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Just booked Valdoro for XMAS

MattnTricia

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Extended family in the lurch as the booking glitch forcing a cancel and rebook. It caused me to loose the 2nd week which I had booked all the way through XMAS and only needed 2 more days.

No matter we are still excited and looking at skiing Colorado for the first time.

A few Valdoro questions

1)Is it worth the side trip to Vail / beaver Creek/Arapaho? We are intermediate skiiers who ski groomed blue/black and the occasional ungroomed black. We do have a 10 going on 11 year old son who snowboards and loves the park/pipe.

2)Tell me this year is a once in a million year as Breck had almost no snow and was only 25% open at XMAS this year

3)To guarantee a 4x4 for the trip it looks like $1000 +for a rental. I think I want a car only so we can hit the other mountains for a day or 2. Any suggestions on inexpensive car (adding a ski rack), booking a small to medium SUV hoping it would be AWD but not guaranteed, using shuttles for everything for our party of 3 - probably 500-600 for the trip, or going completely nuts and just booking the 4x4.

4)Any suggestions for room request at Valdoro in a 2 bed standard room. We are elite premier so we usually get pretty close to what we request.

5)Any suggestions on non bank breaking restaurants in Breckenridge for dinner

My son will be so excited. Now I just have to make the airfare happen.
 

pavlovsdog00

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A few Valdoro questions

1)Is it worth the side trip to Vail / beaver Creek/Arapaho? We are intermediate skiiers who ski groomed blue/black and the occasional ungroomed black. We do have a 10 going on 11 year old son who snowboards and loves the park/pipe.

2)Tell me this year is a once in a million year as Breck had almost no snow and was only 25% open at XMAS this year

3)To guarantee a 4x4 for the trip it looks like $1000 +for a rental. I think I want a car only so we can hit the other mountains for a day or 2. Any suggestions on inexpensive car (adding a ski rack), booking a small to medium SUV hoping it would be AWD but not guaranteed, using shuttles for everything for our party of 3 - probably 500-600 for the trip, or going completely nuts and just booking the 4x4.

4)Any suggestions for room request at Valdoro in a 2 bed standard room. We are elite premier so we usually get pretty close to what we request.

5)Any suggestions on non bank breaking restaurants in Breckenridge for dinner

My son will be so excited. Now I just have to make the airfare happen.

I've been to Breckenridge several times, and although I've never stayed at Valdoro I think I can answer some of your questions.

1. While Vail is nice I don't see any real reason for a side trip. It's nice to see the different villages/night life, but I think Breck offers all the skiing you need. Breckenridge has some of the most challenging slopes in Colorado, and i've heard that their green slopes = most blues...blues=other slopes blacks etc. Like I said I've been several times and there are certain slopes I haven't mustered the courage for (like the summit of peak 8 :eek: )

2. This year was especially sparse, but the real deep snow isn't usually there until late January. With that being said I don't think I would sweat it too much...I think you'll still enjoy some great skiing. I have had people tell me that xmas is busier than the height of peak season, so be prepared for that.

3. Renting a car is never a bad idea, but one word of advice. Most times I go they stick me with a Ford Escape (small SUV), and it is NOT enough for what you are thinking of doing. I mean...it will drive...but you will be freaked out the entire time. I can't get the darn thing over 55 mph on the interstate driving uphill from Denver to Breck! If you're going to do it get the real thing (even if it is a grand).

4. No help for you

5. I ate at a place called 'Ember' last time I was there. Interesting menu (so maybe not the best choice for kids), but not a budget buster.

Have a great time!
 

travelguy

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My opinion is that it's worth the "side trip" to at least Beaver Creek for skiing blue/black groomed runs. BC has won awards for the best grooming in the world and has many groomed blue/blacks that run top to bottom. They occasionally groom the world cup run, a nice steep black run!!

Vail is worth the trip for the back bowls IF it's a powder day, otherwise you better be ok with bumps. Breck has nothing like Vail's bowls.

Breck is a great mountain with plenty of terrain and Valdoro has great private access to the slopes. Also, Breck has the best pipe and park @ Peak 8. However, I always get antsy and need to explore other mountains after 5-7 days @ Breck.

