Posts Tagged ‘family skiing’

Snow Pros Offer Tips to Get Your Kids Ready for a Ski Vacation

December 7, 2016

Keystone Mountain Resort

Ski school at Keystone Mountain Resort, Colorado © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Is a ski holiday on tap for this year’s winter vacation? To insure the trip goes well, the snow pros from the Professional Ski and Snowboard Instructors of America (PSIA-AASI) National Team (the best-of-the-best ski and snowboard instructors in the country), suggest these simple tips to get kids ready for the slopes so your readers can make the most of their family winter vacation together:

  1. Be active as a family before your trip

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that require some physical fitness, so start an exercise program for you and your family. Whether it’s enrolling kids in soccer or another sport, to taking walks together as a family, it’s important to get moving.

  1. Do your homework on the weather

Most resorts have mountain cams and temperature updates. Know what the weather and temperature is like on the mountain and where you are staying, so you can dress your child appropriately for conditions. At some resorts temps vary greatly from the town versus the mountain.

  1. Try on ski/snowboard clothes and equipment before you go

For younger children getting used to putting on ski or snowboard equipment and clothing helps them adjust to the mountain environment more easily. You can make it a game and help them see their ski/snowboard clothes and equipment as something fun to play in versus something strange or bulky to wear. For older kids, it also helps to check to make sure everything still fits and is working properly before you arrive on the slopes.

  1. Invest in lessons for your kids

Having your kids learn from an expert can make their ski/snowboard experience more fun and also gives you time to enjoy the slopes. Set the expectation that the lesson is more like a sports practice than going to school and that they’ll have fun while getting to learn new skills.

  1. Watch ski/snowboard movies or videos to get everyone excited

Use media to motivate your kids and set expectations of what their experience on the mountain and lessons will be like. There’s an array of ski and snowboard clips on YouTube to videos on the PSIA-AASI YouTube Channel here.

  1. Pack the right gear

You don’t have to spend a fortune on kids’ ski and snowboard gear. Just make sure they have a good snowsuit that’s wind/snow resistant along with goggles, long socks pulled up below the knee, snow gloves and insulated layers. If they become more involved in the sport then you can invest in wicking base layers and more expensive jackets when they will be out on the mountain for longer periods of time.

 

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Keystone Mountain Resort Expands Family-Friendly Programming

October 16, 2016
Keystone Mountain Resort

The famous snow fort that is part of Kidtopia at Keystone Mountain Resort, Colorado © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Keystone Resort, one of the easiest major resorts to reach from Denver International Airport, one of the few major resorts that offers night skiing, as well as combined access to Arapahoe Basin with its lift ticket, is famous for its family-oriented Kidtopia programs.

Keystone Resort offers a wide variety of comfortable and family-friendly lodging options, from affordable hotel rooms to welcoming, family-sized condominiums. Plus, an unmatched Kids Ski Free program, free daily events, and unique offerings and special events perfectly complement the more than 3,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain.

Here are some of the many things to look forward to this winter at Keystone, one of the Vail Resorts (and included on Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, details at EpicPass.com):

Keystone’s Kids Ski Free Program Turns 5
Keystone has long been the place where kids rule, and this year the resort’s unmatched Kids Ski Free program turns 5 (which just so happens to be the same age that kids can officially become a part of this awesome program). With more than 100,000free kids’ lift tickets provided to families since the inception of the program in 2012, there is a whole lot to celebrate as Kids Ski Free enters its fifth year. This year guests can look forward to free Kidtopia events and parties, including a special weekly birthday bash with Ripperoo, plus free skiing of course! Every day, all season long kids 12 and younger ski for free at Keystone with no blackout dates when parents book just two or more nights in one of Keystone’s numerous accommodation options, which span from affordable hotel rooms to family-sized condominiums. When it comes to family, no one does it better than Keystone!

Keystone’s Mountain House is Base Camp for Families
Having served as the original base area when Keystone’s founders, Max and Edna Dercum, first brought their family to the resort, this winter the Mountain House base area is ready to welcome a new generation of ski families to Keystone. Centrally located, the Mountain House base area offers an oasis for ski families and the perfect base camp for any ski day, offering smaller crowds, free and convenient family parking and an updated family restaurant concept. Plus, with free preferred parking just for families at Mountain House, it’s easy to get from the lots to the lifts, providing direct access to the resort’s family ski and ride zone, The Schoolyard. Families can also take advantage of conveniently located lift tickets, rentals and Camp Keystone – the resort’s kid-centric Ski and Ride School experience, where interactive displays, game-aided learning and a 24-foot slide that propels kids into their adventure on the snow will have little rippers begging to go back to “school.” When you’re ready to hang up the skis and boards for the day, relax fireside or continue the fun with Kidtopia activities that take place twice-a-week at Mountain House during Sunday’s Ice Cream Birthday party with Ripperoo and Wednesday’s Giant Snowball Launch.

NEW Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular – Dec. 16-18, 2016
Keystone’s Kidtopia continues to redefine the family resort experience with free activities and events on and off the snow every day of the week starting Friday, Nov. 25. This winter Keystone presents the inaugural Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular, a weekend of festive on-mountain fun for the entire family. This free event will showcase a variety of activities and Kidtopia programs that make the resort a top destination for families, including nightly firework displays, a torchlight ski parade led by Keystone’s Ski & Ride School, and a mountaintop celebration where guests can enjoy free snow tubing, snowcat photo opportunities, live music, hot cocoa and fireside stories with Santa. Kidtopia will animate the mountaintop with Bigfoot adventure walks and a ski patrol-dog meet and greet, plus a special lighting ceremony of the world’s largest Snow Fort to create an unforgettable weekend.

The Kidtopia Experience March 5-11, 2017
With the addition of the Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular, this winter season is bookended by two awesome Kidtopia events as the Kidtopia Experience returns for an extended week-long celebration. Start your family spring break early and be a part of all the kid-centric festivities and live outdoor music at the Kidtopia Experience, March 5-11.

Behind-the-Scenes Chocolate Tours with Keystone’s Very Own “Willy Wonka”
Keystone Resort’s executive pastry chef Ned Archibald welcomes guests for a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into his world of decadent desserts and chocolate making at the resort. Take a break from the slopes one morning to experience these can’t-miss tours designed for kids (and parents), and meet the man himself, tour his chef’s workshop and make delicious treats of your own to take home. No golden ticket required; these Chocolate Tours are free to attend. Offered on select dates throughout the season. Schedule TBD.

