Keystone Resort opens today when the first chair heads up the mountain at 9 a.m. While waiting for that first chair, Keystone will be handing out warm donut holes from resort pastry chef Ned Archibald, as well as hot chocolate and coffee at the base of the River Run Gondola. There will also be a DJ spinning tunes while special prizes are handed out to guests.
You can read about every Colorado ski resort in the Edge, our winter sports guide. Find the Edge in print this week inside of Westword — or follow along as we roll out the guide online. Each description lays out what's new, what the signature experience is at each resort, what to splurge on, how to go cheap and, of course, what to drink. Now, head for the trees.
What’s new: Keystone started a new program this year that allows families to take lessons together, says Keystone spokesman Russell Carlton. “Keystone’s Ski & Ride School team will tailor each lesson specifically to the needs of the family and allows the entire group to progress together.” Anyone ages three and older, and of all abilities, is welcome. All private lessons can accommodate “up to six family members or friends at no extra charge.”
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Signature experience: “Keystone’s night skiing offers guests the longest ski day in all of Colorado,” Carlton says, boasting 11.5 hours. “For the majority of the season, night skiing is offered until 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.... No additional lift tickets are needed: Night skiing is included on all Epic Day passes. Guests who book lodging through Keystone Resort receive free night skiing for the entire group on the night of arrival.”
Splurge: At 11,444 feet of elevation, Keystone’s Alpenglow Stube claims it’s the highest AAA Four Diamond-rated restaurant in North America, and also features the resort’s widest selection of wines, ports and cognacs, earning Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence six years in a row. “The seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu is a special experience in and of itself, complete with an amuse bouche, appetizer, consommé, intermezzo, entree and salad, and culminates with a spectacular dessert,” Carlton says. “Even more of an experience: the two gondola rides that bring guests to North Peak. Blankets are provided, and there are slippers available for guests to slip into upon arrival.”
Ski bum tips: Score free parking in the Montezuma Lot at River Run Village and the Pika Lot at Mountain House. Also: Kids ski free with any two-night lodging package at the resort’s properties.
Drink locally: The 9280’ Tap House in the River Run base-area village features fourteen Colorado beers on tap, plus a large selection of craft brews in bottles and cans, with happy-hour specials daily from 3 to 6 p.m.