By Kristen Lummis, www.braveskimom.com
The sun is higher, the air is warmer, the days are longer and in the Colorado mountains, the snow is soft and the skiing is divine. “Wait!” you say. “Slow down. We haven’t even gotten to winter!”
You’re right. But when it comes to planning a Colorado Spring Break trip, there is no time like the present.
Ancient Romans knew it as carpe diem, or seize the day, but we’re calling it carpe skiem and giving you six good reasons to start your planning now.
- Good Deals. When you plan ahead and book early, you save money.
Right now, if you book a minimum three-night stay at Copper Mountain you’ll receive up to 33% off of lodging. Book before November 9 and they sweeten the deal with a free ½ day of skiing on the day of your arrival or departure. Similar discounts apply to rental packages, Woodward Freestyle Lessons and more.
November 9 is the last day to book a Spur on Winter package at Steamboat. Receive a 20% discount on lift tickets and lodging, plus a $50 resort credit. This deal is valid all season (with a 10% discount over the holidays), including all of March through closing day in April.
Winter Park also has early reservation discounts. Book a three-night minimum stay before December 1 and save up to 35% per night throughout the season. The savings is a bit less during March, but still a great deal. Most other Colorado resorts, big and small, have similar deals on everything from lodging to lessons to spa treatments. Check their websites for all the details.
Or give them a call. Many resorts have telephone concierges who can help you plan all the details, and find all the discounts, on everything from rooms and condos to rentals and lessons. If you call Arapahoe Basin, you can even reserve one of 10 tailgating spots on their famous Beach. All the rest are first-come, first served.
- More Options. In addition to locking in savings, planning ahead gives you more options. This is especially important if you’re booking for a large group, say college spring break, and need multiple rooms or condos in one spot.
The same is true for families. Right now, while most people are thinking about pumpkins and turkey, you can find the lodging of your dreams, in the location you want, at a savings.
You know that saying about early birds? It’s true, only in this case, you’re getting the best room (which is so much better than a worm).
- Slush. Powder. Sun. Snow. As one of my friends says, “Spring is when ski season gets it’s second wind in Colorado.” She’s right.
Spring snowfall in Colorado is historically plentiful. Last season, Arapahoe Basin got 55” of snow…in May. And that was after a pretty darn good April.
While no one can guarantee the weather, the odds are in your favor, whether you love soft, slushy sun-filled days or prefer being up to your eyeballs in powder. Chances are, you’ll get a bit of both.
- Put Your Party Hat On. Spring is a time of celebrations and special events at Colorado resorts.
Since it’s still fall, many spring events haven’t yet been announced. Still, here is a sampling of some of the fun you can expect.
- Copper Mountain welcomes the SubaruWinterFest on March 12-13, along with the “World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt” (we’re talking 65,000 eggs) on March 27.
- The Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert series continues at Aspen Snowmass with three concerts during March.
- Steamboat hosts both the US Freestyle Championships and the NASTAR National Championships during March. They’ve also have several Kids’ Ski Weeks, a full week of instruction with the same coach, culminating in a torchlight parade.
- Purgatory hosts Springtacular, a weeklong party with daily events and activities for kids and adults, and plentiful live music, on March 5 – 13. On April 2, Purgatory closes out the season with the annual Angels and Demons costume party.
Expect more events and more fun, as Colorado resorts build out their spring calendars.
- Higher Appeals. In addition to celebrating for the purpose of celebrating (which is always a good thing), here’s a quick, not-at-all-complete, sampling of ski resort charity events in March.
- Sunlight Mountain Resort hosts the Defiance Challenge on March 4. Teams of two have 10 hours to ski as many of Sunlight’s 40 expert runs as they can. Proceeds benefit the Sunlight Ski Patrol and the family of a fallen patroller. The next day, March 5, is Melanoma Awareness Day at Sunlight: free skin checks and more.
- On March 19, Winter Park welcomes the New Belgium Brewing Mountain Adventure Series. An on-mountain scavenger hunt for charity, teams score points by finding clues and answering questions. Bonus points are awarded for costumes.
- Powderhorn Mountain Resort will be shaving heads to fight childhood cancer with St. Baldrick’s on March 19. On March 26, Powderhorn hosts a Rotary Club Red Ball Race to benefit local Mesa County charities (think hundreds of big red balls rolling downhill with winners determined by the first balls into a chute).
- Arapahoe Basin hosts their 8th Annual Save Our Snow Celebration and Demo Day on March 26 with all proceeds going to the High Country Conservation Center.
While all of these events definitely enhance a visit to any Colorado resort, the bottom line is that spring skiing is really fun.
As we move into the longest nights and the darkest days of winter, anticipate the coming spring with dreams of earning your turns, perhaps hiking Arapahoe Basin’s East Wall (with a bacon Bloody Mary on the deck as a reward) or basking in the sun at 11,200 feet as you dine outdoors at Winter Park’s Lunch Rock Restaurant.
No matter where in Colorado you plan to ski this spring, you can count on plenty of sun, snow and fun.