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Charming ski town for beginner in middle of February?

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Nov 30th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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Charming ski town for beginner in middle of February?

Hi there! I am looking to go on a ski trip around February 17th. My husband is turning 30 and I want to surprise him with a ski trip. I am a beginner (only have been skiing once before) and my husband has some experience. (he can ski blues)

Anyway, we went to Beaver Creek a few years ago and just loved it. The charming cobblestone streets, old fashioned lanterns, plenty to do at night, and the horse ride carriage up to a barnhouse is something I will never forget!

We live in Orlando, Florida so we are open to Utah, Colorado, and Vermont. I know more states have ski resorts but these are the ones that come to mind....

Any suggestions?
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Nov 30th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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February 17 is pretty much right in the middle of school vacation time in New England meaning the New England resorts will be very busy. Not sure about when CO/UT breaks are.
That said, in Vermont I highly recommend Stowe. GREAT town. Lots to do in addition to skiing. The resort's website is www.stowe.com and the website for the general area is www.gostowe.com. There is a direct flight from Orland to Burlington on JetBlue which is great. We take it every year when we head south!
I've skied Colorado once and we stayed in Frisco which is smack dab in the middle of 3 resorts (Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper. Great location.
Park City in Utah is great. Many resorts to choose from. Lots of other stuff in town to do too.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Crested Butte, Colorado! the last great colorado ski town. The town is super charming and victorian. Lots of great restaurants. skiing is fantastic with little to no lift lines. Relatively easy to get to in the winter with direct flights from Dallas & Houston. Fly into Gunnison, and it's a very short 30 minute drive to town. There's plenty of blue and green runs for both of you.

Skip Jackson Hole Wyoming. Skiing was hard and very few greens, and little to no grooming.
Plus, the resort is out of town a ways.

Park City is easy to get to with flying into Salt lake City. the town itself is very charming if very, very busy. Three resorts to choose from with Park City, Deer Valley and the Canyons right there and a free bus that goes around town and between the resorts.

You should know that the weekend you are going is Presidents day weekend which tends to be busy at most ski resorts.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:02 PM
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Sorry, failed to mention I am looking for a village like atmosphere where the slopes are right next to the village. (like Beaver Creek) To me, the village atmosphere is so much more charming.....
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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If you are looking something similar to Beaver Creek, then consider Vail or Aspen. From a skiing view point Snowmass, part of the Aspen complex, would be your best choice for skiing at your levels. You could stay in the Snowmass area, massive amount of ski in/out properties for convenience, and spend your evening in Aspen.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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So Beaver Creek is an entirely new ski area/town/community. it is not an old mining town or Victorian town. That makes things very different there in that the ski resort and the town center are planned in concert together which is why the village is right next to the ski slopes.

You might look into Vail, super charming Swiss/Austrian style resort. I know nothing about the skiing.

Telluride - which is an old mining town, but has a gondola up to the ski area making it easy to get from the mountain village area to the town and back. the gondola is free and runs at night. But I've heard skiing at Telluride can be challenging. Someone else on these boards is a huge Telluride fan and can probably speak more to the skiing.

Crested Butte while it has a cute downtown is a few minutes from the actual ski resort, there's a free town bus that runs between the mountain and the town.

Park City has an actual lift that runs right into town. I wouldn't recommend either the run to the lift or the ride on the lift itself. But it's totally doable, I suppose. It's not hard, I just didn't like the lift.

Again, skip Jackson Hole. and Heavenly at Lake Tahoe.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Thank you so much for the responses. I really appreciate it. Does Stowe have a village next to the slopes? I just love it when you can see down the mountain and then walk around the village and grab something to eat, etc.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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meant to say "ski down the mountain."
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Vail. Not old, but definitely the village at the bottom of the mountain. Lots of greens and blues for both of you.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:39 PM
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Pretty sure that is President's Day weekend whichwill be busy wherever you are.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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Hubby skis Telluride and Durango all season. Durango is better for beginners, you can stay right at the slopes but it doesn't have that quaint town right there. It does have a great, quaint town, but it is about 25 -30 minute drive.

