Arapahoe Basin is also known as "A-Basin" and "The Legend" among other names. This is a small ski area that is located on the western side of the continental divide in Summit County. There is no lodging at the mountain, although there are a few parking lots where you are allowed to sleep in your car overnight if you are really on a low budget.
The ski terrain here is mostly for intermediate and advanced skiers. Arapahoe Basin is usually one of the first ski resorts to open in the fall and one of the last ski resorts to close in the spring. The closing date at A-Basin is usually set for early June.
You can see a lift ticket price schedule for Arapahoe Basin on this page - Arapahoe Basin Lift Tickets
The Loveland Ski Area is on the opposite side of the continental divide from Arapahoe Basin. Loveland has some great hike-to ski terrain at the top of the continental divide and this can be a great place to ski on powder days. The highest lift at the Loveland Ski Area is located at 12,700 feet. This high elevation helps Loveland accumulate more snow on an annual basis than any of the surrounding ski areas.
There is no lodging available at the Loveland Ski Area. Vacationers can stay in the Town of Silverthorne or Keystone.
Click here to check lift ticket prices for the Loveland Ski Area - Loveland Ski Area Lift Tickets
Ski Cooper is a small ski area that is located just to the north of Leadville, CO. While this ski area may be small, it has a deep history in the Colorado ski industry. There is a cat skiing operation here that gives skiers and snowboarders access to Chicago Ridge. This area has more than 1,000 feet of vertical skiing that can serve as a perfect place to ski fresh powder.
Ski Cooper is a great place for beginner skiers to spend a day on the slopes. Most of the front side of this ski area is covered with beginner ski terrain. However, you can find glade skiing and interesting terrain here that still has a shallow pitch and is suitable for beginners.
You can see current lift ticket prices for the Ski Cooper ski area here - Ski Cooper Lift Tickets
Here is a few easy-to-follow tips that will help you save money on your next ski vacation...
Look for bed and breakfasts - Staying at a bed and breakfast can be a great way to save money on your ski vacation. It can be fairly easy to find a nice B&B that is only a few minutes away from a ski resort.
Buy discounted lift tickets - You can find lift tickets for most of the best Colorado ski resorts through this page Colorado Lift Tickets
Avoid eating at mid-mountain restaurants - These restaurants and cafeterias can be expensive (Although extremely convenient). Instead of paying to eat here; you can pack a lunch for the day and eat this on or off of the mountain.
Avoid renting multiple cars for group trips. There is plenty of free local transportation options at all of these ski resorts. There are also lots of shuttle options to get from the airports to the ski resorts. Once you have arrived at your destination you will likely find that 1 car is sufficient for a large group, and in many cases you won't need a car at all. This is especially true if you are spending your vacation in a resort town like Vail.