Overview of Beaver Creek Ski Resort
Beaver Creek was created by Vail Resorts in December 1980, 10 miles to the west of that famous ski town. The company had purchased the land nearly a decade earlier with the view of creating a resort inspired by top European destinations such as Cortina, St Moritz and Spain’s Baqueira Beret. With the possible exception of one or two wholly private resorts, it is the most luxurious ski resort in North America boasting some of the most exclusive hotels (and therefore, probably, the world), successfully combining very high quality facilities on and off the mountain, hotels with impeccable service standards and an excellent ski area.
When you ski Beaver Creek you’ll find most hotels, condos and facilities are located in a relatively compact resort centre, which is gated off from the rest of the world. The resort is very well designed, with an ice rink, as well as upmarket shops and restaurants at its heart. Heated pavement ensure no slippery surfaces and escalators rather than steps are provided to lift skiers up to the slopes.
Your day on the slope begins with a mug of hot chocolate as you’re handed a trail map by staff. At lunchtime more staff will find you seats in the restaurant and at the end of the day it’s a chocolate cookie that’s handed to you as you exit the slopes. Another nice touch is the provision of free postcards, post paid to anywhere in the world, although you do still have to actually write these yourself (but getting someone to do it for you while you hit the slopes or the spa could probably be arranged!).
The ski area is also linked to the still more upmarket Bachelor Gulch development (so far containing a luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel and not much else) and a third development, Arrowhead. The town of Avon below offers more opportunities for shopping and dining.
Although the exclusive feel of Beaver Creek may give the impression that the ski area itself has been tamed for pampered guests, you can still get a good deal there in terms of your accommodation. There are lots of challenging slopes and Beaver Creek staged the Alpine Skiing World Championships with its sister resort of Vail in 1999, before it had even turned 20. It will host them again in 2015, the first time the Championships will have been to North America this century, and indeed the first time back there since they were last at Beaver Creek. It is also the host of the only Men’s World Cup Downhill events in the US each winter.