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View Full Version : Thinking of going skiing, advice needed..


dtebbe
02-02-2005, 09:36 PM
We are thinking about going out to Denver in a couple weeks for a little winter vacation. My son is 5 and has never really gotten to play in the snow. He also loves trains, so we were going to take a ride from Denver to Grand Junction on the Amtrak California Zephyr.

My question is, for a family not looking to bust the bank, what is the best ski resort for the buck? We are all beginner skiiers, so the place that is most novice friendly would be best. We would **like** to stay at a hotel that is at the actual ski resort, but I really don't want to pay $200-$300/night for that.

I seem to remember that when I was in Denver back in 88 all the locals went to Winter Park, and one other place. An area that has tubing, sledding, and snowmobiling would also be good, because I don't know how the little guy is going to be on skis. He can roller blade, so I think he will pick it up pretty quick.

Any advice would be welcome, especially from any of you Denver locals (yes, even you Taco)...

TIA
DT

Hoover
02-02-2005, 09:39 PM
I say wait till March, it will save you money.

Or you can go to Whistler in British Columbia in March, great Skiing, and you get the American discount.

Donger
02-02-2005, 09:43 PM
We are thinking about going out to Denver in a couple weeks for a little winter vacation. My son is 5 and has never really gotten to play in the snow. He also loves trains, so we were going to take a ride from Denver to Grand Junction on the Amtrak California Zephyr.

My question is, for a family not looking to bust the bank, what is the best ski resort for the buck? We are all beginner skiiers, so the place that is most novice friendly would be best. We would **like** to stay at a hotel that is at the actual ski resort, but I really don't want to pay $200-$300/night for that.

I seem to remember that when I was in Denver back in 88 all the locals went to Winter Park, and one other place. An area that has tubing, sledding, and snowmobiling would also be good, because I don't know how the little guy is going to be on skis. He can roller blade, so I think he will pick it up pretty quick.

Any advice would be welcome, especially from any of you Denver locals (yes, even you Taco)..


TIA
DT


Winter Park is probably still the most family-friendly place. And, they've got activities other than skiing there. Personally, I don't like the drive (Berthoud Pass) but...

Loveland is still one of the cheapest though, and you don't have to cross the divide, but it's very much a ski place. I'd avoid Breck, Copper and Vail, obviously. Keystone is probably the best family place over the divide.

elvomito
02-02-2005, 09:46 PM
i went to winter park before.... that was my first and only trip to the mountains. so beautiful. when you're going up a ski lift, be sure to turn around and enjoy the view.

2bikemike
02-02-2005, 09:54 PM
I am not sure of the value aspect of it. It has been several years since I skied Colo. But Keystone is the one I thought of as being good for the whole family.

PastorMikH
02-02-2005, 10:04 PM
Skiing advice: If you fall, make sure you let go of the rope.




Oh, wait, you're talking snow. Nevermind.


:)

Rain Man
02-02-2005, 10:08 PM
I'm afraid I don't know much about the actual ski slopes.

In terms of towns, Breckenridge is popular. It's big enough to have services, but is also pedestrian-friendly. It's moderately charming.

I'm not a big fan of Winter Park, because you have to take those buses everywhere. It's less of a town than it is a ski area and then a bunch of restaurants along a highway. Winter Park has no pizzazz at all.

Most of these ski areas are not cheap. If you're not seeing a big difference in pricing, just bite the bullet and go to Vail. Vail is an awesome town. It's very pedestrian-friendly (for the most part, cars aren't allowed in town) and it has lots of services. You won't regret going there.

Telluride is an absolutely gorgeous place, but it's about seven hours out of Denver and it's not a big town. You'll eat at the same three restaurants your whole trip.

Steamboat Springs is a real town that happens to have skiing nearby. It's probably reasonably priced compared to other ski towns just because it's got more housing, but it for the most part doesn't have the great scenery that a place like Vail or Telluride has, or even Breckenridge. It's a rough drive from Denver on two-lane roads.

