We choose this unit because it was cheaper than the on mountain options at Purgatory Village. Rhonda was very responsive to any questions we had about the rental.
The uint was nice but had a lot of stairs. You start in the garage and go up a flight of stairs to the front door of the unit. The first floor has an open family room and the kitchen. Separate on the first floor is a bedroom, laundry and bathroom. Up another set of stairs is two more bedrooms (including the "master bedroom/bath") connected by the loft, which is more like a second living room. Overall we made the layout work for our eight family members. We stayed at Purgatory Village a few years ago and the units are comparable, except our rental at Purgatory was all one level and even had an elevator to get to the unit from the garage.
Cascade Village is located a few miles north of Purgatory. There is a shuttle that runs 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the afternoon. If you need to get to or from the mountain beyond that you have to provide your own transportation. We had 2 vehicles so it was not a problem. Staying on mountain is definitely more convenient and has similar amenities. The staff was helpful and friendly and the pool and hot tubs were nice.
Performance Sports, equipment rental is located in the main Cascade Village building, downstairs. The older gentlemen running it were friendly and accommodating. They let us pick the equipment up early and keep everything all week and only charged us for what we actually skiied.
Purgatory was great! There was very little natural snow the first two days but the mountain crew did a good job. Our 10 year old took a beginner "group" lesson the first day. It was her and one other kid in the morning and then just her and the instrustructor in the afternoon. I skied with her and Josh (her instructor) part of the afternoon and he was a wonderful instructor. She went from never skied before to a solid beginner. If you look at the trail map you know there is limited beginner terrain. Luckily it snowed Wednesday so we were able to go up the mountain (Engineer lift area) and get off the bunny slopes (Columbine/Graduate lift areas). Do not go to the backside if you are not a solid skier. By the end of the week she was skiing the "easy" blues.
Durango is a short 30 minute drive. Part of our group flew from DFW to DRO and part drove. The airport is small but functional. We rented a car and it was very nice. The shops start to look the same after awhile but you should be able to find all the touristy things like Tshirt and the like. We ate at a few of the restaurants and they were very good.
Overall it was a great family vacation and we will definitely be going back. Can't say enough how friendly everyone was, from the people in Durango, to everyone at Purgatory, and all the staff at Cascade Village.