I also agree that a SUV is the way to go, especially if there is any snowfall while on the trip. It's not fun to navigate the tunnels or Vail Pass in a regular car when there's snow and ice. Book now and keep watching the rates or use Autoslash to get lower rates as they come down.
 
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As much as we like Breck, as goes the Vail's variety of terrain and the way the entire resort is orchestrated, my $0.02 is that Vail is the best out of the bunch of them. If you're going to have a car anyway, I'd say it's worth the trip to ski Vail for a day. More on the car in a minute.

This was a LOUSY year for snow. We didn't swing a Breck ski trip this year (for reasons other than lousy snow) having gone the last three seasons before it, to include Christmas/New Year's 2010 with great snow for all the trips. Hopefully it won't be so bad next season (we'll be a week behind you coming in for New Year's week). Keep your fingers crossed.

Having made the plug for Vail if you have a car, I'll now confuse the issue by suggesting the car is not necessarily worth it, or at least not for $1K. The Valdoro shuttle service for starters is really great. We live close enough that the trip to Breck for us is a long drive rather than a flight, but because of Valdoro's shuttle service we could easily do without our car if we didn't happen to be driving there anyway.

If you're going to be staying at Valdoro and skiing at Breckenridge, there's no doubt you'll want to use the Valdoro shuttle to get to the lifts (either to the gondola to the base of peaks 7 & 8, or direct to the base of peak 9) rather than drive your car if you do have one. The cost of parking at the ski area lots alone will make using Valdoro's shuttle worth while (parking at Valdoro is free for guests), and it's much easier than driving anyway.

If you're going to ski at Keystone/A-Basin/Copper, there is a good transportation system in Summit County that will get you around to those places from the Breck area, but I am not familiar enough with it speak to it first hand. If you're heading to Vail/Beaver Creek, I'd expect you'll almost certainly be driving yourself. This is about the ONLY reason I see to bother with renting a car.

I am surprised to hear the shuttle from the airport to Breck will be that expensive. For some reason I thought CME would be as little as $100 to $150 per person round trip. Even so, I still think it's at least worth considering.

As you're looking into airfare, at least take a look at Vail/Eagle. It's probably a good bit more than flying into Denver, but you never know what you'll find. Depending on how much more expensive it is to fly into Vail/Eagle than Denver, I wonder if it's worth the extra $$$ for the one time you'll have to make the trip from the airport (depending on how much more you'll spend on the shuttle from Denver vs. Vail/Eagle).

One last plug for the Valdoro shuttle: As the shuttle will get you anywhere you want to go in the Breck area (for skiing, skating, dinner, shopping, whatever), it really does effectively eliminate the need for a car short of wanting to get outside of Breck. The first time you drive down to Main Street Breck and look for a parking spot is likely to be the last time you pass on the use of the shuttle. The five minute walk from Valdoro to Main Street also makes walking a nice option.

Best deal with a standard 2BR unit is on the top floor (high vaulted ceilings) facing the town. Get it if you can. If one or the other, I'd take the lower floor still facing the town.

Mi Casa Mexican restaurant is one of our favorites there (on the north side of Park Ave as you're walking towards Main St) along with Breck Brewery (east side of Main St across from the village). Although going to a chain restaurant in Breckenridge seems a little goofy to us, our kids like going to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (west side of Main St as you're heading north--left turn--off of Park Ave) and keep dragging us back. Whatever. Good food and good fun.

One quick tip on the high elevation (as you mentioned this will be your first ski trip to Colorado): The TOWN of Breckenridge--NOT the peak--sits at 9600' above sea level. If you are not used to the elevation, staying hydrated--to the point of seemingly OVER-hydrated--can make a huge difference in helping your body adjust and fight off the altitude sickness. Every trip we make to Breck (once or twice a year, winter and/or summer) coming from our much lower altitude, always includes driving ourselves crazy drinking water constantly starting the day before we start our trip. It may seem obsessive, and certainly makes for way too many bathroom stops, but we have yet to lose a moment of our trips there to altitude sickness. Anyone who's fallen victim to the altitude sickness will tell you it's a lousy way to spend your vacation. This is by no means a guarantee, but it's worked well enough for us that it might be worth trying. Good luck. I hope it helps.

I hope all of this helps. Have a great trip. For the sake of both of our trips, I hope we see a mountain's worth of snow fall come December. Valdoro alone is worth the trouble of getting yourself there, with Breckenridge having very quickly become one of our favorite vacation spots. I can't imagine you'll be disappointed with it.
 