If you don't have your heart set on skiing, go to Ouray. Ouray is a majorly cool mountain town, but it doesn't have skiing. It's also about 6 or 7 hours outside of Denver, though.

Again, I know nothing about the actual skiing. I'm just talking about the towns.

dtebbe
02-02-2005, 10:10 PM
Wow, thanks for the quick responses. My son gets an early break from school Feb. 21st thru 25th, so we are kinda stuck with those dates. There do seem to be lots of fun things to do in Winter Park, and this ski train (http://www.skitrain.com/winter.html) looks kinda cool for the kid's train jones. I have found some reasonable lodging in Winter Park too, so that's the way I'm leaning. The snowmobiling looks really fun, I have a feeling they are going to get some $$$ out of me.

DT

Rain Man
02-02-2005, 10:17 PM
The ski train is definitely cool. We just took my niece and nephew up to Winter Park on the ski train over Christmas. If you go to Winter Park, you should take the train.

Miles
02-02-2005, 10:22 PM
I really like Breckenridge. Its a great resort town with plenty of cool restaurants and stuff to do at night. It seemed pretty beginner friendly and has a large high speed lift that services the greens. However it can get really crowded and it pretty trendy/touristy (which may be a negative for some). They have snowmobiling there as well but i think its pretty pricey.

Keystone is a nice mountain and also as the advantage of night skiing (which are mostly easy runs) Its probably cheaper to stay there than Breckenridge but its not nearly as cool of a town as Breck.

The nice thing about keyston/breck is that they are close to each other and the lift tickets are good at both places. There is even a shuttle bus that runs from keystone to breck for night skiing.

The lift tickets at both of those places should be comparable to most of the other mountains but i have no idea on the lodging. Every time i have gone we have taken the pack a bunch of people into one condo approach.

stevieray
02-02-2005, 10:30 PM
Copper Mountain is fun, and one the first to allow snoboarding back in the eighties.... Or the others in Summit County. If you're hardcore...go to Arapahoe Basin.

If you don't have a yard sale, you're not trying.

If you want great skiing, without the resort feel, go ski Monarch.

Mr. Kotter
02-02-2005, 10:37 PM
Depends on what you are lookin' for....if you wanna stay close to I-70...Summit County is best, but also the most "touristy" (spendy). Breckenridge is great; Keystone is right next door; CooperMountain is right there, and WinterPark is just up the road a bit.

If you want more powder, less crowded...don't mind traveling a couple of hours, to save some money Crested Butte and Monarch were always fun too. From what you've described, I'd go to one of those....JMHO though. :thumb:

Inspector
02-02-2005, 10:40 PM
"Thinking of going skiing, advice needed.."

My advice: Don't fall down. Wear mittens.

Miles
02-02-2005, 10:49 PM
If you're hardcore...go to Arapahoe Basin.


The only time i skied there was after a pretty decent snowstorm and that place completly distroyed me. Myself and half of the group i was with, gave up at lunch and fled back to keystone for the rest of the day.

Ari Chi3fs
02-02-2005, 10:53 PM
i recommend watching the DVD "Sonny Bono on Skiing" it is chock full of good advice.

SBK
02-02-2005, 11:10 PM
i recommend watching the DVD "Sonny Bono on Skiing" it is chock full of good advice.

Wasn't there another smart famous guy that died on the slopes at the same time? ROFL

Mr. Kotter
02-02-2005, 11:12 PM
Wasn't there another smart famous guy that died on the slopes at the same time? ROFL

Wasn't it one of the Kennedy clan?

Pants
02-03-2005, 01:21 AM
I'd reccomend Winter Park, and there are plenty lodges all around with a shuttle service back and forth every 10 minutes or something (at least in the morning and park closing). It is much cheaper yet still convinient.

Iowanian
02-03-2005, 07:22 AM
Go DOWN the mountain, if something gets in your way or you're going too fast.........turn.

