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Winter Park or Loveland? - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
... One could just buy "mini-paks" for 10 resorts, and sample thoughout the year. It would be more expensive, but less than an average pass anywhere else, and a fun adventure....
Not a bad idea for your first season -- even if more expensive, you could visit all the areas and then base your decision for next year's pass on your own experience.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
What about Winter Park or Steamboat? Is overnight lodging easy to find in those areas.

Currently, when we go to Whistler, it's almost impossible to find one or two-night lodging. They have a captive market, and usually insist upon 3 and 5 night minimums.

Is it the same in Colorado?

Obviously it depend on when you go, but generally speaking you can almost always find something.
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
What about Winter Park or Steamboat? Is overnight lodging easy to find in those areas.

Currently, when we go to Whistler, it's almost impossible to find one or two-night lodging. They have a captive market, and usually insist upon 3 and 5 night minimums.

Is it the same in Colorado?
The town of Winter Park has several motels in the $80-$100 range. I normally stay roughly a week at a time but the few times I've needed a single night I haven't had any problems. I'm less familiar with Steamboat but I've stayed at one place in the same price range for one or two nights with no hassles or problems.

A great option in Fraser (five miles from WP) is the Rocky Mountain Inn and Hostel. As hostels go, it's a gem. It's quite clean and has a great kitchen. Also, it's a short walk from the train station and right on the bus line.

Come to think of it though, it's proximity to the train station may not be of any value though as I've read that the return ticket for the Ski Train is only valid the same day you take it up.

HTH,
Chris

Chris
post #34 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks, folks!

We're inspired! $80 to $100 per night is ideal for weekend jaunts. The objective is skiing, not lounging, hot tubbing, or "indoor" Olympics (although, I won't object).

The sheer capacity of Colorado's lodging industry makes one or two-night options more realistic than at Whistler.

I imagine Steamboat may be more like Whistler in this regard - captive audience (perfect for Intrawest). Even there, though, you have a "real" town outside the resort, which increases options.

We appreciate the valuable feedback. See you on the hill!
post #35 of 59
I second Fraser if you are driving especially. (parking is free at Mary Jane) My husband and i have stayed at the Rocky Mountain Inn and Hostel. It used to be a charming B&B called Byers Peak, so it isn't what you might think of when you think Hostel. They have a dorm section, but they also have really nice rooms. and a hot-tub. there are also tons of vrbo.com condo rentals, many available for short stays; many as cheap or cheaper than a hotel room. If you find one you really like, you can probably work a deal with the owners for multiple weekends.
post #36 of 59
Folks, coupla things to mention:

Amtrak also runs from Denver to Fraser on, I think, a daily basis. Considerably cheaper than the Ski Train - but, you don't get the party atmosphere of the Ski Train.

Parking is still free at some lots at the Winter Park base, too.
post #37 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Folks, coupla things to mention:

Amtrak also runs from Denver to Fraser on, I think, a daily basis. Considerably cheaper than the Ski Train - but, you don't get the party atmosphere of the Ski Train.

Parking is still free at some lots at the Winter Park base, too.
Good call! I just checked: $36 round trip with AAA membership. Not bad.

Plus, timing is a more humane with 8:05 am departure, and 10:10 arrival. Fine for us. Also, return is at 5:05, arriving at 8:00 pm.

We may not do this for a day-trip, but it could be ideal for an overnight.

ICSFM: What's your opinion on Winter Park for skiing? I see you're an instructor at Eldora, so you likely have some perspective.
post #38 of 59
Well, my opinion is colored not only by my being an instructor at Eldora, but by also having taught at Winter Park.

Winter Park:
Some of the best beginner terrain in Colorado. Great learning bumps off the Prospector chair. Only a few fixed grip chairs. Pretty darn hard bumps off the Eskimo chair. Front side blue-blacks and blacks that are used for FIS GS races. Then there's Mary Jane - mostly bumps. Plus, great tree runs, with difficulties from easy green to hard black. All the trees at the area are skiable with a few (dangerous) exceptions.
post #39 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Well, my opinion is colored not only by my being an instructor at Eldora, but by also having taught at Winter Park.

