Colorado

Vail, Colorado

A- Overview:
Internationally known for its incomparable world-class skiing and riding, the Vail Valley additionally offers an exciting nightlife, unique shops, gourmet dining and nonstop outdoor adventure, summer or winter.

Vail Mountain, 100 miles west of Denver, is larger than nearly every other North American ski area, and is linked by a well-placed network of lifts and trails. There are 1,220 acres of varied runs on the front side, and the existence of the Back Bowls make Vail a skier’s heaven. Those same slopes provide the perfect trails for mountain bike devotees in summer. The village hosts a wide variety of festivals year round.

Consistently ranked the country’s most popular ski resort by skiers and ski magazines almost since its inception, Vail has the look of a Tyrolean village and is visited regularly by almost as many Europeans as Americans. This gives its restaurants, hotels, and shops a continental air.

Two people with a vision planned what has become Vail. They were Pete Seibert, 10th Mountain Division veteran and Earl Eaton, a uranium prospector who had grown up in area’s wild ranges. In 1957 they climbed to the summit of the mountain now known as Vail and discovered a skier’s dream: the Back Bowls; 4,000 acres of open glades. (The Bowls had been formed unintentionally, centuries earlier, when the Ute Indians set “spite fires” to the timberland in retaliation for being driven out by ranchers and miners). Through the efforts of Seibert and Eaton, the fabulous Vail resort was created.

Vail is an excellent example of integrated mountain and village design. The development is divided into the residential East Vail, upscale Vail Village, and the more modest Lionshead.

The satellite ski area of Beaver Creek, developed in the 1980’s, has become a substantial resort in its own right. Beaver Creek’s strength is that it is one of the best ski areas in America for lower intermediates. The linking of Beaver Creek’s trail system with that of neighboring Arrowhead Resort and with Bachelor Gulch, a new area between the two, has added 30% more novice and intermediate terrain to the area and created a European-style “village-to-village” ski experience.

Spring and summer at Vail bring a wealth of new opportunities. The mountain streams and lakes provide superb fishing, canoeing, rafting, and the ski trails open for mountain biking. Horseback riding in the rugged backcountry is another seasonal favorite, as are hiking, golf, balloon rides and tennis. These activities unfold against the spectacular backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, which are so striking in their beauty and grandeur that the first glimpse of them at each visit to Vail literally takes one’s breath away.

The Rockies, Vail, the surrounding White River National Forest, all provide peak esthetic and recreational experiences. All are ready and waiting to welcome you and your family year round.

B- City Information:
Population: Vail: 3,700

Elevation: 8,150 ft.

Time Zone: Mountain Time zone: (When it is 11:00am in New York City; it is 9:00am in Vail) Daylight saving time is observed from April-October)

Weather: 303-398-3964 for hourly updates

Average Temperatures:

Month
High
Low

January
35F
17F

February
42F
23F

March
53F
30F

April
65F
40F

May
75F
49F

June
86F
57F

July
93F
64F

August
89F
62F

September
81F
54F

October
67F
43F

November
50F
28F

December
38F
20F

When to Go

If you’re a skier, you will want to spend as much time as possible on the slopes in Vail. Vail’s snow has a reputation for being some of the lightest and fluffiest anywhere. Whether or not you are a skier, you may also wish to visit this breathtakingly beautiful country when temperatures are warmest and wildflowers are at their peak in July and August. In summer, more and more ski areas are opening their chairlifts to mountain bikers. There are numerous trails winding through the mountain passes. Bargain rates are often available in spring and fall, but the weather is especially uncertain at that time, and there may be unexpected snow. snow. September is a favorite time to visit when the changing aspen leaves turn the hillsides to gold.

Weather: Northwest Colorado is a place of sudden weather changes. One minute it may be sunny and the next, snowing, and later raining. Summer attractions may even be closed due to snow. Most mountain towns shut down after the ski season until mid-June and again from Labor Day until the new ski season starts. Always call ahead to avoid disappointment.

Sunscreen is essential at high altitudes.

Business Hours

Most banks are open from 10 to 4 Monday through Friday. Many are open for several hours on Saturday. Most businesses in Vail are open Monday through Saturday, from 9 or 10 AM to 6 or 9 PM. Many others, including shopping centers, are also open Sunday from noon to 5 or later.