When you get to the bottom...stop.

If you fall down........Tuck and roll.

I hated Breck...........I prefer copper mtn and Keystone.......Ski the Outback if you're decent.

CosmicPal
02-03-2005, 08:08 AM
It's hard NOT to do the Summit County region.

Both Keystone and Breckenridge have very affordable beginners programs for skiiers- and they are both very reputable. Summit County is also very popular and you can easily locate some very affordable places to stay.

The best thing about Summit County is you get your choices of Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, and A-Basin- all within very short distances/drives of each other. You can also make the 45 min trip to Vail or the 45 min trip the other way to Winter Park.

The kids will love Summit County for there will be plenty of kids things to do, and a plentiful of kids for them to hang with- leaving the adults some prime opportunity to hit the hot tubs and cocktails for the night.

The cheapest places though, would be Eldora- which is near Boulder. You'll save money, but it won't be as fun.

When you take a vacation with the family, it's one thing to be frugal- but most importantly- it is to be a fun and memorable time for all to experience and remember.

Also- you can find all kinds of deals for lift tickets in Denver. Another thing to consider: Get up early in the morning and ski a half day. Walk out to the parking lot before you sit down for lunch and sell your lift ticket for half price. I do this sometimes when I want to beat the traffic back to Denver.

Go to craigslist.org, click on Denver, click on tickets and you'll sometimes find some sweet deals on lift tickets.

I would definately suggest Summit County- it's certainly the best place for the entire family. Now, if you were loaded and didn't care about the money- I would then suggest Steamboat Springs. But, we won't go there....

ROYC75
02-03-2005, 08:17 AM
i recommend watching the DVD "Sonny Bono on Skiing" it is chock full of good advice.

You basically took my line..... watchout for the cousins of that thing that got Sonny Bono.


I always wanted to go ski in the snow slopes when I was a younger man, never did and wouldn't attempt it at my age and health now.

yunghungwell
02-03-2005, 08:41 AM
http://www.xenafan.com/movies/bod/icons/charles.jpg

http://www.xenafan.com/movies/bod/sounds/gothtway.wav

cadmonkey
02-03-2005, 08:52 AM
I don't ski. Hurling down at mountain avoiding trees and deer and other nitwits on skiis sounds like a really bad time. plus, you get tired. I let my friends ski while I sit at teh condo sippin' on a cocktail in the hot tub. that's how I ski.

CosmicPal
02-03-2005, 08:56 AM
I don't ski. Hurling down at mountain avoiding trees and deer and other nitwits on skiis sounds like a really bad time. plus, you get tired. I let my friends ski while I sit at teh condo sippin' on a cocktail in the hot tub. that's how I ski.


Heh heh....that's pretty much what I do now. I screwed up my knees big time- combine that with my lower back pains and I sometimes have to forego the skiing. But, I'll hang out in the hot tub, drinking, smoking, and checking out all the bunnies as they come off the slopes....We've had some pretty wild times up there.

Iowanian
02-03-2005, 08:58 AM
Another thing.

To save Money....Don't buy your lift tickets at the mountain. I used to hit the Safeway in Conifer, and one of the rental places further from the mountain to save money. Try to find where the locals get their lift tickets....It'll save you alot of jack.

NewChief
02-03-2005, 09:12 AM
Winter Park is a nice resort, and that's where we always got our season passes when we lived out there. They have tubing at night as well in town. Don't rule out taking a snow shoe tour either, if you get a chance. My inlaws did it and loved it. There's also a YMCA cross country/touring trail a little bit down from Winter Park.

The best lodging we found around there was at a place called Silver Creek. It's actually about 20 minutes down the road from WP. Here's their addy:
http://www.sclodging.com/lodging.htm


One thing to consider is that Silver Creek has a smaller ski resort (Sol Vista) right there that you could access. I'm not sure how much cheaper it is than WP lift tix, but they might have a package deal with Silver Creek. If you're all beginners, I doubt you'll be seeing a huge portion of the mountain at Winter Park anyway, so a smaller resort is worth considering. That being said, if you won't be back out anytime soon, it's worth spending the money to see a "real" ski resort that's large and scenic.