On-Mountain Family Adventures, Minus the Skis and Boards

Keystone Mountain Resort

Adventure Point, just steps away from the Kidtopia Snow Fort, features up to eight lanes of high-speed tubing action for kids and kids at heart. © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With Keystone’s enclosed River Run Gondola, mountaintop adventures like snowcat tours, snow tubing and fondue dinners are accessible to the whole family regardless of skiing ability. The Mountaintop Snowcat Tour is a must-do family activity that provides an exclusive glimpse of Keystone’s high-alpine bowls, where breathtaking views of the Continental Divide and surrounding mountain ranges await. Adventure Point, just steps away from the Kidtopia Snow Fort, features up to eight lanes of high-speed tubing action for kids and kids at heart. To cap off an evening of mountaintop adventure, guests can enjoy two gondola rides en route to Keystone’s North Peak, where Der Fondue Chessel offers an exciting and interactive dining experience for the whole family, complete with accordion-wielding musicians in lederhosen, all at 11,640-feet elevation.

Experience the Mountain Together with a Family Private Lesson
Whether your family is new to skiing and snowboarding or you’re seasoned snow veterans, those looking to develop new skills, improve technique or explore the mountain like never before can enjoy the Keystone Ski & Ride School’s Family Private Lesson together. Taking advantage of shared on-snow time, bonding is just an added bonus to these specially designed lessons. Private lessons can be reserved for up to six family members (or friends) of similar ability, and with instructors who specialize in working with the whole family you can rest assured that everyone’s ski and snowboard needs will be met on the snow.A family private lesson at Keystone is the perfect way to create memories together and take your shared passion to the next level, so this new product is a can’t-miss for snow-loving families.

Keystone Resort’s more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, average of 300 days of sun a year, convenient lodging and variety of on- and off-snow activities all combine to provide the ideal location for winter vacations. As one of the closest ski resorts to Denver, Keystone is the ultimate family resort destination. Convenient touches like free parking, including front-row family parking, and complimentary red wagons to help parents tote gear and kiddos to and from the slopes help make a winter family visit to Keystone easy and hassle-free. For more information visit keystoneresort.com.

 

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Intrawest’s Passport Gives 6 days Each at 6 Resorts; Free Skiing for Kids

September 30, 2014
Skiing at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. Stratton is one of six Intrawest Resorts where the Intrawest Passport can be used © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Skiing at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. Stratton is one of six Intrawest Resorts where the Intrawest Passport can be used © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Intrawest Resort Holdings, Inc., the parent company of six North American ski resorts, is unveiling what it boasts is the most affordable and flexible multi-mountain ski pass available this season, The Intrawest Passport™. A key benefit? Up to five children 12 and under can ski for free on one adult’s pass.

The Intrawest Passport™ is on sale now and is guaranteed at the fall introductory price now through October 20. The Intrawest Passport will only be available for purchase through November 15.

Making ski-industry history, The Intrawest Passport™ (http://www.intrawestpassport.com) will offer children 12 and under free skiing, as well as redefine what a “Family Pass” is all about, by allowing groups of up to 16 to purchase the Passport at the heavily discounted price. This is the first winter for The Intrawest Passport™, a season pass that includes six days of skiing at each of six participating North American ski resorts.

The Intrawest Passport™ only requires one adult pass to be purchased, which means a single parent and up to five children can all ski at six resorts, for a total of 36 days each for as low as $589. The pass can be used at Stratton, Vt., Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Blue Mountain Ski Area, Ontario and Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec, and Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV.

“There is no other ski pass on the market that offers the flexibility and affordability of The Intrawest Passport™. We developed this inter-mountain pass to make destination skiing easier and offer more value for families this winter. This pass is a first of its kind in the industry as it changes the rules and allows up to five children, 12 and younger, to ski for free with the purchase of just one Adult Passport,” explains Bill Jensen, CEO, Intrawest Resorts.

When one adult purchases the Passport it allows an additional 15 other people to join in on your ‘family pass.’ These can be traditional family members or people who are like family.

With no blackout dates the flexibility means families or Passport groups can use The Intrawest Passport™ to travel on holidays, single day ski trips or extended ski trips. The Intrawest Passport’s™ introductory fall price is being offered on a sliding scale:

  • One primary adult Passport initially offered at $589
  • Five additional adults can be added at $449 each
  • Five passes for 13-20 year olds can be added at $249 each
  • Five passes for children 12 and under are free
  • Total of 16 Passports available under one “Family Pass”

The Intrawest Passport™ will allow guests to ski/ride for six days during the 2014-2015 ski season at each of Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Blue Mountain in Ontario; Mont Tremblant in Quebec; Stratton Mountain in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

“Our goal with The Intrawest Passport™ is to continue to encourage the passion for the sport of skiing and snowboarding by making it affordable to those who want to come out this winter and check out our mountains,” Heidi Kercher-Pratt, Chief Marketing Officer, Intrawest Resorts, said. “By offering children 12 and under free skiing and boarding this pass makes it easier for single parents, tri-generational families, really anyone who wants to share the mountain experience with their kids.”

The biggest differentiators for The Intrawest Passport™:

  • Children 12 and under ski free
  • Flexibility to define your “family” the way it works best for you. This can include extended family members, stepfamilies, non-traditional families and even good friends that are like family.
  • After the first primary adult pass is purchased, families can purchase up to 15 additional Passports
  • Extended age for “Teen” Passport: allows teens and young adults through age 20 to receive the discount.

The Intrawest Passport™ only requires one adult pass to be purchased, which means a single parent and up to five children can all ski at six resorts, for a total of 36 days each for as low as $589.

The Intrawest Passport™ is available for purchase at www.IntrawestPassport.com as well as on the participating resort’s websites:

Steamboat, CO: Colorado’s Ski Town USA the home of champagne powder:
http://www.steamboat.com

Winter Park, CO: Colorado’s favorite family skiing destination:
http://www.winterparkresort.com

Blue Mountain Ski Area, Ontario: Ontario’s premiere skiing and boarding destination:
http://www.bluemountain.ca/

Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec: Where a taste of Europe is only a drive away:
http://www.tremblant.ca

Stratton Mountain Ski Resort, VT: Vermont’s favorite mountainside village:
http://www.stratton.com

Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV: Mid-Atlantic’s #1 Skiing Destination:
http://www.snowshoemtn.com

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January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in Colorado Ski Country USA

December 24, 2013

A children's ski lesson at Winter Park, Colorado. January is Learn to Ski & Ride month at Colorado Ski Country resorts which are offering special deals to get newbies to the slopes © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A children’s ski lesson at Winter Park, Colorado. January is Learn to Ski & Ride month at Colorado Ski Country resorts which are offering special deals to get newbies to the slopes © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are offering deals to entice kids and adults to come to the mountains and give skiing and snowboarding a try, sharpen their skills or pick up a new discipline. In addition to CSCUSA’s First Class program, which provides a free beginner lesson and equipment rental to qualifying fifth graders in January, resorts are offering significantly discounted lessons and Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages that include lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lessons taught by highly trained professional instructors.

