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  1. #1
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    The week before xmas - Snowmass or Deer Valley?

    My sister and her Florida crew are planning a trip next season. This group of 3 families has previously been to Keystone & Steamboat. Both during xmas week. For this next trip, they are specifically aiming at the week before Christmas. I am trying to push them towards an ICON resort. They are all intermediate skiers. They want ski-in/out. I suggested either Deer Valley or Snowmass.
    Both places have Marriott properties I can use points & bring my dogs. "CRITICAL" for me.
    Deer Valley appeals to them for close access to Salt Lake airport.
    Snowmass appeals to me because I will be driving where ever we end up.

    Generally speaking, how is the snow coverage for either place the third week of December? Either natural or man made.

    I am NOT asking for snow fall prediction. I know better than that.

    Suggestions, good & bad; Comments, appropriate or not, are all welcome.

  2. #2
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    Are you sure that there is a ski in ski out Marriott? I’m not aware of it. PCMR does. The only FB ski in/out properties are the St. Regis, Stein’s and Montage. I think that snow is questionable at both places. Can be great, can be awful. Both places require a car to get to town.

    Edit: I have just learned that St Regis is Marriott. So disregard. That place will pamper you and has great amenities
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  3. #3
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    Snowmass is hit or miss in December. Hope for the hit.

    Snowmass needs alot of snow like Big sky does to cover the big ass rocks.

    Ajax on the other hand skis great with a 20" base.
    Skiing in the rockies is like 70's porn

    Lots of bush

    Some wood

    No faceshots...

    -Mtnlion

  4. #4
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    I think pre Christmas is a great time to visit Aspen/Snowmass!

    But the Snowmass Westinís been sold and may not be a Marriott next season.
    The W in town is ski in/out.

  5. #5
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    Snowmass is higher elevation than Deer Valley by a whole lot so the snow is almost guaranteed to be much much better early season.

    Jackson has the best early season in the continental US, and its IKON.

  6. #6
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    The other thing that I will say is that for intermediates DV is a great early season destination. It opens later than most other resorts (about Dec. 6) and probably has the best snowmaking in the world. Also, no place is groomed better than DV. There is a reason why SKI/SKIING Mags. rate it as the best ski resort in the country. It has a lot to do with early season conditions, % of mountain open and service. I do like the town of Aspen more than the town of PC for shopping, eating, weed..., if that is of any concern
    ďA society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.Ē
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    I think pre Christmas is a great time to visit Aspen/Snowmass!

    But the Snowmass Westin’s been sold and may not be a Marriott next season.
    The W in town is ski in/out.
    It looks like the Westin will remain in the Marriot group as part of the "Autograph Collection". See similar: Beaver Creek Lodge or the Brown Palace. That'll bump up the point requirements.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    The other thing that I will say is that for intermediates DV is a great early season destination. It opens later than most other resorts (about Dec. 6) and probably has the best snowmaking in the world. Also, no place is groomed better than DV. There is a reason why SKI/SKIING Mags. rate it as the best ski resort in the country. It has a lot to do with early season conditions, % of mountain open and service. I do like the town of Aspen more than the town of PC for shopping, eating, weed..., if that is of any concern
    To be fair, PC has weed now of you've got your green card.

    And it tickled 80 degrees here this weekend and we had pretty good snow for Okemo or Killington for most of this year.

    I don't think gambling on our snowpack is a winning bet.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Snowmass is higher elevation than Deer Valley by a whole lot so the snow is almost guaranteed to be much much better early season.

    Jackson has the best early season in the continental US, and its IKON.
    Have to say, we had a nice pre-Xmas week in JH last December. But it was two weeks prior to Xmas.

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  10. #10
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    Is JH really a better early season option for a group of intermediates than DV? I recall plenty of grooming at JH, but it all seemed like kind of limited and repetitive groomers. Never been to DV, but from looking at maps it looks like a much more diverse groomer hill.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benneke10 View Post
    Snowmass is higher elevation than Deer Valley by a whole lot so the snow is almost guaranteed to be much much better early season.

    Jackson has the best early season in the continental US, and its IKON.
    Deer Valley is further north than Snowmass so the snow is almost guaranteed to be much much better in the early season.

    Sun Valley has the most extensive snow making in the world, and itís on Epic.
    Last edited by One (+) Sentence; 04-06-2021 at 04:05 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by One (+) Sentence View Post
    Sun Valley has the most extensive snow making in the world, and itís on Epic.

    Does it have a ski in/out Marriott?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by One (+) Sentence View Post
    Deer Valley is further north than Snowmass so the snow is almost guaranteed to be much much better in the early season.

    Sun Valley has the most extensive snow making in the world, and it’s on Epic.
    Further North yes, but much lower altitude than Snowmass. Have you factored that in? Similar average yearly snowfall between the two.

    At the end of the day, Colorado and UT are hit or miss early season, snowmaking or not.
    Skiing in the rockies is like 70's porn

    Lots of bush

    Some wood

    No faceshots...

    -Mtnlion

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asspen View Post
    Further North yes, but much lower altitude than Snowmass. Have you factored that in? Similar average yearly snowfall between the two.

