Tags Posts tagged with "Vail"


By Kiefer Thomas, 

Every town has its restaurants that one should probably stay away from and of course, restaurants that rise above all expectations of food, service, quality and atmosphere. Every establishment will excel in certain areas, run a mediocre coarse in some and hopefully, not always, falter from time to time. A good, well established restaurant is very similar to a living organism. The overall impression and features that give it its character will always be the same but depending on the time of the day, week, who’s working etc. the mood can change frequently making for a wonderful experience or slighting the impression.

Vail has plenty of quality restaurants that more then hold their own on the world stage of gourmet dining. Many are chef-owned like a decent, high-end establishment will be and a few others are directed by the resort that they reside in. In either case, service, food and quality are rarely if ever, compromised.

The following list though certainly NOT exhaustive is indicative to what Vail has to offer. In each case, the food is superior, service is generally remarkable and quality is an orchestration of multiple reviews and opinions and no matter what selection one makes, there is no wrong choice in pleasing the palate.

The first place that comes to mind and has been voted Vail’s best restaurant for four years running is the contemporary French-American hide-away, La Tour. La Tour is directed by chef and sommelier, Paul Ferzacca. The dining room is open nightly at 5:30pm and reservations are generally recommended during high-season. La Tour is known for their impeccable service and as far as the cuisine goes, the Veal Sweetbreads, Pan-Roasted Duck and the Crème Brulée Flambée are exceptional. La Tour is located in Vail Village along E. Meadow Drive.

Lancelot’s (favorite!) has a considerably more relaxed and less pretentious atmosphere. The overall feel is casual comfortable although blue-jeans would not be recommended and suit & tie would be over-doing it. In business since 1969, there’s one reason to dine at Lancelot’s, Prime Rib. They offer three varieties: the Knight’s Cut, the thicker King Arthur’s Cut and the ubiquitous, Surf & Turf. In terms of Prime Rib, one absolutely cannot do any better anywhere in the Vail Valley. Lancelot’s is located in Vail Village next to the Children’s fountain.

Located inside the Lodge at Vail is the Italian restaurant, Cucina Rustica. The atmosphere is absolutely wonderful and downright romantic. The dining area retains a warm and tranquil feel of home. The Buffalo Carpaccio and Spit-Roasted Bronzino Puttanesco are standout dishes.

For further exquisite choices, the following will leave you smiling:

By Monica Lammers, 

Nozawa’s Sushi and Asian Kitchen is a wonderful place to eat if you are looking for Bento Box lunches and quality sushi for non-Vail prices.  You don’t necessarily go to the restaurant for ambiance, but the kitchen food is hot and the sushi is always fresh.

The Bento Box lunch options range from Teriyaki or Kung Pao Chicken, to Thai Curry.  They also include tempura vegetables, a small California Roll, rice, salad, and soup.

The sushi is absolutely delicious.  Highly recommended is the yellowtail/Hamachi nigiri sushi which just melts in your mouth.  If you would like to venture into the specialty rolls but want something cooked, try the Shredder Roll…the only way to describe it is to say that “it’s a party in your mouth”.  Amongst the party-goers are eel, cream cheese, krab, avocado and rice…all rolled together in seaweed, coated in very light tempura batter and fried.  They also have the usuals, like the Rainbow and Dragon Rolls.

Nozawa’s restaurant in Dillon, CO also serves Teppanyaki as a dining option.  This is the open grill when a chef comes out to cook the food…meats, veggies, and rice.  This is often times accompanied by some tricks that the chefs have up their sleeves for entertainment purposes.

During the off-season when there is no snow to ski on, Nozawa’s offers 50% off their sushi rolls.  This makes a great deal even greater.  Click Here for their menus.

