it makes sense I the exact prices for military discounts are still TBD.

 

I looked up the dates for SnoFest, and we will miss it by a week. Potential ski dates are Tues-Thurs January 13-15, right before Pres Day weekend.

 

Based on drive time, a quality military discount could make Winter Park another options to Copper. Waiting on prices.

 

My Dad is retired, so Vail Inc resorts are $85 (http://www.keystoneresort.com/faqdetail/Discounts-and-Savings/Do-you-offer-Military-discounts.axd). That would be a nice day trip price for Beaver Creek, but the extra 30 min driving, and higher cost will exclude that this trip.

 

tball's outline for a day at Copper sounds pretty fun!

post #21 of 26

http://www.usafasupport.com/media/126618/lift%20tickets%20for%20web.pdf

 

This is not current, but maybe will give you an idea of relative prices. 

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

http://www.usafasupport.com/media/126618/lift%20tickets%20for%20web.pdf

 

This is not current, but maybe will give you an idea of relative prices.

Those prices are pretty outdated everything is at least $10-$20 more expensive now.

 

Copper was $65 a day for active duty last year but I don't know what the price would be for retired. Even than it's one ticket per ID at the window. At the base they will usually allow you to buy multiple tickets.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

^^^ Yes, cheaper tickets can be had for A-basin and Loveland, but Copper is well worth the extra cost for the OP.  It's just such a better groomer mountain, and has high speed lifts.  On a weekday in January you will be in groomer heaven at Copper!

 

Here's the plan I'd suggest plan:  Get there early so you get first lift and fresh corduroy.  Park in the free parking and take the shuttle to the center village (or pay to park there).  There are lockers in the building with the ticket window.  Take the American Flyer lift.  Now ski all the blue runs served by the Timberline lift.  Those are the easiest blues on the mountain.  When you are done there, make your way over to the Rendezvous lift for the views and to ski a very easy high alpine bowl with a groomer cut down the middle.

 

Now on to steeper groomers.  On a weekday, head to the American Eagle lift and hit the couple moderately steep groomers there.   Skip that on the weekend because it's more crowded and head straight to the Super Bee lift in the East Village.   If you are ready for lunch, the $5.99 lunch specials at Copper Station at the base of the Super Bee are the best lunch deal anywhere.

 

Now up the Super Bee to the steeper blue groomers.  Ski Andy's Encore top to bottom first, it's one of my favorite groomers anywhere.  On the way back up the Super Bee, check out Rossi's Run under the lift at the bottom, a fun groomed black run.  Hit that if it's not too steep.  Try out all the various groomers served by the Super Bee.  It's an amazing lift with 2300 vertical feet of great skiing for just an 8 minute ride.

 

Or... you could just do a free mountain tour:

http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/the_mountain/ambassadors

 

Have fun!


Awesome, thanks for the example agenda!

 

I'm actually in the throws of planning a bachelor party to Colorado and I'm in charge of planning the skiing. Copper sounds like a good option for the group, even though my Epic pass doesn't cover me there.

 

I was on a hiatus from this forum during the summer, but now that it's almost ski season, I'm back. Anyway I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread before making a new one. Seems like it is tough to find deals on lift tickets in CO, but this info is very helpful.

post #24 of 26

You could go to Copper and/or Winter Park.  If your dad fills his tank at the local Shell, he can get a voucher for a buy one get one free at either Copper or Winter Park (he needs to go inside the Shell station to pick up the voucher after filling up).  This makes the price approx. around $60-$70 depending on what mid week prices are at those two ski areas.  Jsut take the voucher to the lift ticket window and buy your two tickets.  It's easier if only two are skiing.  In the past I've done the voucher then walked around asking if anyone is interested in buying the other ticket for half the lift price (kind of a pain as you need to find an interested person with cash).

 

I think Winter Park is maybe 3 hours away from Colorado Springs, but it still may be an option.  Copper shouldn't be hard to get to within 2.5 hours of Colorado Springs.  If interested, tell your dad to fill his tank several times at Shell and collect multiple vouchers so you'll have them on hand if you decide to use them. Some Shells are also affiliated with our local Kroger market so he can use his Kroger or King Soopers gas discounts as well when he fills up.

 

If you want something within the 2 hour range, Breck (I'm not sure of the discounts there), Keystone, and maybe A-basin would be an option.  You can buy Elevations 3-packs at A-basin, but you would have to ski there 3X each to use them up.  There is an Epic 4-pack that gives you just Keystone and A-basin for about $175, but your dad would need to purchase those two passes for you and him within the next few weeks.  But you would both need to ski 4 days at a combination of either resort.

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for everyone's advice and input. At this point I think we are going to spend two days at Copper, and possibly add a single day at Keystone into the mix.

 

We will probably be skiing Tue/Wed/Thurs or Mon/Tue/Wed depending on how the weather shakes out for traveling up from Colorado Springs. We have a place to stay in Silverthorne and will drive to the areas each day. My wife and mom may try snowshoeing at Copper the first day, my Dad would take the potential middle day at Keystone off, and my non-skiing mom would only be hanging in the lodge the last day.

 

Free parking, shuttle to Copper Central village, changing in the main (?) building with lockers, and then progressing up in difficulty on mostly groomed terrain will probably be the morning plan.

 

Any advice for Keystone? My wife and I will be skiing mostly groomers there, and perhaps just concentrate on lapping the gondola on Dercum most of the day. It will only be her second day out this year after getting the medical "all clear" to ski again at the beginning of the month.

 

Thanks once again for everyone's input. If things go well I think I might post a trip report.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralVT08 View Post
 

Thanks for everyone's advice and input. At this point I think we are going to spend two days at Copper, and possibly add a single day at Keystone into the mix.

 

We will probably be skiing Tue/Wed/Thurs or Mon/Tue/Wed depending on how the weather shakes out for traveling up from Colorado Springs. We have a place to stay in Silverthorne and will drive to the areas each day. My wife and mom may try snowshoeing at Copper the first day, my Dad would take the potential middle day at Keystone off, and my non-skiing mom would only be hanging in the lodge the last day.

 

Free parking, shuttle to Copper Central village, changing in the main (?) building with lockers, and then progressing up in difficulty on mostly groomed terrain will probably be the morning plan.

 

Any advice for Keystone? My wife and I will be skiing mostly groomers there, and perhaps just concentrate on lapping the gondola on Dercum most of the day. It will only be her second day out this year after getting the medical "all clear" to ski again at the beginning of the month.

 

Thanks once again for everyone's input. If things go well I think I might post a trip report.

I just spent two days at Keystone and one at Vail with my GF. Keystone had lots of great long groomers open and in decent condition. Dercum will be the best for starter groomers, although you may want to skip the gondola...there is an express lift (Summit express) right next to the base of the gondola, and it drops you off at the same place. The Summit express lift is faster, unless you're looking to warm up a bit in the gondola.

 

If you (or the wifre) are feeling adventurous, head over to North Peak for some more challenging blue runs. Anticipation and spillway were some of our go-to's. Spillway had some nice smaller, soft moguls if you're ready to give those a try. Check the grooming reports though for the updated status of the runs.

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