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Are the resorts in Colorado crowded on the weekends?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Two friends and I are planning to go to Colorado (fly into Denver) around the second week of January. We have two options to give us 3 days of skiing:

#1: Jan 14-18 (mon-fri)
#2 Jan 11-15 (fri-tues)

With option 2, we would be doing most of our skiing over the weekend, but it would allow us to save some vacation time at work. My question is, what are the resorts like on the weekends? Long lift lines? Dangerously crowded? Because that's what it's like here (Virginia). I don't even bother going to Wintergreen or Snowshoe on the weekends because it's just a waste of money.

Since this is our first trip out west, I don't want it to be unpleasant due to crowds or long lift lines.

Also, what resorts should we hit up and where should we stay in Summit Co.? Best just to rent a condo from a private owner? Any package deals with lift tickets and lodging? Was thinking of hitting Vail, Breck, and Keystone on different days. Bad/good idea?

Help a noob out,
Thanks!
post #2 of 11
Well both those dates fall over MLK weekend which is definitely a busier weekend. You will experience some crowding, but nothing like what you are seeing on the ice coast.

If you are staying in Summit, Breckenridge would probably be a good place for your first time out west, a decent town and mountain. Otherwise Silverthorne or Dillon. Staying in Summit you can hit up a variety of places - the places you mention should all be fine. Check out www.vrbo.com.

Not sure about package deals, maybe someone else can help with that.
post #3 of 11
Yes, all of the I70 resorts are crowded on the weekend...especially if there is fresh snow.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redkal View Post
Well both those dates fall over MLK weekend which is definitely a busier weekend. You will experience some crowding, but nothing like what you are seeing on the ice coast.

If you are staying in Summit, Breckenridge would probably be a good place for your first time out west, a decent town and mountain. Otherwise Silverthorne or Dillon. Staying in Summit you can hit up a variety of places - the places you mention should all be fine. Check out www.vrbo.com.

Not sure about package deals, maybe someone else can help with that.
Thanks, but isn't the MLK holiday Jan. 21? What are Vail, Breck, etc. like on regular weekends?
post #5 of 11
Even on busy weekends the resorts are not crowded. There are certain lifts and areas to avoid, but overall the resorts are big enough that it will not detract from your enjoyment. You may notice the crowds more in the on and off mountain bars and restaurants.

If you feel that an area is too crowded one day, run up the road to Loveland, or Cooper for a day.
post #6 of 11
Crowding is all relative. I've never experienced anything in CO that came close to some of my experiences on holiday weekends at Whistler, for example. You should be fine, and it will sure beat staying in the East.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidespar View Post
Thanks, but isn't the MLK holiday Jan. 21? What are Vail, Breck, etc. like on regular weekends?
I can ski any day I want and I usually ski weekends. If you arrive at the base lifts at Breck on Saturday at 10:00am with everyone else, it's going to be crowded (~15 minute lines) but other lifts will be far less if you search them out. Unless it's a powder morning, E-chair, 6-chair, T-bar, etc will have lines < 5 minutes. The Falcon is always less crowded than the Peak 9 lifts. The Rocky Mountain Chair on Peak 8 is always far shorter than the Colorado Chair even though they are right next to each other. Sunday afternoons aren't crowded as Front rangers often leave early to avoid traffic. Holiday weekends will be more crowded than normal weekends but the actual day of the Holiday is never crowded. One thing about Breck is since all the lifts are high speed the lines are never as long (in time) as they look. I wrote a long post a couple years back about how to avoid lines at Breck if you want to search for it.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidespar View Post
Two friends and I are planning to go to Colorado (fly into Denver) around the second week of January. We have two options to give us 3 days of skiing:

#1: Jan 14-18 (mon-fri)
#2 Jan 11-15 (fri-tues)

With option 2, we would be doing most of our skiing over the weekend, but it would allow us to save some vacation time at work. My question is, what are the resorts like on the weekends? Long lift lines? Dangerously crowded? Because that's what it's like here (Virginia). I don't even bother going to Wintergreen or Snowshoe on the weekends because it's just a waste of money.

Since this is our first trip out west, I don't want it to be unpleasant due to crowds or long lift lines.

Also, what resorts should we hit up and where should we stay in Summit Co.? Best just to rent a condo from a private owner? Any package deals with lift tickets and lodging? Was thinking of hitting Vail, Breck, and Keystone on different days. Bad/good idea?

Help a noob out,
Thanks!

I would sack up and go midweek. I personally at all cost avoid summit county on the weekends. Its not the liftlines that bother me (they really can be avoided) its the heavy skier traffic. Sure it can be avoided a bit, but you still can't safely go fast without putting others in danger. High speed lifts are really not an advantage on busy days imho, although I love them midweek. Try Loveland if you come on a weekend.
post #9 of 11
I find the Summit County Resorts and Vail to have similar crowds and lift lnes as many eastern areas.
post #10 of 11
#1 "Long lift lines" in Colorado are the equivalent of "great lift lines" in the East.

#2 Your skiing "profile" is important to know ... to be able to answer the rest. (Are you simply "hard corps" about getting great skiing ... and then collapsing in bed and being ready to go again the next day? Or are you out for fun skiing, nice dinners with friendly people and maybe even some dancing?)

Any of those choices are available to you here....

- KK
post #11 of 11
Mid-week, empty mountain & empty bars.

Week-end, crowded mountain & croweded bars.

I'd pick mid-week.
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