Charlene and I spent most of our lives in Wyoming and South Dakota. We moved because of the weather, we’re not into 40 below with a 40 mile an hour wind. Just the thought makes my bones ache. That said, I miss the high country, I miss the crisp air and the sun on my face as I close my eyes and listen to the water tumble-down a mountain stream.
I also miss being able to see kids and grand kids so a trip to Colorado in the shoulder season is a real treat. This year we are taking a six-week road trip across America. After driving across Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas we cut north to meet our kids for two weeks in Steamboat Colorado.
I love Steamboat in late March, April and May which I consider the Colorado Shoulder Season. For ten weeks the weather fights its yearly battle between winter and summer and the ski communities in the Western United States experience a significant drop in their tourist trade. The great thing about shoulder season in Colorado is three-fold. First, it’s often spring break so the grandkids can join you. Second, the weather is in transition so on the high peaks you can ski while in the valleys the weather is moderate so you can fish, bike and hike in comfort. Third, because the weather is somewhat uncertain the hoards of skiers that usually infest the Colorado ski towns are gone so everything is a lot cheaper.
In our two weeks at Steam Boat we saw lift tickets drop to $159 for a 3 day pass. We were able to get huge discounts on our grand kids ski passes and ski lessons. Down Town Steamboat had sales that offered everything from coats, to designer cloths to ski equipment at as much as 70% off. Thru Groupon.com local merchants deals on luxury fun like massages for as little as $30.
The best deals were on lodging. In a recent post on timeshares we mentioned that the most powerful part of owning timeshare’s are the LAST CALL tool offered by RCI in shoulder season. If you are a member of RCI you can get a two bedroom units at top resorts without using your points for as little as $319 a week. That’s lodging for 6 people for less than $46 dollars a day!
We stayed at the Legacy Vacation Club which is a great facility. In the main lodge they had a fireplace sitting area, hot tubs and a game room. If you wanted to work out or use a swimming pool you could take a three-minute drive to the other Legacy Vacation Club. Their two bedroom units offered full kitchens so we had the ability to fix dinner for our kids and grand kids. Within a block of our unit we had a grocery store, a liquor store, ski and bike rentals, restaurants, a medical clinic, and a bus stop for the free bus that took you to the slopes.
My grandson, Brentan and I only had to walk 3 blocks to the river where we went fly fishing every day we were there. At the river was a walking path that went along the river for miles. The location of the Legacy Vacation Club in late March and early April is a sportsman paradise offering all the winter and spring sports plus a beautiful atmosphere to just relax and enjoy with no crazy crowds that you’ll find during the high ski season
With the spring weather in the Valley even a light dusting of snow in the morning didn’t dampen the spring flowers from blossoming.
Shoulder season in Steamboat is amazing. If you want to ski the mountain is still great. At the time of this blog on April 2nd the ski area has a 45 inch base with 13 lifts running and 141 open trails. That is great spring skiing! In town the temperature is getting up in the 50’s and people are hiking, fishing and biking all thru the Yampa Valley.
The night life in Steamboat was also great although many of the businesses are gearing down there were still plenty of great restaurants and live music including weekly concerts at the ski area.
With Geezer travel a huge part of successful and reasonable travel is timing and the Shoulder Season in the Colorado Rockies is a great choice.