Colorado has it all. The driest and most reliable snow in the business, fantastic ski areas with world class skiing for all abilities, wonderfully uncrowded slopes & state of the art lift systems, luxurious accommodation, charming Old West towns, ultra convenient slope-side villages, amazing children’s facilities & ski schools, the list of attributes is endless. So you want to go there. Who wouldn’t! But where exactly? That’s where we come in. You need expert advice because many of the Colorado resorts are very different from one another, and some are quite different from their image. Steamboat, for example, one of our favourite resorts, tends to imply that it’s full of Stetson-wearing skiing cowboys. This may attract or repel you but either way, you would be wrong to react that way. It’s a wonderful place with a huge list of attributes but the one thing it doesn’t have is an Old West feel to its ultra-modern, ultra-convenient slope-side village. Breckenridge, on the other hand, has the Old West feel and is a great place to use as a base from which to ski the 5 resorts on its lift pass, but its own ski area is surprisingly small.
Accommodation & lift pass prices in Colorado vary hugely according to the American domestic market. Pre-Boxing Day is surprisingly inexpensive so a 10 night stay from say Dec 16-26 can be a real bargain. Our half term dates mean nothing out there so mid February is a great buy for families or teachers. Prices are at their highest during the American Spring Break (equivalent of our half term) in early/mid-March, after which there aren’t enough skiers to go round so the resorts have to become very competitive with their pricing in late March/April. Go at the end of Spring Break before the airlines introduce their high Easter prices (March 29 this season) and you get an amazing bargain. Vail is a particular conundrum when it comes to value for money. Two hotels of similar standard can vary hugely on price for certain dates. One may change from high to low season on January 2nd whereas another might not reduce its rates till January 8th.
“I love all the Colorado resorts for different things – Snowmass, Steamboat & Copper Mountain for convenience; Crested Butte & Telluride for charm; Winter Park for amazing prices; Vail & Breckenridge for atmosphere & nightlife; Beaver Creek for quiet slopes; Keystone for its mountain restaurant. And they all have wonderful skiing and snow quality. But my favorite is Aspen. Yes, your flexible friend can take a battering if you rub shoulders with the rich and famous in a swanky bar or restaurant, and some of the shops are strictly for window shopping, but much of Aspen is a great down to earth Old West town and it can accommodate pretty much every taste and budget.”