The Must-Read Guide of Vail, Colorado

Vail's iconic village with the Gore Range Mountains capturing the sunset in Vail, CO. Photo- Craig Orsini, Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.

The Must-Read Guide of Vail, Colorado- Where to Stay, how to ski the Mountain, Where to Eat and Drink.

Vail is one of the most renown ski resorts in the world. It was one of these resorts I always wanted to visit when I was young growing up in Argentina. Luck struck me and I was able to visit several times, and also worked for Vail Resorts long time ago now. International visitors always want to visit either Vail or Aspen. Those are the famous resorts they know. This made me then put together the Must-Read Guide to Vail to help you organise your trip to this grand resort!

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Vail's 10th Mountain Division skier. Photo: Vicky Galarraga. @vickydevail. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.
Vail’s 10th Mountain Division skier. Photo: Vicky Galarraga. @vickydevail. The Must-Read Guide to Vail, Colorado.

The History of Vail

Ute Indians used to settle within this territory in the summer. They used to travel to the most arid lands on the west during winter. The Utes used to call the Gore Range that overlooked the valley the “Shinning Mountains”.
Came WWII and the United States created a training center called Camp Hale. Here the 10th Mountain Division trained for alpine combat. They went on to fight on the Mountains of Northern Italy. When they came back, they were the force to develop the ski industry in the USA.
One veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, Peter Seibert, came back to Colorado. He joined the Aspen Ski Patrol and Ski School. Then he went on to become the manager of Loveland Basin Ski Area. At that moment, Seibert and Earl Eaton start looking on developing a new ski resort in the Rockies.
Eaton was local to Colorado and started skiing when young. By 1940, he was ski racing in Aspen while working for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Glenwood. In 1957, he and Seibert climbed Vail Mountain in winter and realised of its potential as a ski area.
Friends Skiing Groomed Terrain in Vail, CO.. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.
Friends Skiing Groomed Terrain in Vail, CO.. Photo: Daniel Milchev. Vail Resorts. The Must-Read Guide to Vail.

Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.

A family enjoying the outdoors in Aspen Mountain. Copyright: Aspen Skiing Company. Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.

Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.

Great news as Aspen and Snowmass are opening for the Summer Season. Aspen Mountain will open on June 12, while Snowmass will do so on June 21. Camp Snowmass will open on June 15.
 
A family hiking under the Silver Queen Gondola in Aspen. Photo: Aspen Skiing Company. Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.
A family hiking under the Silver Queen Gondola in Aspen. Photo: Aspen Skiing Company. Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.
Aspen is in my heart as I was lucky enough to live there for a while. Beautiful town, lovely people and amazing views. There is lots going on to keep you busy! This summer new policies and operating guidelines will be in place to protect guests. And also protect employees.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

What will open in Aspen Snowmass for the summer

There will be opportunities of sightseeing, riding gondolas, hiking and mountain biking. Or you can ride the mountain coaster. You can choose to be as active or lazy as you want. By seating and staring at the mountains, you can forget about daily chores!
The Lost Forest mountain coaster. Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.
The Lost Forest mountain coaster. Aspen Snowmass is opening for the Summer Season.
On June 12, the Silver Queen gondola will start running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to go up Aspen Mountain. There you will have a chance to do some sightseeing, play disc golf or hike. You can take a nature program offered by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Or ride up the cablecar to take your kids to play at the children’s play area. Going up and down the gondola is a great day out, at least for my kids!
Some food and beverage services will be available, all with strict social distancing. The operations on Aspen Mountain will run daily till September 7 and then on weekends till October 4.

Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?

A skier enjoying the fresh powder at Mt Baldy. Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan. Unsplash. Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?

Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

I do hope that it works! Mt Baldy has just reopened operations, only for experienced skiers and boarders that have their own equipment. This is not the time to learn how to ski or board, not use the tubing park!

Maximum of four people will be able to check in every 10 minutes and they have to pre-arrange their time to arrival. Only season passes and one day lift tickets will be able to come. Cars need to be parked with three parking slots between them in the parking lot, if not they will be towed. There will not be so many customer relations personnel on ground, but some will be directing the parking. If people arrive prior to their time slot, they’ll need to stay put in their car until their time is due.

A chair lift ride at Mt Baldy. Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?
A chair lift ride at Mt Baldy. Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?

The cafeteria will not be open on the top of the mountain, but some refreshments will be available at the bottom of Lift 3, Thunder Mountain.

The lifts in Mt Baldy are doubles, so they are asking people to ride the chairlifts on their own, and only ride with someone else if is living with you. Toilets will only be available at the base area and on the top of the mountain and being cleaned more than regularly. The resort is asking people to try to do their necessities prior to coming to the mountain. For me not having a toilet would be a problem, but if there are forests around, that would suffice! (at least for number 1!)

Continue reading “Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?”

Arapahoe Basin is now part of the IKON Pass

Arapahoe Basin photo: Dave Camara. Arapahoe Basin is now part of the IKON Pass.

