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Breckenridge is a breath of fresh air - easy-going, eager to please and home to lots and lots of confidence-boosting pistes...
Given that you have to fly across six time zones to get here, the price of Breckenridge ski holidays may come as a welcome surprise.
You won't find so many of the discounts you can often get in Europe (although there are some great offers if you look hard enough). But if you like the idea of skiing the kind of wide-open, snow-sure pistes you rarely find in the Alps, it's worth considering.
Resort height: 2,935m The mountains
If you've never really got a handle on your ski technique, or if you thought you were progressing, but lost your confidence on a steep and icy Alpine slope - then Breckenridge is the place for you. Its wide, forgiving groomers (as the Americans like to call their pistes) are the perfect place to settle the nerves and relax, and really start to enjoy your skiing. You'll be impressed by the ski instructors too - this is America, remember, where the customer is king. No one is going to try to make you feel small.
Breckenridge is also home to a stunning freestyle scene - the resort has five terrain parks, which are packed at the weekends with the young guns of Denver, who flock here to impress each other with their mind-boggling acrobatics. Sensibly, the resort has included a couple of beginners' parks in its offering so mere mortals don't get in the way...
However, putting aside the parks, more expert skiers and snowboarders will quickly get bored here. Breckenridge's total ski area is 2,208 acres, which is modest even by American standards, and most of the terrain is fairly gentle. It's best left to beginners and intermediates.
Sorry: you've got to fly all the way to Denver, and then take a two-hour transfer once you get there...
By the time you arrive you'll be feeling pretty groggy. No matter: if you're the kind of skier or snowboarder who needs Breckenridge's brand of winter fun, you'll think the effort worthwhile.
The wide, gentle slopes of Breckenridge are perfect for beginners and nervous intermediates...
Experts would probably be better off in a different resort, though.
With lively nightlife, particularly at the weekends, and fantastic shopping, pretty Breckenridge is a good all-rounder...
Rating: 8/10 Après-ski
By American standards, Breckenridge rocks at night. It doesn't compare to the likes of Ischgl or St Anton, but come the weekend, when the young professionals and college students of Denver come out to play, the bars in the centre of town are jumping. Try Jake's Dive Bar or the Motherloaded Tavern.
The restaurant scene is pretty lively too - though this isn't a gourmet's resort. The Breckenridge Brewery (which brews its own beer) is a good place for food that's a cut above the average, though the best meal in town is at Hearthstone Restaurant.
Rating: 7/10 Non-skiers
Breckenridge is a paradise for shoppers. There's a lot of choice in town, and plenty more at the factory outlet stores at Silverthorne - Nike, Gap, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger are all there. Once you've filled up your baggage allowance for the flight home, it's time to try some of the many on-mountain activities, including dog-sledding, cross-country skiing and skating.
Rating: 7/10 Cost of living
You can help to keep a lid on costs by signing up for a package holiday in a catered chalet: breakfast, supper and afternoon tea are all included in the price. Or keep your eyes peeled for special offers.
Rating: 7/10 Attractiveness of the resort
The Breckenridge scenery isn't as dramatic as you'll find in the Alps, but the town centre (which preserves some of the old wild west architecture) is cute and atmospheric. The only eyesore is provided by the vast car parks laid aside at the edge of town for local visitors.