|KING OF THE SCENE: Carving into Vail's ample, snow-covered assets (image courtesy, Colorado Tourism/Jeff Cirro)|
Copper Mountain opens on November 2one of the earliest scheduled opening days in the United States. Perhaps in celebration of this fact (or maybe just to dive into the season with a bang), the resort hosts the Lift Off festival, a jam-packed program that includes live music, après-ski parties, ski and snowboard films, and an early-season demo center.
Visit before the peak Christmas period, and you'll enjoy some great lodging offers. The early-season period (November 2 to 21) begins at $76 per person, per night. Pre-holiday time period (November 22 to December 14) starts from $81 per person, per night. Book by October 14 to get the best savings. Rates are based on quad occupancy in a silver two bedroom. (www.coppercolorado.com; 866.841.2481)
Vail opens November 16, and while it may feel like winter, it certainly doesn't look like it the night before. A local tradition features remarkably dedicated skiers and riders braving the cold and camping out in the lift line to ensure catching the first chair of the season. While not a huge number of people abandons their warm beds the night before opening day, if you're one of the few to brave the elements, you'll earn bragging rights that'll last until spring. If, however, you're the type who prefers to sleep indoors, you can still take advantage of early-season packages. From November 24 to December 22, the Lodge at Vail offers a Ski Free Stay Free package. Purchase two nights of lodging and a two-day lift ticket and get a complimentary night of lodging and one day of skiing. Offer features double-occupancy in a hotel room starting at $422 per person.
For a wild time coupled with good savings, visit during Vail's Snow Daze, from December 3 to 9. The Ute Indian's traditional snow dance kicks off the week, followed by DJs spinning daily at the base areas, along with on-mountain bands, free ski tips from Vail Snowsports School instructors, snowball-eating contests, and more. After dark, the fun continues with nightly entertainment all around town: bar parties, a fashion show, and Dine Around Vail, a promotion that offers discounts at Vail's top restaurants. The week is highlighted by three nights of entertainment including live performances by Ludacris and The Roots on December 8. Visit Vailsnowdaze.com for more information.
All season long, if you fly non-stop to Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport from Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, or Denver, you get to ski for free on the day of arrival at either Vail or Beaver Creek with a valid boarding pass and lodging confirmation. For details and restrictions call 800.503.8748.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication