Though everyone may think winter is over, this morning in NYC certainly felt like it. Winter, for me, means ski season and that means my annual trip out West. With a plethora of mountains in Colorado’s Denver area the choice of which to visit may seem difficult. For many, I presume it is. For me, however, it’s quite simple: take me to the Beave.
Beaver Creek is my favorite ski resort. Embodying the slogan “not exactly roughing it” the mountain fits my sensibilities. Getting there is easy. From NYC most major carriers fly nonstop into Denver and back for around $300 or less. Jetblue’s 1 AM Monday morning flight is possibly the best option for a quick ski weekend getaway. Fly out Friday, ski all day Saturday and Sunday and arrive in New York in time to be at the office by 9 AM. From Denver, the (sometimes) quick drive should only take about an hour forty if you’re lucky to avoid traffic. Once there, many hotels offer luxurious if not expensive options for lodging. The Ritz at Beaver Creek is a perennial favorite. Located at the bottom of the Bachelor Gulch area of the resort, the hotel’s location is hard to beat. For those on a tighter budget, the Super 8 Motel in Dillon is a surprisingly close, clean, comfortable and cost-effective option.
The past few years, come late February into early March, Beaver Creek has called my name. With three close friends calling Denver home, the choice to fly out for a ski weekend is always an easy one. The warm chocolate chip cookies served lift-side, don’t hurt the mountains’ cause either. This year was no different and the first weekend in March found me out West.
Skiing Beaver Creek is not exactly difficult. Though the terrain varies from rolling green trails to steep diamond and tree runs, the powdery soft snow allows your skis to glide down the slope. Maybe I find it more appealing, coming from the generally icy East Coast mountains. Regardless, the day in Beaver Creek goes by quickly. With dozens of runs to chose from, it is hard for one to get bored or even begin to cover the resort in it’s entirety. After a few runs down the front side of the mountain my game plan is always the same- head to Bachelor Gulch, my favorite area to play in on the mountain.
A long day on the mountain is easily rewarded. For a quick, delicious and fun bite or beer, my recommendation is the mid-mountain Red Tail Camp. Serving up yummy barbeque, cold drinks and good music, the mountain hot-spot is hard to beat. Spago at the bottom of Bachelor Gulch serves a tasty après menu, compliments of world renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck. The Beaver Creek Chophouse hosts a champagne toast for all in the restaurant between 3- 3:15 PM. Those wanting to impress will have to make reservations (they’re required) at Beano’s Cabin. The on-mountain restaurant is expensive but had a reputation for excellence that will not disappoint.
Even though today didn’t feel like it, it seems as if ski season 2011-2012 is unfortunately come to an early end. Hopefully with the help of this post, you’ll gear up and be ready to rock out next winter.
Beaver Creek Resort, 26 Avondale Lane, Avon CO 81620, 970 754 4636, click here for lift ticket and season pass pricing.
The Ritz Carlton-Beaver Creek, 0130 Daybreak Ridge, Avon CO 81620, 970 748 6200
Super 8 Motel, 808 Little Beaver Trail, Dillon CO 80435, 800 454 3213
For rentals: Christy’s Sports have numerous locations throughout the Denver and mountain ski areas making it easy to mountain hop while only renting once. They’ve got lots of packages to chose from covering beginner to advanced ski and snowboarders. Their equipment is good, their prices competitive and they are my recommendation for rentals in the area.