Apologies if there is already thread on this...I've nosed around and haven't quite found the answer that fits our particular situation.
I'd like guidance on the best ski area for a trip we are planning for the week of Mar 30. Here are our parameters / priorities / situation:
SKIING ABILITY PROFILE:
1.) We are a family of five currently living in the Midwest; our three boys are 12, 12, and 10 years old.
2.) My hubby and I are intermediate skiers with a handful of Rockies trips under our belts (though the last Rockies skiing was 2 decades ago, before we had kids).
3.) Our boys are also intermediate skiers, with ~2 ski days/year over the last 6-7 years, all on Midwestern ski hills. They are comfortable on and enjoy the black diamond runs at the Wisconsin / Indiana hills they have skied. I think this will translate to them being most at home on the blue slopes of CO ski areas as we start our ski week.
1.) We are driving to/from our destination. That means all of our skiing will be Mon-Fri of the Mar 30 week.
2.) Since we are driving in from the Midwest, I've been focusing my research on places within a 2-hour radius of Denver. We *are* open to places outside of this radius, but if all things are equal, we would prefer to minimize driving further west / south.
THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US:
1.) Ski in / ski out lodging.
2.) Decent snow conditions, given the time of year we are visiting.
3.) Lower crowd volumes.
4.) Good variety of intermediate runs.
5.) Moderate Colorado ski vacation pricing... We understand that it will take a solid chunk of money to come ski the Rockies. We aren't looking to shoestring the whole thing, but we are also not coming with "buckets of money" (as one reviewer described a particular resort...).
THINGS THAT ARE *NOT* IMPORTANT TO US:
1.) Nightlife / village "ambiance" -- we are a beer-and-pizza / watch-a-movie-at-home kind of family.
2.) Challenging terrain (bumps, trees, expert runs, etc.) -- our skill set just isn't there yet, despite what my boys may think... :)
3.) Extracurricular activities -- we are driving 16-20 hours (one way) to SKI. We aren't interested in a bunch of shopping and other diversions.
Thank you in advance for any insights / opinions that any of you who are in the know are willing to provide. I have been doing research on the various options, and I'm to the point that I keep circling around 3 or 4 choices. Since I keep talking myself in and out of these different selections, I wanted to get some expert input.