Arriving in the United States

contact the U.S. Customs Service inquiries, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229, 202/927-6724

Electricity

The U.S. electrical standard is 110 volts/60 cycles AC. Foreign visitors traveling with dual-voltage appliances will not need a converter, but they will need a plug adapter. The standard U.S. electrical outlet takes a plug of two flat pins set parallel to one another.

Emergencies

Ambulance 911. Fire 911. Police 911.

Hospital Emergency Rooms

Vail Valley Medical Center 181 W. Meadow Dr., Vail, 970/476-2452.

Telephones The country code for the United States is 1. The area code for Vail is 970.

Tipping

At restaurants, a 15% tip is standard for waiters; up to 20% may be expected at more expensive establishments. The same is true for taxi drivers, bartenders, and hairdressers.

Church Services:

The Chapel at Beaver Creek

33 Elk Track Road, Beaver Creek

845-9449

Mount of The Holy Cross Lutheran Church

19 Vail Road, Vail

476-6610

Trinity Baptist Church

The Chapel at Beaver Creek

33 Elk Track Road, Beaver Creek

Vail Interfaith Chapel

19 Vail Road, Vail

Edwards Chapel

90 Lariat Loop, Edwards

476-1759

St. Clare of Assisi Parish

0053 Old County Ln., Edwards

926-2821

New Life Assembly of God

461 Main St., Minturn

827-4102

Edwards Chapel

90 Lariat Loop, Edwards

926-5707

Calvary Chapel

Berry Creek Middle School, Edwards

926-5860

Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration

Vail Inter-Faith Chapel

476-0618

Vail Interfaith Chapel

19 Vail Road, Vail

476-3347

Sanctuary International

4327 Streamside, East Vail

827-9770

Gracious Savior Lutheran Church

33520 Hwy. 6, Edwards

926-3550

Vail Bible Church

39209 Hwy. 6, Eagle-Vail

949-6585

St. Patrick’s Parish

476 Pine, Minturn

827-5784

Annointed Christian Fellowship

480 Nottingham Road, Avon

949-6188

Presbyterian Parish

191 Main St., Minturn

827-5547

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31.

Arriving By Air

The Vail Valley is served by Eagle County Regional Airport EGE Gypsum, 970/524-9490, 35 miles west of Vail. American, Continental, and America West fly here year-round, and during ski season, Delta, United, and Northwest offer nonstop flights from several gateway cities.

Flying times to Vail: 40 minutes from Denver, 2 1⁄2 hours from Dallas, 3 hours from Chicago, and 4 1⁄2 hours from Newark.

Transfers Between the Airport and Town

By Bus

Airport Transportation Service 970/476-7576, Colorado Mountain Express 970/949-4227 or 800/525-6353, and Vans to Vail 970/476-4467 or 800/222-2212 offer service from the airport into town.

By Car

From the airport, take Interstate 70 east 35 miles to Vail.

By Bus

Greyhound 800/231-2222 provides service from Denver to Vail.

By Car

The Vail Valley is 120 miles west of Denver on I-70, which bisects the state east to west take exits 173, 176, or 180. If you’re entering Colorado from the north or south, take I-25, which intersects with I-70 in Denver.

Getting Around

By Bus

Vail Transit 970/328-8143 has free buses throughout the Vail resort area. Avon Beaver

Creek Transit 970/949-6121 runs shuttles the length of the valley, daily, between 7 AM and 2:30 AM, every 20-30 minutes,

Road Conditions

For information on road conditions throughout the state of Colorado call 303/639-1111.

By Taxi

Vail Valley Taxi 970/476-8294.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
The ingredients of an unforgettable Vail Valley Vacation are many: the freedom to enjoy the slopes, snowshoe through the backcountry, unwind at one of the many spas or stay overnight in a secluded Yurt. Even if you don’t ski, there are many reasons to head to the Rocky Mountains for a memorable Vail Valley experience.

Sleigh Ride Dinners

4 Eagle Ranch (970) 926-3372 Winter horseback rides, sleigh rides and sleigh ride dinners.

Seasons at the Green/Steve Jones Sleigh rides. (970) 476-8057 Sleigh rides and sleigh ride dinners just 1.5 miles from Vail Village.

Snowmobile Tours

Timberline Tours (970) 476-1414 half day and full day snowmobiling tours

Nova Guides (970) 949-4232 snowmobile rentals, 1 hour, 2 hour, half day and full day snowmobiling tours, and dinner rides

Backcountry / Sno-cat Skiing

Hidden Treasure Yurt Backcountry yurt for nightly rental

Paragon Guides Guided Backcountry Skiing Trips (970) 926-5299

Nova Guides non-skiing backcountry snow-cat tours in White River National Forest.

