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First time CO, please recommend

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm planing to Colorado in the first week of March, never skied or been there before. I'll take my gf + her friends with me, I'll go skiing, they will go shopping, eating and driving around. We have only 4 days, so we will stay in one place. Could you suggest some great ski areas surrounding with load of things to do ?
post #2 of 38
Summit County areas are pretty much just glorified truck stops on I-70. I hear that Vail has great shopping though!
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
I've heard that things are pretty pricey there, wondering where can I find best deals on lodge/lift/ski packages etc.. Should I buy a package from a resort or better stay in motel away from the area ? What's the best strategy ?

Do they have multi-day lift tickets that can be used with several ski resorts in the close area like the Summit County ?

post #4 of 38
You really only have one choice for all of your requirements if you want to avoid crowds. Aspen/Snowmass. The shopping won't be cheap but the eating can be. They won't be bored. Just fly into Aspen and they can either walk or take the free shuttles around town. Lots of nightlife and plenty of other things to do during the day. No need for a car. Be sure to take a ride in the Ultimate Taxi.

You can ski at Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, or Snowmass all on the same ticket and the same day. There are multiday discount tickets.

Stay at the St. Moritz in Aspen if they have space or book through stayaspensnowmass.com
post #5 of 38
one word-VAIL
post #6 of 38
Vail would be great. But I don't think on the cheap side. There is a wonderful Italian place there...can't recall the name. Lots of shops located in a nice setting.
post #7 of 38
Wheather Vail or Aspen, if you have a car, go to the Glenwood Hotel hot springs-I assume its still there-really cool. There was also a natural hot springs somewhere south of the town-we called it the "hippie dip"(I got "lucky" there a few times). Ask around and see if it's still there.

Glenwood Hot Springs. http://www.hotspringspool.com/
post #8 of 38
I don't think I've ever heard that Aspen would fit someone's requirement of things not being pricey!

Vail would be my first choice if I think and you could look at staying down valley in Eagle. You won't be slopeside but you'd be an easy drive away from Vail and Beaver Creek, both of which have shopping and great food.
post #9 of 38
You could also look at the Inn at Riverwalk in Edwards, it's very close to Beaver Creek. There are normally some kind of package deals with lift tickets for Vail, Beaver, Breckenridge, Copper.
post #10 of 38
If the prices at Aspen or Vail scare you off, consider Breckenridge.
post #11 of 38
The St Moritz in Aspen can be suprizingly affordable. It's also just a short walk from downtown. Affordable great food can be found at the Popcorn Wagon, Boogie's Diner, Cooper Street, or the nearest bar menu. There are also various free apres ski hor'doures feastings. No rental car needed. If you want to go to Glenwood Springs, just walk to Ruby Park, buy a $6.00 bus ticket to Glenwood. Try to get an express bus.

Other affordable lodging can be found at the Crestwood or the Pokolodi in Snowmass. I find it's cheaper to stay in Aspen than Vail now that The Roost is gone.
post #12 of 38
Your needs and budget may not coincide.

Vail and Aspen are undoubtedly the right picks for your desires - provided your disposable income is adequate (high).

Otherwise, consider staying in a condo in Wildernest (not slopeside - but inexpensive and nice), and skiing in Keystone (great Colorado skiing - even if it's not Vail). Silverthorn Outlet Stores should satiate anyone's shopping needs.

When we feel financially bullish, we go to Vail.

When we want to have a blast on a budget, we book a condo on VRBO.com, stay in Wildernest, and ski Keystone.
post #13 of 38
You should go to VAIL.

Steepest place in the lower 48.
post #14 of 38
I would think Aspen would make a better fit for the non-skiers.
post #15 of 38
Disagree. For non-skiers, Breckenridge is the best town. Plus, from Breck, you can shuttle to any of the Summit ski resorts. Glorified truck stops my ass.

Breck, like Aspen is a town, and has been for a hundred years. Vail has been a town for as long as the skiing has been there. But, Breck has more realistic shopping unless she is into shoppping @ Prada. Breck has fantastic restraunts and most everything in the town is within walking distance of Main Street.

