Sunday, December 7, 2008

Return to Breckenridge and Vail Associates – December 5 to 14, 2008


I will never again criticize the sharp cold. The wind was biting when we arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado, and our bodies had not yet adjusted to the Colorado weather, from the relative damp cold of Washington. But that cold also produced several feet of beautiful natural snow over Breckenridge. In fact, there was snow over much of Colorado. We looked at it longingly, as we flew over Colorado. On our 3 hour drive from Denver, there was some snow on most of the fields and in the mountains. It was not as thick and beautiful as it was when we left Colorado last March – then it was like driving through a picture post card. But, for early December, there was a great amount of snow. And, there is the promise of much more to come.

The cold blew away any muck in the air. The sunset over the snow covered rocky mountains was the richest red and gold, and most dramatic I have ever seen. Then the half moon came out, escorted by the gleaming planets Venus and Jupiter. There were still skiers riding lifts outside our window, or skiing down the wide, gentle mountains. There were also people taking horse drawn sleigh rides. These are memories which last a life time!

We soaked it all in from a luxury condo at Beaver Run. Since I was not yet ready to ski, I swam in the wonderfully heated pool, and looked up at the heavens from the water. A good way to unwind after a four hour flight from Dulles, and three hour drive from Denver.

If you are lucky enough to stay at Beaver Run Resort, it is one of the best places you can stay in Breckenridge. It is ski in, ski out, and some of the best ski lifts are outside the door. The ski rental shop is a few steps away, and the equipment can be re- adjusted or exchanged easily, if it is not a perfect fit. I have long advocated rental equipment – especially when traveling by plane. Now, with the extra charges for bags and sports equipment, the costs become ridiculous. Much better to rent new equipment every time you ski. No one will foreclose on your rented equipment, and you don’t have to pay a mortgage on it.

Beaver Run and Vail Associates have a number of restaurants, on the mountains. There are also terrific restaurants in town, with free shuttle service through Breckenridge. Beaver Run Resort is part of a larger Conference Center. That is what brought us: for the second year in a row, my husband Charles and I covered the Hartford Ski Spectacular – one of the biggest events for Wounded Warriors and their families, friends, medical experts, and supporters. This is the 21st year of the Hartford at Breckenridge, and it brings 800 people. It has been a struggle to finance it this year, with the sharp recession. But, the dedicated sponsors and volunteers are pulling it off.

Take advantage of Mountain Sports Club offers and save on pre-purchased lift tickets at Breckenridge and lodging discounts at Beaver Run Resort.

Blog report brought to you by field correspondent Connie Lawn on location on Colorado.