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Choosing A Ski Resort – Things To Consider
One of the toughest things to do when going on a trip with the intent to ski is choosing a ski resort, as there are so many ski resorts to choose from! There is a lot to choose from and each option has many different characteristics that make a seemingly simple choice actually quite complicated and nuanced. It’s a choice that takes quite a lot of thinking, and you can’t really try to speed through it, as if you do, you risk having a bad time during your trip.
Location Of The Ski Resort
Of course, considering you’ll need to travel there it’s important to take a look at the locations of the ski resorts you’re considering. Not only do you need to factor in that places far away are more expensive than those close by in terms of travel, but you also need to consider the state/country the resort is in, as you’ll be spending your time there. Distilled, the ski resort you choose ideally needs to be located in a place that, more broadly, you wish to visit.
Ski Resort Size And Terrain
Each resort will vary greatly in terms of both size and of course the terrain they have. While considering size is not the only factor to consider when choosing a ski resort, it’s certainly an important one. Broadly speaking, the larger the resort, the more busy the slopes will be. For example, while you might consider skiing at some of the most famous mountains in Switzerland given their world-renowned status as excellent places to ski, they too can be quite crowded. However, if you do opt for the larger ski resorts, you’ll also have the most variety of terrain, so it’s a bit of a catch-22. Our bottom line about how to choose a ski resort is prioritizing terrain. Despite the size, if the terrain doesn’t match your skill level, you’ll almost certainly not enjoy your ski holiday.
Cost Of Ski Passes Affects Choosing A Ski Resort
Consider the cost of ski passes and the options that are available. There are a lot of deals that you can find at most resorts such as multi-day deals for people that plan to utilize the mountain for multiple days. Other ski resorts may offer discounts for purchasing passes in advance or for booking a package deal as it can save a lot of money.
Think about the type of accommodations you want during your ski vacation, as this can help you cut through the chatter surrounding choosing a ski resort. Some ski resorts offer on-mountain lodging options, such as ski-in/ski-out condos or hotels, while others may have accommodations nearby in the town or village. Consider the proximity of the accommodations to the ski resort and the amenities that are offered. We’re usually willing to pay a bit more for a place with a hot tub, as it’s lovely to take a long hot soak after a day on the slopes. We’re also usually interested in accommodations with some type of cooking facility, as cooking a few meals at home helps keep the cost of the trip down a bit.
Dining And Après-Ski
Many ski resorts have a variety of dining and après-ski options, from casual pubs to fine-dining restaurants. Consider the type of dining experience that you prefer and whether the ski resort has options that meet your needs. Additionally, think about the après-ski scene and the types of activities or entertainment that are available after a day on the slopes.
While this might seem like a relatively minor consideration in regard to choosing a ski resort, if you’re looking to save a few bucks by cooking at home, yet there are no grocery stores or economical dining options available, or conversely, if you’re looking to enjoy some fine dining and yet there are no gastronomically interesting restaurants available, you’ll not be able to maximize your enjoyment of your ski holiday.
Lessons And Rentals
If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, or if you want to improve your skills, consider the lesson and rental options that are available at the ski resort when choosing a ski resort. Some ski resorts offer group or private lessons, as well as rental equipment, while others may not have as many options.
Family-Friendliness Of The Ski Resort
If you are traveling with children, consider the family-friendliness of the ski resort. Some ski resorts have programs and activities specifically geared towards families, such as kids’ ski schools or childcare facilities. Others may not have as many options for families. Depending on how much time you’d like to spend with your kiddos, this can be a major factor you consider when deciding how to choose a ski resort.
Skiing and snowboarding are not the only activities available at ski resorts. Many ski resorts offer other off-mountain activities, such as ice skating, snowshoeing, or dog sledding. Consider the types of activities that you and your group are interested in and whether the ski resort has options that meet your needs. While you may anticipate being on the slopes every day, unless your legs and body are used to such intense exercise, you’ll likely need a rest day every so often.
Ski Resort Climate And Weather
The climate and weather at a ski resort can vary significantly depending on the location and elevation. Consider the average temperature and amount of snowfall at the ski resort and plan accordingly with the appropriate clothing and gear. Again, choosing a ski resort during its peak snow season can get you the best snow conditions but also the largest crowds.
Crowds And Lift Lines
Some ski resorts can get very crowded on weekends and during peak holiday periods, leading to long lift lines and crowded slopes. If you prefer a more relaxed and uncrowded ski experience, consider a ski resort that may be less popular or visit during non-peak times. Tending toward the smaller “local” resorts is one of the best ways to avoid crowds.
Choosing A Ski Resort Conclusion
There is a lot to consider when choosing a ski resort. Hopefully, this article has given you enough to consider to help you narrow down your options. However, if you have further questions or suggestions, feel free to leave us a comment below, and we’ll get back to you!