Taking a lesson is a wise step in progressing as a skier or snowboarder. Safety and knowing your limits also add to a great day on the slopes according to CSCUSA Ski Instructor of the Year Ashley Sifers with Ski Granby Ranch. “This is really important. Recognize when you’re tired. Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your body,” explains Sifers. “You don’t have to eke out every minute of the day to have a successful, awesome day on the hill.”

Here are some of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard offers from CSCUSA resorts:

Arapahoe Basin

Learn to Ski/Ride Month Super Sunday Special

Good for kid or adult first timers only, the Super Sunday Special package includes a lift ticket, equipment rental, and a beginner lesson. Guests who purchase a Super Sunday lesson will be entitled to discounts on future lessons. Prices for adults are $99 for skiing and $107 for snowboarding, while prices for kids are $79 for skiing and $84 for snowboarding. The items in these packages can be purchased individually; Super Sunday lessons will be $59. Adult ski rental: $20; adult snowboard rental: $28; kid ski rental: $10; kid snowboard rental: $15; Beginner-area lift tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids. 2014 Super Sunday Dates are January 5, 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23. Valid for morning, half-day lessons only (10am-12:30pm).

Free One Run Lessons

Guests are matched up with instructors who learn the guest’s ability level and goals during a Black Mountain Express chairlift ride. During one run down the mountain on terrain accessible from the Black Mountain Express lift, instructors coach relatively minor movements that make major improvements to guests’ skiing. Sign-up is day-of, first-come, first-served from 10:00 am – noon. 2013-14 Dates: December 7, December 15, January 4, January 26, February 9, March 9. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen/Snowmass

Beginner’s Magic For Adult Skiers And Snowboarders

Learn the basics of skiing or snowboarding from professional instructors who practice a teaching method that promotes peak performance and confidence and educates about the right equipment and mountain awareness. Available at Snowmass and Buttermilk every day, this program is best for adults who are first time beginners or who are only comfortable on beginner terrain. Lessons start at $199 inclusive of lift ticket, equipment rental, and full-day lesson when booked at least seven days in advance.

For Kids & Teens – Experienced professional instructors share their wealth of knowledge and instill an appreciation for the mountain environment. Their passion is contagious and kids enjoy perfecting their skills while they develop a love for the sport. Beginners learn in a supportive and fun environment while developing confidence and life skills. They will explore the mountain, try new skills, terrain and snow conditions based on appropriate skill development and experience the thrill of the pipe and park and/or race course with expert coaches. Available at Snowmass and Buttermilk every day, kids will be in groups with other kids or teens of similar ages. Lessons start at $111 for a full-day lesson when booked at least seven days in advance. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/schools.

Copper Mountain

Free Skiing and Riding for Beginners During Ski and Ride Month and All Winter Long
All season long beginners can access and learn for free on the Easy Rider carpet located in Center Village. Once basic skills are learned, a ticket for the Pitchfork chairlift is $15, allowing beginners to master getting on and off the lift while perfecting turning and stopping.

Woodward at Copper Barn – Great for Newbies and Beginners
This past summer the Woodward at Copper Barn underwent a half-million renovation project which opened the door far beyond snowboards and skis to now include skateboards, BMX and slopestyle mountain bike . All synthetic snow surfaces were replaced with a surface designed for wheels. Families and amateurs alike are invited to experience the renovations expanded offerings for never-evers with additions including a new beginner foam pit with two-foot and four-foot jumps, a pump track designed for the development of park skills, and new programming to bridge the gap and see results on snow. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Crested Butte

$59 Beginner Ski or Ride Package.

For Learn to Ski Month this January 2014, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is offering a $59 beginner ski or ride package. The package is available for adults to learn how to ski or snowboard at a 63 percent discount. This package is for first-time skiers and snowboarders, age 15 and up only.  It includes an Adult First Time Beginner Adventure Ski or Snowboard lesson and a 1-day adult lift ticket valid for limited lift access on the day of the lesson.  Participants can also receive a 50% on rentals when they redeem their Liftopia voucher at the Adventure Center. Visit www.skicb.com/learn for more information and to book this package through Liftopia.com.

Loveland

Free Unrestricted Season Pass for Qualifying Kids

All children (ages 4-14) regardless of ability, who pre-purchase or complete 3 full day lesson packages, receive a free unrestricted season pass to keep practicing their skiing or snowboarding skills for the rest of the season. Children’s full day lesson packages include lesson, lift access, rentals (ski or snowboard) and lunch.  Full day lessons are from 10am through 3:30pm daily. Phone reservations are available or register at the Loveland Valley between 8am and 9am. Pre-purchase price:  $315 for ages 6-14 skiers & snowboarders (Includes Season Pass) $345 for ages 4-5 skiers (Includes Season Pass) (4-5 yr old program includes early drop off beginning at 8:15am). For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.

Monarch

First Timer Lessons

First-timer lessons at Monarch are conducted in a group setting and provide first time, basic, beginner instruction to get new skiers and snowboarders comfortable, moving and having fun on their equipment. Packages include all-day lift ticket, equipment and helmet rental, 2.5 hrs. of group instruction, and a snack.  Lesson begins promptly at 9:30 or 11:30 and are $89 for new snowriders aged 7-12 and $99 for ages 13 and older. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Powderhorn

Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass Program

Powderhorn Mountain Resort and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel join forces to bring back the Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass Program for the 2013 – 2014 winter season. Designed for first time skiers or snowboarders ages eight and up, the Daily Sentinel’s Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass program features three consecutive ski or snowboard lessons at Powderhorn Mountain Resort with the Intensive Series, which includes a full day group lesson with an hour break for lunch.

