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Suggestions for trip?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Would like to go west (fly) from March 6 to March 9th. We are in North Carolina, and have never been out West on a ski trip. Could everyone give me some leads on nice slopes and accommodations for early March (Is this an OK time for out West). We would like to stay somewhere slope side if possible, nice with maybe a fireplace and hot tub (anniversary!!). It will be me and my wife (only 3 year skier) and she can ski all the intermediates around here and in West Virginia (WinterPlace). I hope that maybe Utah or Colorado will have some mountains with a nice number of super long intermediates that we can ski on together, and then some easier blacks so maybe I can get her started on some more difficult slopes in the Powder, not N.C. Ice!!!
Thanks for any help!!!
post #2 of 18
Shane, I don't really know the timeframe for when it's busy out there. I don't know when college spring break is, so that may be something to consider. BUT...

My wife and I went to Breckenridge last December for our first trip to the West. It's hard to beat a big resort such as Breck for a first-time trip out there. We stayed at Beaver Run Resort at the base of Peak 9 and it was ski-in, ski-out. We stepped out the door of the building where our room was and clicked into the skis. The Colorado Suite has a private balcony, spa tub, and wood fireplace. The resort itself has lots to offer in dining, other activities, and relaxing. It's a really nice setup there.

The mountain has everything to offer. The groomed cruisers are a blast and you could spend tons of time with her on them. The terrain is very diverse so you wouldn't get bored in three days skiing there if she's willing to adventure even a little bit.

Then there's the town of Breck. From Beaver Run it's about a 1/2 mile walk to the heart of town I guess. Beaver Run has free shuttles that will take you to various places in town, then you can just call them up to be picked up wherever you are. The town has so much to offer as well in shopping, dining, and just walking around.

Personally, I loved our trip to Breck. It was a great introduction to skiing in the West with great conveniences. That's my main experience out west and is my recommendation to you. Enjoy!

post #3 of 18
Bandit ... we live in the Raleigh area and have made the jaunt out west 8-10 times. If you'd like to PM me with your e-mail address or phone, be glad to share some experiences with you.
post #4 of 18
mammoth/ mammoth inn.
post #5 of 18
i'd say either breckenridge, copper or beaver creek knowing that beaver creek should be the most $$ to stay at and copper having the least "mountain town" feel to it as it fronts on i-70.
cant speak w/ same knowledge for utah.
post #6 of 18
Check out Whistler too. Tons of all types of terrain + a great pedestrian base villiage (with lots of restaurants/bars/shops/hotels all right there).
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the recommendations. I will research each place. Do you guys generally schedule your own travel (lodge, lift, flight), or do you look for packages? Thanks
P.S. Thanks MadMike. Your experience at Breckenridge sounds just like what I am looking for!!!
post #8 of 18
Early March is the best time out West IMHO. Almost any major resort will have what you are looking for. So far this is a great snow year for CO and UT. Snowmass is hard to beat for what you're looking for, but can be pricey (ditto Vail/Beav). I've heard some folks from the Southeast get good flight deals direct into Steamboat, CO (no need for car rental); it and Snowmass likely less crowded than Breckenridge or Vail. Boat and Snowmass/Aspen have lots of terrain variety, including much mellow stuff, great towns too. You might also like Park City, UT, with three major nearby areas, lots of mellow terrain, also fun town.

Most vets do own travel arrangements via internet, maybe start with a site like Travelocity for flights and possibly lodging, car, etc. Or go to individual websites for providers of each. Packages can be decent way too, seems competitive, and many others. search this website for lots of chatter on that sort of thing.
post #9 of 18
well, if you liked mike's suggestion, i'd say breck or beaver creek are good suggestions.
if youre looking to save some $, you might look into for condos in breck that should have a lot of what beaver run does and cost less or head to beaver creek which offers all that and more, but that comes with a price tag.
i might book flight and lodging together but would consider colorado mountain express that can drop you off at the door if youre going to stay on the same mountain and walk or shuttle the town, which you can do at breck and beaver creek.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
James, thanks for the info. Since we have never taken a trip like this I am at the mercy of those who have the rate information, and myself who does not. I just got off the phone with Breckenridge and they quoted me 1757.53 (single room) and 2067.19 (condo with fireplace) for two people. Both are at Beaver Run which is ski in/out. Price included roundtrip air from Charlotte to Denver, two hour shuttle to resort (roundtrip), four nights (3/5-3/8), and three day lift. With the flight times we would fly in Sun. night, ski M/T/W, and then check/fly out on Thur.
Do these prices sound way off, or horribly bad to anyone???
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
skicougar, how does Breck look for what I listed. I am going to some other sites now to price shop. What they quoted us for round trip air, in the package, is really on the low side of all the websites!!!
post #12 of 18
Early March is about the best time to ski Colorado. Utah would be good too. Vail has long, not too steep runs and is very beautiful and romantic -in town- and easy to get to from the airport. Snowmass also has good intermediate terrain. You didn't indicate how old you are, but i found breck to be a younger, singles more party oriented scene vs/ Vail or Snowmass/Aspsen, which is more family/fine dining or shopping respectively kinda scene. You decide which is more up your alley. You could also look into the Park City resorts like Deer Valley which is famous for its manicured grooming...but others here are more knowledgable about those. If you're looking for price point, you could check out Winter Park, which is big, but low key and they have off mountain accomodations on a free shuttle at reasonable prices. (I noted that most of your responses have not been from people who live in Colorado or Utah, including me. although i'm next door;-))

Truly, any of the Colorado resorts will be fantastic in early March, so you could check out a moguls mountain travel or the like and just look for the best package deal.
post #13 of 18
Can't go wrong with Utah and Colorado. For a first time, I humbly suggest Vail. Big, beautiful, cozy, wild, sunny, cold, snowy, etc., etc. You also gave Beaver Creek 10 minutes down the road, via Shuttle, a must.