Trail Wise Guides – Offers day skiing trips in the Colorado Backcountry.

Vail Snow Cat Tours – A full day backcountry powder skiing experience

Snowshoeing

Colorado Bike Service Snowshoe Rentals & Sales

Base Mountain Sports Snowshoe Rentals & Sales

Lazy J Ranch Daily guided snowshoeing adventures.

Paragon Guides Offers multi-day trips in the Colorado Backcountry.

Trail Wise Guides Offers day snowshoeing trips in the Colorado Backcountry.

Ice Skating

Dobson Ice Arena 970/479-2270

Beaver Creek Ice Rink 970/845-5248

Warm Weather Activities

Fishing and Paddleboats

Nottingham Lake (970) 949-4280

Piney River Ranch (970) 476-3941, rents canoes, small boats for fishing, and also supplies fly rods and waders.

Ballooning

Camelot Balloons (970) 926-2435

Mountain Balloon Adventures (970) 476-2553

Cattle Drives

For those who have always dreamed of joining a cattle drive: 4 Eagle Ranch (Exit 157 off I70) ; then 4 miles north on Colorado 131. (970) 926-3372. Also chuck wagon dinners and hayrides.

Golf

Usually mid-May to mid-October: Beaver Creek Resort Golf Course (970) 949-7123, designed by Robert Trent Jones

The Vail Golf Course (970) 479-2260

Eagle-Vail Golf Course (970) 949-5267 is a challenging course of 18 holes.

Hiking and Backpacking

Contact Holy Cross Ranger District Office: (970) 827-5715

Supplies and information: Vail Mountaineering (970) 476-4223

Horseback Riding

Spraddle Creek Ranch (970) 476-6941 specializes in family outings.

Beaver Creek Stables (970) 845-7770

Piney River Ranch (970) 476-3941

Jeep Tours

Nova Tours (970)949-4232 offers guided tours in 4 wheel drive vehicles.

Llama Treking

Paragon Guides (970) 926-5299 offers llama treks to groups and families. June-Sept. Trek lasts 3-6 days.

Mountain Biking

Visitors can take the Lionshead Gondola to Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain and rent mountain bikes and all accessories and ride the summer slopes, returning the bikes at the base of the gondola.

Check at the gondola for rates and names of rental shops.

River Rafting

The Eagle River is a favorite of white water rafters, especially during the Spring thaw. Gentle-rough rides are available.

Colorado River Runs (970) 653-4292, specializes in family rafting trips.

Nova Guides (970) 949-4232

Lakota River Guides (970) 476-RAFT

Betty Ford Alpine Garden

970 476-0103

In Ford Park, 1/4 mile east of main village, next to Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Open before and after snow season: dawn to dusk

Admission free. Donation accepted

One of the highest alpine gardens in the world. Actually, it is three small gardens each with a different theme. The gardens are filled with over 2,000 vividly blooming plants.

All are in walking distance from the Vail Nature Center.

Colorado Ski Museum/ Ski Hall of Fame

231 South Frontage Road East in the Vail Village Transportation Center

970 476-1876

Tues-Sun 10-5 by appointment only in May and October.

Admission Free.

The museum gives the history of transportation across areas of snow and ice. Snow sports began in Colorado in the 1800’s and this museum makes the journey forward both entertaining and enlightening.

The Vail Wildlife Center

Guided tours daily 11-noon and 1-2

Recommended for ages 6 with good attention span or 7 and up

Located in a small hut directly in front of the gondola exit. Features interactive displays of wildlife and local flowering plants. Guided tours are offered twice a day.

For the whole family: there are two self-guided tours at which children can go at their own pace. They are indicated by signs: Eagle’s View and Lower Fireweed.

Tubing is also offered at this location from noon-10pm. Fee is per hour, including tube. Reduced fee for ages 12 and under.

Ice skating: Noon – 10pm same rates as tubing; includes skates.

Sledding: Noon to 10pm

Snowboard park and half pipes: 8:30am-10pm equipment rental and lessons available.

Vista Bahn and Wildwood Express Chairlifts

Vista Bahn chairlift begins at the base of the mountain in Vail Village and the Wildwood begins mid-mountain near the top of the Vista Bahn lift.

