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Best Demo Mountain

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm going to buy new skis next winter and I want to go to a mountain out west with good demo opportunities. I'm looking for (1) a large selection, particularly of expert, all-mountain skis and (2) easy access to the mountain from the demo shop so that I can easily swap skis in between runs.

A few years ago I demo'd at Wolf Creek, CO and was extremely satisfied. $20 let me demo as many skis as I wanted all day long + they were right at the bottom of a lift.

Any suggestions about where to go?
post #2 of 11
Whereas Wolf Creek sounds wonderful, I've not been there. I liked Steamboat Springs; of the bottom of the tram or a tent at the top of same. . . It would also fill your bill.
Vail also has shops not far from the lift bottom, as does Taos, Snowbird . . .
post #3 of 11
Alta. Wildcat Lift. On site espresso bar.
post #4 of 11
Big Mountain has a free demo weekend each year in December. Then their demo ski rentals the rest of the year are right in the "Village" which is right at the OLD bottom of chair two. Now you have to ski down to catch a chair, then come down the mountain to the rental shop, but since you have to ski down to demo, it's not a big deal. I don't think there is a limit on the number of demos for $35, but they don't carry EVERY brand, so I'd call and ask about the skis that interest you.

If you come on the demo weekend, at least 3 ski shops are involved, so you're more likely to get what you want, but you are asked to return the skis after just one or two runs, not keep them all day.
post #5 of 11
I will second Alta and add Snowbird (but those are the only 2 I have really demoed alot of skis). Snowbird has a midmountain demo center.

Alta has 3 places I have used:

1. Alta Sports has k2s
2. Alta demo center has 2 locations (one at wildcat base and one mid mountain next to Alf's restaurant). It is very easy to get several runs in and switch skis without losing much time. They have volkl, head, dynastar, rossi, atomic. I think it was $35/day for all the skis you can try!
3. Deep Powder House at wildcat base has a good selection as well (volkl, rossi, head, maybe more)
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Alta. Wildcat Lift. On site espresso bar.
Alta is best with several outlets: http://www.alta.com/pages/rental.php

This allows a skier to sample more brands than other resorts.
post #7 of 11

Demos

The best I have ever seen is a Mammoth. Almost unlimited variety of skis, in the main lodge, about 35 steps to a main chair, unlimited terrain to test skis and they have an all day program. Last time I used, demo'd about 6 different pair and ffound what I wanted. Real quick in and out and you can ski all day on what you like or are trying etc. Good price last time I tried which was a few years ago.
post #8 of 11

If You're Coming Back to Colorado...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chvynva916 View Post
I'm going to buy new skis next winter and I want to go to a mountain out west with good demo opportunities. I'm looking for (1) a large selection, particularly of expert, all-mountain skis and (2) easy access to the mountain from the demo shop so that I can easily swap skis in between runs.

A few years ago I demo'd at Wolf Creek, CO and was extremely satisfied. $20 let me demo as many skis as I wanted all day long + they were right at the bottom of a lift.

Any suggestions about where to go?
Wolf Creek - great place, though I just can't imagine that they will have the selection you are talking about above. I've demo'd (or tried to demo) skis at various times in my home state, most recently about a week ago. Here are my recommendations:
  1. Locations that have a Christy Sports right at the base are a good bet. If you are going to Summit County this would mean Keystone or Copper. I've demo'd at both locations, the shops are steps away from the lifts, and Christy has a good selection of expert skis (especially if you ski "normal' lengths).
  2. If you can step up to the luxury of Vail there is no doubt that there is a ski shop with great demo choices somewhere near a lift base. I am not saying this from actual demo'ing experience, but just from skiing at Vail dozens of times.
  3. Winter Park and Steamboat Springs aren't good choices in my opinion - too bad since these are my two favorite Colorado ski areas. Winter Park's base area demo choices are limited and skiing to the Steamboat base to switch skis is a hassle. (Aspen, Breckenridge, Telluride, etc. probably fall into the same category.)
My advice is to demo and buy the skis on the first day, then head to Steamboat, Silverton or Wolf Creek to do the real skiing:

Enjoy!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post
Here are my recommendations:
  1. Locations that have a Christy Sports right at the base are a good bet. If you are going to Summit County this would mean Keystone or Copper. I've demo'd at both locations, the shops are steps away from the lifts, and Christy has a good selection of expert skis (especially if you ski "normal' lengths).
I thought I read somewhere (here or on SkiDiva) that Christy's was not going to have demos next year.
post #10 of 11
Both Vail and Beaver creek, CO have on mountain demo huts. Run by vail sports and beaver creek sports. Having them on mountain and not at the base is great. $10 an hour or $40 for the whole day, switch out as much as you want, leave your skis right there, great selection.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
I thought I read somewhere (here or on SkiDiva) that Christy's was not going to have demos next year.
I was not aware of that - say it aint' so....
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