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Old 01-02-2008, 12:27 PM
 
33 posts, read 171,722 times
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Where is the closest place to ski near Denver? My hubby and I would love to take advantage of the airline special they are running from Orlando, FL to Denver and makea ski trip out of it. We have never been skiing before, so we're not super picky. We would just like the most economical route. I heard it can be several hours drive just to get to the resorts....is there anything closer? Any advice on places to stay etc??

Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Westminster, CO
271 posts, read 1,251,044 times
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Eldora: Eldora Mountain Resort
Loveland: Loveland Colorado Ski And Snowboard Area

Both are about 1.5 hours each way from Denver International Airport, in good traffic. Loveland is somewhat easier to get to. Both are relatively cheap. You should probably stay at a hotel in the Denver area if you're going to either of these, as neither has any close by. There might be something reasonably cheap in Georgetown or Idaho Springs (closer to Loveland than Eldora) or Boulder (closer to Eldora than Loveland).
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,777,426 times
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If you're skiing Loveland, you're better off staying at either Georgetown or on the other side of the tunnel, in Dillon or Silverthorne -- all of these will put you about 10-15 minutes from Loveland. Idaho Springs is a bit too far, especially if you'll be here on a weekend.

If hotels are expensive, you can try ..VRBO® is Vacation Rentals by Owner® Vacation Homes Rentals by Owner (http://www.vrbo.com - broken link) for cheap rentals as well.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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Best bet is Loveland, due West and still on the Eastern side of the Continental Divide. Family oriented, a low-key ski area that's got a very good ski school, ski gear rentals on site ... you can get an all inclusive "never-ever" ski package of gear, lift tickets, and ski instruction. Food service is friendly and adequate, not expensive. Lodging just over the Eisenhower tunnel in Dillon/Silverthorne, or you can head back down the hill to Georgetown or Idaho Springs in a matter of minutes.

Local access times will depend a lot upon road conditions and the weekend traffic ... personally, I'd prefer to go through the tunnel after skiing and up the hill to Dillon/Silverthorne for the mountain town/lodging experience, but traffic and conditions may make it a more prudent choice to go down the hill ... you won't know which is best until you're there. Lots of places to choose for your evening after skiing ... restaurants, etc. ... without spending a small fortune for your ski fun.

Lots of beginner terrain at Loveland, they even have a ski area dedicated solely to first and low timer's, where you will not have to deal with the distraction of advanced skiiers at the chairlifts or coming across your friendly terrain.

This has got to be one of the best hidden treasures of learning to ski in the business, with the potential of some excellent snow and conditions to learn to ski in at a very modest cost.

Of course, you'll be at altitude here, so best be in decent shape before coming out .... if you don't know about ski conditioning, it would be advisable to seek out a health club or gym where a knowledgeable trainer can get you into doing the right exercises for your body in advance ... otherwise, you will "discover" muscles you never knew you had at the time when you'd rather be exercising them.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
227 posts, read 948,412 times
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There is a new resort called Echo Mountain Park which claims to be closest to Denver, even closer than Loveland Ski Resort. I have never been here but have been intrigued by it. They also have a lift ticket price of $39 all day, every day. You can visit their website, I think it is Echomtnpark.com
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:30 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Echo is a terrain park-only area. I doubt the OP will be wanting to ride park on their first day(s) out.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I second Loveland. I went skiing there a week ago, and while it's not the best skiing I've ever experienced (that would be the Outback at Keystone), it's plenty good, and a bargain compared to the Summit Co. resorts. I also appreciate that there are almost never any lift lines there. Loveland has a lot of diverse types of terrain packed in that one area. Personally, I think spring skiing, especially if you manage to catch the slopes right after a snowstorm, is better than the skiing this time of year.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
227 posts, read 948,412 times
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I agree that Loveland is the best, in terms of closeness, ticket price, no lift lines and it's right by the freeway, so no 'exiting' the freeway and then driving another 6-10 miles through mountain passes.

I'm just a novice snowboarder, but does 'terrain park-only' mean that it's for snowboarders to do rails and jumps only? My sister is an intermediate/advanced boarder and I might shoot her over to Echo Mountain if she would like it. She seemed to like Loveland A LOT compared to the man made snow she has to put up with in So Cal.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,777,426 times
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Terrain park means it contains rails, jumps, pipes and other "trick" features, for both skiers and snowboarders.

All ski areas have terrain parks -- it's just that Echo is park only. Echo is also geared very much towards the younger generation. At Loveland, the park is under Chair 6.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Denver,Co
676 posts, read 2,538,293 times
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Winter park is not to far away either, and its actually run by the city of Denver. There is the ski train that leaves from union station downtown and will take you up there and bring you back at the end of the day. It is definately a must for any ski trip
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