Arapahoe Basin is now part of the IKON Pass

Arapahoe Basin has made the news recently for leaving the alliance with Vail Resorts and being part of the Epic Pass due to major problems with overcrowding, including parking on US6 that was making it just dangerous for visitors and drivers alike.

Arapahoe Basin Cam. Arapahoe Basin is now part of the IKON Pass.
Arapahoe Basin Cam. Arapahoe Basin is now part of the IKON Pass.

I guess it is difficult to be an independent resort in the current climate of concentration of the ski market in the US, so now A Basin will be part of the competitor of the Epic Pass – the IKON Pass. The IKON Pass can be used in 40 global ski destinations, including six in Colorado, now with A Basin:

Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, and Eldora Mountain Resort.

Continue reading “Arapahoe Basin is now part of the IKON Pass”

Vail Resorts to Acquire Peak Resorts, Owner Of 17 U.S. Ski Areas

A great powder day at Mount Snow, part of Peak Resorts.Vail Resorts to Acquire Peak Resorts, Owner Of 17 U.S. Ski Areas

Vail Resorts to Acquire Peak Resorts, Owner Of 17 U.S. Ski Areas

Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Peak Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKIS) at a purchase price of $11.00 per share, subject to certain conditions, including regulatory review and Peak Resorts’ shareholder approval.

Liberty Mountain. Photo: Peak Resorts. Vail Resorts to Acquire Peak Resorts, Owner Of 17 U.S. Ski Areas
Liberty Mountain. Photo: Peak Resorts. Vail Resorts to Acquire Peak Resorts, Owner Of 17 U.S. Ski Areas

Through the acquisition, Vail Resorts will add 17 U.S. ski areas to its network of world-class resorts. Located near major metropolitan areas, including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City and Louisville, the resorts include:

  • Mount Snow in Vermont
  • Hunter Mountain in New York
  • Attitash Mountain ResortWildcat Mountain and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire
  • Liberty Mountain ResortRoundtop Mountain ResortWhitetail ResortJack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania
  • Alpine ValleyBoston MillsBrandywine and Mad River Mountain in Ohio
  • Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri
  • Paoli Peaks in Indiana

Continue reading “Vail Resorts to Acquire Peak Resorts, Owner Of 17 U.S. Ski Areas”

The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.

Beaver Creek photo: Jack Affleck. Vail Resorts. The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.

The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.

A chairlift has been discussed since the 60’s in EagleVail.

From Vail Daily and Aspen Times

The Forest Service and Vail Resorts have cited wildlife impacts to deny building a chairlift connecting EagleVail to Beaver Creek.

Aaron Mayville, district ranger for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District has written to Steve Barber, EagleVail Metro District Manager that “a chairlift from EagleVail, across National Forest and into Beaver Creek is not possible right now.”

And Vail Resorts Executive Vice President, Mountain Division has also written to Barber stating that “we are not interested in discussions regarding a lift from EagleVail to Beaver Creek at this point.”

EagleVail golf putting green photo. Chris Dillmann. Vail Daily. The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.
EagleVail golf putting green photo. Chris Dillmann. Vail Daily. The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.

The officials of EagleVail were interested in a lift as EagleVail residents also were, as it helps increasing property values as a boon for homeowners and a catalyst for renewal.

Vail Resorts owns and operates Beaver Creek Resort.

David Warner, VP of EagleVail Metro District board and longtime proponent of the lift said: “It’s definitely a setback; these were not good letters.”

A lift of U$D 5.2 million

The lift was envisioned to stretch from the current location of the driving range of the EagleVail Golf Club up to Allie’s Cabin or Rose Bowl.

The proponents believe they had been backed up by Vail Resorts about this lift idea in 2016. A chairlift has been discussed in EagleVail since its inception in the ‘60s.

Even before Beaver Creek was built, there was a plan considered to connect EagleVail with the old Meadow Mountain Ski Area.

Warner said he received a bid for U$D 5.2 million from a lift company to build a 11,250-foot-long lift from the driving range to Rose Bowl. People favouring this envisioned asking voters to get an additional sales tax or using revenue from the tax passed in 2018 to finance the construction and operation of the lift.

The proposed EagleVail lift alignment. The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.
The proposed EagleVail lift alignment. The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.

The Property Owners Association board’s members came to a Metro District meeting in April asking the Metro Board for its blessing to conduct a U$D 15,000 study that would examine if there were ‘fatal flaws’ in the lift plan.

But then the Members of the Metro District suggested to just reach out to the Forest Service and Vail Resorts to see if they support the concept, and the answer was a resounding “no.”

Protection of wildlife, mainly the elk herd.

Mayville wrote in the May 4 email that ‘the entire hillside above EagleVail is an ‘elk refuge’ of sorts – when Beaver Creek was built, (a memorandum of understanding) was signed between the Forest Service, Division of Wildlife, Vail Associates, and others to set aside the area for the protection of wildlife (mainly the elk herd).”

Continue reading “The EagleVail chairlift to Beaver Creek was not accepted by the Forest Service.”

