Aside from camping, don’t expect to find any budget or midrange lodging in Vail. Ski-season rates reach their peak during the Christmas and New Year holidays, but you should expect astronomical prices all winter long. Rates quoted here are for mid-February through March, when the snow is best; January prices are marginally cheaper. For the most part, you're paying for location, and location only: a lot of the lodging is condo style, and for this reason it can be very hit or miss. If you don't need to be in Vail, check out the nearby town of Minturn. Frisco, though further away, is another possible base.