Best place for novice family

Old Jan 16th, 2012, 04:47 AM
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Best place for novice family

Hiya, hope you can help

We are a family of 3...mum, dad and 6year old girl, who have never ever skied before.

We wish to travel from UK to USA and have a family ski holiday. So far the advice on the best place to go is confusing, but possibly down to 2 destinations.

We would wish to go around christmas/new year. We would like the slopes to be as quite or as spacious as possible - no yahoo's, but understand that the time of the year will make all the slopes fairly hectic.

We enjoy staying in hotels as it seems to be more of an 'event', so we would like somewhere that has good hotels with nice sized rooms.

Having never skied before, obviously we would like somewhere with excellent ski-schools and somewhere where our little girl will be able to learn AND enjoy her lessons.
Ideally we would also like somewhere where we could go shopping, should skiing not be our thing. Also, evening entertainment for families is a must - no 24hr nightclubs please.

Food wise we actually prefer cheap and cheerful...burgers, chips, ice creams etc

The 2 aforementioned possibilities seem to be Deer Valley or Beaver Creek...anyone any ideas as to which is best for novice families? Should there be better places for us to consider then please, by all means, your thoughts would be welcome.
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Old Jan 16th, 2012, 05:38 AM
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While the East Coast is closer to you - and has some nice resorts - it doesn't get the great snow they receive out here in the West. I think both Deer Valley,Utah -(and the adjacent - larger community of Park City would be great) as would Colorado's Beaver Creek - and the nearby Vail. Colorado's Aspen also have a lot of choices - and of the 4 mountains - Snowmass is great for families with a lot of intermediate/beginning slopes - and Buttermilk has probably more beginner runs than any of the others.

And at "The Summit" - on the way to Vail from Denver - are 4 good resorts: Breckinridge, Copper, Keystone and A- Basin - but A -Basin probably is for the more advaned skiers.

All of these have fairly good transportation from resort to resort, especially in Aspen and The Summit.
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Old Jan 16th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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BTW - they all have good ski schools. You might all want to consider taking group lessons initially - perhaps even sign up for a week's worth - and get a better deal.

Or take a lesson - go practice a bit on your own, take another lesson, and so forth. They all have some kind of "bunny" hills.
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Old Jan 16th, 2012, 05:41 AM
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Uno Mas: The advantage of a group lesson - at least when you are starting - it that it's not only less expensive - but you also are learning with others - who will be falling down/looking a bit klutzy - and you can have some nice camaradiere.
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Old Jan 16th, 2012, 05:50 AM
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http://www.shermanstravel.com/top_te..._ResortsFamily Ski Hub: Resort Reviews, Tips, Travel Advice, and Gear
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Good info for you Tremblant may be closest cheapest
great beginner ski schools. gostowe.com for the US
Colorado has a bunch of stuff more $$$ farther Utah as well.
But for beginners will not matter much.
Vail is my absolute fav...
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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You can ask ten people and get a dozen recommendations. If our friends in London has asked that same question I would have a very different response based on actually having skied all of those areas. First all areas have good ski schools and it is difficult to say that one is better than the other especially at the beginner level. Second, Deer Valley and Beaver Creek are very high end resorts which means they will be very expensive especially at time of year. Even with a favorable exchange rate they would be expensive for many people.

When reading your description of quiet, low key please, Copper Mountain came to mind. Great ski school (both of my sons learned to ski there). Has the best skier separation of any mountain anywhere. Hard core skiers to the right and beginners to the left and never will they meet. Lots of housing right at the base so accesses is very easy. Night life is limited but several decent restaurants. Two hours from the Denver International airport with one direct flight a day from London. If you focus is on learning to ski this is a very good place to do it. My recommendations for beginners is two full days, a day of practice, and then half day lessons and half day practice as you develop some skill.

Regardless of where you go, it areas will be packed. Those two weeks are the highest usage during the year.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Copper Mtn and the Summit area is the easiest to reach from Denver, and you could also zip down to Vail (less than a half hour) for a day if you like.

If you don't care about staying slopside - check out the cute little town of Frisco, which is located in the middle of the areas at the Summit: http://www.townoffrisco.com/

There is a great B& B on the main drag - Frisco Lodge is it?

