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Colorado resort advice requested [family with tweens, beginner/intermediate, from Tampa]

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi all, hoping you can give me a few resorts to look at for my search.

 

We are a family of 4, with 2 boys age 10 and 13.  The boys and myself are beginners and need a good amount of greens.  The wife is a little more experienced and can ski the blues.

 

We have been to Beaver Creek and Breckenridge and like the resort type of atmosphere with stuff for the kids to do, bars, restaurants, maybe a little shopping..  We usually take a shuttle from Denver, so somewhere that one of the shuttle services goes to is a big plus.  Renting a VRBO condo is ok, as long as its part of an overall bigger resort type of complex, or if its close to one. A resort that had other activities like tubing, snowmobiling, etc, would be a plus.

 

I know there are a lot of smaller resorts, so I just wasn't sure exactly where to start.  Anything to recommend for us to look at?  We'll be possibly traveling mid to late March of this year.

 

Moderator note: Moved to Family Skiing, info added to thread title

post #2 of 18

Keystone would fit the criteria I think.   I'd recommend Breck or Vail actually but as you've been to them I'd try Keystone or Copper.

post #3 of 18

If Beaver Creek suited you well Copper might be a possibility of even Keystone but you might be disappointed after Beaver.

 

Also Breck has the best resort ambiance IMHO.

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
 

If Beaver Creek suited you well Copper might be a possibility of even Keystone but you might be disappointed after Beaver.

 

Also Breck has the best resort ambiance IMHO.

Yes I could see Keystone being a let down after Breck and BC...   Key does have things like Tubing and a big skating rink though so the non-skiing activities would be fun.

post #5 of 18

I learned to ski at Winter Park so it holds a special place in my heart. They have ice skating and tubing available and a wide variety of ski terrain. We always stayed at Snow Mountain Ranch (run by the YMCA) which also has a lot of fun activities, but it's a half an hour drive so not feasible if you aren't planning on renting the car. If you are contemplating WP, don't forget to research taking the train (AMTRAK). You can make connections to AMTRAK from DIA.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
 

Hi all, hoping you can give me a few resorts to look at for my search.

 

We are a family of 4, with 2 boys age 10 and 13.  The boys and myself are beginners and need a good amount of greens.  The wife is a little more experienced and can ski the blues.

 

We have been to Beaver Creek and Breckenridge and like the resort type of atmosphere with stuff for the kids to do, bars, restaurants, maybe a little shopping..  We usually take a shuttle from Denver, so somewhere that one of the shuttle services goes to is a big plus.  Renting a VRBO condo is ok, as long as its part of an overall bigger resort type of complex, or if its close to one. A resort that had other activities like tubing, snowmobiling, etc, would be a plus.

 

I know there are a lot of smaller resorts, so I just wasn't sure exactly where to start.  Anything to recommend for us to look at?  We'll be possibly traveling mid to late March of this year.

 

Moderator note: Moved to Family Skiing, info added to thread title


What is the reason you are only considering Colorado?  Have you looked at Steamboat?  A little farther from Denver but I think that means it can be a bit less crowded during a school holiday week.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

thanks for the thoughts.  Yeah, I guess I shouldn't just stick to Colorado, so yeah, open it up to anything out West that might work.  We have family in Denver and can sometimes stay there a couple nights on either end, but that's not a definite.  I do like Denver a lot, though, so its great to fly in and out of.  And pretty easy to get to from Tampa.

 

I didn't like Beaver Creek all that much, although we were off site at the Westin.  Resort was nice, but taking the gondola and then a bus with my and 2 kids equipment in my hands sucked.  Definitely want to stick to something pretty much ski in and ski out - I guess I forgot to mention that previously.

 

Yes, Breck is great.  Always love it there.  Have been there several times winter and summer.   I'll check out Steamboat, Cooper and Keystone.

post #8 of 18

Mid-March could be good in Park City.  But a little risky by late March.  Are there any direct flights from Tampa to SLC?

 

Might learn something useful in this thread from the Beginner Zone:

http://www.epicski.com/t/146380/which-resort-has-the-easiest-greens-a-beginner-zone-question

post #9 of 18

From a snow perspective I would say Copper would be a great choice for you.  Plenty of the terrain you are looking for.  A great mountain layout.  Copper also has tubing and ice skating.  Snowmobiling is close by and they will pick you up.

 

Where you might find it lacking would be the town atmosphere of Breck .  You said you really like Breck.  Vail also has that after skiing vibe for shopping, restaurants, etc.   Your doing the shuttle so driving to Vail (about 16 miles driving) or Breck (about 20 miles driving) wouldn't be an option.  You *could* take the bus to Breck but I would strongly urge researching that.

 

Decisions decisions  :)

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
 

We have been to Beaver Creek and Breckenridge and like the resort type of atmosphere with stuff for the kids to do, bars, restaurants, maybe a little shopping....

I know there are a lot of smaller resorts, so I just wasn't sure exactly where to start.  Anything to recommend for us to look at?  We'll be possibly traveling mid to late March of this year.

 

Smaller resorts will, of course, tend to have fewer options for bars, restaurants, shopping, etc. But a huge upside to a smaller destination is 1) that it's more affordable to stay slopeside and 2) that it's more affordable over all (and maybe you can put some of that money toward lessons so the kids can move onto more challenging terrain).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
 

thanks for the thoughts.  Yeah, I guess I shouldn't just stick to Colorado, so yeah, open it up to anything out West that might work.  We have family in Denver and can sometimes stay there a couple nights on either end, but that's not a definite.  I do like Denver a lot, though, so its great to fly in and out of.  And pretty easy to get to from Tampa.

