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Recommend west coast resort other than PCMR - Group of 6

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

We have a small group , 6 people including one snowboarder and one pregnant lady. Looking for a budget friendly resort that has access to a wide variety of terrain. Everyone has some ski experience although its been 5-6 years since some of them have last been skiing. Not interested in nightlife..we will explore/ski all day and cook at home when we are done. We liked PCMR but want to try something new. Any recommendations? Ability to walk to slopes is a major plus


Edited by Nevek - 9/7/15 at 9:11am
post #2 of 29

Mammoth? No night life...Well, very little. If el Nino comes through, Mammoth could be epic.

 

Snowbird? No night life, except maybe the bar at The Cliff Lodge. The skiers could hop over to Alta. Perennial favorites of the hardcore devotees of either discipline.

 

I can't avoid a plug for Winter Park. I just love that mountain! 

 

This thread contains a thorough (some would say ad nauseam) discussion of the western skiing choices:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/122287/does-it-make-any-sense-for-an-intermediate-new-england-groomer-skier-to-venture-somewhere-out-west

 

Edit: Referring back to the limited criteria listed in the OP: over the last 30 years I've skied more western resorts than I can count on my fingers and toes, and I can think of no more budget friendly big mountain than Winter Park. A car for the Safeway run helps, but one can easily do a week without one. Speaking of criteria, listing a few more would help to narrow the choices.


Edited by cosmoliu - 9/7/15 at 10:01am
post #3 of 29
Also please define what "west coast" means to you. BC to California? Or do you mean everything west of wherever you are?
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

Also please define what "west coast" means to you. BC to California? Or do you mean everything west of wherever you are?
Yes, if Utah's the "west coast", then Indiana is the "east coast".
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Yes, if Utah's the "west coast", then Indiana is the "east coast".

 

To a New Yorker, New Jersey is the west coast.

 

 

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Sorry folks, I should have said out west rather than west coast. Basically Utah or Colorado. CO is a direct flight which is nice....plus I've never been.

post #7 of 29

It's OK. We all know what you mean. We just like to yank on your chain. It's still summer after all. :D

 

I would put my two cents in regarding the resort recommendation because I have all the same requirements with the exception of terrain spec. That is a deal killer.   

post #8 of 29

Mr. KingGrump is a notorious chain yanker. And not necessarily the worst of the bunch.

 

Edit: And, I'm completely serious in recommending that 80 page thread referenced above. If you get around the peripheral nonsense and concentrate on the longer, more thoughtful responses, you will find a wealth of knowledge about resorts out west.

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

Hi everyone,

 

We have a small group , 6 people including one snowboarder and one pregnant lady. Looking for a budget friendly resort that has access to a wide variety of terrain. Everyone has some ski experience although its been 5-6 years since some of them have last been skiing. Not interested in nightlife..we will explore/ski all day and cook at home when we are done. We liked PCMR but want to try something new. Any recommendations? Ability to walk to slopes is a major plus

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

Sorry folks, I should have said out west rather than west coast. Basically Utah or Colorado. CO is a direct flight which is nice....plus I've never been.


Colorado.  Pick a resort. Go. Enjoy. Hard to go wrong. Snowboarding allowed everywhere.  Only hitch is altitude ---- How Pregnant? 

 

Eat out.  It's expensive but the cooks need you to practice their trade. And some are really practicing.

 

Your desire to 'Walk to slopes' depends on how far do you want to walk?  100 Yards? 1/2 Mile?  Further?

post #10 of 29
Ah hah - the great budget v walk to the slopes conundrum. Most resorts have it figured that people will pay handsomely for the latter. Places that spring to mind offering better value on that equation include Targhee, Whitefish and BC interior resorts. I guess some Tahoe possibilities too - thinking the motels/suites within walking distance of the Heavenly gondola.
post #11 of 29

Start reading from this post for comments related to taking a pregnant woman to Colorado for a ski trip.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142294/planning-trip-to-colorado-looking-for-some-insight-from-locals#post_1904553

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmoliu View Post
 

Mammoth? No night life...Well, very little. If el Nino comes through, Mammoth could be epic.

 

Snowbird? No night life, except maybe the bar at The Cliff Lodge. The skiers could hop over to Alta. Perennial favorites of the hardcore devotees of either discipline.

