By S.E. Slack
It’s time to start planning that long weekend getaway you’ve been thinking about. Schedule a flight of three hours and you can be in Colorado, on your way to winding down the powdery slopes of some of the most well-known ski resorts in the world. Many of the state’s 25 resorts are located less than 90 minutes from the Mile High City, which boasts 300 days of sunshine annually.
With approximately 300 inches of snow per year and more than 2,400 trails to explore, it’s easy to understand why Colorado continually rates as a top choice for vacationers as well as professional skiers and snowboarders. Many locals purchase vacation homes or condominiums to stay close to the slopes; travelers can take advantage of these second homes to find comfortable lodging at rates below conventional resorts.
Depending on how extensive your needs are, as well as how willing you are to rough it, you could even book a night at a private home for as little as $75 a night. The best deals – and the smallest crowds – are found mid-week, say area residents.
“Talk to travel agents local to the area you’re heading to,” advises Cathy Anderson, owner of Destinations by Cathy. “They know local conditions and can help you out if bad weather interrupts your plans.”
She also suggests that travelers obtain travel insurance to protect vacation investments from unexpected snowstorms, not uncommon in the Rockies.
“Before you put any money down, know the cancellation policy if you are delayed or simply can’t get there,” she said. “Some rentals will let you change dates instead of forcing you to cancel your plans completely.”
Anderson has one more tip for vacationers to the snowy slopes of Colorado: Buy lift tickets locally at Colorado grocery stores. Safeway and King Soopers both offer discounts for single or multi-day passes.