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Drive Time: Loveland vs. Summit County?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
We're moving to Broomfield, Colorado in about 2 weeks, and had to make some ski pass choices.

We previously purchased Colorado Passes (Vail's 5 resorts) this summer.

However, after reading reports herein of horrific I-70 traffic snarls between Denver and Summit County (sometimes 3 hours or more?), we elected to break the piggy and also buy passes to Loveland.

Exhibiting my usual hindsight genius :, I checked Google Map after making the purchase, and noticed there's not a huge difference in distance between Loveland the the Summit County resorts.

Is there really much difference in drive time between Denver and Loveland vs. Denver to Summit?
post #2 of 22
On clear roads A-Basin or Copper is another 20 min. On bad roads you may only get to Loveland. Things usually start to get funky around Georgetown. By the way, Loveland gets the most snow in the front range (avg 400") and is second only to Wolf Creek in Colorado for the most snow. Loveland is prone however, to wind and low visibility.
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
...

Is there really much difference in drive time between Denver and Loveland vs. Denver to Summit?
There can be. Even with clear roads there's always the chance accidents will be causing backups. Weekends, obviously, are the worst. I live near Broomfield (36 and 104th) and if we leave after 6:30 or 7:00 on a Saturday it'll typically take 1:30 or more just to get to Loveland. Leaving early enough or on weekdays, however, and I can be walking to the lifts at Loveland within 45 minutes after leaving my front door.

The Loveland pass is a good idea. We did that plus the 5 mountain pass for a few years. The last couple seasons, though, we skipped the Vail pass and went with just Loveland and the 4 or 7 day Aspen classic pass. There were just too many times we'd drive past Loveland, seeing plenty of fresh snow, only to find nothing new at Vail or Breck. I haven't missed Vail, Breck, etc., at all. Once you get to know Loveland you'll have a blast.

cheers.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcahill View Post
On clear roads A-Basin or Copper is another 20 min. On bad roads you may only get to Loveland. Things usually start to get funky around Georgetown. By the way, Loveland gets the most snow in the front range (avg 400") and is second only to Wolf Creek in Colorado for the most snow. Loveland is prone however, to wind and low visibility.
This is what others said, and why we sprang for the additional passes. Some claim traffic from the tunnel onwards is the worst.

If so, I'll happily take 400 inches along with wind and fog over inching along the highway.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallen View Post
There can be. Even with clear roads there's always the chance accidents will be causing backups. Weekends, obviously, are the worst. I live near Broomfield (36 and 104th) and if we leave after 6:30 or 7:00 on a Saturday it'll typically take 1:30 or more just to get to Loveland. Leaving early enough or on weekdays, however, and I can be walking to the lifts at Loveland within 45 minutes after leaving my front door.

The Loveland pass is a good idea. We did that plus the 5 mountain pass for a few years. The last couple seasons, though, we skipped the Vail pass and went with just Loveland and the 4 or 7 day Aspen classic pass. There were just too many times we'd drive past Loveland, seeing plenty of fresh snow, only to find nothing new at Vail or Breck. I haven't missed Vail, Breck, etc., at all. Once you get to know Loveland you'll have a blast.

cheers.
Now you're making me feel wise (that's not easy).

In the future, we may follow your footsteps and just hang with Loveland. For now, the whiffy (wife) wants to check-out the glam resorts and add to her ski resume.

It's possible we'll find traffic and lift-lines too high a price to pay for the Vail resorts.

I look forward to mastering Loveland's trail map and learning a few powder haunts. See you on the hill
post #6 of 22
Sometimes the traffic backs up from the tunnel down to Silverthorne and westward. Being at Loveland you at least miss that portion of the traffic. You can usually hang out at either the Rathskeller at the Basin or the Fireside Lounge at the Valley till 6 PM and tell stories.
post #7 of 22
Loveland although being a kinda of flat ski area in places, is still super fun, plus the crowds do not go there. I would buy a pass there if I lived in Colorado over the 5 mountains pass. Might still get the 5 mountains pass but woudl get loveland first.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm feeling vindicated.

Regardless of actual distance, drive-time appears to be the key criteria. By this standard, plus general crowd-aversion, the added Loveland pass may be justified.

I'm also looking forward to trying A-Basin, a resort I've never skied. The reputation appeals to me, as does the new "Zuma" terrain (80% increase this year).

Sometimes a late departure is fine. I'd rather be hoisting a few at the end of a great day, than inhaling car exhaust.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
I'm feeling vindicated.

Regardless of actual distance, drive-time appears to be the key criteria. By this standard, plus general crowd-aversion, the added Loveland pass may be justified.

