Snowshoe vs. Winter Park Co
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Steve
August 22, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
My wife and I were planning a trip to Snowshoe over MLK weekend. By the time we were done looking, the lodging will cost between $1800 and $2400 (4 nights). It almost looks like I could book a trip to CO for about the same money. Airfare is $230 each, nightly rate near the mountain about $300 a night. Am I missing something? Winter Park doesn't have night skiing, but it does have a lot of variety and a lot of snow.

If we do go to Snowshoe, is it worth staying near the village? Is Expedition REALLY worth $600 more than Mountain Lodge? Is ML a dump?

I've wanted to do Snowshoe for some time, but is it worth twice the money of Wisp or TL?

Your comments appreciated.

Steve
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
August 23, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,098 posts
Steve,
I will not even try to compare a trip to Snowshoe vs Winter Park, but as for the Shoe...
I have stayed at most of the top of the mountain lodging. I have found nothing wrong with Mountain Lodge. No it is not Allegheney Lodge, but a Holiday inn is also not the Ritz. You are obviously picking a very crowded weekend to go skiing, especially here in the East. You will enjoy the Shoe, perhaps even get in more hours of skiing than in Colorado since you do not need to spend as much travel time.
More later.
The Colonel \:\)
kwillg6
August 23, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
Steve,
As a long time skier in the east, I can say without a doubt that Holiday weekends present crowds.... lots of them. The shoe draws a lot of their skiers on such weekends from the south for obvious reasons. If you are looking at a quality experience, go west! If you are looking for a frustrating time, liftlines, crowds, ski on holiday weekends in the east. I used to work ski school at the shoe. I love the mountain and the people there. However, on that weekend the crowds are usually at their peak. I ski t-line on a regular basis for one reason, quality of terrain. Wisp, although not as much advanced terrain, has a spread out trail system. However, as with the shoe, that weekend draws the largest crowd of the season. I can't tell you one way or the other, but if more time on snow and less travel is important, look to t-line or wisp. I recommend the shoe in March. Fewer crowds, better snow, and cheaper rates.
Roger Z
August 23, 2007
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Steve-

If you fly Frontier, you should be able to get half off your first day's lift ticket when you present your flight ticket voucher. You'll have to check if they're running that program again this year, but they did last year and it was sweet (though, admittedly, I never took advantage of it- went to Wolf Creek instead).

Winter Park- fantastic mogul skiing, good bowl skiing when it's open. The one downside is long traverses between the various mountain peaks. The upside- you can almost guarantee an empty lift SOMEWHERE on the mountain.

Seriously, if you're going to pay the same price on an east or west coast trip, and you don't have kids or worries about the hassles of travelling, then it's a no brainer. Go west, young man!
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 23, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,698 posts
Good advice from others, particularly about Snowshoe in March.
I'd be curious to see what you'd get if you tried pricing out a stay at Blue Knob, PA over the same MLK weekend at their mountaintop condos. Not the same après ski atmosphere, but with a little help from Mother Nature there is some challenging skiing and far smaller crowds than many other places.

Also, what are your priorities; the date, the locality, the amenities, the skiing, the costs, etc.?
Steve
August 23, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Arrgh, you guys are making it hard. The MLK weekend is a 4 day weekend for my son (Senior in HS) so its a natural to try a little longer car trip for that weekend. We have reservations at Wisp for President's Day, in fact I've never skied there when it wasn't President's Day, so I have no idea what its like when not crowded. Priorities include the date, the skiing, apres-ski and things to do during the day for my wife, but cost always plays a part.

My wife was saying we should go in March, but that would be the third week and the weather gets iffy. I think they closed 4/1 this spring.

If Mountain Lodge is not a roach pit we may give it a try. I've suggested Silver Creek but my wife wants to be more centrally located since she doesn't ski and wants to be able to wander while we're on the slopes.

I did a short trip to Winter Park last March. A friend has a condo near there and for just me I could stay free. Tickets are discounted to Season Pass holders, about $25 off I think. Only downside, the lifts close at 3:00 and I'm not an early riser. Also, if we go to CO, I may not be able to bring a companion for my son and I don't want to spend time in the Terrain Park.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 23, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,698 posts
Sounds like you've done your homework and Snowshoe is probably a good fit. I'm curious about those 3 new advanced trails they will open this season. If it's crowded you can always ski the Silver Creek section. Blue Knob is not the best place to bring a non-skier.
Wintergreen is another possible mid-Atlantic option for your group in case its location is convenient; probably about same crowds and costs though.
If you are an extra crazy road warrior you could drive up to Stowe for a long weekend.
DWW
August 23, 2007
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
144 posts
SS is real jewel on weekdays, late season, and most non-holiday weekends. Even so, it is still apples-oranges vs. Winter Park. They are different experiences - I like them both. As for MLK and Prez Day - I personally avoid them like the plague - especially with kids. The rates on those weekends are the highest of the year, and the resort will likely at/beyond full capacity.
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
August 23, 2007
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
832 posts
I am sorry, but dude, it is not even close. go, go, go west.

