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best family Ski resort Colorado?

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain' started by Rob Lay, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Rob Lay

    Rob Lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    when we had the plane we just went to Angel Fire or Taos. now that we're flying commercial we can get up to Colorado. looking for good family mountain plenty of green and easy blues for me and Mia. I like long flatter runs where you can get speed up, but don't have to cut a bunch to keep the speeds manageable. We love that about the Headin Home route at Angel Fire as example. When we then started going to Taos we loved off the mountain, but for me not as many easy greens and even the Blues required a bunch of cutting, which wore me out. Also important apres ski, good restaurants, kids ski school, and tubing.

    Jennie is kind of focusing between Keystone, Breckenridge, and Winter Park. Thanks!
     
  2. crinoid

    crinoid F1 Veteran
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    Telluride is always my favorite. So many runs.
     
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  3. timjen88

    timjen88 Karting

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Out of those 3, Breck wins hands down. So much to see/do in town besides lots of different peaks for all types of terrain.
     
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  4. energy88

    energy88 F1 Veteran
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    Keystone is nice for your "family" ski criteria. Nearby, there is an interesting snowmobile course that goes up the continental divide to 10,500+ feet. Also, Keystone is situated for some nice drives to explore old mining towns if the group is into that sort of thing.
     
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  5. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    You should consider flying into EGE (possibly a direct, non-stop flight from TX). From there, Beaver Creek is <25min. Vail <35min. BC is the more "family friendly" of the two, though. Places like Telluride and Crusty Butt offer great skiing, too, but are difficult to get to. Steamboat's a good option, but it's a bit small once you've skied Vail or Breckenridge.

    I would agree with the prior posts concluding that Breck is the best of the three you mentioned. Breck has more terrain, a real town, shopping and dining. Neither SkiStones nor Winter Park do. From Denver, Winter Park is the shortest drive, but Breck and SkiStones are roughly the same drive time. One thing to consider is that, Breck, SkiStones & A Basin get more Denver skiers (especially on the weekends and holidays). Driving over Vail pass is farther (about 35min from exiting the tunnels), and Vail/BC is pricier. This tends to turn the Denver day and family crowd off.

    CW
     
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  6. Potenza430

    Potenza430 Rookie
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    I spend a lot of time at Keystone. Per your question I’d probably say Breck.
     
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  7. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    I had a house in Winter Park for a long time. I'd do Breck or Keystone although both get crowded on the weekend which screws up the cruiser runs you describe. Big warning. I-70 from Denver sucks. avoid going up on a Saturday morning or back on a Sunday afternoon at all costs.

    If you're going for more than 3 days I strongly recommend flying AA into Eagle direct and staying in Lionshead at Vail. You don't have to have a car. Great school. Really long cruiser runs and some good restaurants. I really think I-70 up to the day areas is a pain in the ass.
     
  8. Rob Lay

    Rob Lay Administrator
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    So Vail has some good cruiser runs and also avoid some Denver traffic? We'll be there Christmas, so really crowded!
     
  9. ETL330

    ETL330 Formula Junior
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    +1 for Vail. So many good dining options. Haven't really found any in Breck but we just started exploring that last year
     
  10. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    Vail has fantastic cruiser runs and one of the best ski schools. Take the gondola to the top and it's a nice even pitch all the way down. Rinse and repeat. Plenty of places to meet at the end of day too. If you stay in Lionshead you can avoid getting your head knocked off on room rates. It's very family friendly place. Xmas though,, you need to book now. Also, Vail blows a lot of snow so if the snow is light you'll have as good a chance of getting some nice runs in there. Xmas is always dicey for snow.
     
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  11. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    Great cruiser runs (Riva, Lost Boy, etc.). BUT, for the Xmas to New Year's week, keep in mind...busiest time of year. LOTS of MEX clientele. Totally different vibe. I might lean towards BC over Vail for that reason alone.

    BUT, if you do come, let me know. I'll be in town. Happy to meet up.