Nozawa’s Sushi and Asian Kitchen ~ In the Holiday Inn ~ 2211 North Frontage Road West ~ Vail, CO 81657 ~ (970) 476-9355

Nozawa’s Sushi ~ Chapel Place ~ Avon, CO 81620 ~(970) 949-0330

Nozawa’s Sushi and Teppanyaki ~ 282-B US Hwy 6 ~ Dillon, CO 80435 ~ (970) 262-6600

By Regan Dickinson,

It may seem a bit soon to discuss improvements at Colorado ski resorts for next season, but summer is flying by faster than you think. Speaking of flying, one of the improvements slated for Vail next season is a new high-speed, six-passenger chairlift, replacing the four-passenger Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) from Mid-Vail to Patrol Headquarters.

Construction is underway and Vail reports the lift will be operational for the 2013-2014 ski and snowboard season. Vail says the lift will reduce the number of stops and slowdowns. Additionally, the new lift will result in a 33 percent increase in capacity, or 3,600 people per hour, which is the same capacity as Vail’s new Gondola One. The old Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) was installed in 1985 and provides access to Patrol Headquarters and a number of surrounding areas including the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin.

“The Mountaintop Express Lift is one of the busiest lifts on Vail Mountain,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Upgrading it to a six-passenger lift and adding capacity will make a noticeable improvement in wait times and skier/snowboarder circulation. The use of the loading conveyor, which is a common feature at top European resorts, is an added luxury and reduces the frequency of misloads as well.” Jarnot also said, “The new triple lift in Golden Peak will allow for twice the capacity of our three to six year olds enrolled in lessons, as they are required to ride the lift with an adult. While this upgrade may seem small to our more experienced guests, it’s a critical improvement for our newest and youngest visitors to get them on the hill and learning faster.”

The majority of the both old lifts will be recycled and some components will be kept as spare inventory for Vail or other Vail Resorts mountains. For more information about Vail Mountain visit, or stop by the Mountain Information Center, open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245). See you on the slopes!

By Lindsay Godfree,

Within a few short miles of Vail, Colorado has some of the best white water rafting in the nation. Glenwood Canyon Zipline Adventures and Rock Gardens Rafting are based at the Glenwood Canyon Resort just off I-70 at No Name rest area exit 119 about 1½ miles east of Glenwood Springs, conveniently located between the towns of Vail and Aspen.

Rock Gardens Rafting offers exciting Glenwood Springs Colorado white water rafting adventures. You can go from mild to wild white water raft trips for all ages and abilities. Enjoy a mellow family float on the Colorado or Roaring Fork Rivers.

Half-Day trips depart at: 9:00A.M – 12:00 P.M – 1:00 P.M – 4:00 P.M

Feel the exhilaration of soaring across the scenic Colorado River high above the whitewater rapids in the dramatic Glenwood Canyon!  Glenwood Canyon Zipline Adventures is the NEW sister company of Rock Gardens Rafting who has over 35 years experience in providing whitewater activities in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Morning and afternoon tours daily. Call for times as reservations are required.

Other rafting companies are also available or just put in with your own kayak at the Exit 121 rest area and launch site.

By Kiefer Thomas,

Vail needs no introduction. As ski resorts go, it more than holds its own on the world stage and as a holiday destination. The ski mountain and town provides ample outlets for entertainment for all ages, income brackets and preferences.

Of the various and myriad avenues that Vail offers in terms of recreation and pleasure, it cannot be argued that dining ranks as one of the top draws. After all, world class skiing segues world class dining.

The choices that are available to satisfy the culinary palate are as diverse and copious as the numerous ski runs. To state what would be fairly obvious to most, dining in downtown Vail will set you back the most in terms of dollars. However, that’s not to say that restaurants don’t exist in the center of the action that won’t require half a paycheck.

Within the confines of Vail Village, two places come immediately to mind: Los Amigos and La Cantina. As their names suggest, both are Mexican fare and quite reasonably priced with La Cantina having better food and Los Amigos having a far superior view. The Red Lion is known locally as having some of the best burgers in town. Another restaurant in Vail Village to look at is Vendetta’s. Unfortunately, most of the menu in this Italian eatery is expensive, however, the pizza is quite good and your wallet won’t take a beating as long as you stay fixed on pie.

