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A New Year's Full of Getaways

Late year holidays might be for large gatherings...but early year weeks are for escaping  to travel destinations without the vacationing crowds.


PART One: 

Winter Wonderland : COLORADO 

Now it's easier than ever to arrive hassle free- to some of the best snowy terrains-blessed with great powdery fluff, abundant sunshine,  no chairlift lines AND Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts DISCOUNTS :-)

BONUS-In season flights to Colorado's big name-and smaller mountain resort towns abound-all shuttle connected (and an express train connecting Denver-Winter Park) - so no car rental - driving needed either. 

Planning ahead? 

The Gems Card, which provides either two buy-one-get-one or two 30 percent off adult lift tickets at 11 ski areas in Colorado for just $25, provides families a great chance to visit multiple ski areas across the state.

New to winter's vertical worries! January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month-country wide...and Colorado ski areas offer some of the best deals of the season on lift tickets, rentals and beginner lessons. Pus-non-mountain activities are now a given, pretty much everywhere-including ice skating, snow tubing, cross country and indoor spas. AHHHH.

More deals...and new features...

Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek offers family season passes, offering families with two or more members a special rate per family member for Wolf Creek Season Passes. Season Pass holders with little ones learning to ski or snowboard can enroll their little shredders into Wolf Pups or Wolf Riders at a discounted rate. Bonus:A new high-speed, detachable quad Charity Chairlift-the 10th lift in Wolf Creek’s current lift system is the third chairlift in the spacious 900-acre, Alberta area. Fifty-five acres of previously underutilized terrain will now be available to beginner and intermediate skiers.
 Guests can also enjoy the new on-mountain grill. The Alberta Grill -with a south of the border themed menu and more traditional grilled items.

Winter Park Resort
Near Denver-Winter Park offers a special vacation package that includes $200 in resort credit. Any family that stays in WPR properties for at least four nights gets a $200 resort credit good for everything but lift access, including food and beverage, lessons, retail and more. Bonus: A 10 person  gondola that serves a new daily Mountaintop Sunset Après at the Lodge at Sunspot from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Foot passengers can ride for free without a lift ticket beginning at 2:30 p.m. each day.
Winter Park
Winter Park also upgraded its snowmaking system with the addition of new energy efficient compressors, pipe replacement, and new high-tech snow guns. A Zephyr Plaza upgrade in the Winter Park Village features a free-flowing plaza with stage area, fire pits, and sundeck for general gathering and small events and concerts.

Telluride Ski Resort
For families who want dedicated and specialized instruction, Telluride offers private lessons, available for up to five friends or family members to learn skiing, snowboarding, telemark or cross country. Lessons are available in full-day or half-day increments. Bonus: The Meadows, Telluride’s popular beginner area, has a newly installed 320-foot covered surface lift and a significant investment in a terrain-based learning program-and an expanded grooming fleet to enhance the groomed terrain across the resort.

Sunlight Mountain Resort
Sunlight offers a family ski pass for discounted rates on all-season access. The Sunlight Family Pass pairs well with Sunlight’s Ski School, which offers a wide variety of lessons available to all members of the family, including half-day, full-day and multi-week lessons.Bonus: The ski area  offers free skiing and riding to all active firefighters and first responders each Wednesday this season,

Steamboat Resort
Steamboat offers lessons and guided tours for families, which allow skiers and riders of similar ability levels to learn, develop their skills and achieve their goals as a unit. Bonus: two new eateries-Timber & Torch, a new base area restaurant and bar experience,  open for breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring a new outdoor heated patio, two indoor/outdoor bars, an exterior fireplace and a new outdoor BBQ...and The Taco Beast, a unique new on-mountain, roaming snowcat, will serve carne asada and al pastor trail tacos with trailside service in both winter and summer seasons.

Silverton Mountain
New this winter, Silverton Mountain will host the Women’s International Ski Day Celebration January 11-13, 2019. This family-friendly event for advanced and expert skiers and boarders will include guided skiing/boarding, demos, and parties celebrating women and girl skiers and snowboarders.Bonus: A  brand new heli-skiing terrain, “Zone 8,” which features diverse high-alpine terrain.

