Colorado is the perfect spot for mountain skiing on white powdery snow. But that’s not all skiers can expect from Colorado. Here’s the low down on what’s new this ski season at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Vail. Plus, the 4-1-1 on a few local events and hotel packages for your ski-loving clients.
Beaver Creek is adding a few improvements to enhance the overall ski experience for its guests. The resort is offering a new high-speed lift debuting on Nov. 26 that combines new six-passenger chairs with alternating 10-person gondola cabins. The lift benefits beginners and kids since loading and unloading from the gondola cabins is easier. Also, Beaver Creek’s snowmaking system received a boost with 24 new snowmaking machines on the popular Gold Dust Trail, and 10 new snowmakers for the Lower Larkspur Trail. For skiers with a sweet tooth, Beaver Creek is introducing the Candy Cabin, a candy store serving candy by the pound, custom chocolates, and classic Pepsi products at the top of Strawberry Park Express Lift and Upper Beaver Creek Mountain Express Lift.
For guests looking to book their trip around local events, the 4th Annual Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend will take place Jan. 22-25, 2015; women skiers can join the daily Women’s Social Hour tour from 10:15-12:15 p.m. (this women’s-only social ski tour gives ladies a chance to meet on the slopes); and Cookie Time at 3 p.m. every day at the base of the mountain where chefs greet skiers with silver trays of warm, chocolate chip cookies from the Beaver Creek Cookie Company, as well as their sweet and savory crepes.
Beaver Creek is offering its White Glove Winter package for four guests. The package includes first class airfare to Vail/Beaver Creek’s Eagle Airport (EGE), private helicopter transportation to the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, and private car transportation to an on-mountain cabin. At the resort, personal Ski School Ambassadors greet guests with a Champagne toast at Trappers Cabin; a private chef is available to prepare gourmet meals; and a private Ski School Ambassador accompanies guests on the slopes. Guests also receive four complimentary Epic Passes (normally $749 for adults, $389 for kids), which offer unlimited skiing and snowboarding at 11 resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and resorts in Utah, Lake Tahoe, Minnesota, Japan, Switzerland, and France. The package starts at $50,000. For more information call (877) 774-6223 or visit beavercreek.com/whiteglove.
Guests can save up to 35 percent off with early bookings made by opening day, Nov. 26, with travel for Nov. 25 to April 6, 2015. For more information, call (877) 204-7883 or visitbeavercreek.com.
“Breckenridge is world-renowned for its welcoming spirit and friendly locals. With over 200 restaurants, bars, shops, and numerous year-round activities and events, Breck embodies more than just a destination; it inspires a way of life,” says Kristen Petitt Stewart, director of communications for Breckenridge Ski Resort.
A few upgrades and additions are taking place at the resort, from the upgrade of the Colorado Super Chair, a 6-passenger express lift transporting skiers to the surrounding peaks, to a new restaurant at Peak 9. Breckenridge Ski Resort also added over 540 acres to its ski slopes last season, including the expansion to Peak 6, which included 400 acres of lift-served terrain and 143 acres of hike-to terrain. “Peak 6 features high-alpine, intermediate bowl skiing—a rare find in North America,” adds Petitt Stewart.
Families can take in seasonal events such as the Snow Active Kids’ Weekend and the children’s Ski & Ride School, as well as ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides and local town events. There’s also the Gold Runner on Peak 8, which is an alpine roller coaster that twists and turns down 2,500 ft. at a max of 30 mph. Also, the town’s “arts district has expanded to include a new dedicated kids’ studio. In the past, winter programming has included tie-dying for teens, kids’ printmaking, etc,” says Petitt Stewart.
