At a time when it seems that every ski area is turning into a real-estate venture with a faux Ye Olde Alpine Village at its base, Loveland is a welcome throwback. The runs may be shorter than those at nearby mega-resorts, but what you get in return is priceless. There are no condos or ski-in, ski-out chalets slopeside, no golf course to pull in guests when the snow is gone. In other words, the only reason to come here is the riding. Parking is free, and even if you're on the far edges of the lot, you're never more than a three-minute walk to the lift. Unlike the resorts on the far side of the Divide, there is also no atmosphere of privilege suffocating the place. The food is reasonably priced -- ask the french-fry guy to pile your plate high; he will -- and the people who work at Loveland all seem to love what they do. Families come here year after year for the short drive, the homey feel and the prices: A kid's full-day lesson costs about 40 percent less than it does at a resort just up the road.