Colorado – home to some of the USA’s best skiing – promises to once again offer an unmatched winter vacation to its international visitors. Both on- and off-the-slopes at Colorado’s 25 ski areas and resorts, and in destinations across the state, travellers can expect new and unique experiences including the chance to ski with professional athlete Chris Davenport at The Little Nell in Aspen, seeing the spectacular costumes from the Star Wars movies at the Denver Art Museum and creating custom skis with the legendary Pete Wagner in Telluride. This winter, Colorado will also celebrate the centennial of the town of Estes Park, the 70th anniversary of Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort, the 50th anniversary of Sunlight Ski Area and play host to the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals ─ the first U.S. destination to do so in 20 years.
Major Transportation News:
Train Service Offered from Denver to Winter Park. A train service from Denver Union Station to the slopes of Winter Park will commence with the Winter Park Express train from 7th January until 26th March 2017. Winter Park Express trains will enable international visitors to enjoy a city break in Denver twinned with a ski holiday in Winter Park. Previously, ski destinations across the state required indirect flights from the UK or car hire from Denver, however, the introduction of the new train service from Denver Union Station, coupled with the ease of direct flights from London Heathrow with British Airways, provides a direct link to the slopes for UK visitors.
Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) Regains Commercial Service. Telluride is revelling in the return of commercial flights to TEX, just 10 minutes from the town and ski area. TEX will once again see daily commercial service beginning on 17th December 2016. The Denver to Telluride flights will be provided by Great Lakes (United partners) and will run year-round, averaging 10 flights per week. Telluride/Montrose (MTJ) is also boasting a new Denver service with the addition of twice-weekly Allegiant Air flights.
Unique and New Winter Packages & Programmes:
Beaver Creek’s White Glove Winter Vacation. New for winter, this Beaver Creek offering promises to be one of the ski industry’s most luxurious holiday packages. Valued at $50,000, it includes first class airfare to Vail Eagle Airport, a private helicopter ride to the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, a chauffeured car to the Trappers Cabin, a private chef, ski instructor, four Epic Passes, a new wardrobe from Helly Hansen and first tracks on each day of the stay.
Hotel Telluride offers Master of the Mountain package. New for winter 2016, The Hotel Telluride is offering a Master of the Mountain package that invites guests to become the master of Telluride’s rugged terrain with two pairs of customised Pete Wagner skis, one of the most advanced cobblers of skis in the world. Also included in the package is a three-night stay in The Hotel Telluride’s Ajax Suite, one-day Telluride Ski Mountain pass with private guide, one-day private heli-skiing tour with champagne upon return to the hotel, as well as a 90-minute custom spa treatment.
Keystone’s Kids Ski Free programme turns 5 this winter. Keystone is lighting the birthday candles as its industry-leading Kids Ski Free programme turns 5. Celebrate the birthday milestone all season long with free family-friendly Kidtopia events and parties. Every day, all season long, children aged 12 years and under ski for free at Keystone with no blackout dates.
Click-In with Chris Davenport at The Little Nell. The Little Nell is excited to welcome pro skier Chris Davenport back for the 2nd annual Click-In with Chris Ski Camp from 6th – 10th February 2017. Click-In with Chris includes deluxe accommodations, gourmet meals and exhilarating adventures. Chris is a professional big mountain skier with many adventure films to his name.
Gourmet Snowshoe Adventures at The Osprey in Beaver Creek. Launched in early 2016, Beaver Creek invites guests to enjoy three new snowshoe adventures – Winter Wine Excursions, Fondue + Shoe and Women’s Walk + Wine – each of which combine wellness-promoting outdoor activity and scenic splendour with après-snowshoe gourmet decadence found only at Beaver Creek.
St. Regis Resort Aspen to offer Uphill/Downhill package. Beginning in January 2017, the St. Regis Resort in Aspen is offering a new Uphill/Downhill package in partnership with Aspen Expeditions Worldwide. The package includes a three night stay at the St. Regis Aspen Resort, a day of uphill skinning and downhill backcountry skiing with Aspen Expeditions, daily fitness and yoga classes in the Resort’s fitness centre and the newest spa treatment for winter 2017, the Altitude Recovery Massage at Remède Spa.
New experience at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Illusions of the Passed: The Stanley Hotel has added a new Illusions of the Passed theatrical séance. Led by the in-house illusionist, Aidan Sinclair, who was featured on America’s Got Talent, real artefacts are used to simulate conversations with the dead.
Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:
A-Basin celebrates its 70th birthday. December 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which will be celebrated with several special deals and events throughout the season. Arapahoe Basin’s Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain will also host the annual Moonlight Dinner Series, held on the Saturday of the full moon cycle each month during the ski season.
Estes Park celebrates its centennial. As Colorado gears up to celebrate a ‘Summer of Adventure’ in 2017, gateway town to the Rockies, Estes Park, will celebrate its centennial year on 17th April. The town is known for its close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park; its scenic drives and historic landmarks, as well as the famous Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King to write his novel, The Shining, 40 years ago. Adventure across Estes Park ranges from hard core cliff-camping and rock climbing to watching Elk rutting in the fall months.
Sunlight Ski Area commemorates 50 years. If you’re curious about what skiing was like 50 years ago, then Sunlight is the place to visit. The ski area has remained virtually unchanged – in fact – they are still under the same ownership that purchased Sunlight in 1966. Sunlight will be celebrating its golden anniversary with a series of special events and offerings throughout the season.
Telluride Mountain Gondola celebrates 20 years. The beloved Telluride Mountain Village Gondola system will celebrate its 20th anniversary on 20th December 2016. In true Telluride fashion, the destination will celebrate with a series of events and a festive gala will take place during the anniversary month in December 2016.
Wolf Creek Pass turns 100. Wolf Creek Pass opened to the public 100 years ago making access to Wolf Creek Ski Area possible from both the San Luis Valley and Pagosa Springs. Located in Southwest Colorado in the San Juan Mountains, Wolf Creek Ski Area is known for its deep-powder skiing and its uniqueness in the ski industry.
Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume, 13thNovember 2016 – 2nd April 2017. The “out of this world” exhibition, which opened this weekend, will give visitors a look behind the scenes into the fantasy, marvel and delight of bringing characters in the Star Wars™ universe to life through a dramatic presentation of original costumes. Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume will closely examine the captivating process of costume conception and design for iconic outfits from Princess Leia’s unforgettable bikini to Darth Vader’s imposing black uniform featured in all seven films of the Star Wars™ series.
2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in Aspen, 15th – 19th March 2017. Aspen will host the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals in March 2017, marking the first time the event has been held in the U.S. in 20 years. The races will feature the best men’s and women’s alpine skiing athletes in the world competing in downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and nation’s team event. Visitors can watch as the athletes take on the steep and challenging faces of Aspen Mountain and return to the historic site of America’s Downhill.
Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures:
New Historic Hot Springs Loop. Five premier hot springs destinations in the western part of Colorado: Chaffee County, Pagosa Springs, Ouray County, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs, recently came together to form the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop with 19 unique facilities. Each of these communities has a ski resort or area nearby and this diverse selection of hot springs is the perfect pairing after a day on the slopes.
Monarch Ski Area adds Uphill Skiing Lane. New for 2016/2017, Monarch Ski Area is adding an uphill travel lane to the mountain that will allow uphill skiing during operating hours and make it easier for skiers to skin up the terrain. Monarch will continue to allow uphill travel across the mountain during non-operational hours.
Rocky Mountain National Park expansion. At the end of 2016, a 42-acre piece of commercial property located within the park boundaries will come under the protection of the National Park Service. The Cascade Cottages property was the largest privately owned land inside the park, and the land will now be open for park visitors to enjoy.
New Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience opens in Canyon City. Opened in summer 2016, the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is a state-of-the-art property featuring a world-class collection of interactive displays, full-scale dinosaur fossils, and even a multi-storey ropes course. The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is the perfect place to learn about the paleontological history of Colorado and enjoy the views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
New Lodging & Accommodations Offerings:
Baldpate Inn Homestead restored in Estes Park. In 2016, the historic Baldpate Inn, home to the world’s largest key museum, restored its homestead cabin for guests to reserve. Set in the forest, just a short walk from the main lodge, the homestead offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, great room, solarium and library. The inn will also be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017.
Basecamp Boulder opens. Boulder’s newest hotel was built for adventure. Opened in summer 2016, Basecamp Boulder features a climbing wall and fire pit complete with make-your-own-s’mores kits, alongside all the comforts of a quality hotel. The new adventure-themed hotel’s decor employs youthful and humorous artwork.
Colorado Trail House opens for first winter in Leadville. At this 12-bedroom inn, guests enjoy the charm of a Victorian house built by a Leadville mining magnate and its prime location as a base camp for skiing, snowmobiling or snow biking. Private rooms and a hostel-style bunk house rates range from $25 to $90 per night.
