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1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
45 posts
101 reviews
1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Since my husband died, I try to plan something to do over Christmas -- this will be the 3rd one...

Arrival - 12/24

Depart 12/30

So, I booked flights to Denver.

Here's who's traveling.

Me - I'm 47

DD - 23

DS - 19

DD-19

DS - 14

We have skiied 1 time (last Spring Break) . Breck looked like a great place for a family trip.

Would appreciate

HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS

DINING

GENERAL NAVIGATION ...

I'm still nervous about all this trip planning...way out of my comfort zone.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
22,356 posts
61 reviews
1. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

First of all I am sorry for your loss. My father died at age 47 and my mother took us places for the first few years during the holidays.

Breckenridge is a great place to go and during Christmas holidays beautiful with the Victorian houses and lights. There is free bus service in town and around the county to other ski areas. Plenty of dining, shopping and recreation other than skiing or boarding. Try snowshoeing, nordic skiing etc.

Fly into Denver then either rent a car or take a shuttle. Colo Mtn Express has been around for a long time. www.coloradomountainexpress.com . When I lived in Breck, I worked at a ski shop at Beaver Run www.beaverrun.com , a big hotel/condo place right on the slopes. Also look at condos/vacation rentals at Beaver Run, The Village, Four O'Clock areas. breckenridge.com/plan-a-trip/lodging/lodging…

Rent your skis/boards right on the slopes, and then have them store them for you overnight. www.breckenridgesports.com has locations all over town.

Dining options range from fast food to high end dining. I was in Breck in the 1980's, so my only recommendations are the places that are still around. Fatty's Pizza, Whale's Tail, Mi Casa, Briar Rose. Tons of new places. Also a nice grocery store if you get a condo.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
Level Contributor
9,590 posts
197 reviews
2. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

As an alternative to the front range, have you thought about Crested Butte? The drive is a bit longer 3.5-4 hours but the payoff is that the lift lines are few and far between. In the past few years I've had friends and family visit a few times over the holidays where there were beginner/intermediate skiers in the group. Crested Butte has an entire mountain serviced by three lifts (Painter Boy, Prospect, and Gold link if you look on a ski area map) with nothing but beginner and intermediate terrain and a coffee/hot coco shack at the top with a huge patio. Even during the time you're going to be visiting, when other resorts are "elbow-to-elbow," you'd really have to work to find a lift line at Crested Butte.

I've skied all the front range resorts and they are great as well but an xmas/nye trip to Vail tree years ago with friends convinced me to stay away during the holidays. As a final consideration, Breck has multiple base areas (as does Vail) which adds to the level of complexity with a larger group who might get split up and/or spend quite a bit of time working their way back if they get lost.

Vail, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Vail
Level Contributor
1,579 posts
30 reviews
3. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

I love Crested Butte, it's a great little town, but it more of a 5-5.5 hour drive from the airport in good weather.

Breck will be busy at the holidays, but it's also beautiful and festive, I think it would be a wonderful Christmas. There are some past threads on Breck that may be helpful in your planning.

Breckenridge...
Destination Expert
for Breckenridge
Level Contributor
3,359 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Biggest thing will be what you are looking to spend for lodging as it is $$ over the holidays in any ski area.

Seems like you will be looking for a minimum of a 2 bdrm.

Ski in/out

Village At Breckenridge

Beaver Run

*these are close to lifs and easy walk to town which for your kids age group, I would assume they would like

Also look at

Mountain Thunder Lodge

River Mountain Lodge

Sawmill Creek

One Breckenridge Place

Cedars

Park Place

MountainWood

PowderHorn

Timbernest

SnoDallion

Should get you started. Check www.vrbo.com, www.flipkey.com Deal directly with owners and might get better deals. Can google search for property management companies.

Matt

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
45 posts
101 reviews
5. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Thanks for your contributions... I just realized that I am totally in over my head...didn't realize the $$$$, or the OPTIONS. I get overwhelmed when I have too many options... I guess it's the decisions.

