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Advice needed for a ski vacation

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

First post and it looks like you guys have a great forum going. I didn't select an avatar because there wasn't one of a guy falling down a mountain, the admin may want to look into that :). I've been reading around and am feeling quite overwhelmed.

 

 

I'm trying to put together a ski vacation for my wife and I. She has never been skiing and I haven't been in over a decade. I've been to Vail, Breck, Copper, Keystone and Beaver Creek and about 3 weeks worth of skiing in my life. I've always been very athletic and should have no problem picking right up where I left off and enjoy anything from harder greens to easier blacks. Can ski more difficult levels but don't enjoy it as much and really can't risk injury. Problem is my wife has never been skiing, never been to the mountains and has this vision of being frozen solid anytime she looks outside. Oddly enough, after years of trying to get her to go she has decided that she wants to try it out. 

 

After looking around I'm leaning hard towards Telluride, Co for a vacation but am open to suggestions.

 

What I am looking for is something that is ski in/out, has an outdoor hot tub and a balcony. I'm also looking for something on a budget. Neither of us have any ski gear and would likely rent unless you guys have a better suggestion. Also want a mountain that isn't overly crowded and caters to a variety of skill levels. 

 

Other things we are looking for is some night life, decent food options and some shopping options. It needs to be between the 2nd week in January and March 1st since it is our slow season at work and I can take plenty of time off.  Something like 5-6 nights. 

 

We are located in Mississippi if that makes any difference and we can fly, drive or fly and rent, doesn't really matter. 

 

Any suggestions you guys can give from destinations, lodging, places to get good rates, rentals, ski instruction for her, things to do, things to avoid, etc it would really be appreciated. I'd like to make this a trip she really enjoys so she will want to go back. It's been so long since I've been and I'm sure everything has changed.  

 

I can stomach up to about $300/night for lodging, after that it starts to get painful with travel, rentals, meals, clothing, etc. 

post #2 of 26
This might be a good read for you
post #3 of 26

Park City is an easy option. Should easily be able to do lodging for a couple for well under $300. 

post #4 of 26

Telluride's an interesting choice.  I've been to 80+ North American ski areas, but never Telluride.  Supposed to be very beautiful and not too crowded with everything you want and more including great expert terrain.  But it's known to be pricey and reason I've never been there is hard to get to requiring two airplane rides from many places and thus higher airfare.  If you can figure a way to get there within your budget, go for it. It's sure to impress wife.  But must agree with Vickie and Maui Steve that first place that came to my mind was Park City because it's a place that has it all for beginners/intermediates and can be done fairly affordably.

post #5 of 26

Hmm. Ski in/out, night life, beginner friendly, lack of crowds, and cheap. You're not asking for much, are you? ;-)

 

If you hadn't specified ski in/out, I might have suggested skiing at Deer Valley while staying in the town of Park City. Deer Valley is expensive, but the lunches are to die for, and they're not crowded. They pride themselves on their groomers. (Granted I don't actually know how expensive lodging might be there - my aunt lives in Park City, so I haven't had to research that part.)

post #6 of 26
If your wife is a never-ever, I'd suggest staying in a town rather than on the slopes. She'll probably not want to ski all day every day, and being in a town means she could more easily get to cafes, yoga, whatever it is she likes. I agree that staying in Park City and skiing Deer Valley would be a good bet.
post #7 of 26

Disclaimer: I live in Telluride.

 

If you're worried about the terrain, don't. The mountain even breaks down the slopes green, double green, blue, double blue, black, double black. And I really don't think it's any more expensive than any other resort. Try to stay in town, vs Mountain Village.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post
 

Park City is an easy option. Should easily be able to do lodging for a couple for well under $300. 

 

completely and utterly unrelated to the thread but I just noticed your username and location, and here I thought I was the only hawaii person on this board. 

 

back to the thread. if you're is Mississippi park city isn't really that far. much as I'd like to tell you to try one of the awesome places here in new england it's really doesn't make any sense when there are better options much closer. 

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses!

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Hmm. Ski in/out, night life, beginner friendly, lack of crowds, and cheap. You're not asking for much, are you? ;-)

 

If you hadn't specified ski in/out, I might have suggested skiing at Deer Valley while staying in the town of Park City. Deer Valley is expensive, but the lunches are to die for, and they're not crowded. They pride themselves on their groomers. (Granted I don't actually know how expensive lodging might be there - my aunt lives in Park City, so I haven't had to research that part.)

I'm easy going and can have a good time doing about anything just about anywhere. Her, not so much but she can have a great time shopping anywhere and for anything. Kind of need some options to still have a good vacation in case the skiing part isn't for her. I'm big on the ski in/out part because the extra expense can be recouped in little things like lunch, snacks and some drinks. Plus, that way if she wants to take a break and head to the room it isn't a day killer. I checked out Deer Valley and it is quite expensive. Park City is on my short list though. Very affordable and seems to be a great place for people to learn. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Money2ski View Post
 

Disclaimer: I live in Telluride.