For non-skiers, Breckenridge offers The Good Times Adventure Dog Sledding tour leading guests into the backcountry on a sled for six people pulled by Siberian Huskies. The outdoor tour is an hour-plus adventure experience. For more information, visit goodtimesadventures.com/dogsledding. Other non-ski activities include Breckenridge’s food and beverage scene—more than 70 independently-owned and operated restaurants and bars, including one of Colorado’s (and the nation’s) first micro-breweries, The Breckenridge Brewery, and the Breckenridge Distillery, one of 14 craft distilleries in Colorado. Foodies can enjoy the culinary scene on the Breck Pedicab dining tour, which operates in the winter.
From Dec. 12 to 18, the 2014 Dew Tour takes place in Breckenridge with four days of snowboard and free ski competitions, plus live concerts and the interactive Dew Tour Experience, which features athlete meet-and-greets, games, and more. During the off-peak season (Jan. 5 to 15), the Ullr Fest takes places (Jan. 11-17) honoring the Norse god of snow with a town-wide snow dance, a Main Street parade, a pond hockey tournament, a Ullr talent show, and Ullympics. In the spring, Spring Fever celebrates the end of the ski season, March 22-April 27, with events such as the Bud Light concert series, the Throwback Throwdown snowboarding half-pike competition, and the Breck Big Mountain Challenge. For more information on Spring Fever festival, visit breckspringfever.com.
The all-inclusive The Double Tree by Hilton Breckenridge is offering an A to Zzzz all-inclusive package offering guests breakfast or lunch at the Made Market, house drinks at Apres Ski, or a farm-to-table dinner at 9600 Kitchen. For more information, visit doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/colorado.
There’s lots happening in Vail this ski season, starting with the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (Feb. 2-15, 2015), which hosts approximately 700 athletes from 70 nations competing in ski racing. Vail is the hub for the ceremonies and nightly festival events, from concerts to parties and culinary events; while in Beaver Creek, the majority of the competition, which is complimentary for spectators, will be held. For more information, visit vailbeavercreek2015.com. In March, the 33rd Burton U.S.Open Snowboarding Championships return to Vail. Snowsport enthusiasts can enjoy Olympic-style snowboarding competitions in Golden Peak by day, and free concerts in Vail Village at night. For more information, visit vail.com/burton.
This year, Decimo, an exclusive nightclub set 10,250 ft. above sea level, will return for six nights—Dec. 31,2014, Jan. 24, Jan. 30, Feb. 13, Mar. 6, and April 2, 2015. “The hugely successful debut of Decimo last March confirmed our belief that this is what our discerning guests from around the world are looking for to complete their experience in Vail,” said Chris Jarnot, senior v. p. and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. For more information, visit decimovail.com. New to Vail this season is the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company, the city’s premier distillery, crafting spirits from locally sourced ingredients. The company produces an Olathe corn moonshine; a rye whiskey; a Bourbon; a potato vodka; and a Colorado sage-infused, Palisade peach-vanilla cordial. For more information, visit 10thwhiskey.com.
Guests booking during off-peak periods can save when booking two or more nights at The Arrabelle at Vail Square where they’ll receive $150 “mountain money” to use towards lift tickets, rentals, shopping, dining and more. The longer they stay, the more “mountain money” guests receive. “There are many benefits to visiting Vail during off-peak, including better deals on lift tickets, lodging, and ski school, plus smaller crowds, shorter lift lines and more of the mountain to yourself,” says Davy Ratchford, director of marketing for Vail Mountain. “In addition, Vail offers great events during these time periods that add value for our guests. On the mountain, it’s an amazing feeling to ski down Poppyfields in China Bowl all by yourself. An experience like that is truly like nothing else on earth.” During peak season, guests can save up to 35 percent when booking by opening day, Nov. 21 at The Arrabelle at Vail Square. For more information, visit reservations.snow.com. The Lodge at Vail, a RockResort is undergoing renovation and your clients can be one of the first to experience the new 56-room resort located steps from Gondola One lift in Vail Village with slope side ski valet, and a RockResorts Spa. For more information, visit lodgeatvail.rockresorts.com/specials.