Beaver Creek Resort
|Location||Eagle County, Colorado, U.S.|
|Nearest major city||Avon|
|Vertical||3,340 feet (1,020 m)|
|Top elevation||11,440 feet (3,490 m)|
|Base elevation||8,100 feet (2,500 m)|
|Skiable area||1,815 acres (7.35 km2)|
- 19% easiest
- 43% more difficult
- 38% most difficult
|Longest run||Centennial - 2.75 miles (4.4 km)|
|Lift system||25 total (2 gondolas, 1 Chondola, 10 high-speed quad chairs, 1 triple chair, 3 double chairs, 8 magic carpets, 1 tow lift)|
|Snowfall||310 inches (790 cm) per yr|
Beaver Creek Resort is a major ski resort in the western United States, near Avon, Colorado. The resort comprises three villages, the main Beaver Creek Village, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead to the west. The resort is owned and operated by Vail Resorts which operates multiple additional resorts. Beaver Creek is a regular host of World Cup events, usually in early December.
The valley that houses Beaver Creek Resort lies just south of Avon and was first settled in 1881. Many early pioneers moved to the area under President Abraham Lincoln’s Homestead Act (1862), farming hay and raising cattle to feed local miners. Beaver Creek remained a lightly populated farming area through the middle of the twentieth century.
Beaver Creek Resort was envisioned in the 1950s by Earl Eaton, but it was not until the early 1970s that Pete Seibert tried to convince the Denver Organizing Committee to hold the 1976 Winter Olympics alpine events at the yet to be built ski resort. However, when Denver backed out from holding the Olympic Winter Games in November 1972, Seibert's plans of building the resort collapsed. When Vail Associates was purchased by Harry W. Bass Jr., an oil tycoon of Goliad Oil, he decided to develop Beaver Creek. The ski slope and first hotel property, The Charter at Beaver Creek, opened during the 1980–81 ski season. The resort had six chairlifts, all constructed by Doppelmayr: three triple and three double chairlifts. In 1983, Larkspur Bowl was opened with the addition of its own triple chairlift, accessible via the Strawberry Park region.
In 1985, Bass sold Beaver Creek and Vail Associates filed for bankruptcy a few years later. In 1986, Beaver Creek entered the high speed lift market with the installation of the Centennial Express on the main mountain, replacing the Centennial triple chairlift.
In 1991, a new pod of advanced terrain was opened on Grouse Mountain in the Talons area, with Garaventa-CTEC constructing a high speed quad to service the new trails. CTEC would go on to install three more high speed quads during the 1990s, replacing the Strawberry Park triple in 1994 and the Stump Park triple on the main mountain with the Cinch Express in 1996. The former Strawberry Park triple was relocated and renamed Elkhorn, providing mountain access for real estate owners.
In 1993, Beaver Creek purchased the small, adjacent Arrowhead Mountain, formerly an independent resort catering to the beginner and lower intermediate skier with its own Doppelmayr-constructed high speed quad. In 1997, the two resorts were connected through the addition of Bachelor Gulch Village and a new high speed quad, known as the Bachelor Gulch Express.
For the 2003 season, Doppelmayr constructed a new high speed quad known as the Birds of Prey Express to replace the Westfall double chairlift, providing high speed lift service to the Birds of Prey downhill course. A year later, they built a pair of high speed quads in the Bachelor Gulch area to improve transiting from the Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead region to Beaver Creek Mountain, as well as provide lift service from Avon. A year after that, they constructed the Larkspur Express to replace the Larkspur triple chairlift.
In 2007, two new gondolas were opened. The Riverfront Express Gondola was constructed to connect Avon to the Beaver Creek Landing and the Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express lift, while the Haymeadow Gondola was built to replace one of two double chairlifts in the Beaver Creek Village learning area.
More improvements came in the 2011 season, as the Rose Bowl Express was constructed to replace the older triple chairlift. In 2014, massive changes occurred as Doppelmayr replaced the aging Centennial Express lift with a chondola, combining a high speed six pack with ten passenger gondola cabins.
