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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! East coaster here (NJ)

Me and 2 buddies have decided to venture out west to Vail for a snowboard trip. We are trying to spend under $1000 a person. I have a few questions I hope someone can help steer me in the right direction.

VAIL
When is the best time of year to visit? We'd love to shred powder, real powder. People say later in the season is better. I was thinking the end of Feb - Mar. Any suggestions?

LODGING
My budget is roughly $200 a night. Id like to stay as close to the mtn as possible. When should I really start to worry about booking something? Chances are we will be crashing at the mariott or holiday inn type place unless you think id be able to get some type of condo or something for roughly the same price.

LIFT TIX
I can get them online through vail for $306 and thats a 3 day pass. Is this something i'll be able to buy right at the mountain, or is this something I should buy early to save $?

We will be flying to Denver, renting a car at the airport and driving to Vail.

This is our budget. Trying to spend this or less.
AIRFARE = $900 (Newark NJ - DEN)
LIFT TIX = $920
LODGING = $800

That would be for 4 nights. Is 3 days enough to really have a good time at vail? Any must do's? We've been all up and down the east coast but never out to the rockies!

ANY HELP APPRECIATED
 

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I would check out vrbo.com for a condo. You can get a cheap condo on there for under $100. I would also look into staying in Silverthorne/Dillon/Frisco instead of directly in Vail. It will be cheaper and its only about 30 min away. Plus its only a few minutes from Keystone if you guys want to do some night skiing. Buying the lift tickets online would probably be the way to go. Keep in mind that the vail lift tickets can be used at any other vail resort so night skiing would be free. I would think that late Feb/early March would be a good time. Should be good snow and you will miss the spring breakers. Good luck!
 

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Try vrbo for housing. You should be able to find a small place in east or west vail for cheaper, 99-150. I would come in feb, seems to be the best quality snow. Most snow is in march but it is more dense. 3 days of riding should be fine for you. If I'm in town and you can keep up, I'll be happy to show you around. If it's a pow day I probably won't wait. If it's a groomer day, I would wait. Lol, just being honest.

The vail online price is as cheap as they get.
 

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I would check out vrbo.com for a condo. You can get a cheap condo on there for under $100. I would also look into staying in Silverthorne/Dillon/Frisco instead of directly in Vail. It will be cheaper and its only about 30 min away. Plus its only a few minutes from Keystone if you guys want to do some night skiing. Buying the lift tickets online would probably be the way to go. Keep in mind that the vail lift tickets can be used at any other vail resort so night skiing would be free. I would think that late Feb/early March would be a good time. Should be good snow and you will miss the spring breakers. Good luck!
If your going to ride vail, absolutely do not stay on the other side of the pass(silverthorne, Dillon, frisco). It will make your trip way more miserable than it needs to be. If you want to ride breck or keystone then stay in summit county.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quick replies thanks!

Wow that vrbo website is phenomenal and just confirmed my trip. Super cheap, nice places!

@Argo, you suggest what towns? East & West Vail? miplatt had a good point on the night riding thing. However, being that ill be boarding all day long, chances are slim ill be up for that much night riding.

Okay wow super awesome!! How's the night life around vail? Probably going to want to drink / smoke at night, shred during the mornings / day.

Thank you guys any more suggestions?!
 

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Night life is good here. I'm old as fuck(36) and don't go out much since I ride all day and work all night. Plus, this is a quiet town most the year and we enjoy going out when all the tourism isn't in full effect... There are plenty of bars around for your liking and a free bus in town to get you home when your drunk.

East vail and west vail are both part of vail, just the east side and west side. During winter there are buses every 15-20ish minutes no matter where you are in town.
 

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Keystone is about a 40 minute drive from vail. If you get the urge, go ride at night..... It's icy and cold as fuck..... It's fun to do once or three times though. There is hardly anyone there after 5/6pm.....
 

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I've never been to vail but friends say it's crazy expensive, are you sure it's the right destination for a budget trip?
 

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It's not that bad. Especially coming from the NE US or California.

I live in the middle of vail about 200 yards from the lift.
 

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Any must do's?
Night boarding, as everyone else said, and just make sure your trip isn't during a major holiday (new years or presidents day) unless you want to have your vacation with everyone else's vacation.
 

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Yeah I would do night boarding at least one night. It's kinda fun. Almost relaxing in a way. Except it's typically cold as balls. I like to stay in Dillon because it's pretty cheap and I don't find the drive too bad to vail. Also, I don't do Vail every day like you're doing so that makes a difference. Have you ever ridden any of the East Vail chutes Argo? Or done the backcountry around Vail? How good is it?
 

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Night boarding is cool when your daylight options are Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Southern California, or if you are a park rat. Hitting jump lines in the dark is kinda scary.

fwiw.

If I were visiting Vail I would ride hard during the day and sleep, drink beer and hot tub in the dark.
 

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Night boarding is cool when your daylight options are Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Southern California, or if you are a park rat. Hitting jump lines in the dark is kinda scary.

fwiw.

If I were visiting Vail I would ride hard during the day and sleep, drink beer and hot tub in the dark.
I would totally agree for people like you and I who have done it before and get to snowboard in Colorado a lot. But for someone who has never done night skiing it is worth it do at least once.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I've done night boarding too many times. I did that about 3x a week back in highschool hah we literally went right after school until 10pm. Its fun and all, but it gets very cold, icy (do you guys use that word over there?) And the shadows freak me out a bit.

I've never been to colorado before. I only say vail because I have a buddy who stayed out there for the last winter and he said vail was the place to be. I also am peeping breck & keystone. I think ill be staying closer to breck because its much cheaper.
 

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No need to do Keystone if you only have a few days!!! Breck is worth a day trip ONLY if it has recently snowed. It gets tracked-out very fast, much faster than Vail. You might want to spend one of your days at Copper or Loveland, maybe the day you arrive or the day you leave. (try to get late fights home so you can ride in the am before jumping on a plane.....maximize that time!)

If you are staying in the Vail area, the night riding at Keystone isn't worth the drive. If you are staying in Dillon/Siverthorne....Keystone still isn't worth the drive. Try to go as late as possible to ensure the best coverage on the mountians.

Lastly, the US Open for Snowboarding will be in Vail the first weekend of March. Pretty good party at that point (though a little busy.) I was there last year and it was pretty fun. Caught a good snowfall and the crowds didn't kill the mtn too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
All awesome info so far. It seems breck & keystone are kind of sub par compared to whats around.

Ive snowboarded NJ all my life, although I have gone up north and have ridden some very nice east coast mountains, I want to experience the rockies as best I can in these 3 - 5 days.

So.. late feb - march seems like a great time. Id like to go before spring break I think to avoid the crowds. US open might be fun, I remember we had that one year here in NJ I got to meet a bunch of pro's at the time and crushed hard on Molly Aguirre :D

Vail seems good. Ive heard awesome things about beaver creek. In my experience, I like to visit the same mountain at least twice. It takes a good day to learn your way around the mountain, the second day is good for exploring after you have the basics down.

Id like to maybe do Vail for 2 days, Beaver creek for 2? That seems optimal.

Any recommendations on towns near vail & beaver where I could possibly stay for cheap? West Vail is a possibility but dang it gets much cheaper if I stay closer to breck.
 

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If you eant to ride beaver creek a couple of days you can stay in Avon or eagle-vail(not eagle ).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So would it be a good or bad idea do you guys think going on the week of the burton us open? It would def be cool to watch at night and stuff, but would the crowds be worth it?
 
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