A Brave Ski Mom Interview With Joel Schaefer, A Brave Ski Dad from Grand Junction, Colorado
I love Telluride.
Why is this resort your favorite? Please be specific about what makes this resort stand out from all the others. Is it the terrain, ski school, childrens’ center, food, parking, base amenities, lodging, community, etc?
Location. It is not only spectacular from the ground and the top of the mountain, but its remoteness makes it a joy to ski from a waiting point of view. I skied last year on December 27th and did not wait in a line. You will not find that at many resorts.
Hike-to-terrain. The recent expansions open a huge amount of new hike-to terrain. I love the hikes because several days after a storm you can still find some fresh snow.
What are the best amenities at Telluride for family skiing? Why are these the best?
Lift 10. As a parent of a 2- and 4-year-old, Lift 10 is the perfect place to take the kids to ski. There are wide groomed blue and green runs with no expert skiers blazing through at breakneck speeds.
Excellent ski school. Not just baby sitting.
What needs to be improved at this resort to make it even better for family skiing? Why?
Telluride is hard to get to for non-Western Slopers (those of us Coloradans who live west of the Continental Divide).
Premium pricing (lodging, food, passes). Telluride does not offer very good “regional” deals.
What makes this resort unique?
Nordic skiing. Top-of-10 and the Valley Floor have groomed skate skiing. You can Nordic ski and easily meet the family for lunch.
Ski in – Ski out parking is available at Mountain Village for $5.00. There is free ski-in/Ski-out parking in town at “CarHenge.” See the Telluride website for more parking information.
What are your favorite places to eat at this resort?
We stay away from the mountain restaurants. They take a long time to get your food ready and cost the same as food at restaurants in Mountain Village or the Town of Telluride. Lunch at 9545 in Mountain Village is great. It is right at the bottom of Lift 4. The food is excellent and they provide you with slippers to shed your ski boots. You may find yourself lingering longer that you should. A burger served to you here is only a couple bucks more than the grill lines on the mountain.
What is your favorite place to stay at this resort?
We are a VRBO.com family. We rent condos or houses mainly in Mountain Village and use the Gondola a lot.
What is your favorite thing about family skiing?
No crowds. There is nothing more stressful than skiing with a small child in a sea of people. Telluride has many wide groomers and few people on them.
The Brave Ski Mom adds…
Here is a link to the ski resort website. Lodging information is available on the ski resort site or from the Telluride Tourism Board at VisitTelluride.com or at Telluride.com. And, as Joel suggested try Vacation Rentals By Owner or VRBO as there are many lovely condos and properties which are part-time vacation rentals.
“Telluride” is divided into two distinct municipalities, with the old mining town of Telluride being in the Valley Floor and connected to the Ski Resort via lifts 7 and 8 and the town of Mountain Village serving as the ski resort base area. Telluride and Mountain Village are connected via a free gondola which runs year-round. You can even bring your dog in the pet cabins (and let me tell you – our dog LOVES riding the gondola! Especially if you are in Telluride in the summer, bring your four-legged friends.)
Both Telluride and Mountain Village offer a wealth of restaurants, lodging, full-service ski shops and other shopping. But they each do have a distinct character. For a family skiing with younger kids, I might be inclined to stay in Mountain Village as it would be easier for mid-morning or mid-afternoon cocoa breaks and naps in the condo. Just a thought….
Current ticket pricing is available on the Telluride website.
If you know you are coming to Telluride this winter and you can firm up your plans by October 29, you can save some money by purchasing a Frequency Pass for the adults and season passes for the kids.
Prices for purchases before October 29, 2010 are: Six-day pass for 2010-2011, $450; 10-day pass, $650 (days do not have to be consecutive); Telluride Card (you may hear it called a T-Card), $80 (which gives you one lift ticket with subsequent days at 20% off the ticket window price). Kids get better breaks. Season passes purchased before October 29, 2010 cost $175 for a 6-12 year-old and $225 for 13-18 year-olds.
Finally, Joel not only knows a lot about skiing at Telluride, but also about mountain biking at Telluride and across Western Colorado (especially in the Fruita and Grand Junction areas). He and a friend have an incredible mountain biking website. It is an awesome resource and if you are a mountain biker, you should really check it out!
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