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Old 08-31-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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My wife and I took our first ski trip to Copper Mountain last February and absolutely loved it. We loved it so much that we're bringing a group of 10-15 friends back for another trip this year, and the idea was we'd all stay at one of those kick-ass lodges in Lewis Ranch that I jealously skied by every day. When you spread the cost over a big group like that, it's not bad at all.

But I've been getting to thinking, as much as we loved Copper, maybe we should visit another place this time. I've read enough about the various resorts to know I'd be happy with the great majority of what Colorado has to offer -- the only stipulation is that we have quite a few beginners, so the tougher places like around Vail would probably be out -- but what I don't know is, what are the comparable-to-Lewis-Ranch type places at the other resorts?

For example, if we went to Winter Park, or Crested Butte, or Breckenridge, what are the best places to stay, ~1500 / night, with lots of bedrooms, right off the slopes, for a big group of people?
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about a lack of skiing for beginners in "the tougher places around Vail". Vail, as much as any other resort has a lot of mountain, therefor a lot of beginner, intermediate and advanced/expert slopes.

As far as the accomodations go every mountain has a wide range of prices/amenities. If you think you're going to jam more people into a place than it's designed for think again. Most places (AFAIK) have a limit on how many "heads" based on how many "pillows" there are.

Consider who is staying there. If you have a lot of young kids they won't care if it's a 5 star place, as long as the TV has Nick and there's cookies and juice boxes they'll be OK. Young adults probably don't care as much either.

I've stayed in very spartan, hostel type places as well as in places that were way above my pay grade. IMO the thing that makes the trip memorable is the quality of snow and friendliness of the group I'm with.

That's why I almost never head to Summit or Eagle counties before mid-January. For my money I like Steamboat Springs, a real town much better than Vail or Copper. Heck I can see an interstate highway almost anywhere. I don't need to see one while I'm skiing.

Notice I didn't really answer your question. More in the way of guidance.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,297 posts, read 8,348,778 times
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I like the way that Copper separates its beginner runs so that you don't have conflicts with faster skiers buzzing through.

I suggest checking a website called Vacation Rentals by Owner. They have single family houses and condos, complete with pictures. That way your group can save money on meals, and have more room to spread out.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
1,942 posts, read 3,924,372 times
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I second the recommendation of Steamboat Springs. Where will you be coming from? You can fly into Hayden airport near Steamboat from many locations and once there you won't even need to rent a car. There are some awesome looking HUGE homes to rent right on the slopes. Steamboat ski school is great. Also, Steamboat offers a "kids ski free" deal every year (if you are bringing kids).
Plus you have the advantage of Steamboat being a "real" town, not just a ski resort.
Lots of info here: The Official Site for Steamboat Ski Resort and Steamboat Central Reservations
Steamboat Springs Lodging | Steamboat Springs Vacation Rentals | Steamboat Condos & Rentals
Flights to Steamboat - Kids Fly Free | Steamboat/Hayden (HDN) Airport | Steamboat Springs, CO
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:17 PM
 
9,810 posts, read 18,074,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drzy View Post
My wife and I took our first ski trip to Copper Mountain last February and absolutely loved it. We loved it so much that we're bringing a group of 10-15 friends back for another trip this year, and the idea was we'd all stay at one of those kick-ass lodges in Lewis Ranch that I jealously skied by every day. When you spread the cost over a big group like that, it's not bad at all.

But I've been getting to thinking, as much as we loved Copper, maybe we should visit another place this time. I've read enough about the various resorts to know I'd be happy with the great majority of what Colorado has to offer -- the only stipulation is that we have quite a few beginners, so the tougher places like around Vail would probably be out -- but what I don't know is, what are the comparable-to-Lewis-Ranch type places at the other resorts?

For example, if we went to Winter Park, or Crested Butte, or Breckenridge, what are the best places to stay, ~1500 / night, with lots of bedrooms, right off the slopes, for a big group of people?
Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch has plenty of space for beginners.

If you think $1500 is high end, it isn't. You can go up to $25,000 a night.

VRBO is a good site and we have used it twice now to find houses and condos to rent in Vail.

There are literally thousands of places to pick from for $1500 a night. I think to get that many people into a full service hotel, especially a nice one, forget it. Or you would need a few condos. I don't know of many condos that sleep 15, even the $10 million ones. However if you look around you might be able to find a large mansion type home for that price per night.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:29 PM
 
10,308 posts, read 38,014,972 times
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As a long time Vail skier/homeowner ... I'd suggest Vail.

A substantial portion of the mountain is targeted to beginners to the low intermediate level ... probably 40% of the groomed mountain.

What I prefer about Vail for a mixed group of ski ability folk is that you can find adjacent or close together ski runs ... which have multiple places on the hill as you ski down where you join up again. This is especially nice as somebody progresses during the day in their confidence and ability ... they can slip over to another portion of a run with a slightly different level of challenge ... or back again after a short distance if they're not comfortable with what they encounter. When you ski a lot of other mountains, when you get off a chairlift and start down a run ... you are committed to that run for it's entire length.

It also makes it convenient for the group to get together at lunchtime or for a break ... because you can all be skiing close by to each other and the mountain restaurants or decks.

