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Beaver Creek or Vail -Family w/ young new skiers

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My family is planning on skiing President's week and we know prices will be expensive. We are looking for a condo that is close to ski school for young kids. Which would be better for us BC or Vail? Which condos are nice at either resort? Any advice would be helpful and appreciated.
post #2 of 19
donnanln, welcome to EpicSki! There are a number of threads here on this topic just recently, including this one: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=28170.

That said, what are your priorities and how did you arrive at the choice of BC or Vail? There are, of course, many other options, so it would be helpful to understand your thinking to this point.

Without knowing the answers to these questions, I'd recommend the Beav, since it's farther from Denver (lower attendance) and has that great green terrain at the summit of the main mounting (that is, if your kids are still skiing greens).

All of the Colorado areas have solid kids ski schools. Vail and BC are run very similarly (as you'd expect) and the kids ski school is separate from the adult ski school.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have been hearing wonderful things from friends about BC family experience and Vail, well never been before.
Kids have never skied before and are 7 and under. I am looking for something really nice and convenient for the kids. Biggest priority is to get them skiing and have least amount of hassles... so condo next to ski school is my priority. I wasn't sure if Vail construction would still be going on or not? I heard St. James condos were close to ski school in BC but wondering if they are nice? Or is there somewhere else either in Vail or BC that I should check out. I think both Vail and BC have plenty activities for the kids.
post #4 of 19
Beaver Creek is beyond "nice". It's very high-end. Most of the slopeside lodging is real 4-diamond stuff. With a price to match. I am unfamiliar with the St. James condos, but I'm sure someone here has been there and can comment...

They both have plenty of activities. I find BC a bit more "family friendly" because the area isn't quite as spread out (Vail spreads out along a ridgeline, while the Beav sits on a couple of distinct mountains). Runs at the Beav funnel to the base for the most part, while Vail has multiple bases, and it isn't difficult to get turned around and end up a bus ride away from where you want to be (how many ski areas have lifts that carry skiers in both directions--and neither is downloading?!).
post #5 of 19
Welcome to Epic ski. With respect to your kids, how young is young? Also will you have a car? You don't need one, but it opens up a lot more possibilities, which I can tell you about. We've stayed at both Vail and Beaver Creek with young kids (several times each)and I can dump more information than you care to know on you. Shoot me a private message when you have a chance (just click on my name and look for "Send a Private Message") and I can start unloading to you there.

post #6 of 19
skidmo, as you wish... but why not share with the rest of us, too?
post #7 of 19
Not trying to be secretive. Sometimes, you need to ask questions that some people may not care to answer publicly. Like whether price is important, or certain likes/dislikes. So, I opt for the PM to get that kind of info. Then you can give better advice to the types of questions that were asked.

My basic advice for families with kids is that both BC and Vail are great for families with kids. St. James is nice, but doesn't have the greatest amenities for non-skiing stuff, BC is a little more family friendly and has a much better shuttle service if you're not near the center of action. The beginner area at the top of BC, however, is tough to beat. BC just feels safer than Vail.

Vail is a little more "fun" and care free. More stores and restaurants plus adventure ridge. You better know the Vail mountain if you're with beginners in order to avoid flat spots and the crowds rushing home at the end of the day. If more advanced skiers are going, Vail will be the better choice if you're going more than 3-4 days.

In my family, I prefer Vail, but I'm out voted 3 (wife, two kids)-1. Of course, we drive to adventure ridge. If we didn't, Vail would win 3-1.

Finally, my biggest tip for families with kids is the pool at Avon Recreation Center. Most excellent.
post #8 of 19
Great insights! And, even though I live here, I learned something new. Thanks!
post #9 of 19
we stayed at the Lion Square lodge. I think it is the closest condo hotel to a Vail ski school. well - actually Lionshead ski school. extremely convenient.
post #10 of 19

BC is the best for families!

Welcome to Epicski! Beaver Creek is a wonderful family experience. The skiing is fabulous and the accommodations are even better. The finest on slope hotel is the Park Hyatt. This definately is sold out during the week that you mentioned, so you better call quickly. I've been there several times and you won't be dissappointed. I work in the children's alpine ski school (7 - 12 & teens) so I very familiar with their programs. Give me a private message and I'd be happy to answer any of your questions and supply you with a phone number to discuss in person if you wish.
Enjoy your vacation planning!
post #11 of 19
Beaver Creek will be much less crowded than Vail and for that reason alone I'd recommend it. Furthermore, the "Arrowhead" side will have even less people. If you can afford to stay in Bachelor Gulch, that would be my top pick, followed by the Arrowhead base itself.

