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Design my Holiday!!! - Page 2

post #31 of 54
good to know JohnH I stayed years ago at the fireside and it was fine, I had heard that they have new owners. to bad its gone downhill.

Another place to try if you want a condo is the owner direct sites. www.vrbo.com or http://cf.summitnet.com/snet/directory.cfm
post #32 of 54

I'll add that if you come out to Colorado and stay in Summit county, buy your lift tickets in Denver at King Soopers. You'll save some "serious skahdool".
post #33 of 54
I agree about skis inside the car. I don't own a ski rack for my car. I never put them on a rack and I never request a rack on a rental car. For me, it's more of a binding safety thing than an anti-theft thing. Road salt is evil.

With 3 people and modern shaped skis (195cm or less), you can fit skis and all your luggage inside a mini-SUV with half of the rear seat folded down. For someone coming from the UK, a mini-SUV will likely feel quite spacious. Why spend an extra $200/week and an extra $100/week on gasoline on an eco-disaster SUV if you don't need it?

(Of course, I drive an eco-disaster Mountaineer)
post #34 of 54

That's agood idea on the vehicle size. A group of 7 of us went to Crested Butte one time, and we rented a Blazer and an Expedition, and it worked great. We put 4 in the Blazer and 3, all the skis, and over half of the bags in the Expedition. One time I went to Summit County by myself, and rented a brand new Nissan X-Terra. Don't bother (good thing I was by myself). My skis, which were in a double Sport Tube, came up between the two front seats so far that you couldn't open the center console and had to rest your arm on the Sport Tube. That truck is way too short and too tall. The wind was blowing it all over the damn place. The next time I went out (again, by myself) I rented a Dodge Dakota. That was a nice vehicle. It would be great for a group of three or four, while being able to put all of your gear inside. But be prepared to keep the fuel companies in business!
post #35 of 54
you might also consider trying to get a caravan. It comes in an AWD version and you can get 5 pairs of skis in under the seats. Makes it more comfortable than driving around with all the skis bouncing around on top of the seats.
We did an average of 18MPG. on our trip to tahoe. Shocking!
post #36 of 54
I like mini vans, especially the 4 wheel drive ones. They handle snow better than my
Ford Expedition.
Summit County is fine mid week, but get as far from Denver as you can on weekends.
Aspen is a good bet for weekends,it doesn't get any day skiers from Denver, most of the
tourists are travelling and you can't beat the nightlife!
post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 
I think we're veering towards a minivan.

How far is summit county from Denver? Is summit county actually a town, or just a county?

Do you know any good cheap hotels / apartments etc there in which we could base ourselves for a few days?

I know this is a lot of questions, but you guys all give great advice and I want to make sure we have a great time our first ski trip to the US. Thanks a lot for the info so far.


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #38 of 54
Summit county is about an hour and a half drive from Denver (except on friday evenings or saturday mornings, when the traffic gets bad).

Summit county is made up of 3 main towns that are not ski areas; Frisco (this is where I lived when I lived out there), Dillon and Silverthorne, which are all right next to each other. Then there are the the ski areas in Summit County; Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper and A-Basin. Breckenridge is also a real town, and Kestone is sort of a real town, but has no real walking village like Breck has. Copper is building up it's twon, but I haven't been there in ages, so others will know better. It's about 6-9 miles (10k ish?) from Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne, to any of the Summit County ski areas. Vail as about a half hour drive west. Within 2 hours you could be at Steamboat, Winter Park, Aspen, Loveland (You'll literally drive UNDER loveland ski area as you drive to Summit County from Denver. You go through a giant tunnel in the mountain (Eisenhower Tunnel), and the ski area is on both sides and on top of the tunnel). Dillon and Silverthorne are literally next to each other. Only seperated by when you go under Interstate 70. Frisco is on the other side of Lake Dillon, but only 2 miles away.
post #39 of 54
Oh yeah. There are some regular hotels in Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne. There is also the "Summit Stage", which is a FREE shuttle bus that will take you to any of the Summit County ski areas or towns. I can't remember the names of the hotels (I think there is a Quality Inn in Frisco), but I'm sure others know them. You can also find them by doing web searches, I'm sure. Plus, it will be a lot cheaper to stay in one of those 3 towns, rather than at one of the ski areas. It'll also be easier to get to the other ski areas because the towns are more centrally located. There is some night life in the towns, but more locals and weekend locals, than tourists. But there is nothing to stop you from going to Breckenridge in the evening to party. If you think you'll all be drinking, take the "Summit Stage", so that you won't have to drive back.
post #40 of 54
Thread Starter 
Actually, gents, I think we will need something bigger than a standard SUV. More like a minivan or a Expedition or whatever you call that giant Ford 4x4 which seats 8 people.