 

If you're worried about the terrain, don't. The mountain even breaks down the slopes green, double green, blue, double blue, black, double black. And I really don't think it's any more expensive than any other resort. Try to stay in town, vs Mountain Village.

I've found some really good deals in Cimarron Lodge at the base of lift 7 which looks to be the best of both worlds. A block from the grocery store, shuttle pick up every 15 minutes about 50 yards from the room and a true ski in/out. Have a worthy opinion on the place?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenhawaiian View Post
 

 

completely and utterly unrelated to the thread but I just noticed your username and location, and here I thought I was the only hawaii person on this board. 

 

back to the thread. if you're is Mississippi park city isn't really that far. much as I'd like to tell you to try one of the awesome places here in new england it's really doesn't make any sense when there are better options much closer. 

I've never even considered East Coast skiing for that reason. 

 

Transportation isn't an issue, I have airline miles to burn, have a Prius and I'm quite comfortable with long drives. I'm also well versed at picking up cheap rental cars to throw massive amounts of miles and abuse on since I do a lot of storm chasing. Most likely we will fly into Albuquerque or Denver and rent a small AWD SUV for the week depending on how cheap I can rent vs flying into Telluride. Either way, transportation isn't a biggie. I'd really like to drive it. Have some friends in Wichita Falls, OKC and Denver we could visit and crash out but we also have two kids and 4 days of driving would eat into the amount of time we could be away without the grandparents spontaneously combusting.

post #10 of 26

My wife is not a skier.  Does not enjoy the cold, but has tried skiing a few times to humor me.  The best day she ever had on skis, was when I paid for a private half day (morning) lesson for her.  I would highly recommend you budget for that if at all possible. After that, hopefully no one runs her over and she develops a love for the sport.  My girl, not interested anymore. I hope you two have a great time and Utah is a good call for less expensive.  Your wife may like Park City.

post #11 of 26
Breckenridge's Beaver Run resort Building #4 is slopeside ski in/out and the Village at Breckenridge is at the base of a chairlift. Both are on some of the best beginner terrain anywhere. Second the morning half-day private lesson. I can recommend some very talented instructor gals.
post #12 of 26

no comments on the area since I'm an eastie.  You can add your own avatar of yourself if you want!  You may want something a little more flattering than what you described.

post #13 of 26

Just to muddy the waters little - If you can use your airmiles to get to Calgary you might think about Panorama. She could see some awesome scenery as you drive through the Canadian Rockies, stop for some shopping in the Banff and Panorama is all about groomers and natural hot spring pools. It's pretty much all ski in ski/out plus the Canadian dollar is very low right now (dammit) so that should save some $.

http://www.panoramaresort.com/

The only catch is you will need your passports.

post #14 of 26

I fully agree with staying slopeside near the ski school- I know plenty of people who like skiing but hate lugging their ski gear.  Almost as good as slopeside is staying somewhere that has easy access and renting your gear slopeside at a shop that allows you to store the gear there overnight- you'll pay extra for this.  If your wife likes shopping, she won't mind taking a bus/shuttle into town.

 

Has your wife ever been at high altitude?  Places like Park City, Steamboat, etc might be an easier adjustment than higher resorts like Breck or T-ride.  Vail's altitude falls in the middle and they have a good 3 day beginner program out of Golden Peak.

 

I would think about booking late Feb (after President's week) as there is less chance of bitter cold temps compared to Jan.

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

 

I've found some really good deals in Cimarron Lodge at the base of lift 7 which looks to be the best of both worlds. A block from the grocery store, shuttle pick up every 15 minutes about 50 yards from the room and a true ski in/out. Have a worthy opinion on the place?

 

 

Pretty much everywhere in the town of Telluride is within a few minutes of the mountain.  All the hotels have shuttles and you could walk to the lifts if you didn't mind lugging gear.  I made the mistake of letting the "we're close to x lift" advertising get me when I first stayed in Telluride.

post #16 of 26

MEfree3 mentioned the high altitude.  Telluride and Breck are both very high.  We are staying at the mountain village in Telluride and that is 9,500 ft.  From my understanding of altitude sickness/problems, you may have no problem at all or it can be fairly and uncomfortable.  If you wife has never spent any time at altitude something lower like Park City may be the better choice.

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenhawaiian View Post
 

 

completely and utterly unrelated to the thread but I just noticed your username and location, and here I thought I was the only hawaii person on this board. 

 

back to the thread. if you're is Mississippi park city isn't really that far. much as I'd like to tell you to try one of the awesome places here in new england it's really doesn't make any sense when there are better options much closer. 

So, frozen, grew up here or live here or both? I lived in HNL from 85-87 and been in Maui ever since. Notwithstanding frequent trips to Utah. Aloha Steve 

post #18 of 26

Telluride's a great choice! If you manage to find a nonstop from your home airport to Denver, SLC, Calgary, etc. it might be worth reconsidering, but if you're looking at switching planes regardless, I think Telluride makes a lot of sense, and I'm sure you'll both have a great time. It's a lot of fun both on and off the mountain, and it's also small, personable, and charming enough to help you get caught up in the spirit of vacation!