    Best,

    CW
     
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  12. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

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    Breck's dining isn't on par with Vail. Not even close. But, then, the prices aren't the same, either. Don't get me wrong, Breck has some good eats, but Vail is in competition with Aspen.

    If anyone needs recommendations/suggestions, let me know. However, start making your reservations for the holiday week NOW. No joke. You may already be too late to get the 6-8pm time slots. FYI, looks like a good snow year. So, early bookings will be up.

    CW
     
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  13. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    For those who haven't been, Lionshead is connected to Vail Village by an in-town bus loop. So, it's less than a .75 mile walk or a 10 min bus ride. Lionshead can be less expensive. Do consider VRBO and AirBNB, if that's more your speed. But, try to avoid having to drive and park. Parking is limited and expensive. There are bus lines that run to East and West Vail regularly, too, which bring you to the VTC (Transportation Center), but schlepping gear is a PITA. Maybe consider a concierge service. ALL the main Village and Lionshead hotels have ski storage at the base.

    Concur on the book now. As in RIGHT NOW.

    Christmas can be sketchy for snow, but it looks good this season. We're getting dumped on, which is a good sign.

    CW
     
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  14. Dogdish

    Dogdish Formula Junior

    Dec 27, 2005
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    Weekdays at Beavercreek are my favorite for a relaxing day. You'll wait in line for a minute or two max.

    Bill
     
  15. Rob Lay

    Rob Lay Administrator
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    Have everything booked except dinners! Arrive December 21st, ski all day 22-24th. Staying Lion Square Lodge with equipment right there. Also direct flight DFW to Eagle and shuttle. Should be pretty easy logistics.

    Now just need to do dinner reservations. Recommendations there walking distance, we don't mind walking up to 1-2 miles. Also if anyone wants to join us any night for some fine dining and drinking. :D
     
  16. Rob Lay

    Rob Lay Administrator
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    Also, any latest and greatest recommendations with ski clothes? My stuff nearing 10 years old.
     
  17. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    Will plan on meeting up! I think you made the right choice.

    For dinner(s), lots of excellent choices. Depends on your preferences, so if you like American, French, Austrian, Italian, Sushi or ?, happy to give a couple of recommendations for each. Apres is another "thing". Many good apres spots in both the Village and Lionshead.

    If you're planning on dining on Christmas Eve, start the process of a reservation TODAY. The concierge of Lion Square Lodge can also help. A couple of stabs in the dark for you: Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard and Vintage. Almresi. Matsuhisa. Nonna's, I think (which will be the "successor" of Campo di Fiore). Classic Xmas Eve is The Left Bank or La Tour. Sonnenalp's Ludwig's. In Lionshead, I'll have to give it some thought. BUT, do plan on going to the Little Diner for breakfast at least once. Traditional greasy spoon from our childhoods.

    CW
     
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  18. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
    4,536
    You can spend a LOT on gearing up these days. The traditional names are still available (e.g. Spyder, Oakley, Descente, Phenix, Burton - if you're a boarder, etc.). If you're looking for the more unique/stylish, there are a few brands (Bogner, Kjus, Goldwin, Kappa) that are rarely seen outside of Vail/BC. They can be a bit pricey, but you can find them online for less. Vail Resorts has partnered with Helly Hansen, and they have some nice, functional stuff. And, J. Lindberg sponsored the 2015 World Championships. Their gear didn't hold up as well to the rigors of coursework, IMO, but it was warm and stylish. I used it hard, though.

    Honestly, all the stuff these days is pretty good. You'd be hard pressed to find gear that's not going to do the job for you. At that time of year, temps can get chilly. Certainly single digits and, with windchill, negative. It's unusual, but it can happen. So, plan on a base layer, insulator and outer layer at a minimum. With zippered venting, you can be comfortable in a wide range of temps. Quality ski socks and a balaclava. UnderArmour makes pretty good base layers and accessories, but there are lots of "sexy" high end stuff these days designed to reduce muscle fatigue (look on www.gorsuch.com to see what I'm talking about: x-bionic). Gloves/mittens are all pretty much the same, but consider buying a liner glove that allows you to swipe on your smartphone screen for ease of use, if desired. Goggle lens technology has improved, too. I'd look at Oakley's Prizm line of lenses. You'll need to find a frame that fits your brainbucket(s), but that shouldn't be hard.

