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View Poll Results: Where should we go?
Copper Mountain 4 57.14%
Winter Park 1 14.29%
Other 2 28.57%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-29-2009, 05:17 PM
 
330 posts, read 1,212,622 times
Reputation: 264

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My wife and I are coming into Denver on a Thursday night and staying through Wednesday. We're coming partly to see Denver, but mostly to ski. Neither of us has skied before.

We've researched a ton of resorts and have a bit of information overload, and wanted to get your recommendations. The most commonly-recommended sites seem to be Winter Park and Copper Mountain, and there are a few other places (Cooper, Breckenridge, Sol Vista) that look promising as well.

What would you recommend for us, based on the following?:
  • Late 20's. Moderate athletic ability, zero skiing experience.
  • The less crowded the better.
  • Variety in restaurants is a big plus
  • Having something to do at night would be nice
  • Log cabin lodging would be awesome. Would a ski-in/ski-out thing work for beginners who'd be renting equipment?

Also, as new skiiers, would we be able to get to the intermediate trails reasonably soon (we'll take lessons the first day)? We want to make sure we don't run out of trails, or have to take the same beginner's trail over and over or something like that.

And finally, renting a car... is that necessary? Are the resorts walkable / all-inclusive?

Many thanks!
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:53 PM
 
330 posts, read 1,212,622 times
Reputation: 264
Figured I'd bump this and give it one more try. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,621 posts, read 9,107,160 times
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I recommend Breckenridge as a fun place to stay and to ski. I can't remember what their beginner runs are like, but if you take an all-day lesson the first day and have decent athlete ability, you should be able to move up to some "easy" intermediate runs. Your instructor would be the best one to direct you where to ski. Breck's got a good varied mountain, is in a gorgeous location, and should be lots of fun. Actually, you could say that about ANY of the Colorado resorts!
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,651,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drzy View Post
Late 20's. Moderate athletic ability, zero skiing experience.
Make sure you get acclimatized to the altitude. If you can, take it easy the first day or so (best way to acclimatize is to climb high, sleep low). Hydrate a lot.

Quote:
The less crowded the better.
Avoid the weekends and holidays. Since you're beginners, spend the weekend on the bunny hill -- don't venture off the bunny hill until Sunday afternoon.

Quote:
Variety in restaurants is a big plus
Most ski areas will have a bunch of restaurants. I'm not that familiar with WP anymore (haven't skied there in several years). Copper has a bunch of places, from burger joints to Chinese buffet, to more upscale fare.

Quote:
Having something to do at night would be nice.
What "something"? Many ski areas have things going on at night, like concerts, etc. However, given that you've never skied before, skiing may tire you out enough that all you want to do is just relax.

Quote:
Would a ski-in/ski-out thing work for beginners who'd be renting equipment?
You can rent equipment for multiple days, so you don't need to go to the shop everyday. However, ski-in/ski-out may not be very feasible since you're rank beginners. Some ski-in/ski-out places might require negotiating narrow/icy/tricky terrain. I know at Copper there are some ski-in/ski-out condos right by the beginner lifts, so that might fit the bill.

Quote:
Also, as new skiers, would we be able to get to the intermediate trails reasonably soon (we'll take lessons the first day)? We want to make sure we don't run out of trails, or have to take the same beginner's trail over and over or something like that.
It depends on how quickly you pick it up. But regardless, there's little danger of you running out of terrain to ski, especially at the larger resorts like WP, Copper, Breck, etc.

Quote:
And finally, renting a car... is that necessary? Are the resorts walkable / all-inclusive?
Again, don't know about WP, but there's a free bus service in Summit County, so a car is definitely not necessary. So if you're at Copper, you can take the bus over to Frisco or Breckenridge if you want. You might find a car handy if you need to make a quick run to the grocery store, or Blockbuster, etc.

In general, I'm not a big fan of the manufactured villages at the bases of the ski resorts. Too...artificial. And even in high season, they can be somewhat dead. From that perspective, I'm a fan of Breck, because it has a real lively town at the base that existed before the ski resort (TONS of restaurants, a full grocery store, etc.). However, be aware that if you get a slopeside condo at Breck, it might be a little ways from the town itself. You could stay closer to town and be a short shuttle ride from the lifts and a block or two away from Main Street. With so many days, you may well want to take a break from skiing for a day or two -- the town is a great diversion.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,651,014 times
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For beginner terrain, both Copper and WP have good terrain, as do the other places like Breck. Copper has great green terrain at the top of the mountain (off either Sierra or Rendezvous lift - they're both next to each other but can't remember which is which -- hard to mess up though -- one of the lifts has "Expert terrain only, no beginner terrain" signs). As I recall, WP also has very nice beginner terrain. Breck has very nice gentle blue/intermediate runs which you can tackle if you improve. The only place I'd say to avoid is Keystone -- the green runs are notoriously crowded and icy.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:02 AM
 
1,176 posts, read 3,958,732 times
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The downside to Winter Park is that it sits alone (well okay Sol Vista is nearish) on the other side of Berthoud Pass.

If you stay in the Dillon area you have more resorts and more entertainment options available.

You can make do without a car, but I would advise you rent one in order to expand the areas you can see.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Colorado
269 posts, read 1,115,368 times
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If this is going to be your absolute first day of skiing, my vote is for Copper. They have a free beginner's lift (Pitchfork, if I recall) with a fairly long green run. Much better than the bunny slopes which are crowded and iced up.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,098 posts, read 20,344,698 times
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I have never liked Copper Mountain. If you are going to Summit county I reccomand Keystone.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Centennial
40 posts, read 146,596 times
Reputation: 27
I would have to agree on Copper, I just got a season pass to winter park and copper but for beginners I would say copper, even the more difficult runs are still not that bad but FOR SURE start slow, bunny hill and take it easy
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:07 AM
 
330 posts, read 1,212,622 times
Reputation: 264
Thanks everybody, I appreciate it! I'm leaning Copper at the moment based on what y'all said about the trails, and also Fuzz made a great point about it being easier to spend some time in Aspen, Vail, etc. It'll also depend on how good a deal we can get.

We did find that we can stay a lot of places via VRBO® is Vacation Rentals By Owner (http://www.vrbo.com - broken link) for much cheaper than booking directly through the resort. That was a definite plus that's going to save some bling.
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