 

I can't avoid a plug for Winter Park. I just love that mountain! 

 

This thread contains a thorough (some would say ad nauseam) discussion of the western skiing choices:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/122287/does-it-make-any-sense-for-an-intermediate-new-england-groomer-skier-to-venture-somewhere-out-west

 

Edit: Referring back to the limited criteria listed in the OP: over the last 30 years I've skied more western resorts than I can count on my fingers and toes, and I can think of no more budget friendly big mountain than Winter Park. A car for the Safeway run helps, but one can easily do a week without one. Speaking of criteria, listing a few more would help to narrow the choices.

 

This group does not seem like a good candidate for LCC skiing.  If they liked PCMR, LCC will likely not have enough intermediate terrain. 

 

OK, so we determined that she doesn't really mean "West Coast" and that "Out West" means Utah and Colorado...does it have to?  Why not include the entire Rocky Mountain area in your search?  Why not actually go to the West Coast, resorts are a lot lower elevation for the expectant mom?  Open up to other states or Providences and the choices and budget friendliness increase.  BC in particular is good this year with the favorable exchange rate.

 

I'm thinking this group would love Whistler in BC.  What about Sun Valley, ID? The great bus service there makes the entire area easy to leave a car behind.  If they are groomer skiers it doesn't get much better than Sun Valley.

 

Other non-Utah/CO resorts that come to mind:

 

Grand Targhee WY

Mammoth CA

Mt. Bachelor OR (no on-hill accommodations but Sun River is close and accomodations in Bend are affordable and you can go to a regular grocery store)

Northstar CA

Taos NM

Big Sky MT

Whitefish MT

Red Mountain BC

Lake Louise BC

Kicking Horse BC

Fernie BC

Silver Star BC

Big White BC

Sun Peaks BC

Revelstoke BC

 

Most of these are not direct flight type of places but remember a direct flight to Denver usually includes a full day of driving to a resort after that.


Edited by Utagonian - 9/8/15 at 10:02am
post #13 of 29
Add Schweitzer to the list.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

Sorry folks, I should have said out west rather than west coast. Basically Utah or Colorado. CO is a direct flight which is nice....plus I've never been.

Colorado is great, but you will still have to drive or fly to get to the mountains from the Denver International Airport.  Budget? That likely leaves Aspen out of the picture. Breckenridge should be on your short list. You have a town to explore and other areas to venture to nearby. Steamboat?  Why not, but it could take a little longer in travel time.

 

In Utah Snowbasin is off the radar of many tourists, but can offer great value with the right lodging deals. 

 

Pregnant? I'd think your party would want to avoid long icy walks from outdoor parking lots, or having to travel long ways to the slopes or to shopping.  My wife will never forgive me for renting a condo with lots of stairs necessary to reach it when she was expecting. Plan accordingly.

post #15 of 29
I'm not expecting us to have a good winter, which is why I've kept my mouth shut, but our whole mountain (Whitefish for those using the Mobile version of the site) is below 7000 feet, so the altitude issue is close to nil. Before moving here I lived at sea level and on no visit here did I ever have altitude issues, unlike in Colorado, where I was miserable the first day unless I overnighted in Denver, and then spent another two days exhausted before I started having fun. That's a huge consideration if someone is pregnant and can't take medications.

We also have a great, real, town, with free shuttle buses between the town and the resort. Low crowds. Good value per dollar. (Ticket prices are in the low $70's, and a bit of research will reduce that further. For instance, if you buy the Frequent skier card ($50), you can reduce that to $46 per day. If you go to Costco, it's 2 for $101 or something.). Good restaurants in every price category. If it's another winter like last winter, you'll have 360° views at the summit. And the airport is about a half hour from town, at most, in fact getting lost. Takes me 32 minutes and I have to pass through town to get to my house, which is up a winding and ultimately dirt road. I'd recommend starting in town for the non-skiers to have easy window shopping. If there's small, skiing, kids, then at the resort. Either way, there's the shuttle bus to get to the other. Added advantage is it drops you off right at the base lodge.

