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Crowds at Steamboat/Crested Butte/Breckenridge??

Crowds at Steamboat/Crested Butte/Breckenridge??

Mar 30th, 2010, 12:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
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Crowds at Steamboat/Crested Butte/Breckenridge??

I am considering a surprise C'mas 2010 ski trip as a 60th B'day gift for my husband who has been an avid skier since his 20's, but has not skied in the past 5 years.

We'd be flying out of Newark...was thinking a 4-5 night trip, beginning around 12/22 and ending on the 26th or 27th We have skied at Keystone and Snowmass, but thought these areas offered more of a "western town "feel.

Which of the 3 areas would likely be the least crowded? How difficult to travel to?

Any insights are greatly appreciated.

ljv is offline  
Mar 30th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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Breckenridge will be very crowded at Christmas with "day skiers" from the Denver area. I'd eliminate that option.

Crested Butte and Steamboat are much better choices. Both usually have decent to good snow at Christmas. CB has tougher terrain than Steamboat.
padams421 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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Breckenridge is a really easy drive from Denver, which is why it has so many day skiers. Of course, that also makes it attractive for people flying into Denver (which we did a couple of weeks ago)!
sf7307 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Steamboat is a much better bet for snow at xmas than Crested Butte, and it's also not bad to get to--major airlines served the Hayden airport, and prices aren't bad (though at xmas they might be, as they are to any destination). Crested Butte is better in Feb and March, and is also less well served via air.
christy1 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2010, 03:18 PM
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Crested Butte will probably be the least crowded, but the toughest to get to.

Steamboat will be more crowded, but I've skied Steamboat at Christmas and it's not bad.

Breck will be a zoo.
the_scarecrow_in_oz is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 02:41 PM
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How about Keystone? Would that be less crowded than Breckenridge? Or would Winter Park be a better option?
ljv is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Keystone could be as crowded as Breck, and I think the snow would be iffier at Keystone.

I don't know Winter Park well enough to guess about its early-season snow. It would be less crowded. But on the other hand, there's not really a "town" feel to Winter Park.

I would also vote for Steamboat. It's got a laid-back, Western feel, and our entire family (avid Denver skiers, including one ski racer) really enjoys the mountain. It tends to get good snow.
Lexma90 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 07:10 PM
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Unfortunately the further you get away from Denver at Christmas the better. But the Summitt Cty resorts (Keystone,Breck, Copper, A-Basin will all be very crowded at Christmas even with the local's season passes black out at that time. Beaver Creek could a good choice. It discourages day skier and it is far enough from Denver that few day skiers get there or even try to. It has great slopes and excellent air service at Eagle/Vail. Much bigger and better equipped airport than Steamboat. Although would be a good choice.
fmpden is online now  
Apr 1st, 2010, 05:38 AM
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I ski regularly at Crested Butte at Christmas and have never found a problem with the quality of snow but then I have nothing to compare it to. And it may be one of the busiest weeks of the year for skiing, but I still have pretty much never waited in a lift line except for getting on the first chair at the base, and still even then, not a big line at all. especially certainly compared to lots of other ski resorts.

And if you have to connect somewhere like Denver to fly to some other ski resort, you might as well include Crested Butte in your search.
williamscb13 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2010, 08:00 AM
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I'll ask the same question I always ask -- of all the ski areas mentioned, which are just "ski villages" (a la Snowmass) and which are ski areas with "real towns" (a la Breckenridge, Park City, Aspen) (I realize Vail is a hybrid)?
sf7307 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2010, 02:54 PM
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Not sure why you would view Vail as a hybrid. It was built from the ground up as a ski resort just like Copper Mt., Keystone. Smowmass, etc. If you are asking which areas were a town first and then a ski slope -- in Colorado it would be Breckenridge, Winter Park - town is some distance away and is actually a part of the Denver City park system, Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Crested Butte. Steamboat, Telluride, and a number of smaller areas associated with towns. Not sure of the distinction you are trying to make.

I agree that the old towns have a much different character but whether that is a better or worse ski experience is personal preference. In my opinion Aspen has is an old town that has really gone downhill (some would suggest uphill) but the Aspen of 20 to 25 years is gone. The local, hole in the wall eateries are gone replace by lot of very high end shops. A WSJ article a couple years addressed this same subject and report that there were 24 jewelry stores and 30 very high end chains. Old Neil is gone. Replaced by the Ritz Carlton. Sure, still has a bunch of old Victorians but the Red Onion and Gonz are gone. Love the mountain but don't kind the town all that interesting anymore.
fmpden is online now  
Apr 1st, 2010, 02:59 PM
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fmpden, the reason I referred to Vail as a hybrid is that even though it was built from the ground up as a ski resort, the "village" has a lot more "regular" shopping and eating than most of the ski areas that have only ski clothes and places to eat lunch while skiing, but not a variety of dining for after-hours.

But in general, yes, I was distinguishing those that were towns first/ski areas second from those that were purpose-built.
sf7307 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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www.breckenridgedestinations.com Ski Info and other travel accomadations
dhutch2 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 07:08 AM
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Steamboat is the logical choice. Breckenridge is too close to Denver. A good resort and great skiing, but you will have crowds, guaranteed. Crested Butte will have fewer crowds, but there is not a nearby airport with major service.

Steamboat is far enough away from Denver so you won't have tons of day-trippers, but there is also a full-service airport nearby (Hayden-Steamboat airport). Plus, it is just a fabulous place to ski.

Cargillman is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Last night, various weather people gave their long-term forecast for snow this coming winter. They all agreed that our Northern Mountains will get the most snow, so I would focus on those ski areas.

We have a place at Winter Park, and we love it there. But mostly because it is not a glitzy, developed place. It is more home grown, and kind of funky. But the new base area shops are coming on, and there are a few good restaurants there now. Like the Cheeky Monk.

Steamboat could be your best bet for an authentic Colorado town, but it is western in feeling, too.

We love Aspen, but it is pricey. Not sure it has lost it's old feeling, but that's personal opinion.

What a nice 60th birthday gift!
PeaceOut is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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I'll add that if you haven't skiied in 5 years, a little wait time in the lift line may be welcome. I also have always been a little amused at what people think is "crowded" on the Colorado ski slopes. Try skiing in NC sometime!!
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Since the OP was in Mar and Christmas is about a month away, I would assume that a decision has been made. Does anyone ever look at the time stamps on the posted questions?
fmpden is online now  
Nov 14th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Does anyone ever post back to say Thanks, or to give their report?? That would effectively end a thread.

Otherwise, why shouldn't we provide CURRENT information on a topic that others might find helpful??
PeaceOut is offline  
Nov 14th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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I don't think there's anything wrong about adding crrent comments to a thread that was started a while back. If the topic is interesting to me, I don't care when it began--the newer posts could still be relevant.
abram is offline  
Nov 16th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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In fact... I just did a search and got this thread, which I found very helpful

One question, though - about how long does the ski season last? Are any of the slopes still open come Easter time? Just looking for a general idea and which are open latest. Thanks for all of the helpful info!
MileHighHC is offline  

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