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Help Choose Epic Pass Resort for Christmas Trip

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just booked frequent flyer tickets for my family to fly in to Eagle airport arriving Christmas day, leaving on the 31st. This was a last minute, I can't wait any longer to ski trip. We are going to Snowmass for spring break, and I'll be taking a guys trip late January to Vail. Since I have the epic pass (and am already not using it for one of my trips), I wanted to stick with one of the Vail resorts.

I'm a level 5-6 skier, wife has been on skis only 2 days and that was 15 years ago, 4-year old's first time, and we will be putting our 6 month old in daycare each day. We'd like to stay ski-in/out, near daycare, near kids ski school, and near good dining options (basically we want it all right?).

The factors swirling in my mind are price, convenience of our lodging, crowding, ski terrain (good beginner-intermediate terrain), early season conditions, and the quality of kids ski school. I also need to be close to a good boot fitter to have custom footbeds made for my wife's boots and to generally have them dialed in.

Breck has some good lodging deals at Beaver Run, Great Divide Lodge, and the Village at Breckenridge Resort. Beaver Creek and Vail lodging is much more expensive. I'm worried about the crowds at Breck. So, I'm considering the Beav as well if I could find lodging that is not ridiculous. I'll be skiing Vail in late January, plus it'll probably be just as crowded as Breck. Keystone isn't really on my radar vs. my other choices.

Anyone care to offer their advice based on my particular situation? Many thanks for any help.

-Cliff
post #2 of 16
Take my advice here. At this time of year, strategy doesn't play into a Christmas ski vacation. It's all pot luck. Pick a place and go for it, quit worrying about the least crowded areas. To be honest, I've had great deals at Bever Creek. jmho.
post #3 of 16
Lars: Just to clarify, are saying strategy doesn't play into CHristmas planning because of the uncertainty around conditions?
post #4 of 16

Vail

IMHO, Vail is the best choice even considering you plan another visit in January. Vail is so big you'll be able to ski a different run every run for more days than you'll be there. In spite of that, you'll find your nitch and ski one lift far more than wandering around.

Not many good deals in the Vail valley but this year ticket sales are down which may result in better values. I've stayed in Silverthorne and driven the pass daily for as long as a week. Will cost $20+ a day to park in the Vail garages plus gas.

Beaver offers some pretty good runs too although snow may not be as good. Beaver village architecture is indescribable.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lerops View Post
Lars: Just to clarify, are saying strategy doesn't play into CHristmas planning because of the uncertainty around conditions?
That and the possibility of crowds. Sometimes the Resorts with the least amount of trails open and the least amount of snow, are the least crowded. Planners always seem to flock to the Resort that boasts the most snow and best conditions, thus you may want to be somewhere like Ski Cooper, where you might ski and be lonely. Vail will probably not have the back bowls open by Christmas leaving frontside trails crowded.

My advice, it's all a crapshoot. Flying into Eagle, go to Beaver Creek. People have a habit of bypassing the place cause Vail gets all the publicity. It's not really any more money. If you're renting a car, stay in summit County, Frisco or Silverthorn and keep your options open to any of the four Resorts near there.

Good luck
post #6 of 16
We went last year at Christmas and stayed in Breckenridge. We skied Breck on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and it was not crowded at all. We skied Vail the next day and then moved to Salida and skied Monarch the rest of the week. I did notice the crowds picked up dramatically as the week went on.

My suggestion would be to stay in Breckenridge as it has all of the non skiing items you are looking for, plus it is a really cool town. Ski Vail and Breck early and then move to the Beav as things get more crowded.
post #7 of 16
Based on what you say you want and the fact that you are going to Vail in January, I say Beaver Creek. Beck will be fine for XMAS and boxing day, but is likely to be slammed thereafter. The Beav is less likely to be so crowded.

Mike
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help here! I'm taking it all in as I research my options.

One thing I'm looking at to make the Beav more affordable is stay at Christie Lodge in Avon, and just plan to shuttle with my girls to daycare/ski school. The Avon gondola is not an option with kids since one of them is only 6 months old. For about $1,300 more, I could stay at Townsend Place in the Village, but I'm not sure it is worth that. Especially since even at Townsend Place I'd still either have a long walk or the dial a ride to get my girls to day care/ ski school. [edit: just did quick tripadvisor check of Christie Lodge, and it looks terrible. Thinking Townsend Place is the way to go if I stick with the Beav.]

Brec would have the advantage that the affordable lodging would actually have the daycare right in the building and the kids ski school right outside the building. But, the mountain is likely to be much busier and the 1,000' of additional elevation at the base could make for colder, windier conditions during what is a cold time of the year anyway (thinking about wife and 4 y.o. here).

I'm thinking the added hassle in the morning and afternoon schlepping the kids would be worth it to ski the Beav vs. Brec at this time of the year.

What do y'all think of staying in Avon generally and the Christie Lodge specifically? Are there good places to eat around there? Would you fork over the extra $1,300 to move up to Townsend Place?

Are there any good boot fitters in Avon or the Beaver Creek area that I could get to without a car? I'm most interested in having custom footbeds made for my wife.

