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Winter Park Colorado..opinions.. Please....Help :)

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey there I do this every year and thanks to you all you have helped me make my decisions for me and always ended up having a great time at all the resorts.

 

So I belong to the Tampa Bay Snowboarders and Skiers group  and this year there is a trip to Winter Park which has peaked my interest cause of the price only $1000 for everything but since I am somewhat of a new skier conditions and the type of powder are not always my main concern. I am all about having a good time. My Group offers a lot of other trips also but costs go up from around $1400-2000

 

I am 36 so looking for a place with a good night life and I hear mixed reviews on Winter Park. Some say its non existant yet I read an article saying its ranked at number 7 

 

http://unofficialnetworks.com/2015/08/the-10-best-ski-town-nightlifes-in-the-usa

 

So I will be there for a week carless but I can always rent if need be.

 

So wondering if you can all help me make up my mind. Should I go or pay a little extra and go to other resorts. The last few years I did...Whistler, Breckenridge, Park City and Tahoe

 

Would love to hear your opinions.

 

thanks again.

 

HELPPP

post #2 of 28

Roger,

 

Winter park has great terrain and atmosphere (strong denver crowd), but is still lacking on the destination type resort. If you are looking for some nightlife at the base area, Winter Park is not the place. I am 40 and have been skiing all over Colorado since I was 12 (usually 3-4 trips/yr and pass holder at vail for last 12 yrs) and took my family to Winter Park 3 years ago. Here is my take.

 

Pros: Great terrain. Numerous lifts. A lot of acreage and trails. Reliable and solid snow. Close to denver. Great family atmosphere

 

Cons: Limited lodging (especially ski in/out). Base area is fair distance to town (by car), night life at base is minimal if any. Weekends can be a zoo due to races and events. High winds can affect lift operations

 

If you are hoping for a place with nightlife like Breck and whistler, you may be disapointed at Winter Park. No knock on Winter Park, but it is still more of a "skiers" mountain vs resort town.

 

I am sure I will get flamed here, but I usually sick with Breck, Vail and Beaver Creek for the resort atmosphere and nightlife then hop in the car and go to A-basin for a day or so to get away from the crowds.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions. Like I said, just my opinion, everyone likes their pizza a little different! Hope this helped.

post #3 of 28

Going to be honest I'm not really sure what that article is talking about. The town is small and while I have spent very limited time at Winter Park I don't remember there being much of a night life especially if your group is staying somewhere like the YMCA out there. That list seems a little suspect in general. Winter Park/Mary Jane does have fantastic terrain though and usually a pretty solid park if that's your thing.  

 

What are the other destinations that your group is offering?   

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

Copy and paste from the Page. These are my other options. I do try and hit different resorts but also like I said the cost on these go up quite a bit and cost is something I take into consideration.

 


Vail
Snowmass
Keystone I
Copper
Beaver Creek
Big Sky
Snowbird/Park City
Winter Park
Taos
Banff/ Lake Louise
Telluride
Niseko, Japan
Crested Butte
Keystone II
Steamboat
Park City
Breckenridge
Valle Nevado, Chile

 

http://www.tampabaysnowskiers.com/

post #5 of 28

Winter Park is kind of slow, but I spent a couple of spring breaks there in college and always had a good time.  We also brought our own Bettys.

Ski Clubs often bring their own?

 

If partying is super important, go to the Snowmass trip over Christmas.   Aspen turns into Hollywood East and town is out of control.

All the bars will have a hefty cover on NYE. 

Get a plastic roadie cup, dress warm,walk around town and go into the high end hotels. 

The talent is mind boggling.

post #6 of 28

Winter Park is one of my top favorite destinations of all time. Though I love the place, I have to agree that it basically has no night life. It can be more accurately thought of as a family mountain. Certainly, that includes local Denver families, many of which you will meet on any given weekend day. Unless you have a good core of fellow ski club trippers that you would want to hang with, I would agree that if you are looking for something to do after coming off the mountain, your money is probably better spent at a resort better known for a life off the hill. I've probably skied WP/Mary Jane 150+ days, so I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about other aspects of the mountain.

post #7 of 28

If you're looking for a lively late night scene, it's not the best option. 

If you're contempt with some chill & non pretentious place to drink beer with regular Joes, it's a fine place. 

Great snow on the mountain and some interesting terrain scattered in every direction. 

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

Winter Park is kind of slow, but I spent a couple of spring breaks there in college and always had a good time.  We also brought our own Bettys.

Ski Clubs often bring their own?

 

If partying is super important, go to the Snowmass trip over Christmas.   Aspen turns into Hollywood East and town is out of control.

All the bars will have a hefty cover on NYE. 

Get a plastic roadie cup, dress warm,walk around town and go into the high end hotels. 

