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Which Colorado resort...?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Am planning on flying into Denver in January to visit one of the ski resorts in Colorado. Have done skiing in various European resorts (am from England) but this will be the first time skiing in America.

Guess I fall into the "ski once a year" crowd, but would still like a resort with enough advanced trails. Other factors are - ideally some nice scenery, sensible lift queues, don't want to hit a ridiculously expensive resort (I gather Beaver Creek is pretty costly), etc. Can anyone offer any recommendations? The main resorts I've been looking at are Breckenridge, Telluride, Keystone, Steamboat, etc., but am finding it hard to decide! Any advice would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 21
I always say.... if I was in Colorado and had 5 days to ski, I'd drive to Jackson Hole, ski 3 days and drive back.
post #3 of 21
The thing with going to JH is:

1) if you ski once a year, I don't think you can do a lot of their harder trails
2) you miss 2 days of skiing!!!
post #4 of 21
It falls in the pricey category, but Aspen/Snowmass is the place I'd recommend to a Euro for a first ski trip to US. Has it all, interesting and varied skiing, fun town/nightlife, nice scenery.
Check this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=968126
You can find more lodging options through searching for: Aspen or Snowmass.

Having said that, Keystone, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Copper Mtn are all closer to Denver and nice and a little more affordable. Vail/Beaver Creek is nice too, falls into the pricey category.

Welcome to Epicski.
post #5 of 21
Aspen is a good recommendation. I'd also throw out Steamboat.

I guess it depends on what type of terrain you like to ski, and what you find interesting. I'd probably tend to shy away from Summit County as the local traffic from the front range will congest the ski area -- might as well ski something a bit more, um, deserted.

post #6 of 21
Do you want to ski or want to "ski" (meaning ski/apres/vacation)? Judging by your "once a year," I'm guessing the latter. In that case I would suggest Breck as a good mix of all of that. It often gets a bad rep, but it's a fun town and a good mountain. But it does get a lot of gapers and weekends are very busy.
post #7 of 21
I learned to ski while living in England and am also a once a year skier. I ski the end of Jan to ski without crowds but still give Mother Nature time to pile up some snow. Knock on wood, it has worked for me. I skied Breck but the altitude of the village affected us significantly, some very significantly. The skiing is great and the village awesome. Vail is great, huge, well kept, and what variety. Pricey? Maybe a little bit but worth it. I recommend VRBO.com to save money on lodging. The Boat is awesome and friendly. Great kids ski school. The drive from Denver is a huge difference from the resorts on the Interstate. When riding lifts and talking to locals, they seem to like Copper. The magazines have suggested in the past that they lack the "village." I think they have been working on that. Snowmass is on my "to do list." Big vertical, variety, although less in the apres ski - OK by me, I fall asleep. But there is Aspen next door if you want to party. I skied the Alps for four years, although a while back. You should enjoy the Rockies. We have less vertical and overall fewer runs. However, we have easier layout, very few rope tows, and much better conditions/weather. Have a good time.
post #8 of 21
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
The thing with going to JH is:

1) if you ski once a year, I don't think you can do a lot of their harder trails
2) you miss 2 days of skiing!!!
That was kind of the point of my joke.... Get it? 3 days in Jackson is better than 5 days in Colorado???

Never mind.
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
That was kind of the point of my joke.... Get it? 3 days in Jackson is better than 5 days in Colorado???

Never mind.
Yeah, I don't get it either...... better bump this in a couple of months.
post #10 of 21
If you come to Summit County, Colorado, you can ski five resorts within a few miles: Copper, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland. Within a hour drive are Vail and Beaver Creek. There are hundreds of places to stay and eat. There is a free bus service between the four County resorts. All have a variety of runs from almost flat to 50 degrees (Breck Lake Chutes).
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
Yeah, I don't get it either...... better bump this in a couple of months.
You'll understand soon enough, grasshopper!!!
post #12 of 21
I have lived and skied in the Colorado Front Range for 20 years and ski 50+ days a year. The above suggestions regarding Summit county resorts are good. If I had visitors that were advanced but "once a year skiers" I would offer the following suggestions. If you ski on week days you will have no problems with crowds in the Front Range if you want to ski multiple resorts. You could stay in Frisco and be within easy day trips of most resorts. Don't discount the smaller resorts like Loveland and A-basin if you rent a car. Loveland has the best snow on average in Summit County area and is usually not real crowded on weekends. A-basin is actually family friendly (if you stay away from the harder bump runs off Pallivicinni) with plenty of advanced but not too difficult terrain (West Wall, Montezuma bowl). I also spend a lot of time at Winter Park although mainly on the Mary Jane side. You might like the terrain there that is ungroomed but not hard core steep bump runs (i.e. Parsenne Bowl and Parsenne Trees at Mary Jane). If you are set on just staying just one place then I would pick Steamboat from my experience. Check out Pioneer ridge and if you are up to it the tree runs around Closet for advanced but not intimidating runs. Steamboat is known for the best trees runs in Colorado and light powder if you like that sort of thing. Where you go depends on what kind of advanced terrain you like (groomed, bumps, steeps, trees, wide open, rolling terrain, etc.) each resort has a different character but you can find variety at all of them.
I can't offer an opinion on the Aspen area since I have never made it there due mainly to the cost. Beaver Creek is nice if you just do a day trip there. Telluride is awesome but you need to be able to ski steep terrain to really take advantage of it.
I have a condo in Georgetown so I am within an one half to one hour of all the Front Range resorts (except Steamboat which is 2 hours). Georgetown is really cheap but has very limited food and entertainment options and you would need a car. This is a low budget option only.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice and information everyone, really appreciated.

