Vail, ColoradoAuthor: Shelly F.
Date of Trip: February 2010
Started in 1962 with 4 houses and 5 lifts, Vail Ski Resort is now a monster ski area comprising 5200 acres of slopes, which include the legendary back bowls. It has 31 ski lifts bringing skiers to varied terrain for novice through super-skier. Two years ago, they opened still another extension called Blue Sky Mountain, which extends the skiable area considerably and adds the dimension of glades skiing through the trees to the skier's experience. All the slopes of Vail, including Blue Sky Mountain, are linked and skiing them all will take you the better part of a day.
The village is spread out over 3 areas including the original Vail Village, Lionshead, to the west and Golden Peak, to the east. Each of these has hotels, condo rentals, restaurants and shops. All of it is linked by a free town bus system that runs about every 5 minutes.
This is high dollar country! Just look at the real estate ads in the Vail Daily and you get an idea of just how much it takes to buy something anywhere near Vail. Also, check out the many jewelry and fur stores as well as the ski and clothing shops. A stop at any of them will max out your credit cards. But there are bargains here as well, if you know where to look. Many specials are listed in the free Vail Daily newspaper distributed in kiosks all over town and near bus stops.
Many restaurants run dinner specials if you sit down by 6 pm. A great rib joint you should not miss is Moe's Bar-B-Que, 675 W. Lionshead Circle. A big plate of ribs with 2 sides and a soft drink will set you back $13. A smaller plate will cost $11.25. The ribs are succulent and meaty and the potato salad and coleslaw are excellent. Other sides include baked beans and banana puddin'. The Orr House, on Bridge Street, is another moderately priced place in Vail Village and check out Garfinkel's in Lionshead, as well.
A terrific resource, often overlooked by visitors, is the Vail Town Library, 292 W Meadow Drive, right across the street from the Dobson ice rink. They have available 15 computers for your use if you need to check your email or check up on your investments. You need a library card but they are free and issued on the spot if you have a picture ID. You can also take out books and videos.
Savvy skiers often check out vrbo.com for lodging deals. This site, Vacation Rentals By Owner, lists many rentals priced fairly and in all parts of Vail. Just check Colorado on the US map when you get to the site, and then click on Vail in the list on the left. Listings include pictures and full details. To avoid the hassle of luggage, I send my skis and one big piece of luggage by Fedex Ground a week before I arrive. The price is a few bucks more than what the airlines charge, but I just go with a carry on bag and get my luggage when I get to the condo I rent. The manager accepted my luggage after I phoned him about it and its the only way to go. I also have Fedex pick up my luggage the day before I leave.
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