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Where to Go for Xmas Break? - Page 2

post #31 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Vail -- thanks, bschneid.  I'll check out the cost.  Base altitude is higher than PC or Steamboat (8120 ft. vs under 7000 ft.).  On the other hand, I understand the base village at Vail is roughly the size of Akron, so there would be plenty to do for non-skiing wife.

 


I am sure that she can spend way more than the cost of your lift ticket everyday at Vail.
 

post #32 of 45

We're probably in play for a short trip over Christmas break since it looks like there will be some required PTO in addition to the regular paid holidays between Christmas Eve and New Years Day.  So, a gathering somewhere along the Appalachian Trail is probably do-able. I know it isn't allt he Oooh and AAAah that Steamboat is.  That is where I would take the family if funds weren't any handicap. 

post #33 of 45

I'd probably go with Park City -- the city, not necessarily the resort.  Remember that PCMR shares a boundary with Deer Valley; lodging for one will work for the other.  Cute little town for shopping.  You also have the Canyons, and of course, it's a doable drive to one of the Cottonwood Canyons resorts.

 

One way to reduce cost on any location might be to take part of someone's ski lease.  This past season, it cost us $10k to rent a 3br/2ba townhouse at the base of Alpine Meadows from Thanksgiving through the first weekend of May.  The same condos typically go for $2500 or more for Xmas week.  If we didn't have school-age kids, I know I would've been more than happy to sublet the place for Xmas week at a discount, avoid the crowds, and defray our costs.  And with the current state of the economy, I expect ski leases to drop significantly this coming season.

 

If your nine-year-old is going into Fifth Grade, Ski Utah's Fifth Grade Passport will give her three free days at each resort in Utah; you pay only a $15 processing fee.

 

You should also compare kids' lift ticket prices in the different areas you're considering. Because I was used to paying Tahoe-area prices for kids lift tickets -- $5-10 -- I was shocked to learn that Utah resorts charge more like $40-50.

post #34 of 45

A resounding concurrence for Steamboat based on your needs. When the kids were still in school and the only real choice was Christmas week we went there several years running.  The crowds are manageable everywhere but the gondola and you'll soon learn there is an alternate lift that gets you up to the same spot. Snow was fine and lots of runs for the levels you describe.   They usually have a great "new year" celebration around  7 pm with a torch parade and fireworks. Drive from Denver is pretty scenic esp once you leave I-70 but as noted by others is 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  Decent restaurants, getting more stores but still a lot of ski stores and western art/furniture. Hot springs are nice but a bit crowded. Spouse can get around most places on shuttle system (goes to town) and as mentioned there are lots of condos on the shuttle route so you do not need to stay at the base. Park City is also good and a bit more to do for the non-skier, but the kids liked the 'boat better.

post #35 of 45
Thread Starter 

 

Thanks to all who've weighed in the last few days.  Sounds like I could almost flip a coin between Park City and Steamboat.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwdrhnd View Post

 


I am sure that she can spend way more than the cost of your lift ticket everyday at Vail.
 


Yeh, good point, and that alone might take Vail off the list.  On the plus side, Tony Crocker gives Vail a 4 for snow at Xmas.  I haven't had a chance yet to check out cost of lodging or air tickets for Vail, so the jury is still out.  

 

Another idea: yesterday morning, while re-reading old Ski magazines instead of paying bills, I read about Snowmass' new kids' center.  9-year-old daughter would love it.  And Snowmass is close to Aspen, so good for wife (if not for the pocketbook).  But Tony gives Snowmass only a 2 for Xmas snow, so it might not stay on the list.  

 

Also, yesterday at breakfast, son challenged daughter to a race down the terrain park that he and I skied this past March at Sugarloaf.  The gauntlet having been thrown, they both want to go there.  Sugarloaf has a lot of pluses: good snow at Xmas (possibly), low altitude, cheap tickets to Portland, slopeside lodging at reasonable rates -- only thing missing is Park City at the base.

 

Another complication:  wife says we can't pick an Xmas destination until we nail down our summer vacation (can you believe what I have to put up with!?! ).  I told her she could choose for summer, since she's always so flexible about our winter skiing.     
 

post #36 of 45

Snowmass would be a great place for your family Christmas vacation. I've skied Aspen/Snowmass at Christmas for about the last 30 years and I can't remember any years that sucked. Some years the skiing wasn't the greatest, but there are hardly ever any lift lines and the skiing is always pretty darn good. 

 

Vail does get more snow, but I don't think Tony's data reflects the added skier pressure that the Epic pass and close proximity to Denver,  puts on the slopes at Vail.  Personally, I would pick Steamboat over Vail or PC and Snowmass would be a push. 

 

Since Christmas is on a Friday this year, you could probably save a bundle and negate the crowd factor just about anywhere, by going the first week? If you do go the second week, I would think about booking travel soon.  The 26th is going to be a big travel day!

post #37 of 45

Vail would be nutz at Xmas, the lines for everything are a given, nuf sed! I ski there two weeks a year, but never Xmas week. Saturdays and sundays are bad enough there!

If you are thinking of hopping a plane to head west, you might look into Crested Butte, they do some special offers that might fit the bill.

Now Sugarbush often gets weeks of great snow just prior to the BIG week, I've skied Castlerock Area up to my knees as early as Dec.7, only to have it rain Xmas week. Tony is right about the last several Xmas rainouts.

