Most ski aficionados agree there is no better place for skiing than Colorado. With over 27 ski areas and resorts, Colorado is the number one skiing destination in North America. It also boasts the highest lift-served terrain in the country with some resorts even approaching 14,000 feet in elevation. Because of this, Colorado ski resorts open earlier and stay open later in the season than anywhere else in the country.
If you’re like most ski lovers, you will try to hit the slopes at every opportunity. If that’s the case, does it pay off to pay to stay at resorts or hotels every time? There are lovely accommodation alternatives to consider such as timesharing and fractional ownership.
The perks of owning your piece of the mountain with a Colorado Timeshare are plenty, including ski-in and ski-out. Add the beautiful views, the crisp, fresh air, natural scenery to explore, and year-round adventurous activities, for the perfect getaway.
Let’s look at the differences between the major ski areas, and then we’ll explore options to make your trips more cost-efficient and convenient.
Colorado Ski Timeshares Review By Area
Telluride is located in the southwest corner of Colorado about 360 miles from Denver. It’s a year-round destination and home to the highest concentration of 13,000 and 14,000-foot peaks in North America. Telluride Ski Resort has over 2,000 skiable acres and is known for its long runs and advanced terrain, while also catering to beginners and intermediate skiers.
It spans between the historic town of Telluride (a National Historic Landmark District) and the modern Mountain Village. What’s unique is the free gondola you can take between the two towns. What would be an 8-mile drive the Gondola turns into a 3-mile direct route over the mountains, peaking at 10,000 feet.
Situated in the heart of the charming and historical Telluride Mountain Village, surrounded by lushly forested mountains this 3-bedroom, 3.5 bath Colorado property incorporates a multitude of stunning views of the Valley Floor and the San Sofia Ridge. The 3,400-square foot residence includes an impressive array of luxury features including a spacious, gourmet kitchen and an 8-person Jacuzzi hot tub all set in the natural beauty of the San Juan Mountains.
This massive ski-in ski-out log home Sleeps 12-14 and has a wraparound deck with brand new hot tub. Interior features a stunning stone fireplace, beautiful mountain views, and a private deck off the master.
Vail is the largest ski mountain in Colorado and arguably the most popular. Less than two hours from Denver, Vail is easy to get to from the airport. It is sprawled across two very active areas (Vail Village and Lionshead Village) filled with shops, restaurants, and other hot spots. The two villages are linked by a convenient free bus system, one of the largest in North America.
Vail is known for its enticing culinary scene, world-class events, fantastic family activities, and exceptional customer service. The shopping and dining passageways are car-free zones, lined with cobblestone and architecture that make you feel like you’re far away from “home” exploring a European village.
The newest 5-star resort in Vail is the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Club®, with its renowned luxury and service. With architecture reminiscent of the Alps, elegant décor, and first-class amenities, you will revel in the pampering this resort provides.
The Sebastian – Vail offers 36 luxury residences in a cozy yet spectacular alpine setting. A variety of residences are offered including two-, three-, and four-bedroom options. Each residence features large windows with sweeping views of the mountainous alpine landscape for which Vail is so well known.
The Austria Haus in Vail, CO is a boutique hotel with charm and style. Owners get five weeks of use per year.
This Colorado ski destination is similar to Vail in its proximity to Denver, exceptional customer service, and exclusive feel. Beaver Creek is comprised of five mountains with almost 2,000 acres of skiable area and 150 trails. Although there are advanced, and beginner runs, it mainly caters to intermediate skiers.
Aside from skiing the world’s most luxurious snow surface because of its Gold Medal Grooming, you can also experience Candy Cabin, Cookie Time, and ice-skating in the village. It’s an all-around family-friendly ski resort.
Timbers Bachelor Gulch is a magnificent mountain lodge offering a vibrant playground for families and some of the best skiing available. The exceptional residences provide the best in high-quality 5-star service and top-notch amenities. From pools and hot tubs located right on the slopes to a great room three stories high with massive crackling fireplaces.
Arrowhead Village is an elite Beaver Creek, Colorado property perfect for savvy families of ski enthusiasts who appreciate an outstanding ski vacation while enjoying exceptional resort amenities. Located at the base of Arrowhead Ski Lift, this residence provides privacy coupled with convenience.
This cozy 2-bedroom, 2-bath fractional resale is the ideal vacation property in Park Plaza, Beaver Creek. Located near the Children’s Museum, it is perfect for small families.
Aspen is a little farther away from Denver (about 3 hours) and is a favorite destination for the elite. In the late 1900s, it became a popular retreat for celebrities, musicians, and movie stars. This influx of wealth has resulted in Aspen having some of the most expensive real estate prices in the U.S. In fact, in 2011, Aspen achieved its spot as the most expensive place to buy real estate in U.S.
The Ritz-Carlton Club’s Aspen property provides a genuinely charming alpine retreat. The resort is known for the finest downhill skiing, with 125 trails in all levels of difficulty.
Dancing Bear Aspen, a Timbers Residence Club is a one-of-a-kind vacation home ownership experience. With only 19 residences, Dancing Bear Aspen is a unique destination for a true hedonist ready to indulge their senses.
Keystone is only a short hour and a half drive from Denver. It boasts close to 3,000 acres of ski area and 131 trails. It caters mainly to experienced skiers with over 50% of its trails falling under the “most difficult” category. It’s also the only place with night skiing in the area.
Keystone is popular among the “under 35” crowd. However, with so many kid-friendly activities and the River Run Ski School, it’s great for families, too. All the staff members are friendly and aim to please. They ensure everyone in your family has a great experience.
