Located in the heart of Colorado, Vail Mountain is one of the most popular ski areas in the world. It is home to world-class dining, entertainment and luxurious accommodations.
Founders Pete Seibert, Bob Parker and William “Sarge” Brown, all veterans of the Tenth Mountain Division, shared a vision for what a mountain ski community would be like. They formed Vail Ski Corporation with the intent to make it a top ski destination in the world.
The History of Vail
The town of Vail, incorporated in 1966, is a mountain resort and tourist destination that is situated within the White River National Forest in Eagle County. It is an Alpine resort that offers a variety of outdoor activities, including skiing and snowboarding.
The history of Vail dates back to World War II when a group of men from the 10th Mountain Division ski troop returned to Colorado after the war with the idea of opening a ski resort. They had been trained in skiing and mountain survival techniques at Camp Hale, a training facility established about 14 miles south of Vail during the war.
After they had bivouacked on what would become Vail Mountain, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton identified the hill as a suitable place for a ski resort. With the help of Denver investors, they purchased a 500-acre ranch at the base of the mountain for $55,000 in 1957.
Once they had purchased the land, they began planning and developing the ski area. They hired Morrie Shepard as the first ski school director, and later recruited Rod Slifer from Aspen to be the assistant director.
During the 1960s, Vail began to expand its offerings to the nonskiing market. It introduced Adventure Ridge, a winter-amusement park at the top of the Lionshead gondola. It also expanded its base lodge and restaurants.
Today, Vail Mountian Colorado is the most popular ski resort in the state of Colorado and is one of the most well-known vacation destinations in the world. It has shaped major trends in the industry, including lifts, ski schools, season pass products, ski-patrol techniques, airline access, ski and snowboard competition, sustainability, and social media.
Vail Mountain is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. It rises 3,450 feet above Vail Village, reaching an elevation of 11,570 feet and spanning seven miles of terrain.
With a huge amount of skiable terrain, Vail has something to offer every skill level. It’s also the place to go for big snowfall; an average of 354 inches (9.5m) of powder is received per season.
The best time to ski at Vail is between December and March, although the lifts are open year-round. The ski resort has invested in snowmaking technology to make sure that the slopes stay pristine and dry.
There are three main base areas in Vail: Lionshead, Golden Peak and Vail Village. All of them are connected by free in-town busses.
You can start your skiing at the bottom of the Lionshead lift and then work your way up to the Golden Peak area or back down to the Vail Village base. This makes for a great day of skiing and snowboarding.
If you want to try something new, there’s also Blue Sky Basin, an area that expanded the terrain by 500 acres in January 2000. It offers more northern-facing glades and steep skiing, as well as a few high speed lifts.
In addition to skiing, you can enjoy other winter activities in Vail Mountian Colorado such as snowshoeing and ice skating. These activities are a fun way to spend your time at the ski resort and they’ll help you get the most out of your vacation.
When you’re not skiing, you can take a ride on one of the many scenic gondolas or go for a stroll around town. You can also stop by the Colorado Snowsports Museum to learn about the history of the sport.
Vail has a wide range of dining options. From high-end ski in-ski out restaurants to casual mountain lodges that offer snacks, hot dogs and even a bar.
The most popular dining spots are all located in Vail Village, but there are some great options scattered around the valley as well. These places are worth a detour from the town itself and offer an authentic Colorado dining experience.
Vendetta’s is a classic locals’ restaurant and a great place for a quick lunch. Their pizza, burgers and pasta are delicious and usually under $12. This spot is also perfect for apres skiing when Ski Patrol slides in for a few beers after their sweep.
La Tour is a local French restaurant that has a long history of serving up wonderful meals in Vail Village. This restaurant serves a range of delectable dishes from Lobster & Shrimp Stuffed Dover Sole to Black Olive Crusted Cabrilla Grouper.
Another great breakfast option is Loaded Joe’s – this modern diner has enough sweet treats to fuel your day on the slopes. Espresso drinks are made with Seattle-based Rococo Coffee Roasting’s beans, and there are plenty of stacked breakfast sammies to choose from as well.
Connie Leaf has brought a little bit of New York to the Vail Valley with her bakery, which has all the traditional bagel varieties and schmears in flavors like Hatch chile or honey rosemary. She also has a few breakfast and lunch sandwiches and a full menu of specialty lattes, fresh-squeezed mimosas and classic bloody marys.
If you’re staying in a hotel in Vail, it is very easy to access these spots from your room. Qualifying Hilton Gold & Diamond Club members receive a seasonal Grab & Go continental breakfast, available for only $5!
The Alpine village of Vail is known for its ski slopes and outdoor recreation, but it also has a vibrant nightlife. Visitors can sip on local brews and listen to live music while enjoying the scenic alpine backdrop.
Several bars and restaurants in Vail offer apres ski specials and live music. Some are more family-friendly and have games for kids, while others are a great place to hang out after a long day on the slopes.
Loaded Joe’s is a local favorite, and the apres ski scene is always buzzing at this tucked-away bar in the heart of Vail. It’s a cozy spot for a drink or a snack and has happy hour specials that include beers, wells and wine for less than $6. Pita and hummus or hot dogs are a popular choice here, too.
Another great spot for a drink and food is Mountain Standard. It offers a unique cocktail menu and is located next to beautiful Gore Creek. It’s a must-stop for locals and tourists alike.
King’s Club is a great spot to relax after a day on the slopes. It has a bar and dance room where you can party the night away with live music and DJs. The bar has a large selection of beer, wine, spirits, whiskey, scotch and cognac.
10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirits is another good place to have a drink and listen to music. It’s ideally located on Bridge Street, and features signature whiskeys and cocktails.
There’s no better way to end a fun-filled day than a great night on the town! Check out the following bars and restaurants for a unique nightlife experience in Vail.
Vail Mountian Colorado is a winter-lover’s paradise with shops that cater to everything from ski and snowboard gear to high-end designer clothing. Its quaint European mountain town vibe, plus the awe-inspiring views of its mountains, make shopping in Vail a truly unforgettable experience.
For an even more immersive shopping experience, stroll the pedestrian-only cobblestone streets of Vail Village, lined with cozy apres ski retreats inside and out, quaint boutiques, and late-night gathering spots. Sip on locally distilled spirits, browse art galleries, and soak up the ambiance as nightfall approaches.
If you’re a skier or snowboarder looking to upgrade your gear, visit American Ski Exchange for the latest in high-end equipment. Located in Vail Village, our family-owned shop offers discounts on rentals and delivery service to help you get the most out of your time at Vail.
There are several other luxury stores in Vail Village, including Gorsuch, which carries designer skiwear and apparel for men, women and children. And the Golden Bear, a local shop known for its ursine designs, is also worth checking out.
Another great option is Kemo Sabe, which specializes in leatherwear for men and women. The shop has a large selection of designer boots and offers custom leatherwork, from saddles to hats and belts.
The Vail Farmer’s Market & Art Show takes place in the Vail Village, offering the finest quality of fruits, vegetables and meats from the region. You can also find a number of unique handicrafts from local artisans.
Despite its rustic nature, Vail is also home to a number of luxurious restaurants. For a high-end dining experience, consider the gondola-accessed Cloud 9. This exclusive restaurant in Game Creek Bowl harnesses all the charm of a Swiss chalet with picture-perfect views of Vail Mountain. For a hearty meal, try the corned pork shank with puffed farro, cabbage, apple and gruyere potato puree.