Founded in 1962, Vail is recognized as the finest ski resort in North America. Readers of SKI Magazine have voted it the Number 1 ski resort destination in the United States a record 11 times in 15 years. With 5,289 acres of skiable acreage and 34 lifts, it is also the largest ski resort in the US.
The reasons for Vail's popularity are obvious. Great amenities (and improving, with a Billion Dollar Renewal underway), the most diverse skiing terrain in a single place in North America and world-class events in a pristine alpine setting make it the ski destination of choice for the well-heeled.
And skiing's not all. During the early 1980s, Vail became a year-round resort. Golf courses were laid out and biking trails created. Vail's summer activities now include such diverse sports as rafting and kayaking, horse riding, hot-air ballooning, fly-fishing and hunting. Besides Vail and Beaver Creek villages, the surrounding towns of Minturn, Avon, Edwards and Eagle are also well-developed resort destinations. Today, you'll have difficulty believing these were once the hunting grounds of the Ute Indians before the colonists arrived in the mid-19th century.The Skiing
At seven miles wide, there is lots of elbow room at Vail (there are only 4 skiers to an acre, and that's on a busy day). There are three distinct skiing areas-the Front Side, Blue Sky Basin, and the Back Bowls, the last offering some of the most challenging terrain around. The Front Side boasts wide, luxurious trails, from gentle beginner runs to thrilling terrain parks. The seven bowls on the backside of the resort are perfect for powder skiing. Only two miles from the bowls, there's great backcountry and tree skiing in the Blue Sky Basin.
Adventure Ridge, Vail's mountaintop activity center, offers a range of snow sports for the entire family, all day and well into the night. At the Ski & Snowboard School, a team of elite instructors will coach you in the finer points of skiing. Both private and group lessons are available. For a more novel mountain experience, head to Vail's Nordic Center for some telemarking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.Where To Stay
Destination Club Homes
Quintess Lionshead Village Nestled between Gore Creek and the stunning Vail Mountain, these spectacular home offers a quiet mountain retreat with all the luxuries of a five-star resort.
Equity Estates Vail Only a few yards from the ski lift in Vail Village, this home offers three bedrooms, four baths, living area and a fully equipped open kitchen and breakfast bar.
Other destination clubs with homes in the broader Vail, Beaver Creek area include Exclusive Resorts and Inspirato.Private Residence Clubs
Vail offers a wide selection of private residence clubs, with several new clubs currently under development.
Four Seasons Residence Club This new club offers a choice of two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom residences in 1/12 share fractions.
Vail Plaza Club This fractional ownership club is conveniently located between the Gondola in Lionshead and Vail's Vista Bahn. There are 38 residences on offer, with a choice of one to four bedrooms. us decks.
One Willow Bridge Road (Under Construction) Located on Gore Creek, this club aims to be a cut above. Small and exclusive, it consists of only 22 residences of which 10 are whole ownership condominiums (three and four bedroom) and 12 fractional ownership (two and three bedroom).
The Club at Solaris features three- and four-bedroom Club Residences, each beautifully appointed with all the finest details and include a luxury SUV for members use.
Austria Haus Club The enviable location is not all, in the heart of Vail Village steps away from the Vista Bahn chairlift and the excitement of the pedestrian Village. Built in 1998, Vail's first Private Residence Club has bagged a prestigious award for International resort architecture and design. Expect European standards of hospitality.
We have a full listing of destination club and private residence club homes in Colorado.Other Luxury Accomodation
Sonnenalp Resort.This suite hotel offers a pampering spa facility, private 18-hole golf course and concierge services.
The Arabelle at Vail Square is steps away from the Eagle Bahn gondola. The hotel reflects the romantic heritage and ambiance of the European Alps.Events
From high culture to gourmet fare to street parties, Vail's signature events keep the excitement up through the season.
* The opening of Vail and the coming of winter are celebrated over two fun-filled weeks of on-snow events and wacky competitions during the Snow Daze (December).
* The world's most progressive snowboard competition - The Session - is held in January in Vail. Parties, Fat Tuesday Parade and Cajun/Creole cuisine are the flavors of Vail's Mardi Gras (February).
* With its lineup of celebrities, the glamorous event of the season is the Vail Film Festival (March/April).
* Fifty of the country's noted vintners bring over their best wines for you to enjoy during Taste of Vail (April), suitably complemented by all the delicious fare at Vail's top-notch restaurants.
* All good things come to an end, but in Vail the closing of the season is just another excuse for an end-of-season bash (Spring Back to Vail, in April).
Vail offers a variety of entertainment options in the form of restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs. For a more relaxing change from snowsports, check in to a stylish spa for a Swedish-style massage or Hot Stone treatment.Eating Out
Vail has a vibrant restaurant scene. From fast food to five-course, cozy pubs to lounge bars, it's all on the plate. The choice of cuisines includes French, Asian, Italian and Mexican. Serving contemporary French-American food and fine wines, Vail's signature Game Creek Restaurant is renowned for its views. It sits high above Vail, both literally and in terms of culinary excellence. Pepi's Restaurant & Wild Game Room offers Continental cuisine and Austrian specialties in its main dining room, while its Antler's Room is devoted to wild game. At the base of Golden Peak, Larkspur is an American brasserie dishing out regional cuisine with a rustic French twist.Shopping
The pedestrian malls in Vail and the surrounding towns offer something for every taste. Specialty stores abound in Vail, selling jewelry and crafts, souvenirs and fine art. Of course, the premier shopping experience includes top-of-the-line ski and snowboard apparel and equipment.Nightlife
Vail has a throbbing if somewhat small nightlife scene, with a large number of live gigs. The popular street concerts in season feature talent from around the country. At 8150, nationally known bands play to crowded floors. A must-visit is the Samana Lounge, voted the top ski lounge in the country by Skiing Magazine. The club scene at this lounge draws inspiration from Paris, Prague and Amsterdam. The more refined crowd head to Pepi's, the après-ski place for live music. Check out the local piano talent at Mickey's Piano Bar. For useful up-to-the-minute listings on what's on in Vail by night, see www.vailpm.com.Fast Facts
Vail Town Elevation: 8,150ft (2,484m)
Vail Mountain Summit: 11,450ft (3,490m)
Vail is located 100 miles (160km) west of Denver, 140 miles (230km) east of Grand Junction. It can be easily accessed via the Eagle County Regional Airport (www.eaglecounty.us/airport), located 35 miles (56 km) to the west-all along the Interstate 70 corridor.Useful Websites
vail.snow.com/winter/ All you need to know about holidaying in Vail, from weather to activities and events, route maps and event schedules.
www.vailgov.com or ci.vail.co.us Town website
www.vailrec.com Your one-stop for information on spring and summer recreational activities in Vail.
www.visitvailvalley.com Official site of the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau.
www.vvf.org Vail Valley Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to athletic, cultural, and educational endeavors in Vail. Organizers of the Vail International Dance Festival.
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