Spread the love

For the first time ever, this year guests can enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in the USA with Keystone Resort having opened on 12 October and Breckenridge Ski Resort planning to stay open until Memorial Day (25 May). With major upgrades at Colorado’s ski resorts, new hotels and lodgings throughout the state, myriad events and new openings, the cities and slopes of Colorado are calling.

Colorado: Snow’s Perfect State

Colorado is home to 28 ski areas, which all have their own characteristics both on and off the mountain – from the celebrity status and boutique shops of Aspen to the world’s highest distillery in Breckenridge and natural hot springs to end a day on the slopes in Steamboat. Here’s 5 of Colorado’s ski resorts you might not have heard about, which all have exciting developments for the season ahead…

  • Cooper, located 75 miles from Denver, is one of the oldest ski resorts in the U.S., boasting its origins with the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, who cut the first trails on Cooper Hill for WWII training exercises. New this winter, Cooper is significantly expanding terrain and will install a new surface lift. The expansion gives guests access to nearly 100 acres of intermediate and expert terrain.
  • Copper Mountain is unveiling a new Tucker Mountain lift, which will unlock access to 273 acres of expert terrain that were previously only accessible through hiking and the Tucker snowcat. Copper Mountain is 75 miles west of Denver along the I-70, before Vail.
  • Monarch Mountain celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, with more gladed tree skiing and a new child-friendly, interpretive ski run. Monarch Mountain is the perfect ski area for people looking to get away from the hustle-bustle of the bigger resorts, they also have great cat skiing. Monarch Mountain is located in the San Isabel Forest and along the Continental Divide, just under three hours’ drive from Denver.
  • Powderhorn sits on the edge of the Grand Mesa in western Colorado, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain. Colorado’s wine country and legendary bike trails are just 45 minutes away offering some variety during a winter adventure. New this winter, Powderhorn will offer tiny homes for guests to stay in.
  • Wolf Creek Ski Area recently became the first solar powered ski area in the USA. Located in Southwest Colorado in the San Juan Mountains, Wolf Creek has always been known for its uniqueness in the ski industry since its opening in 1939 and has deep-powder skiing, a friendly atmosphere, delicious homemade food and affordable pricing. Wolf Creek Ski Area is located near Pagosa Springs in Southwest Colorado.

Championing Sport: Colorado welcomes the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum

In Spring 2020, the first and only U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame is set to open its doors in Colorado Springs. In Colorado Springs, often referred to as Olympic City USA, visitors can train like an athlete, by hiking the steep Manitou Incline or biking through Garden of the Gods Park, see where Team USA athletes train at the Colorado Springs Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, with this new world-class attraction being built to honour the achievements of Olympians and Paralympians.
Can’t wait until then? Here’s three of our favourite sports to get involved in throughout Colorado in the winter season:

  • Skijoring: Skijoring is a form of Nordic skiing, in which athletes are pulled on skis by either a horse, dog or motor vehicle. Growing in popularity across Colorado, visitors can try out the sport at various Nordic centres across the state, including Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa, near Winter Park. The historic town of Leadville hosts a Skijoring weekend each March, which is a fun event for all ages to spectate.
  • Heli-skiing: Silverton Mountain offers the only heli-experience in the continental United States that offers single drops in addition to all day and private heli-skiing. Heli will be available seven days a week from 24 November 2019 – 15 March 2020, then Thursday – Sunday until 5 April 2020.
  • Ice climbing: Each winter, adventurers head to Southwest Colorado to scale icy walls and waterfalls, which deliver pristine views of the snow-covered landscape. The mountain town of Ouray boasts the world’s first official ice park, with challenging climbs for beginners and advanced ice climbers alike each December to March. Ice climbers can also discover the under-the-radar Lake City Ice Park, which is free for visitors with 10-15 routes and 60 – 100 ft pitches. Steps from the ice is a brewery to warm up post-climb. LakeCity.com

So what else is new in Colorado? Here’s just a sample:

