Short and sweet just for you:
Estes Park: Absolutely dead this time of year, seasonal town. Would get my highest recommendation if you were talking May-Sept. Winter is a ghost town.
Vail: Holy shit get out your checkbook, if you aren't skiing I can't imagine why you'd want to stay there. I would heavily suggest if your wife likes to shop to NOT take her there.
Glenwood Springs is where I'd tell you to go. Absolutely beautiful town with enough shops and restaurants to keep you entertained and a much more reasonable rate. Plus if you get antsy, Vail is not too far of a drive.