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Vail or Aspen? Or other option?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello
I ll be traveling with a group of 10 people to Colorado this jan. My concern is where is the best place to ski? Ive been In Aspen Snowmass and also in vail but this time is difficult to chhose.

We are in a group with very differents level of ski we have some good intermediares and some that will be the first time also we have 3 children among us they ski very weel.

Well thank you for any advice in terms of town , ski schools, terrain for children and for first timers at ski.But dont forget we have also some reasonable skier among us.

Thank you
post #2 of 18
Flip a Coin,
Can't go wrong !
Its been dumping here!
If you were here today,
It was a FINE Day on the Hill!
post #3 of 18
I only just started skiing last year at Copper (www.coppercolorado.com), but my wife has skied her whole life.

Please understand that I have nothing to compare it to, but I have to say that I have had nothing but good experiences with the resort, accomodations for guests (we have stayed there with visitors from out of town), the staff, the ski instructors (kids and adults).

The mountain is simple to navigate and the terrain is easier from east to west so you are naturally separated from the groups you are trying to avoid. Good bus service between the 3 main areas.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 18
Poor English man. Are you coming from outside US?
post #5 of 18
Flghts into Eagle are more reliable than those into Aspen.
Aspen airport opens and closes at the blink of an eye.

Eagle airport is only 90 minutes from Aspen while it's 30 minutes or so to Vail.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes Im from South America. Sorry for my english, I hope you can undestand this time. Anyway I am still deciding where to go this winter.

Thanks





Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc
Poor English man. Are you coming from outside US?
post #7 of 18
Snowmass is perfect for groups like yours. Easy ski in/out, with plenty of more advanced terrain up high.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarques69
Yes Im from South America. Sorry for my english, I hope you can undestand this time. Anyway I am still deciding where to go this winter.

Thanks
We get the gist. Your English is better than some of the Americans who were born here. Have a great time.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim S
Flghts into Eagle are more reliable than those into Aspen.
Aspen airport opens and closes at the blink of an eye.

Eagle airport is only 90 minutes from Aspen while it's 30 minutes or so to Vail.

If you want to save some money, fly into denver. Then take a shuttle to Vail. It's only 2-2.5 hours away, and you can get a transportation company van (capacity 10 people) to take you roundtrip for under $500. This will save you plenty of $$ as Vail is not the cheapest place to ski .

You probably won't be able to get a ride to Aspen though...
post #10 of 18
Hola amigo (a)! No le hagas caso a lo del "English", todos aqui son buenos.

If you want variety, stay in Snowmass and enjoy the other 3 mountains included in the Lift Ticket (Aspen, Highlands, and another whose name I forget). Free bus transfers constantly. Vail town is nicer, bigger and more variety for everything, but a bit less interesting skiing. Tough choice, suerte!
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc
Poor English man.
Would you care to phrase that as a sentence?
post #12 of 18

Aspen is 4mtns

Hi,
One poster mentioned the Aspen airport closes often - but where do they reroute to? Usually Eagle! Occasionally Grand Junction. So Airports are really a moot point IMHO.
I would stay in Aspen and choose the moutain to ski, be it Aspen Mountain which literally drops right into town (like Vail), Aspen Highlands (New expert terrain open this year), Buttermilk (for the kids), and Snowmass which is great for everyone especially intermediates, but is kind of boring at night.
In my opinion there is more to do in Aspen, but Vail is nice as well, especially if you like cruisers. I wish I had your dilemna...
Ciao,
jdg
post #13 of 18
So how's the snow shaping up at Aspen's four mountains?
post #14 of 18
how about Winter Park?

ps. Your english is great!!! Have fun!
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe DesGeorges
Hi,
One poster mentioned the Aspen airport closes often - but where do they reroute to? Usually Eagle! Occasionally Grand Junction. So Airports are really a moot point IMHO.

Eagle airport doesn't close as often, but for me personally, I would rather take the chance and fly right into Aspen. Coming from South America, EGE won't be so bad because they have some good connections thru Dallas and Houston.

I would say about 10-15% of my flights into Aspen are cancelled or diverted, but I am usually on the latest flights in at night. If United misses the approach, they usually just return to Denver. I always have a one way rental waiting in Denver, because I would rather drive myself, than rely on the airline to bus me up. Northwest and America West usually divert to Grand Junction. Only once have I been diverted to GJ on NW and they did a really good job of getting us bused up to Aspen. I have heard that America West is not so good.

You can get vans from Denver on Colorado Mountain Express or Hi Mountain Taxi
post #16 of 18
So far Aspen looks about average in snow and Vail considerably above average. January favors Vail for conditions anyway (higher snowfall, fewer rocks, south facing Back Bowls less baked than later in the season).
post #17 of 18
Vail is the way to go. Fly into Eagle and save the time. I go to Beaver Creek each December and have run all the options. The drive up from Denver is about 2 hours under good conditions. If it's crappy then you could get stuck. If your not familiar with the Vail pass, trust me when I tell you that you don't want to be there if a storm drops on you. You also have to be careful about the transportation companies. Some of these outfits cram a van full of people and luggage for what can make for a pretty miserable ride. Also, some use drivers with limited experience. So Be careful. FYI- The ride is going to cost you at least $200 so I don't think you'll save anything. I have to go into Denver this year as the flights don't start into Eagle until after I get there. I'm using Alpine Sedan and it's 350.00 one-way!
post #18 of 18

vail, aspen, telluride, steamboat

I headed to Vail once a year for the past 10-12 years, but have also ski'd Aspen, Telluride and Steamboat. All are great IMHO. As you are coming so far, probably Vail or Aspen are your best bet to get as much in for one trip.

