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WHATS THE BEST SKI TOWN!!!?? - Page 2

Poll Results: Best ski town for your late 20s

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 8% of voters (4)
    Jackson hole
  • 2% of voters (1)
    Vail
  • 12% of voters (6)
    Bozeman
  • 4% of voters (2)
    crested butte
  • 12% of voters (6)
    telluride
  • 14% of voters (7)
    Aspen
  • 2% of voters (1)
    Sun valley
  • 18% of voters (9)
    park city
  • 6% of voters (3)
    breckenridge
  • 2% of voters (1)
    beaver creek
  • 0% of voters (0)
    taos
  • 4% of voters (2)
    ogden
  • 12% of voters (6)
    whistler
  • 0% of voters (0)
    revelstoke
  • 20% of voters (10)
    other
50 Total Votes  
post #31 of 55

You keep mentioning Park City. Is that at the top of your list? Are you looking for someone to talk you out of Park City? Doesn't seem like a bad option.

post #32 of 55

Living in the Wasatch Back doesn't suck...at all.

Not sure about housing costs for rentals in PC, but it seems it'd check a lot of boxes. I'd push for Ogden but have NO idea what the chick scene is like here. Snowbasin would certainly check your boxes for ski terrain, and mountain biking.

post #33 of 55
Thread Starter 

honestly park city and Jackson hole are top on my list, and park city is currently winning due to the fact that housing is easier to find and its more of a real town (I think.. will see jackson hole in 3 weeks for the first time)...

 

 

more or less i am just trying to see what people think and places I should visit before making my decision

post #34 of 55
JH > PC.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Consideration.  Live in Couer d Alene Idaho, one hour to  Spokane Airport (delta, SW, alaska) 5 ski areas with  1 1/2 hr.  Sweitzer, 49 Degrees, silver, lookout and mt. Spokane, whitefish 4 hrs, Red , Whitewater and fernie 3-4 hrs.  Girls - that depends on you.  Great biking, fishing, golf etc.  Price-you'd be suprised.

This area doesn't get a ton of airtime in these discussions, but every time I sit down and consider my mountain retirement spot in a year or 2 it is always near the top of the list. Airport not far away, reasonable cost of living, tons of snow and terrain with more not far away, is a real town, off season activities, healthcare nearby, etc. Hard to beat IMO.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13 View Post

 Hard to beat IMO.

 

I agree, it's a really nice area.  Not really a ski town though and probably better for a retiree, than a young skibum.

Lot's of lakes and good golf.

post #37 of 55

Hi,

 

Newbie here although I've lurked for awhile mainly in the Colorado weather thread in anticipation of my trip to Aspen in early March.  A brief bio of my ski experience; lived in Park City in the mid-80's for three years and visited frequently through the mid 90's, dated and married into an Aspen family and have been visiting there just about every year since.  I threw in a vote for Park City even though my direct experience with the town is dated but if I were looking to make a ski town my home today based on your criteria it would be on my short list along with SLC/Ogden and the Spokane/N. Idaho option mentioned above followed by Jackson.

 

When you live in a ski town and plan to hit the mountain between 60-100 days a year you can get tired of any place that doesn't offer enough variety.  The other prime criteria is how the mountain you're going to buy a season pass from treat the people who live there. Although you're never likely to get bored at JH, I remember hearing back in the day that JH was the kind of place that was friendly to visitors and wealthy homeowners but not so much vast majority of bartenders, waiters and everyday locals who would buy season passes at Targhee.  This may not be true today and may not have even been true back in my day but it's definitely the kind of thing you want to check out while your out there visiting.  The same goes for Park City for that matter, I bought a midweek pass for $350 and full season pass at Parkwest (now Canyons) for $50 when I lived there and both mountains treated locals well but that may no longer be true with Vail ownership.

 

Although I love Aspen I would rule it out based on your criteria.  You want bowls and none of the Aspen/Snowmass mountains have those in the kind of abundance Park City does.  Aspen and Park City both have an excellent bus system to get you to all the mountains but when you live in a ski town you want to roll out of bed, gear up and hit the mountain as quickly as possible and the Aspen mountains aren't as close together as Park City's are,  Perhaps the biggest reason to rule out Aspen/Vail/Breck, etc is the airport situation.  If you have to travel a lot for work flying out of Aspen or Eagle can be dicey in winter and it's a 4 hour drive to Denver if I-70 is open.     

 

Although I'm officially jealous I hope pick the ski town that exceeds your wildest dreams.  These will be the best years of your life, enjoy them.

post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Duderino View Post
 

Although I love Aspen I would rule it out based on your criteria.  You want bowls and none of the Aspen/Snowmass mountains have those in the kind of abundance Park City does.  Aspen and Park City both have an excellent bus system to get you to all the mountains but when you live in a ski town you want to roll out of bed, gear up and hit the mountain as quickly as possible and the Aspen mountains aren't as close together as Park City's are,  Perhaps the biggest reason to rule out Aspen/Vail/Breck, etc is the airport situation.  If you have to travel a lot for work flying out of Aspen or Eagle can be dicey in winter and it's a 4 hour drive to Denver if I-70 is open.     

 

Wait, what? Aspen has some of the most premier bowl skiing in the country in Highlands Bowl. I'm not aware of anything in Park City that touched that. The Cirque/Hanging Valley areas of Snowmass are also excellent in their own right.

 

If you are lumping Snowbird, Solitude, etc. into Park City, I could at least understand what bowls you are talking about, but that shoots your argument about mountains being close together.  All the Aspen areas are 15 minutes by bus.  The terrain is great at any 3 of the major mountains, and I've talked to a bunch of locals (including my brother) who just hot up the mountain outside their doors on most powder days.

 

The airport access issue has some validity.

 

One thing about Aspen. It is stupid expensive to live there, and even the affordable housing is still quite pricey compared to most more off the radar ski towns that have been thrown around.

 

To the OP- don't get put off by the jet-setter image of Aspen.  The billionaires and hollywood folks show up two weeks out of the year, they go flail around on the bunny hill for 3 hours in fartbags, they fly home. THEY DO ALMOST NOTHING in affecting the culture of the town. The actual year-round residents of the Aspen area are good folks, like you would expect from a Crested Butte, Steamboat, Telluride, and other classic ski towns. They are people dedicated to living the mountain life. If anything, they may be a little too proud of the ski areas around them, but isn't anybody in a ski town? If you can find a way to make Aspen work, it will be memorable.

 

Vail is not redeemable, however.

post #39 of 55

One more thought on airports. Don't know what your flying destinations are like but there is possibly more to consider than just cost. I just replaced a retiree in my new job. He lives in Spokane. One of the requirements for my new company was that they find someone who lives new a "real" airport. His problem was that unless he was going to Seattle he was often facing being forced to travel too many hours and often the day before someone who lived near a major airport. If flight costs are really no concern to your company then you can get some decent routings at extreme cost, but it will still be a connection rather than direct flight to most destinations. PC and Breck both have you near (OK, near enough) to a hub airport that can get you most anywhere directly. Again, I don't know if this matters to you, but if so, something to consider.

post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

Wait, what? Aspen has some of the most premier bowl skiing in the country in Highlands Bowl. I'm not aware of anything in Park City that touched that. The Cirque/Hanging Valley areas of Snowmass are also excellent in their own right.

 

What defines a bowl as "better" than another is largely subjective imo so when I say PC has better bowl options I'm talking about numbers more than quality although I don't think the PC bowls quality takes a back seat to Aspens.  Aspen has Highlands bowl which is by far my favorite bowl there followed by the Hanging Valley Wall and The Cirque (I never seem to catch the Cirque on a good day, either closed or windswept & thin).  PC has Jupiter, Scotts, Rhino, Puma, McConkeys and Blueslip  bowls and maybe one or two others I've forgotten about and that's before you head over to Canyons to hit Murdoch bowl and a bunch of others I haven't skied yet (9990, etc).  Everyone seems to think that PC is blue cruiser heaven and all the bowl skiers go to the Cottonwoods so there is generally a lot less traffic on the PC bowls.  

 

My objectivity is somewhat clouded by the fact that when I was in PC I was young, single and skied tons of days on the most challenging terrain there while my Aspen days were one week at a time and split with family cruising mostly before heading off on my own for the challenging terrain.   

post #41 of 55

Others pointed you to the many threads on this issue, and I started a couple about 4 years ago when I was making a similar decision. So after 4 years in Park City I would probably give it a pretty strong recommendation for you. I have been to or lived in almost all the places you have mentioned. One thing I will emphasize is that if you are a single, straight male many ski towns are going to be sub-optimal for finding a partner. PC has the advantage of being very close to a 1m+ metro area. Now it is true that about half of those 1m are going to be a bit off limits because you aren't a member of the right club but that is still a lot of options. PC has a reasonably young demographic but there are still a lot of families and older, affluent folks. But having the resources of SLC so close makes a lot of things better.