The talent is mind boggling.

Only problem with Snowmass to me...than all of a sudden its a $2000 trip instead of $1000.  What about Copper Keystone how is that for nightlife?

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Mallett View Post
 

Only problem with Snowmass to me...than all of a sudden its a $2000 trip instead of $1000.  What about Copper Keystone how is that for nightlife?


Copper and Keystone themselves have even less nightlife than Winter Park, but they are close to Breckenridge/Frisco/Dillon and a little further away, Vail.  Probably a good set-up for what you're interested in.

post #10 of 28
Telluride is on that list. How does that trip fit with your budget? Town and Mountain Village are two totally different vibes. The gondola link makes it easy to stay at one and access the other. Either, I think, would fit the something-to-do-after skiing bill, though town is a little more lively. Last Dollar Saloon. New Sheridan Bar. One of my other all time favorite destinations.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Telluride is another $1969 price before lift tickets which we get at 60% off but still a little much for me. I try to keep around $1500 for the week. 

post #12 of 28

I used to live in WP. Check out Ullers Tavern for a good locals bar. Also if Hunker Down band is playing anywhere in WP while you are there it's sure to be a good time with lots of local love. Winter Park is a very denverite destination but the locals are friendly and like to party. Cheers ;)

post #13 of 28

Some good responses to this question already.

Based on your priorities, I would recommend you find out where the lodging at WP will be. If it's at the mountain, I would skip the trip. If it's in town, you should consider it. Nightlife isn't exactly hopping, but there are enough bars and restaurants that you won't be sitting in your room playing Solitaire.

 

From your list, I'd say Keystone or Copper would be good choices (if they are affordable). There are free buses that run in Summit County, as well as some options at the base of each resort.

post #14 of 28

I brought my college group to Copper last winter and the main complaint was lack of nightlife and they are pretty strict about enforcing quiet hours etc. There is nothing wrong with this but definitely more of a family resort and less of a bachelor's playground.

post #15 of 28


Agreed. The nightlife at Copper is pretty non-existent. But you have access to some via the free buses.

post #16 of 28

Staying at the Zephyr lodge at Winter Park is nice and very convenient for skiing.  I usually stay there or at the Iron Horse.  That's a great trip price and the snow should be excellent in the middle of February.  There are are few restaurants/bars right next to that lodge in the base village but that's it for nightlife.  A free shuttle will take you a few miles down the road into town.

 

That also looks like a very good price for Keystone.  Decent skiing in early January, but not the best.  No nightlife there but Breckenridge is a free bus ride away

 

Steamboat is a more expensive trip but a great place to visit.  The town is one of my favorites.  Free bus system.  Tons of bars and restaurants everywhere, most with happy hour drink and food specials.  Very good food with reasonable prices.  It's a great ski area with long trails and fast lifts, but not really any bowls or high alpine.  Also March gets warm there and the lower elevation and south facing terrain is not ideal at that time.

 

I would try Winter Park at least once.  The snow and terrain should make it worth the trip.

post #17 of 28

If cost is an issue, just do Winter Park.  I  just don't see Keystone or Copper being any better and connecting buses to Breck would be a hassle.

The WP trip is a good deal, good time and a good location.  Make your own party!

post #18 of 28

If you are staying at the hill in Winterpark, the town of WP is only a short shuttlebus ride away. There isn't  lot there, but there is enough to keep you occupied for the week. There are restaurants and bars, and a good time can be had. And if you've been givin 'er all day on MaryJane, you'll be going to bed early anyway.

post #19 of 28

Park City is only $100 more that would be a good option but you have already been there so I'm assuming you want to try something different. Snowbird is a pretty good deal as well but given that the lodging is at Snowbird not many options for night life there. The lodging at keystone would make things tough as the bus doesn't run late there.

 

Side note: Why does your club assume that the boarders are the only ones that want to go the park :mad   

 

Edit: Are these up to date? It says that Breck opens peak 6 for the first time on Xmas day and that happened several years ago...

post #20 of 28

They picked good dates for the Copper trip.  The 14th and 15th will be reasonably crowded but after that it will be low volume the rest of that week.  MLK day (16th) can have a fair amount traffic.  The 2nd week should not be very crowded either.  SIA on mountain demo's is not until the end of the month so that won't be an issue.  The winter bike fest, a fat tire bike race, will probably be one of those weekends. 

 

The question at hand, night life.  Copper has night life?  Just kidding, sort of.  There are a couple of places onsite to go and that's it.  During the winter fest bike race there will definitely be some night life.  As others have pointed out there are buses or if you have a dd you can head to Breck or Vail.  Both are reasonably close.

