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Best resort near Denver

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Fellow Bears

My last post you helped me pick Grand Targhee for a vacation i'm planning end of jan start Feb now i need your help again.I have a business trip at start of Jan in Denver . I can tag on a long weekend for a bit of skiing but which resort?

I want to be nearish Denver so that i don't have to hire a car and for the same reason want to stay right next to a lift and walking distance to the Nightlife.I need a resort that has some easy confidence building skiing as i'll have a guy with me who's only got two weeks experience ,but then i want some good runs and off piste areas as i'm an accomplished skier .Would be good to have a resort where my colleauge could take the easy way down the mountain but we could both meet at the same place at the bottom.Nightlife is important as we'll want to rip it up a bit in the evenings . Cost is fairly unimportant thanks to the dollar/uk exchange rate

So guys which is it? There is a bewildering choice and i need it cut down to two or three Help!
post #2 of 21
A key statement you made is "don't have to hire a car." Unfortunately, there is not really inexpensive bus service from Denver to the major ski areas. For the two of you it will be cheaper to hire a small car for 2 or 3 days than to get shuttle service - ~$150 vs ~$250. Once you take the step of hiring a car it opens up a lot of options, many good places within about 2.5 hrs of Denver with a little extra freedom of movement that comes with having your own wheels. Best for your scenario are probably Vail and Breckenridge.

Just noticed you said cost is no object, in that case if you want to avoid car rental and let someone else do the driving believe you can use google to find shuttle service from Denver/DIA to Summit County (Breckenridge) or Vail/Beaver Creek areas for ~$250 total for both of you.
post #3 of 21
the shuttle service is CME (Colorado Mountain Express) for both Summit County (Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain) and for Vail (Vail and Beaver Creek). For Winter Park it is Home James for Winter Park and Sol Vista.

However, asking for which ski resort nearish to Denver is the best is like asking for opinions on the best single malt Scotch.
post #4 of 21
Both of you ending up at the same place at the bottom is tricky. for many of these places, you will want to be on the 'back side' or another peak from your friend. You should consider having your pal go to ski school and then meet for some easy runs in the afternoon when he/she can show you their progress. You can study the trail maps on line too.

Everyone has their 'favorite' resort near Denver and asking which is best could cause quite a cat-fight around here.

Look at the threads for the best season pass and Loveland vs Winter Park. You can read the debates and see for yourself what some of the characteristics of the assorted mountains are.

Winter Park is not going to have the nightlife you seek and Loveland and A-Basin do not have slopeside lodging. So eliminate those and have fun perusing the rest
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks so far guys-

yes i am going to use a shuttle had looked that up as really dont fancy hiring a car.nd Mom your right about getting my mate to go to ski school it will allow me thave more fun.

But everyone s being a bit coy- at the risk of causing a major cat fight come on give me your favorite resorts and a short reason why. It's better to get your opinions then just read up on it
post #6 of 21
it's not that people are necessarily being coy...there are 10 ski areas within reasonable driving time for daytripping from Denver and/or the 'burbs. Many (if not most) of the locals will ski at many different areas during the course of the year. For bumps and trees, I'll go to Winter Park. For nightlife, Breckenridge or Vail (but I don't consider the skiing really up to Winter Park's quality). Exclusivity: Beaver Creek. Snowboarding parks: Breck or Keystone.

Tell us more about what kind of terrain you're looking for.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
cheers , don't like bumps but do like trees - so i'll check out winter park and Vail sounds good as it seems to have alot of easy groomers which would be good for my mate.

Cananyone tell me how your piste ratings compare to the european system.

we have Blue - easy
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
cheers , don't like bumps but do like trees - so i'll check out winter park and Vail sounds good as it seems to have alot of easy groomers which would be good for my mate.