Lessons run from 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm and focus on weather precautions, changing snow conditions, etiquette on the mountain and the Skier/Rider Responsibility Code. Participants emerge from the series with a great foundation in their chosen snow sport, and are able to put new skills to the test on-mountain. Upon completion of the three-lesson program, participants receive a free season pass for the remainder of the 2013 – 2014 season.

Cost for the program is $269 for youth and pre-teen participants (ages 8-17), $320 for adults (18+) and $299 for full time college students. Visit www.powderhorn.com for a list of regular season rates and details on the Learn to Ski and Ride Pass pass program.

Purgatory

Discounted Basic Beginner Packages

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is pleased to announce two new low cost packages during January 2014 for children and adults who want to learn how to ski or snowboard. The program includes two new packages plus a discount card for future skiing or snowboarding.

The Basic Beginner Packages include full-day ski or snowboard lessons for adults/children, basic rental equipment, and lift tickets. Offered Jan. 6 – 31, 2014, the two-day package is $158, $100 off the regular price while the one-day package is $79, a savings of 39 percent.

Upon completion of the 1-Day or 2-Day beginner packages, participants will receive a card good for discounts on lessons, lift tickets and rentals for the remainder of the season through March 30, 2014.  These discounts are valid for use of the LSSM participant only and include lift tickets at $50 for adults, $40 for young adults, and for $30 kids; lessons are $39 for a half-day group lesson, $59 for full-day group lessons; ski or snowboard rentals are $20 for adult basic, $17 kids.  Blackout dates apply:  2/15/14 – 2/16/14 and 3/8/14 – 3/15/14. For more information, visit www.durangomountainresort.com.

Ski Granby Ranch

Get On The Snow Season Pass for Qualified Beginner Skiers and Snowboarders

For $199, complete two ski or snowboarding lesson days and graduate with a “Get On The Snow” season pass to Ski Granby Ranch, as well as a 20 percent discount coupon valid for a retail merchandise purchase. Get on the Snow is for level one, never-ever beginners ages 10 and up. This program is available from January 6 through March 6, 2014. Lessons do not have to be on consecutive days. Not valid with any other offers or promotions. No discounts offered for having equipment or passes. Black-out dates apply:  January 17 – 20, 2014 and February 14-17, 2014. Reservations required. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

Sunlight

Learn to Shine Program For First Time Skiers And Snowboarders

The Learn to Shine package includes three days of lessons, equipment rental and lift tickets. Plus, participants receive a free 5-Day ski pass once they’ve completed the lessons – all for $365. The three lessons can be taken on the dates chosen by the student, whether those dates are consecutive or not.

Skiers and snowboarders that participate in the Learn to Shine program are matched with top-notch instructors that will have them navigating beginner terrain by the end of their first day. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Winter Park

Winter Park’s Family Easy Start
Learning to ski or snowboard is more fun as a family, and the Winter Park Ski + Ride School offers a great program that allows families to learn together, creating shared memories for one all-inclusive price. For $679 for a half-day or $859 for a full day a family of four gets four lift tickets, four equipment rentals, a private instructor, and access to all the amenities of the Private Lesson Center, including lockers, equipment storage, and a cozy lounge. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Wolf Creek

First and Second Day Beginner Packages
These package is ideal for those who have never skied/snowboarded before. The First Day package ($60 for skiers, $66 for snowboarders) includes an all-day lift ticket to the Nova Lift and four hours of professional instruction (from 10am to noon, and from 1pm to 3pm) for new skiers and snowboarders ages 9 and up. The Second Day package ($70 for skiers and snowboarders) includes an all-day lift ticket to the Nova and Raven Lifts plus two hours of professional instruction. This package is designed as a follow-up to the 1st Day Beginner Package, although the 1st Day package is not a prerequisite. For skiers and snowboarders ages 13 and up. Prices quoted for the First and Second Day packages do not include equipment rental.

Children’s Camp Robber Clinic – January 11, 25; February 1, 8

This four-week program (Saturdays only) is designed to introduce 5 to 8 year olds to skiing or improve on the skills they already have, all in a fun environment. Children are grouped according to ability and ski with the same children and instructor each week to foster socialization and friendship. Activities include terrain garden, fun races, and mountain safety. Lift ticket, ski rental, four hours of instruction, lunch and snacks are all included each week. $210 for season pass holders; $240 for non-season pass holders. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA.

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Christy Sports Facilitates Online Reservations for Ski/Snowboard Rentals

January 21, 2011
Keystone Mountain Resort, Colorado

No matter where you ski or snowboard, having quality, well-fitting boots and equipment can make all the difference in the experience © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The mountain slopes are crowded this season, and whether you are an occasional skier or snowboarder and don’t have your own equipment, or you don’t want to pay airline fees to transport them and want to use this opportunity to demo the latest equipment, you should consider making an online reservation so not to be disappointed about not being able to get the equipment you want.

No matter if you are skiing in Vermont, Colorado, Utah or Maine, Christy Sports, a ski and snowboard retailer with more than 40 locations throughout the Rocky Mountains, has created a national network of affiliate ski rental shops that serves as a resource for booking ski and snowboard rentals. So no matter where you ski, the Christy Sports Rental Network can serve as a one-stop shop for coast-to-coast ski rentals and so you can ditch the hassle of airline baggage fees and hauling your own equipment.

The best brands and equipment including: K2, Rossignol, Burton, Nordica, Salomon, Volkl, Lange, Ride and Dynastar are available through the network. When you make reservations more than 24-hours in advance, you can qualify for discounts from 10 to 20 percent off, depending on affiliate store location. The Christy Sports locations will also honor its Kids Ski-Free program, where one child under 12 receives a free rental package with the purchase of an adult 4-day rental package at Christy Sports and Door 2 Door locations.

To make a rental reservation, visit http://rental.christysports.com/index.php. You can select your desired location to rent skis; once the store is selected, you can make an online reservation.

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Crested Butte Mountain Resort has Fly Free, Ski & Stay Deals

January 7, 2011

From the resort that created Friends & Family Fly Free and the 100-Inch Special comes an offer so good it is only available for the month of January. Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) announces its $599 Fly, Ski and Stay deal, which includes a roundtrip flight into Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional airport (GUC), three days of skiing or riding at CBMR and a four-night stay at The Grand Lodge. CBMR has received 189 inches of snow so far this season and conditions are perfect for a post-holiday visit.

