Skiing in the New Year in Colorado
By Joceyn Rosenthal, University of Colorado.
College Tourist Ambassador.
This year I decided to for go the expensive debauchery that is New Year’s Eve, and instead put my Christmas money towards a mini ski trip to Breckenridge. The trip to Breckenridge is about 2.5 hours from my house in Boulder, and along with the other nearby resorts is home to some of this country’s best skiing. This ski resort is located just above a picturesque snow capped downtown with great shops and places to eat for those who are not winter sports fans. The two days I was there were spent skiing until the early afternoon, followed by a much-needed nap to reenergize before going out in the town at night. Despite below freezing temperatures I had an amazing trip and was glad I spent my money on this rather than a concert. If you are thinking about taking a trip to Breckenridge here are my tips.
Passes and Gear
Being a premier ski resort destination, be prepared to spend a fair amount of money. Lift tickets alone are a steep $120 a day, and rentals run from 25$ to $35 a day. To combat some of these costs you can purchase discounted lift tickets at the local grocery store, and rent equipment from stores farther away from the base.
Where to Stay
There are many options available for lodging in Breckenridge. If you are willing to splurge staying in one of the ski – in hotels on the mountain, which offer luxury and convenience after a long day on the slopes. For a more affordable option and willing to drive to the mountain, you can rent a fully furnished ski condo. This option also gives you the added bonus of buying groceries and cooking for yourself to save some money. Parking at the base is 5$ per day or there is a bus that runs and stops at most places in the greater town.
Food and Bars
After a morning on the slopes you are bound to work up an appetite for a big lunch. If you do not wish to leave the mountain there are restaurants and cafeteria style eating available at the base of the lifts. The food is excellent, however its convenience comes at extremely high prices. My nachos alone were $16! If you are willing to leave the mountain, there are many great places in the downtown that are only a short gondola ride away. My boyfriend and I went to an all you can eat Chinese lunch buffet that was only $9 a person.
At night the town looks like it belongs in a storybook, the stores are snowcapped and the trees are adorned with light. You can enjoy the scenery while grabbing a drink at one of the bars downtown like Ollie’s Pub and Grub or the Breckenridge Brewery. The town is also always having fun events like wine tastings and festivals so be sure to check out http://www.townofbreckenridge.com/ to see what will be going on when you visit.
I cannot stress this enough. I am a person who gets cold easily and with temperatures below 10 I thought I was going to turn into an icicle. Colorado is deceptive because the sun is so bright even when the temperatures are in the negatives. I wore 5 layers on top, 3 on my legs, 2 gloves and was still shivering. Make sure you have something warm to protect your face and neck from windburn and freezing. I purchased a turtle fur neck warmer at one of the ski slopes for $15 that was a complete lifesaver.
So if you go to Breckenridge – have a blast, remember these tips, stay warm, and send us a postcard of your adventure!