As for terrain, it's weighted heavily towards cruisers, but there's a few cliffs and chutes for those that have something to prove, TONS of tree skiing of various densities, and the main lift has access to all levels beyond bunny. The 360° skiing means that you can usually find an aspect where the snow is what you are looking for, and we tend to move around the mountain as the day progresses.
post #16 of 29

Could be a good season for Taos. Lodging is on the cheaper side but you pretty much have either slope side or a 30 min drive up the mountain from the town. @HippieFlippinNM  would be better for lodging recommendations. Also OP how much driving from the airport are you willing to do? From Denver your going to be doing at least 2 hrs of driving 

 

Also is the pregnant member planning on skiing? most people are going to strongly recommend against that especially since if you know she's pregnant now she will be quite far along when your skiing. If she's not skiing then I would assume that even though you aren't worried about night life that you want some kind of town so she's not just sitting in the lodge all day.  

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 

 

This group does not seem like a good candidate for LCC skiing.  If they liked PCMR, LCC will likely not have enough intermediate terrain. 

 

OK, so we determined that she doesn't really mean "West Coast" and that "Out West" means Utah and Colorado...does it have to?  Why not include the entire Rocky Mountain area in your search?  Why not actually go to the West Coast, resorts are a lot lower elevation for the expectant mom?  Open up to other states or Providences and the choices and budget friendliness increase.  BC in particular is good this year with the favorable exchange rate.

 

I'm thinking this group would love Whistler in BC.  What about Sun Valley, ID? The great bus service there makes the entire area easy to leave a car behind.  If they are groomer skiers it doesn't get much better than Sun Valley.

 

Other non-Utah/CO resorts that come to mind:

 

Grand Targhee WY

Mammoth CA

Mt. Bachelor OR (no on-hill accommodations but Sun River is close and accomodations in Bend are affordable and you can go to a regular grocery store)

Northstar CA

Taos NM

Big Sky MT

Whitefish MT

Red Mountain BC

Lake Louise BC

Kicking Horse BC

Fernie BC

Silver Star BC

Big White BC

Sun Peaks BC

Revelstoke BC

 

Most of these are not direct flight type of places but remember a direct flight to Denver usually includes a full day of driving to a resort after that.

 

Take Revelstoke and Kicking Horse off the list as there is very little that will make intermediates happy. And Big White's nickname is Big Whiteout...just sayin.

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

No the pregnant lady won't be skiing... it's like the perfect scenario because she volunteered to cook while everyone else skis. Normally when we go we find a place on VRBO that has 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. Regarding distance to slopes I'm ok with a 15-20 minute walk. Walking is almost key because of the different levels of skiiers . Although all but 2 enjoy skiing blacks....some of us get tired quicker so the option for some of the group to be back by lunch while the other skis all day is a big plus.

 

I picked UT and CO because they are easily accessible from FL/with Southwest.

 

I'll keep researching all of your suggestions....this forum has never let me down.

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post

 

Red Mountain BC

Lake Louise BC

Kicking Horse BC

Fernie BC

Silver Star BC

Big White BC

Sun Peaks BC

Revelstoke BC

 

Most of these are not direct flight type of places but remember a direct flight to Denver usually includes a full day of driving to a resort after that.

Do the 'BC' locations require a PASSPORT to return to USA?  Might be a problem getting them in time...​

 

Normally takes less time to get from Denver to Summit County (EXCEPT SATURDAY) than getting bags, skis, rental car, and into Denver.  Allow another hour if you are using 'CME' Limo. Service.

post #20 of 29
Well if you apply now, everyone should be good to go well before your ski trip. I've always had a passport, so maybe it's different for the first one, but isn't it generally six weeks? (I've had them turned around in under two.) Plenty of time. You're going to spend six weeks talking about where to go. Why limit yourself?
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

No the pregnant lady won't be skiing... it's like the perfect scenario because she volunteered to cook while everyone else skis. Normally when we go we find a place on VRBO that has 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. Regarding distance to slopes I'm ok with a 15-20 minute walk. Walking is almost key because of the different levels of skiiers . Although all but 2 enjoy skiing blacks....some of us get tired quicker so the option for some of the group to be back by lunch while the other skis all day is a big plus.

 

I picked UT and CO because they are easily accessible from FL/with Southwest.

 

I'll keep researching all of your suggestions....this forum has never let me down.


 What airport in FL are you flying from? 

 

By easily access able do you mean direct or is there a stop?

 

Are you Southwest only (miles) or are other airlines ok?

