Just got back from a week in Vail and here are some of my observations:
The conditions when I arrived were good, the snow was dry and light but there wasn't much of it. The daily temps were in the upper 20's low 30's and the skies were blue! I couldn't ask for more. I found out on Saturday, the day my daughter (Lea -7) and I arrived that we could ski with our boarding pass, so out we went! It was great! On Sunday, we went out together again spending the day on easy groomers and having a blast! We went in for lunch and she got a small bowl of pasta and a Gatorade and I had a chilli and a bottle of water. $30!!!!! OUCH!!!! Somebody needs a reality check! During the week, I put Lea in ski school and I went to find intermediate bumps to learn on. I went directly to Whistle Pig. While on the lift, I met an instructor who told me to try Powerline. Now that is a learning run! How can it be that WP is blue and Powerline is black? Anyway the skiing was great and the weather was awesome! Unfortunately, as the week ended, the temps got much warmer and ice was the order of the mornings until about 11 or so when it melted and then you had a couple of great hours before slushy conditions prevailed. The mountain was everything it is hyped up to be, including the rediculous pricing!!
We stayed at the Vail Cascades. Back in October, I recieved an email from the hotel, selling rooms from $199. So I booked 8 nights in a suite for $249 a night! Now that was a steal! Cascades is a fine hotel and tries to be 5 star but misses. Convenience factor suffers a bit in that the ski concierge area is too small and congested. The base area is also too small and congested but once you get your skis on, there is no lift line and getting to the top of the mountian is easy. Cascades spent millions on renovations that included the dining area. They did a nice enough job on the decor but the food selection was mediocore. There wasn't enough healthy foods for breakfast and the cereal dispensers crushed the cereal.
All in all it was a great week and I acheived what I set out to do, learn moguls! Unfortunately, I won't be going back to Vail. It's too expensive for the service it offers. I will be going back to Utah next year. Deer Valley knows how to pamper you if that's what you want, and when you have kids, that level of service really helps!