Mr. Kotter
02-03-2005, 09:15 AM
Another thing.

To save Money....Don't buy your lift tickets at the mountain. I used to hit the Safeway in Conifer, and one of the rental places further from the mountain to save money. Try to find where the locals get their lift tickets....It'll save you alot of jack.

Very good advice. :thumb:

Rain Man
02-03-2005, 09:17 AM
I don't ski. Hurling down at mountain avoiding trees and deer and other nitwits on skiis sounds like a really bad time. plus, you get tired. I let my friends ski while I sit at teh condo sippin' on a cocktail in the hot tub. that's how I ski.

Cadmonkey has it exactly right.

COchief
02-03-2005, 09:41 AM
You are headed in the right direction with Winter Park. I would also highly recommend the ski train from denver to get there, thus getting your son his train fix. Listen to the others here about buying your lift ticket at a grocery store, it will save you some $$. I would highly recommend avoiding Breckenridge if you have beginners, it can typically be icy and very windy, horrible conditions to learn on.
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give you is for anybody in your party learning is to rent a SNOWBOARD NOT SKIS. I am not trying to contribute to the mini war of skiers vs snowboarders, but it is SO much easier to learn how to snowboard in a few days. Plus if you think about it, all you have to control is one large board which is strapped to both feet, two edges to worry about instead of four. No way you can cross a snowboard like skis, and I also found it to be a much more natural riding position and you either fall on your butt or your hands/arms. Take this advice!

Since you are looking to keep your expenses low and looking for a family environment with other activities, I don't think there is a better place than Winter Park. Good luck and enjoy Colorado.

HC_Chief
02-03-2005, 09:46 AM
Copper Mountain is fun, and one the first to allow snoboarding back in the eighties.... Or the others in Summit County. If you're hardcore...go to Arapahoe Basin.

If you don't have a yard sale, you're not trying.

If you want great skiing, without the resort feel, go ski Monarch.

Dude, are you trying to kill him!? ;)

Most inexpensive + great skiing I've experienced in CO (best 'bang for the buck') = Silver Creek.

yunghungwell
02-03-2005, 09:48 AM
You are headed in the right direction with Winter Park. I would also highly recommend the ski train from denver to get there, thus getting your son his train fix. Listen to the others here about buying your lift ticket at a grocery store, it will save you some $$. I would highly recommend avoiding Breckenridge if you have beginners, it can typically be icy and very windy, horrible conditions to learn on.
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give you is for anybody in your party learning is to rent a SNOWBOARD NOT SKIS. I am not trying to contribute to the mini war of skiers vs snowboarders, but it is SO much easier to learn how to snowboard in a few days. Plus if you think about it, all you have to control is one large board which is strapped to both feet, two edges to worry about instead of four. No way you can cross a snowboard like skis, and I also found it to be a much more natural riding position and you either fall on your butt or your hands/arms. Take this advice!

Since you are looking to keep your expenses low and looking for a family environment with other activities, I don't think there is a better place than Winter Park. Good luck and enjoy Colorado.

You used to ride a skateboard didn't you? You are a "thrasher dude"?

CosmicPal
02-03-2005, 09:58 AM
You are headed in the right direction with Winter Park. I would also highly recommend the ski train from denver to get there, thus getting your son his train fix. Listen to the others here about buying your lift ticket at a grocery store, it will save you some $$. I would highly recommend avoiding Breckenridge if you have beginners, it can typically be icy and very windy, horrible conditions to learn on.
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give you is for anybody in your party learning is to rent a SNOWBOARD NOT SKIS. I am not trying to contribute to the mini war of skiers vs snowboarders, but it is SO much easier to learn how to snowboard in a few days. Plus if you think about it, all you have to control is one large board which is strapped to both feet, two edges to worry about instead of four. No way you can cross a snowboard like skis, and I also found it to be a much more natural riding position and you either fall on your butt or your hands/arms. Take this advice!

