Vail versus Steamboat, CO

Old Dec 21st, 2005, 03:11 PM
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Vail versus Steamboat, CO

We are considering Steamboat, COlorado over Vail this year for something different. We have noticed a significant difference in price. Is there that big of a difference in each place? Also, the air fare is less. Why is this? Thanks.
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 04:17 PM
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We love both Vail and Steamboat.

Vail is about double the size of Steamboat in skiable acres, plus Vail has Beaver Creek, Copper, Keystone and Breckenridge within a 30 minute drive.

That being said, we find Steamboat big enough to amuse us for a six day ski trip.

Vail has a pedestrian village at the base. Although Steamboat has some places to eat and shop near the mountain, the town is about a 15 minute drive away. Both places have good free bus systems.

There is a different feel to the two trowns. Steamboat is more of a "real" town, with industry (ranching) other than skiing and tourism.
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 05:20 PM
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As a CO native (now misplaced), I would choose Steamboat over Vail any day. Vail is pricey because it draws more tourists. Vail does have better shopping, cuter town kind of thing going for it, but IMHO Steamboat is much more enjoyable.
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Old Dec 21st, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Shawn, from your post, it sounds like you've skied Vail... I think if you're more into the skiing than the town, you'd have a better time at Vail because it offers more variety of trails and difficulty. If your trip is for less than a week and you're not into back-Bowl-type skiing (or runs like Blue Ox), you could have a good time in Steamboat.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2005, 06:55 AM
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Jean's right, if your going for the skiing, go to Vail, but I've never met a more friendlier place than Steamboat. The locals are great. My friend and I met a local couple on the mountain and ended up going over their house for dinner.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2005, 08:09 AM
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They are both nice. I have to preface my recommendation with the comment that conditions can really affect your experience....the conditions were only fair at Vail when I was there (and it was prime season), but both times I have been to Steamboat, the conditions were awesome with lots of fresh powder.

Thus, my favorite is Steamboat. It depends what you are looking for. There is a nicer village at Vail and more fur coats. Steamboat's village has improved a lot and the downtown is very cool and Western in feel. Steamboat is very family friendly and casual (think jeans, sweaters, boots). We also have not found Steamboat as crowded as Vail/Beaver Creek/Breckinridge, but there is also just the one ski mountain, not multiple resorts.

Whatever you decide, you will have a great time.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2005, 08:49 AM
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MaureenB
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What time of year? I'd choose Steamboat over Vail anytime, except Spring. Because of its south face, Steamboat can have mushy afternoons and very icy mornings if days are sunny and snowless. Otherwise, personally, we like Steamboats more genuine old Colorado ambiance over Vail's imitation Swiss feel.
 
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