I'm also looking forward to trying A-Basin, a resort I've never skied. The reputation appeals to me, as does the new "Zuma" terrain (80% increase this year).
hmmm...Ready?

Notwithstanding weekday skiing or the tricks of side and access roads to minimize the problem; a small traffic relief is offset by other issues for Loveland as is for any winter ski location. All part of larger corridor traffic issues including summertime trails & streams visits and fall views & hunts. It is what it is which is a mess. [Note that winter driving congestion can be view by some as a welcome relief to summer snarls]

Admittedly, while Loveland and A-Basin marketing departments pitch radio spots on 850 or 950 promoting less traffic concerns, the reality is you pay for it the moment you hit jammed parking lot slogs and overflow vehicle towing. Conditions can deteriorate quickly with I-70 tunnel issues [Avalanche clearing, Hazmat closure, Tunnel venting] and/or hwy 40 Berthoud pass closure bringing the Winter Park day sailors into Love as well. You may also add to this the ‘back way’ or 6 bypass travel option for Keystone or Breckenridge or onto hwy 9 access slow looping over to I-70 Copper or Vail [we'll call this the perfect storm]. Return traffic; sure you can get a jump this side of the tunnel and merge from hwy 6 [btw, get up to speed and hope for a gap with downhill charging semi’s] at 2:30 PM…but it makes less difference as you hit the stop zones of Winter Park return at hwy 40 or Georgetown or Dumont or Idaho Springs with the ‘watch out it’s a curve panic’ crawl… regardless of time of day. Yes, while you have avoided the Dillon side of the tunnel time, remember, most of the day sailors are having something to eat and drink while watching dude play harmonica and guitar in a bar that sits more than a dozen people. Of course CDOT is doing a better ‘real time’ job of traffic alerts and ‘time-to-destination points’ with it’s overhead signage for both coming and going, but ultimately it only confirms what you already have reasoned…which is…you need to purchase one of those containers that truckers use…both a male and female version.

As for skiing at Loveland with the on slope ‘traffic-avoidance’ crowd during the perfect storm, well, it’s truly something to witness especially over on lift 4 and it’s two seat narrow ramp address as the mob funnels in. Survival of the fittest with mob rule governing best describes the crowd as size does matter in this case. Loveland is just not well equipped for a large scale assault, and you pay a greater price in a lift line than you do with the mega’s. The lift operators are great kids…but do not carry a weapon or wear a badge and would just a soon otherwise disappear as pulling dude’s lift ticket which is tantamount to pressing the nuclear button…it’s just not going to happen.

Is it windy today? [That’s Loveland wind mind you] Yikes, now you have lifts 2 and 8 traveling at 2/3 capacity [top of lift 4 shut down] and perhaps a decision to close lift 9 and the ridge imminent. Of course everyone turns to lift 1 and tree protection but now the lift is slowed just to deal with the off-load backup clogging from the warming hut. Of course a last resort is heading back to the lodge as a option. However, this requires you’ve had someone managing a stake in chair/table property all day [just parking your ski bag doesn’t work in volume crisis mode].

Moral; traffic issues elsewhere have their impact at Loveland as well as A-Basin regardless of proximity. Of course the real benefit for those Bears who ski Loveland and/or A-Basin is not a traffic advantage but rather a ‘vibe’ and intimacy that comes with a smaller hill that the mega’s and their many attractions and conveniences don’t provide.

Certainly the wild card will be A-Basin this season as you’ve parroted the marketing department’s 80% increase in terrain ad slicks [In fact the skiable terrain in Montezuma is greater than advertised 80% if you include the non-lift served which has been skied by many for years, with some hard work]. With Zuma lift providing service to a large portion of that area coupled with last seasons Black [mid] Mountain lodge could change the vibe of A-Basin that many have grown to know. We’ll see. Outside of ‘vibe’ concerns [and back to our traffic report] is the new traffic volume and parking. For example, it will be interesting the impact Loveland skiers will find as they try to exit parking merging with the A-Basin downhill charging homeward crowd at the curve. Otherwise, here’s hoping for a short ‘weeding out' period of excitement with the lift expanded Basin.
post #10 of 22
Captain S, my Scandinavian bredren!

Now you have no excuse for not attending at least a few days of LGCIV!