Winter Park:
Some of the best beginner terrain in Colorado. Great learning bumps off the Prospector chair. Only a few fixed grip chairs. Pretty darn hard bumps off the Eskimo chair. Front side blue-blacks and blacks that are used for FIS GS races. Then there's Mary Jane - mostly bumps. Plus, great tree runs, with difficulties from easy green to hard black. All the trees at the area are skiable with a few (dangerous) exceptions.
Thanks! That's helpful!

Buying a pass for a place you've never been is always a leap.

But, the downside is limited. It's all white snow, and you can slide on it. How bad can it be?
post #40 of 59
Also to mention- on the WP side, there are LOTS of traverses and catwalks. It seems like you're always pushing uphill to get somewhere.

The MJ side has great vertical and pitch- but there are huge bumps everywhere.
post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Plus, timing is a more humane with 8:05 am departure, and 10:10 arrival. Fine for us. Also, return is at 5:05, arriving at 8:00 pm.
Captain, you need to know. that train, the California Zephyr, is not very often on time arriving in WP and is rarely less than a couple of hours late arriving in Denver. I have waited until after midnight for the eastbound train a few times. It travels from Chicago to Emeryville, CA and back so on its way east it has had to deal with all sorts of delays all through the Rockies. It's nearly always late and frequently very late.

Chris
post #42 of 59

Conserve your speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
Also to mention- on the WP side, there are LOTS of traverses and catwalks. It seems like you're always pushing uphill to get somewhere.

The MJ side has great vertical and pitch- but there are huge bumps everywhere.
Quite true, traverses and long run outs are an issue at WP/MJ. More so than any other mountain I've been to. I've always felt this must be a bummer for snowboarders as they don't have the ability to skate. I've had close to one hundred days there and I can say that the only time I've had to push out of anything was when I got caught in deep powder in a flattish spot. This has happened three or four times.... ski and learn.

To be sure, your gliding and skating skills will be at a premium there. I like to get a fresh wax a little more often than at other places. But pushing uphill? Yeah.... not so much.

Chris
Huge bumps! Yes!
post #43 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
Captain, you need to know. that train, the California Zephyr, is not very often on time arriving in WP and is rarely less than a couple of hours late arriving in Denver. I have waited until after midnight for the eastbound train a few times. It travels from Chicago to Emeryville, CA and back so on its way east it has had to deal with all sorts of delays all through the Rockies. It's nearly always late and frequently very late.

Chris
Chris, thanks for the heads-up.

I forgot, trains in the US regard schedules as an amusing notion. Nothing serious.

And Europeans wonder why we don't use them more?

So much for that romantic idea. :
post #44 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
Also to mention- on the WP side, there are LOTS of traverses and catwalks. It seems like you're always pushing uphill to get somewhere.

The MJ side has great vertical and pitch- but there are huge bumps everywhere.
Good to know!

These are both negs for us. I like bumps once in a while, but I don't love 'em. Flats and traverses also aren't a delight.

Today, I spoke with a guy at Christie sports in Flat Iron Crossing (we're here house-hunting), and he said that drive time to WP/MJ compared to Summit County, is about the same.

If that's the case, it may be just as well to go for resorts down the hill in Summit. The crowds may be worse, but fall-line orientation may better.

It seems like a fair number of people out here ski Loveland, AND they get another pass. Loveland's a nice hill. It sounds like a decent strategy.
post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post

Today, I spoke with a guy at Christie sports in Flat Iron Crossing (we're here house-hunting), and he said that drive time to WP/MJ compared to Summit County, is about the same.

If that's the case, it may be just as well to go for resorts down the hill in Summit. The crowds may be worse, but fall-line orientation may better.

It seems like a fair number of people out here ski Loveland, AND they get another pass. Loveland's a nice hill. It sounds like a decent strategy.
The worst part of the drive from Denver is not the part between Loveland and the Summit resorts, so usually you aren't taking off THAT much time by doing Loveland. Or, let's say it is a more consistent time, ie almost always 15 min to Copper from there, 33 min to Vail, etc.

