Ever wonder what makes a ski resort great for families and what makes it family friendly? You may have given this a thought, or perhaps not, but what is most important about a ski resort is how well the hills and mountains are suited for ski families. I believe the best ski resort offers exceptional group rates, private lessons for people of all ages and is dedicated to training on the slopes. Some resorts offer free or discount equipment rental for all ages. In addition, some resorts offer non-skiing family members day care or supervised kid’s camp with a variety of activities. Here are Forbes-recommended Top 5 Ski Resorts in the U.S. for Families with Scores (the Family rankings and scores for 182 U.S. Resorts can be found at ZRankings.com)
- 1. Beaver Creek, Colorado – Family PAF Score: 84.9: Beaver Creek won as the number one ski resort for families in 2014. Many families’ experiences say that Beaver Creek is creative and large, with plentiful activities for kids. They also felt that there was extensive area at the base and families didn’t have to ride three lifts to get to the ski location. Beaver Creek has installed a short gondola called Buckaroo, mainly for kids, but parents can feel free to ride as well if they choose.
- 2. Heavenly, California – Family PAF Score: 83.6: Considered a big winner with children, this spot offers wide groomer, lot of sunshine, with plenteous amounts of outdoor picnic areas. Heavenly, California offers long green runs with front mountains making it easy for children to ski through.
- 3. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah – Family PAF Score: 82.6:This resort is perfect for families and has high speed lifts nearly everywhere which makes it easy for children to get around.
- 4. Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah – Family PAF Score: 79.2: Solitude is a winner for families because they have spacious lodges and cool barbecue shacks. Also, they have big stashes of all kinds of terrain and guests can park in front at no charge.
- 5. Breckenridge, Colorado – Family PAF Score: 79.1: Breckenridge is the ideal place for families, known for the big crowd and its long stretch of terrain at the bottom of the mountain. A place where families will love its Main Street, brick facades and clapboard mining homes.
It’s a great winter to be in the market for some fun as a family on the right ski resort. The PAF score analyses on what matters for ski trips and which is the best in the United States, including: terrain makeup; lift quantity and quality; accessibility, total vertical; vertical continuity, prices, fun, skiable acreage; ski town ambience; and, more important than any other single category, snow.