Vail Mountain Ski Resort

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

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Vail has the outrageous slogan “Like Nothing on Earth,” and the actual terrain to back it up. This picturesque resort in the heart of the Rocky Mountains is a world-famous destination for winter sports lovers.

A field of bumps on one of Vail's mogul runs. (Colorado Tourism Office)

Vail is the second largest single ski mountain in North America, with 5,289 skiable acres. The terrain is rated as 18% beginner, 29% intermediate, and 53% advanced. The elevation of the town of Vail is 8,150 feet, and the mountain above peaks at 12,250 feet.

The enormous ski area is serviced by 31 lifts and 1 gondola spread across three faces- the front face, seven back bowls and the Blue Sky Basin. The lifts have a total uphill capacity to move 54,963 people per hour.

Are you ready to catch some air? Vail also has one half pipe, one Super Pipe and three aptly named terrain parks- Fly Zone, Flight School and Aviator.

Riva is the longest run at 4 miles long. There are 193 trails in total at Vail, which receive an average of 350 inches of powder snow a year.

Sign up for lessons at Vail’s well-regarded Snowsports School to feel comfortable on all their terrain.

Off the slopes, relax your muscles in one of the world-class spas or just jump into the Jacuzzi at your luxury Vail hotel.

Cross-country skiing, ice-skating, sledding and snowmobiling are other popular winter activities at Vail.

The town of Vail has a booming cultural center, hosting many artists and concerts throughout the year. The Vail Film Fest takes place in March or April and draws movie buffs, industry executives and celebrities. Count yourself lucky if you’re in Vail during their delicious Food and Wine Festival or the World Alpine Ski Championships. Both are great events for the whole family.

The town was modeled after many European ski towns, and tries to be car free. In order to make this happen, Vail provides one of the country’s biggest free bus services year-round. The shuttles go all around town, not just to the ski area, and use GPS technology to post accurate arrival times at all stops.

During your visit don’t miss your chance to take advantage of the many gourmet Vail restaurants that have helped to make this Colorado Rockies town a rich culinary center.

To get to Vail, fly into Eagle County Airport and take one of the ski area’s convenient shuttles or take a scenic drive on Interstate 70. The resort is just 100 miles (approx. 2 hours) west of Denver and 30 miles (25 minutes) east of Eagle County Airport. Vail’s exit on I-70 is #176.

Christy Sports: The future of ski and board rentals has arrived! Reserve your gear online and pick it up at their Vail location! Or use their Door 2 Door service and get the gear delivered right to your condo or hotel! The website also has a clothing store with all the major brands, like Burton, K2, Helly Hansen, Spyder and more! Also selling kayaks and all the paddle gear you could want! Save up to 20% by renting online!

Door 2 Door Ski Valet: This innovate company will send their expert technicians to deliver and custom fit your boots, skis and boards. Rent online from Christy Sports and they’ll bring your gear to your door slopeside! Forget about waking up early to battle those long lines in your all your sweaty ski gear. Head right to the slopes to make first tracks!

SnowVentures: Take the guesswork and logistics out of your ski vacation. Let SnowVentures plan everything for you! Their local insider tips will save you money, time and effort. Offering packages, SnowVentures customizes each client’s unique travel needs and budget! From the airfare to the gear rentals- leave it to them and save yourself the hassle!

Paragon Guides: This guiding company has been conducting tours of the central Rocky Mountain area of Colorado since 1978. They offer experienced guides and excursions such as backcountry hut skiing, backcountry fishing, day ski tours, llama trekking, hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.

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