    The hard goods (skis, bindings and boots) are always being improved, but not much has been introduce for on-piste since rocker. Rocker, IMO, isn't great, but some love it. I tend to go old-er school. Shaped skis (wide tip and tail and narrower waists) help turning on the groomers, but the all-mountains may have more utility in most other conditions (bumps, steeps, crud, pow). Obviously, no need to buy, though. You can demo and/or rent those.

    Boots, however, are the one investment I'd strongly urge everyone to make. Yes, they're expensive, but they're maybe even the most important aspect of having a good day. You don't want a tired out rental boot that isn't properly fitted to your foot. Take the time to do fit them. Wear them in the house to start breaking in the liners. The shell flex ratings range widely based on weight, ability and desired comfort. A lower rating (85) will be less stiff and more comfortable than a higher one (130), but they may also feel a little soft, depending. Racers like to drive their turns by standing on their skis, so a stiffer boot is usually preferred. But, at the trade-off of comfort. So, probably start in a mid-range (100-115) and go from there. Lots of EXCELLENT brands, but start with one that suits your foot shape. Wider, flatter or narrower, taller? Keep in mind that they'll only get "roomier" as the liners break in, though. So, if you've got "play" in the store, you'll only have more after skiing in them for a few days.

    CW
     
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  19. Dogdish

    Dogdish Formula Junior

    Dec 27, 2005
    345
    Denver
    I like Cornerswell reply above. I taught skiing a long, long time ago.....so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    A few points to add to the above.

    Most of the equipment today is excellent. I'm also not a fan of rocker skis. My local go to for ski jackets and pants is Fly Low. Good gear that isn't fancy. I also advise my friends that if they rent skis, take a look at the DIN setting, as I think the shops set the bindings at too high of a release force. I would rather a ski come off than snap a tendon or ligament.
     
  20. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    Sweet Basil. It's great. Take your daughter.
     
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  21. BoulderFCar

    BoulderFCar F1 Veteran
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    This post nails it.
    I was at the Little Diner a couple weeks ago. Good for hangovers too.
     
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  22. Fiat2Ferrari

    Fiat2Ferrari Karting

    Nov 2, 2013
    53
    Chicago
    If you change your plans and decide to go to Montana...Whitefish has a ski resort. Super family friendly. Runs are decent, a fair amount of greens and blues. No lift lines to speak of and overall cost very low. They have a large fire pit where they roast s'mores for kids at the end of the day. They have an excellent ski school for all levels. Being over 50, I took some advanced ski lessons and then switched to boarding. Ski school and the mountain in general work for me. Of course, while there you can run over to Glacier National Park and get in some snow shoeing or even a snow trail run. Enjoy the season!
     
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  23. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
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    #24 furmano, Nov 10, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
    Yes, Breck has some of the longest green runs around. It's family friendly but can get really crowded on the weekends.

    Beaver Creek is really nice, maybe not as many green runs as Breck but the further distance from Denver and higher prices keep the riff raff out. :)

    Out of three resorts above, Breck is the best choice.

    Edit: You picked Vail. Excellent choice! Vail is the best!!!

    -F
     
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  24. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
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    As far as apparel, it's all pretty good. Spyder makes good stuff. There are better brands than Spyder but do you really need to go there? Get good gloves, cold hands suck. And get good long underwear. Layers are key!

    I'm betting late December won't be really cold, maybe 20deg F during the day, which is perfect. Sometimes storms do blow in but if it's really cold it may not be worth going out, drink by the bar fireplace.

    Love to meet up and take some runs if possible!

    -F
     
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