I had my pass at Monarch a couple of years ago.  It's a very nice mountain, right on the continental divide, doesn't get big crowds and the majority are friendly locals.  Skis bigger than it is.  Lots of good looking trees which I didn't ski because it was a very low snow year in CO.  People were not going in the trees.  I had their One Pass which has benefits at a dozen or more other places.  UT did better on snow so I used my benefits there a lot more than Monarch, but that's not Monarch's fault.  My plan that year was to find a 'little place" with lots of powder and few skiers.  Got 2 out of 3, sigh.  The Arkansas River runs thru salida and has great trout fishing.  I met a local Telemarktips guy who used the pen name Baetis.  He was more into fly fishing and road biking than skiing and said Salida was great for both.  The mountain is a 20 min drive and a couple thousand feet above town and could be a serious challenge in a storm.  I don't recall any lodging at the mountain.  I believe there's a cat ski operation nearby but the other CO ski areas are too far away to use Salida as a base, IMO.  Winter days can be spring like in town.  There are a number of good restaurants and a brewpub. 

I'd love to go back.

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