I’m in Colorado, checking out three ski resorts this week. I spent yesterday exploring Beaver Creek, which added 250 acres of new terrain this year.
Here are my favorite things about the resort, so far…
- World class corduroy. OK, honestly, I’m not into groomed runs. I’d rather get off the marked slopes and sniff around in the trees. But Beaver Creek is known for its high quality grooming, which is so perfect it looks like corduroy. And even I have to admit it’s pretty nice to make nice big turns down a pristine swathe of precisely formed snow ripples.
- I haven’t met him yet, but I will. Willie the Mountain Safety Dog, a golden retriever rescued from an animal shelter in Pueblo, Colorado, is famous here. He’s part of the mountain ski patrol team, and serves as the face of mountain safety. One of tomorrow’s missions Is to meet him up close and in person.
3. Beaver Creek is also home to the Birds of Prey World Cup Super G and Downhill Races. (I know this because my amigo Erich Schlegel photographs it every year.) I skied most of the course today, just to do it. And yes, I’m way slower than the pros.
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4. About 15 years ago, my husband and I ate at Beano’s Cabin. We still remember the experience – we rode a sleigh up to a gorgeous cabin in the woods, ate a gourmet meal, sipped delicious wine, and snuggled under blankets on the sleigh ride back down the mountain. Beaver Creek now has three fine dining cabins, and tonight I’m going to Zach’s Cabin for dinner.
5. Got a sweet tooth? Stop by the Candy Cabin on the mountain, where you can buy enough old-fashioned treats to induce a sugar coma.
6. The Osprey, where I’m staying, bills itself as the closest lodge to a ski lift in North America. My room on the second floor literally overlooks the lift, which is about 25 feet away. Talk about ski in and ski out!
7. Not into downhill skiing? Try the ice rink, where you can spin and twirl on a sheet of ice right in the center of the village.
8. Not into skating, either? Try snow shoeing. While most resorts relegate their snowshoe trails to the foot of the mountain, Beaver Creek elevates them. Snowshoers can stroll beautiful trails with panoramic views high on the mountain.
9. The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek hosts an array of performances, from music to comedy to theater. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is playing tomorrow, and Grand Funk Railroad plays Wednesday. Upcoming shows include John Oates, Jim Gaffigan, Robert Earl Keen, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
10. Beaver Creek just opened 250 new acres of terrain in McCoy Park. It’s beginner and intermediate friendly, which I thought would bore me. But the undulating terrain, with widely spaced glades and that famous Beaver Creek grooming, is just the ticket when you need a little chill in your life.
11. And because I couldn’t stop at just 10, I’ll give you a bonus – those famous chocolate chip cookies. Every day as the lifts quit whirling, a team of employees dons white chefs hats and hands out warm cookies – to everyone, for free. Need I say more?