In 2017, the last of Beaver Creek's original opening day lifts, the Drink of Water double chairlift, was removed and replaced with a high speed quad. The Red Buffalo Express supplements the older Cinch Express, and reused towers from the defunct Montezuma Express at Keystone Resort.
For the 2021-2022 season, a new beginner terrain pod was opened in McCoy Park, accessible from Larkspur Bowl and Strawberry Park, and serviced by its own high speed quad.
Beaver Creek Golf Course
The resort is known for its upscale family-oriented accommodations, terrain and a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Golf Course. The Beaver Creek Golf Club, nestled against the slopes of Beaver Creek Mountain, is one of the longest established golf courses in the Vail Valley. Opened in 1982, the course is known for its long and narrow challenging fairways, and its stunning scenery.
Recently, Beaver Creek has worked to re-shape all of the bunkers on the course, aligning them more closely with their original design, and in the process installing a new drainage system and new sand for better playability. Additionally, the clubhouse restaurant, formerly known as Holden's, has undergone a face lift and reopened as the Rendezvous Club.
The town hires extensively from the around the world to fill its large seasonal employee rosters. Vail Resorts (formerly Vail Associates) is the corporation that owns Beaver Creek. It also operates Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Vail Mountain, Kirkwood, Park City and Northstar at Tahoe.
Holy Cross Wilderness Area
Beaver Creek Resort is adjacent to the Holy Cross Wilderness in White River National Forest. Beaver Lake Trail passes through Beaver Creek Resort, beside Beaver Creek. Beaver Lake Trail crosses the wilderness area boundary immediately before reaching Beaver Lake. Beyond Beaver Lake, Beaver Lake Trail ascends south to Turqoise Lakes and Grouse Mountain.
Beaver Creek Resort statistics
- Base: 8,100 feet (2,470 m)
- Summit: 11,440 feet (3,490 m)
- Vertical Rise: 3,340 feet (1,020 m)
- Mountains: 5 (Beaver Creek, Grouse Mountain, Larkspur, Arrowhead Mountain, Bachelor Gulch)
- Bowls: 2 (Rose Bowl, Larkspur Bowl)
- Skiable Area: 1,832 acres (7.41 km2)
- Trails: 150 total (19% beginner, 43% intermediate, 38% expert/advanced)
- Longest Run: Centennial
- Terrain Parks: 2
- Average Snowfall: 325 inches (830 cm) annually
- North: 55%
- West: 20%
- East: 25%
As of 2020, Beaver Creek has 23 total chairlifts.
- Haymeadow Express Gondola #1
- Riverfront Gondola #7
- Centennial Express #6 (cross between high speed six pack and ten person gondola)
11 high-speed quads
- Rose Bowl Express #4
- Red Buffalo Express #5
- Cinch Express #8
- Birds of Prey Express #9
- Grouse Mountain Express #10
- Larkspur Express #11
- Strawberry Park Express #12
- Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express #15
- Bachelor Gulch Express #16
- Arrow Bahn Express #17
- Upper Beaver Creek Mountain Express #18
1 triple chairlift
- Elkhorn #14
1 double chair
- Highlands #2
7 magic carpets
- "Beaver Creek Resort - Mountain Stats". Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "The History of Beaver Creek Resort". ColoradoSkiHistory.com. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
The idea of building a new ski resort in the Beaver and McCoy Creek areas came about in 1956, when Earl Eaton and John Burke discussed future possibilities.
- Edward Stoner (27 May 2008). "Earl Eaton, man who found Vail Mtn., dies". The Aspen Times. Swift Communications. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Lindsay Heinsen (February 1979). "Owning a Piece Of the Rockies: How Harry Bass got to be king of the mountain". D Magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- "2015 World Championships". Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
- "Best Ski Resorts: Beaver Creek Resort Terrain, Snow Quality and Mountain Ranks". ZRankings. ZRankings LLC. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- "Colorado Ski Guide 2010". The Denver Post. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- Melanie Wong (3 January 2014). "Beaver Creek to get combo gondola, chairlift". Vail Daily. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
Beaver Creek travel guide from Wikivoyage