A Brave Ski Mom Interview with Heather, 40-something, Colorado native
If you could only ski at one resort this season with your family, which resort would you pick?
For me, Steamboat stands out because of its diversified terrain and community. The ski area has an amazing variety of trails—from groomed to trees to chutes to wide open meadows to bumps—and the ski area is dispersed across several mountains to prevent clogged lift areas. Once you’re up the gondola, stay up on the mountain! The resort provides free parking in the large lower lot & shuttles are easy to board (small hotel-like shuttle buses with low to the ground steps) and we’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes to get to the base or back to the lot. The town is a pretty down-to-earth community with families and schools (translation: you can find places to eat/drink that aren’t just catering to the “spring break” crowd).
What are the best amenities at this resort for family skiing? Why are these the best?
So much variety on the mountain that everyone can truly be happy.
Diverse ski school offerings for all ages & abilities & interests.
Gondola at the base really does move the lift line up and outta there in the morning.
Free rides on the double chair at the base for those just learning to practice, practice, practice.
What needs to be improved at this resort to make it even better for family skiing? Why?
Better pricing/discounts for Colorado residents. Without any competition within 2 hours drive, Steamboat is definitely a destination resort and hasn’t been forced to offer the screaming deals that the Front Range resorts do. It’d be great if they’d offer some kind of discount to Colorado residents……
What “secrets” are you willing to share about this resort?
Hmmmmm….I’m partial to the north side (left as you are facing the mountain). Big Meadow to Flying Z is a hoot and not crowded…..riding Bar UE double chair means you skip the longer lift lines at Four Points or Storm Peak and get to the same terrain…..I could do run after run around there…..Twister, Tornado, etc.
What should other families coming to this resort know before they come?
The ski school requires kids to be 3-1/2 or 4 & potty trained to take part in ski school (which seems to be older than most other Colorado resorts).
Stick to a general “area” once up on the mountain and you’ll be more efficient with your time/number of runs you can get in. Tackle another side of the mountain in the afternoon or the next day.
What are your favorite places to eat at this resort?
On the mountain: Four Points Hut under Storm Peak Express and top of Four Points lift (go for an early lunch & grab soup of the day or a great hot dog, baked goods & hot chocolate—it’s REALLY tiny but you’ll be back on the slopes in no time)
In town: Mambo Italiano
What is your favorite place to stay at this resort?
Aunt Jill & Uncle Jim’s house just an 8 minute drive from the shuttle lots.
What makes this resort unique?
For us, it’s the location (away from the mass of ski resorts located within an hour or so of Denver) and the actual town and its colorful history both as a ranching community and winter sports training ground.
What is your favorite memory of this resort?
Skiing with Roger on “Twilight” & “Shadows” when we were in college….that’s when I really learned what champagne powder was and how to ski it.
What is your favorite thing about family skiing?
The thrill of exploring and ever-changing conditions….watching the boys improve and excel…..and having lots of “stories” to share on the lifts and the end of the day with each other.
The Brave Ski Mom adds….
Thank you Heather!
For lift ticket pricing and other resort information, click here.
Our family has had good luck staying on the mountain at the Bear Claw Condominiums.
Also, my boys and I did a spring break trip one year when dad couldn’t go and stayed at the Rabbit Ears Motel. Since there were only three of us, and the boys were small, we shared a small room. We could never fit into that room now! I understand there are larger rooms – just ask! A basic breakfast is included, the bus stops right there and the motel has the COOLEST neon sign in Colorado.
Here is a link to Steamboat-dining.com. It has information on Mambo Italiano as well as other restaurants.
One more tip: don’t miss the Hot Springs pool!
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