Since you are looking to keep your expenses low and looking for a family environment with other activities, I don't think there is a better place than Winter Park. Good luck and enjoy Colorado.


Good advice COChief!

A resounding welcome to the Planet from your local Chief fan in Denver....The more Chiefs fans there are in Denver, the better the city gets to be... :thumb:

COchief
02-03-2005, 10:04 AM
Jesus, am I really going to respond to someone named yunghungwell with a deer for an avatar?

I guess...I did skateboard for a few years during the gator/lucero/hosoi days. However, I never had the gay attitude, vision streetwear, or thrasher magazines to accompany it. Plus I grew up in South Dakota so I am pretty sure it is impossible to be a "trasher dude" in that state.

One other piece of advice I forgot to add for dtebbe: If your ski gear includes jeans and a cowboy hat (or if you have a deer for an avatar), Steamboat is your place.

COchief
02-03-2005, 10:09 AM
Good advice COChief!

A resounding welcome to the Planet from your local Chief fan in Denver....The more Chiefs fans there are in Denver, the better the city gets to be... :thumb:

Gracias Cosmicpal, I have been in Denver for 8 years now and once I am done with school, it is back to Florida.
I will leave you to revel in the world's largest sausage party, while I ply the bikini-clad ladies of South FLA with pina colodas. :thumb:

yunghungwell
02-03-2005, 10:10 AM
yunghungwell :Poke: COchief

Just picking on you a little bit. I had a lame skateboard (fitting for a lame skateboarder) when it was cool and I was young and influenced easily. On a related note, I rode a wakeboard for the first time last summer. It was fun, but tiring. Wish I had first tried it about 10 years ago.

NewChief
02-03-2005, 10:12 AM
Gracias Cosmicpal, I have been in Denver for 8 years now and once I am done with school, it is back to Florida.
I will leave you to revel in the world's largest sausage party, while I ply the bikini-clad ladies of South FLA with pina colodas. :thumb:

Now, now. All those sausages are balanced out by the Subaru-driving muff divers who wish they had sausages.


Actually, I like Colorado chicks, but girl/guy ratio there sucks. Thankfully, I already had my wife when I lived out there.

Oh and I agree with the snowboard suggestion. It has a much shallower learning curve than skiing. Get some butt padding and skateboard-style wrist protectors, and you'll greatly cut down on the pain of learning.

COchief
02-03-2005, 10:17 AM
No worries yung, yeah those wakeboards can be hellish or alot of fun. I tried it when they first came out about ten years ago. Getting up on those were a bitch, I remember the procedure being along the lines of: "how bout you drag me half way across the lake while I am holding on with every once of strength I've got while this gigantic board slowly changes from sideways to straight, then nail the gas and yank me out of the water and I'll try to ride this thing for a while, Ok? got it...good"
Good times, good times

COchief
02-03-2005, 10:27 AM
Now, now. All those sausages are balanced out by the Subaru-driving muff divers who wish they had sausages.


Actually, I like Colorado chicks, but girl/guy ratio there sucks. Thankfully, I already had my wife when I lived out there.

Oh and I agree with the snowboard suggestion. It has a much shallower learning curve than skiing. Get some butt padding and skateboard-style wrist protectors, and you'll greatly cut down on the pain of learning.

Preach on brother!!! I could rant and rave for hours about the girls in this state. I have a great live-in GF so I don't have to deal with it anymore. Following is the female attitude equation upon arrival in CO:

average or ugly but thin girl arrives in CO+goes to bar+"wow look at all of these guys hitting on me"+"I must really be looking good these days"+"I need to really be selective since I am so desirable"+rinse and repeat for a few years= "Hi, I'm stacy. In reality I am just an average looking girl, but since I have been in CO for a few years and seen how many guys want me...I am now superhot"

Take final result times ten if girl is actually attractive or if average girl lives in a ski town.

