One-billion dollars-that’s the amount being spent to take Vail from 1977 into 2007; five new hotels, heated streets almost everywhere, a new chairlift, a new pipe and park location, and even functioning heated gondolas. All this adds up to one-billion good times. Oh yeah, we’ve got logs, too, just in case you forgot.
Vail still has things that even money can’t buy, like perfectly groomed corduroy trails on the front side and seven colossal Back Bowls. As far as where to shred-go out and find out yourself. This place is ginormous, so if you didn’t have any fun, you didn’t try hard enough.
Freeride: The Back Bowls at Vail are famous for a reason. If it’s a powder day, head straight here, and let ‘er rip. As long as you’re in the neighborhood, visit the cuts of Blue Sky Basin-645 acres of gladed trees, cornices, and natural trails.
Park And Pipe: The high-speed-quad-accessed Golden Peak Terrain Park and Superpipe are home to big-time events with huge triple-line jumps, a quarterpipe, and a uniquely Colorado log rail park. If the big kickers freak you out, head to Bwana, Mule Skinner, and Hunky Dory with mellower features.
Lodging: If you have the bankroll, any hotel in The Village or Lionshead will put you slopeside, which is nice. The Cascade Hotel is just off the beaten path, but has its own chairlift, movie theater, restaurant, free shuttle, and spa-it’s ride in/ride out, too. The Holiday Inn in West Vail is the next best thing, and it’s close to the Sand Bar, walking distance to the groceries, and has a free bus to town 7:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m. It’s a good breakfast spot, too.
Aprà¤s: The whole town is an after-shred party, so pick a spot, settle in, and get it on. Head to a Vail landmark, Vendetta’s Pizza, for the pizza pie-or head down to Art’s Bar with the colorful locals. Kids, you better just stick to the Moose’s Caboose for a crazy train of gummi candy.
Food: The Les Delices De France is still the undisputed king of breakfast joints. Get a prosciutto and Brie with a cup of coffee to go for about five bucks.
When dinnertime arrives, you really can’t go wrong around here, but two favorites are The Montauk Seafood Grill in Lionshead and La Bottega located directly between Lionshead and The Village. Late night, it’s Art’s Bar or Samana in town, but the real deal is the Sand Bar in West Vail. White Trash Wednesdays go off, and food is served every day until 1:30 a.m.
Don’t Miss: This year, Vail is hosting Spring Back To Vail (April 3-16), the end of season blowout where, last year, Snoop Dog and The Game raised the roof off the Rockies.
Average annual snowfall: 346 inches
Summit elevation: 11,570 feet
Vertical drop: 3,450 feet
Number of lifts: 34
Shreddable acres: 5,289
Local snowboard shop: One Track Mind, (970) 476-1397
Adult ticket price: $81