Have you thought about a more "western" experience in Steamboat? Cowboys, hot springs, great digs at the bottom of a great/steep hill, decent bars and food, cool scene, great snow if you hit it right.
SUmmit has its own deal with lots of people and lots of lodging, but a flatter mtn, and more of a generic mtn vibe.You seem, as a little more affluent tourist, (from SoCal, I assume a different client than say someone from Texas or Nebraska), like you might want a more focused themed experience. Steamboat can have that.
I like Telluride and Crested Butte personally, but with a potential La Nina year coming, snow could be hit or miss further south. Steamboat is the most Northern resort in CO, and had a great year for snow last year.
Fuck we already had a 2 foot pow day down at Wolf Creek, and it snow 6-8in up on the continental divide the week after...things are shaping up for a good one again.
Have fun and let us know where you head.
edit, killclimz said the same thing...I should read more.
I like Aspen, if you do go, make sure to hit the hot springs in Glenwood springs. Aspen would be second after Steamboat.
If you want budget, stay in Georgetown and ride the luv or A-Basin.
Last edited by Sick-Pow; 10-22-2011 at 01:20 AM.
Reason: kill climbz said it