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

Hi everyone,

 

We have a small group , 6 people including one snowboarder and one pregnant lady. Looking for a budget friendly resort that has access to a wide variety of terrain. Everyone has some ski experience although its been 5-6 years since some of them have last been skiing. Not interested in nightlife..we will explore/ski all day and cook at home when we are done. We liked PCMR but want to try something new. Any recommendations? Ability to walk to slopes is a major plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

Sorry folks, I should have said out west rather than west coast. Basically Utah or Colorado. CO is a direct flight which is nice....plus I've never been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevek View Post
 

No the pregnant lady won't be skiing... it's like the perfect scenario because she volunteered to cook while everyone else skis. Normally when we go we find a place on VRBO that has 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. Regarding distance to slopes I'm ok with a 15-20 minute walk. Walking is almost key because of the different levels of skiiers . Although all but 2 enjoy skiing blacks....some of us get tired quicker so the option for some of the group to be back by lunch while the other skis all day is a big plus.

 

I picked UT and CO because they are easily accessible from FL/with Southwest.

 

I'll keep researching all of your suggestions....this forum has never let me down.

When you stayed at PCMR, did you going skiing anywhere else in the SLC area?  Is your volunteer cook happy to just hang out in the condo?  If so, you could consider Solitude.  If mostly ski Solitude, with perhaps a day at Brighton the costs would be pretty reasonable.

 

Utah definitely better in terms of altitude for sleeping.  In Colorado, Steamboat seems like a good fit.  Assuming you are willing to drive from Denver.

 

Flying Southwest for a ski trip makes the most sense for me, coming from RDU.  Hard to beat 2 free checked bags plus the ability to cancel or change without penalty.

post #23 of 29

Frankly from all the reports and advice on this forum, i.e. EpicSki, Aspen-Snowmass is the best place to ski overall in CO. 

Here is detailed counsel:

http://www.epicski.com/t/126588/april-week-w-kids-vail-beaver-creek-summit-county-vs-aspen-snowmass-vs-alta-snowbird-a-users-guide

 

We listened, and glad we did. Snowmass is ski-in/ski-out by and large and the biggest of the three, lots of long, endless groomers and everything else you want. And then you can visit the others in the neighborhood on any given day.

post #24 of 29

There are lots of options...and like any choice with lots of options, you have to determine what criteria are the most important.  You mentioned "snowboarder" (nix Alta and Deer Valley), "budget-friendly" (nix just about all of Colorado), "wide variety of terrain" with a dash of "walk to slopes" and no need for "nightlife."

 

My recommendation based upon your stated criteria: Grand Targhee.  (Not the easiest to get to, but is still close to Jackson Hole for those wanting a big mountain experience.)

 

I love the Aspen/Snowmass recommendation, but it seriously fails on the "budget-friendly" front, as does most of Colorado (even Steamboat and Winter Park) when compared to other places out West.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

 

I love the Aspen/Snowmass recommendation, but it seriously fails on the "budget-friendly" front, as does most of Colorado (even Steamboat and Winter Park) when compared to other places out West.

 

It's really difficult to say that without looking at total transportation costs.   Six people and luggage is either two rental cars or a full size van for the whole time.

post #26 of 29

Winter Park, Copper Mountain or Breckenridge would be great choices.  All have an abundance of intermediate skiing and some reasonable lodging options.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by wedgedonovan2 View Post
 

Winter Park, Copper Mountain or Breckenridge would be great choices.  All have an abundance of intermediate skiing and some reasonable lodging options.


I have a hard time recommending Breckenridge to intermediate skiers especially if they are coming during a peak time because while the intermediate terrain is great the lift lines quickly become horrendous during peak times. OP did mention that they are all comfortable on blacks which opens up a lot more of the mountain specifically peak 10 and possibly some stuff off 6 chair as well as Imperial bowl. All of those will have manageable lift lines 90 percent of the time. Breck also doesn't really have affordable ski in/ski out stuff.

post #28 of 29

Steamboat.  Snowmass.  Copper. Big Sky.

 

Mike

post #29 of 29

If you want to check out CO... believe it or not, if you stayed in a condo in Avon and rode the 10 minute free bus every day to Beaver Creek it might fit your budget and terrain requirements.  Many good previous suggestions including Winter Park closer to Denver and Snowmass farther from Denver and a little more money, but also more terrain.

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