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Discussion Starter #1
I looks like we're heading up to Denver to stay with friends for a week in either JAN or FEB. We're looking at Copper, Keystone, Vail, Loveland, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, and Winter Park. Out of all those places, what are your favorites? Are there any we should avoid?

We would like to have 1 night in a hotel or lodge away from the city. We're not too particular as to where as everything is new to us. Any suggestions as to where to go for a decent rate where we could get two good days in? So far I've found some motels in Frisco and Silverthorne but I no clue on the quality. We just want something clean.

We're also checking out lift rates online and we're wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to where to get passes at a discount rate!

Our friends reccomended that we rent a vehicle with AWD or 4x4 but they have children and don't go to the hills very often. Is this really neccesary? There's a huge price difference if we stick with a regular midsize car.

If you don't want to give up your secrets online, regarding Vail or other good deals, feel free to PM me. :)

Thanks in advance!
 

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As far as the hotel/motel situation goes, check out the Super 8 in Dillon. It is pretty much in central location to all the resorts that you just mentioned (around 10 miles or less to Keystone, A basin, and Loveland). As far as the quality goes, it is just about the same as any chain lower end national chain of hotels. There is no pool but hey, at $47 you really can't beat it especially if you have buddies to split the cost of the room. And IMHO, as long as you are a careful driver and have experience driving in snowy conditions then you should be fine in a FWD vehicle. As long as the road is physically open you should be able to make it. The only place you may have some problems in a FWD is going up some steep driveways to some businesses when there is a lot of wet snow on the ground.
 

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There aren't any real 'secrets' to getting super single-day lift ticket prices unless you know someone in the armed forces (they get lift passes for ~$30 less). If you are only spending 2 nights away from Denver, then Dillon or Frisco would be your best bet for quick access to the highway. Dillion is closer to Keystone than Frisco is to Breckenridge, but if you're planning to go to Breck and Vail or Copper, then I would choose Frisco.

It is very doubtful that you'll absolutely need a FWD or AWD car. They keep I-70 plowed pretty well and if you are from Ontario, then you should be accustomed to having to drive around in snowy or icy conditions. Request a Subaru if you are still worried, but I drove an Impala around on one of my trips there and made out ok even when it snowed.

You can sometimes get coupons for slight discounts on lift passes at King Soopers supermarkets in Denver... but unless you are already going to be near one, it isn't worth a special trip.
 

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As far as the hotel/motel situation goes, check out the Super 8 in Dillon. It is pretty much in central location to all the resorts that you just mentioned (around 10 miles or less to Keystone, A basin, and Loveland). As far as the quality goes, it is just about the same as any chain lower end national chain of hotels. There is no pool but hey, at $47 you really can't beat it especially if you have buddies to split the cost of the room. And IMHO, as long as you are a careful driver and have experience driving in snowy conditions then you should be fine in a FWD vehicle. As long as the road is physically open you should be able to make it. The only place you may have some problems in a FWD is going up some steep driveways to some businesses when there is a lot of wet snow on the ground.
FWD = front wheel drive not four wheel drive. I just realized that may be confusing to some
 

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hey i live in denver too and all these posts above are really great. i love breck, keystone, vail.....oooo vail. you would need at least 2-3 days to see the whole mountain and the backbowls are almost worth the day pass. keystone is really great. longest run in north america that is like a green/blue and its just a great cruising path with some fun turns and what not. i would say that all mountains mentioned in your post have their pros. copper mountain is amazing, good snow fun runs awesome village for shopping and eating and just relaxing if your with some older folks. can't go wrong anywhere you pick really. although breck has had the most snowfall yet this year i believe... cheers to skiing!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We're deffinately use to driving in the snow lol! I'm glad to hear that we can save a little money on car rentals and spend it somewhere else. :)

Thanks for all the info so far!

Right now we're looking and maybe buying a season pass for A-Basin. It's $359 and gives you 5 days at either Keystone or Breck and 1 of those 5 at either Vail or Beaver Creek. We plan on boarding for a total of 5 days so that ends up being 71.80 a day. Plus if we come back in the spring we're all set! Do you guys think this is a good deal or a good idea? I haven't heard much about A-Basin so I'm not sure what it's like there.

There is also a pass for 2 days at Winter Park and 2 days at Steamboat for $199 so $50 a day. I know Steamboat is far... is it worth the deal and the drive?

Copper Mountain has $74 lift tickets if you buy them in advance online.


The more I look at maps, I think we would like to do 1 day at Vail, 1 at Copper and the other 3 it doesn't really matter. Are Breck and Keystone worth skipping Copper Mountain all together if we go with the season pass?

Here's another question... which mountains will have smaller crowds?

Anyone ever hear of Liftopia? bought tickets from them? Jsut wondering if it's legit.
 

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You'll have to excuse some of the locals. They love to hate Keystone because their snow cover isn't as nice as the other resorts and (from what they say), Keystone was the last Denver area hill to allow snowboarders on the lift.

If you live in an area devoid of big mountains like I do, then there isn't much wrong with Keystone except that it probably won't challenge you as a rider, and they have to make more snow than all of the other resorts.
 

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We're deffinately use to driving in the snow lol! I'm glad to hear that we can save a little money on car rentals and spend it somewhere else. :)

Thanks for all the info so far!

Right now we're looking and maybe buying a season pass for A-Basin. It's $359 and gives you 5 days at either Keystone or Breck and 1 of those 5 at either Vail or Beaver Creek. We plan on boarding for a total of 5 days so that ends up being 71.80 a day. Plus if we come back in the spring we're all set! Do you guys think this is a good deal or a good idea? I haven't heard much about A-Basin so I'm not sure what it's like there.

A basin is good and a little on the challenging side but they are kind of small compared to the other resorts. They just opened up the back side of the mountain a couple of days ago so there is a lot more to ride. I would just get the $359 pass that lets you into Breck, Key, Vail, and BC. This is also good if you plan on making another trip back later in the season because A basin is usually the last ski area to close. There have been years where it stayed open all the way until July and with the amount it has been snowing this year so far, it wouldn't surprise me if this was another one of those years.
 
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