I had to include this because I have been there! Christmas break at college four threw some mattresses in my old VW bus and set off from Wisconsin to ski Vail. We parked in hotel parking lots and after dark string an extention cord to a electrical outlet we always seemed to find to our little $10 heater. All our money went to gas and lift tickets. Oh, and beer. We would not have it but for our friend Shep who taught us how to eat at Vail.
Go to restaurants about 6 or so, scope them out to find ones with no (or absent) hostesses. Stand around and look for a table with children that are about to leave, as soon as they get up, go sit down and immediately start SCARFING up the food. Do it at 3 or 4 places and its full up. Embarrassing but workable. Another trick was to go to McDonalds early morning and buy a bunch of McMuffins and then off to the lifts with warm muffins in your pants. And it may sound strange, but sitting waist deep in the snow on top of a mountain chomping on frozen McMuffins with my ragged company is one of the fondest indelible of memories.