Lionshead has fewer options due primarily to it being smaller in scale. Ironically, this is where the main gondola and ski school is located. For budget restaurants in Lionshead, check out two local favorites, Bart & Yeti’s and Garfinkle’s. Both are more or less bar environments with Garfinkle’s having the best view of the gondola and the lower mountain. Moe’s Bar-B-Que, located up the steps in West Lionshead serves a mean pulled pork platter at very reasonable prices and JB’s Old Forge Pizza has what has to be the valley’s best pizza bar none. It’s cooked on seasoned focaccia bread.

If you’re fortunate enough to have hired a car or driven yourself vs. using the local shuttle service (CME), then the expanse of the Vail Valley is open for dining choices. Running the gamut from West Vail to Avon to Edwards, some standouts include: Pazzo’s Pizzeria,Westside Cafe, Fiesta Jalisco, May Palace and Paddy’s to name a few. Everything listed is Italian, Mexican, Chinese/Oriental, American and Eclectic. The Westside Cafe also functions as a great place to have breakfast and is usually packed solid from 8:00am to 10:30am.

A  holiday at Vail may not be the cheapest way to spend ones leisure time but it certainly shouldn’t leave you second-guessing yourself as to what’s affordable a few days into your vacation. Eating and dining smart can provide that extra monetary comfort to get you by until, unfortunately, it’s time to head back to reality.

By Eric Wagnon,

Ending years of anticipation and speculation regarding Vail Resorts’ entrance into the Utah skiing market, the nation’s largest ski resort operator announced Wednesday that the company has entered into a 50-year lease with Talisker Corporation to operate Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. The company also announced that Canyons will be added to the popular Epic Pass for the 2013-14 ski season. Talisker, a Canadian real estate company, will retain the development rights for the remaining four million square feet of approved residential and commercial properties at the resort.

“With 4,000 skiable acres, easy access to the town of Park City and $75 million in recent resort improvements, Canyons is a perfect complement to our collection of world-class mountain resorts,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “I commend the Talisker and Canyons team for the outstanding work they have done to redevelop the resort. We look forward to building on that momentum and including Canyons in our industry-leading season pass products, which next season will offer guests access to Colorado, Tahoe and Utah on one season pass, a first in ski industry history.”

Vail Resorts initially wanted to purchase Canyons from American Skiing Company in 2007. The company even filed an unsuccessful lawsuit at the time to prevent the sale to Talisker. In the legal filings, Vail Resorts accused Talisker of being one of the parties in a “blatant conspiracy.”

While former legal opponents Talisker and Vail Resorts are now partners in the resort, current and possibly future legal issues involve neighboring Park City Mountain Resort. Some of the terrain within Park City Mountain Resort that is actually owned by Talisker has already created pending litigation. The transaction between Talisker and Vail Resorts includes this disputed land.

“We look forward to the litigation being resolved and hope that Vail Resorts can play a constructive role in helping to arrive at a solution that offers the best outcome for guests of both resorts,” Katz said.

By Kimberly Lord Stewart,

Snow-sport lovers, face it, there are days when one’s knees, quads and gluts need a break from skiing or boarding. After all, vacations are about more than no pain, no gain. And finding things to do other than ski in Vail Valley is easy. Visitors will find all kinds of deals for spring events. Here are a few ideas from a Colorado local’s view of Vail.

Relax. Make an appointment at the spa. All too often on ski vacations the hotel is nothing more than a place to store your skis and rest your weary body. Vail hotels are way more than just a storage locker. For instance, Vail Cascade’s spa, Aria is the town’s highest-rated spa by Conde Nast Traveler. There is no end to the types of spa packages you and the Aria experts can think up. Your aching muscles say yes, so why not schedule a treatment or two?