 

Pagosa Springs would not be for you. Lived there for 5 years. Very few people in your age group. Locals usually leave after high school, there aren't many decent jobs, about half the town is part time retirees. And you should definitely ski at Wolf Creek before you decide to make it your home mountain. For a year or so I was entertained but the shine wore off for me pretty quickly. Pagosa is breathtakingly beautiful but I don't think it is a good fit for any person in their 20s.

 

Of the others on your list:

 

Neither Vail nor Beaver Creek is really a town. You have Avon, Edwards, Eagle, etc. All pretty expensive. I am not one to put down Vail as I think it is a fun mountain and I really think Beaver Creek is great but I don't think I would recommend this area for you.

 

Ogden, Bozeman and Taos really aren't ski towns in any significant way. I think Bozeman might be a good choice for you. Balanced population, university, great skiing, reasonable cost of living. I wouldn't recommend Ogden for various demographic reasons and while Snowbasin is a great mountain it is actually better to live in PC if you want to ski Snowbasin. I would absolutely not recommend Taos (the town) for a whole lot of reasons.If you are willing to consider "not really a ski town" towns you might also consider Bend, Oregon.

 

Whistler would be a good choice but are there not going to be immigration and tax issues?

 

All the others are reasonable choices as far as skiing and being cool mountain towns but all are very expensive and have issues with isolation and unbalanced demographics.

 

We are currently considering moving again (because we can and Park City is getting a bit too busy for us) and we are considering Carbondale, Steamboat, Durango, Bend, Hailey, etc. All the usual suspects. I would highly recommend visiting during both summer and winter before you make a decision, if possible.

post #42 of 55
This link is useful for comparing things like housing costs and demographics right next to each other. http://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/
post #43 of 55
Quote:

Originally Posted by twarsh View Post

 

skiwithjohn,

 

i am heavily considering that area, along with the durango area, jackson hole and whitefish mt at this point. Do any of these fair better for guys (if you know)... also, is breck better to call home than say vail or beaver?

 

do you know about steamboat springs or durango? also is telluride worth looking into, or is it too far out of the way?

 

I am looking for girls, but i also want a real ski town feel and im afraid the vail/aspen craziness would get old, but maybe there is just as much local activity?

 

 

I am not really concerned about a real town, as I have a job, and will not be changing it...

 

Main focus: Skiing quality (steeps and powder is where my minds at.. bowls) and great town REAL close to the lifts

I have done vacations in Steamboat, Durango, Telluride, Jackson Hole, Park City, Aspen, etc., but I cannot comment what it would be like to live in any of those places.

 

When I was deciding where I wanted to be a ski bum I looked at ease of access, housing, costs and where I thought I had the best chance of seeing friends when they came out west skiing.  Breckenridge was not my favorite ski area, not even close.  However, I chose to go to Summit County, Colorado, and work at Breck.  I made this decision because access was easy - near Denver and right off a major interestate, lots of options for skiing (Breck, Keystone, A-Basin, Copper, Vail, Beaver Creek and Loveland right nearby and Winter Park can be done as a day trip, Steamboat & Aspen areas are nearby),  lots of housing options between Breck, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillion, Summit Cove, Blue River or a little farther to Alma & Fairplay (all of these places are real towns with grocery stores, restaurants, auto parts/repair businesses, etc.) and being based in Summit County, Colorado, I would have lots of chances to see friends from back home if they came out skiing at any of the areas I previously mentioned.

 

Once I started working at Breck and learning the area I gained a new appreciation of the place and grew to really love it.  With all the improvements and expansions at Breck over the past 10 years  it has really become a great place to ski.   With the Imperial chair a number of years ago and the new Peak 6 expansion last year there really is a lot of easily accessible steep and bowl skiing off the tops of Peaks 6, 7 & 8  The Lake Chutes are some of the steepest inbounds terrain in Colorado.

 

I have never regretted my decision to make Summit County/Breckenridge my second home.  It is a great area to live and play.

post #44 of 55
Agree with skiwithjohn. Breck is much better than Vail or BC if you want a town. I spent 10 winters in Breck and love the town.

I now am in Snowmass and have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. It is fabulous. So much to do -4 mountains, lots of cultural activities in Aspen, great transportation and really nice people.

They have locals clinics which are a great way to meet people and ski with some fab instructors.

