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Avoiding weekend crowds in Colorado

cliffsteep

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My wonderful Wife is sending me to Colorado on a last minute ski trip. I will be in Summit County skiing Friday 1/20 through Sunday 1/22. I would appreciate advice on avoiding crowds, especially on Saturday. Do you think its better to go to a bigger place like Breckenridge or Copper where there are more options? Or maybe a smaller place like Ski Cooper where there might be fewer skiers. Thanks in advance for your replies.
 

snoseek

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Go straight to Loveland its actually not as small as you think and the masses drive right by with their epic passes

Breck and Copper on a Saturday are not my idea of a good time. Cooper is a really fun little hill that somehow always has awesome snow but its pretty low angle. It is usually pretty chill though.

Definitely figure out an abasin day...maybe not Saturday but if you like steep high alpine experience its the best
 

slatham

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Cooper has Chicago ridge, a snow cat operation from the mountain. Brother went and loved it.....

A-Basin may also be a better Saturday option than Breck or Copper.

But I was at Copper a few years ago on a prime early March Saturday and do not recall any issues. My brother (Denver local) always avoids Breck on a prime Saturday. He had the Epic pass and now has the Max pass that includes Copper.
 

skifree

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My wonderful Wife is sending me to Colorado on a last minute ski trip. I will be in Summit County skiing Friday 1/20 through Sunday 1/22. I would appreciate advice on avoiding crowds, especially on Saturday. Do you think its better to go to a bigger place like Breckenridge or Copper where there are more options? Or maybe a smaller place like Ski Cooper where there might be fewer skiers. Thanks in advance for your replies.

nice wife.
 

BushMogulMaster

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Or maybe a smaller place like Ski Cooper where there might be fewer skiers. Thanks in advance for your replies.

If you decide to visit Cooper, send me a PM. Would be happy to give you the "VIP Tour." I won't shamelessly plug for Cooper, but I'll let some fellow AZers tell you why it's worth a day, especially on a weekend. :beer:
 

jimk

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My wonderful Wife is sending me to Colorado on a last minute ski trip. I will be in Summit County skiing Friday 1/20 through Sunday 1/22. I would appreciate advice on avoiding crowds, especially on Saturday. Do you think its better to go to a bigger place like Breckenridge or Copper where there are more options? Or maybe a smaller place like Ski Cooper where there might be fewer skiers. Thanks in advance for your replies.

Certainly good suggestions about Loveland and Cooper. You can usually find a section of the bigger mtns that is overlooked or not that busy. Have you nailed down what you are going to do for lodging and lift tickets? If going to use Lifttopia that may drive you to placces like Copper or A-Basin. Beaver Creek can generally be less crowded than several of the other major ski areas. At Breck get to the upper mtn and stay there; places like T-bar and 6 Chair on Peak 8, E Chair on Peak 9, and Falcon chair on Peak 10. At Keystone go to the Outback and stay there until they start closing it down. At Copper ski Superbee cchair. A-Basin is generally a decent crowd beater.
 

4aprice

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Some of the bigger crowds you may have to face will be on I-70. Traffic in the mountains was supposed to be heavy this weekend. According to the news the toll lane will be in use.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

dlague

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If you decide to visit Cooper, send me a PM. Would be happy to give you the "VIP Tour." I won't shamelessly plug for Cooper, but I'll let some fellow AZers tell you why it's worth a day, especially on a weekend. :beer:
Cooper is definitely a fun place to ski. With MLK weekend we skied A Basin and Loveland an had initially planned on Skiing Cooper today but never made it. LL AND AB had no lift lines. It was our strategy to stay away from Vail resorts like Breck and Keystone. However, according to Epic Mix the lift lines at Vail were never an issue on Saturday and were not that bad at Breck or Keystone.

That being said, the two holiday periods are past and I expect a fewer number of skiers at Vail Resorts because they are trying hard to get people there based on recent emails.

If it were me, I would not be too concerned on that weekend. AB and LL are safe bets and ski big. LL is bigger than anything back east and AB also feels bigger but only 960 acres which I find hard to believe. Cooper is smaller but the back bowls is fun for sure. Chicago Ridge cost extra like $75 BTW and requires a reservation.

Are you picking up lift tickets in advance. With Vail resorts the best pricing is 7 day advance. We also have buddy tickets for any of them.

