Ski Loveland is an Affordable Option for Families

*Thank you to Loveland for hosting my family’s visit.  As always, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

A small pair of hands struggled to pull up her ski pants in the dark.  She hadn’t even taken her head off the pillow; she just reached down on the ground and grabbed her clothes.  I am glad that I walked in as she was getting dressed.  She had forgotten her base layers and it was going to be a cold day.  We quickly moved the kids along so they were dressed and ready for the slopes and then we loaded up the car.  Snacks?  Check.  Ski gloves and goggles?  Check.  Both kids strapped in the car with their seatbelts on?  Check.

It was before 6am in the morning and the sun hadn’t even started to rise.  I could hear the rustle of the ski pants as my children shifted around to get comfortable for the drive.  We were hoping this early start would help us avoid the horrendous traffic that backs up on the path towards the ski Mecca.  The weather was not going to be great either so we were hoping to beat the snow that slows traffic down even more.  What does a 6am departure get you?  Slopeside parking.

We were getting ready to Ski Loveland.

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The Loveland Ski Area is one of the closest ski areas to our Denver suburb.  It is before the tunnel so you can avoid the traffic that builds up there (well, only as long as the tunnel doesn’t close) and is only about 45 miles from the middle of Denver.  When we had the opportunity to visit Loveland, we decided to just drive up for a day of skiing rather than stay the night.  Loveland Ski Area is not a resort.  There are no fancy ski in/ski out condos lining the Valley slope.  It is a great place for both locals and travelers.

Beginning Your Day

We arrived just before 8am when the rental shop and ticket sales open up and the ski and ride school starts registration and check-in.   Picking up our rentals was a smooth process because our children were already registered for a class.  After you get checked-in for ski school, you walk down a short hallway that drops you off in the rental shop.  You will want to arrive as early as possible if you are renting equipment because it gets crowded very quickly and can take up to an hour to get through the line and get your gear.

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Meeting for ski and ride school was a little chaotic but it was definitely organized chaos.  When you drop your child off, you find their level and leave them with an instructor.  Both of my children were a solid Level II so I found the spot that fit and dropped them off.  Once we knew they would be okay, my husband and I hit the Learning Area slope so that I could get used to having skis on my feet again.

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The Loveland Valley Cafeteria

Unfortunately I hadn’t been feeling very well that week so after a couple of runs down the learning area and a little tumble (and the horrible visibility didn’t help much), I decided to take a break in the Loveland Valley Cafeteria while my husband took the shuttle to the Loveland Basin.

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This mama gives up for the day.

I am glad that it worked out the way it did because it gave me the opportunity to bring you the best tip of the day.  Apparently, because of Loveland’s location and its reasonable ski and ride school prices, there are lots of families that make the trip and stake out a spot in the Loveland Valley Cafeteria.  The prime seating next to the large windows where you can watch some of the Ski and Ride classes are taken up by the moms, dads, and younger children who are not skiing and are very much camped out.  There were seats saved, coolers full of lunch, and toddlers running around everywhere.  At lunchtime, it got even more crowded as the families of skiers took a break from the slopes.

The Learning Area

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Because we are in our inaugural ski season as a family, I am very interested in the beginner options.  What do you do in between a couple of lessons and trying a more challenging green run?  I like the option that Loveland offers with their Chairlift 7.  This chairlift takes you to All Smiles and Take Off, both runs that are perfect for practicing beginners.  It is also where my children took their very first lift all by themselves (without an adult!).

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An Affordable Option

We have mentioned over and over about how skiing and snowboarding are both very expensive sports.  Loveland offers a very affordable option with their 3 Class Pass.  For only $289 for adults, you get three classes and a season pass.  Children’s prices vary according to age.  Loveland also participates in the Colorado Ski Gas Station Deal.  With at least ten gallons of gas, you can get a Buy One Get One lift ticket.  After much discussion and visiting a number of the ski resorts near us, we have decided that we are going to participate in the 3 Class Pass if it is offered in the 13-14 season.  This will help our family save money on a sport that we have come to love and enjoy.

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