    At the end of the day, Colorado and UT are hit or miss early season, snowmaking or not.
    If you look at the post I quoted, you may infer that I was just kinda making fun of the absurdity of trying to predict who will have better natural snow conditions next December.

    I think Snowmass and Deer Valley are both great choices for intermediate skiers vacationing the week before Christmas.

  15. #15
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    I am going to push for Snowmass. Itís way less expensive than DV that week for the FL crew.
    But some of them are more concerned about travel convenience and DV wins on that.
    Iíll find out how much sway my sister has.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound Odin View Post
    But some of them are more concerned about travel convenience and DV wins on that.

    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    The vast majority of Florida gateways wonít have directs to SLC. Aspenís airport is much closer and the Hotel will have a free shuttle, so they wonít need a rental car.

    Aspenís four hills will have way more expert terrain open than all of PC, including Highlands Bowl.

  17. #17
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    Does anyone have any input on how good Snowmass looks in a bad snow season?

    As a mountain, I'd lean towards Snowmass. It's massive with tons of intermediate terrain. And, while Deer Valley has tons of intermediate terrain too, I feel like Snowmass gets a nod because of its wide sweeping runs. Also, due to its semi-isolated geography, it's a little more insulated from the crowds. And, I think Snowmass hits a better price point with the places that you can eat. You can find a fancy place to eat at, or you can find a relatively cheaper place to eat at. By comparison, all of Deer Valley is expensive.

    But, from a snow perspective, I think you've got to go with Deer Valley to play it safe with snow quality. I visited Deer Valley early January this year (before the January dump at SLC), and I was impressed by the level of grooming and snowmaking despite the ~25-30 inch base that they had at the time. While the moguls off of Empire and Red Cloud lifts had tons of shrubbery and rocks poking out, the blue runs (ie: Nabob, Tycoon, Supreme) were well groomed and skied really smoothly. If your friends are all intermediates, then I would imagine that the groomers at Deer Valley should be more than enough to keep them occupied.

    If you decide on Snowmass, I think you're going to be taking a harder gamble on the snow (unless someone can provide some experiences with early season snowmaking coverage at Snowmass).

  18. #18
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    The week before xmas - Snowmass or Deer Valley?

    This was a bad early season.

    I canít say for sure, but it seemed like we had better conditions than PC or LCC for that matter, from the posts on TGR.
    Being isolated, is a huge advantage early.

    Aspen Mountain skis better early than Snowmass, most years. Itís nine miles on a free bus.

    If DV/PC sucks, your driving an hour to L/BCC.

    I hit 130 days tomorrow. Half have been at Snowmass, but most of those have been after January 1st.

    It wasnít that bad of season. A little ruff post Christmas.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield3d View Post
    Does anyone have any input on how good Snowmass looks in a bad snow season?

    As a mountain, I'd lean towards Snowmass. It's massive with tons of intermediate terrain. And, while Deer Valley has tons of intermediate terrain too, I feel like Snowmass gets a nod because of its wide sweeping runs. Also, due to its semi-isolated geography, it's a little more insulated from the crowds. And, I think Snowmass hits a better price point with the places that you can eat. You can find a fancy place to eat at, or you can find a relatively cheaper place to eat at. By comparison, all of Deer Valley is expensive.

    But, from a snow perspective, I think you've got to go with Deer Valley to play it safe with snow quality. I visited Deer Valley early January this year (before the January dump at SLC), and I was impressed by the level of grooming and snowmaking despite the ~25-30 inch base that they had at the time. While the moguls off of Empire and Red Cloud lifts had tons of shrubbery and rocks poking out, the blue runs (ie: Nabob, Tycoon, Supreme) were well groomed and skied really smoothly. If your friends are all intermediates, then I would imagine that the groomers at Deer Valley should be more than enough to keep them occupied.

    If you decide on Snowmass, I think you're going to be taking a harder gamble on the snow (unless someone can provide some experiences with early season snowmaking coverage at Snowmass).
    Depends on the "bad" year at snowmass. Sometimes it gets wind scoured (usually), and sometimes it gets loaded in spots.

    Snowmass on a bad year is still fun and rocky, but as shredhead said, Ajax skis great at low tide.
    Skiing in the rockies is like 70's porn

    Lots of bush

    Some wood

    No faceshots...

    -Mtnlion

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound Odin View Post
    I am going to push for Snowmass. It’s way less expensive than DV that week for the FL crew.
    But some of them are more concerned about travel convenience and DV wins on that.
    I’ll find out how much sway my sister has.
    I would say, too, that price point would be key in this decision. Elevation will have a say in the snowpack, but early season is early season. Both places strive to ensure that their guests are wholly taken care of so groomers will be prepped and ready at either spot. Also, someone mentioned this, but the Aspen Airport is Much Much easier negotiate/get to/from SM, than SLC-DV. Hell, it is like a 10 minute drive. However, it seems as if the crew you are prepping for may be difficult to fully please, regardless. While Ajax is true groomer, the FL crew will not be happy packed-into the shuttle bus from SM to Ajax. Decisions Decisions Decisions
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