Developed in the 1980s, Beaver Creek is an exclusive resort just 16 km west of Vail. Nearby airports include Denver International Airport and Eagle County Airport. Once at the resort, free shuttle buses make it easy to navigate around the resort. The lift system spreads from Beaver Creek Village itself to the slope side hamlets of Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead. Spanning 1,832 acres, the ski area has it all, from easy beginner runs to daunting moguls and steep terrain.
Beaver Creek Village is upscale, with heated sidewalks, a smart pedestrian area and an open air ice rink. There are many luxury chalets and lodgings in and around the village, numerous restaurants, boutique shops, several galleries and even a performing arts centre. Every day, at 3pm, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies are served throughout the village and at the base of the Centennial Express lift.
Beaver Creek has no shortage of snow, with the average annual snowfall an impressive 325 inches (825cm). All ages and abilities can enjoy skiing here. Beginners should head to Haymeadow Park and once these slopes have been conquered, Red Buffalo Park. There are plenty of quiet cruising blues for intermediates; C Prime in Rose Bowl, Larkspur in Larkspur Bowl and Gunder’s in Bachelor Gulch are all recommended. There’s no shortage of terrain for experts either; the Talons Creek Challenge is an annual competition that sees skiers attempt to complete 14 black and double black diamond runs totalling over 26,000 vertical feet, in order to earn their spot on the Talon’s Wall of Fame. Grouse Mountain, Birds of Prey and Stickline are particularly popular with experienced skiers.
Aside from downhill skiing, there are also opportunities to take up cross-country skiing, telemark skiing or snowshoeing. In the centre of the village is an open air ice rink where children and adults can hone their skills on the ice. The Vilar Performing Arts Center offers concerts, comedy, Broadway musicals and dance performances year-round. There are also a series of signature events that take place throughout the year, from World Cup competitions to culinary weekends, music festivals and rodeos.