 

I haven't stayed in Cimmarron lodge, but I've been through it many times--this is one of the base areas, with rental shops, ticket offices, etc. on the first floor and rooms up above (as well as some lodging-only rooms, I think). It looks nice, but it might get a little loud in the mornings as people are coming through to get on the lift.

 

As was mentioned earlier, everything in Telluride and Mountain Village is a pretty easy walk to the lifts, a shuttle stop, or the gondola. Staying out at the base of Lift 7, you're a bit farther from most of the restaurants and shopping. The Lift 7 terrain--Milk Run and Coonskin--can be a lot of fun for a decent skier, and by mid January they should be open. But the Telluride Trail, the blue run into town, is generally just a chore--switchbacks, crowds, and often iffy snow conditions. Honestly, I wouldn't count on your wife actually using the "ski-in" aspect of Lift 7 lodging more than once maybe. Staying right in the heart of Mountain Village will be the most convenient for easy access to the slopes, ski rentals, lessons, and a handful of restaurants and shops. Places in Telluride are better for access to shops and restaurants, and tend to have more character--but a little bit more work to get to and from the skiing. They're both good choices, though, and no matter what you should take the free gondola and spend at least one evening exploring the town where you're not staying--maybe next time you'll switch :)

post #19 of 26

I would say that if you are considering Breck you should also take a look at Copper.  It is a great mountain with plenty of terrain for both you and your wife.  Afternoon half day privates are $369 and you can include up to 4 people.  The village at Copper has plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping to keep a couple entertained for 5-6 days and Frisco is only 10-15 minutes away.   

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post
 

So, frozen, grew up here or live here or both? I lived in HNL from 85-87 and been in Maui ever since. Notwithstanding frequent trips to Utah. Aloha Steve 

grew up in kaneohe, been in maine for past 5 years 

post #21 of 26
post #22 of 26
Quote:
 It is a great mountain with plenty of terrain for both you and your wife.  Afternoon half day privates are $369 and you can include up to 4 people.  The village at Copper has plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping to keep a couple entertained for 5-6 days and Frisco is only 10-15 minutes away.   

Copper is a really nice mountain, but I disagree that the village (even plus Frisco) can keep someone entertained for 5-6 days if they decide not to ski or are just skiing a little.

 

Quote:
 

Disclaimer: I live in Telluride.

 

And I really don't think it's any more expensive than any other resort.

If he's spending up to $300/night for lodging he's fine in Telluride, but for the record, I've just booked my first winter trip there and it may be the priciest place I've booked (I'm a regular at Sun Valley and Whistler, btw). Hotels were high, lift tickets were high (no discounts or packages available for when I'm coming) and the $25 ski storage is really rubbing me the wrong way (it's $5 at my regular spots).


Edited by Christy319 - 12/9/14 at 9:58am
post #23 of 26

Beginner friendly, cheap, ski-in/out...has anybody suggested Angel Fire, NM? While it may not have the gnar most of us want, for a never ever from Mississippi, it could be a great time. Not intimidating in the slightest, and ski in/ski out accommodations could be had for probably cheaper than just about anywhere else. Driving to there from MS is pretty feasible, too.

 

You could also check out Taos, which some consider less beginner friendly, but their ski school is spectacular, and after a few days learning there (I suggest lessons every day), your wife will likely leave there a pretty competent skier. Taos is where I learned, and why I instantly fell in love with the sport. For me, it was a great place to start.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

MEfree3 mentioned the high altitude.  Telluride and Breck are both very high.  We are staying at the mountain village in Telluride and that is 9,500 ft.  From my understanding of altitude sickness/problems, you may have no problem at all or it can be fairly and uncomfortable.  If you wife has never spent any time at altitude something lower like Park City may be the better choice.

True, I skied in Telluride (coming from MS ironically), and the altitude was noticeable for me there. It was manageable, for me at least but could see it being a problem.

That being said, I've stayed at mid mountain, deer valley, and in frisco and didn't have any issues, but my hematocrit is very high these days so maybe it didn't bother me. Legs definitely burned more at copper than steamboat and can't figure that out, other than I got out of shape mid season....rolleyes.gif
post #25 of 26

Telluride is truly a special place and happens to be where I learned to ski back in the '80s.  PROS: Great place with great terrain for both you and your wife.  (In my opinion, Telluride has some of the most amazing terrain for beginner skiers with the Lift 10 area and runs such as Galloping Goose which you can ski from 11,800 feet all the way down to 9,200 on a true beginner ski run and not a traversing switchback which cuts across other runs.)  Stunning scenery.  CONS:  It is high (if altitude is a problem), definitely more expensive than Utah and Summit County, Colorado, and very hard to get to.

 

But I agree that the bottom of Lift 7 is not really ski-in, ski-out...more like on-lift, off-lift for some of the reasons mentioned previously.  If you go to Telluride and value ski-in/ski-out the most, then Mountain Village is where you want to stay.  You'll just have to ride the gondola into town (which is easy enough).

post #26 of 26

Have you given Steamboat some thought? Seems like it would fit the bill for what you are lookin for

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