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Vail vs. Lake Tahoe????

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I have the oppertunity to go to either Vail or Lake Tahoe in Dec. the 14-19.

 

Which do I chose.

 

Airfare is about the same, Lodging will be free, I work at a hotel so gotta love those perks. I am a beginner and will need some sort of lessons.

 

What is the best. How does cost come into factor.


Edited by FB User (Private) - 9/6/10 at 3:32pm
post #2 of 25

Michael,

 

I've lived in Vail for two seasons, and now live in the Bay area and ski a bit of the Lake Tahoe resorts.  Both are completely different, and both are fine for a beginner.  Not to sound like a complete ass, but I'd travel to the best snow.  And you have no way of knowing where there will be snow that time of year until Mother Nature cooperates.  So I'd wait to make reservations.  You can likely get a decent room package since the 14-19 of December won't be too crowded (plenty of free rooms).


Edited by quant2325 - 9/6/10 at 2:26pm
post #3 of 25

Vail is a ski resort and Tahoe is a region in Eastern California and Western Nevada with some 22 odd ski areas in it.  It would be easier to make a suggestion if you'd narrow down your interests a bit.  What are your expectations for budget, terrain, variety, etc.  On-slope accommodations?   When do you plan to travel?   Are you sensitive or have problems with acclimatization to high altitude?

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

Michael,

 

I've lived in Vail for two seasons, and now live in the Bay area and ski a bit of the Lake Tahoe resorts.  Both are completely different, and both are fine for a beginner.  Not to sound like a complete ass, but I'd travel to the best snow.  And you have no way of knowing where there will be snow that time of year until Mother Nature cooperates.  So I'd wait to make reservations.  You can likely get a decent room package since the 14-19 of December won't be too crowded (plenty of free rooms).

 

 

This one's easy...for a beginner...Vail ALWAYS has better snow than Tahoe.  It may not have nearly as much snow but it is always in better shape.  The terrain in Tahoe kicks Vail's in the teeth but for snow quality (not quantity)...Vail is MUCH better.  Since you are a beginner and are going to be skiing groomed beginner runs none of this really matters so just go with whichever is easier, closer, cheaper.
 

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Vail is a ski resort and Tahoe is a region in Eastern California and Western Nevada with some 22 odd ski areas in it.  It would be easier to make a suggestion if you'd narrow down your interests a bit.  What are your expectations for budget, terrain, variety, etc.  On-slope accommodations?   When do you plan to travel?   Are you sensitive or have problems with acclimatization to high altitude?


As far as budget is concerned there is not really much. I will be traveling from Orlando and staying either at the Hyatt Beaver Creek or Hyatt Regency in Tahoe. The airfare to both places is about the same. I will need rental Equiptment. Heading out to Stevens in March so this is my learning time per say. I would like to take a 6 hr private lesson. I think this would be the best what do you think. Also I do not want to have to rent a car if I do not need to.

post #6 of 25

Vail. Better odds of at least decent coverage by then. Also, Hyatt at BC is right at base of mountain. perfect for beginner skier. 

post #7 of 25

It should be worth noting that the "Vail" hotel is really at the base of the Beaver Creek resort not Vail (it is a 10-15 minute bus ride away).

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

I will be at the Hyatt Beaver Creek

post #9 of 25

Michael, since you are still on line.   Are you still open to Tahoe and is the Hyatt Regency at North Shore?   If so let me know and I can fill you in on tahoe from that hotel.  Traveling with........?

post #10 of 25

Well, in reality this is between Vail/ Beaver Creek and Heavenly.  The Hyatt at Tahoe is right at the foot of the Gondola and is surrounded by ski rental shops, restaurants and casinos.  I don't quite understand Maui Steve's concern about snow in March.  Either place is approaching the maximum accumulation for the year in March and early April and either should produce good conditions.  Both mountains have excellent grooming and fantastic intermediate terrain, and both have reputable ski schools that can get you up to speed to enjoy most of the mountain.  Vail will tend to be more expensive for meals and will offer more of a ski-resort vibe, while at the Heavenly Hyatt, you will be in South Lake / State Line and have a bit more of a small city feel until you jump on the lift. 

 

Whichever you choose, I'm sure you'll have a great time.  You are luck to have such a choice.

 

Edit to add the above is completely wrong   The marriott is at Heavenly. Hyatt is a North Shore property.


Edited by Cirquerider - 9/7/10 at 10:42am
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post

Well, in reality this is between Vail/ Beaver Creek and Heavenly.  The Hyatt at Tahoe is right at the foot of the Gondola and is surrounded by ski rental shops, restaurants and casinos.  I don't quite understand Maui Steve's concern about snow in March.  Either place is approaching the maximum accumulation for the year in March and early April and either should produce good conditions.  Both mountains have excellent grooming and fantastic intermediate terrain, and both have reputable ski schools that can get you up to speed to enjoy most of the mountain.  Vail will tend to be more expensive for meals and will offer more of a ski-resort vibe, while at the Heavenly Hyatt, you will be in South Lake / State Line and have a bit more of a small city feel until you jump on the lift. 

 

Whichever you choose, I'm sure you'll have a great time.  You are luck to have such a choice.



I will actually be there in Dec. that was with the concern of ground cover.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Pete I sent you a pm.

post #13 of 25

December is generally more reliabler in Colorado.  Since you will be mainly on-piste, both will have coverage, but we have had a few Decembers here that had us worried.   I saw your comment about Stevens and oops.

post #14 of 25

Colorado would generally have better conditions that early.  But I would wait until after Thanksgiving to book.   Lake Tahoe will be cheaper for food and entertainment. Not much competition and not much going on in Beaver Creek at night. How late does the bus run from Vail?

post #15 of 25

I love Tahoe and ski it a lot, but I'd vote against it that early in the season.  Coverage is too iffy.  Not that I know anything about Beaver Creek.