 

If your nightlife priority is = or > than skiing then Copper is probably not the best choice for you.  I would explore some of the other suggestions.  Seriously, WP was rated higher than the Boat for night life? 

post #21 of 28
Winter Park usually rocks around the winter festivals. See if you can book your trip (w/club) around these events. 😉
post #22 of 28

Went to Winter Park mid December 2014.  There were plenty of people creating their own party.  Winter Park was great and I hope to go back this year.

post #23 of 28

From Tampa Ski groups list, the stay is at the Zepher from Feb 11th - 17th. Not much weekend life to grab as it's Sat in, Friday out.

 

Least wise if price is the driver last Feb 26th I was out for 3 days and it was fairly lively. Least wise it wasn't dead restaurants/bars were busy. There was a Wells Fargo downhill competition going on so it may of livened up the place, the one week night was slow.

 

Town wise it's likely a slow week, in a group one can make their own party. Bus I believe runs till midnight so late partying may not be doable without tx. Don't know if Zepher offers it.

 

How was Breckenridge? It's listed at a ~$200 more .. 

post #24 of 28

What is top priority on picking the trip?  Nightlife or cost?

 

As others have said, WP has great skiing, but the resort nightlife is nonexistent.  You can bus into town for restaurants and bars, but midweek will probably not be lively.

 

If nightlife and low cost is key, go to Breck.  If you want nightlife and want something other than Breck for a change of pace, pick Steamboat.  A few dollars more, but still under the Snowmass price tag.

 

I wouldn't pick Copper or Keystone if you want nightlife.

 

BTW, I may have missed it but does the price include lift tickets?  Our club gets us discount lift tickets but lists those separately on the ad. 

post #25 of 28
Seems like Shredhead has identified the Aspen New Years trip as best, but pricey party trip. Winter Park looks like cheapest for focus on Feb skiing. Breck trip might be decent compromise of party and price and should still have reasonably decent conditions in early Apr with lots of pleasant sunshine, but you've been there.
post #26 of 28

that's right, Breckenridge in April is a fun time and a vacation with nice skiing conditions.  For a good price on that trip too.  Spring skiing is my favorite time in the mountains.  At that time of year you can sleep in and still hit the slopes when the soft snow just begins to break on the groomed trails.  You have a window of great skiing on those slopes and the high elevations of Breckenridge preserve the snow very well late into the season.  And then after the snow gets too sloppy, it's just about time for happy hour.  And I like to party.  But I prefer Aspen, which is where I will be in April.

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Seems like Shredhead has identified the Aspen New Years trip as best, but pricey party trip. Winter Park looks like cheapest for focus on Feb skiing. Breck trip might be decent compromise of party and price and should still have reasonably decent conditions in early Apr with lots of pleasant sunshine, but you've been there.

 

Breck Is were I would go for a party it's very lively in April and will be the tail end of spring break season. They should also have their concert series going on which is nice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubberduck View Post
 

that's right, Breckenridge in April is a fun time and a vacation with nice skiing conditions.  For a good price on that trip too.  Spring skiing is my favorite time in the mountains.  At that time of year you can sleep in and still hit the slopes when the soft snow just begins to break on the groomed trails.  You have a window of great skiing on those slopes and the high elevations of Breckenridge preserve the snow very well late into the season.  And then after the snow gets too sloppy, it's just about time for happy hour.  And I like to party.  But I prefer Aspen, which is where I will be in April.

 

At Breck you can ski down 4 o'clock all the way into town and basically walk across the street to Mi Casa which has one of busiest/best happy hours in town. Doesn't get much cheaper then $5 pitchers of beer .  

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubberduck View Post
 

Staying at the Zephyr lodge at Winter Park is nice and very convenient for skiing.  I usually stay there or at the Iron Horse.  That's a great trip price and the snow should be excellent in the middle of February.  There are are few restaurants/bars right next to that lodge in the base village but that's it for nightlife.  A free shuttle will take you a few miles down the road into town.

 

That also looks like a very good price for Keystone.  Decent skiing in early January, but not the best.  No nightlife there but Breckenridge is a free bus ride away

 

Steamboat is a more expensive trip but a great place to visit.  The town is one of my favorites.  Free bus system.  Tons of bars and restaurants everywhere, most with happy hour drink and food specials.  Very good food with reasonable prices.  It's a great ski area with long trails and fast lifts, but not really any bowls or high alpine.  Also March gets warm there and the lower elevation and south facing terrain is not ideal at that time.

 

I would try Winter Park at least once.  The snow and terrain should make it worth the trip.

I'm certainly biased toward Steamboat, but I think it's a great mix of town and resort. It's a real western town with a historic downtown and lots of non-skiing activities if you want to take a day off. Additionally, it avoids some Denver crowds and you are able to fly in very close to town. 

 

If you are mostly concerned with price and conditions, I'd say go for the Winter Park trip. 

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