lots of terrain, good conditions
side to side transportation, altitude
My family skiied here for our first trip out west. I had skiied out west (snowmass, bever creek, vail) as a kid and teenager, but then didn't have a chance to go for many (over 15) years until this year. Prior to our trip, my wife and kids (2 girls under ten) learned to ski on a local hill in preparation for our colorado vacation. This was really helpful, and worth the trouble as they all had an idea of what to expect when we got there.
Of course, the really shockng thing about breck is its size and the views are breathtaking (not to mention the altitude). After skiing on a hill with 60 acres and a 400 ft vertical, moving to Breck was like culture shock! - but definitely in a good way. The kids loved ski school and couldn't wait to show us parts of the mountain that their instructor had showed them. There is a ton of skiing here for beginners and intermediates, and most of the peaks are accessible to a skiier who can handle wide open, fairly gentle intermediate slopes. One day I skiied with my teenage nephew, and we found a ton of groomed advanced trails that were nice and challenging, but not scary steep with waist high bumps. We also saw some really sick stuff that made my stomach hurt to look at - and some pretty incredible skiiers eating it up. The snow and the slopes were in great condition.
Getting from one peak to the next is a little difficult in some cases depending on which direction you are trying to move. Beginners may have a particularly tough time with this as many of the connections require skiing intermediate terrain. Getting all the way over to peak 7 requires a little bit of pumping with the poles on some flat areas. However it is well worth it for the several uncrowded wide rolling intermediate trails. We were there spring break week and skiied peak 7 for an entire morning - I don't remember that we saw anyone else there except in the 60 second lift line at the bottom. There was gentle snow that day - maybe 4 inches total. We made fresh tracks every run. It was totally quiet as if we had it all to ourselves.
I can't really judge nightlife - honestly, i was too tired to do much of anything but roll home and sleep. We did wonder the town a little one night and fell into a excellent restaurant with an award winning wine list. We had no trouble getting a table. The food was as good as some meals I've had in Zagat reviewed places in Chicago, San Fran, or New York. We passed several similar places in our little stroll.
The altitude did kind of get to us a little, and my 7 year old complained of a headache a couple of days, but otherwise we just felt a little winded and had trouble sleeping good the first 2-3 days. We weren't really prepared for this. The next trip we took was much better - drank a ton of water and took ginkgo biloba for a few days before and during the trip. Seemed to help.
Overall, it was a great family vacation - something for everone. We are already booked to go back in 2009.