 

I didn't like Beaver Creek all that much, although we were off site at the Westin.  Resort was nice, but taking the gondola and then a bus with my and 2 kids equipment in my hands sucked.  Definitely want to stick to something pretty much ski in and ski out - I guess I forgot to mention that previously.

 

Yes, Breck is great.  Always love it there.  Have been there several times winter and summer.   I'll check out Steamboat, Cooper and Keystone.

 

I don't think I'd look at connecting flights in your shoes... it's an extra hassle and probably extra expense, and you can definitely find somewhere with nonstop service for fun--so that seems the way to go. Sooner or later nonstop Salt Lake-Tampa service will probably return, and I think it makes sense to hold off until it does (and watch the destinations at St Pete/Clearwater, if that airport's a reasonable option). Next year Reykjavik might be an awesome spot for a spring break... and in the meantime, Denver and maybe Las Vegas present good options.

 

Steamboat... farther from Denver, and not really "smaller," but sounds like a good fit.

Keystone... there's no "town" per se (not like Breckenridge), but a good resort with plenty of close-in lodging and lots of dining/shopping options. Also I wouldn't really call it "smaller."

Cooper or Copper... note that these are two different spots. Cooper is MUCH smaller, and probably smaller than you really want to be looking. Copper Mountain is closer in size to BC or Breck, and has some slopeside lodging & village options, but again, no real "town."

Winter Park is convenient to Denver and probably checks all your boxes... I'd definitely take a close look there.

Granby Ranch is probably the only really small Colorado area worth a close look: it has what your looking for, but in smaller doses, and at a lower price point.

 

Out of Las Vegas...

Brian Head is bigger than Granby Ranch, but definitely smaller (and more affordable) than most of the Colorado competition. Lots of activities available right in the village, and the nearby National Parks & Monuments make great side trips.

post #11 of 18
Snowmass would be perfect. Practically the whole village is ski in/out.
post #12 of 18
Another vote for Snowmass. Reasonable pricing and terrific ski in ski out location with restaurants and shops very close by.
Pretty awesome family ski hill too.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Still continuing to do some reading.  Can anyone compare Snowmass and Steamboat for my criteria - nice village, ski in/out, ease of travel from Denver, stuff for kids to do, lots of beginner slopes.

 

Considering perhaps using some Starwood points and both of these places have Westin/Sheraton properties.

 

In doing some quick reading, most of the comparisons I saw gave the nod to Snowmass, but wife says all of her friends say Steamboat is much better.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
 

Still continuing to do some reading.  Can anyone compare Snowmass and Steamboat for my criteria - nice village, ski in/out, ease of travel from Denver, stuff for kids to do, lots of beginner slopes.

 

Considering perhaps using some Starwood points and both of these places have Westin/Sheraton properties.

 

In doing some quick reading, most of the comparisons I saw gave the nod to Snowmass, but wife says all of her friends say Steamboat is much better.

Been to Steamboat with my family.  Fits your needs well.  But if you aren't renting a car, you'd have to fly into Hayden and catch shuttle from there.  So, that involves a layover somewhere.  Its about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Denver.  And mid-late March can be hit or miss at Steamboat for conditions.

 

Have not been to Snowmass but is on the top of my list to try.  However, you have the same issue as far as requiring a layover to fly there.  No shuttles from Denver.  Good luck.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Its seem Go Apline goes from DEN to Steamboat and it appears to be about $300 one way.  Airline tickets in HDN around about $125pp more, so it may be pretty close to a wash.  You just gotta device if you want the additional layover and flight vs in the shuttle for 4 hours.

 

For Snowmass, it appears CME goes there.  Might be close to $300-$400 one way there too.  Skiing ain't cheap.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by heckofagator View Post
 

Still continuing to do some reading.  Can anyone compare Snowmass and Steamboat for my criteria - nice village, ski in/out, ease of travel from Denver, stuff for kids to do, lots of beginner slopes.

 

Considering perhaps using some Starwood points and both of these places have Westin/Sheraton properties.

 

In doing some quick reading, most of the comparisons I saw gave the nod to Snowmass, but wife says all of her friends say Steamboat is much better.


Steamboat being "better" really depends on what a family likes.  Snowmass has a lot of terrain, plus for beginners/intermediate there is Buttermilk a short bus ride away for variety.  The town of Apsen vs. the town of Steamboat . . . very different.  It's fair to say that for any ski resort/town, you will find plenty of people who says it's the "best" based on their experience and interests.

 

Around here, there is probably a bit of a bias towards the destination ski resorts that happen to be on the Mountain Collective Pass, which includes Aspen/Snowmass but does not include Steamboat.

post #17 of 18

Either Steamboat or Snowmass,  would be very good choices.  Both have airports, reducing the travel time from Denver.

 

Due to snowfall, elevation and exposure, I would tend to recommend Steamboat earlier in the season and Snowmass later.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Either Steamboat or Snowmass,  would be very good choices.  Both have airports, reducing the travel time from Denver.

Due to snowfall, elevation and exposure, I would tend to recommend Steamboat earlier in the season and Snowmass later.
Wonders will never cease. Shredhead suggesting somewhere other than Aspen/Snowmass. 😋
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