Unless the traffic problem is caused by weather, and then .... don't forget that Loveland is pretty brutal when the weather is bad. It's high up, exposed, COLD, and WINDY. Great place to ski, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have an option in severe weather.
post #46 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
The worst part of the drive from Denver is not the part between Loveland and the Summit resorts, so usually you aren't taking off THAT much time by doing Loveland.
Sometimes coming back it is, I got stuck on the tunnel approach for almost two hours once.
post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Today, I spoke with a guy at Christie sports in Flat Iron Crossing (we're here house-hunting), and he said that drive time to WP/MJ compared to Summit County, is about the same.
The drive times may be the same with no traffic. However, when dealing with ski traffic, I have found that the trips to WP and back are consistantly quicker than to Summit County.
post #48 of 59
Yes it’s a leap of faith coming in and spending money sight unseen so to speak. However, reading through this entire thread Captain, and for a guy who lives out here, I just learned a few more helpful items. Amazing is the collective Bear intelligence

I will say you can’t go wrong with early investment in any pass or pack or frequent flyer card especially as serious minded skier. For that matter you can almost purchase them all if you ski more than 40 and still find value. That said there is nothing that trumps your own experience especially when you buddy up with Bears from the Front Range, mountain dwellers and, home mountain instructors. You’ll quickly get first hand dope on traffic choke points and side road strategies, parking, lockers, first lifts, overnight lodging, direction significance of mountain face, etc. Certainly your second season will be even more financially astute as you hone in on your particular tastes. Good luck with the move. Look forward to skiing with you!
post #49 of 59

Get 'em all

If you're a newcomer why limit yourself, get both (RMSP & Loveland) and give them all a try. If I lived out there I would add the Colorado Pass (Vail Resorts) too. It will cost probably $ 90 plus to buy a daily lift ticket at any of these resorts next year (except for Loveland which is still $ 50 plus), so for under $ 1,000 you have the whole thing paid for if you ski 5 times at each resort group. That's a deal and a half compared to season pass prices anywhere else in the country. Plus you can buy reduced price tix for friends and family. And finally, you avoid having to take sides on the whole Vail Resorts vs. Intrawest thing they have going on in Colorado (trust me, it's like the Republican/Democrat thing in the rest of the country).
post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
Sometimes coming back it is, I got stuck on the tunnel approach for almost two hours once.
THat's true -- obviously, depending on a major weather or traffic incident, any part can be awful. And we usually avoid coming back in "rush hour," as well, leaving either earlier than 2:30 or later than 7.

But on a "normal" day with normal delays, once you get through the tunnel, you're in good shape. (The Interstate widens, doesn't it? You also lose a few drivers to Loveland and Loveland Pass, etc.)
post #51 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
The worst part of the drive from Denver is not the part between Loveland and the Summit resorts, so usually you aren't taking off THAT much time by doing Loveland. Or, let's say it is a more consistent time, ie almost always 15 min to Copper from there, 33 min to Vail, etc.

Unless the traffic problem is caused by weather, and then .... don't forget that Loveland is pretty brutal when the weather is bad. It's high up, exposed, COLD, and WINDY. Great place to ski, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have an option in severe weather.
I didn't realize the differential from Lovelend to Summit was that little. Good to know!

I like Loveland, but I've heard others make similar remarks regarding sometimes tough, winter weather.

These remarks have been valuable, and have influenced our decision. We're now leaning towards the Colorado Pass. It'll have downsides too (mostly crowds at Keystone and Breck - although Copper's not much better). We'll likely take the plunge tomorrow, while we're here.
post #52 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
THat's true -- obviously, depending on a major weather or traffic incident, any part can be awful. And we usually avoid coming back in "rush hour," as well, leaving either earlier than 2:30 or later than 7.

But on a "normal" day with normal delays, once you get through the tunnel, you're in good shape. (The Interstate widens, doesn't it? You also lose a few drivers to Loveland and Loveland Pass, etc.)
Provided we get leave Boulder at a decent hour, a 2:30 departure is mandatory.

I'd rather be doing my Sunday night laundry, than sitting in the E. Tunnel.

We'll likely save Vail and BeaverCreek for overnight stays. Hopefully, we'll find a few good rates on VRBO.
post #53 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj View Post
If you're a newcomer why limit yourself, get both (RMSP & Loveland) and give them all a try. If I lived out there I would add the Colorado Pass (Vail Resorts) too. It will cost probably $ 90 plus to buy a daily lift ticket at any of these resorts next year (except for Loveland which is still $ 50 plus), so for under $ 1,000 you have the whole thing paid for if you ski 5 times at each resort group. That's a deal and a half compared to season pass prices anywhere else in the country. Plus you can buy reduced price tix for friends and family. And finally, you avoid having to take sides on the whole Vail Resorts vs. Intrawest thing they have going on in Colorado (trust me, it's like the Republican/Democrat thing in the rest of the country).
You can't argue with the wisdom of a Viking - our they'll set you straight (I guess I'm one too - being born in Denmark - but a friendly one).