Also -if you are enrolled in ski schools - don't worry about the crowds as you will have priority on the lifts.
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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For the Frisco Lodge - see:
http://www.friscolodge.com/?gclid=CN...FcYZQgodRmFknA and
http://business.townoffrisco.com/loc...-and-breakfast
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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If you wanted a cheaper alternative to Colorado, try Pennsylvania. http://www.snomtn.com/index.php/lear...owboard-month/
My son learned to ski there when he was in High School.
Not too far from the Scranton/Wilkes Barre airport.
Aren't there any ski slopes in England or Scotland?
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Old Jan 17th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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I don't think New England had much snow over Christmas/New Year this season, it's always a crapshoot. Can you visit in late jan/ early Feb?
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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I think most major ski resorts have good ski schools. I'll throw Lake Tahoe into the mix, as that is one of my favorite places. It is just beautiful with the lake, and due to the few casinos, housing tends to be a lot cheaper than in places that are solely ski resorts. There are plenty of nice places to stay there, some suite hotels, etc. And there are so many different places to ski. I ski Heavenly mostly, and it is convenient. But you can go to Sierra Ski Ranch just for the day, it is great for beginners. But I know Heavenly has all kinds of terrain and good lessons, and is so easy to get to.

As for entertainment, a lot of ski resorts don't have much of anything to do, you are there to ski and eat and sleep, and they are fairly isolated. That is another advantage of Lake Tahoe (around Stateline), no, you won't be going to casinos with kids, but there are movie theaters, ice skating, and other things to do. The casinos are pretty low key compared to Vegas, actually, but they are there. And Heavenly is very easy to get to, there are buses from the Reno airport (only takes about 45-60 min) and you don't need a car in town. There is also public transportation to other resorts if you want, there is a free bus to Sierra, for example, and that is only about 30 min away.

Whenever I am there, I meet people from the UK, actually, as it is a good deal and beautiful place to go.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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oh, no snow at Tahoe at Christmas this year. No snow much of anywhere this year. You never know about that, I think there usually is at Christmas.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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>>

I would never count on enough snow at Christmas in Tahoe, especially if I were laying out nonrefundable money. It's not that uncommon to have very little snow until at least mid-January (it's usually great by MLK, not so this year).
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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not all that easy to get to, but it has THE best track record, snow wise. Wolf Creek in Colorado.

http://www.wolfcreekski.com/

They have 220 inches of snow this [ski]year.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Colorado is most likely to have the snow you are looking for. I'm no expert on skiing but have lived in New England (VT/NH) and California, and I don't believe the snow can't be counted on in the same way as the resorts in CO.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Sorry, I don't believe the snow CAN be counted on...
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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We used to ski all the time at beautiful, Blue Lake Tahoe (when we lived in SF) - mainly Heavenly Valley and Squaw, although we liked other resorts there as well. One of my ole ski buddies just skied there yesterday - at Heavenly - on the south shore. He was pleasantly surprised that they have made some good snow on some of the runs, mainly higher up - and he was happily cruising around the mountain in several places, both on the Cal and Nevada sides - although The Face/Gunbarrell - is barren.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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It is an issue if you are coming all the way from the UK and planning your holiday around it, the snow. I guess I wouldn't bet on Tahoe if it doesn't usually have a lot by CHristmas, too bad.

I get snow reports daily from Tahoe and today it said the base was only 18 inches!!!! maybe way up at the summit which is about 10K feet.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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London to Boston is 6 hours. From Boston you can easily drive to smaller ski areas with excellent ski instructors.

In Massachusetts (about one hours' drive north of Boston):
http://www.wachusett.com/
http://www.skinashoba.com/

Or in New Hampshire (about 1.5-2 hours' drive north of Boston):
http://www.patspeak.com/
http://www.gunstock.com/

They all have snowmaking equipment, so as long as it's cold they make snow if mother nature hasn't. Since you're beginners, you have more choices without driving far. My kids learned skiing at Gunstock and Pat's Peak - both have top quality, experienced instructors to teach kids and adults. I personally haven't skied in Massachusetts.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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Have you considered Vancouver, BC, and Whistler resort? It is a fun international village somewhat similar to the ski resorts of Switzerland and the snow conditions this year are decent and are getting better and better: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/index.htm
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