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How is Eagle, CO for basing a ski trip?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Just decided that my daughter and I would do four nights in CO in February next year. We can get pretty cheap flights (and non-stop) to Eagle Airport rather than DEN. We are bringing neighbors with us who have never been out West skiing but we have done CO a couple of times and already skied Copper, Breck, Loveland, Keystone and Vail. I would still like to bring them to Vail to see the back bowls but also thinking of perhaps Beaver Creek and even Aspen/Snowmass which I realize is a bit of a drive from Eagle. We will have three full days of skiing and will rent a 4WD SUV.

OK so a couple of questions. Narrowed down to one of three hotels in Eagle...HI Express, Americinn or Comfort Inn. All are about the same price (Americinn a little more) and all ranked pretty good on Tripadvisor. Anyone stayed in these and can comment?

Is Eagle an OK base? I figured since we are flying into the airport and it is a more "Western" base we could hit a couple of resorts my daughter and I have not skied before. Also do you recommend the hour plus ride to Aspen/Snowmass? Obviously weather will dictate our plans...is the ride to Aspen safe in winter? I would probably prefer Snowmass to Ajax but that is also up for debate.

Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.

post #2 of 23
I would think Eagle is fire, even perfect if you want to ski mostly Vail and BC and I would highly recommend BC. My buddy and I skied Copper Vail and BC last year. Both of us really loved Beaver Creek, not only is the skiing great, the facilitates are beyond first class and the bloody marys at Arrowhead are worth the trip by themselves.
post #3 of 23
Since you only have 3 ski days, seems kind of pointless to drive 90mins to Aspen/Snowmass, when Vail and BC are only 30 mins and could easily occupy you for 3 days each. Further, Snowmass is great, but kind of a clone of Vail/BC and wouldn't really justify the drive unless you're also highly motivated to catch some Aspen nightlife. Should also note parking in satellite lot is a bit of a pain for day visitors at Snowmass.
Nice going to find an economical flight right into Eagle. Haven't stayed in the motels you mention, but Comfort Inns usually have a good, free breakfast, which is a biggie for me when traveling with family. Do the others?
post #4 of 23
I agree with the others that Aspen will be a hike for a short trip, although driving through Glenwood Canyon this summer was beautiful.

We checked out a few houses in Eagle this summer before settling on Frisco. It is a nice, quiet, small town that looks like a good place to raise a family, but if I was coming out for a 4 day vacation, I think I would like to stay closer to the slopes, especially if you hit some bad weather. While Eagle puts you slightly closer if you go for As[en/Snowmass, I think this is better for a separate trip.

Not sure how the cost compares, but have you looked at Edwards or Avon? I am not sure when the new Gondola to BC opens in Avon, but this, combined with the free local bus could prove convenient if your group does not all want to drive at the same time.
post #5 of 23
What MEfree said.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Comfort Inns usually have a good, free breakfast, which is a biggie for me when traveling with family. Do the others?
Yes all three have the good, free buffet breakfast. A must for us as well!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Roadrash View Post
the bloody marys at Arrowhead are worth the trip by themselves.
Thanks for that advice....this will be a must do on the trip!!!

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice guys. The other thought might be to fly into Eagle and then drive to Apen spending three days skiing Aspen/Snowmass. My buddy does want to ski Vail at least one day though...
post #9 of 23
You've only got three days. Presuming that you are not pure beginners, you've got three mountains in Aspen: Ajax, Highlands, and Snowmass. It could take you three days to explore Snowmass by itself.

Vail is a cool place to go to ski the back bowls a few times. IMO, however, it is no match for the terrain in Aspen. Presuming that you will be there for a weekend, Vail will most likely be crowded. And the bowls, while incredible for their openness, just are not very steep. Yes, Vail is an experience, but I do think you might enjoy Aspen more. There are unlikely to be crowds at Aspen -- its too far from the front range to get much of the weekend warrior crowd.

post #10 of 23
I agree with Hobacomike, go to Aspen. If you want to save a little bit of money you could stay in either Glenwood or Carbondale. You probably don't really need a 4wd. There are no passes to go over and I-70 and Hwy 82 are both pretty well maintained.
post #11 of 23
How long has it been since you have been to Vail? If you are looking to save some cash (judging from your lodging choices) you might be in for a shock. It'll cost you about $20 a day just to park your car, for example. Lift tickets are $90 per day.

What you save in airfare you might give back in everything else at Vail/BC.

The last time we were there for a week we skied BC more than Vail.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Alright so say we spend the three days in Aspen/Snowmass then. Any suggestions on where to stay? I don't really want total bargain basement but we are not looking for Ritz like accomdodations either. Anything in the $150-200 range a night would be fine. I figure if we are going to do Aspen/Snowmass for three days it makes sense to stay in either Aspen or Snowmass right?

post #13 of 23
post #14 of 23
If the days you spend skiing are over the weekend, I would pick Aspen/Snowmass over Vail/BC just because the crowds should be smaller.
Aspen is more fun to stay in, but I usually find myself skiing more in Snowmass.
Lots of ski-in,out condos in snowmass. For a hotel, I found the Pokolodi Lodge to be convenient and an OK price.
post #15 of 23
I think eagle is boring, not close enough to the resorts, and I would never, ever, rent a car or drive around Colorado on this length trip because there's plenty to ski at any one resort community and the public transportation and shuttles are great. Fly to and then take shuttle to as near to where you are skiing, stay there, and forget the rental car idea.