I'll look into crested butte..

my 19 yo now considers himself an avid snowboarder.. everyone else are just beginners... I'll keep researching.

Breckenridge...
Destination Expert
for Breckenridge
Level Contributor
3,359 posts
28 reviews
6. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Will keep it easy. For your amount of time, I would stay close to Denver if that is where you are flying into.

That leaves for the most part Summit County (Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain...) or you could go onto Vail (more expensive) over to Steamboat (longer drive). So, I think where you started is where you should continue to look. I like Crested Butte as well but it is a long way away and that could be magnified by weather.

Now, while looking at Summit County, see if the lodging rates are within your budget. Obviously, ski in/out is most expensive and rates will drop from there.

Frisco might be a cheaper option as it is not a ski town but close enough to drive to either Copper Mtn or Breckenridge.

In Frisco, look into MountainSide, Lagoon, Ten Mile Island...those are the big 3 and they are older complexes (built mid-70's but good fine depending on your lodging standards).

If the budget is being blown for lodging, then a X-mas ski trip may need to be revised. There is no way around that this is the most expensive lodging time during the year.

Matt

Vail, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Vail
Level Contributor
1,579 posts
30 reviews
7. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

I would keep it close to Denver too, Crested Butte will cause you to lose two days of vacation driving in some possibly bad weather conditions. Frisco is a cute town and may be a nice alternative to staying at a more expensive ski area.

The summit stage free bus system is a great way for the family to get around on their own schedule:

http://www.summitstage.com/schedulefull.cfm

Colorado
Level Contributor
787 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Just an addition to Matt's post. I own a Mountainside condo. It was built in 1986, not mid-70's, and many ot them have been totally remodeled so they are not dated looking. It you rent one of these, ask for pictures since they all look very different but are very well kept up. These are usually very reasonably priced rentals and are convenient to the ski areas. The clubhouse has an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, steam and dry sauna, and racquet ball. And the town of Frisco has some nice little shops and restaurants. If you are trying to watch the budget, this is definitely worth looking into. There are several management companies that rent these units, and I think you can probably find some to rent directly from the owners either on vrbo, or on google. We don't rent ours.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
Level Contributor
9,590 posts
197 reviews
9. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

In defense of CB, I drive back and forth several times a year (in order to fly in and out of Denver) and, weather aside, the drive is an easy 4 hours on roads that are mostly 65 (470 to 285 to 50). Further, if we're considering weather, I would gladly pick any alternative to the parking lot they call I-70 on a Friday or a Sunday during ski season. The dream of flying into Denver and "swooshing" down the slopes on the same day is just that and so you're going to spend a day on each end driving regardless of where you go.

I totally agree with the other comments about Frisco: Economical and centrally located. If you do pick something on the I-70 corridor over xmas, I would suggest Keystone and Copper. As far as Breck goes, when we're debating an hour or two extra in the car, you're going to spend much more time than that waiting in lift lines during the week. No matter where you go though I'm sure you'll have a great time and, similar to the other posters, I'm bias towards my home resort so take it with a grain of salt.

Finally, all this weather talk reminded me of the fact that I ALWAYS buy trip insurance for winter vacations. Most resort accommodations have a fairly strict no-cancellation policy and just one missed flight or closed road (due to bad weather) is all it takes to make that little bit of insurance pay off and keep the family vacation from turning into a costly disaster. Something about a ski vacation when you're wishing for snow.... sometimes you do get what you wish for! :-)

My two (three) cents

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
22,356 posts
61 reviews
10. Re: 1st Colorado Ski Vac.help w/ teens/accom/dining/Christmas

Give us an idea of your budget, minimum size of lodging and we can probably help more. If you get a condo, even a 1 bedroom, you will be able to save money by having a full kitchen to cut down on dining costs.

Search for properties in Silverthorn, Dillon or Frisco. Also check Winter Park Ski area.

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