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Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

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Caye Caulker, Belize
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Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

Ok, my three teenagers, 7 year old son, and I have airline tixx, car reservation and hotel reservation in hand for a four night Thanksgiving trip. All the teenagers would like to ski/snow board. We have many questions and hope you can help us.

1. How scary is the drive from Denver to Breck? After doing the absolutely heart stopping drive from Silverton to Ouray earlier this year, I have become quite paranoid about mountain driving.

2. What would my kids need to bring with them in order to ski/snowboard? Are these items available for rent slopeside or in town? If so, how much more or less do they rent for? Can we rent ski clothes as well, or do we have to bring those with us? What about ski/snowboarding boots?

3. Do we need lift tickets? We are all beginner everything.

4. I read somewhere about paying for parking in Breckenridge. How does this work? The hotel in Frisco is not charging us to park our vehicle in the hotel lot. Would we be able to take the trolly from Frisco to Breck throughout the day without problems?

5. Since we will be there for only four nights, would you recommend going to a different site (CM, Keystone, etc.) daily just to get a feel for each place or stick with one spot for the four days (assuming they are all open for Thanksgiving)?

Thanks for all your help. As you can tell, we are newbies.

Cheers,

Wendy

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

1. The drive from Denver to Breckenridge is mostly 4 lane interstate, but it does go up high into the mountains and through a tunnel. The hardest part is going downhill from the tunnel to Silverthorne. If you don't want to drive, you can take a shuttle from the airport to your lodging, then take the Summit County bus around to the ski areas.

2. You can rent most everything for skiing/snowboarding. You may want to purchase coats/hats, gloves, sunglasses etc. I think you can rent ski clothes, but it has been a long time since I was up there in winter.

3. If you are taking lessons, which you should, many times lift tickets are including in the price. Otherwise, you do need to get lift tickets.

4. I don't know about paying to park in Breckenridge, maybe someone will know more... You can take the Summit Stage bus to and from Frisco and the ski areas.

5. Thanksgiving is a tough time for snow. Most places are not fully open. I would wait and see what is open. I like Copper Mountain for beginners.

Caye Caulker, Belize
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2. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

Thank you, CazaAzul. Four lane highway sounds doable. Its the two lane cliff side driving on hairpin turns that scares the daylights out of me. Is any part of the driving like that, do you know? And how long in the tunnel?

Thanks and cheers,

Wendy

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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3. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

I70 from Denver to Summit County is not like the Silverton/Ouray route. There may be some dropoffs, but they are much further from the actual driving lanes. The tunnel is less than 2 miles long. dot.state.co.us/eisenhower/description.asp#

Traffic cameras here: www.cotrip.org/atis/web.ZoomboxMarshal…

Breckenridge...
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4. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

1) the drive is on a major Interstate, so no worries about that. Obviously snow can be an issue so take your time. My guess is that time of year you should have no problems.

2) Renting gear is no problem. Probably looking at ~$20/day for gear. Bring hat, goggles, gloves... If you do not have this stuff, there is Recycle Ski and Board next to the Safeway in Frisco that sells gear including clothes (used and new) at nice prices

3) you will need lift tickets unless you plan to take a lesson, then the cost of the lesson usually covers the ticket. This maybe something you should look into in advance as if you buy lift tickets, you probably do not want to buy them at the mountain (most expensive place to buy them)

4) Breckenridge has free parking. there are a few lots across the street from the gondola as well as down Airport Road (you will be directed, just follow the crowd). Once you park, a ski bus will either be there or arrive shortly to pick you up. There is a bus called the Summit Stage that runs from Frisco to Breck that is free. Not hard to figure out the times, but you may want to consider the car so you do not have to lug everything around.

5) everyone will be open for thanksgiving, the question is always how much terrain is open. being a holiday, the potentical for the crowds and longer lines exists. Oddly, I do not feel that Thanksgiving day is as bad as the other days (fri, sat, and 1/2 sunday). This may be a GOOD reason to take lessons. When you take lessons, you get to skip the lines with your instrutor and cut to the front of the line. I would look early about lift tickets if you do not do lessons. Usually you can buy a 3-day pass for a discount (they have kids rates as well). The 3-day pass should be good for Breckenridge, Keystone & Arapahoe Basin (although a word of caution, Arapahoe Basin is not for beginners). To be honest, if you are staying in Frisco, I would serious consider going to Copper. Copper is less crowded than Breck, in my mind a nicer mountain and has better beginner runs for newbies to learn. While there is more apres ski going on in Breck, I would personally choose Copper.

There is also a bus from Frisco's Main St. to Copper (ask your hotel's attendant as they should know the schedules fairly well). If you do lean towards Copper, keep an eye on their website as they do sell what is called the Copper 4-pack. I have never bought it but it is a 4-day pass for insanely cheap (not sure if you can buy online or can only buy it in person).

Enjoy!

Matt

Caye Caulker, Belize
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5. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

Thank you for your most helpful post. The reason we chose Frisco as our destination is because I did some reading and realized that not all slopes are open on Thanksgiving weekend. Many of them open the last day of the holiday weekend, which would be of no use to us. So I figured a central location with easy access to several slopes would mean we have more choices in case one of our favorites was not open.

Thanks also for the helpful information regarding the lift tickets. Would you happen to have a link to the CM site that sells the bulk cheapo lift tixx?