Loveland is sweet. I've ridden there now twice on my own (after people bailed on me to go to other resorts) and have had a blast just meandering around the hill. Very mellow, OG locals vibe, which is cool. Absolutely no pretense whatsoever. And while I don't live in Denver or travel the 1-70 route as much as others, I made it to Loveland from Invesco Field in well under 45 minutes on a clear day with minimal traffic (I believe it was Martin Luthor King Jr. Day)
post #11 of 22
Where you will benefit is when Loveland Pass (Not the ski area, but the actual pass above the area) is closed, hazmat trucks must go through the tunnel. At those times, the tunnel is periodically closed to other traffic (can't remember if it's every 30 min or every hr), which can exponentially increase the drive time to/from summit county. Those are the times you'll be glad to have the Loveland pass.
post #12 of 22
Loveland is easy to get to and you don't have to worry about bus-loads of of tourist wearing Dallas Cowboy and Kansas City Chief Starter jackets.

My wife and I get the weekday pass ($219) at Loveland and there are no blackout dates. We jet up there after we drop our daughter off at school. It is empty on weekdays, and they seem to get snow most nights, so there is always a few inches of fresh. They also have wireless in the lodge and sometimes my wife manages to get some work done.

The Loveland 4-pass is only $99 (no blackouts) and it can be used by multiple people on the same day. It is the cheapest, most flexible 4-pass around.

We like to chase the good powder, so we stock up on coupons to other resorts. If the snow is worth it at another resort... we'll pay!!!
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
hmmm...Ready?

Notwithstanding weekday skiing or the tricks of side and access roads to minimize the problem; a small traffic relief is offset by other issues for Loveland as is for any winter ski location. All part of larger corridor traffic issues including summertime trails & streams visits and fall views & hunts. It is what it is which is a mess. [Note that winter driving congestion can be view by some as a welcome relief to summer snarls]

Admittedly, while Loveland and A-Basin marketing departments pitch radio spots on 850 or 950 promoting less traffic concerns, the reality is you pay for it the moment you hit jammed parking lot slogs and overflow vehicle towing. Conditions can deteriorate quickly with I-70 tunnel issues [Avalanche clearing, Hazmat closure, Tunnel venting] and/or hwy 40 Berthoud pass closure bringing the Winter Park day sailors into Love as well. You may also add to this the ‘back way’ or 6 bypass travel option for Keystone or Breckenridge or onto hwy 9 access slow looping over to I-70 Copper or Vail [we'll call this the perfect storm]. Return traffic; sure you can get a jump this side of the tunnel and merge from hwy 6 [btw, get up to speed and hope for a gap with downhill charging semi’s] at 2:30 PM…but it makes less difference as you hit the stop zones of Winter Park return at hwy 40 or Georgetown or Dumont or Idaho Springs with the ‘watch out it’s a curve panic’ crawl… regardless of time of day. Yes, while you have avoided the Dillon side of the tunnel time, remember, most of the day sailors are having something to eat and drink while watching dude play harmonica and guitar in a bar that sits more than a dozen people. Of course CDOT is doing a better ‘real time’ job of traffic alerts and ‘time-to-destination points’ with it’s overhead signage for both coming and going, but ultimately it only confirms what you already have reasoned…which is…you need to purchase one of those containers that truckers use…both a male and female version.

As for skiing at Loveland with the on slope ‘traffic-avoidance’ crowd during the perfect storm, well, it’s truly something to witness especially over on lift 4 and it’s two seat narrow ramp address as the mob funnels in. Survival of the fittest with mob rule governing best describes the crowd as size does matter in this case. Loveland is just not well equipped for a large scale assault, and you pay a greater price in a lift line than you do with the mega’s. The lift operators are great kids…but do not carry a weapon or wear a badge and would just a soon otherwise disappear as pulling dude’s lift ticket which is tantamount to pressing the nuclear button…it’s just not going to happen.

Is it windy today? [That’s Loveland wind mind you] Yikes, now you have lifts 2 and 8 traveling at 2/3 capacity [top of lift 4 shut down] and perhaps a decision to close lift 9 and the ridge imminent. Of course everyone turns to lift 1 and tree protection but now the lift is slowed just to deal with the off-load backup clogging from the warming hut. Of course a last resort is heading back to the lodge as a option. However, this requires you’ve had someone managing a stake in chair/table property all day [just parking your ski bag doesn’t work in volume crisis mode].

Moral; traffic issues elsewhere have their impact at Loveland as well as A-Basin regardless of proximity. Of course the real benefit for those Bears who ski Loveland and/or A-Basin is not a traffic advantage but rather a ‘vibe’ and intimacy that comes with a smaller hill that the mega’s and their many attractions and conveniences don’t provide.

