Beaver Creek Ski Holiday Resort
Driving through the manned security gates at Beaver Creek is a bit like gaining entrance into an exclusive all-American country club. The resort is pristine and immaculately maintained with a selection of swanky 4 and 5 star residences. Heated walkways connect the hotels and the resort centre to ensure that no one has to tip-toe across the ice. "Not exactly roughing it" is the resorts joke tag and you certainly won't find budget accommodation or services here.
The ski area is surprisingly wooded with a pretty feel and high altitude to match. The resort sits at 2469m and rises to a dizzy 3488m on the Summit elevation. The ski area isn't huge at 1832 acres but there are challenges for all levels of skier and boarder.The ski area is split into 5 regions : Spruce, Grouse, Larkspur, Bachelor, and Arrowhead. The lift system is fast and efficient and queues are not a problem. the resort cites lack of crowds owing to the fact that from Denver, potential guests will drive past Winter Park, Copper mountain, and Vail before reaching Beaver Creek.
Beginners have a superb nursery slope area situated at the village plus a further area above. Progression is swift owing to the number of long and easy runs accessed from 4 of the 5 ski areas. Grouse Mountain being a no go area for beginners and timid intermediates. The ski slow zones in Beaver are strictly adhered to and so make a safe and fun environment for novices.
Intermediates will love the long cruisy blue runs - most flatter but there are some very good challenges in Beaver with very accessible off-piste being peppered between the prepared "groomers". Take the Birds of Prey lift and ski the men's downhill run of the same name. The run does get mogulled but every saturday night it is groomed to perfect corduroy so first thing on a sunday morning it's a great fast run for huge carving GS turns.
Advanced skiers will adore Grouse mountain with its steep chutes. The glade skiing here is also on the steep side and after a huge dump of powder this is the place to head for. The area off the Rose Bowl chair has also some testing terrain and narrow gullies. As the resort is only a 10 minute drive from Vail Both intermediates and experts alike would be foolish to come all this way and not take a day or two to pop over to Beaver's big brother.
Beaver Creek althougha smaller ski area to its more famous neighbour, Vail, packs a punch with some great back country skiing and 150 groomed trails.
Boarders of all standards will enjoy the resort and as there are no drags or real flats then what applies above for skiers does likewise for boarders.
Non skiers will find a lot to keep them entertained. Most of the residences have extensive spa facilities with pools, hot tubs, saunas, hammams, and treatments available. The concierges will provide invaluable knowledge with regards to organised activities and events. Hot air ballooning, tandem flights, parapenting, dog sledding...Beaver has it all.There are lots of restaurants, most affiliated to/within the hotels and a great selection down on the valley floor in Avon - just a 5 minute taxi ride away. The shopping here is exclusive with designer boutique outlets being the order of the day. For novelty factor the very smutty and juvenile (not us here at Snowfinders) may wish to visit the off-licence in Avon (Beaver Liquors) and buy a signiture T shirt.
Apres ski is pretty low key with the bars and hotel lounges filling up from 3pm until around 7pm. The hotels tend to hand around complimentary apres ski nibbles and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. McCoys has live bands and other bars worthy of note include the 8100, Coyote Cafe, Osprey Lounge, and the Mountainside.
High end skiing, hotels and condos in an exclusive gated resort.