Btw, thanks for the update on the roads. After your post, I am much less intimidated by the drive now. I usually have a hardy heart that weathers challenges well but that Silverton to Ouray drive was more than I would want to handle again ;-).

Thanks and cheers,

Wendy Auxillou

Auxillou Beach Suites

Beachfront

Caye Caulker, Belize

Frisco, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Frisco
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6. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

A question totally tailored to my newly acquired expertise title, and I am out of town for the day! Darn it!

Anyway, everyone gave good answers and is spot on. Here are a couple additional thoughts. I too recommend Copper over Breck. If you do a lesson package contact the mountain directly; however check with your hotel and see what specials they offer. Where are you staying? If you decide to get a four pack you can purchase them at King Soopers, which is a front range grocery store chain. There is also a discount lift ticket place right off the exit in Silverthorne.

If you end up taking the shuttle instead of renting a car then you will not be able to make these pit stops. Normally I would say, there is no need to have a car here, take the shuttle and then the free Summit Stage the rest of the time. There are car rental agencies in the Frisco area if you want a car for a day trip. However the shuttle rates have gone up recently because of the crazy gas prices - $100pp round trip and $55 pp one way. So it is probably more cost effective to just rent if there are 5 of you.

You are traveling awfully far for some mediocre skiing terrain. Since Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Belize, if you could swing it, I would wait till mid December or anytime after Mid January.

You may have picked Frisco for convenience, but I believe you will be pleased with our little mountain town. It has a quaint main street with lots of boutique shops. There are many delicious places to eat. Lake Dillon and the Ten Mile river are right in town and provide majestic views. Should be a really fun vaca!

Some other activities to consider that time of year... Copper & Keystone have ice skating rinks, you can rent skates there. Dinner Sleigh ride, Hot Spring visit, Snowshoeing Mason trail and/or Sapphire Point, cross country skiing at the Nordic Center in Frisco, Possibly Snowmobiling, plus more. Stop by 'Activities on the Mountain' on main street in Frisco for more ideas and discounts.

Oh yes, because that time will still be slow season, look in the Free local paper 'the Summit Daily,' located everywhere in the blue bins, for coupons and specials, should be a ton.

If you come then you MUST have an authentic Thanksgiving dinner. Kind of like how I had a Belizean BBQ in the Turneffe Islands!

Can anyone out there recommend a restaurant who serves a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner? I always have mine at home, so I don't really know. Hearthstone? Food Heads (one of my favorites)? If no one answers, I am positive the newspaper with have ads.

Have Fun! Her are some links...

http://www.coppercolorado.com/

http://snow.com/

http://www.townoffrisco.com/

http://coloradomountainexpress.com/

http://www.summitstage.com/

http://www.breckenridgesleighrides.com/

http://www.breckenridgenordic.com/

http://cotrip.org/

http://krystal93.com/

Caye Caulker, Belize
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214 posts
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7. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

WOW! A Frisco destination expert who has been to Belize! Amazing! And how cool is that? This thread is getting more special by the minute!

We have reservations to stay at the Frisco Ramada. And yes, aside from its central location, Lake Dillon looked rather inviting. Island people have a tendency to gravitate towards bodies of water. It's in the blood, I guess.

As to your reference to "mediocre skiing"...truthfully, we don't care one bit. We want to see SNOW, make snow angels and take pictures for our scrapbooks with snow clothes and skis on ;-). We are tropical islanders after all, so you can imagine how excited we all are about simply moving out of our comfort zone.

And yes, everybody will be playing hookey from school that week, so don't anybody tell the teachers please ;-) Actually, spending Thanksgiving in Colorado is like a warm up for us. We are testing the waters to see if we would like to go back for the Xmas holidays. When all the Colorado snowbirds head to Belize for the winter we think we might like to reciprocate.

Thanks for the tip about sledding, the ice rink, etc. They sound spectacular...especially the dinner sled ride. Will definitely check that out. As well as all the other links you sent.

And definitely, if somebody can reply with where to find the best Thanksgiving dinner that would be really fab!

Thanks again!

Cheers,

Wendy

Colorado
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8. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

Congrats on being an Expert 1fourfun!

AuxillouBeachSuites, I went to Caye Caulker many years ago. It is nice to live in a beautiful place.

I too prefer Copper over Breck but since you are staying in Frisco you will be central to all the resorts, Breck, Copper and Keystone you can pick which to ski based on which has the most open at that time.

Thanksgiving dinner, depends on the budget. Ski Tip at Keystone is awesome though $$$$. Ourselves we are considering having Hearthstone bring us our dinner. Last year you could order a traditional meal delivered for something like 20.00 a person. If they do that again that is what we will do. Ski all day and have dinner back at the condo.

You might check out http://www.skicoupons.com they sometimes have some nice discounts.

Aspen, CO
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9. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

I think you'll have an excellent time and don't worry at all about mediocre snow. All of us locals are notoriously picky and in most cases expert skiers who are looking for powder days or a lot of snow to cover steep terrain.

Beginners like your group can have a great time on even lightly snow covered conditions or on man made snow. Don't worry at all, you'll find plenty to enjoy.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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10. Re: Frisco/Breck during Thanksgiving

Congrats on your expert status 1FourFun!!!

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