even with kids, go west.

ps: if wp is still too crowded, then loveland is a short drive and in the same league.

pps: i can't believe this is even being discussed.

ppps: even at the same price i like tline better than shoe, i'm a feel sort of guy. but its never the same price.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
August 23, 2007
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,837 posts
Now you see why I can never justify paying lodging rates anywhere in the mid-Atlantic. If it cost the same, head west if airfare is the killer drive a few hours more and ski VT.
snowcone
August 23, 2007
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
By all means go West! And you might want to think about going all-l-l the way west to Lake Tahoe. Southwest flies to Reno and there are shuttles between Reno and Tahoe. The casinos have cheap lodging rates and the accommodations are quite nice. Eat at the casino buffets for good food are reasonable rates. AND ... March skiing is usually terrific.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
August 23, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,098 posts
Steve,
Frankly, anywhere in the east, and much of the west, will have large crowds MLK weekend.
As I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with the Mountain Lodge at the Shoe and it is close to the Village center and pool. If your wife wants to wander, staying at Silver Creek means a free bus ride over to the Village.
Another option might be UTAH. You can leave Wash early morning for Salt Lake City and get there in time to ski most of the afternoon (need a direct flight). You can stay in the city fairly inexpensively giving your wife lots of options, and take the city buss to the slopes, or rent a car. Returning you can leave as late as 4:30 and on a direct flight back returning before midnight.
Otherwise, enjoy the Shoe. My personal opinio is that going to ski Colorado when you have very limited time available is a poor choice since the travel from Denver to the slopes can take a while, especially in snow or on a holiday. And you have to leave early to get back to DIA, especially if snow is in the forecast... you never can count on the traffic on I70.
Whatever,enjoy and have fun.
The Colonel \:\)
JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 24, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,698 posts
Did you see this article on DCSki last March? Has some good commentary on pros/cons of short ski trips to CO: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=999&mode=headlines
kwillg6
August 24, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
Since your son is into boarding and since the shoe has one of the better terrain areas in the mid-atlantic, this is a no brainer. My only problem would be the crowds, liftlines, and hordes of never-evers bombing their way down the basin side of the shoe. I always had a routine to avoid the crowds there on crowded weekends and was able to get in a number of runs. PM me and I'll share my experiences of what worked and didn't work. Or there is silver creek where there's never a line and the skiing is very good for intermediates. You didn't mention you or your son's ability on boards. That will have a real impact on the quality of skiing you will get at the shoe. The spouse, if a non skier, would have some shopping in the village, and then could spa as well. Reservations for dinner will be a must. Anything else I forgot? Oh, yeah... the shoe is usually one BIG party on holiday weekends and you don't want snow prior to arrival becuz the drive up on white roads is, in a word, interesting.
jimmy
August 24, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
, or.....depending on where ur coming from, you might consider seven springs. Prolly cheaper than snowshoe, definitly more to do for your spouse and imo the crowds are much easier to deal with there than they are at snowshoe.
Steve
August 24, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Guys,

Thanks for all the replies.

I would like to hit 7S at some point. We tried to go last year but ended up at TLine MLK weekend for a lot less. However, my TLine comments were made last year and I won't go back until I've tried some of the other local resorts. MLK weekend was just after the weather turned cold and TLine was not fully open.

CO looks very interesting, but I'm trying to get another invite from my buddy for a long stag weekend in Dec. Or we may take the family in March although prices go UP in March because of spring break. Vermont/NY/NH is also an option in March when we have a week of spring break.

With the airline hubs in Denver, ticket prices are pretty low. There seems to be a lot of budget accommodations as well, about $200/$300 per night for a 2br/2ba condo on the free shuttle route.

However, I think we will bite the bullet and go for SS. It appeals to me in part because so much of its runs are green and blue. I'm 50 but this is only my third season, so I'm still trying to move on to more advanced terrain. As for the kids, I once asked "Do you go down the Black Diamonds?". "Dad, we don't look at the signs" was the reply.

Steve
Ullr
August 24, 2007
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
I would not call the Mountain Lodge a roach pit, but I personally don't like it. The bedroom is right in the front with a window that faces the hallway. It feels like every drunk at 2am is walking right through your bedroom.

I'll put in my 2 cents, GO WEST!
kwillg6
August 27, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
If a room is all you want at the shoe, my preference is Whistlepunk. They're convenient, not overpriced, and the spa is great, unless they have changed things over the past several years. \:\)
Steve
August 28, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
Whistlepunk is where were headed. Although at $2100 for 4 nights, I'm not sure "not overpriced" is the right description.

We're really looking forward to it. My buddy came thru and invited me to Winter Park in Dec, so I get the best of both worlds.

Now I just have to wait till winter.

Steve
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
August 28, 2007
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
832 posts
ok, even though i know you are going holiday wkend, that still just freakin amazes me. last year in between mlk and pres.day we paid $1100 for a really great 2br condo in walking distance at keystone - for an entire week. it snowed every day and not one serious lift line.


just curious - why are you going over mlk ?

good news on winter park - the best way to go!
Steve
August 28, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
just curious - why are you going over mlk ?

Because my son has a 4 day weekend. So the extra drive (5.5 - 6.5 hrs?)becomes a little more worth it for 3 days of skiing.

Steve
tromano
August 28, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Threads like this are why I never went to snowshoe.
kwillg6
August 29, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
GASP!!! $2100????? I didn't realize that they had jacked the rates so much, but it is high season and a holiday weekend... At one time Whistlepunk was not owned by the mountain. I don't know if that's still the case. Are you renting one of the fully equiped units?
Ullr
August 29, 2007
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Did you ever think of staying in Cass? I have heard it is really cheap. They all you have to worry about is the $70 lift tickets and $6 hot dogs!!!!!!!
Steve
August 29, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
 Originally Posted By: Ullr
Did you ever think of staying in Cass? I have heard it is really cheap. They all you have to worry about is the $70 lift tickets and $6 hot dogs!!!!!!!


$6 hot dogs? At a ski resort? How much is a beer? That could really add up!

What is Cass?
kwillg6
August 30, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
There are two types of beer at the shoe. Happy hour beer and dinner beer. Happy hour beer is cheaper, relatively speaking. Dinner beer costs $$$ Best to bring your own. And Cass is an option if you don't mind giving up the convenience of being in the resort. A lot of regulars stay off mountain because it is a lot less expensive, but you have to have a "lay of the land" to know where to get you digs for the night.
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
August 30, 2007
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
832 posts
$149/nt. http://www.brazenheadinn.com/rates.htm

add pbj, chips, and 2 cases beer and you are good to go.

...of course you lose out on rock pools and fake bars....

-- did that $2100 include four 4-day lift tickets ?

JimK - DCSki Columnist
August 30, 2007
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,698 posts
Steve, have you ever used http://www.vrbo.com for condo rentals by owners? I wonder what it would turn up for that weekend on the mtn at Snowshoe?
Steve
August 30, 2007
Member since 02/15/2006 🔗
160 posts
 Originally Posted By: JimK
Steve, have you ever used http://www.vrbo.com for condo rentals by owners? I wonder what it would turn up for that weekend on the mtn at Snowshoe?


Jim,

We looked at VRBO and several other sites. No the $2100 doesn't include lift tickets. Hence the whole point of this thread. If I could get my wife on a plane this would have been easier.

The condo we ended up with was through Snowshoe Rental Properties, not the resort itself. The resort was about $500 higher. I asked for a quote at Soaring Eagle and it was over $3000.

For some reason, when you move from a 1 bedroom or studio to a 2 br/2ba the prices really jumped. You could get a JR studio at Exhibition for less than $1000 but we will be traveling with friends of my son and needed more privacy (and more bathrooms).

I imagine that after we have been there once, the village will not need to be so close, but you just don't know what you don't know. There were some nice cheaper townhouses at Silver Creek as well and a lot of cheaper places that were rated Bronze.

Snowshoe is pretty self contained unlike a lot of other resorts, so staying off mountain didn't appeal.

Steve
SCWVA
August 30, 2007
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Steve,

Head north. Ski Okemo in Vt. Better ski-in/out lodging for less $. Plus it blows SS away as far as terrain and snow goes. I've found that it's well worth the couple extra hours worth of driving.

For almost 20yrs, I've skied Snowshoe 5-10 times a year. Last year I didn't ski there at all.
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
August 30, 2007
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
832 posts
RE: If I could get my wife on a plane this would have been easier.

Ah ha! the truth is out.

I found that booze and ambien worked well in that same situation.
Teledave
August 30, 2007
Member since 08/29/2007 🔗
1 posts
I hate to make a negative comment on my first ever post here; but here we go.

