Ski season isn’t over yet and a mountain getaway may be just what you need to cure your coronavirus cabin fever. From socially distant lift lines to open-air dining (think food trucks and the return of the tailgate), America’s ski towns are proving to be a safe—and less crowded—escape when you’re ready to get away.
Haven’t clipped in and carved your path down the slopes yet? Here’s what you need to know.
Traveler: Haley M., Member Since 2012
ORIGIN: DENVER, CO | ARRIVAL: JANUARY 31, 2021
Beaver Creek is a two-hour drive from Denver, so it was an easy place to get to. We know the mountain well and don’t require much attention, but we used the Exclusive Resorts app for some pre-arrival requests including grocery stocking and chatted with our Concierge Greg about safe dining options.
We made reservations for our time on the mountain through the EPIC website seven days in advance and didn’t have any issues getting a spot. Plus, skiing during the week meant far less crowds and a lot more skiing because you don’t have to wait in any lift lines.
Staying at Beaver Creek was great because we could park directly at our home and go straight into the house—no elevators or contact with anyone outside our family. Greg (our Concierge) gave us the option to meet us at our home or have it empty but ready for us upon arrival. We wanted to see him, as we’ve been to the destination many times and consider him a part of the family. He greeted us at the house and wore a mask the entire time.
The home was very clean and PPE kits, hand sanitizer, and wipes were available for us to use as we saw fit. We communicated with Greg via text for the rest of the trip but needed very little because Beaver Creek feels like a second home to us.
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS
Skiing on weekdays is the way to go. We didn’t wait in a single lift line and got so many runs in in just a few hours, we were exhausted by the time lunch rolled around. The amount we were able to ski in three hours was the same amount it would have taken us to ski in a full day on a weekend. There were no lift lines, and all skiers were required to wear their masks from the time you entered the lift to the time you got off it.
The snow wasn’t great the first half of the week, but we got 15” of powder on Thursday and it continued to snow on Friday. The mountains have continued to get snow so anyone traveling in the next week or two will have incredible conditions.
Beaver Creek requires you wear a mask around the entire village—at the ice rink, walking around the plaza, in the shops, etc. Really the only time you don’t have to wear one is when you’re on the slopes or eating.
We went to the Hyatt one afternoon after skiing to sit by the fire and roast s’mores. It was just us around the fire pit. This is a fun tradition we enjoy every year. Sadly, Beaver Creek is not doing their afternoon cookie time because of the pandemic. We always look forward to the warm chocolate chip cookies after a day of skiing. Until next year!
Waking up to 15” of powder on Thursday and skiing 11 bump runs in a row in 2.5 hours was amazing. Talk about a fun, efficient (and also exhausting) way to ski! Having no lift lines was a huge bonus.
We ate most of our meals at home, since we had little kids with us, but went out one night. Tables are distanced apart from each other and we felt very comfortable being in public. I would recommend making a reservation since all restaurants are operating at limited capacity.
On the mountain, many of the lodges are open for dining but only available via reservation. If you don’t make a reservation, you can stand inside to warm up, but your mask must be on the entire time. For those who make a reservation, you can eat inside without your masks on. Most people were skiing through lunch or eating outside. We didn’t stop for lunch and ate a later meal at home.
CONCIERGE TRAVEL TIPS
If you’re flying into Colorado, avoid baggage claim by shipping skis, snowboards, and winter attire ahead of time with our partner, Luggage Forward. If you’re renting, Black Tie Ski Rentals comes directly to your residence for fittings—and sets you up slope side, so you don’t have to schlep your equipment around.