 

Also, I believe the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe is a bit out of the way.  It appears to be in Incline Village, making it harder to get to anywhere but Diamond Peak without a car.  I think Cirquerider was actually referring to the Marriott at the bottom of Heavenly's gondola.  Anyway, there is the North Lake Tahoe Express shuttle that leaves HRLT around 8AM and gets to most of the North Lake areas around 9AM, but it seems like a lot of time to spend in transit to snow that will likely be marginal.  I have clear memories of skiing Northstar in January and carefully avoiding brown snow and the uncovered tops of small trees.

post #16 of 25

My advice (the second post from the top) to wait for snow was based upon having a romantic and visually stunning trip, not just skiing.  The beginner slopes should be covered OK with snow making if Mother Nature is tardy with the real stuff, and you can get great "Never-ever" or beginner lessons anywhere.  But when on vacation an area covered in snow puts a bigger smile on my face than one that isn't covered in snow. 

 

All things being equal, Vail village is perhaps more romantic and easier to walk around (no alleys for one thing) because it is a village .   And yes, you can get a bus back to Beaver Creek at night.  Both Hyatts are beautiful, although I kinda love the chandelier in the Beaver Creek lobby. Walk out the door and you are skiing Beaver Creek.  The Rockies covered with snow against a blue sky is always a "KODAK Moment."  As Cirquerider pointed out, there are a zillion places to ski around the Lake Tahoe, and most have visually stunning views of the lake.  UGASkiDawg assumes Vail will have a better quality of snow in December.  He is likely right, since Vail does seed clouds.  Regardless, as beginners you aren't going to ski knee-deep powder.

 

It will likely  be less expensive to ski around Lake Tahoe providing you get a rental car or can put up with a bus.  You can likely ski three days at a smaller resort like Homewood with killer views of the lake for the price of a Vail/Beaver Creek lift ticket (I don't know what kind of deals there are for beginners in the Vail area).  SHREADHEAD thinks you should wait until Thanksgiving until booking your flights.  It may not be a bad idea. 

 

Regarding a six-hour private lesson?  It can't hurt.  Assuming you are a brand new skier,  check and see if there are any ski schools offering a "Never-ever" type of lesson package.  You can get a pass, rental equipment and a group lesson heavily discounted with these types of lessons.  It may be worthwhile on your first day to do a never-ever while you are still getting acclimated to the altitude.

 

Either location is the foundation of a world class vacation.  I am envious of your free rooms!

post #17 of 25

Between these two - Vail. Or I should say, Colorado.

 

South Lake Tahoe/Stateline NV is probably my least favorite ski town. Sorry to any locals or aficianados.

 

The skiing is good in March at either place.

 

Not sure the hotel situation, but I'm a big fan of Breckenridge for beginners or groups of mixed ability. It's also a great town. I know a good instructor there, if interested in contact info, PM me.


Edited by FB User (Private) - 9/7/10 at 4:19pm
post #18 of 25

You are getting a ton of advice & now it is getting confusing because you are asking for advice in a bunch of different threads.  Now forget what everyone else said & listen to me .

 

Beaver Creek will have made a bunch of snow for the early December World Cup races.  Machine made snow is the only insurance early season, & BC will be motivated to get on it early & hard.  They will also have the beginner slopes spruced up for the TV cameras & media.  Your idea of doing the dryland lessons beforehand is a good one.  Once you have completed that I wouldn't be surprised if you are past the "first time beginner" stage.  In that case taking a private lesson at least for the morning half of the first day would be advised.  This will avoid any confusion on which level you belong in.  If cost is a concern, there is nothing wrong with doing a package group lesson after that.  During those dates lesson groups might not be too full anyway.  Inquire as to their maximum persons per group.  Either way, once you have enrolled in the dryland lessons contact vailsnopro & put your trust in his advice.  He will be able to advise you to your best options.

 

Book that trip now, & have a great time.  If all first-timers did 1/2 the research you are doing their experiences would always be much better.

 

Good luck,

JF

post #19 of 25

Another vote for Beaver Creek. You'll be skiing man made stuff but they'll do a good job laying it down.

post #20 of 25

Regrading the ski lessons: if it were me, I'd split the six hours into three days -- two hours each day.   When I'm learning something new, my brain fills up rapidly.

post #21 of 25

Im gonna give you a really shallow analysis. Ive ski'd both these areas but not since I was 15 years old (25 now). Just in terms of remembering how much I enjoyed it, I would go with Vail. Since its been so long since I was at either place, and only 1 visit to each, I cant really give you a meaningful in depth analysis. But if memory means anything, I just remember having a lot more fun in Vail. Lots of nice runs and tree skiing, plus everything is in one place where as in Tahoe all the resorts are spread out.

post #22 of 25

If its your first time skiing i would recommend a longer lesson than 6 hours, of course some people catch on really fast and it takes some people days. If youve had any inline skating experience that will help some, its still diffrent but its close enough to help out.

post #23 of 25

A few more considerations. This year is a solid La Nina weather pattern. I haven't been out of my full suit all summer long and that has never happened. That said, that weather pattern isn't good for Tahoe. For early season this year, I would go to Whistler or Salt Lake City. I guess CO comes in before Tahoe. I plan on doing some traveling this season. We will see.

post #24 of 25

4ster has given you the best advice. take it

post #25 of 25

One additional consideration:

 

Vail is steep at the bottom and flat on top, so the beginner areas are up high.  You take the gondola up, you take the gondola down, you practice on the easy terrain at the top.  This gives you the mountain view most beginner areas fail to provide first-timers.  I don't know where the beginner terrain is at the Tahoe area resorts.

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