Vail has more to offer when it comes to off-mountain activities. Beaver Creek can be quiet when the lifts stop running and the town of Avon is harder to walk around than Vail Village. You might want to see what's going on at Beaver Creek's Vilar Center - sometimes they have great concerts/performances that can be quite affordable.
post #12 of 19

Beaver Creek is great for kids

We stayed at the Hyatt Mountain Lodge in Beaver Creek and it was fantastic. The mountain is set up great for beginners, with green runs at the top, and the ski school was by far the best we have seen.

However, it is very expensive, but for us it was worth the price.

post #13 of 19
Welcome Amigo! All advice in this thread is valid and worthwhile, and this is our experience: BC is less crowded but not as much fun, the Vail Village is much bigger than BC "village". If I were doing it again, I'd stay in BC at the Hyatt (or any other place, they're all nice), and drive to Vail 2 days. Or, stay in Vail (we prefer the Golden Peak area, less hassles and crowds), and drive to BC for 2 days. In any event you can't go wrong. Enjoy!
post #14 of 19
I have been to BC many times and St.James is just across the way from The Hyatt. THey are very nice. There really aren't any properties that aren't very nice. If you go on the BC site, you can view pictures of the units. They are located just about in the center of the village and are about 30 yds from the skating rink and easy walking distance to many restaurants. A great family place to eat is the Dusty boot. The food is very good pub grub and they have a great kids menu. St. James is about 100 yds to the escalator to the main, Centenial lift but if you don't mind going up the stairs over by Gorsuch, the kids school is just at the top. One advantage of the Hyatt is that the kids would start at the Hay Meadow lift which is just outside their doors. THe Hyatt also has the 5-star, Alegra spa and has a fantasitc weight and excercise room. There are 5-6 outdoors hot tubs too! Great place for drinks after skiing. It does depend on what you are looking for and I would be happy to go into more detail if you want. PM me. I just did a check on the site for the Hyatt and they are showing that they are sold out but you could always call. St. James is showing 949 a night for a 2 bdrm per night.

I agree that Arrowhead is more affordable, Bachelor's Gulch is another good option, the Carlton Ritz is incredible with a price tag to match. Yo can also look at Edwards, Riverwalk too.
post #15 of 19
Originally Posted by skidmo

Finally, my biggest tip for families with kids is the pool at Avon Recreation Center. Most excellent.
A very strong second to this tip. We went to the pool at the Avon Rec Center with our kids last year during a week long ski trip to BC. It was great. Kids loved it. A bit pricey, but it goes with the whole BC experience.
post #16 of 19

Vail, BC and Breck??

Hmmm, trip from Australia this January. We've virtually agreed on staying at Breck (with car). Had thought of Vail/BC as too pricey and maybe not so family friendly (upmarket and people maybe bit snobbish or something) plus a little closer. How would you folk compare Breck to Vail/BC for 2 families with total 5 kids 11 - 16 yrs reasonably keen skiers, quite varying ability.


(Currently looks like we might stay at "Village at Breckenridge" which they say is ski in/out. We're looking for close to lifts as only about 5 days skiing. Quote is about $US2366 for two bed condo 5 nights including lift passes for 4 days).
post #17 of 19
Quality of skiing, quality of snow, activities for kids, all much better at Vail/BC IMHO. And January is the best time in terms of crowds, Back Bowl conditions.

The only reason to pick Summit County over Vail/BC is a substantial difference in cost.
post #18 of 19
I've taken my family to Vail 2 years in a row and if you shop for deals the prices are comparable to Summit Co.

I found it to be a great family resort with lots of kids activities. It's also very easy to move around the village with the free bus service.
post #19 of 19
Only being here in CO for two seasons, I have somewhat limited knowledge, but here's my two cents. I like BC over Vail by leaps and bounds. One, the crowds at BC are non-existent. I was there on the busiest days of the year and the best pow days of the year, and never did I wait more than a minute. Second, on most of the runs, there's a challenging run near a nice easy blue that meet at the bottom- so you can go one way, your beginner/intermediate can go the other, and you can meet at the bottom. Also, the service at BC is beyond expectations... an escalator to transport you, a chef giving away freshly baked cookies, great staff, nice patrollers and lifties... man am I glad I have a season pass there and get to enjoy the poshness created by the others who are paying out the arse for the service I get for next to nothing.
In terms of lodging, personally I would try to get a place in Frisco or Breck and make the drive to BC and/or Vail. The price is so much cheaper, and all its really costing you is a 30 min drive in the morning. Frisco and Breck are both great towns with plenty to do. Granted, they're not as ritzy as BC or Vail, but they're not lacking in character and class either. That way you can even mix up where you want to ski- Breck, Keystone, BC, Vail, etc... you realy can't go wrong anywhere.
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