The Ski Mountain
Even more upscale than neighbor Vail if that’s possible, Beaver Creek succeeds at being the ultimate family ski resort and one of the most luxurious vacations in North America. The sheer ease of a Beaver Creek vacation begins with accessibility from the Denver-linked Interstate or nearby Eagle Airport, and gets better – as in, more elegant and European — from there. The skiing is phenomenal, with three mountains, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead, linked by 25 chairlifts. Off the slopes, it’s the walkable village, outdoor ice rink, performing arts center and fine dining that star in winter’s best-of-show.
The Mountain Experience
Beaver Creek is a flawless blend of Bavarian village skiing, western-style Colorado Rockies resort fun and well-heeled luxury. Resort employees – “ambassadors” – are everywhere and can answer, “Yes, of course,” to nearly any discerning question. Do you have a kid’s lesson where my child can learn in a small group with, say, two or three other kids? Yes, of course. Do you offer free hot cocoa for my first chairlift ride in the morning? “We do.” Do you have a way for me to get up the hill without lugging my heavy gear in the cold Colorado chill? “Naturally. See the covered escalators
Current Snow Conditions
Beaver Creek Ski Terrain
• Advanced: Known more for its 24/7 grooming than expert terrain, the resort still has some impressive drops off the Grouse Mountain and Birds of Prey Express lifts. The Talons runs are steep and freckled with massive moguls, while the Royal Elks Glade allows you to weave through trees down a steep powdery slope. The Stone Creek Chutes may be the biggest challenge – fast-dropping terrain with plenty of jumps.
• Intermediate: Beaver Creek gains its reputation for family skiing on its wide and impeccably groomed trails. Don’t miss Harrier and Larkspur Bowl, or just spend the whole day on intermediate-friendly Arrowhead Mountain.
• Beginner: New skiers may feel uncomfortable with the idea of being up high on any mountain, but rest assured, this terrain is extremely gentle and boasts stellar views. Getting down to the village at the end of the day is a breeze. Follow the signs for “Cinch” the whole way down.
• Terrain Park: No matter your skill level, Beaver Creek has a park for you. Park 101, the beginner area, is on a green-marked run near the summit. One run over is Zoom Room, with larger jibs and 20-foot jumps. Lower down is The Rodeo with 50-foot jumps and a half pipe.
Want something more unpredictable to ski than “the Beav’s” signature “fresh corduroy”? Look for natural powder in the woods. If you’re curious but wary about new terrain, the Monday afternoon guided Forest Ranger tours are a great way to tap insider knowledge for free.
For those who picture the after-snow part of their day with an indulgent gourmet dinner accompanied by a bottle of vintage wine, Beaver Creek offers the mountain equivalent of Napa Valley. For the informal crowd, you can enjoy live music and margaritas at Coyote Café and McCoy’s. Other favorite spots to grab a drink are the deck overlooking the tubing hill at the Ranch, which stays open until dusk, and the upscale terrace at the Westin’s Cima. Best of all, there’s never a need to drive, since the free shuttle around town can be summoned until 2am.
Resort shops, bars and restaurants, all ski-in and linked by heated walkways – pure luxury.
Choose from some of the most illustrious properties in North America: Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa, and Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. Luxury amenities ensure that storm days are blessings; in fact for many, a trip to the day spa is integral to the Beaver Creek experience. On a budget? You can cut about $100 off your room rate by staying in one of the inns in nearby Avon (three miles) or Edwards (six miles). Use the Ski Lodging Deals box above and right to find Beaver Creek’s best Lodging choices and deals.
Skiing With Kids
Programs at Beaver Creek are so well designed that parents never feel like the kids are running the ski vacation. With kids at ease and top-notch staff on hand, parents have the tools to control their family’s days, whether its “Adventure Zone” runs through tee-pees and a bear cave or enrolling kids in lessons at The Ranch (where parents inconspicuously watch through observation windows). Every day at Beaver Creek at 3pm – no matter your age — ends with a warm chocolate-chip cookie hand-delivered by a friendly chef at the base of Centennial Express Lift. From there, afternoon and nightly activities, most of them free, include lift-served tubing, snowshoe tours and Thursday Night Lights, a popular group ski with glow-sticks and fireworks.
Lift Tickets and Season Pass Cost*
Lift Tickets (pre-purchase online): Adult $92-$105; Child $56-$70; Senior $82-$95 (COMPARE PRICES) Season Pass: (purchase by 10/14/12) – Adult $679; Child $349 Senior $539 Other Passes: 7 day pass (purchase by 10/14/12) = Adult $529 Special Deals: Passes also good for Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe *prices reflect our best effort to gather from resort published information.
By Dana Nichols