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MattnTricia

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WOW - that is great info - Thanks

As for elevation we are sort of used to it. we skiied 25-30 days this year in Tahoe at Heavenly. Although the base is only 7000 the summit was 10000+ and that is where we skiied every weekend this year.

The car thing is really the only thing that is bothering me. Can anyone tell me what/where the breckenridge transer station is?

The shuttle is much less expensive going there then direct to the resort, $20 per person, and I think using the shuttle might be a great idea to avoid hassles.
 

pavlovsdog00

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WOW - that is great info - Thanks

As for elevation we are sort of used to it. we skiied 25-30 days this year in Tahoe at Heavenly. Although the base is only 7000 the summit was 10000+ and that is where we skiied every weekend this year.

I hear what you're saying about elevation, but I wouldn't discount 'feedtheotter's' advice. Yes the summit of Heavenly is 10,000, but that is essentially the base of Breck. So think of it as sleeping on the summit of Heavenly. The Summit of Breck I think is closer to 14,000 ft.

I never got altitude sickness on any ski trip until I got to Breck. It wasn't that bad...it didn't ruin my vacation, but there was definitely a headache...easier to dehydrate...and essentially being exhausted at the end of the day. On the bright side it made the bar tab incredibly inexpensive as one beer was all I needed :rofl:

My 2 cents on the car rental thing. Yes a thousand is a lot of money...but I hate being on someone else's schedule (especially if it is a trip from the airport, and a trip to a neighboring resort). I think even if you don't drive to the slopes in Breck, you'll still be happier that you have the freedom of an SUV. It's also nice if you're planning any snowmobile or dog sledding excursions.
 

DaveC

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The first time I went to Breck I rented a car because the SUV's were too expensive. After the first day, the car stayed in the garage. The next time I went to Breck I used CME. It was more convenient and cheaper. Valdoro's shuttle is very reliable and the drivers were friendly. Btw, I liked snowmobiling - they come and pick you up too. And, I believe the Breck buses were supposed to be free during ski season too but I stuck to the shuttle.

Mi Casa is probably the closest restaurant to the Valdoro and is good. I liked their happy hours specials: free chips and salsa, $3 basket of wings, and $1 tacos. The crepes shack is good too; the line can be long sometimes. Empire burger is not far. It's on the only side of the street on the 2nd level. Their is a mexican place[Lucha] that is ok too in the same center. Breck brewery is good too. They make their own beers and have decent food. A bit farther of a walk is downstairs at Eric's. They have an arcade. I was only there once. I had the BBQ chicken pizza which was good. Eric's can get busy too. Also, there is a little place on the corner of main and park that has good breakfast burritos and coffee. Blue moose (closer to breck brewery) is good for breakfast too. Columbine cafe was decent for breakfast too, a little north but walkable. There other good restaurants too. Almost all have some kind of happy hour for food and/or drinks.

As far as snow, this past season was well below average. I can't make any predictions for this year. I like to have other things to do just in case. FYI, the better supermarket is the farthest one which is on the north side.
 

Remy

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Giampietro's at Lincoln and Main for Italian. I do love me some Italian.
 

kckreardon

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Pizza

I strongly concur with Remy on Giampietro's. Great pizza. We went there for lunch several weeks ago. It develops a line quickly for lunch as it is a small space but very good food!

Quickest way to the slopes is Valdoro shuttle to Beaver Run. You are steps away from the lifts there. Coppertop Bar is decent for apres ski drinks.

Another Mexican place is called Lucha. Its very casual but food is fresh. They have good happy hour prices, too.

I agree with Breck Brewery being good. Empire Burger is casual and good. Eric's is almost always crowded.
 

Remy

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I strongly concur with Remy on Giampietro's. Great pizza. We went there for lunch several weeks ago. It develops a line quickly for lunch as it is a small space but very good food!

Quickest way to the slopes is Valdoro shuttle to Beaver Run. You are steps away from the lifts there. Coppertop Bar is decent for apres ski drinks.

Another Mexican place is called Lucha. Its very casual but food is fresh. They have good happy hour prices, too.

I agree with Breck Brewery being good. Empire Burger is casual and good. Eric's is almost always crowded.

