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Ski trip on a budget (kinda) - advice welcome!

Ski trip on a budget (kinda) - advice welcome!

Jun 16th, 2007, 06:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 17
Ski trip on a budget (kinda) - advice welcome!

I love this forum! I found an endless supply of tips that I'll be keeping in mind when I make my trip over to Colorado in December, but I do have some questions, so hopefully you guys'll help!

My girlfriend and I, both early 20's are planning on a trip over to Colorado to ski on the Rocky Mts. It's our first time going there so I'm not too familiar with the area - how far cities are from one another, etc. We're planning on going right after X-mas or around there and come back on the 3rd or 4th of January.

Now we're hoping to stay on a budget for this trip (ski tickets excluded). We're planning on flying in Denver, and will probably be staying in some hostels around Breck and Vail and ski on Breck, Vail, Copper, and whatever other mountains that are nearby. A couple we have in mind are the Fireside Inn in Breck and the Alpen Hutte Lodge in Silverthorne. Has anyone stayed in these places before? Any input would be great. Now the main questions:

Should we rent a car so that we can get to the hostels from the airport, and then from the mountains from our hostel?

What other cities could we stay in that would have reasonably priced motel rooms within reasonable distance of the mountains? The more interesting cities, the better for us.

Will the Rocky Mts National Park be open in the winter? My first guess is no, but it doesn't hurt to ask!

Any of these mountains have night skiing?

Which airport would be better for us to fly in - considering the fact that we'd like to stay in the Vail region?

Thanks in advance!
Bladezone is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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One other question!

Is there anyplace in the region that'll be worth going to for a New Years' celebration?

Thanks again!
Bladezone is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Staying in Breck will keep you much closer to the action. Silverthorne is about 15 or 20 minutes to any of the ski mountains (and other activities). The Summit Stage is a free bus that takes you everywhere in the county. You can ski Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone and A-Basin on the same ticket (Vail Resorts). Keystone has night skiing. Many restaurants and resorts have a special New Year's event. But you can also just hang out in the villages for fireworks and general good fun for free.

RMNP is open but you can't drive over Trail Ridge Rd, which takes you from one entrance through the park to the other. It's worth going in winter though. You could rent a car for a day or two in Frisco. There's an Enterprise outlet there that is quite reasonable.

Reserve your accomodations fast. You're going at a very popular time.
Grassshopper is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 05:42 AM
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Thanks Grasshopper! I'm in the process of making reservations at these hostels. What would be the best way for me to get to the hostels from the airport?

Another question if you all don't mind answering: My girlfriend and I have officially decided to stay in the region from December 27th to January 5th. Since that's about 9 days - I'm sure that we won't be able to go skiing everyday while we're there - so what other things is there to do around there? Perhaps for those days we'd rent a car and travel a bit further out, so any ideas for things to do around the Vail, Breck, Frisco region is welcome!

Thanks again!
Bladezone is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Just a thought, if budget concerns are really pressing, consider Salt Lake City.

It's very easy to ski well for relatively little money and the skiing's better too (IMO).
repete is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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Colorado Mountain Express is the shuttle service that takes you from DIA to Summit County. Reserve online for the best prices. www.ridecme.com If you want to save a little, reserve to the Frisco Transfer Station and then take the Stage Bus to your hostel.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with those hostels. I think you're probably better off in Breckenridge, for sleeping, but do try out the other ski areas.
Grassshopper is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion, but it has always been a dream of mine to be skiing in the Colorado rocky mountains. I guess those ads about Vail in those SKI magazines had me hooked ever since.

I'll check into the shuttle bus service. Thanks!

On a side note, I made reservations at the Breckenridge hostel - the guy on the phone was really friendly and helpful. As for the other hostel I was planning on staying at in Silverthorne, the Alpen Hutte Lodge hostel - I wasn't able to get ahold of anyone there. Has anyone stayed in that hostel that could give me some help? Thanks!
Bladezone is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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First -- a budget ski trip over Christmas/New Years is an oxymoron. With the exception of Presidents' Weekend, this is the busiest time in the mountains. Frisco is the center of the Summit County Ski areas -- A Basin/Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mt -- and are about equal distance (10 miles) to all three areas. Vail is about 35 miles over Vail pass from Frisco. And Winter Park a good 50 miles in the other direction.