Vail is the best for skiing, but Breck is the best for the criteria you are looking for.
post #16 of 38
I disagree with some of what has been recommended for a first-timer with your constraints. I would suggest that you stay in 'downtown' Frisco, a wonderful, little town in Summit County, centrally located right among all of the ski resorts. Frisco has been a town for over 150 years, has lots of great dining, shopping, and even a historical museum, and is the preference of many of us 'locals'. Your friends can walk around Frisco, and you or they can take a free bus around Summit County, as works best for your plans. That bus gives you access to Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin. Yes, discount multi-day lift tickets are available that can be used at Keystone/Breckenridge/Arapahoe Basin as you wish. If you drive to Vail, your friends won't be trapped, as they can get to Breckenridge or wherever via bus. Frisco tends to be considerably less expensive than staying at any of the resorts, and (not to advertise) I can rent you a truly fantastic condo on the river in Frisco the first week of March if you'd like to contact me.

post #17 of 38
I agree with the Breck solution. Nice authentic town with shopping opportunities, restaurants etc. and a decent ski area thrown in that can keep you busy for a couple of days.

Walking to the lifts is reasonably easy from even moderate priced lodging, and much less expensive than Vail or Aspen.
post #18 of 38
Aspen > Frisco/Breck > Vail

Aspen has nice shuttle sevice as does Frisco/Breck. Vail will be too confining imo. Aspen more expensive then Frisco/Breck, but food can be done inexpensively as noted above. Shopping will be $$$$. Aspen is also lower elevation then Breck so less risk of altitude sickness if coming from sea level. All have positives and negatives. If you like steeps/bumps go to Aspen higlands.
post #19 of 38
Thread Starter 

I wish I could visit all of them, actually, I _ will _ in the next season. Any chance would I hit some powder ? Just a feet of if would make a Midwest guy cry with joy (higher than that I'm not sure if I could handle )
post #20 of 38
We've had a a lot of snow...don't know what the next couple of weeks long range forecasts look like though.:

One of my favorite sites is www.snowforecast.com

It's relatively accurate in the temps, winds & snowfall. Give a 6 day forecast. I would check this out the week before you visit to give you an idea.
post #21 of 38
Addendum: I definitely agree on downtown Frisco.
post #22 of 38


Nobody can predict out to early March, but we've had so many powder days this year it's getting to be ho-hum, and there is another 12-15 inches predicted for tonight.
post #23 of 38
Second or Third, lost count, the recommendation for Frisco...
post #24 of 38
I am not an expert by no means, but here is my two cents. Just got back from my first time sking so we are kind of in the same boat. Wife and I stayed in Frisco (I used hotel points for free nights) and did the 3 day lessons at Breck. We loved it. We have never been or really seen snow (we are from South Texas) so this was an experiance. It will be alot cheaper on you if you do the First time 3 day lesson/lift for about $245, and that will cover 3 days of lift, 3 days of full day lessons, and 3 days of rental. Alter the 3 days of lessons I was going down the blues with no problem. Now it might be better/worse for you but I thought that was pretty good for me. Now Frisco was a nice little "Visiting Gramdma for Chistmas" town. We loved the peacefulness of it and the warmth of the people. Sorry I can't help on the shopping side. All in all, Frisco/Breck is my vote, since I did that just a couple bays ago.
post #25 of 38
Go to summitsaver.com, they have last minute deals on lodging that are really great for weekdays. I would recommend Breck, plenty to do. Summit County is your best bet by far. If you just research it on the web you can find plenty to do (snowmobiling, dogsledding, shopping)... Anywhere in Summit County (breck, frisco, silverthorne, dillon) will be plenty close to various great ski resorts. You really can't miss. Everything is within 20 minutes of eachother.
post #26 of 38
Yep, Summit County. Frisco's a nice town. I've even stayed at the Days Inn right there on I-70 as you drop in from the pass. There's a good bus system, tho parking's free at the resorts.

The gals will like the outlet malls, as well as Breck for their fun. Do a little web searching. You'll find plenty.

Vail usually gets better snow than the Summit resorts, so watch the forecast for a powder day, and maybe leave a day open to head over the pass (Vail's about 40 mins from Summit). Best lunch in Vail, imo, is Blue's. Bring the ladies, they'll love the lunch and the shopping.

post #27 of 38
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
You should go to VAIL.

Steepest place in the lower 48.
this is the most ignorant thing I have read in a while!
post #28 of 38
Vail has Aspen beat by five bucks at the ticket window, making it AFAIK the steepest place in the country.

The joke would have worked better if someone called me on it days ago.
post #29 of 38
Thread Starter 
BTW, what's the avg time do the ski mnts in CO close ?
It's pretty shock to me when I was in the UP, all of them close at 4pm. and I really had nothing to do besides watching cable after that, while in the lower WI, they close around 10pm because they have to service ppl driving from Chicago. I always have a good time skiing at night, feeling like the mountain is mine.
post #30 of 38
Keystone has night skiing but pretty much everything else closes up at 4pm.
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