Loveland Ski Area: Why It Is the Best Kind of Stupid

Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason if I like a destination; it’s just the feeling I get. I’ve only skied Loveland Ski Area’s 1,570 acres twice and both times were extremely windy and chilly.

Kind of funny how that happens in winter sports.

But despite the less-than optimal conditions, I refuse to give up on having an idyllic day in Loveland. My family recently hit the slopes with our beloved Uncle Chris for his birthday and here are a few of our findings:

Out of Colorado’s resorts, Loveland is one of the closest. Just 53 miles from downtown Denver, even I-70′s weekend traffic snarls didn’t put too much of a dent in our drive because it was the first resort we encountered. During the week, it’s a swift 35-minute drive from our house and my husband and I are already plotting our half-day skiing adventures at Loveland when both kids are (finally) in full-day school next year. Countdown: starting now.

Ski School
My son Bode had his first day on the slopes at Loveland two years ago and it was fun to return to his roots. L.G. (Loveland Guy) makes an appearance on Saturdays and delighted all the kids.

I’m not sure what is more disturbing: my son’s expression or L.G.’s pink polka dots.

Children’s full-day sessions including lift ticket, lunch and rental start at just $104. If you’re just starting out, Loveland has some great packages for adults that cover everything from “newcomers” to those who want to fine-tune their skills.

The Non-skiers

Have a child who isn’t ready or doesn’t want to ski? The resort’s licensed Child Care Center is for kids from 12 months to 12 years. An all-day with lunch and two snacks is $65. If you’ve been to other resorts, you realize how affordable this is; most charge well of $100 and I’ve dropped more money for childcare than my ski day.

Loveland Explorers

We sat next to a mom at lunch whose child was enrolled in the Loveland Explorers, a 6-week program where the Ski and Ride School works with the Loveland Racing Team to develop the skills of intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders ages 7-14. Why I’m sold on the program: 1) No more than 6 students for each coach. 2) Children learn and explore with the same coach all 6 weeks. 3) It’s only $459 for six weeks and includes full-day lessons, lunch and an unrestricted season pass. Don’t miss out for next season.

Sneak Peak (pun intended):

Loveland will soon be offering something really cool off Chair 9: FREE snowcat rides north along the Ridge. There won’t be a cost to ride the cat but users will have to read and sign a waiver to get a free “cat pass.” Check Loveland’s website for when this cooool cat program is going to launch.

Deals & Pricing

Adults (ages 15+) are $59, children 6-14 are $25 and 5 and under ski FREE. Check their website for discounted tickets after April 9 (Can you say AFFORDABLE!?) The Daytripper Package (ticket, equipment and clothing for $99) and the Flex Ticket, Colorado’s only flexible 4 hour ticket are worth checking out as well. Loveland also offers a 3-Class Pass. Take three lessons and get a free season pass.

Ski and Stay Deals

I’ve never thought of Loveland as a destination resort but packages start at $119. They include lodging in neighboring towns Georgetown and Silverthorne and also lift tickets for two adults. Tip: If you want to avoid I-70′s traffic snarls, go with Silverthorne at the end of your ski day where you’ll be going the opposite direction of all the skiers heading back to Denver.

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

Did I already mention it was cold?

As long as Jamie, Chris and I stayed on the lower slopes or in cossetted Loveland Valley, we avoided the worst of the wind. However, Loveland is located on the Continental Divide and the summit elevation is 13,010 feet. This affords staggering views on a bluebird day but brace yourself when it is blustery.

As we huddled together on Chair 8, we gazed down upon the wind-whipped chutes, marveling at the forests that were forever slanted from the gusts. Snow swirled around us and as we climbed higher, our world was temporarily blotted out completely white.

I turned to the birthday boy. “Chris, can you even believe we’re doing this?”

He paused, laughed and then uttered what will become my motto on all such bitterly cold days on the slopes: “Yes, but it’s the best kind of stupid.”

Hear, hear.

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