Purgatory Resort
Purgatory keeps skiing fun and affordable for families by offering all kids who are in fourth grade and younger a free season pass. No adult season pass purchase required. BONUS: FFFUUUUNNNN-a  year-round access to the Inferno Mountain Coaster, a new gravity-fed ride that will zip through aspen groves revealing incredible views of the San Juan mountains. A great option for families with nonskiers or those seeking a break from the slopes, The Inferno Mountain Coaster is almost a mile long, including 300 feet of vertical drop, nine switchbacks and speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

Powderhorn Resort
As part of Powderhorn’s Mission: Affordable program, the ski area will offer Learn to Ski Free lessons this season. These lessons will be available to brand-new skiers & snowboarders ages eight and older and will be held every Sunday morning after the holiday season. The lessons will also include a free rental and a free Easy Rider lift ticket.

Monarch Mountain
Monarch offers families bundled discounts on lift tickets, rentals and lesson packages. Families should visit the Rental and Lesson Center for details.Bonus: Monarch Mountain's brand-new tubing park plus a better guest experience with new gladed tree skiing, upgraded WiFi, chip readers at all sales terminals, self-order kiosks in the Gunbarrel Cafeteria and handheld order-taking technology

Loveland Ski Area
Loveland offers a Family Private Lesson package for up to four family members ages seven and older to learn to ski or snowboard together with the same instructor. Family lessons are for first-time skiers and riders and available in the morning or afternoon.

Kendall Mountain
To help families get out and enjoy the slopes this season, Kendall offers a Family Season Pass for two adults and two children over six years old, with an optional add-on for additional children. Bonus: Kendall Mountain's natural ice-skating experience w and  nighttime skating events  featuring a DJ, bonfire, hot cocoa, star gazing, and lots of family friendly fun.

Howelsen Hill
Families can enjoy the slopes for free at North America's oldest operating ski area with Ski Free Sundays.

Granby Ranch
Granby Ranch’s Friends and Family Private Lesson is a great opportunity for up to four family members to ski together with specialized, private instructor. Private group lessons are available in full-day and half-day increments. BONUS: Wanna treat a crowd? Granby Ranch will offer groups the opportunity to rent Granby Ranch’s East Mountain for the evening. Guests will have full access to the East Mountain night skiing terrain from 5pm-9pm in a unique option for groups to highlight a special occasion or host a private event.

Echo Mountain
To introduce guests and families to skiing and snowboarding, Echo Mountain Ambassadors are a new on-mountain offering this season. In the beginner area and throughout the mountain, ambassadors offer coaching, tips and suggestions to help guests and families progress their skills.  Bonus; Echo has a new tubing hill serviced by a covered conveyor lift offering family-friendly fun for skiers and those who just want to play in the snow plus an expanded beginner learning area, an increase in  snowmaking capacity and RFID access gates for direct-to-lift access on several ticket and pass options.

Families at Copper Mountain can enroll their children in Youth Seasonal Programs, available for kids ages 3 to 18 to focus on different areas of skiing or riding. Bonus: Copper Mountain debuts the new American Flyer and American Eagle chairlifts out of Copper’s Center Village. The American Flyer will now be a high speed six-person chair with bubble enclosures to protect from wind and cold, the only active bubble chair in Colorado. The American Eagle is a high-speed combination lift that features both six-person chairs and eight-person gondola cabins. Both will significantly increase uphill access from the base area and reduce wait times.
 Copper Mountain also has a new base area restaurant, Downhill Duke’s. Named after a beloved dog, Downhill Duke’s will welcome guests and their four-legged friends to unbuckle their boots, take in some sun and enjoy lunch or après cocktails on the south-facing patio. 

All of Cooper’s ski lessons for adults and children are affordably priced, the ski area offers an extra 10 percent off when lessons are booked online. Bonus : Cooper’s new Moonlight Mountaintop Yurt dinner series at the Ridgeview Café features a ride to the mountaintop after hours in a warm, cozy snowcat in the light of the full moon.

Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Snowmass offers a comprehensive Family Guide with information and tips on how to save on lodging, lift tickets, rentals, lessons and more Bonus: Aspen Skiing Company is well underway on the Snowmass Base Village Development, a $600 million mountain-resort development that adds lodging, residences and amenities over 10 years. The first phase of development includes the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass, a ski-in/ski-out hotel adjacent to Snowmass Mountain’s Elk Camp Gondola that will feature 99 hotel rooms and 11 for-sale condominiums, plus a new restaurant, a children’s game area and a five-story climbing wall.

Arapahoe Basin’s best deals for families include a Private Lesson, which can include up to four family members, or the Flex 4 Lesson pack which offers four fully transferable half-day lessons for adults or kids.BONUS:Arapahoe Basin Ski Area fully open its 468-acre terrain expansion into the Beavers and the Steep Gullies, including the new four-person Beavers chairlift.