Here are our top 10 reasons that you should consider spending this winter in the ski resorts of North America

02 Oct 2011 | James
1. The most important reason of all, Great snow reliability – This will be my 18th winter in Colorado since moving here from Europe and the quality and reliability of the snow in the Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountains is second to none. So much so that of all the important matters that concern this small ski holiday and lodging operator, snow conditions is seldom top of the list.

2. Well managed mountain facilities – Many of our guests who have spent time skiing and riding in Europe find the mellow and relaxed way in which people wait in line here for the chairlifts a wonderful tonic to the scrum that is often the experience of lift lines over the pond. No stomping on skis or boards tolerated here! If the well managed lift lines are still too slow for you, join the ‘singles’ line and make up the spare seats on any given chair – when it is busy, all chairs are filled avoiding the annoyance of seeing a chair with only one person on it!

3. It is cheaper here - Whilst it is no secret that getting here from Europe is more expensive, the day to day cost of living when you are here is definitely cheaper than the Alps. I have heard many stories of exorbitant amounts being charged for food and drinks on the mountain and in the resorts of Europe. Whilst I freely admit that there is no substitute for the wonderful rustic restaurants and cuisine of France, Switzerland and Austria, by all accounts it does come at a price.

4. Quality lodging – Like a lot of things here in the USA, the accommodation is bigger. Not a good thing for all things I know, but when it comes to self catered accommodation and luxury catered chalets, the general size of comparable 2 bedroom condo here and in the Alps is quite different.

5. Ski schools that care - Like most things in North America, here the ski and ride schools are driven by a commitment to quality service and a desire to make sure your children are happy. Family winter sport holidays are far from the cheapest vacation option available. So when much of the peace of mind of a parent rests on their children’s enjoyment, knowing that you can leave your child at school in the morning and pick up a happy little person at the end of the day is worth its weight in gold.

6. Grooming - Whilst facial hair is definitely the preserve of many young men in ski resort towns, this is not what I am referencing to. What I am talking about is the corduroy that greets you every morning on the intermediate runs. Skiing and snowboarding is meant to be fun and carving on a well groomed ski run is a feeling that should be available to all.

7. Flexible ski passes – Most resorts offer great flexibility with their lift tickets. One of our favorite features is the non-consecutive lift ticket. You might have seen tickets being referred to as ’6 out of 9 days’. What does this mean? Basically you are buying a 6 day ticket that you have a 9 day period to use it within. Thus allowing you to take a day off to enjoy a snowmobiling excursion or the opportunity to drive your own dog sled team!

8. In bounds off-piste skiing - Ski resorts in North America are set up differently to other parts of the world. Basically the ski resort is roped off by an area boundary and as such anything within this limit is fair game for skiers and riders. The beauty is that this affords us the ability to access some fantastic in bounds terrain that would normally be classified as out of bounds or off piste in many resorts. These open bowls, chutes and couloirs are all serviced by ski patrol and controlled for avalanches, which offers as much peace of mind as possible

9. Equipment rentals - Pure and simple, equipment is changed regularly and in great condition

10. Finally - It is just a whole load of fun
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