Different vibe than Breck. Everything is a little more spread out but the amount of terrain is great. Each mountain has different strengths.
post #45 of 55

Myself,my wife and my kids( teenagers then ) really,really liked the town of Breckinridge,for sure our favorite.The mountain was fine for us.

post #46 of 55

been there, done that. avoid living in the mountains if you have to travel. many people come to the mountains with the same goal. if work isn't flexible on travel, and i mean REALLY flexible, then avoid this pursuit.

 

traveling by itself sucks. add mountain weather to that and it's a nightmare. sometimes even in the summer! you will get stuck. there will be a time, or multiple times, where you can't get out, or you can't get home. i pursued a dream to live in park city and traveled out of SLC. i had to travel at least once a month. it was god awful in the winter and there were a few times that i had to cancel some pretty important stuff because of weather. i finally moved to seattle and while traveling still sucks...it's certainly a lot easier these days. i get plenty of ski days in each season (except this year!)

 

where do you have to travel? seattle is a good spot. denver has a great airport as well. 

post #47 of 55
post #48 of 55
Quote:

 

I believe Winter Park. I could never believe how cheap it is to buy there.

 

Dillon being (slightly) higher than Breck seems surprising, but then you realize that the average Dillon house/condo is likely much larger than the Breck one.

 

Squaw is really surprising. Is that legit?

post #49 of 55

Most "Ski Towns" have turned into expensive vacation home rental and real estate ventures therefore it is pretty much cost prohibitive to live full time in any of them unless you already have serious money and investments that generate you significant income. The work in and around the towns is mostly service oriented (to the affluent owners / renters on vacation) and property management / maintenance and does not pay enough to live there. Maybe if you are a local business owner you can live close to the slopes but as a salaried employee probably no way. Expect to live up to 45 min from the slopes and have to commute every day to work and ski (maybe).

 

This article seems bogus:

 

http://ski.curbed.com/archives/2014/08/from-telluride-to-winter-park-the-average-rent-in-17-ski-towns.php

 

Try to find apt for rent in Vail for "10. Vail: $1142" like the article says is the "median gross monthly rent". The Median is probably well over double that.

post #50 of 55
The $800-odd rental they quote for here is possible for the maybe five properties available at any point. But most are higher. And, more likely you'll be in Columbia Falls, not Whitefish. But, looking at current listings, the average is $863. Unfortunately, most are either way higher or half that (I'm sure those are absolute dives).

On Craigslist, there are several in the $1000 range that are within twenty minutes of the slopes.
post #51 of 55
My wife was recently contacted to move to Vail for a RN job to help set up the new cardiac cath lab at the medical center. After a lot of thought we declined mostly because of the housing issue and we really did not want to move there from Durango.
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance View Post

My wife was recently contacted to move to Vail for a RN job to help set up the new cardiac cath lab at the medical center. After a lot of thought we declined mostly because of the housing issue and we really did not want to move there from Durango.

 

But, but, but, It is Vail! Why oh why would you ever turn down an opportunity to live in the "greatest" rest stop/ski town in the world?

post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

But, but, but, It is Vail! Why oh why would you ever turn down an opportunity to live in the "greatest" rest stop/ski town in the world?

Move to Vail after living happily in Durango for 16 years? Yeah, it was a tough call, not...
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Unfortunately, most are either way higher or half that (I'm sure those are absolute dives).

 

That pokes at an issue with just using median rent - it doesn't tell you what you're getting for that money. I've seen other comparisons of this type (not ski related) that try to relate similar types of property costs in the various places (i.e. they look at 1500 sq ft two bedroom condos in mid-range neighborhoods, or something like that). That seems to be a much more accurate comparison.

 

For instance, looking at the number in the article for New York City, many of the resort towns are much more expensive. But take that median condo in Aspen that costs $1261 a month, and move it to a nice area of New York City, and I bet it's a lot more expensive.

 

Would all the ski towns be similar enough that those median prices are for relatively equivalent properties? 

post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
 

 

That pokes at an issue with just using median rent - it doesn't tell you what you're getting for that money. I've seen other comparisons of this type (not ski related) that try to relate similar types of property costs in the various places (i.e. they look at 1500 sq ft two bedroom condos in mid-range neighborhoods, or something like that). That seems to be a much more accurate comparison.

 

For instance, looking at the number in the article for New York City, many of the resort towns are much more expensive. But take that median condo in Aspen that costs $1261 a month, and move it to a nice area of New York City, and I bet it's a lot more expensive.

 

Would all the ski towns be similar enough that those median prices are for relatively equivalent properties? 


Yeah, a better metric to use would be average rental cost per square feet.

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