Beaver Creek ski resort – “Not exactly roughing it” is their slogan and that pretty much says it all. The rich and famous ski there, movie stars and ex-presidents have their homes there. So what’s the attraction?
There’s something rather special about Beaver Creek. The creation of the resort was influenced by St.Moritz in Switzerland and Cortina in Italy and the result is an exciting mountain to ski and a village wrapped in luxurious treats.
Perhaps it’s the ski valets who unload your skis from the buses and place them on the snow for you. Or maybe it’s the escalators that take you from the village to the bottom of the lifts, so you don’t have to walk in clumpy ski boots or carry your ski gear. The moving walkway to take you between ski lifts at the bottom of the hill is a great idea and the hot chocolate chip cookies at three o’clock every afternoon really are the icing on the cake.
Beaver Creek is one of those ski resorts that is tucked away, just past Vail on the I 70 corridor in Colorado. As many Denver “weekend warriors” stop at Copper, Breckenridge or the world famous Vail ski resorts before they get to Beaver Creek, this resort stays quiet and untouched. Beaver Creek likes it that way. On busier weekends they even limit the number of skiers allowed on the mountain to keep the slopes empty.
Beaver Creek resort is made up of 3 separate and distinct villages: Beaver Creek village is the first stop for many and really the main centre of the resort. As you enter the village all the walkways are heated and clear of snow. The focal point is an ice rink, where you’ll see children and adults alike practising their skills and picking themselves off the ice. Around the periphery are boutiques, art galleries, the Vilar Center for the Arts, bars and restaurants ranging from reasonably prices to very top end offerings. The fur coat selection is not to be missed.
Bachelor Gulch sports the world renowned Ritz Carlton Hotel and many other homes and condominiums. Fully linked to the other areas, Bachelor Gulch offers mostly intermediate skiing and skiers can make turns all the way down to the Ritz Hotel and often spot swimmers in the indoor-outdoor pool with steam rising from the pool.
Arrowhead Village is the westernmost entrance to the resort and offers the Broken Arrow restaurant and bar with outdoor patio to enjoy some of the 300 days of sunshine whilst watching the skiers & snowboarders come whizzing down the slopes.
The 148 trails and 17 lifts make this a resort of reasonable size and gives plenty of skiing. Designed for all abilities, Beaver Creek can challenge you on its Grouse Mountain bumps or let you relax on Strawberry Park’s gentle groomers. Beaver Creek is big on grooming and you can see those piste bashers on the slopes at any time of day.
And don’t forget the famous World Cup Course for ski racing. The Birds of Prey downhill course attracts hundreds of skiers early in the season to compete on the world cup circuit. The Golden Eagle and other double black diamond runs are part of the course and although not for the faint hearted are definitely skiable for visitors who care to try their skills.
Just outside the resort area are the two towns of Avon and Edwards, which offer accommodation for those of us who haven’t quite made the A star celebrity list. Wildfire Lodge in Avon is a one to be recommended – a European style chalet fits rather well into this setting of elegance and charm.