With winter around the corner, it’s no surprise that I’ve been starting to think about whizzing down a mountain with a whole lotta fresh powder snow. Whenever I get inspired to take a trip, regardless of whether it’s a river cruise through Scandinavia or my most recent trip to Eastern Europe to experience its history and spa culture, an adventure typically turns into reality when I visualize myself in the destination, look at a calendar to check on feasible dates and jot down a few things I’d love to do when I arrive. There is obviously planning after the ideation stage, but once you “decide” on a destination and dream of it as if it’s going to happen, it doesn’t take much to move from visualization to actually booking your trip.
Given that I live in northern California and it’s getting more hectic every day, I find that people in my circles are looking for ski escapes a little further away from the Bay Area yet still convenient. So many of our lives are 24/7, so when you want to escape, why not pick a destination that is further away from the crowds so you can truly unwind, whether that be for a romantic weekend getaway or a week on the slopes with the family. I’ve been wanting to ski a few mountains under the Vail Resorts umbrella for awhile now, tempted by breathtaking views and countless trails to their upscale restaurants and lodging. Frankly, as I get older, I don’t want to guess whether the resort is going to blow me away — I just want to stay in one that will exceed all expectations, from the slopes to the food regardless of the reason for the trip.
The wonderful thing about Vail Resorts is that the ever so chic and well renowned Vail isn’t the only choice — it’s only one of their world-class resorts. Other choices in the states include Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Park City. I’ve been to Beaver Creek oddly enough in the summer so while I did take the gondola to the top, I never skied down her slopes. Years ago, I took many trips to Breckenridge and Park City for work and ended up staying longer to ski — it’s a must for that bucket list and simply because it’s so much fun! We skied at Heavenly more recently and absolutely loved our experience but I’m eager to explore some of Vail’s other mountains and resorts. They own and operate nine mountain resorts and three urban ski areas in the states and two other countries. Imagine the options with 291 chairlifts and for ski addicts, it’s worth knowing about their six annual championships that they host, including the Birds of Prey Men’s World Cup Ski Races at Beaver Creek, the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships at Vail and skiing and snowboarding’s Dew Tour at Breckenridge.
Because they’re a massive network, improvements are happening all the time with over $500 million across their mountains in the last five years alone. They also extend into other areas and tout mountain resorts, lodging properties, retail outlets, transportation and real estate across seven states, including Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.
They offer something called an Epic Pass, which offers unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin, Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Perisher in Australia. The Epic Pass allows pass holders to visit any of the resorts on their own schedule. For more details, check out their Epic Pass page.
Foodies will be thrilled to learn that they have roughly 140 restaurants on their mountain resorts and in their lodging properties and they also have seven spas. (great for those female getaways). And, to keep you up to-date, they also have a great mobile app called EpicMix. They’ll take photos so you have the memories, size you up in a healthy competition, tell you how long the wait is at your favorite lift and let you race against Olympic champion skier Lindsey Vonn, in EpicMix Racing. Download links can be found under Resources below.
- This is what Epic Looks Like – useful overview of all the resorts with great photos and information.
- Epic Mix: information on Epic Mix so you can keep up to date and engage with the community.
- Epic Mix Mobile App for iPhone
- Epic Mix Mobile App for Android
Disclosure Note: this post is part of a Vail Resorts promotional campaign.