Avoid Expensive Lift Tickets, Pricey Lodging, Crowds, and Traffic
by G. Kunkel
(This article was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 1/18/2011)
Colorado ski vacations can offer great skiing and snowboarding at many fine ski resorts throughout the state. For the best vacation experience, timing is everything. Those planning a ski vacation in Colorado should be aware that some peak travel periods have large crowds, long lift lines, and higher pricing on lodging, lift tickets, and airfare. By avoiding these peak periods, ski vacationers can experience Colorado skiing at its finest.
During school vacation periods
Colorado ski resorts within a 100-mile radius of Denver are packed when local schools are on vacation breaks. Skiers and snowboarders can also expect long lift lines and peak pricing for lodging and lift tickets. Crowds can be avoided by visiting smaller ski areas such as Loveland Ski Area or traveling to ski resorts farther away from Denver like Wolf Creek, Aspen, Crested Butte, or Telluride.
Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King Junior Day weekend, President’s Day weekend and Spring Break (March), are peak ski vacation periods at Colorado ski resorts. Expect premium pricing on lodging and lift tickets. Well-known ski resorts within a 100-mile radius of Denver will be packed with people during these holidays. Smaller Colorado ski areas will have less traffic yet still provide a quality ski vacation experience. Consider these value ski resorts if you need to tighten the budget.
Traffic on Interstate 70 on Saturdays and Sundays is notoriously bad in the mornings and evenings to and from Denver, Colorado. Summit County ski vacationers have missed flights at Denver International Airport because they did not leave the ski resort by 1 pm. Front Range Colorado residents love to ski and most go on the weekends. Martin Luther King Junior weekend and President’s Day weekend are the two busiest weekends at Front Range ski resorts.
Typically, ski resorts within a two-hour drive of Denver become very crowded on weekends but are practically deserted on weekdays. Many ski resorts offer discount lift ticket deals, discount days, or coupons valid only on weekdays. Take advantage of weekday deals and untracked powder.
Spring break lasts the entire month of March at Colorado ski resorts. Resorts within a two-hour drive of Denver typically are packed with college students and families with children on school break. While many resorts do offer lodging and lift ticket deals, expect packed ski school lessons, crowded slopes, and more out-of-control skiers. Those desiring a less crowded experience to enjoy the snowiest month of the year should travel to one of the Aspen resorts, Telluride, Crested Butte, Wolf Creek, or Durango Mountain Resort.
Peak ski season
February is the height of ski season. Ski vacationers will find fewer deals on lodging, airfare, and lift tickets especially at large well-known Colorado ski resorts. Expect crowds on President’s Day Weekend. April is the best time for fantastic snow conditions, uncrowded ski slopes and ski package deals.
It is possible to find uncrowded ski resorts in Colorado that offer ideal ski and snowboard conditions. By planning around peak travel times, one can practically have the ski slopes to their selves.
More money-saving ideas:
Personal knowledge and experience
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