Aria Spa
Vail Cascade Resort and Spa
1300 Westhaven Dr
Vail, CO 81657
(970) 476-7111

 When you take off the ski boots, it’s time to get away from the mountain and enjoy a good meal. The Sebastian Hotel’s newly redesigned restaurant Leonora is worth seeking out. Chef Sergio Howland has created a small plate bistro menu that offers a blended family of cuisine from warmer southern-hemisphere climates and alpine fare from Colorado. Chef Howland’s crudo and ceviche is so bright and fresh, you will forget you are in the mountains. Save room for the croquetas with Serrano ham and idiazabel cheese—they are decadently luxurious. For an entrée, you can’t go wrong with the braised veal cheeks. Hide your plate from your fellow diners because they will covet the fork tender veal and the olive oil mashed potatoes. Though you may have skied off a few calories during your stay, it would be a shame to skip dessert at Leonora. The melting chocolate sphere is an edible piece of art. Watch closely as the hot chocolate ganache melts away the globe and blankets the plate with sweet goodness. For pure comfort, order the rice pudding served in its own farm-style jar.

Sebastian Vail
18 Vail Rd
Vail, CO 81657
(970) 477-8000

Learn. Exercise your brain and your body. The Vail Symposium hosts regular discussions, seminars and speakers series about culture, art, history and current events. For a full list of upcoming events, visit their website. Other great events Vail offers are free concerts, festivals and art fairs. Click the link below for a list of upcoming Vail events.

Vail Events Calendar

By Sue Gabel,

Colorado is one of the most popular winter destinations so it’s no wonder this state would have five of the best ski resorts in the country. Skiing enthusiasts can score phenomenal all-inclusive deals, tons of fresh dry powder on the slopes and find a variety of events, activities, restaurants and nightlife.

Vail, ColoradoWhen most people think of skiing in Colorado, Vail is one of the first locations that comes to mind. Vail Mountain is an enormous winter hub for skiers, snowboarders, sledding, snowshoeing and anyone who is seeking the best of the best in resort form. Enjoy seven miles of sloping fun on both sides of the mountain. The resort itself encompasses more than 5,000 acres. It’s not only a favored family resort, but a singles resort too. Vail Mountain also offers skiing lessons at their ski school for both adults and children.

Aspen, Colorado. Another popular and talked about ski destination in Colorado is Aspen. Aspen’s resort town is a favorite with the rich and famous and other well-to-do individuals, but there are vacation packages available for various budgets. The Aspen ski and resort area features over 3,000 acres and its main mountain has a vertical drop of almost 4,500 feet. Aspen offers ski trails for everyone whether you’re a novice or intermediate skier. As one of the five best ski resorts in Colorado, Aspen is hard to beat with its variety of terrain parks, four on-site restaurants, retail and rental shops and comfortable accommodations.

Breckenridge, Colorado. With a base elevation of 9,600 feet, a vertical rise of almost 3,400 feet, 30 ski lifts and approximately 2,500 acres of ski terrain, Breckenridge is undoubtedly one of the five best ski resorts in Colorado. Open since 1961, Breckenridge has been providing winter sports enthusiasts’ hours of slope time for almost 50 years. Breckenridge has about 155 skiing and snowboarding trails available, and its longest trail called the “Four O’Clock” is 3.5 miles long.

Telluride, Colorado. For its unmatched beauty, hideaway location and friendly town, Telluride, Colorado, is not a well-known area, but is considered one of the five best ski resorts in Colorado. Telluride is actually located amongst 13,000 and 14,000-foot Rocky Mountain peaks, offering a unique ski-in, ski-out type of resort town. The resort has become so popular over the last few ski seasons, it has expanded another 400 acres. The Telluride Ski Resort area also features some of the best restaurants, hotels, shops and spas.

Crested Butte, Colorado. Rounding off the list of top five ski resorts in Colorado is Crested Butte. This historic mining town turned ski resort is nestled among beautiful snow covered mountain peaks. Known as “the perfect mountain” by the locals, Crested Butte offers slopes and trails for all levels of skiing experience. The slopes are wide and don’t get easily crowded which is an advantage to everyone. The mountain also features extreme skiing locations on the North Face and the Head Wall. As of 2010, the newly expanded Teocalli Bowl area now adds to the extreme skiing location of the mountain.


By Amy Rutherford,

It is never too early to start planning a summer vacation. Many people do not realize that a town that is popular for snow skiing can be a refreshing summer treat when the temperatures climb to sweltering degrees elsewhere.

Vail, Colorado is just the place to escape the brutal heat that summers can bring. Vail’s altitude is over 8,000 ft. above sea level. The high elevation coupled with mountain valleys can produce light, cool breezes and even moderately cold nights during the summer months.

Vail is an interesting little ski town. It is quaint, and has the appearance of a Swiss village. There are upscale shops nestled between the spruce trees and tucked among the billowing mountains. The gondola, which is open in the summer as well as the winter, is an exciting ride to the top of the mountain. An all-day ticket can be obtained, so that the visitor can come and go as they please.

On top of the mountain one will find a restaurant that serves a variety of tasty dishes, but the best part of the top is the winding foot path that take one through meadows of gently sloping terrain that is blanketed with colorful wildflowers. It is truly a hiker’s dream.

Vail is located right along the interstate highway, and is easily accessible from Denver. The surrounding area is a scenic panorama that is well worth an adventure drive. The majestic mountains will lure the traveler to experience its grandeur.

In the summer months the roads are passable and free from snow and ice, so venturing is easy. With all these activities, Vail makes the perfect summer retreat.

Courtesy of

By Karen Rubin,

The Colorado Rockies beckon those from lower altitudes to experience the adrenalin rush that comes with ascending to heights, not to mention the view and the prospect of laying tracks in fresh powder.

Our visits tend to be short, though, and we may rush out and not prepare our bodies for the extreme altitude – the result can be altitude sickness, which feels like a nauseous headache.

I know, because it happened to me my first day on the slopes at Keystone, and Eric’s first day at Breckenridge (of course, he probably brought on the problem by taking that first day hiking 30 minutes to the summit at nearly 13,000 feet).

Here are some tips gathered from our trips to Vail Resorts in BreckenridgeKeystoneBeaver Creek and Heavenly (there is a sixth resort this year, with the addition of Northstar-at-Tahoe, in California), as to how to prepare for a ski trip so that you get the most out of your adventure:

Preparing for High Altitude:

Proper Clothing

Dress for cooler temperatures but be prepared for sudden weather changes. It’s colder at higher altitudes and layers of clothing are a good idea. It may feel colder or warmer depending on whether it’s windy or cloudy on one hand, or sunny with still air on the other. It’s best to dress in layers and wear breathable clothing, such as smart wool that keeps moisture away from the skin.


Because of the thinner atmosphere and reflection from snow or water, you can sunburn much more easily than most people think. Ultraviolet light is more intense at higher altitudes. Be sure to protect your face and lips with appropriate sunscreen (at least 15 SPF), and protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles.

Altitude Sickness

Perhaps as many as half the visitors from lower elevations experience some form of altitude illness. The vast majority of cases are self-limited and spontaneously resolve as the body acclimatizes. Symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite, shortness of breath with minimal exertion, nausea, headache and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are often worse the second day at altitude (but resolve in four to five days). Rest is the key to treating mild forms of altitude sickness.

Avoiding Altitude Sickness:

  • Stay Properly Hydrated: Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day).
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs during acclimation, which can also lead to dehydration.
  • Light Activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating Altitude Sickness symptoms.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise until you acclimate: So, it is best to time your arrival in the afternoon before you ski, spend time getting equipment, doing leisure activities (how about a massage at the spa? or a swim in the pool? or a walking tour of the town), rather than activities that drain you of energy.  Limiting exertion is better than using innumerable medications. Activities like running, hiking, lifting, straining etc can worsen the symptoms of altitude sickness.  Gradually increase your activity, to give yourself time to adjust.

Symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, persistent rapid pulse, general malaise, pins and needles, fatigue, insomnia, and/or diarrhea.

Severe cases may be complicated by breathlessness and chest tightness, which are signs of pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), or by confusion, lethargy, and unsteady gait, which indicate cerebral edema (brain swelling).

The symptoms of altitude sickness develop gradually so that, with proper management, serious complications can usually be prevented, says

If you get Altitude Sickness, Remedies include:

  • Drink Water: As your breathing is fast and deep, you tend to dehydrate more. So, drink water in considerable amount to keep yourself hydrated. Be at vigilance and check whether the urine is clear and in proper quantity. Alcohol can add to the dehydration problem and so, it is better to avoid it thoroughly, especially when you are climbing at higher elevations.
  • Acetaminophen: Rather than using drugs like aspirin, which have side effects, it’s advisable to use acetaminophen, a safer drug conferring instant relief from pain at higher elevations.
  • Inhaling pure oxygen is a quick fix. The mountain shops generally sell small portable canisters. Products include Altigen™, Oxia and Alpine Oxygen.

Seema Adnani at also suggests some home remedies including:

  • Herbal Potion: The potions are made from the common ingredients which are easily found at home. Ingredients include basic and normal things like lemonwaterginger garlichoney, etc. Drinking the potion helps in building body stamina, fight cold, cough, fever, headaches, gives energy to combat in high altitude areas etc.
  • Lemon Soda: It can be in taken to prevent vomiting, the colloquial tendency. But home remedies are more useful and easy to get. You can take a glass of fresh sweet lemon soda, digestive capsules made of herbs and natural ingredients like green mango, amlagingermethi, etc.
  • Eat Digestible Food: Avoid eating heavy, oily, junk foods while ascending upwards. You can also eat in small portion. Eat stuff which is easily digestible.
  • Ginger: Christopher Hobbs, the renowned herbalist believes ginger to be very beneficial for treating altitude sickness, as it plays a pivotal role in treating mild levels of altitude sickness. It is advisable to mix 20 drops of ginger liquid with half cup of water in case you suffer from altitude sickness.

I was able to get relief after taking Ibuprofin and a generic Pepto-Bismol, but if needed  immediate relief, I could have taken oxygen like Altigen™ or Oxia. By the next day, I was back to myself.

Frostbite & Hypothermia

Frostbite results from cooling of body tissues and subsequent destruction of these tissues. This occurs when skin is exposed to cold and windy conditions. Fingers, ears and noses are especially susceptible. The best cure is prevention. Keep the skin covered and warm up frequently. If blisters, occur or if fingers or toes are involved, seek medical attention immediately. Over exposure to cold, wetness or wind can cause a very low internal body temperature known as hypothermia. Warning signs include shivering, fatigue, slowed pulse and bluish lip color. Hypothermia is life threatening. Victims of hypothermia should get to warmth and shelter, remove wet clothes, warm up in blankets, and drink warm, non-alcoholic beverages. Emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.


At 9600 feet, the sun is 40% stronger than at sea level. Apply sunscreen several times a day and always wear eye protection. Sunglasses or goggles with UV protection are a must. Lip balm/Chapstick is also a necessity.

Ski apparel

Appropriate dress can make or break your day on the slopes. It is worth investing in a pair of waterproof ski pants as jeans get wet and do not allow enough movement. It is best to dress in layers as temperatures can vary from day to day. A waterproof shell is your best bet for a jacket, with a fleece and under layers for additional warmth. Contrary to popular belief, the thinnest pair of cotton socks is essential in boot comfort, allowing for optimal circulation and boot fit. Additional comfort can be achieved by wearing highly breathable clothing specifically made for winter outdoor activities. Neck gators, hats, facemasks and goggles are also highly recommended.


First-time skiers and snowboarders are highly recommended to take a lesson with the Ski & Ride School. It is imperative to learn proper technique in order to prevent injury and make the sport more enjoyable. Whether you want to learn a new sport, improve your skills or just want to find the powder stashes that only the locals know, the mountain’s Ski & Ride School has the program for you. Many mountains also have early morning guided tours with an “ambassador.” Others have guides you can ski/snowboard with. Going out with an instructor or guide or ambassador helps you ski more confidently and also brings you to trails you might not have done on your own. Especially during busy holiday times, it is recommended to book a lesson online, in advance.

Purchase your lift tickets in advance

Breckenridge lets you pre-purchase lift tickets online 7 days in advance and save up to $100 on a 6-day ticket. Plus, you’ll get to skip the ticket window and go straight to the lifts. Purchase Lift Tickets Online.

For those coming from a distance, ski-and-stay packages offer excellent value, as do multi-day tickets, which also can be purchased in advance. Vail Resorts‘ season Epic Pass allows for unlimited skiing at all six resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe) plus Arapahoe Basin. Other ski areas often have collaborative tickets with one or more partner resorts.

How to carry your equipment

Walking in ski boots while carrying your skis and poles is challenging. It is best to keep your boots unbuckled until you have arrived at the base of the chairlift. The best way to carry your equipment is to put your skis over your shoulder and carry both poles in your other hand.


Do a little pre-planning in figuring out how to get around mountain area – it can help you decide which hotel or condo is really a better value, considering the amount of time spent getting to the base area, and its accessibility to a shuttle service. Many resorts have free shuttle systems so you don’t need a car. Check out the time schedule.

For example, at Breckenridge, while a number of properties are within walking distance of historic Main Street or the slopes, Breckenridge is served by the Free Ride Transportation System. The Free Ride travels routes through Breckenridge connecting the resort’s base areas and free parking lots, runs the perimeter of downtown, stops at the Ice Rink, City Market, Recreation Center, Village and Four O’clock Roads, Columbine and Broken Lance Drive and Peak 9.

Keystone also has a superb free shuttle bus system that gets you all around the resort (and after regular hours of scheduled service, you only have to call and the bus comes). The County also offers a free bus to Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge.


Most mountain resorts these days are casual, so you don’t have to bring extra dress-up clothes and shoes (important considerations when you are trying to keep baggage fees to a minimum). Breckenridge, for example, prides itself in being a laid back, casual mountain town. No need to bring your high-heels or dress clothes. Jeans and a sweater/fleece are the norm around here.

(Credit, Vail Mountain)

By Regan Dickinson,

If you’re looking for something to do Friday afternoon that studiously avoids the heat, headaches and traffic of the Denver area, you might want to consider Vail Mountain’s Friday Afternoon Club (FAC).

The seasonal FAC concerts start at 5 p.m. at Talon’s Deck Grill on the Eagle’s Nest. The concert series runs until August 30

All FAC performances are free, and if you’re a 2013-2014 pass holder ( the ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola to get to the Eagle’s Nest is free.

If you don’t have a pass, you can pick up a twilight gondola ticket after 4 p.m., which includes a $10 credit voucher you can use for on-mountain food and beverage at Talon’s Deck Grill or Bistro Fourteen, or toward Adventure ridge activities. You can also hop on a complimentary shuttle to Game Creek and use the voucher for sunset appetizers and drinks on Game Creek Restaurant’s deck.

The last ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola is at 9 p.m., and all FACs this summer are from 5-9 p.m. Here’s the summer FAC band lineup…

July 12: Kevin Heinz and Friends
July 19: Bob Masters Duo
July 26: Bluzilla
Aug. 2: KHZ
Aug. 9: Jake Wolf Trio
Aug. 16: Boneless
Aug. 23: Bluzilla
Aug. 30: Bob Masters Trio

To find out more, go to or stop by the Mountain Information Center in Lionshead, open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or call 970-SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

Glass of Wine (Credit, Vail Resorts)

By Bronwyn Long,

Planning a day trip to Vail? Here are five great places for a glass of wine in Vail. Stopping at more than one of them offers the chance for a nice walking tour of Vail Village, which is in full bloom this time of year.