Depending on the size of the group (no confimration yet) we will either get two small SUVs or a big van type affair.

As for accomodation, I think JohnH or one of the other guys suggested staying at one place in summit county and driving out every day. That might be the option. Or just play it by ear and stay in motels, cheap resort hotels etc...

Who knows. I am getting very excited, and really looking forward to the US skiing.

Keep the advice coming, it keeps me going through these long summer months...


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #41 of 54
Thread Starter 

We will probably be doing more than our fair share of partying and drinking, so in that respect would we be better off just rolling into the resorts themselves and finding beds? And if we chose that route, what are the chances of finding accomodation in the resorts?

A big part of our trips is always going out and meeting people and eating and drinking and making merry, so we definitely don't want to miss out.

post #42 of 54
If you want to stay at a resort an party, for Summit County, definitely stay in Breckenridge. You should be able to find a place to stay, especially with this much notice, but it won't be cheap. Breck is fairly central between Keystone/ A-Basin and Copper, and is the biggest town at one of the ski areas. LOTS of places to make merry, and lots of people from all over the globe to meet. You'll be able to walk everywhere. It would be easy to spend a week or two there and not get bored. The only problem is that there is too much skiing in Colorado to spend that much time in one place. Maybe spend some nights in Vail and/or Aspen too. Good party towns with better than average skiing (but expensive).
post #43 of 54
I agree with JohnH stay in Breck if you want some nightlife. The police are very strict in Summit County. My next choice would be Frisco near Main Street The free bus will take you easliy to Breck and all resorts. It gives you some flexibilty if your group wants to split up for whatever reason.

Also a nice feature on http://cf.summitnet.com is the information request from. You can specify what your looking for at what price. They send to all members so you do not have to send e-mails to all the owners. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Kima (edited June 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #44 of 54
My .02. Staying somewhere in Summit County (like Breck) and driving to various resorts is a good idea. If you want a little variety, you might stay at Breck for a week and hit all the Summit County areas, drive to Aspen to ski at those areas for a few days, and finishing up at Steamboat Springs for at least a few days. Steamboat is a fun mountain and a great town. Over two weeks, you'll get great skiing variety, as well as three distinct atmospheres in each town (Summit Co., Aspen, and Steamboat) without having to drive too much. Sounds like tons of fun, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
post #45 of 54
Suggestion - Start in Steamboat, then do the other areas because (1) Steamboat is at a considerably lower altitude than Breck, so you can be using your time there to ski AND adapt to the altitude; (2) It can be a nice mellow place for people to get their ski legs back.

post #46 of 54
Thread Starter 
That is all fantastic advice guys - great stuff. I think that sounds like a bit of a plan - week at Breck and summit county resorts, then aspen/vail, then steamboat.

Although a couple of you have mentioned altitude - is it really a big thing? I ski at Chamonix usually which gets up near 3800 m with no problems, but if you guys tell me a lower resort like Steamboat is a good way to ease ourselves in, then that's advice I'll take on board.

One other thing - "the police are strict"?!?!? What do the police have to do with drinking and having a good time?

Anyways, keep the posts coming, I love being able to read all about this stuff when I'm suck in my office all day. It's been over 30 degrees C here over the last few days, which is pretty hot for GB, and I hate every minute of it. Roll on the winter...

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #47 of 54
Susceptability to altitude problems is highly variable, both between individuals, and over time in one individual. You may get lucky with your group, or you may not.

If I remember correctly, the hotels at Breck are around 9500 ft, and I have seen a lot of flatlanders come directly up from sealevel, and feel rotten for the first few days. Don't forget the old mountaineer's rule that the important altitude number is not how high you climb during the day, but how high you sleep.