Certainly the wild card will be A-Basin this season as you’ve parroted the marketing department’s 80% increase in terrain ad slicks [In fact the skiable terrain in Montezuma is greater than advertised 80% if you include the non-lift served which has been skied by many for years, with some hard work]. With Zuma lift providing service to a large portion of that area coupled with last seasons Black [mid] Mountain lodge could change the vibe of A-Basin that many have grown to know. We’ll see. Outside of ‘vibe’ concerns [and back to our traffic report] is the new traffic volume and parking. For example, it will be interesting the impact Loveland skiers will find as they try to exit parking merging with the A-Basin downhill charging homeward crowd at the curve. Otherwise, here’s hoping for a short ‘weeding out' period of excitement with the lift expanded Basin.
Makes me feel like taking-up lawn bowling.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Captain S, my Scandinavian bredren!

Now you have no excuse for not attending at least a few days of LGCIV!



Loveland is sweet. I've ridden there now twice on my own (after people bailed on me to go to other resorts) and have had a blast just meandering around the hill. Very mellow, OG locals vibe, which is cool. Absolutely no pretense whatsoever. And while I don't live in Denver or travel the 1-70 route as much as others, I made it to Loveland from Invesco Field in well under 45 minutes on a clear day with minimal traffic (I believe it was Martin Luthor King Jr. Day)
Another Nordic Sailor!

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the "down-home" vibe of Loveland and The Basin. I can already smell the patchouli oil.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Makes me feel like taking-up lawn bowling.
Perfect We carry our Bocce Ball set with us for those side road games when at standstill. Seriously, Loveland is a great purchase and you’ll find skiing there is like having a playground in your back yard. A nice shop, great folks and Patrol all who are excited you’ve come to ski. They’ve been working on the parking lot and have upgraded chair 2. Another horse race with A-Basin on who will open first. My money is on Loveland this year. See you on chair 1 Captain.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
40 Berthoud pass closure bringing the Winter Park day sailors into Love as well.
I was a Loveland day sailor before becoming a Winter Park one. I sometimes still get the employee discount. It sure was nice seeing everyone again in SS and SP at the closing day party. I look forward to seeing everyone this coming season. Loveland does promote a wonderful family community.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
I was a Loveland day sailor before becoming a Winter Park one.
LOL
I just noticed the 'day sailor' ref. I must have had you subconsciously on the mind. Look forward to a ski whichya...the snow is showing its pretty color already...
post #18 of 22

just some math

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
However, after reading reports herein of horrific I-70 traffic snarls between Denver and Summit County (sometimes 3 hours or more?), we elected to break the piggy and also buy passes to Loveland.
A Loveland 4-pack cost $109. $27 a day.

A Loveland Season Pass $319. You need to ski 12 days to break even.

Loveland is good, but not 12 days good. Probably should just buy a few 4-packs and NOT passes.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc View Post
A Loveland 4-pack cost $109. $27 a day.

A Loveland Season Pass $319. You need to ski 12 days to break even.

Loveland is good, but not 12 days good. Probably should just buy a few 4-packs and NOT passes.
We seriously considered this option. But, we plan on 40+ days of skiing this year. Loveland opens early (October?) and closes late, so I figuered we'd ski 6 days there before most other lifts opened, or after they closed.

Add to that, #6 bypass closures for Hazmat trucks, tunnel back-up due to weather, and tourist overload in Summit during the holiday season, and we concluded Loveland's pass was reasonable ski-insurance.
post #20 of 22
Proud owner of a Loveland 4pack and an Abasin bonus pass this season and I'm from VIRGINIA.

You'll love both areas and the minor traffic relief Loveland offers. You'll also love the rest of the areas readily accessible to you. I've only been a regular Colorado skier for 2 seasons, but I like every area I've been to and I've been to all of them from Beaver Creek east except Eldora and Ski Cooper. I like some more than others, but like them all I do.

Hope we get to ski together this season!
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post
Proud owner of a Loveland 4pack and an Abasin bonus pass this season and I'm from VIRGINIA.

You'll love both areas and the minor traffic relief Loveland offers. You'll also love the rest of the areas readily accessible to you. I've only been a regular Colorado skier for 2 seasons, but I like every area I've been to and I've been to all of them from Beaver Creek east except Eldora and Ski Cooper. I like some more than others, but like them all I do.

Hope we get to ski together this season!
Here's a man with a good attitude.

A "Glass half full" viewpoint renders life a much more pleasant trip.
post #22 of 22
The wife and I have the Super Pass, but always manage about 4-8 days at Loveland. Early, Late, and Spring Break when Winter Park and Copper become part of North Texas. I always have a great time and wonder why I do not do more days there.
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