Halcyon Hotel now open in Cherry Creek. The new Halcyon Hotel is a seven-storey independent luxury property featuring 155 rooms as well as a roof-top pool along with restaurant and retail space consistent with the neighbourhood’s unique character. It was designed to make guests feel like they are visiting a friend’s house and to bring pedestrians and the community into the space.
Hotel Boulderado completes renovation in Boulder. Hotel Boulderado, a favourite destination for travellers since 1909, has completed phase one of a renovation project that included 114 guest rooms and the outdoor plaza. The next phase of the renovation focuses on the mezzanine and lobby in the historic section of the hotel and is expected to be finished by early 2017.
Hotel Indigo to debut in Denver. This 180-room hotel will be part of the 21,000-square-foot Union Tower West mixed-use development near the recently renovated Denver Union Station. It is expected to open on 20th January 2017 with reservations now being accepted.
New Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant to open in Downtown Denver. Opening early 2017, the new Kimpton Hotel Born will be located adjacent to Denver’s iconic Union Station. The new 200-room hotel will feature 8,300-square-feet of meeting space, including an outdoor patio and rooftop patio, a 2,000-square-foot fitness centre and two local-inspired, chef-driven restaurants and bars.
Mancos Inn and Hostel gets a makeover. In operation since 1894, the Mancos Inn & Hostel recently underwent an extensive remodel of the rooms, kitchen, common area and outdoor garden spaces. It is the perfect basecamp for Mesa Verde Country adventures.
New Food and Beverage Offerings:
Breckenridge Distillery opens new restaurant. Slated to open in fall 2016, Chef Daniel O’Brien (the Top Chef behind Washington D.C.’s Seasonal Pantry) debuted an intimate and modern farm-to-table experience at the Breckenridge Distillery. The kitchen concept is constructed around an open grill fuelled by oak staves from whiskey barrels, and is dedicated to a whole animal process, leaving nothing to waste.
Breckenridge Ski Resort to open new on-mountain restaurant. New for the 2016/17 ski season, Breckenridge Ski Resort will add a brand new 490-seat restaurant atop the Independence SuperChair on Peak 7. The restaurant will boast the resort’s only full-service salad bar, a Mediterranean station and dramatic views of Summit County.
The Central Market opens in Denver. Noted Denver restauranteur, Jeff Osaka, has opened The Central Market in Denver’s hip RiNo neighbourhood. The foodie destination is an accessible gourmet market that serves as both food emporium and neighbourhood community space – home to 13 local vendors including: Crema Bodega; High Point Creamery; Culture Meat & Cheese; COCO Chocolates; Izzio Bakery; Silva’s Fish; The Local Butcher, Green Seed produce; Vero Pizza from Andrea Frizzi of Il Posto; SK Provisions from Sean Kelly; and Curio bar.
Elkins Distilling Company opens in Estes Park. Opened in July 2016, Elkins is one of only a handful of high-altitude distilling companies. They utilise the climate, high altitude and thin, dry air to create unique moonshine and white whiskeys – a different distilling process and rising trend in the beverage industry.
Gwyn’s High Alpine restaurant remodel at Snowmass. During summer 2016, Gwyn’s High Alpine restaurant located mid-mountain at Snowmass underwent an extensive remodel that includes a light expansion of the building as well as the addition of a bar that will have a large wood-burning fire and big-screen televisions.
Harvest by Kelly Liken opens in Vail. Colorado chef and restaurateur Kelly Liken, a James Beard Award nominee, Top Chef alumni, and Food Network Iron Chef competitor, opened Harvest By Kelly Liken in June 2016. Harvest by Kelly Liken is a community-centric neighbourhood restaurant focusing on seasonal American cuisine that embraces a Rocky Mountain essence, along with an inventive cocktail and beverage menu.
Wilde’s Green Hour opens in Leadville. A new speakeasy recently opened in Leadville and is ready for its first winter. Wilde’s Green Hour features delicious tapas-style dishes such as smoked trout dip with crusty French bread, homemade cocktails, and absinthe. Live music is also on the menu at this elegant new offering.
Colorado is a year-round destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational activities, an abundant arts scene, Western heritage, distinctive cuisine and 25 renowned ski resort areas. The state’s scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of four major rivers, numerous peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 11 national parks and monuments and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet, known as ‘Fourteeners’.
Further information can be found at www.Colorado.com
About Black Diamond:
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