  • Colorado’s gateway city, Denver, has recently been named one of Lonely Planet’s ‘World’s Top Cities for Travellers in 2020’, one of only two U.S. cities that made this esteemed travel list.
  • A major expansion of The Gardens on Spring Creek will be revealed with a grand opening on 16 November. The Fort Collins based attraction will be home to North Colorado’s first and only permanent Butterfly House, a 1,500 square feet glass structure with 300+ North American butterflies flying among tropical plants.
  • Colorado Mountain School in Estes Park is expanding its winter programme to include new multi-day development courses, including an Ice climbing series, Avalanche Development series and Level 2 Backcountry Development series, following Level 1 being introduced last year. An immersive experience and chance to develop new skills, the courses are open to travellers seeking a learning holiday whilst enjoying Colorado’s fresh mountain air.
  • Telluride continues its alliance with Epic Pass for the second year, accepting the full Epic Pass, as well as 4, 5, 6 and 7-day passes, in which passholders receive up to seven days of complimentary lift access. Further to this, Telluride Ski Resort will open over 40 new acres of north-facing gladed terrain this winter. The new tree skiing will be for advanced and expert skiers.
  • Opening in 2020, Kinship Landing is a new hotel concept in Colorado Springs that will offer what today’s travellers demand: authentic and engaging travel experiences that connect them to the local community.
  • Gravity Haus, a ski-in/ski-out boutique property in Breckenridge, will debut in December 2019. Designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round, Gravity Haus will offer ongoing insider experiences ranging from outdoor excursions to social programming and will feature 60 distinctly curated rooms.

Featured accommodation: Moving Mountains brings luxury holiday home rental to Vail Valley

After growing its portfolio of luxury mountain rentals in Steamboat Springs over the past two decades, Moving Mountains® – specialists in vacation rentals and catered chalet offerings for skiers and international visitors – has expanded into Vail Valley. The new portfolio, which includes freshly renovated and modern mountain styled The Chalet Inverness in West Vail (pictured), benefits from Moving Mountains’ locally based, hands-on approach that delivers a luxury service across all properties. This includes on-site check-in and a concierge service for arranging transport, pre-booking lift tickets, ski school, equipment rentals, stocking with groceries and recommending local restaurants and attractions. To view the properties in the portfolio across Vail, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Steamboat Springs, visit www.movingmountains.com

Upcoming Events

Colorado has a vibrant year-round events calendar which reflects its distinct seasons, outdoor lifestyle and diverse culture. We’ve highlighted a few events below that are taking place over the next few months. To find out more about events throughout the year, go to www.colorado.com:

  • Denver Art Museum presents Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, until 2 February 2020: the sole U.S. venue for the most comprehensive exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades.
  • Loveland’s Winter Wonderlights, 15 November 2019 – 1 January 2020: a holiday lighting attraction which illuminates the Chapungu Sculpture Park, the only permanent exhibit of Zimbabwe stone sculpture in the USA, also featuring Colorado’s largest inflatable igloo.
  • Breckenridge ULLR Fest, 11 – 15 December 2019: snow lovers celebrate Norse mythology dressed as Vikings with a parade, bonfire, the Ullr Ice Plunge, ice skating and fat-bike racing.
  • The 12 Days of Aspen, 20 – 31 December 2019: winter wonderland of holiday cheer across the town of Aspen. Visitors can enjoy free ice skating, Santa visits, s’more making parties and carol singing.
  • 25th Ouray Ice Festival, 23 – 26 January 2020: celebrate the sport of ice climbing at one of the world’s premier ice climbing venues.
  • X Games Aspen, 23 – 26 January 2020: For the 19th consecutive year, Aspen’s Buttermilk mountain will host over 200 of the world’s best athletes in skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling, competing for the most coveted medals in action sports.

On the horizon, rugby fans wondering where to head to next following the Rugby World Cup can mark the Golden Oldies Rugby Festival Denver in their diaries, taking place 8 – 15 June 2020 – the world’s biggest over 35’s rugby festival, celebrating its 40th year.

Getting there
Kiwis can reach Colorado on connecting flights via LAX or SFO with Air New Zealand, United Airlines or American Airlines. Or with Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu, with onward connections into Denver International Airport (DIA), the gateway to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains.

Want to book?
What: An Colorado winter getaway, incorporating city and slopes
Where: Fly into DIA
When: End November – Mid April

Find out more and get a copy of the Colorado Official State Vacation Guide at www.colorado.com