Vail is majorly easy to get to, has a huge mountain and has great restaurants / apres ski. See below for a list of my favorite things.

Aspen has a great town. I'm not sure I like the bus that shuttles between the different mountains, but it's not bad. Definitely stay in Aspen, not at Snowmass. Snowmass is more of a family type place and not as much to do at night. I'd like to go back simply because I've not explored this area enough. (although one type of downside, I wasn't too comfortable in the Prada store. While I enjoyed browsing - I thought I was being measured by a few other customers. It's kind of like - hey, who cares - it's a public place.)

Telluride might just be my personal favorite. The scenery is simply breathtaking, the snow is incredible and I love the runs. It's the best 'western / mining town feel'. Stay in the town of Telluride, not up in Mountain Village. Again, see below for my list of favs to do. More tips below.

Lastly and certainly, not leastly - Steamboat. I've only been here once, but absolutely loved it. We stayed a one of the hotels right at the base of the lift (ski in / out, but reasonably priced). I think it was the best western ptarmigan inn. They had an outdoor pool / hottub combination and would serve us pitchers of beer while we were in the hottub for apres ski. I really enjoyed the mountain as well and thought the snow quality was tops. also more tips below.

Below are some things you may enjoy...

Vail:
There are a number of excellent restaurants and some other fun things. Often on Wed evening, they have music on one of the streets. I'm not sure if this is all season or just the time of year when we go or not. Check the website. There are also about 4 places for fun entertainment. The Red Lion has a lively apres ski w/ reasonably priced food. It's sort of a yuppy college feel here. The crowd gets involved as they do at most of these I'll list.

The Club can be entertaining as well - look for when Steve ???? is playing. I can't remember his last name, but he is a fixture in Vail during ski season. Just ask around. Word of warning. He's not pure 'music'. He does sing and sing well, but he's also doing shots and having an 'interesting' dialog with the crowd. It's a bit edgy and may or may not be your thing. Personally, I think he is a huge riot and he usually gets some 'rich old bastard' to buy a round of drinks for the bar. Lot's of sing-a-long here as well. Probably only need to hit this once for your fill.

Mickey's in the Vail at Lodge can be a nice alternative if you are looking for a classy evening of piano music. It's a small spot - very cozy, but get's crowded. A bit of an older crowd. More a glass of scotch or wine vs the beer and shots crowd.

I also like Pepi's. It's a restaurant with a bar on the side. Again, classy sing-a-long. A bit more adult than the Red Lion. This has a bit more of a european ski resort feel. Great food if you like Austrian or wild game style food.

Other restaurants I enjoy... Cucina Rustica in the Lodge at Vail. This is one of my two fav italian restaurants in town. Before they changed chef's last year, they had a magnificant antipasta bar. I'm sure the new chef was getting major pressure to bring it back. I'll find out this Dec...

The Flying Burrito in Lionshead is a great spot for breakfast on your way to the gondola. Reasonable prices, good food. Small place and the service can be a bit slow, so give yourself a bit of time.

Campo di Fiori is a really nice spot. It's not as mainstream and a little awkward to find, but I think it's got a nice romantic and relaxing atmosphere. The food works as well. Have a nice port for dessert.

Sweet Basil's is a high-end, nice spot, reservations necessary.

Back on the economical end for breakfast, there is a local's spot in the west side of Lionshead past the gondola. If you like a major breakfast this is the place. Huge portions of eggs, pancakes, whatever breakfast you want. I can't remember the name and don't know if it was affected by the current construction in Lionshead - but what a great find.

Overall, I like to spend more time in Vail Village than Lionshead in the evening. We usually go up/down the mountain out of Lionshead (thus breakfast in Lionshead).

Steamboat:
At the base of the mountain, we found a little Irish pub that had a GREAT irish music band. We didn't go looking for as much music elsewhere.

One of the really special NOT to be missed things in Steamboat is a trip at night to the hotsprings. Now there are 2 sets of hotsprings. One is in town in a building with limited atmosphere. Do not go here. The other requires buying a ticket at the base of the mountain w/ a reservation to take a shuttle up a canyon along the mountain. After a short ride (20 mins or so), you end up at the end of a dirt road and it's extremely dark. Your driver will escort the group down a set of steps by flashlight. You arrive at a set of 3 natural hot springs of different water temps. There are tee-pees to change into a bathing suit, or you may go 'au naturale'. No need to let this intimidate you. It's extremely dark so you shouldn't get embarrassed. You can take a beverage with you (I'd recommend no glass) if you like as well. The night I went was soooo incredible. Not a cloud in the sky and it was as if someone had attached a lightbulb to every star in the sky. Really an amazing night. If you really want to treat yourself, you can also have a massage in the woods where they integrate the water from the hotsprings into the experience. It's a sexy place for a couple and also fun for a group of friends!

Telluride:
Personal fav. Stay at the Ice House in Telluride. It's at the base of the gondola and 2 blocks from town.

Not a big apres ski scene, but great restaurants, a few nice bars and classy shopping.

Fav restaurants: Cosmopolitan (make sure to make a reservation BEFORE you arrive in Telluride - they book out a few weeks), Honga's Lotus Petal - great sushi / asian food (also need a reservation), and BluePoint / Noir Bar - I LOVE this place (it's a great atmosphere casual metropolitan if you will w/ excellent food / the bar has that great NYC lounge feel).

On the main street there are a couple of bars to hang at - a local's place that I think is named 'bar', but I could be wrong - they have pool / darts and a very casual feel. Also the New Sheridan hotel has a classy bar complete w/ fireplace and pool tables in the back.

No need to go to Mountain Village at night IMHO except to ride the gondola up and down on a clear night to see the moon light against the canyon!

Have an EXCELLENT trip!
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