While we're concurring, let me ditto Empire Burger. It's a mess of a burger, but affordable and nearby. Eric's is a staple. Try it at least once. If you really want to save money, there's a City Market (Kroger) on the way into town.

I've always thought CME would be a great way to get up the mountain after last year and the white-knuckle driving in a Jeep on multiple occasions as Breck had record snowfall and I-70 to the Eisenhower tunnel was backed up to what seemed like Limon, making a drive that takes less than two hours into a 5 hour debacle. This year I could have been in a Yugo with a flat tire and buzzed over Loveland Pass without a problem. I recall passing several CME vans along the way. Last year, they were passing me. As far as it being cheaper than a car rental that's likely relative to the size of your party. It's about $80 each way per person on CME.
 
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whatsburning

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Just got back from Vail and Beaver Creek yesterday. As spring skiing goes, it was nice... bare spots here and there, but the majority of the mountain was open. The backside was fabulous! I can only imagine how great it is when it's covered with snow.

If you decide to go, it definitely would not be a waste of time.
 

nosajio

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We just got back this past weekend, as well; our first timeshare use, too.

Transportation
We took CME to Vail last year and again this year to Breck. Rates to Breck are much lower than Vail, only $64 per person each way. They will stop halfway or so if you need a break. Last year we stopped at a convenience store and picked up some groceries while we were there. I can't speak for other mountains, but for Keystone there is a free bus to take you there. The Valdoro is shuttle is really good and we only had to wait more than a few minutes when we were at the transfer station. Edit: CME offers 10% off for 3 or more people and I think kids are cheaper too.

Terrain
We ski mostly blues. I consider Breck's blues to be easier than Vail's. Peak 7 may be best for you. We did not hit it, but is blues and blacks only. Vail was a bit too tough for us, but if you can do blacks you'll probably do ok. The base was only non-existent in parts of Breck, but it seems it doesn't take much to make for an enjoyable ride.

Food
Plenty of good food that's not too pricey.

Euro Deli, Mimi's Fried Pies, and La Francaise were my favorites and reasonable. The Doubletree next door is midrange. Surprisingly good.
Northside Pizza was decent. Steak and Rib: We had a couple of staff recommendations for this but didn't really like it. Obviously it's more expensive too. I agree with the Brewery, it's pretty good. The Blue Moose is good for breakfast, but a bit pricey for breakfast. The Crepe cart was not worth the wait, IMO (hard to miss, look for the long line of people).

Rooms
You might avoid the *10 rooms. We were in 310 (2 bedroom) and there was a constant running water noise for the heating system in the master bedroom. I have a feeling it's like this for all the rooms, though, except maybe the top.

BTW, if you order your lift tickets online, be sure to do so 2 weeks in advance to allow time for the Peak Pass to get mailed to you. They can reprint there, but it's just a bit of a hassle. The lift tickets use RFID now, which is awesome.

Agree on the altitude, too. This is the first time I had issues. Suggest to stay overnight in Denver or maybe stop at the oxygen bar. A cheaper suggestion is to get some coca tea. That seemed to help alot.
 
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pianodinosaur

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We love Breckenridge in the summer. A trip to Vail, Avon, and Beaver Creek would be very easy to accomplish. If you love shopping, outstanding restaraunts, and superb skiing, you will love Vail.
 

MikeinSoCal

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Breckenridge has some of the most challenging slopes in Colorado, and i've heard that their green slopes = most blues...blues=other slopes blacks etc. Like I said I've been several times and there are certain slopes I haven't mustered the courage for (like the summit of peak 8 :eek: )
I ski Mammoth all the time and I felt completely the opposite with the slope ratings at Breck. Compared to Mammoth, the blacks were more equal to blues. My wife doesn't ski blacks at Mammoth, but she had no problem at Breck.
 

PigsDad

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I ski Mammoth all the time and I felt completely the opposite with the slope ratings at Breck. Compared to Mammoth, the blacks were more equal to blues. My wife doesn't ski blacks at Mammoth, but she had no problem at Breck.
I agree -- Breck's slopes are over-rated, not under-rated as the previous poster claims. In fact, several of the runs on Peak 10 have been changed from "blue-black" to full "black" in the last few years. I don't find hardly any blue runs at Breck very challenging, compared to most other ski resorts.

Kurt
 
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