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Recommendations for ski resort with great town life in Western part of US

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We are looking for a place to take our Danish exchange student skiing this March. We have always skied in Colorado, but this year we would like to find someplace further West because we will go from the ski resort to Seattle for the rest of our spring break.

Having a charming town nearby with restaurants, coffee shops, good shopping, etc... is important to me as I am not a huge skier. Ideally, we would like to walk to restaurants and to the ski lifts if possible. I guess what I am looking forward is Breckenridge (or the like), but further west.

I have looked at Whistler, which seems to fit the bill perfectly, but I am a little concerned about the logistics of taking him out of the country. I have also considered Bend, Taos, and Sun Valley.

Have you been to any of these places, and if so, would you recommend them? Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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