A guest post from Stephen Ridgely Green
This season, one resort. Where do you ski with your family?
Hands down, Beaver Creek.
Why Beaver Creek?
Beaver Creek gives me everything that my kids and I want and need in a ski resort.
For starters, I HATE driving once I get to my lodging…I mean really hate it! I don’t have to see my car or drive at Beaver Creek.
Beaver Creek might be the single most “village-y” resort in North America. The Beaver Creek village has a European feel to it and the village ice rink gives families a center of geographic gravity. It’s a perfect meeting spot if you’re skiing separately or doing other activities.
As for the skiing, there is simply not anything close to a long lift line. They do not exist.
The variety of the mountain is phenomenal, so every person in your family, regardless of ski level, will have a good time.
What makes Beaver Creek especially good for family skiing?
The majority of lodging is ski-in ski-out, which for families is a great time saver, as well as family fight saver! Nothing can interrupt a day more than trying to pack your family’s gear into a car at the end of the day! Saying “Hey, see you back at the room,” is so much easier.
Also, the village has all the restaurants you will ever need. If you are seeking nightlife, BC may not be your place. Personally, I’m exhausted after a day of skiing, but if you like nightlife…nearby Vail beckons you!
Any “secrets” you are willing to share?
Get over to Grouse Mountain and its express lift early in the day. This is the best skiing on the mountain and the least trafficked (not that there is much traffic anywhere, but at Grouse, you’ll feel like the lift is there for you and your family and no one else). It’s rare to see anyone else on the runs.
Another secret is April skiing. When the lifts stay open into April, you’ll be rewarded like no tomorrow. No one is there, the snow is still great, the sun is bright, and you feel alive like never before.
Any advice for families coming to Beaver Creek?
Fly into Eagle, if possible, to avoid Denver. Have a car pick you up. Do NOT rent a car, ever!
How about food?
Even though Beaver Creek is not cheap, it is more of a skiing destination than culinary destination. That said, you’ll not go wrong at any of the following places: Beaver Creek Chop House, Blue Moose Pizza, Beano’s Cabin, The Dusty Boot Saloon, or Toscanini.
And, of course, the on-mountain restaurants are second to none.
Many of the village restaurants surround, or are close to, the ice rink, and almost all lodging is only a short walk from the rink (where you can watch skaters go all night, or sit outside next to a fire and drink a glass of wine after dinner).
Literally the selections here are insanely good. There are more phenomenal lodging options in this one village than in most American cities: The Osprey, The Park Hyatt, The Ritz, Beaver Creek Lodge, The Westin, and for old-world comfort, Poste Montane.
And there are tons of condos at all price levels, for all families. The rap on Beaver Creek is that it caters only to those with unlimited funds, but that is simply not the case. Check in with East West Resorts and see what they can find.
What is your favorite Beaver Creek memory?
Anytime I ski with my kids is a treasured memory in and of itself. From the minute we wake up to the minute we crash at night, each second is unique and so enjoyable for a dad on a ski vacation.
Do you have any family skiing tips to share with other parents?
Don’t overschedule your kids’ time when they’re on ski vacations with you.
They’ll want their own mountain time, and it’s important for them to learn to ski by themselves, to go at their speed, to find their own hidden gems. Because one day they’ll show you what they found on their own. The bummer for me is skiing solo when they go off on their own, but honestly I’d have it no other way.
What is your favorite thing about family skiing?
I have loved watching my kids progress from starting on skis at three years old, to watching them now explore double blacks. Seeing that progression is one of my life’s most treasured things.
As long as we can laugh at our own falls, on the slopes and in life, we’re all good. Skiing is a way of life, the rare combination of fitness, skill, and nature. The rewards of a day on the slopes, the hot tub, the wine, the friends, and the family, are like nothing else in the world.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…
Thanks Stephen. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Cheers!
This is an especially good winter to visit Beaver Creek. The FIS World Cup World Championships will take place on the mountain (with major festivities in the village) from February 2 through February 15, 2015.
Stephen Green has three phenomenally gifted children, whom he prays every day will love skiing as much as he does.
His two best skiing memories (outside of every run with his own kids) are 1) getting an unexpected front-flip lesson from Suzie “Chapstick” Chaffee at Squaw Valley in 1980 when he was all of 16 years old and 2) opening a condo garage door at Stratton Mountain (with his kids in the car) only to see Shaun White waiting to drive in!
Stephen loves everything about the skiing lifestyle, the great people who work in the industry, and enjoys talking up new US-based brands looking to break into the performance apparel and equipment markets.
For More Beaver Creek Fun:
- Preying on Powder: Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado, December 21, 2012.
- Family Getaway: Mountain Biking at Beaver Creek, Colorado, August 15, 2012.
- Ride ‘Em Cowboy! Family Fun at the Beaver Creek Rodeo, June 10, 2013.
- The World Cup Downhill That Wasn’t, December 7, 2010.
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