I’ve always found that there are few times of the year better for hitting up ski resorts than around New Year’s Eve, but haven’t always known where to start looking for the best resorts. After countless expeditions to slopes around the country, however, I’ve narrowed the list of my favorite NYE resorts down to the five best, and can’t recommend enough that you experience first-hand what it’s like to snowboard during the best time of the year.
While it’s hard to pick the best snowboarding experience from countless peaks, there’s no question that Breckenridge has earned its spot at the top of my list. For the ideal NYE ski resort experience, you’ll want more than good powder; you’ll need a friendly local culture, plenty of accommodations to meet your holiday demands, and a vibrant downtown scene to hit up after a long day of snowboarding.
For that kind of NYE snowboarding experience, no place is better than Breckenridge. The town is regularly featured on popular list of ski resorts, and for good reason. It’s unique ability to ring in the new year with a dazzling party, however, is unmatched anywhere else. The New Year’s Eve torchlight parade always steals the show, and will leave you dying to get back once you’ve tasted their ski resorts for the first time.
Another feature favorite in popular publications, Aspen’s always stood out to me as more than just a great place to send a postcard from. The town seems to understand how to have a goodtime year-round, and is an ideal place if you’re trying to ring in the new year with some gusto; the local hotels have virtual landlines and throw parties that would make people in Hollywood blush, and the snow is all-but unmatched when it comes to getting a good trip in.
Plenty of options are available to entertain every snowboarder or skiers desire, but you’ll want to keep your eyes on the mountains and the fireworks while you’re there. Done right, a trip to Aspen feels like a once-in-a-lifetime event, and will leave you longing for more.
3. Jackson Hole
Coming in at number three on the list, Jackson Hole may first appear to be a peculiar choice. My time on the slopes there was supplemented by an amazing hiking stint, however, and Jackson Hole offers perhaps the most breathtaking natural experience any outdoorsy NYE celebrator could hope for. Seeing Grand Teton National Park with your own eyes is something that every die-hard skier needs, too.
Whether you’re enjoying their glow worm parade or checking out the local bars, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more celebratory town surrounded in snow to enjoy your New Year’s Eve in. While the skiing in Jackson Hole is amazing, don’t constrain yourself; the real value of this town comes from exploring the nature around it, and your New Year’s Eve there should be defined by awesome outdoors activities that leave you exhausted after a long day of fun.
No NYE Ski Resort list would be complete without a shout out to Heavenly, which gave me one of the best ski experiences of my life. South Lake Tahoe is one of the most welcoming towns I’ve ever travelled to for the express purpose of hitting the slopes, and I’ve never regretted my trip to Heavenly.
Heavenly really rolls out the red carpet for their NYE bash, too. The resort will make your trip worthwhile with ice sculptures and the biggest interactive snow globe I’ve ever seen.
5. Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek may be the last on my list, but in no way should that worry those considering it for a NYE trip. Of all the resorts I’ve been too, Beaver Creek is the most family friendly, something that didn’t concern me individually but would prove vital to anyone looking to hit up a resort with their children or family over the holiday season.
From the perspective of a snowboarder, Beaver Creek offers everything you’re looking for. With some great powder and plenty of local bars, including an amazing New Year’s Eve Bash that will excite any younger skiers looking for an epic holiday, the resort offers everything you’d need. For those with little ones with them, don’t worry; you’ll find plenty of families at Beaver Creek, and few resorts will bend over backwards to accommodate you like they will if something goes wrong.
Bringing in the new year with a trip to your favorite ski resort is an experience every aspirant snowboarder and seasoned skier alike should pursue. Few things are as wonderful to experience as watching the ball drop to signify the new year after a long day on the slopes. Pick the right resort for your holiday experience, and you’ll find the frostbite chased away by the good times of your NYE celebration in no time.
No snowfall? No problem. Killington’s snowmaking team has been working overtime to make sure East Coast skiers and riders will get their first turns of the year in on Friday, October 19th. The K-1 Express Gondola will start running at 10 a.m. for Season Pass, Ikon Pass, and Express Card holders who will have access to the North Ridge Area until 3:30 p.m., giving them plenty of time to shred some of the summer rust off. The mountain opens to the rest of the general public on Saturday,
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