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Breckenridge or Vail Colorado?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
What would be a better resort to visit, Breckenridge or Vail? Ive never been to Colorado so im not sure what to expect. Im from Virginia and the largest resort weve been to was Killington. It will be a few friends (25+ in age) looking for a good time and good snowbording. We are expecailly interested in the nightlife. Also, we are trying to go early/mid December 2002. How are the snow conditions around that time? Unfortunatly this is the only time we can go. Any info would be great. Thanks.
post #2 of 11
If you must go to either and can't go to both, and money isn't a factor, choose Vail. I have NOT been there ( [img]tongue.gif[/img] ) but have been to Breck and would guess with strong confidence, based on unreliable hearsay, that what Breck has that's good Vail has more of, to the Nth degree, and the crowd factor, high at both, can't be THAT much more at Vail. (Can it?) You will, by the way, get much more specific feedback from Colorado folks.
Seems to me, though, based on my trip to Summit County, that there is no huge obstacle to skiing more than one hill, no matter where you're based in the area.

(don't mean to say Breck is small - it isn't - but Vail is bigger.)

[ July 16, 2002, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #3 of 11
Agree with Ryan, Vail over Breck any day of the week. I have not skied at Breck in a couple of years. Each time I go its windy, terribly crowded. Vail is big enough that if you watch the signs that have the aprox lift times you can always get away from lines. Early Dec typically has been good though we have our fingers crossed for the upcoming winter.

Lots of nightlife, better resturants than Breck too, although Breck is popular with boarders, I would not know anything about that.

Its a pretty quick trip to Copper a bit further to
Keystone or Breck.
post #4 of 11
Unfortunately early to mid-December is probably a crap shoot at either place. Vail probably has more snowmaking capability, though. Here's a good link for recommendations on early season skiing:
Early season recommendations

One thing to consider with Vail is whether the Back Bowls will be open. I believe the Back Bowls (at least part) open by Christmas most years, but early December? Probably not. There's nothing wrong with the front side of the mountain, mind you, but the back is what really makes Vail Vail.

I should also mention that I've never been to Colorado in December, so I'm just going on what I've heard and read. People who actually live there might give you better info.

You might want to consider Whistler. There's plenty of great nighlife and more consistent early snow. Another thing to remember is that even if only the top half of Whistler is open that's about 3,000 ft of vertical. With the exchange rate you'll find that Whistler is actually failry inexpensive, especially that time of the year.
post #5 of 11
In my opinion friend, both Breck and Vail are too crowded. Although Vail's big, the moutain population can be bigger. Go to Aspen/Snowmass there's plenty of terrain and the nightlife is like none other. But it is true that CO resorts can have questionable conditions in Dec..... I hear El Nino's coming so we could be blessed.

[ July 16, 2002, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: thexcop ]
post #6 of 11
Snow conditions at vail and breck are typically not that great in mid-december, but you may get lucky. be aware these are the two busiest ski areas in the usa and late dec is peak season. in my opinion the skiing is better at vail and the night life is better in breck. breck's hiking terrain will probably be closed and vail's back bowls will likely not be 100% open. vail is too snooty for me, but then i've lived in summit county a long time. word of advice, skip colorado and go to canada.
post #7 of 11
You are really asking for trouble trying to plan a big trip to central Coloarado in early December. The only place that I have found reliable that early in the year is the Banff area. Sunshine Village will have real good conditions by December 10 in a good year, and if the snow drought is on you still don't get skunked because Lake Louise starts its snowmaking earlier in the season than most places in the lower 48. Lake Louise and Nakiska are usually very skiable by the 10th of December regardless of snowfall.

On the nightlife part; you have to remember that most of these places rock and roll with the tourist trade. It just won't be the same going that early in the season regardless of where you go.

Sure hope you have a good time! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 11
I wouldn't pick Colorado in early/mid-December. Utah and the Pacific Northwest are a much better bet. The problem with Utah is that Park City has the night life but doesn't get enough snow to be reliable in December.

Whistler is probably the best combination of big resort with lots going on and reliable snow. It's also dirt cheap at that time of year. You can get a decent hotel room at the Listel Best Western in the village that's a couple of minute walk to the Gondolas for $99 CDN. The multi-day lift tickets are also deeply discounted until the week before Christmas.

I'm in Vancouver for mid-December. I plan to mostly ski Mt. Baker but that doesn't even have lodging within 20 minutes of the lifts.
post #9 of 11
Two words for you; elevation and snowmaking. For most of recent history Breck has had more early season snow than Vail. Breck has always had the best early season snowmaking in North America. 9,000 -12,000 ft elevation makes all the difference. Last year, Vail Associates (owns both resorts : ) chose to cut way back on early season snowmaking at Breck (while Vail was still closed)and they paid for it with thin conditions til close to Christmas. : Given good equal conditions at both resorts, you will be pleased at either but you'll actually find less crowds at Vail/Beaver Creek. Breck is to close to the front range and has been the #1 U.S. resort for skier visits for 3 years now. If you're not locked into Summit county, and want a great village and friendly people, plus a discount (Can. $$$) set your sights on Whistler/Blackcomb. That's where you'll find me for early season this year, after spending the last 6 at Breck.
post #10 of 11
given the cuurent severity of the drought, there may not be much water for snowmaking....
post #11 of 11
Originally posted by feal:

On the nightlife part; you have to remember that most of these places rock and roll with the tourist trade. It just won't be the same going that early in the season regardless of where you go.
Just a note on Banff. Have stayed over the weekend the week before the Lake opens Nov11 so nov 4 and the bars and dance places were pretty full. Though point is true for palces other than Banff.
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