Similarly, Beaver Creek has some excellent beginner slopes ... with the advantage that they are on some of the higher terrain, which gives them the opportunity to get more snow.

IMO, Copper is also a good area to ski ... but the slopes are laid out to accomodate certain levels of skiing ability to a given lift area. If you have experts in your group ... you're far removed from the beginners. To try to get together during the day requires a lot of crossing around the area to get to your friends ....

As far as accomodations and amenities go, Vail has a lot more to offer than Copper ... with a good public transportation system in town so you can leave your car(s) at the places you're staying and have ready access to whatever activities you want to do.

I have stayed in The Lodge at Vail in units that were linked and could easily accomodate 15 people in a group ... one was a 6 bedroom unit with a slopeside view, furnished in Chippendale and some very nice other antiques with an impressionist art collection. It had a living room, kitchen, and dining room to accomodate a yet larger group ... and at least a couple of lock-off adjoining units. Sorry, I have no idea what the place rented for ... I was comp'ed into it as a guest by the management. The "Texas Townhomes" along the Creek also have some larger units, with 4 bedrooms ... I was comp'ed into a 3 bedroom unit, so again ... I don't know what these rent for. Overall, finding 3-4-5 bedrooms in a single rental unit isn't that unusual to find, but you do need to book in advance so if they have "lock off" bedroom/units, they haven't split up the accomodations for the time frame you want. I've stayed at many places in Vail where they had two king-sized beds in a bedroom, so if couples are willing to share the bedrooms, it helps with the accomodations and cost.

As far as full service hotel accomodations ... a group of 15 people is no big deal, a pretty routine event in Vail or BC.

Last edited by sunsprit; 08-31-2010 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:22 PM
 
9,810 posts, read 18,074,347 times
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Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
As far as full service hotel accomodations ... a group of 15 people is no big deal, a pretty routine event in Vail or BC.
Not at all, but for $1500 a night all depends on how many rooms they can pack into and what star accommodation they want.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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We went skiing with a big group last year at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. It was amazing. Especially because I am by no means skilled at skiing. So, it was great for beginners! I liked swimming in the outside heated pool when it was snowing. It was incredible.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:07 PM
 
10,308 posts, read 38,014,972 times
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Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Not at all, but for $1500 a night all depends on how many rooms they can pack into and what star accommodation they want.
Certainly an unlikely price point at The Lodge at Vail, but Antlers, Matamoros, and a number of the older townhouse developments in Lion's Head and down through West Vail would be at that range as long as the folk weren't looking for more than 6 bedrooms in a decent place. With the new high end build out of Lion's Head, the older places have to be very price competitive to attract and retain business.

I think the price point is very doable at The Racquet Club in East Vail, as well as a number of other facilities in that area, although it would take several units to accomodate all. I don't know of any units at the Racquet Club that have more than 4 bedrooms ... but that's only to say that I don't know, I've never asked. I've stayed in 2 & 3 bedroom units there.

In Vail Village itself, The Mountain Haus might be in this price range. Again, you're looking at an older but well maintained condominium hotel conversion, which must compete against some of the newer build-out of the area.

A lot will depend upon how this year's ski season shapes up ... if there's a similar pattern to some of the recent years where the ski season was in poor shape in other regions of the country, Colorado skiing was very much in demand. Even if it wasn't a great year for Colorado, it was a lot better than reading about ski areas in other parts of the country being shut down for lack of snow.

My advice to the OP is to contact several of the property management companies in VV or BC and ask what they have to offer .... as well as get on-line and contact a number of the lodging operations in VV. As they get closer to the ski season and get a handle on how the reservations are flowing this season, they may start offering some smokin' deals very early to get their places filled.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:21 PM
 
330 posts, read 1,169,146 times
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Wow, thanks everyone! I just did some preliminary looking at all the places mentioned, and they all look incredible. Steamboat Springs and Vail in particular both look promising -- I don't remember where I heard that Vail wasn't good for beginners, but apparently that was wrong.

We've done a lot of searching on VRBO, that's where we found our condo for our first visit to Copper. The link below is to the VRBO listings we'd been looking at for the upcoming visit. When I say "high end," I just mean they're the most expensive ones at Copper (which again, isn't much when you spread out the cost per person). I have no idea yet how the price compares against other locations. With the varying incomes in our group, I don't think we'll go too much higher than $100 per head per night, so really it's a cheap stay compared to, say, New York City.

Lewis Ranch in Copper Mountain Colorado Vacation Rentals by Owner - Lewis Ranch in Copper Mountain Colorado VRBO, Vacation Home Rentals, Condo Rentals, FRBO Vacation Rentals, Lewis Ranch in Copper Mountain Colorado Travel Information (http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/colorado/northwest/copper-mountain/lewis-ranch - broken link)

About our group, we're mostly a group of actuaries and spouses, ages 25-35. Half males, half females, mixed amounts of athleticism, and no kids. Pretty typical group I think.

For the accomodations, we're exclusively looking at home/lodge-type places. No hotels or connected units. Other than that, the only real requirements are that the place look nice and that it be right on the slopes.

You guys have already given me plenty to look at, but please keep any suggestions coming! If you have any specific neighborhood names for me to look at (since VRBO groups by neighborhood), that'd be helpful as well.

Thanks!
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