I've been skiing the Mad River Valley for 32 years, so when the early snows don't come the offerings can be extremely sparse. My best ski bro's family has one of the greatest poperties up there with a view of the basin from above the golf course. Joe never plans to be there Xmas week for more than a couple of days, even though the kids are off from school. But that is the East. Oh, I've owned a timeshare there at the Eagles since '84, beautiful single homes if you might be interested. Availability at Xmas?

IMHO Sugarbush has the best skiing in the east when the snows are frequent, and the valley is old New England. Oh yeah, you get three mountains to choose from, which helps to spread the crowd out nicely.

Good luck and may the snow gods bless you!

post #38 of 45

SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!SUGARLOAF!

 

post #39 of 45
Thread Starter 

  

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

 

One way to reduce cost on any location might be to take part of someone's ski lease.  This past season, it cost us $10k to rent a 3br/2ba townhouse at the base of Alpine Meadows from Thanksgiving through the first weekend of May.  The same condos typically go for $2500 or more for Xmas week.  If we didn't have school-age kids, I know I would've been more than happy to sublet the place for Xmas week at a discount, avoid the crowds, and defray our costs.  And with the current state of the economy, I expect ski leases to drop significantly this coming season.

 


Dad -- interesting idea.  How do I find these people who might want to sublet for Xmas week?  Thanks.
 

post #40 of 45
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snokat View Post

Vail would be nutz at Xmas, the lines for everything are a given, nuf sed! I ski there two weeks a year, but never Xmas week. Saturdays and sundays are bad enough there!

If you are thinking of hopping a plane to head west, you might look into Crested Butte, they do some special offers that might fit the bill.

Now Sugarbush often gets weeks of great snow just prior to the BIG week, I've skied Castlerock Area up to my knees as early as Dec.7, only to have it rain Xmas week. Tony is right about the last several Xmas rainouts.

I've been skiing the Mad River Valley for 32 years, so when the early snows don't come the offerings can be extremely sparse. My best ski bro's family has one of the greatest poperties up there with a view of the basin from above the golf course. Joe never plans to be there Xmas week for more than a couple of days, even though the kids are off from school. But that is the East. Oh, I've owned a timeshare there at the Eagles since '84, beautiful single homes if you might be interested. Availability at Xmas?

IMHO Sugarbush has the best skiing in the east when the snows are frequent, and the valley is old New England. Oh yeah, you get three mountains to choose from, which helps to spread the crowd out nicely.

Good luck and may the snow gods bless you!


Snokat -- thanks.  OK, Vail is out for this coming Xmas: too much $$ and crowds.  Crested Butte is on my Bucket List, although not sure it's the choice for (this) Xmas.  Sounds like it is a fun/interesting town, and has some great slopes.  On the other hand, Tony gives it only a 2 for snow at Xmas.  Also, CB is a bit higher than either Steamboat or PC:  8924 ft. (town) and 9375 ft. (ski area).  I want to ease the family into the whole altiltude thing.

 

So, I keep coming back to PC or Steamboat as my West finalists, maybe with Snowmass closing the gap on the outside lane.  For the East, Sugarbush sounds good -- if I could predict the weather.  Anybody know what the Farmers Almanac is predicting for the coming season?

 

Beyond Xmas break, thinking about all the places I've got on my Bucket List, I'll need a couple decades to get to all of them.  Maybe I'd better go the gym after work today....     
 

post #41 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

  


Dad -- interesting idea.  How do I find these people who might want to sublet for Xmas week?  Thanks.
 

 

Posting in the real estate forum here would probably be a good start.

 

post #42 of 45
Thread Starter 
OK, the long wait is over, we've picked a resort.  Before revealing the winner, I just want to say that I valued everyone's input -- so please don't write me off if I didn't take your recommended place this time.  Heck, in 3-4 months I'll launch my annual "where should I go for the kids' Spring break" thread, so you'll have another chance.

And the winner is:

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                                                                                                 .... STOWE!

                                                                                         
Huh? (you say).  Here's how it faired on my criteria:                                                            

1.  Quality of snow for that time of year.   See The Rusty's post on snowfall in the NE this season.  If it turns out not to happen (See Tony Crocker's rejoinder), Stowe has great snowmaking.  
 

2.  Variety/challenge of slopes.   There's something for everyone -- including at the high end (see BWPA's trip report).     

 

3.  Slopeside lodging that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.   The AIG Spruce Peak places flunked this criteria, but we rented one of the older but still nice Mt. Mansfield condos (lower left corner on your trail map).  If Joe Bastardi is right, there will be snow over there and that lift on the far left will be running by Xmas.  If not, I can probably bribe my wife to drive us (two minutes) over to the base lodge each morning (she's easy: a latte and the NYT).
 

4.  An interesting (or semi-interesting) nearby town for non-skiing wife Stowe, VT.  We drove through it last year on the way back from Smuggs, and wife loved it.  
 

5.  Ease of trip from DC.   We have the option of driving up or snagging cheap air tickets to Burlington.

 

6.  Altitude.   Not a factor here.  Stowe is probably 500 feet above sea level.

In addition, my thinking was: Stowe is on my bucket list, and this may be the last best year to ski there.  Who knows how AIG's problems will effect Stowe in the future? 

So, as I get closer to the trip, I'll be back with questions on best trails, best instructors (should we avoid that "epic" guy?), best places to eat, etc. 

Thanks again to all. 
     
 

post #43 of 45
Good choice and go west for spring break.
post #44 of 45
 Excellent choice. Skiing aside I think it's pretty magical up here that time of year.
post #45 of 45
Thread Starter 
Ski-3PO -- that was my thinking too.

epic -- thanks.  I'll be in touch as it gets closer to Xmas.
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