Centennial State ski areas have been getting cliquey lately, pairing off under different ownership groups and lift passes in a way that feels like, well, high school. In that spirit, we assigned Breakfast Club–esque stereotypes to six Colorado ski resorts—because if we remember anything from our teenage years, it’s that pigeonholing people (and places) using only their most superficial attributes is always a good idea.
If Colorado’s Vail Resorts–owned properties are H&M-wearing, Post Malone–listening sheep, then Loveland Ski Area is the loner rocking unwashed flannel and espousing the merits of Neon Indian. (It’s a New Age chill-wave group.) While almost every other resort is racing to join the Epic or Ikon passes, Loveland never tries to run with the in crowd—it just started its 82nd year as an indie.
The Rich Kid
Aspen Snowmass resides in one of the top 10 most expensive zip codes in the country, meaning it’s a favorite of Gucci-clad skiers who fly into town on private jets and spend the night in 26-room ski-in, ski-out mansions. Basically, it’s the grown-up version of the kid who threw ragers every weekend at his parents’ supervision-less vacation home…which was probably in Aspen.
The Teacher’s Pet
In recent years, Beaver Creek Resort has tried hard to excel at school: The 2018 opening of a new beginner area, Haymeadow Park, gave the ski area more dedicated learning terrain than any other Colorado resort. Its efforts to get good marks have benefits for the rest of the class, too, including free freshly baked cookies served everyday at 3 p.m. in Beaver Creek Village.
There’s always one tween who thinks he’s cool enough to hang with an older crew. And it’s useful that 14-year-old Echo Mountain has a bunch of terrain parks—just like it was useful that the middle schooler down the street had a new Xbox. But take away its toys, and Front Range–situated Echo doesn’t feel as mature as resorts west of the Continental Divide.
The Prom Queen
From Condé Nast Traveler to Sunset, it seems no magazine is capable of making a “Top 10 Skiing Destinations” list without honoring Vail Ski Resort. Like any exalted being, though, the mountain inspires plenty of contempt (or are they just jealous?). For evidence, look no further than the “Vail Sucks” T-shirts Aspen ski shops have been selling for years.
Copper Mountain’s varsity jacket might not be big enough to fit all of its patches. The U.S. Ski Speed Center, a downhill course on which skiers regularly clock speeds of 80 mph, debuted at the resort in 2016. The separate 20,000-square-foot Woodward Barn features foam pits and trampolines, making it the perfect playground to practice high-flying, X Games–style stunts.