- It is very easy to get to
There are numerous daily flights to Eagle Airport (EGE) in Colorado from cities all around the country. Even better, there are non-stop flights from ten cities: Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft Worth, Houston, Denver, Miami, Atlanta, Newark, New York, Minneapolis, Chicago and Toronto. I guess that makes it an international airport. Once you land in Eagle, it is an easy 30 minute trip to Beaver Creek, with no mountain passes to negotiate.
- It is a “hidden gem”
Most people have probably heard of Beaver Creek but I would still put it in the hidden gem category. The wide variety of ski terrain definitely makes it a gem. The Centennial and Bachelor Gulch lifts access some great cruisers – very wide runs of varying steepness. Red Buffalo is a gentle green run through a beautiful forested area and is the starting point for every kid’s favorite run: Jackrabbit Alley. For a little more pitch, try Gold Dust or Harrier. If you want steeps and bumps, head to Grouse Mountain and Birds Of Prey.
The hidden aspect of this gem is the fact that there are never any lift lines. Ok, you might have to wait a few minutes if you arrive at the chondola at 9:45am during high season, but even then I promise that you will be on the lift in no time at all. There are a lot of skiers in the Denver/Boulder area but they have to drive past 6 major ski areas before they get to Beaver Creek. The result is that most of them go elsewhere. Beaver Creek skiers can find fresh tracks all day on a powder day.
- No hovels
Ok, hovel is maybe too strong a word but you know what I mean. We have all stayed in a condo in ski country that still looked like our grandma’s house in the 70’s. Orange shag carpet, avocado colored kitchen appliances, ghastly floral wallpaper. There are a few of them out there still, but I promise you there aren’t any of them in Beaver Creek. In Beaver Creek, the lodging ranges from really nice to incredibly nice. Most properties are ski in/ski out or within a very short walk of a ski lift. They even have escalators in the village so that you don’t have to walk up any stairs. If you stay anywhere in the Beaver Creek resort, you will be extremely comfortable in a very nice property. Totally linoleum-free.
Beaver Creek is a very family-friendly resort. A prime example of this is that they hand out warm, freshly-baked cookies every day at 3pm at the base of the Centennial lift and on the second level of the escalators. Look for the people with the chef hats and a mob of happy kids. And yes, adults get cookies too.
- Great restaurants
Some of the best restaurants in ski country can be found in Beaver Creek. A few of my favorites are Mirabelle, Grouse Mountain Grill and Toscanini. For a unique mountain dining experience, try Beano’s Cabin. Beano’s is up the mountain in a quiet meadow and is accessed by sleigh. They provide you with nice, warm blankets for the ride up and there is always a welcoming fire and fabulous meal waiting for you when you arrive. Reservations are definitely recommended at these restaurants.
- Outdoor ice skating rink
The hub of the Beaver Creek village is the outdoor ice skating rink. You can’t miss it. Skates are available for rent and it is a fun activity for the whole family. If your kids are like mine, they still have energy left over at the end of a ski day, so the skating rink is an excellent activity for them. If Mom and Dad would rather sit by a fire with a beverage, there are numerous comfy chairs and couches (with fire pits, of course) around the rink.