La Tour Restaurant & Bar, 122 East Meadow Drive, has been a top-rated restaurant in Vail for many years. One reason is its exceptional wine list, which includes some of the rarest and most sought-after Burgundy wines in the world, as well as bottles from the great champagne houses. Two of the notables on the list are a 2001 Romanée-Conti Domaine de la Romanée-Conti — only 600 cases produced from what has been regarded as the single-greatest site for Pinot Noir, and a 1959 Clos du Vougeot Grand Cru-Remoissenet. For the casual wine-drinker, they offer more than 23 wines by the glass, nine half-bottles, and more than 550 wines by the bottle. La Tour’s Collectors’ List, which contains top-rated wines, has been discounted for the summer. La Tour is located across from the westernmost entrance to the Vail parking structure.

Restaurant Kelly Liken, 12 Vail Road, a relative newcomer to Vail’s dining scene, is an energetic destination for wine and food. They maintain a focused cellar of American and French wines. Ongoing staff education assures assistance with navigating the list of 250 grower champagnes and other wines by the bottle, and more than 50 wines by the carafe, full, and half-glass. They pour five custom wine flights daily, including one of Colorado wines. Canyon Wind Cellars, Infinite Monkey Theorem, and Jack Rabbit Hill wines are among the Colorado wines available currently by the glass. Colorado ingredients are used in the cocktails seasonal cuisine. Summer Harvest Dinners, available on Sundays during the summer season, use items from that day’s farmers’ market.

La Bottega, 100 East Meadow Drive, offers 30 wines by the glass, 15 by the half-bottles, and 400 by the bottle. Seating choices include large and small bistro tables, bar stools, low tables with benches and chairs, and a large patio that runs the length of the restaurant along Meadow Drive. It is a relaxed and rustic environment, reminiscent of an old farm house in Europe, with its white stucco and exposed brick trim and fieldstone fireplaces and pillars.

Sweet Basil, 193 Gore Creek Drive, a longtime favorite among locals and visitors alike, pours 10-15 wines by the glass, 50 by the half-bottle, and more than 550 by the bottle. Located centrally in Vail Village, their selection of champagne and sparkling wine is unusually diverse, offering bubble-lovers the choice of new world sparkling wine, and vintage, non-vintage, and rosé champagnes by the full and half-bottles. After pouring wines by the glass, the bartender offered a sample of the Hendricks Haze, a tasty gin martini made with fresh cucumber, fresh lime, and coriander syrup. A nice alternative to a summer rose or white patio wine.

Terra Bistro, 352 East Meadow Drive, is located at the corner of Vail Valley Drive and East Meadow Drive, across from the easternmost entrance to the Vail parking structure. Terra Bistro is on the main level of the Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa. Happy Hour is from 5:00-6:00pm daily. During Happy Hour they offer six wines by the glass and nine appetizers. The bar is open until 9:30pm, offering 15 wines by the glass, 19 by the half-bottle, and 300 by the bottle, and innovative appetizers, including sprouted quinoa lettuce cups and an inside-out spicy tuna roll with watermelon.

Honorable mention goes to Up the Creek Bar and Grill, 223 Gore Creek Drive. Its waterside dining at the edge of Gore Creek lures diners to the restaurant, while seasonal wine specials and such menu items as truffle fries and gnocchi with duck confit, pine nuts, chives, bleu cheese, and lavender-honey cream keeps them there, sampling the extensive wine list.



A snowy winter Saturday night and the valley crackles with restless energy. Little car icons zoom across smartphone screens as Uber and Lyft drivers scramble to transport their charges from condos to restaurants to bars and then back again. The transportation revolution has come to Vail and the world continues its inexorable march toward a singularity. Sitting dormant on this frosty evening is the Turtle Bus, displaced by the new interlopers, a homegrown operation giving more