Steamboat

Review: Steamboat Springs, Colo., part 2 –Travel and Lodging

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The Porches: Attention to Detail Wins
During our last trip to Steamboat my wife and I stayed at an amazing slope-side spa, but the days of us traveling alone have changed since getting married. Our vacations these days typically include groups of friends and, or family. Our group this time around included four couples of friends, both old and new, a mix of professionals in their 30′s looking to unwind without children and responsibilities, and of course, to mix it up in some of Steamboat’s legendary Champagne PowderTM.

The lodging options in Steamboat are many, especially for groups, but in terms of finding luxury, entertainment and convenience in one place the Porches of Steamboat leads the way. From each home’s fine building details to the pool table and entertainment system housed in each home’s huge lower level, to the fast and efficient door-to-door ski rental and shuttle system, the Porches is in a class by itself.

porches-night1We arrived at the small neighborhood of custom homes located just off of Steamboat’s Mt. Werner road on a Thursday evening, and checked in at the neighborhood Barn with the Porches’ Eric Glick, who gave me the full lowdown on ski conditions and runs to consider, and since we were faced with a couple of days of Spring-like weather, some sage advice to, “follow the sun in the morning.”

Our crew then made its way to the 4,189-square foot Blue Spruce house, where we were promptly fitted for ski gear in the living room by Door2Door (D2D), a company that partners with the Porches. In terms of cost, D2D is a bit higher than most, but then you are paying for the convenience factor, which was a big deal for our party. The Porches and D2D even have a slope-side portal near the gondola where we were able to exchange gear, or get a tune, if necessary. And to boot, they stored our gear, so when we arrived to ski in the morning our boards were waiting for us, slope-side.

Each of the 5-bedrooms in the Blue Spruce house had its own master bathroom, not simply a toilet and a sink, but a master bathroom. There were three bedrooms on the top level, one on the main, and another in the lower level. To be blunt, the Blue Spruce house was huge. It seemed like, between the eight of us, we had two parties going at all times, one upstairs in the kitchen/living room and another one in the lower level around the pool table.

master bedroombathroomdownstairs-living-roompool-table

One of our traveling companions owns a construction business that builds custom homes on Vashon Island, Wash., and he spent the week marveling at the Porches’ workmanship. From the massive, reclaimed Douglass Fir beams consistent throughout all of the Porches’ homes and even the Barn, to the ingenious and beautiful boot and jacket rack in the Blue Spruce’s foyer, to the baseboard woodwork throughout Blue Spruce, no expense was spared in building the Porches.

Nor was an expense spared with the shuttle, which to me, is somewhat of a big deal. It’s a canary in the coal mine, kind of like the salsa at a Mexican restaurant. If the shuttle is in poor condition, the service typically lacks too. The Porches owns a brand new shuttle, complete with DVD player, that was a phone call away and at most a ten-minute wait for pick up. It was always warm and the drivers were excellent. Like Eric, they also gave us some local knowledge on the way to the ski hill, which came in handy.

The amenities at the Barn, mostly the hot tub and pool, were welcome after a long day of skiing. Don’t miss the free chocolate on the way out.

In all, the Porches made an awesome experience in Steamboat a perfect one. The next time you decide to visit Steamboat Springs with family or friends, whether in winter or summer, consider staying at the Porches. Your traveling friends and family will thank you upon arrival.

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The Porches presents both ownership and rental opportunities. And for the rest of February the Porches is offering 25-percent off of lodging, 35-percent off for ski rentals, and FREE Lift tickets. Keep in mind, February and March are typically Colorado’s best skiing months, in terms of snow cover and sunshine.

For more information visit the Porches website at www.theporches.com, or call:

Emilie Crider at
970-879-0600
Emilie@pinnacleresorts.net

More Photos (Barn photos courtesy of The Porches of Steamboat)     

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Getting There
Located near the Wyoming/Colorado border, and somewhat isolated, getting to Steamboat seems a pain from the outside looking in, but really is a snap if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars to fly directly to Steamboat Springs and take a shuttle to the Porches - a rental car from Denver International Airport will set travelers back $100 per day, plus the cost of gas and insurance, and makes little sense if the weather turns ugly.

Delta Airlines offers flights from a wide-range of national airport hubs, and is currently offering specials from the following cities:

Atlanta and New York — *$119.00 each way
Los Angeles and San Francisco — *$149.00 each way
Seattle, San Diego and Phoenix — *$139.00 each way

*For more details on direct flights to the ‘Boat, please click here: http://steamboat.com/deltaAirlines.html

–end

Review: Steamboat Springs, Colo., part I – Riding the ‘Boat

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Steamboat Mountain Resort
Summit Elevation 10,568 feet
Vertical Drop 3,688 feet
Average Annual Snowfall 339 inches
Skiable Acres 2,965
www.steamboat.com

Steamboat Mountain offers almost 3,000 skiable acres, consisting of glades, cruisers, and chutes, all filled-in with snow so light and fast the resort actually trademarked it with the famous description — Champagne PowderTM.

Steamboat’s snow is like ‘cold smoke’, mostly because the stuff just disappears as you float through it, but also because the term ‘smoke’ implies speed, something not typically associated with powder in great doses. Those skiers and snowboarders who criticize Steamboat as a low-angle hill and not steep enough for their macho turns have obviously never skied the ‘Boat’s East Face, or the Closet trees on a powder day.

For this review we skied the East Face, plus Closet and Shadows, on an 18-plus inch powder day, and now have chapped lips to show for it, a result of the many face shots of Champagne we drank while banging the fall line at mach speed. Photos? Uh, nope. Like friends, photos are scarce on a powder day.

Prior to the big dumpage, from Friday through Sunday, our crew skied in spring-like conditions, which offered up the chance to chase soft groomers in the warm sunshine, drink beers on the sundeck at Rendevous over lunch, and then again at the Slopeside Grill at the end of the day.

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Mountain Highlights:

  • Terrain Surrounding Pony Express- largely vacant on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, the trees interspersed between the runs funneling to the Pony Express lift held stashes of Steamboat’s finest, especially Cabin Fever, Perry’s Park and Diamond Hitch. We torched through some signature Aspen trees at the top and then through a playground of rolls and drop off’s in the terrain surrounding Outlaw.
  • Broadway Bench – there is a picnic bench located to the left of Westside, over by Rolex that not only offers a sunny spot for a brown bag lunch, but also picturesque views of the Yampa Valley.
  • Backcountry Gate on Pioneer Ridge – expert terrain that is open to exploration amidst the most beautiful fields of powder one could ever imagine, accessible by a five-minute hike. Be prepared if you decide to exit the resort, however. If you get hurt outside the rope, your rescue is in your own hands. If you get hurt inside the rope, someone will come to your aid.

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Steamboat Mountain Resort adult full day lift ticket — $91.00/Adult ½ day lift ticket — $72.00

For lift ticket deals try CraigsList.com, or Liftopia.com.

See part 2 from Steamboat Springs  where I cover lodging and getting there!