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Old 11-05-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I actually second the Breckenridge option, if you are considering a ski resort area of Colorado. Steamboat is pretty far and isolated. It's not as easy to reach and you may deal with more road closures if there's a big storm. Breckenridge has plenty of options for snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and dining. The town itself is fun, as a tourist. You can find reasonable lodging in Dillon and Frisco, if lodging in Breckenridge itself is too expensive. Again, I'll look into vacation rental homes. You might find a good bargain.
Summit County you have Copper Mountain, Keystone and Breck, plus the support towns of Dillon, Silverstone and Frisco. There is plenty to find in those places in regards to enjoying winter and also the high elevation helps. Pre Christmas you should be able to find plenty of options of budget accommodations/chain hotels and there are plenty of places to eat.

I'd also look on VRBO and do a search locally because you might find a decent condo rental for a good price that will not cost much more than a hotel.

Keep in mind once you start brushing up to a week out from Christmas, prices go up and availability goes down.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:05 PM
 
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Wink Ouray and so forth

Towards Ouray, you might try the following providers: one advertisers sleigh rides in winter; the other carriage rides throughout the year (and may know of options with sleigh rides):

Ouray Colorado - Bach'lers Stable
Ouray Colorado - Ouray Mule and Carriage Co. LLC


Ouray enjoys a very beautiful setting, but is a small isolated town with most of its tourist traffic in summer. Expect it to be much quieter off season, with not as many businesses open. Compared to any of the resort areas it will have limited options in lodging, dining and activities. For instance, in all the more offered in the similar and nearby (as the crow flies) town of Telluride, with that due its popularity as a ski destination. But if seeking a slower pace, and less expense, then Ouray might be perfect.

A word on weather. There will be snow in December, there is even now on the higher peaks and elevations. If this the focus, then areas at higher altitudes should be considered, and in relation those areas known to receive good amounts of snow. Even at 7,792 feet, Ouray may or not have as much snow in mid-December as one might wish, perhaps not even enough for sleigh rides if otherwise offered. If interested, perhaps check with proprietors of these rides and lodging to determine that expected—and then watch the weather. This is where someplace like Breckenridge would be that much more of a sure bet in this regard.

A couple other thoughts on Ouray. Aside from the Uncompahgre River passing through this quaint town within a box canyon, also the site of natural hot springs. Some private lodging can offer this option in hot tubs, as well a larger public pool fed by these springs, probably open year-round. As tightly surrounded by high, and of course quite scenic mountains, Ouray receives limited sunlight in winter. If with snow it will be even more lovely, but expect direct sunlight only during midday, and whether in morning or afternoon depending where in town.

If this sounds intriguing then Ouray may be a good fit, and places such as Telluride close enough for a daylong excursion for activities and greater options in dining. Otherwise, as suggested, perhaps consider options outside of the ski resorts that would offer less expensive lodging than directly within; although for a vacation it can be worth the money to pay for proximity. One more, and something somewhat between that discussed, the smaller town and ski area of Crested Butte; it might be worth looking into.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:54 PM
 
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Probabilities here: First, the probability of a lot of snow in December in the southern half of Colorado is not very good, even in a normal year. So far, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting lower than normal precipitation through the end of January for the whole region. It follows that lack of snow is likely to be a problem region-wide, but especially in the southern half of Colorado, which tends to have low early-winter snowfall even in normal years.

Northwestern Colorado locales like Steamboat Springs are generally better-favored for early winter snowfall in a normal year. Even there, though, the early winter forecasts out of CPC for this season are not especially promising.

None of this means that there can't be localized heavy snowfall in an area, or that the weather pattern might favorably change to a wetter regime. Still, if one wants a more "sure thing" for lots of snow in Colorado, February-March offers the best probability from year-to-year. Locals call the December-early January period the "tourist sucker season" for decent snowfall for a reason.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:51 AM
 
103 posts, read 351,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I actually second the Breckenridge option, if you are considering a ski resort area of Colorado. Steamboat is pretty far and isolated. It's not as easy to reach and you may deal with more road closures if there's a big storm. Breckenridge has plenty of options for snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and dining. The town itself is fun, as a tourist. You can find reasonable lodging in Dillon and Frisco, if lodging in Breckenridge itself is too expensive. Again, I'll look into vacation rental homes. You might find a good bargain.

I stayed at the YMCA outside of Winter Park once, during college, when we were looking for cheap lodging to ski. I just remember it was a far drive for skiing, and would definitely be further than I would want to drive for food.

Good information from Delta 07. Not to say that other suggestions don't hold merit, Summit County has a great bus system that is free and will take you and your family between towns so you don't have to worry about the drive. You could stay at Frisco, Breck, Keystone, etc. and be connected to the array of recreational choices available.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Thank you for all valuable input. Based on your suggestions, I booked a hotel in Breckenridge for 4 days and also added 1 more night for YMCA Rockies to have my child some playing time in the Craft Center. I'll definitely update this thread with my experience.
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