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cliffsteep

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Thanks for all the advice. I'm staying in Dillon. I'm planning to ski A-basin Friday, Copper Saturday, and Cooper Sunday. I've been to Loveland and did enjoy the Ridge Cat, but the chairs scared me. No bars. I haven't been to Copper in about 25 years and its time to get back there. And hitting Cooper will bring the total number of resorts I've visited to an even 70. I will post a trip report. Cheers.
 

dlague

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Thanks for all the advice. I'm staying in Dillon. I'm planning to ski A-basin Friday, Copper Saturday, and Cooper Sunday. I've been to Loveland and did enjoy the Ridge Cat, but the chairs scared me. No bars. I haven't been to Copper in about 25 years and its time to get back there. And hitting Cooper will bring the total number of resorts I've visited to an even 70. I will post a trip report. Cheers.
I probably would swap out Copper with Cooper or A Basin. I just talked to a work colleague that nose a Copper regular and he said Saturdays can get busy. May not be too bad. Are you looking for the non skiing stuff like apres ski? Then Saturday makes sense.

Dillon is a great place to stay. I would recommend three places West Tavern in Frisco, Pug Ryan's in Dillon and Mint in Silverthorne. Mint is an old saloon where you pick you protein and cook it yourself. Not the nicest place but different.
 

bdfreetuna

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related question: Is it even remotely possible to ski Colorado on the cheap with advance planning like skiers in the Northeast are able to do?

Just seems expensive to ski out there in general.
 

snoseek

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related question: Is it even remotely possible to ski Colorado on the cheap with advance planning like skiers in the Northeast are able to do?

Just seems expensive to ski out there in general.
If you score a gems card and ski the smaller areas Colorado is pretty affordable. If you want to ski the vail areas its not. Im a big big fan of the powderhorn and sunlights of Colorado as I don't need 5000 acres to be blown away.
 

dlague

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If you score a gems card and ski the smaller areas Colorado is pretty affordable. If you want to ski the vail areas its not. Im a big big fan of the powderhorn and sunlights of Colorado as I don't need 5000 acres to be blown away.
You have to order the Gems Card about three weeks in advance. You can not pick them up they mail them. We skied using the Gems Card back in February of last year using 2 for 1 deals at Cooper, Loveland and A Basin. Then we bought lift tickets 7 days in advance to Keystone. We had planned to ski Eldora or Monarch but I had an interview opportunity while here on vacation.

We hope to make it to Sunlight and Powderhorn this season. Monarch is on the radar.

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Whitey

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related question: Is it even remotely possible to ski Colorado on the cheap with advance planning like skiers in the Northeast are able to do? Just seems expensive to ski out there in general.

We're using the Max Pass to try to keep costs down. There some tips in the responses to my thread linked below. Going to Denver or SLC would be your cheapest flight. Utilize the mountain shuttles/transportation to get to where you want to go, rely on local transportation to get around once you land somewhere, stay somewhere off mountain to save on rent, cook your own meals, etc. Really it's the same as cost-containment skiing anywhere. Find the cheapest flight you can to SLC or DIA & then take it from there. After I get done with the family trip to SS this Feb I may try to pull off a 3-4 day solo trip and try to keep costs down this way.

http://forums.alpinezone.com/showth...ger-Colorado-ski-trip-in-Feb?highlight=whitey
 

4aprice

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related question: Is it even remotely possible to ski Colorado on the cheap with advance planning like skiers in the Northeast are able to do?

Just seems expensive to ski out there in general.

I think the ticket deals out there are better then the east. Certainly the room rates are comparable. The rental car or ground transportation is probably the biggest PITA expense and that can be avoided. Want cheap, I highly recommend going after April 1st. Sure a couple of options close down early but most stay open till mid month and a few will stay open longer. (Luv, ABay, Bird in Ut) and there is plenty of skiing. April can also be a very snowy month in the Rockies.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

dlague

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My wife, son and I vacationed in Colorado and got an AirBNB for 900 for the week in Dillon, rented a small SUV for 325 for the week, spent about $500 on lift tickets for 3 people on 4 days skiing using Gems Card and Liftopia, bought our own groceries, total cost for flights $720 to Denver from Boston. Just under $2500 for three people.

Does not include incidentals like beers and gifts etc. Also did not include cost of groceries since that would have been spent either way trip or not.

Note: It cost us over $4300 not including food to ski Banff where we went out every night and food was more expensive. We had way more fun in Colorado and it was way cheaper.

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jimk

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related question: Is it even remotely possible to ski Colorado on the cheap with advance planning like skiers in the Northeast are able to do?

Just seems expensive to ski out there in general.