Telluride has phenomenal skiing, geared more to more advanced skiers but has its share of green and blue. The town is really nice, and is authentic old western mining town. You can stay in Mountain Village and get that quaint feel you want and always take the Gondola into Telluride. Or vice versa. Mountain Village has lots of accommodations that are ski in/ski out.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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These replies are great and I think I have narrowed it down to:

1) Vail
2) Aspen (Snowmass)
3) Stowe - does it have a quaint village center with the slopes right next to it?

Also, I am not looking for the old western mining style towns but rather that quaint village feel with beautiful architecture. (sounds like Vail is up my alley with the Swiss/Austrian influence)

Any other thoughts?
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Nov 30th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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Snowmass has practically no "town" identity to me.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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I do 't know Stowe, but I really think Vail is what you're looking for. Aspen is great, but it's a much bigger town, and the skiing IN Aspen is geared to the more advanced skiers
Snowmass is 20 minutes drive from the town of Aspen.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Stowe, or any New England ski area, will be totally mobbed that weekend/week because it is school vacation week. The town of Stowe is a distance from the ski area although the newer Spruce Peak area has a bit of a village but I don't think it's what you're looking for. President's Day weekend will be mobbed everywhere in the country and very expensive. Having said that, you would probably like Vail more than Snowmass. I personally think Vail village is plastic but the skiing is great. Think about Park City, Breckenridge, Keystone too. Park City and Breck are old mining towns with lots of atmosphere close to the slopes. Keystone has a small "village" area near Breck. All 3 have great skiing. If you're looking for nightlife - Park City, Breck and Vail.
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Nov 30th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Since you're going to have to fly wherever you go, I'd definitely recommend going west, rather than to Stowe. The snow is likely to be better.

We like Vail and Aspen, but for a slopeside village, our favorite is Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.
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Dec 1st, 2011, 06:47 AM
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There are some great recommendations and here is my two cents:

I would consider Whistler/Blackomb, as they connect, have a cute village area - and are a huge area - and have plenty of runs that beginners can appreciate.

We loved Vail - skied there several times, but it's really built up. Telluride is a very cute town, as is Aspen, which is bigger but still a blast. Actually - Snowmass is a totally separate village - and you has plenty of beginner/intermediate terrain and there are buses connecting the 4 different resorts in the Aspen area - including Buttermilk (also a cute area - even more for beginners) and Aspen Highlands, which more advanced, and Ajax mountain in the town of Aspen.

And Deer Valley (next to Park City)has the perfect mid-mountain lodge - Stein Erickson's - and you can ski or take the trams to the bottom. see: http://www.steinlodge.com/ppc/cobranding
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Dec 1st, 2011, 06:50 AM
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BTW - forgot to mention at at the Summit (where the cute little town of Frisco is located - about 20 miles before you get to Vail/Beaver Creek) - Breckenridge is a cute, victorian town - with a lot of runs in the mountain above. see: http://www.breckenridge.com/?cmpid=PPC116542956

More of a modern feel is a few miles away at Keystone. http://www.keystoneresort.com/
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Dec 1st, 2011, 10:14 AM
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Beaver Creek was created by Vail owners and thus, you would probably like Vail's Swiss village look.
I think your ski passes will work for both resorts.
With New England schools closed for February break, Stowe will be packed with families. Save Stowe for another date in the future. Aslo considervStratton Mt.,VT for another trip. It's owned by same group as Vail and Beaver Creek and has a slopeside village.
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Dec 1st, 2011, 10:33 AM
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I know you didn't mention Canada, so you may not be interested in this, but Mont Tremblant in Quebec may suit what you are looking for very well. The village is slopeside and they have a lot of lodging options and places to dine right there. If you are looking for the purpose built ski village experience, Mont Tremblant is very nice (at least I thought so---and I went there as a beginner 6 or 7 years ago).
However, snow in Eastern Canada is much like that in New England--not always plentiful and can be a bit firm. If you want more better chance of more snow (and no rain) I'd fly West.
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