970 476-9090

Daily 10-4:30

Fee per person

Bike transport extra.

Ages 4 and up

Vista Bahn offers a high speed ride up Vail Mountain. From there you can catch the Wildwood Express lift to the top. Hiking and biking in season.

Wildwood Restaurant and Smokehouse are at the top.

Facilities

Beaver Creek: 4,040-ft vertical drop; 1,625 skiable acres; 27% beginner, 39% intermediate, 34% advanced; 6 high-speed quad chairs, 3 triple chairs, 4 double chairs, 1 surface lift.

Vail: 3,335-ft vertical drop; 4,644 skiable acres; 21% beginner, 31% intermediate, 48% advanced on the front side; 13% intermediate, 87% advanced in the back bowls; 1 gondola, 10 high-speed quad chairs, 1 regular quad, 3 triple chairs, 5 double chairs, 11 surface lifts.

Arrowhead: The mountain has a 1,700 foot vertical drop, from the 9,100 summit. Snowboarding is permitted. Open mid-December – April 9-3:30. (970) 926-3029 Fax: (970) 926-2321. Located 2 miles west of Beaver Creek on US 6, this is a small family oriented area. It has one high speed chairlift and a beginners surface lift, serving 15 runs for novices and intermediates. Another lift connects it with Beaver Creek Resort.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Betty Ford Alpine Garden

970 476-0103

In Ford Park, 1/4 mile east of main village, next to Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Open before and after snow season: dawn to dusk

Admission free. Donation accepted

One of the highest alpine gardens in the world. Actually, it is three small gardens, each with a different theme. The gardens are filled with over 2,000 vividly blooming plants.

All are in walking distance from the Vail Nature Center.

Colorado Ski Museum/ Ski Hall of Fame

231 South Frontage Road East in the Vail Village Transportation Center

970 476-1876

Tues-Sun 10-5 by appointment only in May and October.

Admission Free.

The museum gives the history of transportation across areas of snow and ice. Snow sports began in Colorado in the 1800’s and this museum makes the journey forward both entertaining and enlightening. Children will be able to maintain interest at least long enough to enjoy the exhibits of early chairlifts and the former heavy equipment necessary to enjoy skiing.

Dobson Ice Arena

Across from the public library on West Meadow Drive

970 479-2270

Telephone for public skating schedule

Closed mid-May-mid-June. Skates available for rental

Admission charged

Skating is a popular activity in Vail. This indoor arena offers public skating in a large facility. Hockley games are also played here.

Ford Park and Gore Creek School

1/4 mile east of the main village, near the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Free admission

A public park in a beautiful setting wirh playground equipment that children love. A one room school house is on display at one end of the park.

Eagle Bahn Gondola and Adventure Ridge

970 476-9090

Memorial Day-mid-June, weekends only.

Mid-June-mid-Sept: daily.

Admission charged.

Each car holds up to 6 people. The gondola offers a pleasant way to ride to the top of the mountain to enjoy the view, or to bike or hike back down. The scenery is breathtaking, and children consider it to be like an amusement park ride – but with far more esthetic and educational value.

Other attractions at Adventure Ridge are:

The Vail Wildlife Center

Guided tours daily 11-noon and 1-2

Recommended for ages 6 with good attention span or 7 and up

Located in a small hut directly in front of the gondola exit. Features interactive displays of wildlife and local flowering plants. Guided tours are offered twice a day.

For the whole family: there are two self-guided tours at which children can go at their own pace. They are indicated by signs: Eagle’s View and Lower Fireweed.

Tubing is also offered at this location from noon-10pm. Fee is per hour, including tube. Reduced fee for ages 12 and under.

Ice skating: Noon – 10pm same rates as tubing; includes skates.

Sledding: Noon to 10pm

Snowboard park and half pipes: 8:30am-10pm equipment rental and lessons available.

Piney River Ranch

Take Interstate 70 to the main Vail exit 176 and N. Frontage Rd. west one mile to Red Sandstone Road. Turn right into Red Sandstone, go straight at the third switchback and straight into Forest Service Road 700. Follow signs to Piney Lake.

Or: Round trip from Vail Transportation Center: FREE, on Ranch bus.

Summer activities: 10-5

Closed: early Spring- mid-June

Some snowmobiling in winter; most activities are June-Labor Day

Archery, fishing, crafts each has a fee ; horseshoes, volleyball, playground, petting farm, fly casting clinics, forest service talks each is free

Thursday is Family night out: Western style barbecue, western story tellers, lively music.

