We’re just wrapping up another year of races in Beaver Creek! This was my fourth year (Blake figures he’s been going for more than ten years now) watching the Birds of Prey World Cup ski races in Beaver Creek, Colorado. It’s become such a fun family tradition for us, thanks to Blake’s brother Steven actually racing in them ;).
Where We Stayed
In the past, Blake’s parents have rented out a big house and the family has all stayed together. This year, because we were all arriving and leaving at different times with different schedules and agendas, we decided to all get our own hotels. I did some research and chose to stay at the Westin Riverfront, which turned out to be a really great decision!
Location: The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is located in Avon, Colorado. To get to the Beaver Creek Resort (to ski and watch the races) you can either jump on a shuttle from the front of the hotel or take the gondola that leaves from the back of the hotel. We literally parked our rental car with the hotel when we got there and didn’t see it again until we had to leave back to the airport – there’s such easy access from the hotel to anywhere you want to go! We had a room with a “mountain view”, which looked straight out over the gondola. It was kind of magical to wake up in the morning to snow falling on the mountain and watch the gondola start moving.
Our Room: We opted for a One Bedroom Residential Suite, which was so perfect for us. It felt so homey and comfortable, with a full-size, fully stocked kitchen, and a spacious living area to hang out, entertain, and sit in front of the fire. The living room had a pullout couch, so we definitely could have had friends or family crash with us. The master bedroom and bathroom was separate and spacious, with a king bed that was SO comfortable.
The Service: One of my favorite parts about staying at the Westin was the staff. Blake and I joked that they all seemed so cool we wanted to be friends with them, but they were also so helpful. Our flight into Denver was delayed and we were starving, so on our way from the airport to the hotel I called to see if we’d still be able to get room service even though we’d get to the hotel around midnight. They assured me we could, and when we got the hotel to check in, they remembered that we were hungry and asked what they could bring to our room. Another thing I loved – the guy who checked us in asked where we were from. When we said Orange County, he recommended we use the humidifier in our room. He told us where it was in the closet and how to fill it and seriously, I think that SAVED us that night! It gets SO dry up there and we aren’t used to that, and I was on the verge of getting sick anyways. Thanks, buddy!
The Amenities: I honestly just loved hanging out in the lobby – it is so comfortable and inviting, with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations this time of year. But there’s also an amazing pool and hot tub, a spa, ski valet, easy access to ski at Beaver Creek Resort, an amazing gym, a couple bars, the new restaurant Maya, a Starbucks, and more. We were so busy skiing and at the races that I definitely want to go back to take full advantage of all of these!
The experience at the Westin would have been vacation enough in itself, but the real reason we go is for the races! The Beaver Creek Birds of Prey World Cup takes place here in December every year, and we go to watch Blake’s brother Steven in the Downhill and Super G. (You can read a little more about Steven and these races in Blake’s post here.) This year, we’d grab our skis from valet, hopped on the Gondola to Beaver Creek Resort, and hopped on the lift to ski down to the course. We’d watch the excitement of the races, cheer for our Steven, and then ski a few more runs until we were starving. Tradition has become to meet the family at the Blue Moose for lunch. Steven ended up 15th in the Downhill and 35th in the Super G. He’s skiing well and this was just the beginning of his season, so I seriously can’t wait to see what he does on the rest of the World Cup circuit! He’s headed out to Europe this week, and we’re hoping to get over there to watch a race or two this season!
Where We Ate
As I mentioned before, it’s become tradition to get pizza at the Blue Moose after the races. This year we tried the Chop House and loved it, and the Maya (at the Westin) is amazing! And we always end up meeting up to hang at The Dusty Boot and Coyote.
And I can’t talk about food without saying that the BEST thing to eat in Beaver Creek are the fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies they are constantly passing out for free, especially when you’re handed one as you’re getting on the chair lift!
What To Wear
In Beaver Creek, you really just want to be warm! For race/ski days, we just wear our ski outfits/outerwear all day, with layers underneath. For going out at night, I’ll wear a base layer (usually active wear leggings) under my jeans and a sweater, with a down coat over the top. And I’m always in gloves, a beanie, and Sorels!
We found the best (cheapest) option for us was to fly United in to Denver and then rent a car to drive up to Beaver Creek. You also have the option of taking the CME (Colorado Mountain Express) but that’s $80 per person, each way! For both of us to do that, it would have ended up being $320 total! Plus we’d be at the mercy of their schedule, which only leaves the airport every 2 hours. The rental car was $11/day…definitely cheaper, even tho we didn’t need a car once we got there! 😉
Blake’s brothers have been working on an app the past few years called Fantasy Ski Racer. It’s what you probably guessed – like fantasy football, but for ski races. As a rookie to the ski world, it’s been so fun for me to play along and track the races and the skiers. It was extra fun this weekend making my picks the night before and then being there to watch the results in person! You can download it for free, check out their website here!
Until next year, Beaver Creek!