I don't know what the exact numbers are for Breck, but I'm guessing that maybe 30% of people who come directly up from sea level feel minor discomfort (poor sleep, minor but persistant headaches, etc.), maybe 10% are so uncomfortable that it impacts their skiing, and maybe a couple of percent have serious enough problems that they have to head for lower ground.

As an indication of how common altitude sickness is at Breck, most of the hotels have pre-printed info sheets giving their customers advice on how to handle minor altitude discomfort, and they almost always have a big bottle of asperin behind the front desk to give to guests who get a huge headache in the middle of the night and no stores are open.

My recommendation is that unless there is some compelling reason to do the resorts in the opposite order, start low and end high.

Just my $0.02,

post #48 of 54
Thread Starter 
Right, the plan as of this morning is this:

Leave the UK on a Friday, land Denver Saturday. Drive up to Steamboat (about 3 hours?) and stay there for a few days to acclimatise (thanks Physicsman!).

Then down to Aspen for a few days of high class skiing and shennanigans.

From there to Vail for 2/3 days.

Then hole up in Breckenridge to ski there, Copper, Keystone and A-Basin until it's time to go home.

Of course, because they are all fairly close to gether we don't have to stick to a definite time line - we can go where the snow is!

How does that sound?

And again, if any of you have a car or a house you need me to look after iin late Feb next year...

Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #49 of 54
From the airport (which seems like it's in Kansas), I think Steamboat is closer to 4 hours. There's a fair amount of inexpensive lodging in town and the shuttle bus to the ski area is free. Hope you get some powder... untracked in all those aspen trees is a religeous experience. Don't expect wild night life... It's OK as ski towns go but it ain't Aspen.

I think they sell lift tickets pre-season at a steep discount. I've gotten things in the mail from them in the past. Check their web site. Their day tickets are very expensive otherwise... over $60 these days? I don't know of any good lodging deals in town but I'd love to hear of some.
post #50 of 54
An excellent plan, my man! You will enjoy yourselves immensely. How long will the entire trip be? Hopefully you'll get to meet some of the bears while you are there. You should at least make it a point to find BobB, since he's on staff at Copper.
post #51 of 54
Thread Starter 
I think we'll manage to squeeze in about 12/13 days actually on the snow. Would love to hook up with some bears, so if you're going to be in the area let me know.

I would dearly love to hear about places to find cheap tickets or accomodation pre-season, or any other way to reduce outlay, because so far the trip is rolling in around £1500, which I guess is about $2100 each. Which isn't pretty. I'm sure it'll be worth it but we really could do with any tips you may have for bringing that figure down at all.

Best regards to you all,

post #52 of 54
Lower the $2100? Go anywhere other than Whistler in Western Canada, fly, ski, and stay for about $1000.00 US. Airfare to calgary from London is 400 - 600 cdn, lots of ski and stay deals for $70 - 80 cdn, and even cheaper, assuming at least double occupancy. Gear is almost 50% of the cost compared to the states, if that is a consideration. Not that i want more people on the hills here, but i hate to see people spending a ton of money when they don't have too.
post #53 of 54
Thread Starter 
JoCanadian, much as I love Canada (and adore saving money), the decision has been made by the powers that be to see what the States has to offer.

That said, last night I found out about a good deal on lift tickets - the "Colorado Pass", covering Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone, A-Basin and Vail. 10-14 days is £205 ($290) but as we plan to visit Aspen and Steamboat as well we only need the 9 day version - £185 ($260) which I think is pretty good value.

Flights from UK to Denver are quoted right now at £300 ($395) plus tax.

Car rental depends on what we get but I think with say 8-10 of us in a 15 seat minivan we shoulod see that cost to the individual down around $140 for two weeks.

The only thing I don't really know about is accomodation costs per night and cost of living.

In Whistler it was really cheap to eat out - possibly even cheaper than eating in, butI don't know about the states.

Any tips / ideas?

Cheers all


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #54 of 54

I believe that your Colorado Pass will be good at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge and A-Basin, but not Copper Mtn. You can buy a Copper Card for $10 that gives some good lift ticket and food discounts. As a Vail Valley local, I keep my eyes open for any kind of good deals that come up, and I'll let you know as I start to see offers this fall.

Perhaps we can make a few turns together this winter. I'll keep in touch.
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