Snowshoe Sucks! (even at a quarter of the price you are paying) I can't even beleive this question has been debated it's a no brainer, just go somewhere else, you can go just about anywhere else if you're talking about dropping two large for the trip.
fishnski
August 30, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
The most frusterating thing for me whenever this annual "Snowshoe vs out west" thread comes up is the fact that SS would be ranked 4th or 5th out of the 5 best potential & up & running(if run properly) ski areas available in WV!...BRING ON ALMOST HEAVEN WV!!......I have always got a great deal at SS...but then again its just me & the wife so maybe we can negotiate some good deals at the smaller places. I always ask if there are any Codes or promotions that i should know about Ect....One time a lady at Silver Ck got $200 off of her stay when she stormed off to the front desk after i told her what my Pkg was.
SS is a Dream for the southern folk who don't get out in a true Alpine envirement very often. Families who really don't have that much skiing under their belt think the place is as huge as it is Beautiful. If it wasn't for its remoteness, which by the way is part of SS"s charm, DC skiers would rank it higher.Most folks are happy to be there ..once the long haul is over!
MPC,tory & a Timberline with a 100 mill pumped into it(& the next mtn over that was supposed to link with TL)& Canaan with some more big bucks & a redesign along with H2 corr would keep a lot of local folks local....Be nice to see WV's full potential as a ski State!..Long live the Allps!
kwillg6
August 31, 2007
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,022 posts
I agree with the potential of the shoe. I have always enjoyed it as an alternative to travel time, however, interwest is trying to recoup some of the bucks it's put into the infrastructure with the prices it charges. Funny thing about the shoe, they don't market very heavy in the DC/Balt area. Their marketing efforts go to the southern states with their "Big Mountain appeal" in a reasonable drive. As an instructor there in the 90s, I taught more lessons to folks from GA, SC, NC, TN, KY, AL, FL, and occasionally IN, and IL than to folks from the mid-atlantic states. I was drawn to the shoe originally because of it's snow quality which is due in part to elevation and those wonderful lake effect storms. A single winter cold front can dump over a foot on fresh, especially in the basin. Lower cupp usually doesn't get the same due to the lower altitude. Also, the shoe is located at the very southern point of the WV highlands (Alpps). You have to look at the 5 to 6k elevations in NC to see significant lake effects anywhere further south. However, I have since left the glitz and the high speed lifts for a simpler life. At t-line I can ski glades of my choice (or making) and drink my favorite inexpensive micro brew served by a local whom I know.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
August 31, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,098 posts
Teledave,
Normally I would be saying "Welcome", etc. But for some reason your post bothered me. There is no need to be relatively vulgar and so negative in your first post. Saying that the Shoe s... offers Steve or any of the rest of us insight into your reasons for disliking the Shoe. And hopefully you won't bore me with the reasons in reply. Steve has explained his rationale for going to Snowshoe on MLK weekend. He is prepared for the crowds and willing to drop the big bucks to get what he wants for his family that weekend. We should all help by telling him where to eat, what is fun to do, how to get the most for your bucks by skiing at Silver Creek or the Western Territory when the crowds are worse and what time they can be expected to be bad. He is asking for our help, not for lots of negatives.
Be positive and proactive and you will be welcomed by all the rest of the DCSkiers.
The Colonel \:\)
Ullr
September 1, 2007
Member since 11/27/2004 🔗
531 posts
Don't worry, I'll give a big welcome to the legendary Teledave, from skinc and the former weather.com ski message board! I have not heard from you in a while! Dave is a true skier, and it is unfortunate that his first post bothered you so much, but I can assure you he did not come here to start trouble!

Dave, as you know I am no big fan of the shoe myself, and we have not been back since we sold our property several years ago. I too have gotten in trouble with some here for "bashing" so i have just learned to keep my opinons to myself.

So again, welcome, and please come back often!
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
September 3, 2007
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
832 posts
oh come on, let's welcome Teledave who just could not resist the soft curve of yet another snowshoe debate. In the end, we're all brothers in the snow. Show us some love, Colonel.

I'm hoping TD posts some more.

 Quote:
but I can assure you he did not come here to start trouble!

yeah, but maybe to finish it :-)
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 3, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,098 posts
OK, since he did not go into a defensive mode, "Welcome, Teledave"!
I try to ski many of the local areas each year and appreciate the fact that were it not for Snowshoe, Seven Springs, and other big areas with the money to make multiple improvements over the years, and thus push the other local areas to improve simply to survive, the level of skiing we enjoy in the mid-Atlantic would not be as good as it is today, well, maybe a winter day. Last year I managed to get over 20 days in at Snowshoe, Seven Springs, Wisp, Whitetail and Wintergreen.
Again, Welcome Teledave!
The Colonel \:\)
tromano
September 6, 2007
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Welcome Teledave. I pretty much agree with you but I speak form ignorance because I have never actually been to snowshoe. I am always surprised that so many people from DC ski at SS. Its jsut way too far from DC. The only times I was tempted to go to the shoe were times when they were the only thing open and I didn't want to drive to VT or fly somewhere.
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