Breckenridge is also only an hour and a half drive from Denver and caters to families and those under 35. Four mountain peaks and 2,400 acres of ski area make up the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Lodgings span from luxury ski resort hotels to romantic bed and breakfast inns, and many budget-friendly options for families.
It is the oldest and largest town in Colorado’s Summit County. It started out as a mining town, just like many others. Its well-preserved architecture includes 250-plus buildings on the National Historic Register. The quaint main street is picturesque and is home to many shops and restaurants. Because of its historic charm, arts events, many festivals throughout the year, and public art spaces, Breckenridge was recently named a Certified Colorado Creative District.
Copper Canyon Lodge is perched at 10,500 feet overlooking the town of Breckenridge. The lodge, designed to display the mesmerizing views of the Ten Mile Range, will draw you into its spacious confines.
Steamboat Springs is where downhill skiing first flourished in the United States. Steamboat ski resort has been the locale of world-class skiing competitions including the Alpine Skiing World Cup in 1989 and 1990.
Steamboat is an authentic ranch town with great terrain. Its historic, ranch feel makes it more rugged than glitzy, very different from Aspen, for example. In the friendly, down-to-earth town, you can see people wearing cowboy hats with their ski boots. And after a long day of skiing, you can relax and recuperate in one of the natural hot springs for which the town was named.
For a true year-round, family-friendly lifestyle, located at the foot of epic Mt. Werner, One Steamboat Place – A Timbers Residence Club, delivers it all. No matter where you go or what you do, home ownership at One Steamboat Place is a custom experience designed just for you and your family.
Winter Park is the Denver local’s hangout. Winter Park Resort is a ski resort owned by the City and County of Denver. With a 75-year history, it is Colorado’s continually operated ski resort. Its elevation reaches over 12,000 feet, receiving 29 feet of snow annually. It has the most consistent snow season-after-season. It is covered in snow for about six months out of the year. Their snowmaking capabilities guarantee the season-opening before Thanksgiving.
Winter Park consists of over 3,000 total skiable acres, including 166 designated trails. Its trails vary greatly, so they accommodate skiers of all levels and experience. The resort provides a pristine backdrop to a plethora of events and activities, sure to entertain old and young alike.
Basin is known for being attractive to hardcore old-school skiers. It has a summit elevation of 13,000 feet, which is among the highest skiable terrain in North America. Because of its high elevation, the Basin’s ski season is much longer than most Colorado resorts. Its terrain mostly caters to advanced and expert skiers, while also accommodating the novice, intermediate, and child skiers. The Basin has a very laid back, family-friendly vibe.
Just like many of the others, Crested Butte is a former coal-mining town. It is now referred to as “the last great Colorado ski town.” Double black diamond runs make up 448 of its acres. This large amount of extreme skiing terrain has attracted the U.S. Extreme Skiing Championships and the X Games. The longest run on the mountain is 2.6 miles long.
Crested Butte is known for its raw, natural beauty but it’s a long way out and limited because it’s at the end of one road. However, making it there is so worth it for die-hard skiers and nature lovers.
All these fabulous Colorado ski destinations offer a wide range of accommodations, including timesharing, ownership, and fractional ownership.
Almost everyone is familiar with timeshares. Aside from their high-pressure techniques, there are other reasons why timesharing might not be the best way to go. If you’re like one of those ski lovers who love to ski numerous times throughout the season, a timeshare won’t accommodate your needs. With most timeshares, you typically get only one week of usage during the year. The other downside is there are usually about 50-52 owners per unit, which means the traffic is heavy, thus increased wear and tear. Timeshare units are typically hard to sell, as well.
Sure, it’s an affordable alternative to staying at hotels and vacation rental properties. But you must consider all the drawbacks and whether one week per year suits your needs.
Purchasing a vacation property might not be the best option either. Even if you plan on skiing 3-4 weeks out of the year, your home will be vacant most of the year. Along with the purchase price, you have property taxes which are applied to the assessed value of your home, HOA fees and of course maintenance expenses. If you consider renting out your vacation home, you must hire someone to manage the rentals and emergency rentals.
So if you’ve ruled out timeshares and purchasing a vacation home, then fractional ownership may be the best option for you. This is a financially smart alternative to whole ownership of a vacation home with lower upfront costs. They’re also low-hassle since property developers take care of all the maintenance.
What is fractional ownership? In short, it’s where two or more families purchase a vacation home together. All the expenses and income are proportionately split amongst the owners. Typically, there are anywhere from 4-8 owners per unit. You get to use your home anywhere from 12-13 weeks per year to as little as 2-3 weeks, depending on how many owners there are. But you still get more usage than with timeshares, and because there aren’t as many owners, you become acquainted.
Advantages of Fractional Ownership
You dream of owning a vacation home in a resort community, but it’s just fiscally possible. In a fractional ownership arrangement, you split the monthly carrying cost and the maintenance fees with partners. This shared cost allows you to own a bigger vacation home or a property in a better community
Less property vacancy
Full-time jobs, busy schedules, school schedules, and so many other obligations make it challenging for most families to vacation more than 3-4 weeks out of the year. So you own a home with other families your home won’t be sitting vacant for much of the year.
More money for upgrades
Sharing in the costs with other owners means you can put more money into upgrades. Owning a home requires you to make capital investments, so why not spread that cost across multiple owners?
Fractional ownership may be right for you if you want:
- A very high-quality vacation.
- A higher financial stake.
- A more relaxed, intimate, and “clubby” environment.
- Less wear and tear on your property
- Expect to benefit from the appreciation of your real estate investment upon its resale.
- Feel more loyal and connected to the property.
Fractional ownership is a perfect option if you’re an affluent seasoned skier who loves to vacation with luxury and class, while also maintaining that comfy cozy home feeling.