Just my opinion.
post #16 of 23
Eagle (EGE) is a good all weather airport with long runways capable of handling large aircraft. The trouble is, it's a long way from anywhere.
Colorado Mountain Express shuttles are $51/pp each way to Vail or $78 to Aspen. Rental cars quickly become cost competitive and provide flexibility in transportation and lodging.

The directs into EGE are a nice option. But at some point you have to compare flying directly into Aspen (ASE) were you don't need to rent a car or just flying into Denver and renting a car there.

If you want to ski Vail, definitely do it on a weekday. I think with the new Epic Pass, Vail will be jammed this year.
post #17 of 23
Suggestions all over the map! But in a nutshell, you have the choice of Vail/BC vs. Aspen/Snowmass.

Neither are cheap. And the drive from Eagle to Aspen is too long for day trip.

Eagle is a fine base if you plan to ski Vail/BC. The drive is easy and short (though you have to pay for parking at Vail). Holiday Inn is better than the Comfort Inn, in my opinion. Never tried the American Inn so can't say.

If your budget can handle the expense of staying slopeside of either, choose what you want to SKI. If you choose to ski Aspen/Snowmass, but want to save A LITTLE, Snowmass is probably a better bet.
post #18 of 23

I've been to these places and what the flip people do with a rental car in a place like BC or Vail or Aspen is beyond me. These are walking towns. Avon is what? one mile from one edge to the other?

As far as flexibility and cost is concerned - who wants to pay $20 for parking, or exclude themselves from accomodations with no parking (and if you are renting a car, you better darn check that there is a place to park it where you are staying, there are places with no parking, for that majority of out of towners that don't rent cars), and BTW, you're going to have to rent a ski rack too. And muss and fuss with putting it on, putting skis in it, filling out all forms of papers for rentals on pickup and return.

Compare that to stepping off your plane and into a pre-paid shuttle and have everything taken care of for $51 (and there's various discounts for roundtrip, on the internet, and/or with some accomodations/condos).

I know what I'd do. And it wouldn't be renting a car, or staying in eagle (or even worse ideas, like flying into Denver and doing that pilgrimage in a rental). What a hassle.
post #19 of 23
Originally Posted by stevescho View Post
Compare that to stepping off your plane and into a pre-paid shuttle and have everything taken care of for $51 .
That's $51 PER PERSON!!!
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow guys all great suggestions. We are two Dads with one kid each. Here are the rough $ particulars:

EWR-EGE direct $330
EWR-DEN direct $370
EWR-ASE one stop $390
Rental SUV from Eagle: $220 all-in (cheaper than shuttle)

We are leaning towards doing Aspen/SM for the three days. I was looking at towns like Carbondale and Basalt but would rather stay closer to the slopes. I am now going to look at Snowmass or even Aspen. We really do not want to spend more than $250 per night so it may be a challenge to stay in Aspen or Snowmass. Will also check VRBO for condos, etc.
post #21 of 23
$250/night for all of you, or each father/daughter combo? If per combo, then the Pokolodi Lodge at Snowmass ought to be close to your budget. Even more so, if you fly into ASE, you can take the shuttle and avoid the rental car altogether.

Rates are pretty reasonable http://www.pokolodi.com/sitepages/pid45.php

Staying in Carbondale/Basalt is going to require a car, which you are then going to have to find a place to park, and the traffic in the AM can be pretty slow. So, I'd suggest finding a place in town or at Snowmass and hoofing it -- the bus system is pretty good.

post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
That's $51 PER PERSON!!!
Each way!

That's the sticking point... For 1-2 people for a week, I'm sure the shuttle makes a ton of sense, since even at $100-ish pp, it's cheaper than a weeklong 4WD rental.

On the other hand, as long as parking near your lodging won't cost much (if any), it makes more sense to rent once you get past 3-4 people. We stayed in East Vail last year at a place where we could park for free (in the driveway), and took the bus everywhere while we were in town. The last day, we were up early and drove to (and skied at) Loveland on the way back to Denver, which put us way ahead of the crowd coming back on I-70. We couldn't have done that on a shuttle...

On a shorter trip (3 days or so), the numbers work even better in favor of renting/driving vs. the shuttle, since the rental rate could get you down way below what it would cost to shuttle back and forth.

post #23 of 23
I think you have the picture. Go where-ever and ski. You just don't need the rental car.

And ummmm, a quick check of usuals reveals good current availability of accoms in/around the ski areas (of poko quality and better). I think you can do it within $200-300/nite for the whole group, depending on dates and trip length, and your ability to pony up the dough in advance.
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