Can anyone tell me how your piste ratings compare to the european system.

we have Blue - easy/ red - difficult/intermediate and Black - expert

i see by most of the trail maps i've looked at that you have green , blue ,black then black diamond etc

is black the equivilant of european red?
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
I want to be nearish Denver .... Nightlife
Breck or Vail (to be fair, I have never sampled Winter Park's nightlife, but I hear it is on the quiet side)
Keystone, Copper Mountain and Beaver Creek are not big resorts for nightlife.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks Martin

I think Vail it is - i use to watch you when i was a teenager on ski sunday , what are you up to now? I like the new look ski sunday that your brother presents - breathed some new life into the show
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
just seen your website link i'll check it out
post #12 of 21
Vail will have your nightlife. Any kind you want, pretty much. It also has a pedestrian village and good public transport. It is not a particularly steep mountain, but the back bowls will give you plenty of not too bumpy choices and Blue Sky Basin has some nice un-groomed tree runs. All will make you feel like a hero. There are lots and lots of cruisers.

Trail ratings compare within a resort and do not necessarily compare between resorts. (a black at Vail may be a blue/black at Mary Jane.)

Generally they are Green (circle) = easy; Blue (square) = intermediate; Black (one diamond) = expert; and Double black (two diamonds) = extreme terrain. Some resort double blacks may require hiking, include mandatory air and various 'features' and will scare you silly; some are just slightly harder black runs. You have to sort of determine that by skiing the easier terrain and making a judgment call.
post #13 of 21
I put in a strong vote for Vail.
1) abundant terrain at wide range of ability levels
2) Early January timing means the expert stuff might not be covered in some Colorado areas. Since Vail gets more snow than most, your odds are better.

Only drawback might be cost, but you said that's not an issue.

Purely for snow, Steamboat is probably best on average at that time but it's farther from Denver.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone !

Vail it is - I like "hero" skiing especially when it's just for a long weekend and i'm suffering with a hangover! The easier groomers should be good fun for my colleauge too.

Thanks Bears !
post #15 of 21
Have fun. Another plus for Vail over Breckenridge in this scenario is lower base at ~8000 vs 9600' for Breck. This helps ease the adjustment to elevation, which can be an issue especially for short term visits.
post #16 of 21
If you're going to be at Vail, you should consider skipping out on the crowds one day and go to Beaver Creek. No crowds, awesome snow, great tree skiing, and did I mention no crowds? BC terrain is significantly underrated.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
beaver creek is very near so i don't mind trying it for a day- i've seen some photos and it looks like it has some good cruisers which if uncrowded as you said would make them good fast carving runs .Booked my flights today and will be there for 5 days from the 16th Jan - would be great to meet up with some local Bears so will post just before i go to try and get a group of like minded skiers together!
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
will post just before i go to try and get a group of like minded skiers together!
Please do! I'm targeting a return to skiing sometime around December, and should hopefully be able to meet up in January.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
no problem - have put a reminder in my outlook to post at beginning of september. Will hopefully meet up with a group of you - my friend is from Ireland and myself English ,both 30 somethings. We ski at different levels him beginner , me advanced so it would be nice to get a mixed group together.Then if any of you want to tear up the town with us in the evening....... we can show you a think or two about Partying , the Irish are known for it and i think my mate treats it as an Olympic discipline because he takes his partying very seriously!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
beaver creek is very near so i don't mind trying it for a day- i've seen some photos and it looks like it has some good cruisers which if uncrowded as you said would make them good fast carving runs .Booked my flights today and will be there for 5 days from the 16th Jan - would be great to meet up with some local Bears so will post just before i go to try and get a group of like minded skiers together!

Well, I don't know about the cruisers... I try to stay off of those.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
Well, I don't know about the cruisers... I try to stay off of those.

Ha Ha i get it ...i know what you Yankees mean about cruisers- well i suppose i'd better be careful and not try to bum a fag when i'm in Vail( in England "bum a fag" is a phrase we use when we want to get a cigarette from someone we don't know ,as in , "can i bum a fag mate?") .Good job i don't smoke!
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