Pick up an MCP for next year.
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Pick up an MCP for next year.
Wow, this thread kind of blew up!
Original poster here, back to thank you all so much for your recommendations, and to tell you we had a blast!
We started in Sun Valley, and absolutely loved it! The mountain was awesome-- steep, but big, wiiiiiiiide groomers, and tons of them, to ski! It does help to be in good shape, because what everyone says is true-- there aren't a lot of flat parts to take a break. Oce you go, you GO. The base area is small (but very upscale), and you can step out of your skis right to a patio table in the sun and a drink in your hand. The town of Ketchum is absolutely adorable, and we had a couple of terrific meals there. One at the Pioneer Saloon, and the other at the Sawtooth Club. We hated to leave, but Jackson Hole awaited.
Jackson Hole was very different, and also very cool. We stayed at a newly renovated Inn in town, and drove out to the mountain, which ended up being the right choice for us. The town of Jackson was bigger than Ketchum, but equally appealing. We had an absolutely outstanding dinner at the Snake River Grill, and also enjoyed casual tacos and some top notch tequilas at Hatch.
I was surprised that they don't make getting to the mountain via bus or shuttle easier. The bus is $6 per person, whereas a day parking pass is $15, so for the two of us, it made sense to pay the extra few dollars for the convenience of driving. We got to the mountain early, so parking was easy for us. There isn't a ton of intermediate skiing on the mountain, but as long as you are a reasonably confident skier, you can have a ball there. As an aside, my husband took a lesson there, and absolutely raved about his instructor. He had a blast, and really got a lot out of it. The $200 price tag for a half day lesson including lift ticket was a great deal, too.
Finally it was on to Aspen, where we ended up with a ridiculous deal on a room at the St. Regis, right in the middle of town. Aspen is pretty, but holy cow, what a SCENE. There is no shortage of money in Ketchum/Hailey and Jackson Hole, but it is spectacularly on display in Aspen. That said, we loved strolling through town, and had a great meal at Steakhouse 316. The skiing at Snowmass was right up our alley (long blue cruisers aaalllllll day long) and the tequila bar right off the slope at Snowmass Mall had a terrific selection. The free shuttle between Aspen and Snowmass is top notch. Easy peasy to use, and we didn't have to wait more than a few minutes at any stop.
If it sounds like our vacation was mostly meat, tequila, and skiing, it kind of was! But hey, we make it a point to take full advantage of whatever presents itself on our vacations, so there you go.
Thanks again, all, for your recommendations-- they were really helpful! Hopefully I can return the favor for anyone who is making late season plans, or for next season.
Great report! So glad you had a good time. Were you able to spend a day at Aspen Highlands? (In my opinion, it has the best steep groomers in the Aspen area.)