While there is a free Summitt Cty bus service connecting the three areas, it is not the most convenient so a car is probably necessary, There is a fee for the bus to Vail. Breckenridge has an internal free bus system that works pretty well. You probably could get by car free by staying in Breck.

Vail/Beaver Creek complex is another whole ski area. You could fly into the Eagle/Vail airport BUT it is about 40 miles west of Vail and doesn't really solve the car problem.

The trade off with staying outside the ski areas and driving in is the parking problem or fees. Parking is very tight and expensive at Vail in peak season. Most of the good free parking at Breck was converted to paid parking this year. Free parking is limited. Breck's $10 fee is cheap compared to Vail. Keystone still has large free lots -- probably subjec to change.

Avoid Silverthorne, it is further from the ski areas and has no advantage. The center (transfer point) of the Summitt Cty bus system is Frisco.

It is repete's opinion that utah is better -- not mine. I ski both areas each year, and find nothing to recommend Utah over Colorado except for airport access. Be prepared for $80-$90 lift tickets.

There are lots of places for NEW YEARS eve We spent our first New Years Eve at the Ore Bucket in Breackenridge in 68. Check the web sites for their NYear schedule.

Good luck, Frank, Centennial, CO
fmpden is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Look for discount ski ticket coupons at King Soopers. May not be any over that holiday however.
I'm not sure I understand the comment about Silverthorne--if you have a car. It is the major shopping center (Dillon, I guess), but if the OP is staying at Breckenridge, that is moot.
Don't forget Keystone for skiing.
We stay in a cabin outside Silverthorne and enjoy the various areas.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Fmpden - you're right about that. I'm expecting to spend alot for this trip, but at least I'm saving money here and there by staying at a hostel in Breck, a low-budget (but cozy)Frisco Lodge motel (thanks to CoSkiier for the suggestion!), this way I can use the money saved for the overpriced ski lift tickets and the occasional top-notch dinner at the Alpenglow on top of Keystone.

So basically I'm expecting to spend the most money on the ski lift tickets - unless there are multi-day tickets that I can get that would be cheaper than to pay for a ticket for a single day?

Thanks to your suggestions - I've decided to stay car-free till the last 3 days of my stay so that we can go up to the RMNP and whatever other places we want to go.

Thanks again y'all.
Bladezone is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:00 PM
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I too would ski in Utah if I wanted to stay on a budget. SLC usually is a reasonably priced airport to fly into.
trippinkpj is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:24 PM
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If I may make a suggestion, go to the Ski Tip Lodge, rather than the Alpenglow Stube. It's a much nicer experience (and a little bit less expensive). I think the food is better too. I've been to both. The Ski Tip is one of my favorite restaurants on earth (I live in Keystone half the year).
Grassshopper is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Grasshopper -

I've been hearing a lot about the Ski Tip Lodge as well - but it's not situated on top of a mountain and it doesn't have a gondola that'll take you up there. These nifty features definitely caught my attention. I'm willing to splurge a bit more for all that. But the food isn't as good you say? Anyone else concur?
Bladezone is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I like CoSkier's advice on another thread; have lunch at the Alpenglow. You get to take the gondola and the view is better during the day. I've taken that night time gondola ride a dozen times now and I have to tell you; it's COLD! Some of my guests didn't love it.

Another adventure dinner is Keystone's sleighride dinner. Check out all the dining options, prices and menus on the resort website.
Grassshopper is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If this shows up 3X sorry. My computer is crazy today....

I too love Ski Tip. You will need a reservation. If you can reserve a table in the front room by the fireplace. ( Blond Meagan, favorite wait staff) It is my favorite restaurant in the state. ( Blond Meagan, favorite wait staff)

I may have confused you by calling the Alpenglow Stube, the Stube. That is how most locals refer to to. Lunch there is a special treat. Reservation are a very good idea, especially at that time of year.
Agree to that the Gondola ride can be COLD!
Coskier is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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See...anyway take a look at www.http://skicoupons.com/groups.cfm/r/9/g/1

they typically have some discounts for transportation.
Coskier is offline  

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