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First family ski trip out west - Winter Park?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wife just agreed to go out west for our Spring break this year.  First week of April 2016.  Last winter and Spring breaks have been in the Sun (Florida or Mexico).  I have been waiting for this moment since we started our family.  We will have a 6 and 10 year old.  Both ski quite well for their ages.  Wife and I are strong skiers, ex USSA racers.  Just older now.


We are part of a group going out west.  Driving from Michigan to Colorado.  Winter Park is where the organizer is targeting.  For me  personally, a mountain is a mountain.  All much better than Michigan slopes.  I have skied Aspen Highlands, trained in Mt Hood in June for racing, Schladming, Austria, Sweden (cant remember the hill), and even Alyeska.  Out of all of these Aspen ranks at the top and Alyeska next.  I like the steeps.  But really I just really dig long runs.  As I am a strong skier, I am a bit weak on the powder.  Too much time focused on racing.  But I can still adapt...


At this point, we have 12 people (6 parents and 6 kids) going.  And this may turn into lots more; as many as 30+.  I really like ski in and ski out.  Is this possible int he WP area?  Our organizer thinks (based on his trips to the area) that we will have to rent some homes nearby and drive to the hills.  I dont mind this.  But is ski and ski out possible?


I am hoping someone can either say yes or no to this.  VRBO doesnt have this as a filter option.  Again we have at least 12 (3 families) and it could grow to 6 families or more...  I have found many villas near ski areas.  But what about on the hill with ski in and out?  


In general, does anyone have any suggestions for large group lodging in this area?  Pools, hot tubs, activities.. etc.  In summary, we have a caravan of families driving out for skiing.  We will mostly cook our own meals as needed.  Most of the focus will be skiing and building memories.





post #2 of 7
Check out Zephyr Mountain Lodge, they have condos right on the hill. They have some other options nearby too. Maybe not ski in ski our, but within a short walk or a shuttle. A place with a shuttle might be a better option than driving to the slopes. The free parking and even the drop off zones are quite a haul to the lifts. Unless you want to pay for parking.
post #3 of 7

If you don't find anything at the Zephyr you can also check Fraser Crossing which is right across the street from the Zephyr. I stayed in a 2 bedroom a few years ago when they were just built and the unit worked out very well for us.

post #4 of 7

In Winter Park, we stay in town, walking distance to a shuttle stop, and take the town shuttle to the ski area. We get on the bus dressed for skiing and carry our skis.  Works great with the kids (will be ages 8 and 10 this season).  I usually carry lunch in a backpack, since we do not go back to the condo for lunch.  I definitely recommend staying near a shuttle stop (if not on the mountain) instead of driving to the ski area (makes for a much more relaxing vacation).  This probably means the town of Winter Park and not Fraser (town just next to Winter Park), although housing in Fraser is cheaper. 

post #5 of 7

I'll echo the above suggestions.  I have stayed right at the base area with a couple of friends, and also have stayed in town with my kids at a hotel right across from one of the bus stops. The buses drop you off right at the base area. As has been mentioned, by car you park quite a walk unless you pay for closer parking.  In town worked well as there are many options for dining, and of course it was much cheaper.  There are clusters of condos with bus stops right there.  


To me, it comes down to cost vs how self-sufficient the kids are.  If they can be responsible for being fairly organized, and carrying their own stuff, you would get more bang for the buck off mountain.  If they are the type that need breaks from skiing, then slopeside may be the option that gives you the least amount of headaches.

post #6 of 7
Winter Park does not have a lot of slope side lodging.
We usually end up in town. However, since you are driving, You will have your own car at your disposal. It's a quick and easy drive to the resort. There is free slope side parking at Mary Jane. Anyone who wants to go earlier or later than the family can take the shuttle bus.
post #7 of 7

I learned to ski at Winter Park. Their lessons and ski school programs are top notch. When your kids get better, they can move toward Mary Jane for some moguls and steeps. 


I developed an iPhone App specifically for family ski trips. It allows you to track your family, get turn by turn directions on the mountain (based on skill level) and setup meet-ups. Winter Park was my first resort. Thought it might be helpful for your trip! Check it out on www.weskiapp.com.

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