Indoor ski-slope finally opening within American Dream Mall in October

American Dream Exrterior. Rendering Courtesy American Dream Mall. Indoor ski-slope finally opening within American Dream Mall in October

Indoor ski-slope finally opening within American Dream Mall in October

From Commercial Observer and Daily Voice

The 3.1 million-square-foot American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ, will finally open on 25 October, after being built for 16 years (on and off). This was announced by developer Triple Five.

Chalet on the American Dream Mall ski slope. Rendering by American Dream Mall. Indoor ski-slope finally opening within American Dream Mall in October.
Chalet on the American Dream Mall ski slope. Rendering by American Dream Mall. Indoor ski-slope finally opening within American Dream Mall in October.

This project used to be called Xanadu, and had lots of missed openings, three developers, five governors and a major retail contraction, earning lots of sceptics across the state.

This facility will feature an 180,000-square-foot, 800-foot ski slope (of 16 stories high) and an ice-climbing wall. It will also have a ski school area, a chairlift, terrain park, chalet and restaurants.

Continue reading “Indoor ski-slope finally opening within American Dream Mall in October”

74 Employees from Vail stuck at Eagle Bahn Gondola- now evacuated.

Eagle Bahn gondola. Photo from LiftBlog. 74 Employees from Vail stuck at Eagle Bahn Gondola- now evacuated.

74 Employees from Vail stuck at Eagle Bahn Gondola- now evacuated.

The Eagle Bahn gondola in Vail Mountain broke down Wednesday morning at 8.35 AM with employees going up to Eagle Nest.

From Vail Daily

Vail Resorts employees going to Eagle’s Nest had to be evacuated on Wednesday morning when the Eagle Bahn gondola stopped. The employees were evacuated safely by Vail Ski Patrol.

Vail's Eagle Bahn gondola evaluation. Photo from Michael Shellenberger. Vail Daily.
Vail’s Eagle Bahn gondola evaluation. Photo from Michael Shellenberger. Vail Daily.

The gondola was not open to the public at that time and was only uploading the employees to get to work in the morning. The gondola and all Epic Discovery activities were closed for the day.

The company states that whatever has caused the gondola to stop will be fixed before re-opening. The Eagle Bahn Gondola was not opened today 4th July, but instead Gondola One out of Vail Village will be open for access via shuttle and hiking from Mid Vail to Eagle’s Nest for the Epic Discovery Activities, on-mountain dining and dinner at the Game Creek Restaurant. There will not be bike hauling availability.

Continue reading “74 Employees from Vail stuck at Eagle Bahn Gondola- now evacuated.”

Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!

Norbert, Nico and Eva playing at Squaw Valley. Alterra Resorts. Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!

Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!

From Bloomberg Business

This past winter’s weird weather patterns delivered record snowfalls. There are now five North American ski resorts still open and even Mammoth is planning to use its chairlifts in August.

Peak 6 in Breckenridge, CO. Photo Andrew Maguire. Vail Resorts. Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!
Peak 6 in Breckenridge, CO. Photo Andrew Maguire. Vail Resorts. Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!

The ski industry – a business of $8.4 million in North America has gone from being really bad, to have a good year even when there is a fallout of climate change.

It was a record year for skier days in the US – as the National Ski Areas Association published there was an 11% increase in skier days from the prior year reaching 59 million skier days in the US.

Both Alterra and Vail Resorts have taken advantage of this. From November through April, Vail received 13.7 million skier days – a 20% year on year. Total revenue increased 14.5 percent to $1.8 billion.

Continue reading “Was the past one a great ski season? Enjoy it for now!”

Red, White and Basin: Ski the 4th of July at Arapahoe Basin!

Solstice Skiing at Arapahoe Basin. Photo: Arapahoe Basin Resort. How can we envision ski resorts opening with social distancing for the 2020-21 ski season?

Red, White and Basin: Ski the 4th of July at Arapahoe Basin!

Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) will be open for skiing and snowboarding on Thursday, July 4, 2019. July 4 will be the official closing day for A-Basin’s 2018-19 winter season, capping off the longest ski season in Colorado that began October 19, 2018. The last time A-Basin was open on July 4 was 2011. Its longest season was in 1995 when the ski area stayed open until August 10.

Solstice Skiing at Arapahoe Basin. Photo: Arapahoe Basin Resort. Red, White and Basin: Ski the 4th of July at Arapahoe Basin!
Solstice Skiing at Arapahoe Basin. Photo: Arapahoe Basin Resort. Red, White and Basin: Ski the 4th of July at Arapahoe Basin!

A-Basin is able to stay open in large part thanks to higher-than-average snowfall totals and lower-than-average temperatures in the months of March and May, including nearly seven feet of snow falling during March. Even so, it was not a record snowfall year for the ski area. At the start of June, A-Basin was at 106 percent of average snowfall (about 375 inches). Other contributing factors to A-Basin’s late season are its northern-facing frontside slopes and high elevation (10,780’ base; 12,500’ at the top of the highest lifts; 13,050’ peak).

Continue reading “Red, White and Basin: Ski the 4th of July at Arapahoe Basin!”