I think we'll just head to one resort and stay there, rather than move somewhere else after 2/3 days, probably a bit easier that way and

It looks like I'm ruling out Beaver Creek as its too pricey and Telluride as its too far from Denver. Main priority is the skiing, but having a nice town as well would be an advantage (I loved Durango when I went there, and anything like that would be nice). Copper Mountain looks a bit bland in terms of the village itself. Loveland looks a bit bare bones, not sure how much apres-ski there is. I guess this leaves Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, Winter Park and Steamboat. So many resorts still to choose from...

In terms of price of lodging/food/etc., is there much to choose between the above? Breckenridge looks to have a lot more lodging options than say, Steamboat. If we went on a budget and stayed outside of the resorts themselves, are the towns of Silverthorne / Frisco / Dillon all nice enough places to stay, or would we be limiting ourselves by doing this...?
post #14 of 21
On the contrary, I think by staying in one of the towns you widen your possibilities.
post #15 of 21
I think someone already suggested Breck. Which I think is a good idea. We did a short trip a few years back and we enjoyed staying there. Found a nice condo off the VRBO site, which was right near the lifts. From there we were able to do day trips to Vail and Beaver Creek. We were there early January, and the weekday lift lines were basically nill.
post #16 of 21
I just booked a nice room (we stsayed there before) within 1/2 mile of Steamboat for $115 a night for a race we have the weekend of Jan 17 at Steamboat. There are also good deals in town or within a mile of the Gondola with free bus service to the mountain. The town of Steamboat has plenty of good places to eat. Breckenridge is also a nice town but I prefer skiing at Steamboat (mainly for the trees). You would probably be happy with either choice especially if you favor groomed runs.
post #17 of 21
Something to consider is the altitude. Breckenridge is HIGH! 9,600 feet in town. I had skkied Val Thorens without a problem but had altitude sickness at Breckenridge and had to find a lower hotel and drive in every day. Good skiing though.

Look at Winter Park, under rated IMHO and quiet on weekdays.
post #18 of 21
I wouldn't rule out Beaver Creek because of cost without checking first. My son and I are going up to Vail for 3 days next week, and we found deals on both VRBO.com (vacation rentals by owner) and lastsecondclub.com that were cheaper than Vail and well under $200/night. You can also stay in Avon, which is much cheaper, too, so if you have your sights set on Vail and BC, that is often a surprisingly reasonable option.

I agree that there is not much "town" in Copper (ok, there really isn't a town at all), and there is nothing (except great skiing) at Loveland (no place to stay, no place to eat- it is a ski area only, not a resort).
post #19 of 21
How long is your stay going to be and how many days do you plan on skiing?

If you are set on staying and skiing at the same place the whole time I think Steamboat or Breck would be your best options.

As for me, we've alwyas stayed in Silverthorne and rented a car and drove to a different resort each day based on conditions/weather/whims of the group. Silverthorne is nice and you can find cheap lodging there. I really like the skiing at Copper and A-basin.

Whatever you decide I'm sure you'll have a great time!
post #20 of 21
Simple -

Stay at Breck and go out to the other areas from there. As mentioned above, Breck, Keystone, A-Basin, Vail, Beaver Creek and Copper are in close proximity, and Steamboat's only 1.5 hours away.

Nice town, good restaurant's, mass transit to the other hills if desired - generally the best 'centerpoint' for a CO vacation.
post #21 of 21
If you have narrowed it down to Vail for your ski trip to Colorado I suggest Destination Resorts Vail. http://www.destinationresortsvail.com. They have condos and vacation rentals of all sizes so there's probably one that will work for you. I've always been a fan.
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