In Utah, the Canyons. All of the above, bit smaller. Less altitude which may be a problem first 2-3 days.

For altitude preparation (for Colorado) takey Advil daily 3 days prior to arrival, drink LOTS of liquids (water, juice), no booze on first day, and you'll be okay.

post #14 of 18
Personally, I would do your own package. Here are two thoughts after skimming over this thread:

If you're close to Raleigh, take Southwest from there to Denver. It shouldn't be much more than $250 per flight.

Check VRBO for condos in Breckenridge. Great resource- you can find whatever you want, mostly whenever you want. If not Breck, it wouldn't hurt to stay in Frisco, which is about 8-9 miles down the road from Breck.

A rough price list:

Flights: $500 (for two)
R/T airport shuttle: $150
Condo: $500 for 4 nights
Lift tickets: ~$300 if you pay full price, less if you get discounts in town

Looking at that, the total price is $1450. I'm sure you can do better if you look around, too.
post #15 of 18


well, here's my vote for STEAMBOAT, which I prefer GREATLY to any of the resorts on I-70, nice mt, nice town, someone for everyone without all the pretension of vail, B-creek, etc. Mountain Resorts handles the bunk of reservations and could give you details on lodging.. they have everything. Steamboat is great for beginners through advanced, generally nice weather, easy to get around, not as $$$ as vail

ANd I might also just point out the magic of Big Mountain, in Whitefish, Montana. I will say it has the potential to be foggy, but the town is fun, a real old ski town, and there is also Blacktail resort several miles away.. early march has potential to be sunny. Not everyon's cup of tea (thank God) but also a really nice mt with few lines and lots of great snow! And.. its montana..
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by bandit788
James, thanks for the info. Since we have never taken a trip like this I am at the mercy of those who have the rate information, and myself who does not. I just got off the phone with Breckenridge and they quoted me 1757.53 (single room) and 2067.19 (condo with fireplace) for two people. Both are at Beaver Run which is ski in/out. Price included roundtrip air from Charlotte to Denver, two hour shuttle to resort (roundtrip), four nights (3/5-3/8), and three day lift. With the flight times we would fly in Sun. night, ski M/T/W, and then check/fly out on Thur.
Do these prices sound way off, or horribly bad to anyone???
Those prices are not way off, esp considering lifts are included. I would stay for at least 4 ski days to make the journey more worthwhile. I tried a quick Travelocity check for airfare and slopeside condo for 4 full days for two people at Steamboat from Char, NC to Hayden, CO and it was around $1400 without lift tics, or 20 mile shuttle trip from airport.
post #17 of 18

Ski West

Going out West for the first time will be a real eye opener for you and your wife. If you can ski the resorts in the South, you can handle the snow conditions in the West. Once you ski out West once, you will not go back to North Carolina or West Virginia. I would suggest, Vail or Steamboat in Colorado or anywhere in Park City or Snowbird in Utah.

In all these resorts you can take a short shuttle ride from the airport (less than 40 minutes) and get around easily with public transportation at the resort. Vail will offer tons of skiing and lots of food and lodging choices both ski in ski out and those on the bus route. At Steamboat, you should be able to find reasonable ski in ski out rates and can take the free bus to dinner on Main Street each night.

Park City Utah has lots of accessible accomodations and you can get to Deer Valley, Park City and The Canyons easily on free public transportation. Main Street at Park City is a great walking area filled with restaurants and shopping.

If you intend to ski, eat, drink and sleep, go to Snowbird. For the amount of time you will be there, you will not run out of restaurants or ski terrain. You can stay at the resort and take advantage of the spa, and accessibility to the lifts and tram.

Best of all you can fly the big jets direct or maybe one stop into Eagle Colorado to ski Vail, Hayden to ski Steamboat. Same goes for Salt Lake City which is a short ride to Park City or Snowbird.
post #18 of 18
well bandit, i gotta disagree w/ harry depending upon how many days youre skiing.
i do agree w/ him that you can get tickets now on southwest for 500 roundtrip and ride colorado mountain express for 60 each, but lift tickets in peak season are 75 a day. so unless youre only skiing 2 days that'll put you over 300 on tickets even with discounts from . 3 days tickets w/ 170 a day at the marriot mountain lodge from hocksnest and youre looking at about 1700 and i would consider beaver run a step up from the mountain lodge and in my opinion the place you stay can make or break a trip.
however, you might consider doing it this way and just book the lodging if theyll still give you the same price as you have control of your flight times this way, which i never underrate. a 6am flight has lots of available seats for a reason.
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