We’re knee-deep in ski season, and before the snow melts, here’s a tour of some of our favorite spots in Colorado to hit the slopes. From luxe lodges to secrets of the ski bums, we’ll point you to the spots the best suit your family’s style, and budget.
Opened in 1962, Vail is now one of the best-known resorts in the US. It’s still the largest single-mountain ski resort in the US and certainly one of the priciest. There are tons of runs and restaurants to choose from, including the sprawling Adventure Ridge activity area where kids (and adults) can tube, snow bike, bungee trampoline and more. But the convenience of having them all together comes with a price. Expect every gondola and activity to come with its own cost.
Luxe – $$$$
Check into the Solaris and you may never want to leave. Opened in 2010, and designed by Barnes Coy Architects, it’s serious luxury on the slopes: Twice-daily maid service, Frette linens, gourmet sushi spot Matsuhisa only steps away and complimentary family ski valet. Of course, amenities like this aren’t cheap but that’s the price for living in the lap of luxe. But Solaris isn’t just for looks, this beauty also has brains, featuring teched out extras like the in-room control system. The sleek in-wall control panel allows you to access feeds from ski cams around the mountain, or just ring the concierge to send up an extra toothbrush. Tired of hitting the slopes? No need to leave, just take the family to Solaris’s movie theater, bowling alley or ice rink.
SNOWMASS VILLAGE & SKI RESORT
Located just 12 miles from Aspen, (219 miles from Denver International), Snowmass is a huge ski area with lots to offer families. The main family attractions are centered in and around the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, where you’ll find the childcare center, ski school and equipment rental and cafeteria. In addition, the mountain has several runs that are truly ‘family friendly’ from interactive kids trails, a dedicated kids terrain park, tubing and more.
Moderate – $$$
These spacious, convenient condos are built for skiers. Situated on Fanny Hill, they’re near the kids area, and right on a small run that little ones can ski until they’re ready for nap time. The condos are individually owned with several different layouts and styles to choose from, so take a close look to ensure the configuration fits your family. An added plus for us needy parents is Shadowbrook’s especially-helpful management team, on hand to help with recommendations and services.
PHOTO CREDIT uncovercolorado.com
SUNLIGHT MOUNTAIN RESORT
Just 30 miles NW of Aspen and you find an entirely different pace of skiing. Sunlight Mountain is often described as a ‘throwback to when skiing used to be laid back’. It’s not for adrenaline junkies, but if you’re looking for less expense, less traffic and almost non-existent lift lines, you’re at the right place. Lift tickets average $45, at least half the cost of those at the mega resorts. The quieter atmosphere makes it enticing for families, and the ski school, kids terrain and ‘kids stay free’ deals with nearby hotels only add to the draw.
WHERE TO STAY
Budget to Moderate $$-$$$
Sited right on Sunlight Mountain Resort, Brettelberg are cost-conscious and completely convenient. Accommodations are basic, and like other condos, each room has a different owner, so style and upkeep can vary wildly. But you can’t beat the price or location. There’s also several other options to stay in town, many of which are part of Sunlight’s Ski.Swim.Stay deals where kids under 12 stay free with the price of a lift ticket. Our picks are the moderately-priced Glenwood Hot Springs and the Hotel Glenwood Springs. Shuttles run frequently from the resort to most of the nearby hotels and inns, and cost $5/per person each way.
FEATURED IMAGE PHOTO CREDIT aspensnowmass