The Ski Channel Primer: Perfection the norm at Beaver Creek

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on December 2, 2009 2:51 pm

It’s a demarcation line.  Stepping into the gates of Beaver Creek is the skiing version of entering Oz.  Another world beyond this one, where skiing dreams are granted. 

“Not exactly roughing it” is Beaver Creek’s marketing tag line, but to me, the phrase is simply the result of a singular focus.  What if every aspect, from the large and significant to the seemingly insignificant, was 100% focused on creating the perfect ski vacation?  That’s Beaver Creek.  No, there will no headaches, no disappointments, only exceeded expectations filled with the immense joy of the perfect ski vacation.

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Much like surfing, skiing sometimes suffers from localism, albeit of a lesser kind.  I have not had my tires flattened for skiing a new spot.  Still, mood is dictated by those around us.  At the Beav, friendliness extends beyond the service professionals, who are paid to be friendly, to the locals, who are friendly for free! 

It’s the Snoop Dogg approach.  Laid back.  That vibe of laid back friendliness makes Beaver Creek so appealing.  A ski traveler, happy to be free from everyday demands, automatically imports happiness to his new locale.  At Beaver Creek that happiness is enhanced, never to be diminished by those who wished you’d gone somewhere else.  A welcome to Beaver Creek is sincere and deeply felt.

So while Snoop was laid back with his Gin and Juice, at Beaver Creek it’s the hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.  There are no better symbols of Beaver Creek’s welcoming and comforting atmosphere than free hot chocolate in the morning at the top of the lift and legendary (still free) chocolate chip cookies at the base at the end of the day.  There are even scented candles in the men’s bathrooms.  I’ll assume the ladies have the same.

Laid back, sippin’ on hot chocolate with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

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Television is the great distorter.  The flattened images beamed worldwide only show a fraction of the frightening wonder that is Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey, the only stop in the U.S. on the men’s alpine World Cup.

The marquee event of the weekend is the Birds of Prey downhill.  Much like watching the Indy 500, television does not convey both the insane speed of World Cup downhill racers and the steep pitches on which these gladiators perform. 

It’s a perspective shift of profound proportions, to ski the Birds of Prey run from top to bottom.  Beaver Creek is the only American ski resort dishing out this perspective shift.  And come the next time you watch the Birds of Prey on the tele, you’ll know, yes the TV lies, and wow, I can’t believe how fast Erik Fisher is flying down that pitch!

Adhering to the skier safety code, maybe the the Birds of Prey is beyond your skill set.  Not to worry, regardless of ability, from World Cup to beginning pup, Beaver Creek has endless options for to explore.

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Grooming has reached its zenith.  Twenty hours a day, seven days a week, Beaver Creek’s 52 full-time operators doctor the snow to PHD perfection.  There’s 776 groomed acres a day so finely manicured that the greens at Augusta are jealous.

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An introduction to the great sport of skiing can either be awkward and frustrating or fun and exciting.  Few are doing more to expand the tribe of skiing and snowboarding than the Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School.  Their instructors are a collection of “Best Personality” winners with their yearbooks to prove.  Linguistics must have been a minor for many of these Skiing Jedis, as collectively, the instructors speak 25 languages.

For children there’s The Ranch, a truly state-of-the-art ski and snowboard school.  Adult lessons are also fantastic, but I’d highly recommend a private lesson.  Privates come with the Beaver Creek red carpet treatment: free demo equipment and video analysis of your progress.  Yes, sometimes the TV doesn’t lie.  You’ll feel and see progress made.

Creating the best first experience ensures a lifetime love of skiing and snowboarding.  Beaver Creek is the best spot to uncover your as-yet-to-be-discovered love of flying down a mountain.

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I’m here, now what?  How about art galleries, cool shops, ice skating, countless restaurants, fun bars, all accessible by your two walking feet.  With three on-mountain villages and two towns at the base, Beaver Creek has it all and then some.  The only driving you’ll do once you reach Beaver Creek is on your outside edge. 

The ski resort at Beaver Creek only opened in 1980.  Since that time, the magic formula for what we ski sojourners want for the perfect family ski vacation has been perfected at The Beav. 

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A singular focus to create that perfect ski vacation resulted in everything — on the mountain and off — being in its right place.  With welcoming locals, beyond first class service, 350″ of Colorado snow annually, majestic landscapes, awesome alpine villages — all of it first class.  Not exactly roughing it, indeed.

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Here’s a look at what’s new at Beaver Creek:

Ice Music in the Crystal Grotto
The Crystal Grotto is North America’s only performing arts center made of ice featuring ice instruments. Located near Spruce Saddle Restaurant, it seats 150. Performances 1pm and 3pm on Saturdays, Sundays and select Fridays all season. Pre-purchase tickets ($10) at the information kiosk next to the Ice Rink. Kids 12 and under are free for the 3pm Saturday show.

Tubing at New Heights
Beaver Creek’s new lift-served, 3-laned tubing hill is a wild ride for everyone in the family. It sits just below The Ranch and is accessed by riding the Buckaroo Gondola. Tickets and information available at The Ranch (970) 754 5368.

Mamie’s Mountain Grill
Nestled in an aspen grove atop the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift #16, Mamie’s wide sunny deck overlooks McCoy Park and commands stunning mountain views. A unique menu features “grill your own” items, signature soups, European style hotdogs, sandwiches, beer, warm Glüwein and non alcoholic choices. Open 11am – 3pm.

Lunch for Less
Save some cash with our new Lunch for Less option. Get an entrée, side and drink for just $9.95. Anywhere on the mountain, every day of the season.

Epic Mountain Burger
Our famous hamburger just got better. Now, at our on-mountain restaurants you’ll be able to bite into a burger that features a freshly baked bun, two fresh, Angus quarter-pound beef patties with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, organic white cheddar cheese and a special sauce

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