“This is one of our biggest and best deals of the season,” said Daren Cole, CBMR’s vice president of sales and marketing. “A note to all of those procrastinators who have been waiting to book a trip: the snow is incredible and this offer can’t be beat. What are you waiting for?”

CBMR’s $599 Fly, Ski and Stay deal must be booked by Jan. 31, 2011 for travel through Feb. 10, 2011. The offer is available for $699 between Feb. 11 and Apr. 4, 2011 (with the exception of Mar. 12 – 24, 2011). Prices are per person based upon double occupancy and taxes and fees are not included. Guests must fly into GUC on departure and return flights; this offer applies for select destinations based upon available airfare.

For more information or to book this package contact Crested Butte Vacations at 800-600-2803, www.skicb.com.

Colorado’s history has been punctuated by many notable events and happenings but none has been as fun-filled as the advent of skiing. Skiing arrived in Crested Butte 50 years ago this season and the resort is planning to make the most of this milestone. CBMR’s yearlong celebration of skiing and riding history in the Gunnison Valley includes the resurrection of time-honored events (many involving costumes – it IS Crested Butte, after all), community activities and the opportunity to honor prominent figures from Crested Butte’s past.

Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte is committed to preserving the pristine landscape and mountain lifestyle. With vibrant Victorian store-fronts and expressive local characters, the small historic town remains true to its heritage and radiates an unparalleled welcoming and inviting spirit that celebrates a simpler life and time. Thanks to a widely diverse landscape, whether beginner or burgeoning national champion, outdoor enthusiasts of all levels will find a new challenge with each visit. From world-class mountain biking, to legendary skiing and snowboarding, to a secluded fly-fishing experience, Crested Butte is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. This season, Crested Butte celebrates 50 years of skiing and riding with a year-long celebration, Crested Butte-style. www.skicb.com

For more information about Crested Butte’s lodging, conference, meeting facilities, and special packages, call Crested Butte Vacations, (800) 600-2803 or visit the web site at www.skicb.com.For information on ski area real estate opportunities call (970) 349-4999 or (877) 805-6109 or visit the website at www.cbliving.com.

For ski destination features, see www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin and www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

Spectacular Famcations on the Slopes & Beyond in Gunnison-Crested Butte CO

January 5, 2011

In Gunnison Crested Butte, Colo., family merriment and total relaxation abounds in 1880s-era towns that are rich in history, charm and friendliness (photo courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain Resort).

Take winter fun to the next level, Rocky Mountain-style, in Gunnison Crested Butte, Colo., where family merriment and total relaxation abounds in 1880s-era towns that are rich in history, charm and friendliness, and there are Fly Free and Rent Free deals that make the trip wallet-friendly, too.

At the Ski Area, Mt. Crested Butte

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR, www.skicb.com) offers fun for all ages, even if you don’t ski! Of course there are plenty of options to cruise all levels of slopes on your own or with a guide/instructor, and skiing is free for kids age 6 and under.

The Adventure Park is for all ages with a covered ice-skating rink, bungee trampolines, rock climbing wall and lift-served tubing hill.  You also can tap into the magic of sleighride dinners to Uley’s Cabin pulled by a snowcat and daytime and moonlight snowshoe tours.

There are skiing and snowboarding lessons for youth and adults at CBMR, as well as through Adaptive Sports Center (www.adapativesports.org) for family members with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.  There’s also child care for the wee ones, not to mention Kid’s Night Out, available every evening from 4 – 8 p.m. for ages 4 – 12.  Dinner and access to the Adventure Park and tubing hill are part of the Kid’s Night Out activities.

During ski season, the Trailhead Children’s Discovery Museum will be open every day in the Outpost Building next to the Adventure Center from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Kids can enjoy an indoor playground, science experiments, art stations and several exhibits, with special events held every weekend at various times.  Admission is $6 per person.  For information and schedule of events, go to www.trailheadkids.org.

The museum and Crested Butte Music Festivalare teaming up to offer a Kids Rock winter entertainment series especially for families with children between ages 2 – 9.  The performances will be held on the four Saturdays from Feb. 19 – March 12.  Charlie Hope (singer), Wise Fool (puppetry, theatre & more), Jim Jackson (clown) and Jim Cosgrove (kid rocker) are currently on the schedule.The series will take place at 4 p.m. in the Mountaineer Square Ballroom in Mt. Crested Butte, except the Feb. 26 show will be at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts.  The cost is $5 per person for each concert.  For more information, go to www.crestedbuttemusicfestival.com or www.trailheadkids.org.

 

In Town, Crested Butte Area

The Crested Butte Nordic Center has cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and sledding all in one place. The Nordic Center grooms more than 50k of trails and offers instruction, equipment rentals and many events.  Use of the outdoor ice rink and sledding hill are free, and a pass is required to use the groomed trails. Call (970) 349-1707 or visit www.cbnordic.org.

If you’d rather not expel your own energy to get around and love horses and dogs, check out one of these great options.

  • Board a horse-drawn sleigh at Lazy F Bar Ranch south of Crested Butte for a scenic, 35-minute ride to a rustic 1950s cabin overlooking the East River and indulge in a five-course meal.  Visit www.lazyfbarranch.comor call (970) 641-0193.
  • Head out with Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures for a one-hour ride in the Almont area.  Halfway through the journey, warm up by the fire at Almont Resort with a cup of hot cocoa.  Visit www.fantasyranchoutfitters.com or call 888-OUTFITT.
  • There is nothing quite like being pulled by a team of dogs in the thick of mountain terrain capped with snow.  Dog sledding with Lucky Cat Dog Farm is one of those lifetime experiences not to be missed.  Visit www.luckycatdogfarm.com or call (970) 641-1636 for details about lunch tours and short tours.

Enrich your mind at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, where there are displays about local history, including skiing, ranching, mining, local personalities and more. The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame also is located in the museum, along with a gift shop that all ages relish. Just down the street, catch a concert or art exhibit at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts and take in a little theatre at a production presented by Crested Butte Mountain Theatre.  Or get the creative juices flowing and paint your own pottery at The Pottery Place, which is part of The Studio Art School, which offers art classes for all ages.

Must-stops for young families on Elk Avenue are Pooh’s Corner and Petite Lavish, and teens love sitting on the floor on pillows or beanbags to eat gourmet pizza at The Secret Stash and shopping for the latest sunglasses at Shades of Crested Butte and styles at Retail Therapy.