This state is like one huge military base as far as women go, but it is beautiful.

Bearcat
02-03-2005, 10:38 AM
One thing to consider is that Silver Creek has a smaller ski resort (Sol Vista) right there that you could access. I'm not sure how much cheaper it is than WP lift tix, but they might have a package deal with Silver Creek. If you're all beginners, I doubt you'll be seeing a huge portion of the mountain at Winter Park anyway, so a smaller resort is worth considering. That being said, if you won't be back out anytime soon, it's worth spending the money to see a "real" ski resort that's large and scenic.

I knew it was something Creek.... I've been to Winter Park 3 times, and going to Silver Creek for the first couple of days during the first trip really helped. They're the only two I've been to, but I'd highly recommend them.

(the bus rides do kind of suck though)

Bearcat
02-03-2005, 10:45 AM
I don't ski. Hurling down at mountain avoiding trees and deer and other nitwits on skiis sounds like a really bad time. plus, you get tired. I let my friends ski while I sit at teh condo sippin' on a cocktail in the hot tub. that's how I ski.


ROFL

Never had to dodge any wildlife while skiing, and you have a pretty clear choice between the wide open path and the little paths into the woods.

Other skiers can suck, but I guess putting the type of person that seems like they are oblivious to those around them on skis is no worse than putting them in the driver's seat of a car ;)

NewChief
02-03-2005, 10:59 AM
Preach on brother!!! I could rant and rave for hours about the girls in this state. I have a great live-in GF so I don't have to deal with it anymore. Following is the female attitude equation upon arrival in CO:

average or ugly but thin girl arrives in CO+goes to bar+"wow look at all of these guys hitting on me"+"I must really be looking good these days"+"I need to really be selective since I am so desirable"+rinse and repeat for a few years= "Hi, I'm stacy. In reality I am just an average looking girl, but since I have been in CO for a few years and seen how many guys want me...I am now superhot"

Take final result times ten if girl is actually attractive or if average girl lives in a ski town.

This state is like one huge military base as far as women go, but it is beautiful.


Another part of the equation:

Coolness=hotness

That is, in Colorado a chick that isn't that physically hot can make up for it by being an outdoors badass. Rockclimbing, mountain biking, kayaking, snowboarding, fishing, whatever. If they can do all the outdoors stuff, then they're considered a catch in Colorado, even if they're not so hot.

Iowanian
02-03-2005, 11:15 AM
Thats what I found in colorado..........Alot of Common looking Granola head broads with serious need of a reality check. Big attitude.....but it was pretty par for the coarse from what I found........Cali-radans tend to think pretty highly of themselves.

ck_IN
02-03-2005, 11:53 AM
If you really want to save money go the next state over. The skiing doesn't get any cheaper then Utah. The nonskiing stuff is pretty bare boned though.

As for skiining I always stay in Keystone. I never rent a car. You can catch a shuttle at the airport and once you get there there's public transportation that takes you everywhere. The lodging at Keystone is cheaper then Breck or Vail. The lift tickets between Keystone, Breck and A Basin are all interchangeable and there's regular busses between them all.

Keystone has a great kids program. If you go to Breck they have 4 peaks. Stay on the one furthest to the right it's real beginner friendly. Be sure and get your tickets off mountain. They have an online program called 'Peaks' that will let you get tickets for a discount. It also builds up points that can be redeemed later.

Rain Man
02-03-2005, 11:58 AM
Cali-radans tend to think pretty highly of themselves.


Well, truthfully, we are better than the rest of the country, so we're just stating the facts.

chief husker
02-03-2005, 12:03 PM
You used to ride a skateboard didn't you? You are a "thrasher dude"?


How does a snowboarder introduce himself? ----- Sorry, dude