I've love to get EVERY pass: Eldora, Loveland, Colorado and RMSP. But, as much as wiffy poo loves skiing, she's maintains an eagle-eye on finances. Without her, I'd be financially destitute (but with the best quiver in Colorado ).

As in Business, it's all about choices; what you're willing to give-up for what return.

At this point, the Colorado Pass has the inside lane. I'm sure Vail is doing gleeful backflips at the prospect.
post #54 of 59
Cap'n

You can manage the lift lines quite nicely at Breck for a modest fee -- $159 this year bought you unlimited thurs-sunday lessons at Breck, which was worth the price for no other reason than the ability to bypass the lift lines. The instructors are quite good as well. And the level 9 classes will challenge any of you. Much recommended.

Mike
post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post
Cap'n

You can manage the lift lines quite nicely at Breck for a modest fee -- $159 this year bought you unlimited thurs-sunday lessons at Breck, which was worth the price for no other reason than the ability to bypass the lift lines. The instructors are quite good as well. And the level 9 classes will challenge any of you. Much recommended.

Mike
Mike: If that option is offered - we'll take it! My wife loves lessons (anything that's social, and structured).

In my case, I'd enjoy lessons from a savvy instructor, and I don't mind the group experience. Anyone can benefit from pointers. Unless you're focusing on one or two points each run, you're standing still. .

Cutting lift-lines is well worth the price. You can't do much about the bodies on the hill. But, if you can avoid the swarm at the bottom, it's not all bad.
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
You can't argue with the wisdom of a Viking - our they'll set you straight (I guess I'm one too - being born in Denmark - but a friendly one).

I've love to get EVERY pass: Eldora, Loveland, Colorado and RMSP. But, as much as wiffy poo loves skiing, she's maintains an eagle-eye on finances. Without her, I'd be financially destitute (but with the best quiver in Colorado ).

As in Business, it's all about choices; what you're willing to give-up for what return.

At this point, the Colorado Pass has the inside lane. I'm sure Vail is doing gleeful backflips at the prospect.
I live in central NJ, but at the prices they offer tix at in Colorado there is no comparison if you really like to ski. And I am careful about what I spend too. At $419 for five mountains at Vail Resorts versus $ 349 for one at Intrawest, there was no contest for me, I went for the Colorado pass for next year. As Brooklyntrayc noted, the Loveland card is a good addition if you only plan to ski there occasionally, since it basically pays for itself if you ski there once. Finally, I think the sleeper for next year is going to be A-basin if they can get that new lift open, which is another advantage with the Colorado Pass.
post #57 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj View Post
I live in central NJ, but at the prices they offer tix at in Colorado there is no comparison if you really like to ski. And I am careful about what I spend too. At $419 for five mountains at Vail Resorts versus $ 349 for one at Intrawest, there was no contest for me, I went for the Colorado pass for next year. As Brooklyntrayc noted, the Loveland card is a good addition if you only plan to ski there occasionally, since it basically pays for itself if you ski there once. Finally, I think the sleeper for next year is going to be A-basin if they can get that new lift open, which is another advantage with the Colorado Pass.
Viking: I agree with your points.

We picked up our Colorado passes today in Boulder. We're also looking forward to the A-Basin expansion. It should be a nice, low-traffic, alternative to Breck and Keystone.

We'll also buy the Loveland card. It'll pay for itself in November alone.

All in all, not too shabby for 6 great Colorado resorts!
post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Viking: I agree with your points.

We picked up our Colorado passes today in Boulder. We're also looking forward to the A-Basin expansion. It should be a nice, low-traffic, alternative to Breck and Keystone.

We'll also buy the Loveland card. It'll pay for itself in November alone.

All in all, not too shabby for 6 great Colorado resorts!
Excellent choice, you will not be dissapointed. So now we need to discuss an on-the-hill herring fest for next year (and don't forget the Carlsberg, those fish like to swim...)
post #59 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj View Post
Excellent choice, you will not be dissapointed. So now we need to discuss an on-the-hill herring fest for next year (and don't forget the Carlsberg, those fish like to swim...)
Deal!

I was trained in this (to some degree) by my parents. Schnapps (rocket fuel) is also included!
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