Gunnison Gateway

Families looking for less-expensive lodging during the ski season or for an easy excursion from Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, check out Gunnison, home of Western State College.

Gunnison Valley RTA buses run several routes a day between Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte for only $2 per ride.  Enjoy a day at the Gunnison Recreation Center’s entire facility for only $4 for kids ages 5 – 17 and $6 for adults; kids under 5 are free.  There is an indoor pool with slides, rock climbing wall, gym, gymnastics room and game room.

You are never too old or young to learn how to ice skate.  The City of Gunnison Ice Facility at Jorgensen Park features three sheets of ice: an indoor NHL-size rink, outdoor Olympic-size covered rink, and outdoor frozen pond.  The admission cost for the indoor rink is $3 for ages 18 and older, $2 for ages 5 – 17, and free for kids under 5.  Skate rentals are $3 per pair.  There is no cost to use the outdoor rink and pond.  Check for public skate times at both rinks; the pond is dedicated to open skating. For the Rec Center and ice skating facilities, go to www.cityofgunnison-co.gov.

There is outstanding Nordic skiing and snowshoeing along backcountry routes and groomed trails at Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area west of Gunnison.  This combined with VanTuyl Ranch, the Western State College practice field on campus and Jorgensen Park encompasses approximately 45K of trails groomed by the Gunnison Nordic Club.  Rent equipment at Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods or All Sports Replay.

While downtown, don’t miss stopping by the Gunnison Arts Center. Younger kids also will request a stop at Circus Train while teens enjoy dining at Mario’s Pizza & Ristorante.  Don’t miss sweet treats at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Gunnison and Crested Butte.

Wallet-Friendly Family Vacations & Deals

When traveling by air to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) on United, Continental and American between December 16, 2010 and April 3, 2011, take advantage of Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Friends and Family Fly Free deal.  Buy two airline tickets and get the third free when staying in CBMR’s lodging properties for at least four nights. The maximum number of free tickets per itinerary is three (for a booking of nine tickets), and the maximum travel credit is $400 per free airline ticket.  There are no blackout dates, but the offer is based on availability and can end at any time. This deal cannot be combined with any other offers and is valid only on new reservations.

From Jan. 5 – Feb. 16 and Feb. 27 – March 10, 2011, Kids Fly Free on American Airlines when flying with a parent to GUC.  The child must be age 12 or under, and his or her birthday is required in order to confirm the reservation. The adult purchasing the full-fare airline ticket is responsible for all taxes, fees and charges for the child’s airline ticket. This offer is subject to availability, and all travel (inbound or outbound) must be completed on or by March 10, 2011.  Inbound travel from origin to Gunnison must commence between Sundays – Wednesdays; outbound travel from Gunnison to origin must commence between Mondays – Fridays.  The minimum length of stay is two nights, and the maximum length of stay is 30 nights. Other restrictions may apply.  For both Fly Free deals visit www.skicb.com and call Crested Butte Vacations to book at (800) 810-7669.

Black Tie Ski Rentals of Crested Butte not only comes to where you are staying and custom fits equipment and picks it up when you are done, they are offering a Kids Rent Free special.  With every paying adult (minimum two-day rental), one child age 12 and under rents for free.  This deal is subject to availability.  Call (970) 349-0722 or (888) 349-0722 or visit www.blacktieskis.com.

Vacation Packages & Visitor Information

To find out more, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free number (800) 814-8893 or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com.  Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbtaor follow on www.twitter.com/gcbta.  The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport in Gunnison is served year-round by United Airlines and during the winter season by American Airlines and Continental Airlines.

About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado

Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado.  Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.  Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities.  In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding.  Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields.  Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.  Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.  Marbleis located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country.Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks.  Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte.  Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

For more Colorado and ski destination features, www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

Kids Fly Free to Telluride this Winter

January 5, 2011

Telluride Central Reservations is welcoming 2011 with a “kids fly free” deal on select American Airlines flights. Pair with Telluride’s $89 Stay and Ski package and be the family hero.

Planning a trip without the kids? Save $100 per ticket booked on select American Airlines flights through April 2. That means airfare can start as low as $148 from Chicago (plus tax and fees) or $246 from New York City (via Chicago, plus tax and fees), making a Telluride getaway even more accessible and affordable this spring.

Kids Fly Free: Make it a family affair in Telluride this winter, and take the kids along for free. Kids fly free on select American Airlines flights from January 5 – February 11, 2011.

  • Promotion applies to inbound travel on: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
  • Promotion applies to outbound travel on: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Children 2–12 years of age fly free. One child free for each adult fare paying ticket. Ages 13 and over will be considered an adult and will pay the applicable adult fare.
  • Minimum Stay: 2 nights
  • Valid Dates: January 5, 2011-February 11
  • More Details: Book by January 26, 2011
  • The “Kids Fly Free” promotion is available only by calling Telluride Central Reservations (not bookable online): 1-888-605-2578.

$100 Off American Airlines Flights: Receive $100 off select American Airlines flights from or via Chicago on Saturdays for travel from January 1, 2011 – April 2, 2011. This offer is valid for the first 100 tickets purchased.

  • Terms & Conditions:
  • Book by January 31, 2011
  • Valid for travel from January 1, 2011 – April 2, 2011
  • Valid for the first 100 tickets purchased
  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • Promotion valid for flights from or via Chicago (ORD) to Montrose (MTJ) that leave or return on a Saturday
  • Not valid with other air promotions
  • The “$100 Off American Airlines Flights” promotion is available only by calling Telluride Central Reservations (not bookable online): 1-888-605-2578.

Telluride Central Reservations has Stay & Ski packages from $89 per person per night. Enjoy three days of skiing the legendary terrain of Telluride Ski Resort and stay for five nights in one of the many properties in the Telluride Central Reservations’ portfolio. 888-605-2578,  www.visittelluride.com

For more information about Telluride, visit www.visittelluride.com, or go to Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitTelluride.

For more ski destination stories, visit www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

 

JANUARY IS LEARN-TO-SKI MONTH AT NEW HAMPSHIRE SKI AREAS

December 18, 2010
Waterville Valley, NH

Waterville Valley is one of the 37 Ski New Hampshire resorts offering Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month programs in January © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During the month of January, Ski New Hampshire and its 37 member resorts will participate in a national program to introduce guests to the sports of skiing and snowboarding.  Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month is a program taking place across the United States that features special offers making it easy and affordable for people to learn to ski, snowboard, cross country ski or snowshoe, and for current skiers & snowboarders to enhance their skills by taking lessons from professional instructors.

