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Which Resort? -- 3 Weeks in January w/Family

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm planning a 3-week trip in January (starting after New Year's week) with my family and am looking for some advice as to where to go. My wife and I are both in our 30's. We have two kids -- 3.5 yrs and 1 yr. This will be the first time that our older one is on skis (and my goal is that she just have a good time with it).

I've skied my whole life and am a Level 7 skier. My wife is a beginner. Over the past few years, we've been to Taos, Telluride and Sun Valley (tried to choose places w/soul to introduce my wife to the sport). Of the three, my wife liked SV best -- combination of being very comfortable on Dollar and had a really good instructor.

For this trip, we'd ideally be at a place with: great kids' program for my daughter (lessons and activities); lots of greens easing into blues for my wife (no 'gaps' as she progresses); size/diversity for me (keep things interesting over what, for me at least, is an insanely long trip (which I mean in a good way )); a fun town for walking around, dinner, ice skating, more mellow things like that; and, of course, good snow.

Does anything come to mind? My initial thoughts were Steamboat, Snowmass/Aspen and Vail/BC though I haven't been to any of them (other than Vail for a couple of days almost 20 years ago). Steamboat appeals to me in concept -- mellow town, great snow, great kids' programs -- but not sure whether it'd feel small after a week or so. Snowmass/Aspen sounds great too but wonder if snow is iffy that time of year.

Does anything else come to mind? We'll be coming from Seattle, so have much flexibility in Western US/Canada.

Also, if we wanted to hold off on booking in order to see how the season is progressing snow-wise, any thoughts as to how long we should wait?

Thanks for any advice/insight.
post #2 of 7
my first thought was Deer Valley/Park City. There is much to do within the SLC skiing area and Deer Valley has a top notch kids program. Looking at your timeframe though you will be cutting into Sundance which will greatly increase your lodging price plus your ability to enjoy the Park City area with ease with children that age. The slopes are dead but the streets are so crowded. Getting to the grocery was a pain.

We loved Vail and their ski program but they were so expensive (in terms of close lodging) and frankly I don't think the people who work around the area were nice and helpful. Plus, parking was a nightmare. Shuttle was good though.

With our young children we rented a car. The logistics for us in the morning of unloading all the stuff that goes along with them (extra clothes, diapers etc) at the front in the morning vs taking the free shuttle was much easier. Then my husband or myself would go park the car.

In terms of snow, we have always gone the 2nd week of January and haven't had a problem with either Vail, DV or Alta.

I hope this helps a little.
post #3 of 7
You can't go wrong with any of those choices. If it was me in your situation....I'd rank them this way


The terrain and snow should be comparable across all of them for your levels with the likelihood of a big dump a little greater at the Boat.

In terms of town, I think the Boat wins hands down but some might prefer Aspen.
post #4 of 7
Jackson Hole could be good. There is good beginner/intermediate terrain there. There are alos other things to do like going to Yellowstone, checking out the Elk, side trip to Targhee, etc.
post #5 of 7
banff meets all your needs
post #6 of 7
Why not Summit County?
You'd need a car but for three weeks just drive here.
Does the cost of three weeks of lift tickets at tourist prices cause a problem? Get here between now and early Nov and buy a Vail Resorts pass. For around $350 per adult you can ski as much as you want with 10 days at Vail/BC.
Variety? Five mountains to choose from. Plenty of easy green/blue and lots for a level 7 too at all of them, except A basin which is somewhat lacking for easy skiing.
Other activities? Too many to count.
Lots of VRBO deals for lodging.
post #7 of 7
All of these suggestions are good. I'd think for 3 weeks that diversity would be the biggest criteria. I'd want to go somewhere with at least 4 mountains close by. I'd go pretty nuts in Steamboat for 3 weeks. It's a great hill, but I can't ski it more than a few days in a row. It also doesn't have the best green/blue terrain. Vail/BC is ok, but the price/convenience of lodging isn't worth it. Aspen is a great choice if you can afford the lodging that long - if the lodging costs were the same between Aspen and Vail I'd choose Vail.

The comments about Park City are right. Cutting into Sundance you'll want to avoid those crowds. You could do that by relocating that week to Salt Lake City and skiing somewhere else in the area. Snowbasin? Never been there, but it might fit the bill.

No one mentioned Tahoe yet. I'll throw it out there for someone else to shoot down.

Summit Co's conditions are fairly predictable for that time of year and it's a solid choice if you've never been there. The week's you're there are some of the slowest of the winter (relatively speaking.)
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