We, obviously, aren’t seasoned Beaver Creek travelers but we did learn a lot while we were there so, for our future reference and anyone else’s, here are our real deal Beaver Creek Tips!
1. Go to Beano’s Cabin. It’s a really neat, once-in-a-lifetime kind of place that is casual enough for kids but fancy enough for adults who want a high class meal. That being said, sit facing away from the snow cat on your way up and down the mountain! I can’t stress that point enough, if you sit facing the direction that you will be moving you will be pelted with snow on your way which will increase your coldness level (which is quite high already!) significantly! And make sure you dress warmly for the ride! They have a huge coat room where you can put everything before you sit down for dinner. You also must make reservations ahead of time.
2. Speaking of reservations, make them! Even if you’re just guessing on where you want to eat make some reservations that you can cancel. My favorite way to make reservation is through Open Table which is a free service and has an app for your phone. All of the Beaver Creek restaurants that need reservations are on Open Table. Some restaurants that we loved were The Dusty Boot, The Chop House, and Blue Moose Pizza (you don’t need reservations at Blue Moose).
3. Stay in the village if you can. The village is beautiful and you don’t need to go anywhere else your entire stay. There’s a market in town with groceries or any necessities that you forget. Doing this will make your trip a lot more stress free than if you are taking a shuttle to/from the village to ski every day.
4. Try and get as close to the mountain as possible. We stayed at St James Place which is a condo development each individually owned. It was very nice and pretty close to the lifts but it was still a 4-5 minute walk each morning and at the end of each day and when you’re walking in ski boots and carrying your equipment that’s a really long walk!
5. Store your equipment at the bottom of the hill. We didn’t do this but they found that you can store your equipment at a drop off right next to the lifts so that you don’t have to lug it back and forth to your condo. Our condo provided a locker for the equipment but that meant they had to take it back and forth every day. I’m sure it costs some money but our group felt like it would have been a worthy investment!
6. We traveled over President’s Day Weekend. It was crowded but not too so. That being said, even on a busy weekend all but two of the lifts closed at 3:30 pm every day. Strawberry Park and Centennial stayed open until 4. So be aware of that so you don’t end up stuck in Arrowhead or Bachelor Gulch if you’re exploring and can’t get back because the lifts closed!
7. Get a private car to/from the airport. We chose to go the Premier route with Colorado Mountain Express and it was worth the (approx) $30 extra dollars that we paid as opposed to riding in one of their vans. Our driver met us at baggage claim, loaded our luggage, and then drove us in our SUV with water bottles and snacks straight to our condo. On our return trip they picked us up exactly when we needed to leave (they determine that time based on your flight time) and did the same thing on the way back. After a bumpy flight out we were so thankful that we weren’t having to pile into a big van with a bunch of strangers to sit all squished together and then make a bunch of stops before we got to our condo. You should seriously check it out because it was not much more money than the van and you got so much more!
8. Go to the top of the mountain to ski. Beaver Creek is unique (I think) in that it has a lot of greens and blues at the top of the mountain. You should definitely ski those because they are less crowded and are just as easy (if not easier) than slopes at the bottom of the hill around the ski school area.
9. Don’t worry about footwear. Kelly and I were worried about having boots that could get wet while we walked around town and we shouldn’t have been. We’re pretty sure that there is an underground system heating the main walkways in Beaver Creek and it melts all of the ice and snow almost as soon as it falls. It was nice to have dry surfaces to walk around on while we were in the village.
10. Get your ski equipment delivered to your condo. We rented equipment through RentSkis.com and had a great experience with them. For no extra cost they delivered the equipment to the condo at a time that we arranged once we landed. They brought everything in and fitted boots (they brought multiple sizes in the van in case they didn’t fit) and skis and also got everyone helmets which you can’t pre-reserve. It was so nice not to have to fight a crowd to get all of that done but to just be able to relax in the condo while they handled it. And the return of the equipment was easy, even if they did call multiple times to remind us to turn the equipment in after we already had.
11. They serve free, warm chocolate chip cookies! Beaver Creek chef’s come out in their chef’s hats at 3 pm at the bottom of the Centennial Lift every day serving warm cookies. Their silver trays come out piled high with them and within minutes the chefs turn around and go back in for another batch because their cookies were demolished. Such a nice treat after a day of skiing!
12. Drink lots of water! The altitude is so different there than almost anywhere else so you need to be prepared. We all downed bottle after bottle of water on our trip out and it kept us from getting seriously sick. We did all get a touch of sick (headache, nausea) at some point but the water definitely helped. We have also heard that carbs help the adjustment also.
13. Go private on the lessons. We went on a big holiday weekend so the group lessons were packed. For just a little extra Jason, Kelly, and Tripp had their own instructor for half a day. He was able to tailor their instructions to their own levels and give them much more detailed instructions. They would also recommend a full day lesson if you haven’t skied before. We will definitely be doing a full day private lesson in a few years when we take the kids!
We loved Beaver Creek and definitely want to take the kids back when they’re ready to learn to ski. It was a quaint, unique place that was beautiful!