Copper Mountain – great local’s resort but prices are creeping up recently, and anyone below black level will feel crowded too often. Best at weekday trips for the experienced skier.
Crested Butte – still (mostly) escaping the busier and more expensive trend, plenty to offer skiers of all levels. Blacks and boards will find the most to love, and the food gets rave reviews.
Durango Mountain (Purgatory) – big and beautiful but somewhat hit-or-miss when it comes to lift lines and grooming.
Eldora Mountain – close to Denver & Boulder, this small short-trip destination offers plenty of variety. Terrain park facilities a little shaky, and weekend greenies get crowded, but great (and relatively inexpensive) family fun to be had.
Keystone – good points: night skiing, convenient to Denver, great advanced blue and blacks. Not-so-good: can get very busy on weekends, grooming can be inconsistent. Apres-ski very local-oriented, and costs are reasonable.
Powderhorn – incredible views and powder, great variety, good trees and jumps. Reasonable prices and friendly folks balance out the older, smaller facilities.
Ski Cooper – small and cozy, but great skiing and instructors. Slower-paced and more intimate and friendly experience for beginners & families.
Solvista – excellent family learning environment with little crowding and even less nightlife.
Steamboat Spings – champagne powder and lower altitudes, with a friendly atmosphere. Amazing terrain park & Superpipe. A total win, unless you need many overpriced nightlife options. Check out Howelsen Hill for jumping and other Olympic fun!
Sunlight Mountain – a contender for ‘best-kept secret’, great powder and trails for green and black, though somewhat limited in the middle, and for terrain parks.
Telluride – downsides: costly and remote. Other than that, an unmissable ski and resort situation. Town and mountain alike will please everyone. Really.
Vail – ugh. Busy, expensive, pretentious. On the other hand, the skiing is amazing, as is the food, the views, the variety, the size…basically, if your patience and pocketbook can handle it, it’s well worth the trip.
Winter Park – less for boarders than skiers, but still plenty for everyone and convenient to Denver. New developments either help or hurt, depending on your view
Wolf Creek (Colorado) – outstanding amounts of snow, plus a more intimate resort experience. Remote and aging facilities, plus a lack of terrain features for boarders, may limit some folks, but this is maybe THE best kept secret for blue level skiers.
As a matter of fact, it is my opinion that the ski areas here are the most beautiful and entertaining there are anywhere. You could search high then low and still not find any that are even comparable. I should know, I have been all over the world enjoying ski resorts the whole while. It has been quite a ride but the slopes I find to be the best are right here and nowhere else!