Pirate Ship Park

At the base of Vista Bahn ski lift

Ages 2-10

The centerpiece is a structure made to look like an old ship, complete with watchtower. Located next to the shops in Vail Village. Great for a break from shopping.

Vail Nature Center

831 Vail Drive

Daily 9-5

Donation requested

Small museum displaying animal pelts, stuffed birds and butterfly displays. The highlight is watching birds at feeders near the windows and checking their identity on a wall chart. There are easy , short trails to hike outside along the river.

Vail Public Library

292 West Meadow Drive

970 479-2185

Mon-Thurs 10-8 Fri. 10-6; Sat and Sun 11-6

Toddler story hour Tues and Wed 10am Preschool story hour Tues and Wed. 11am

Good haven for rainy days or even on sunny ones to add variety.

Vail Library has a separate glass enclosed room with educational toys, including a train set for toddlers and a playhouse for reading enjoyment. Children also have the use of up to date computers with internet child approved sites only access. Special children’s programs such as puppet making are sometimes held. Call to check on hours.

Vista Bahn and Wildwood Express Chairlifts

Vista Bahn chairlift begins at the base of the mountain in Vail Village and the Wildwood begins mid-mountain near the top of the Vista Bahn lift.

970 476-9090

Daily 10-4:30

Fee per person

Bike transport extra.

Ages 4 and up

Vista Bahn offers a high speed ride up Vail Mountain. From there you can catch the Wildwood Express lift to the top. Hiking and biking in season.

Wildwood Restaurant and Smokehouse are at the top.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Annual Events

Spring

March:

American Ski Classic (970) 949-1999 Highlights the Legends of Skiing Competition, honoring past national and world ski champions.

April:

A Taste Of Vail 970/926-1494 showcases the area’s superlative restaurants.

Summer

In July

From late June- early August Vail sponsors the Bravo! Colorado Music Festival, with visiting symphony and chamber orchestras and performers. Music ranges from classical orchestra and chamber music to vocal and pops, baroque to modern jazz, ethnic performances, to youth concerts. 970/476-0206. Fax: (970) 479-0559.

Hot Summer Nights (970) 479-1999. Vail’s Ford Amphitheater hosts these concerts of contemporary rock and jazz Friday evenings in July and August.

August:

Vail International Festival Of Dance 970/949-1999hosts ballet and modern dance performers from around the world in the alpine splendor of the Ford Outdoor Amphitheater.

Winter

December

Vail Festival Of Lights 970/479-2100 has brilliant lighting displays, world cup ski competitions, and Christmas ice skating demonstrations.

Lessons and Programs

The ski schools at Vail and Beaver Creek are well known throughout the country with several specialty classes and children’s programs. For more information, call the Vail and Beaver Creek Ski School tel. 970/476-3229.

Lift Tickets

Multiday tickets for up to seven days are available, although per-day savings are minimal. Tickets are good at both Vail and Beaver Creek, as well as at Breckenridge and Keystone.

Rentals

Breeze Ski Rentals, with four locations in the Vail/Beaver Creek area, offers full rental packages for single or for multi-day rentals. Call tel. 800/525-0314 for advance reservations.

Backcountry Skiing

The 10th Mountain Hut and Trail System reaches far into Vail’s backcountry; one route continues to Aspen. Maps, equipment, and other information are available and hut reservations should be made at least a month in advance by calling tel. 970/925-5775. If you aren’t familiar with the trail system, hiring a guide is highly recommended.

Track Skiing

To reach Beaver Creek’s cross-country trail network, McCoy Park tel. 970/845-5313, you must ride the Strawberry Park chair lift. Trail fee charged. Lessons, rentals, and snowshoe tours are available through the Vail ski school tel. 970/476-3229.

Other Activities

The Activities Desk of Vail tel. 970/476-9090 or the Beaver Creek Resort Concierge tel. 970/949-9090 can arrange a variety of activities, including dog sledding, hot-air ballooning, and Sno-Cat skiing.

Bobsledding

Vail’s on-mountain bobsled run, a 2,900-ft course, begins below Mid-Vail the large restaurant about halfway up the mountain. are still possible. The sleds hold up to four people.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobile tours are conducted at Piney River Ranch 970/476-9090, just north of Vail. Rates include helmets, snowmobile suits, and boots, and sometimes meals.