Among the special offers being featured in New Hampshire is Learn to Ski & Ride Free Week from January 3-9. 2011.  During this week, 14 NH ski areas will be offering a limited number of free learn to ski or snowboard packages.  These packages include a free beginner lesson, free equipment rentals, and a free beginner lift ticket or trail pass to those who register in advance.  Participants must visit http://www.SkiNH.com/JanLearnToSki to register and download a Learn to Ski or Ride Free Coupon; they then contact one of the 14 participating areas to make a reservation for a specific day that week.  Participating alpine areas include Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain, Cannon Mountain, Waterville Valley, Wildcat Mountain, Cranmore, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Pats Peak, Ragged Mountain, King Pine and Black Mountain; participating cross country areas include Great Glen Trails, Purity Spring Resort XC & Snowshoe Reserve, Dartmouth Cross Country Ski Center and Sunset Hill Nordic Center.

Every day of the ski season, New Hampshire’s ski areas already offer specially-designed learn to ski and ride programs to introduce new people to the sport. In addition to these learn to ski and ride packages, there will be many other special programs offered during January that normally are not available.

Among these offerings, guests will find savings on lift tickets for those who bring a friend to try the sport, special pricing on learn to ski or ride packages, and follow-up rewards for first timers who choose to hit the slopes or trails again.  Guests can visit SkiNH.com’s January Learn to Ski page for full details & offers at SkiNH.com/JanLearnToSki.

Visitors to SkiNH.com can also enter to win a learn to ski or snowboard weekend for two.  The grand prize includes two days of beginner lessons at King Pine and two nights’ accommodations at Purity Spring Resort in East Madison.  The second place prize includes two days of beginner lessons at Gunstock Mountain Resort and one night’s accommodations. Third place prizes include learn to ski or snowboard packages from Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Cranmore Mountain, Granite Gorge and Pats Peak, with other areas expected to contribute even more in the upcoming weeks.  The contest runs from January 1-31 and winners will be notified the first week of February.

Nationally the program is being promoted by Glen Plake, Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month’s official spokesperson.  Plake, with his infamous mohawk, is one of the world’s most recognized skiers and ambassadors of the sport.

“For some good, healthy exercise, skiing and snowboarding are a great incentive to get outside and enjoy winter with family and friends,” said Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH.  “As our slogan says, ‘Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate.'”

To learn more about Ski NH’s Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month events and New Hampshire’s 37 downhill and cross country resorts, visit www.SkiNH.com.

Ski NH is the statewide association representing 37 alpine and cross country resorts and more than 200 lodging and guest service properties in New Hampshire.  For more information on ski areas, lodging packages, and updated winter events at Ski NH resorts, call Ski NH at (800) 88-SKI-NH (800-887-5464) or visit the Ski NH website at www.SkiNH.com.

For feature stories on destination ski resorts, visit www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers 10 Tips for Trouble-Free Family Ski Trips

December 9, 2010

Crested Butte Mountain Resort's vacation experts have pulled together top family ski travel tips (photo courtesy of CMBR).

Family travel can be challenging and ski trips in particular, can be daunting because they require preparing for weather, multiple activities, logistics of getting kids dressed and to ski school on time. But there are ways to avoid the most likely derailments. Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s (CBMR) Vacation Experts have pulled together top family ski travel tips, highlighting ten ways to save money and maximize enjoyment this season – no matter the ski resort destination.

1. Pre-Book. Not just for flights and lodging anymore, pre-booking most trip details before arrival can save headaches at the rental shop, and certain disappointment at restaurants during peak periods and at ski and snowboard school year-round. It is also a good idea to pre-book activities as space is generally limited for outings such as snowmobile tours and dog sledding excursions. To help with this daunting task most resorts offer an information center or a resort concierge program designed to help guests make the most of their vacation – from booking logistical trip components to the fun stuff. These staffers know the area like the backs of their hands. They generally know hotel general managers, tour operators and restaurant owners personally and that can be key to a great experience and to snagging a table at the newest, hippest restaurant in town on the busiest night of the week. Crested Butte Vacations makes planning and executing a Crested Butte family ski trip – from flights to fondue – a breeze. To book a Crested Butte vacation with all the trimmings, call 800-600-2803 or visit www.skicb.com.

2. Do Some Research or Contact a Travel Agent. Resorts across the globe post a variety of specials and packages designed to entice skiers and riders. A little research can unveil a bounty of offers that will make a family ski trip a bit more affordable, such as Colorado Ski Country USA’s (CSCUSA) 5th & 6th Grade Passport Programs – free skiing at member resorts for fifth and six graders (http://www.coloradoski.com/Passes/PassportProgram/), or CBMR’s Parents Ski Free offer – one free adult single-day lift ticket with the purchase of a multi-day child or young adult lift ticket (http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/butte-specials.aspx?mode=detail&id=parents). No time for research? Ask an expert. A Travel Agent can be a valuable resource for traveling families. In addition to help with general booking needs, utilizing an Agent can mean the difference between a trip to remember and a trip everyone would like to forget. Travel Agents help with changed or cancelled flights, lodging recommendations and can even offer personal insight on renting a car versus using public transportation.

3. Ski-in/Ski-out. Resorts make it easy to get into town from the mountain (if it’s not in the same location), however traveling to the resort during morning “ski rush hour” can test anyone’s nerves – especially on a powder day. Solution? Book ski-in/ski-out lodging. Ski-in/ski-out lodging may be a bit pricier but it will make the morning rush a piece of cake and the kids will remember it forever. Getting the gaggle off to ski school on time will be no problem if lodging is located at the base of the mountain, where ski instructors meet students. And, if someone forgets a glove, goggles, lip balm, snack, or just a little break in the action, “home” is just a few steps away. With only one base area at CBMR, ski-in/ski-out options also mean problem-free meeting arrangements post-run or post-ski day. The resort offers a free shuttle to the Town of Crested Butte (just three miles away), which means no parking woes and a fun ride for everyone (Crested Butte’s buses are decorated by artists so each is unique, upping the fun-factor). For information about ski-in/ski-out lodging options and vacation reservations visit www.skicb.com or call 800-600-2803.

