I never see much love for A-Basin on this forum, but when I went to school in CO it was my favorite. Great steep terrain and a much smaller, fun vibe.
Shhh don't let people on this forum know of the joys of the Basin. It's a little gem we want to keep uncorrupted.
Get the Epic Pass that gives you 3 mountains in Summit, Vail and the Beave are a close drive away. Plus kills off Tahoe for you. If you know you'll be at a certain area where you won't be in a black out date the Epic Local is cheaper and works just as well.
VRBO is great until people decide to be a bit deceiving with the locations. If it's in Breck and says Slopeside on Peak 6 or 7 expect to be in the boonies no where within walking distance to the mountain. Blue River is NOT a close drive to Breck. Alma and Fairplay are on the other side of a pass. Dillon Valley is not that great of a neighborhood if they say in Dillon/Silverthorne. Ptarmagin in Silverthorne is a dirt road and not exactly the best in the winter. Wildernest is not a "close drive" to the mountains. Frisco is fine for a central location, but the night life is weird as are the people there. If you stay in Breck figure out the bus schedule and remember the Swan Mountain Flyer will take you to Breck, Keystone, and A Basin and it's about the exact same time as if you drove, so think of less hassle.
Copper is a fun mountain for a day trip or two, being stuck to one mountain not exactly fun. The village is not fun to live in, it's just downright creepy.
If you're not renting a car for your whole stay try to find something central to a grocery store, nightlife/restaurants, and mountain. Breck is the best option but you can do Dillon as well.
Definitely go to the Basin at least once but only after a snow storm or if there hasn't been any snow in a while a weekend day can be fun partying on the beach.