Colorado can definitely be done fairly cheap with airfare being a key factor and lodging another. It’s hard to get a motel under about $100 per night in Summit County, even harder over by Vail and Aspen. If you got comparable airfare to UT it can be done a little cheaper because of many more cheap S75 per night motels in SLC suburbs.
Do you have an eastern season pass with reciprocity out west? Otherwise, cheap ways for tickets in CO: buy preseason fourpack for Loveland for about $140. Great deal, interchangeable, but must buy early. Search liftopia for decent discounts at Arapahoe Basin, Copper on there too but pricier, maybe Winter Park too. You could do a whole week at A-B and Love and get a good cheap sample of CO less all the mobs at Vail/Breck and not leave disappointed. Love and A-B are pretty close together. You can get motels in Georgetown (Gtwn Inn is decent) or Dillon (low end motels) for about $90-100 per night with some searching. A couple of years ago I got preseason fourpacks for about $180 that were good at Keystone and A-Basin. Those two are only about five easy miles apart. FYI A-B is bada$$ and great for experts (Pali) and true extreme East Wall, Love and Key more mellow, but still quite interesting.
If you figure a way to make the epicpass work the upper mtns at Breck are great if you go that way. There are hostel type places in Minturn for $50-75 per night if you wanted to do Vail/Beaver Creek (decent crowd beater). You can stay at a Days Inn for ~$75 per night in Carbondale if you commuted 50 mins each way to Aspen. What else do you want to know? Been doing CO for years.
 

dlague

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Colorado can definitely be done fairly cheap with airfare being a key factor and lodging another. It’s hard to get a motel under about $100 per night in Summit County, even harder over by Vail and Aspen. If you got comparable airfare to UT it can be done a little cheaper because of many more cheap S75 per night motels in SLC suburbs.
Do you have an eastern season pass with reciprocity out west? Otherwise, cheap ways for tickets in CO: buy preseason fourpack for Loveland for about $140. Great deal, interchangeable, but must buy early. Search liftopia for decent discounts at Arapahoe Basin, Copper on there too but pricier, maybe Winter Park too. You could do a whole week at A-B and Love and get a good cheap sample of CO less all the mobs at Vail/Breck and not leave disappointed. Love and A-B are pretty close together. You can get motels in Georgetown (Gtwn Inn is decent) or Dillon (low end motels) for about $90-100 per night with some searching. A couple of years ago I got preseason fourpacks for about $180 that were good at Keystone and A-Basin. Those two are only about five easy miles apart. FYI A-B is bada$$ and great for experts (Pali) and true extreme East Wall, Love and Key more mellow, but still quite interesting.
If you figure a way to make the epicpass work the upper mtns at Breck are great if you go that way. There are hostel type places in Minturn for $50-75 per night if you wanted to do Vail/Beaver Creek (decent crowd beater). You can stay at a Days Inn for ~$75 per night in Carbondale if you commuted 50 mins each way to Aspen. What else do you want to know? Been doing CO for years.
AirBNB, VRBO or HomeAway are really good deals that will make you feel more comfortable than sitting in a hotel room.

And if you are not skiing by yourself the Gems Card is way cheaper then Liftopia. The window rate for children and teens are reasonable at LL, AB and other non Vail resorts.

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skiNEwhere

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As much as I love Breck, I would steer clear of it on the weekends, same goes for Vail (technically Eagle County). Copper Mtn generally doesn't get nearly as crowded as Breck or Keystone. Even A-Basin can get so crowded that their parking lots fill up, usually that's only on a pow day though. If you go to Copper, I would lap the Super Bee 6 pack as it rarely ever has a long line. I would check out Sunlight as well. Only like 2 hours further and the lift tickets are $63.

My Trip Report

http://forums.alpinezone.com/showth...-The-Magic-Mtn-of-the-West?highlight=sunlight
 

dlague

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As much as I love Breck, I would steer clear of it on the weekends, same goes for Vail (technically Eagle County). Copper Mtn generally doesn't get nearly as crowded as Breck or Keystone. Even A-Basin can get so crowded that their parking lots fill up, usually that's only on a pow day though. If you go to Copper, I would lap the Super Bee 6 pack as it rarely ever has a long line. I would check out Sunlight as well. Only like 2 hours further and the lift tickets are $63.

My Trip Report

http://forums.alpinezone.com/showth...-The-Magic-Mtn-of-the-West?highlight=sunlight
According to Epic Mix Vail lift times have been better than Breck or Keystone on Saturdays. I have been watching from a distance. We want to go back soon.

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