Actually, you can just pull a zipper apart if you want to get into a soft bag. I'm not a bag rustler, I noticed this when packing an (overloaded) bag for a London trip and the zipper parted.
My "trick" is to tote a very beat up looking backpack and rarely is there anything in there that I can't replace. I'm actually kinda disappointed this year because my old beat pac boots split and now I'll have to risk leaving something new unattended.
Try one of those locker rentals. For $2 a day you'll have peace of mind at least.
Regarding warm clothes, just a quick shake and hang em' on the back of the chair in the lodge for five minutes and they come up to room temp. If you are that cold, try those hand warmers, little plastic packets that fit inside your gloves or boots. Never leave your boots in the car zipped in a bag. On occasions where I forget to bring them in I just put them on the front floor with the heater on full blast. Cold boots are the hardest thing to overcome. Try Brookstones for one of those electric kidney warmers if things are that bad.
Say! How long you been a New Hampie? I thought you guys were immune to cold?