I want to put to rest or at least shed some light on these "crowds" questions, I've seen them in regard to the front range resorts, specifically Vail, Beaver Creek, Breck, Keystone and Copper.
To put it to rest once and for all: There are no crowds! These resorts are huge, huge acerages. Vail 5000 plus?!!? Give me a break! I don't know where the crowds concept is originating, unless it is East coast skiers assuming the same conditions on the East coast are out here.
I've skied all the front range resorts for over 7 years and have been in a "crowd" maybe 2 times. Do you have traffic jams where you come from, do you just sit in them if there is an alternative? At a 2 lane left hand turn lane at a light with 10 cars in one lane and 1 car in the other do you pull in behind the 10 cars and have to sit through 3 lights or do you pull in behind the 1 car and get through and keep going? A little common sense goes a long way to creating a ski experience where you get the most runs for your money and come home with stories of a wide open mountain with few lines or a ski experience that tells of long lift lines and disappointment.
To avoid "crowds" in Colorado resorts just get there early. When a lift opens at 8:00 am it will be crowded at 9:30. If you get there at 8:15, you will be gone and into the less crowded areas before the crowds and keep moving along totally avoiding them. Keep moving and timing your sking as parts of the mountain open. In Vail get off the front side and into the back or onto the far sides and you will be by yourself. Take a run on the front side, then head into Game creek bowl, then down the back into sun up then over to blue ski basen, you will be alone and have chances at first tracks on each run. Beaver Creek crowded? I've found huge powder stashes there 4 days after a dump, un-skied.
Take your lunch break either earlier or later than high noon. Ski the deserted lifts at noon, you will have them to yourself.
We skied Vail on openning day, I've read posts how people stayed away because they didn't want to fight the 11,000 people crowd! Ha, we had 1-2 feet of fresh pow all day. The lift line at the base was crowded, a total of 20 minute wait, the longest I've ever waited at Vail. But once you were up an out, most people I rode with on the lifts were asking where everybody was at?
By the way on lift lines, you can vary your wait from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on where you enter the line. Don't get in the middle of the funnel. You will wait forever, since your line will be alternating with every other line. Go to the edges of the corrals to speed you way through. Also don't forget the singles line. You can cut your wait from 20 minutes to 5 minutes, and ofter ride up with your partner.
There are a ton of ways to maximize your skiing, you just have to be smarter than the average bear, I'm sure there are others here with tips to share also.