What can we say about Vail that hasn’t already been said? Vail is the largest U.S. ski resort, the widest (miles!), the most bowls (over 3,000 acres), runs (193), the biggest total acreage (5,300), lots of lifts (31) and a brand new gondola with heated seats and Wi-Fi. This year it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary. In 1964, when Vail was just a baby, my father, a friend of his and I were driving by what was to become this mega-resort and my father’s friend said he wanted to buy the land under what would become Vail -- for $200,000. My father, from Bavaria with some knowledge of mountains, said, and I remember this like it was yesterday, “It vill never happen.”
Anyway, Vail has come a long way in 50 years or so and is celebrating its anniversary this season with a big party and other events including a film festival. But you won’t be lacking things to do in Vail no matter when you come. This is the resort that has what other resorts aspire to be in terms of offerings. Let’s tick them off: superb skiing, restaurant options from fine dining to diner and pizza, shopping from designer to t-shirts, art galleries, a scenic Austrian architecture-inspired town, and a bunch of new lodging offerings that top the rankings in every category. Here’s more: spas, cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, nightlife and more. Now you see why the non-skiers are eager to go to Vail for their winter vacations. Everything is well-organized, friendly and and well run so it’s no wonder Vail is Ski.com’s best seller this season!
I’ll try to say a few words about the skiing and snowboarding. It’s amazing how big this resort is and you will have trouble in a week-long Vail ski vacation getting to see more than a few choice parts. So unless you’re planning on spending a season in Vail, don’t plan to ski everything! Of course, you’ve heard about the back bowls – they are indeed awesome. If the snow is accommodating, you’ll probably spend your entire ski vacation there. Vail is amazing for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders but if you’re on the beginner side, there is also plenty of terrain for you, too.
Vail is about a 2-hour drive from Denver, just over the Continental divide (actually you go under it via the Eisenhower tunnel). If you’re staying in Vail, you probably don’t need a car. Your Ski.com Mountain Vacation Specialist can help you figure this out. Vail is also 45 minutes from Eagle Airport, which has some non-stop flights from bigger gateways like New York. In many cases, this may be the way to go. If you have questions about any aspect of a Vail ski trip, be sure to ask a Ski.com Mountain Vacation Specialist. Yes, Vail is popular, but we can get you a deal that will make you happy (think discounted lift tickets, discounted Vail lodging and more). You’ll love Vail’s Western hospitality, so don’t wear yourself out on the mountain – leave something for nightlife, meals, a spa visit, and just walking around the cute Village. Call Ski.com for a deal that you will be thrilled with! Oh, and by the way, my father’s friend never bought the land.