Thanks in advance!
post #9 of 16
I've stayed in Avon before. Been a few years but remember they have a free shuttle, plenty of shops around. Plenty of restaurants, even a denny's for good breakfasts, cheap, an Outback steakhouse, plus lots over at the Beave. No, I wouldn't fork over the extra $1300 reguardless. But, that's just me. My theory in lodging is you don't spend alot of time there, you sleep there. As long as it's clean, comfortable, close to amenities and reasonable, i'm there.
post #10 of 16
I would not spend the $1300 to stay up towards Beaver Creek Village. I would also not stay at the Christie Lodge. That is a very budget hotel and would not be your best option.

I would reccomend checking out VRBO.com. This is a site that I and many I know have used quite frequently. You should be able to find a condo or house for just as much for the Christie Lodge, or at least less than the extra $1300.

Staying in Avon is not a bad option. There are a fair amount of dining options, a rec center with pool and water slides for the kids, and easy access to Vail and BC. The in-town bus service is excellent and always on schedule. You should be able to get wherever to you need to go easily.

Are you renting a car? If so Edwards is a few miles away from Avon and access to that town would greatly expand your dining opportunities.

If you are spending the money to fly into Eagle, it would be silly to drive all the way to stay at Breck.

I am a former Vail resident and Beaver Creek employee. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the help with our trip planning.

After talking everything over with my wife, I've decided to bite the bullet and stay in Beaver Creek Village at Townsend Place. I was able to get a great rate, $425 per night, on a one bedroom condo b/c I'm booking so last minute. Since this will be the wife and kids' first ski trip, I want it to be a good one so they will want to go back (well they've got to go to Snowmass for Spring Break since that is already booked, but you know what I mean).

With the rate I got above, only the Christie Lodge was giving me a $1,300 difference b/c of a package deal they were running that included Kids' ski school (called the Clever Carver). The Christie and maybe one other place were the only budget options included in the package.

From talking to the different Vail resort employees as have the last few days, they all said without a doubt that the Beav would be the least crowded during that time.

Thanks again,
Cliff
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffk View Post
Thanks again for the help with our trip planning.

After talking everything over with my wife, I've decided to bite the bullet and stay in Beaver Creek Village at Townsend Place. I was able to get a great rate, $425 per night, on a one bedroom condo b/c I'm booking so last minute. Since this will be the wife and kids' first ski trip, I want it to be a good one so they will want to go back (well they've got to go to Snowmass for Spring Break since that is already booked, but you know what I mean).

With the rate I got above, only the Christie Lodge was giving me a $1,300 difference b/c of a package deal they were running that included Kids' ski school (called the Clever Carver). The Christie and maybe one other place were the only budget options included in the package.

From talking to the different Vail resort employees as have the last few days, they all said without a doubt that the Beav would be the least crowded during that time.

Thanks again,
Cliff
$425 a night. Wow! I see the Resorts are giving some great deals. Must be the economy.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
$425 a night. Wow! I see the Resorts are giving some great deals. Must be the economy.
Lars, does your ROTF man indicate sarcasm? Maybe not. Anyway, the $425/nt rate is pretty incredible when you consider this is for a 1 bedroom, full kitchen, with fireplace, corner unit condo, true ski-in/out in the Village at one of the most expensive resorts in North America during the most expensive time of the year. The place would normally rent for about $800 a night for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

When you've got a 6-month old and 4 year old that you've got to get to the Village every morning before anything else can happen, convenience to there means a lot. Plus, with us staying true ski-in/out, and me having the epic pass, that means probably 3 extra almost half days on snow for me on this trip: couple hours day of arrival and departure, and a few hours on our family, "non-ski" day where I can run out for a few hours when the girls are napping. I probably wouldn't have the time to get out on those days at all if we're not staying ski-in/out.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffk View Post
Lars, does your ROTF man indicate sarcasm? Maybe not. Anyway, the $425/nt rate is pretty incredible when you consider this is for a 1 bedroom, full kitchen, with fireplace, corner unit condo, true ski-in/out in the Village at one of the most expensive resorts in North America during the most expensive time of the year. The place would normally rent for about $800 a night for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

When you've got a 6-month old and 4 year old that you've got to get to the Village every morning before anything else can happen, convenience to there means a lot. Plus, with us staying true ski-in/out, and me having the epic pass, that means probably 3 extra almost half days on snow for me on this trip: couple hours day of arrival and departure, and a few hours on our family, "non-ski" day where I can run out for a few hours when the girls are napping. I probably wouldn't have the time to get out on those days at all if we're not staying ski-in/out.
The sarcasm wasn't ment for you personally. When we took Ski vacations with my Boys, who are now grown, we mostly rented Condos for the convenience. Most of the time we'd stay in or around Frisco in Summit County. The last Condo I rented a year ago was a three bedroom with full kitchen, and use of a pool and hot tub. Seven days cost me $1500. So, ya, the amount you spent per night sounds incredible. But, that's just me.

Course, I've always been on a budget. If I had to spend $425 a night, I'd be staying home.
post #15 of 16
Cliff,

You'll have a great time there.

I've seen (second hand) how much convenience can be worth for people in your situation.

Next time, go for the 2 bedroom and adopt me!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking bear View Post
Next time, go for the 2 bedroom and adopt me!
Will do!

Thanks again to everyone here for all the help in sorting out our options for this last minute trip!

-Cliff
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