Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

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Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby yo69xl » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:03 am

Im planning a 4 days ski trip to Colorado for the first week of December 2013 , we are 2 couples of beginner skiers . The plan is to fly to Denver and rent a car . We woukd like to know the best place to go according to our skills .
We would like a beginner friendly ski area with reasonably priced lodging near by , ideally a 2BR condo the more secluded the better (we have a car) but not to far from a village or town where we could go for dinner and drinks ;) . We are open to all suggestions since this is our first trip to Colorado anyways .
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby EMSC » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:41 am

That's an bit of an unusual plan your are going for. 1st week of Dec can have the resorts 3/4 open, or struggling to get much open. It just depends on the year.

If you are going to fly to Denver, then I'm going to assume you want 2 hrs or less of driving which most likely puts you in one of these places:

1) Vail/Beaver Creek - NOT cheap in any way, though the Beav has some really good beginner terrain up top of the mountain.
2) Winter Park - not very inspiring green terrain, IMHO, though you could do worse.
3) Breckenridge or Copper Mtn. Of these two I'd probably recommend Copper as less crowded, though not much happens in that base village.

Still all of these resorts are within 20-60 minute drives of each other if you want to go for a variety of places. Depends on your mood and skill set.

To be honest, if there is decent natural snow early and you are just learning skiing, I'd almost recommend trying out Ski Cooper which has perfect beginner terrain at an awesome low price point. However it's not a 'resort' so there is no lodging right there. You'd stay in the old mining town of Leadville but it is a 15minute or so drive each day and since there is no snowmaking, they have to get decent snows in Nov to be open by your first week of Dec timeline.

Really depends on what experience you want. The 'traditional' touristy big Colorado resort experience? A more local flavor experience? Since you are just beginners, there are much better price points than the big resorts available. It's when you can really ski most of the mountain as an intermediate that the big resorts make more sense IMHO.
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:58 am

yo69xl wrote: a 4 days ski trip to Colorado for the first week of December 2013

The old Gpaul quandary.
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby rfarren » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:43 pm

1st week of December is not the time to visit Colorado. You'll have as likely a chance to ski as well at Hunter in NY at that time. During the first week of December I would put my money on Whistler. If not there then places that are reliant on snowmaking like Sun Valley as are as good as any.
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby Geoff » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:20 pm

rfarren wrote:1st week of December is not the time to visit Colorado. You'll have as likely a chance to ski as well at Hunter in NY at that time. During the first week of December I would put my money on Whistler. If not there then places that are reliant on snowmaking like Sun Valley as are as good as any.


Whistler is painful from Miami. You have to connect somewhere. You need passports and have to deal with a big passport control line. There's no such thing as a cheap airline ticket to Vancouver. The resort is almost 3 hours from the airport. The beginner area is on the lower mountain where snow beyond a man made patch is iffy that early. You can be getting rained on down there while it's snowing above.

All ski resorts are totally empty the first week of December. You should postpone your decision until two weeks before hand, pick the region of the country that has been getting snow or at least cold snowmaking weather, and buy your airline tickets a couple of weeks in advance before the fares go up.
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:02 pm

EMSC wrote:That's an bit of an unusual plan your are going for. 1st week of Dec can have the resorts 3/4 open, or struggling to get much open. It just depends on the year.

The OP must not have been paying much attention to early December in Colorado the past 2 seasons. Front Range resorts averaged 9% open on Dec. 9 last year and 21% open on Dec. 10 the year before. The median based on stats since 1988 would be 1/3 to 1/2 open.

Geoff wrote:All ski resorts are totally empty the first week of December. You should postpone your decision until two weeks before hand, pick the region of the country that has been getting snow or at least cold snowmaking weather, and buy your airline tickets a couple of weeks in advance before the fares go up.

This is the only sensible advice, correct on all counts. I'll add that the second and third weeks of December are similarly quiet and your options will likely increase the later you go, as long as it's before the holiday crunch.
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby Marc_C » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:41 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
EMSC wrote:That's an bit of an unusual plan your are going for. 1st week of Dec can have the resorts 3/4 open, or struggling to get much open. It just depends on the year.

The OP must not have been paying much attention to early December in Colorado the past 2 seasons. Front Range resorts averaged 9% open on Dec. 9 last year and 21% open on Dec. 10 the year before. The median based on stats since 1988 would be 1/3 to 1/2 open.


Why are we so quick to decide that skiing is the *only* motivation/rationale that someone uses when asking about a particular location & time frame?
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:52 pm

MarcC wrote:Why are we so quick to decide that skiing is the *only* motivation/rationale that someone uses when asking about a particular location & time frame?

Maybe because it's a ski forum? If someone has a business trip, visiting family etc. that puts them in ski country incidentally in early December, with little marginal cost to add on a few ski days, perhaps they should say so. When the opening line of a post is:
I'm planning a 4 days ski trip to Colorado for the first week of December 2013

I think it's a public service to inform them accurately what they might expect. They are beginners from Miami. We should not presume they know that skiing in Front Range Colorado is usually far better in April than it is in December. Nor should we presume they know that first week of December is sufficiently speculative anywhere that Geoff's advice makes the most sense if they are truly locked into that timeframe.
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Re: Where to go in Colorado ?? :)

Postby Killclimbz » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:48 am

1st week of December is damn early for just about anywhere.

Pretty good snowmaking at Keystone and Copper though, but crowds.

And hey, three seasons ago it was off the hook in December, so maybe we're over due...
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