4. Reserve a Condo or Private Home. One of the best ways to save and create a comfortable home-away-from-home-base is to rent a condo. Better yet, rent a large condo or a multi-bedroom home with extended family or close friends (and take advantage of CBMR’s Friends & Family Fly Free offer at the same time: http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/butte-specials.aspx?mode=detail&id=test1). The option affords a full kitchen so meals are a refrigerator away, keeping little tummies full and saving valuable dollars for a special evening out or additional activities. Plus, everyone gets a little space (separate bedrooms, personal baths, etc.). Book lodging and lift tickets and discover some of the best rates of the season at any CBMR property with the resort’s Stay & Ski packages. Pricing starts at $110 per person, per night, and guests realize a savings of up to 15 percent off standard lodging rates and up to 20 percent off window lift ticket rates. Available while supplies last. Call 800-600-2803 or visit www.skicb.com for information or reservations.

5. Pack Smart. The condo has been rented, airline tickets booked and anticipation is building. Now it’s time to pack, a daunting task to be sure. Not to worry, CBMR’s Vacation Experts can help. Most importantly, bring layers – for everyone. Although that condo or private home rental will have a washer/dryer, no one wants to be doing laundry all day or night on a ski vacation. Include several pairs of long underwear – tops and bottoms – and socks, which will need to be washed after each use. Also include fewer, heavier fleece tops or warmer layers that won’t need to be laundered after every wear. One coat and one or two pairs of ski pants to interchange during the trip should round out ski wear needs. For evenings on the town, jeans are the norm. And, CBMR boasts a variety of retail options to assist with forgotten items or “that certain something” (http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/info/things-to-do/shopping-mtcb.aspx). In addition, pack only supplies needed for travel days and anything that cannot be purchased at the destination. Check options for shopping (groceries, supplies, etc.) prior to arrival in case the best stores are near the airport, versus in town (a great question for the resort concierge or Travel Agent).

6. Rent Equipment. As a continuation of the “Pack Smart” tip, don’t pack equipment. It adds bulk, baggage and one more thing to lose en route – especially with sets for each family member. With the quality of equipment stocked at most reputable ski and snowboard shops, there’s no need to lug gear. Opt for a demo package and test different skis, boards and boots daily. Guests who are attached to their equipment should bring boots only. The performance packages at ski and snowboard shops feature excellent options whether riding two planks or just one. Check on-line for pre-booking opportunities at the local rental shop. Visit http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/mountain/equipment-rentals.aspx for information on equipment packages and early rental reservations at CBMR.

7. Don’t Over-Book. This is hazardous for both the kids and the adults. To avoid meltdowns from either age group, check out the destination’s events calendar and research activity options prior to travel. Select three potential options for each day of the trip and let the family select one for each day…and then be flexible. The daily option selected by the family should be the first priority. The rest of the day can fall into place around that activity. And, make sure to accommodate everyone’s first choice at some point during the trip. The resort concierge can help with activity and event options and with booking. CBMR’s resort concierge can be reached at 800-600-2803.

8. Take a Lesson. For those who have never seen snow, been on skis or snowboard, or were once subjected to tips from a significant other or well-intentioned parent, take a “learn to” lesson. Most resorts offer a learn-to-ski or -ride option and they generally include lesson, lift tickets, and sometimes even rentals. The learning curve is shorter and the time spent honing new skills is much more enjoyable. Note: January is “learn-to-ski” month in Colorado. Know how to ski or ride? Wondering why anyone would suggest taking a lesson now? First and foremost, instructors are the best mountain guides and they love to share secrets for making the most of a ski day. Taking a lesson also allows access to the coveted “ski school lane” at the lift maze. Beware: the experience is addictive. CBMR offers private lessons, child and adult group lessons and a variety of special ski camps, including the Beginner Adventure Lesson: special full-day lesson-and-lift packages geared toward aspiring skiers and snowboarders, age 18 and over. And, anyone can save five percent with early on-line booking by reserving space for a Beginner Adventure Lesson at least seven days in advance at http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/mountain/adult-group-lessons.aspx.

9. Take a “Rest Day.” By day-four everyone will need a break from the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. slope sliding extravaganza that is the mission of most ski vacationers. It may be the only family ski trip of the year, and getting in full days may be important to all, but more fun will be had on rested legs (and mental wellbeing) than on an exhausted – and sore – rear end. Plan a fun, less physically-demanding activity away from the slopes. Try snowmobiling, dog sledding or horseback riding. Check out the local museum, or the local shops. Enjoy a long, leisurely breakfast, attack a puzzle or bake cookies. Explore a nearby town, meet the locals, take a nap. Try a sleigh ride or learn to drive a snowcat (CBMR introduces the Snowcat Driving Experience: http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/info/things-to-do/snowcat.aspx). No matter the destination, alternatives to skiing and riding are abundant. If all else fails, build a snowman or a snow fort and go sledding. Let the kids take the lead and enjoy following along.

10. Let Kids Be Kids. Any ski destination provides a great environment to let kids have a little freedom. This works especially well with tweens and teens. Let them explore town on their own and encourage them to choose activities for the family to try – or maybe they’d like to test a skill by themselves. Many resorts have activity centers at the base of the mountain, like CBMR’s Adventure Park (http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/info/things-to-do/adventure-park-winter.aspx). Kids can move between base area lodging and the Adventure Park with ease, sampling ice skating, rock climbing, lift-served tubing and bungee trampolines. CBMR also boasts the Trailhead Children’s Museum in the base area, which features playful adventure, art, science and discovery for young children and parents (http://www.skicb.com/cbmr/info/things-to-do/summer-trailhead.aspx). The experience and the thrill of independence will make heroes of parents and wonderful memories for everyone.

Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte is committed to preserving the pristine landscape and mountain lifestyle. With vibrant Victorian store-fronts and expressive local characters, the small historic town remains true to its heritage and radiates an unparalleled welcoming and inviting spirit that celebrates a simpler life and time. Thanks to a widely diverse landscape, whether beginner or burgeoning national champion, outdoor enthusiasts of all levels will find a new challenge with each visit. From world-class mountain biking, to legendary skiing and snowboarding, to a secluded fly-fishing experience, Crested Butte is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. This season, Crested Butte celebrates 50 years of skiing and riding with a year-long celebration, Crested Butte-style. www.skicb.com

For more information about Crested Butte’s lodging, conference, meeting facilities, and special packages, call Crested Butte Vacations, (800) 600-2803 or visit the web site at www.skicb.com. For information on ski area real estate opportunities call (970) 349-4999 or (877) 805-6109 or visit the website at www.cbliving.com.

For more family ski destination stories, go to www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate