MonGoose wrote:My favorite place to ski is A-Basin. I can park for free 50' from the lift, I can afford to eat lunch on the mountain and on a good snow year, the East Wall is incredible. Vail, Beaver Creek, and soon Breckenridge aren't about skiing anymore, that's just the attraction to bring in tourists. Condominiums, restaurants and entertainment are where the money is. I fear the day when A-Basin becomes the next Vail.
Yeah, the problem definitely isn't isolated at Vail these days. For the past four years it has either been A-basin or Loveland for me, though a decade or so ago I was a huge fan of WP, Copper, Keystone, Breck, etc. I like the more down-home feel of A-basin and Loveland, and I'm a huge fan of close parking. But, after four straight years at those two areas, I think I need a change of scenery.
I've become quite disenchanted with many of the resort skiing here in Colorado lately. The areas are getting more crowded and more expensive, and the traffic is worse each successive year. It seems like it was only a few years ago that I was paying around $300 for my multi-mountain season pass to Intrawest or Vail resorts, now it's in the $500 range. Add to that the price of fuel, and skiing has become quite expensive lately!
We're debating whether we'll even buy ski passes this year, or perhaps just spend our time exploring the backcountry. One thing that has come to bother me on a personal note is that I sometimes feel like when I buy a pass I have to spend too much of my time resort skiing to get my money's worth. I know there were a couple of seasons where I bypassed backcountry trips in favor of another resort weekend, and then found myself wishing that I was away from the crowds and annoyances of the ski areas. With the cost of skiing and my busy schedule these days I almost feel like it is hard the justify buying a pass, unless I decide that I want to spend all of my free time at the resorts (which I don't).