Resorts? Areas? Slopes? Mountains? Heck, what’s the difference?”
So that’s a good question that is best answered by “facilities”, but immediately followed by “prices”. Realize these concepts are general and less than pure or fully distinct. But there are some important attributes that are worthy of discussion if not even thorough study. So let’s go!
Area facilities: Areas are perhaps areas are best defined by what they don’t offer rather than what they do have.
- Areas don’t charge for parking
- Areas don’t have shuttle buses
- Areas generally don’t have over night accommodations slopeside, at the base or onsite.
- Café rather than full-service best defines the food service.
- Areas usually don’t have ridiculous costs & price gouging
- Areas don’t form long lines and waits.
But areas do have offer some unique amenities
- Brown bag areas or picnic rooms are often available
- Storage racks are not uncommon
- Areas have drive up and/or drop-off spots
- Areas have dedicated, loyal, hard-nosed skiiers.
- Friendly, smiling, helpful patrons
Resorts have some desirables:
- Resorts are larger. Some encompass a thousand acres or more, but most cover hundreds of areas.
- So resorts generally have higher verticals.
- Resorts have more variety and often provide the best expert runs.
- Resorts tend to offer more steeps.
- Resorts can afford to make more snow.
- Resorts tend to groom more.
- Resorts trend toward longer seasons.
- Resorts are major corporations involved in entertainment, retail shopping and real estate supportive of but perhaps even deeper than their sports interests.
- Resorts are full vacation destinations that offer attractions above and well beyond skiing & riding.
- Resorts charge more & offer stingy discounts for military, children & seniors!
- Several resort operators are absorbing (saving?) more distant areas to feed their massive marketing programs.
And of course there are local slopes, smaller ski areas less than 1k of vertical.
So which do I prefer? What is my recommendations?
- The one where I have family and friends
- The place I can make new buddies
- The one I can best afford
- I prefer the least crowded.
- I relish easy access: that’s mountain, lodge, lift as well as runs.
- But, I like steeps and good snow. Grooming is not significant.
- All-in-all I generally favor ski areas at mountains – you know- the 1k or more the 1K“plus”.
But I love them all: mountain resorts, ski areas, as well as local slopes. And the one I choose Plus recommendations are relative to my position. But the one I choose is the one that has the bet snow, and that’s usually the one I’m skiing on.
Come, Ski With Me!