Colorado Travel Experience Blog

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July 2015
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Colorado Ski Train Has an Historic Past

The Colorado ski train began in 1940. The Ski Train has a history of over 60 years of regular, scheduled trips to Winter Park Resort. The ski train consists of 14 passenger cars (eight Coach class, one retreat class, three Club Car class; two Cafe Lounge cars). The ski train transports 750 passengers to the winter wonderland of Winter Park, Colorado, the largest capacity of any scheduled passenger train in the U.S.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Ski Train was youth-oriented and dominated by the Eskimo Ski Club. The ski club consisted of members ranging in age from 7 to 17. Today, many older Denver natives who travel on the ski train credit the Eskimo Ski Club for introducing them to skiing.

The 1980’s saw hard times come to the Ski Train. Ridership steadily declined, and the 1915 vintage railcars began to show their age. In 1988, the Ansco Investment Company, a Denver-based company, acquired the train with its purchase by its parent company of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.

Under the management of the Ansco Investment Company, the “New, modern Ski Train” was born. A new business plan aimed to rejuvenate the ski train in all respects, complete with upgraded cars, improved customer service, a computerized ticket system and the introduction of Club class and luxury private car service rejuvenated the Winter Park ski run.

Today, the Ski Train calls itself “a Denver Tradition for Generations,” and each year introduces a new generation of skiers not just to the joys of skiing, but to the joys of traveling by train, as well. They have had such great winter success, that the ski train has expanded to operate Saturdays in the Summer! This for those that want to hike and mountain bike on some of Colorado’s best mountain terrain.

The nicest thing about the Ski Train is that it makes skiing convenient to Denver and the Colorado Front Range. Not only that, visitors to Winter Park that use the ski train will find one of the most spectacular landscapes to travel through and visit in all of the state. If you’re visiting Denver this winter and want an exciting adventure to ski territory, the ski train is for you.

To book a ticket on the Colorado Ski Train to Winter Park and plan your Colorado ski vacation, go to Ski Train.

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Denver is 150 Years Old on November 22nd

Denver, the Mile High City will celebrate its sesquicentennial this November 22nd. This is an historic event if you are in Denver on that date. In honor of its 150th anniversary on November 22nd, the City and County of Denver will honor 150 people who are making a difference in the Mile High City.

For two weeks this November, Denver will celebrate its 150th birthday in true Mile High City style, with festivals, sporting events, special offers and much more. On Nov. 13th, the 31st Denver Film Festival kicked off 10 days of incredible and innovative cinema. Then, on Nov. 14th, Denver Arts Week began, a week long festival, highlighting the city’s visual and performing arts. This has all been taking place at more than five neighborhood art districts, 20 museums and 100 art galleries.

This event was organized by the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau to help draw local and national attention to the cultural renaissance that Denver is experiencing – a renaissance that led Sunset Magazine to proclaim: “The Mile High City is remaking itself as a world capital of art and architecture.”

The city’s 150 year legacy will be honored in front of a packed crowd at INVESCO Field at Mile High during the Denver Broncos - Oakland Raiders game on Sunday Nov. 23rd. There will be free days at select Denver attractions, including the Colorado History Museum on Saturday, Nov. 22 – along with a birthday cake that will be distributed by local dignitaries and temporary postal stations for a commemorative postmark and envelope, something stamp collectors might be looking out for.

It happened back on November 22, 1858 when Gen. William Larimer, a land speculator from eastern Kansas, placed cottonwood sticks on the hill overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek to stake a claim at the center of a square-mile town plat.

Now, 150 years after that seemingly inauspicious occasion, Denver is the 21st largest metropolitan area in the United States, a vibrant urban landscape bursting at the seams with artistic and human culture, diversity and an excitement for the future.

The City and County of Denver decided to celebrate its sesquicentennial with a legacy project, the Denver Daisy. The Denver Daisy is a one-of-a-kind flower created and named especially in honor of the City’s 150th anniversary celebration. The flower is a totally new cultivated variety (”cultivar”) of Rdbeckia.

The new hybrid flower is based on the Rudbeckia hirta, a daisy native to Colorado when Gen. William Larimer founded Denver 150 years ago, and Rudbeckia “Prairie Sun”. Perfectly suited for Colorado’s arid climate, the Denver Daisy thrives in hot, sunny areas with minimal moisture and quickly develops eye-catching golden flowers with a deep-red color encircling a dark-brown center.

If you’re in Denver during the 15 days of anniversary celebration, you are going to experience a treat. This is an historic event that won’t be matched for another 50 years. Restaurants, museums, the downtown, and yes, even the Broncos are getting involved in this celebration. If you are coming to Colorado during this month of November, be sure not to miss the 150th anniversary of the settling of Denver, Colorado.

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Winter Park Set to Open on the 19th of November

Winter Park Ski Resort will be opening soon. This ski area attracts visitors from around the world because of its great skiing and easy access through the “Ski Train” that departs from Denver at 7:15am and arrives in Winter Park at 9:30am to give you a full day of fantastic skiing.

Skiers and boarders will find three interconnected mountains at Winter Park. These slopes offer groomed terrain , steep and deep powder runs and world-class moguls. No matter what your skiing expertise, you will find a run that will fit your needs.

The area will offer you fun and family skiing adventure with a sizable ski terrain of 2886 acres. You’ll find an overall vertical drop of 3060 feet from the 10,700ft top to the base. The trails in the ski area number 134, with 24 lifts (8 high-speed quads). And, don’t worry about snow. Winter Park receives an annual snowfall of 369 inches.  This area is Colorado skiing at its best.

Skiers will find many lodges, homes, condos and hotels supplying adequate accomodations for Winter Park Ski vistors.  Skiers who want to enjoy authentic Colorado skiing, complete with a bountiful amount of snow will find that a Winter Park Ski Vacation will not disappoint them.

The drive to Winter Park is less than 2 hours from the Denver Airport.  The area provides endless activities for all ages when you’re not skiing or riding.   Winter Park is located near the Continental Divide and is subject to almost every winter storm that comes over the divide or backs in from the Colorado Front Range.  This is why Winter Park is considered “Colorado’s Favorite” amongst its locals and visitors from nearby Denver.

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Wolf Creek Just Opened and Other Colorado Ski News

Wolf Creek just opened this week to a natural snowpack thanks to recent snows in the Colorado mountains.  It is the latest ski area in Colorado to open, just on the heels of the Summit County resorts.  Wolf Creek is a high alpine ski resort in the south central part of the state.  This area has received natural snows over the past week that have allowed it to open and more snows are on the way later today and thru tomorrow.

At Wolf Creek, you’ll find the slope runs from 10,300 feet at the base to 11,900 feet at the summit.  Yes, this is true Colorado alpine skiing at it’s finest and receives some of the deepest natural snowpack in the state.  So, wear good clothing, beware of weather changes that occur rapidly, and use sunscreen and goggles when the sun is shining.

Other ski resorts will be opening soon.  Winter Park will open for skiing and riding on November 19th with Echo Mountain and Eldora looking to start their lifts on the 21st.  This week all the ski areas are expecting snow.

Here’s a couple of interesting blog links I found for those of you that might be thinking of skiing Colorado this winter…

The 2008 Ranking Ski Destinations with the 2008 Average Daily Hotel Rate: In this blog, you’ll find that 6 of the 10 top ranking ski destinations in the U.S. are in the state of Colorado.  Yes, Breckenridge, Aspen, Vail, Keystone, Winter Park and Steamboat make it into the 10 top ski resorts.

Colorado Ski Resorts At a Glance: Here you will find a full report on all the major Colorado ski resorts. This blog post will help you decide where you should plan your ski vacation for this year.  This one’s a really great, comprehensive overview of what Colorado has to offer skiers and boarders this season.

Aspen travel guide: You can obtain a nice travel guide for the Aspen area if this is where you intend to ski this year. And if you’re thinking of going off the beaten path to one of the best Colorado ski areas, Crested Butte, you might want to check out Skiing & Winter Vacations to Crested Butte.

Anyway, I hope these links will help you plan your ski vacation this year.  And when you get ready to book that vacation, I hope you check out

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An All Inclusive Colorado Ski Vacation Will Save Money and Hassles

Now that the ski areas in Summit County are open for the 2008-09 ski season, many people are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday for their first big trip to the high country for fun and adventure skiing the slopes of Colorado.  Other ski areas will be opening soon and the holidays should be filled with skiers enjoying what Colorado has to offer.

An all inclusive Colorado ski vacation package might be your best bet for this year’s family ski vacation.  Some think that they are the perfect fit for an economical ski holiday.  So when you’re at your travel agent, think about asking for a package deal that’s all inclusive.

What do I mean by all inclusive?  An all inclusive ski vacation is tailored to meet all of your vacationing needs. With this type of ski vacation package, you will plan every element of your Colorado ski vacation so that it meets you and your family’s expectations and needs.  You will pay one price for your vacation package that will include: all meals and snacks, alcoholic beverages, taxes, tips,entertainment , airport transportation and lift tickets, and more.

What’s included in your all inclusive ski vacation will vary with the resort and what your travel agent can set up with them.  Most ski resorts require that you book for a minimum time.  You should usually get your travel arrangements, ground transportation, lift tickets, lodging reservations, rental equipment arrangements, and other extra curricular activities included in the package.  Some packages also include food, drinks, ski rentals, spa appointments and programs that you can get your kids involved in.

I think having lift tickets included is a big plus.  The last thing you want to do is to wait in a ticket line for your lift tickets.  Having spa appointments included saves you too.   You don’t want to visit the spa after a long day of skiing and not be able to get an appointment because it is all booked. Your all inclusive ski package eliminates inconveniences or complications such as these.

You will have to make decisions about where you want to stay, the type of accommodations you prefer, where you want to ski or board, how you want to get there, renting equipment, any extra activities you want to partake in, and more. Your all inclusive package can be as basic as you want it or as involved as you want it to be.

When you plan your Colorado ski vacation, you will have a wide array of lodging options to choose from. You can pick an upscale hotel, rent a house or condo, choose a cozy inn, enjoy the charm of a bed and breakfast or simply pick a motel in the area. By making arrangements online, you can view a variety of pictures, and descriptions of the places you are considering so that you make the most educated decision on works best for you.

You will also discover detailed information on the various hot spots for all inclusive ski vacation destinations in the area you choose to vacation. This information will provide you with specs for the ski mountains, the local atmosphere, terrain, local amenities, and accommodations. You can book an all inclusive ski package for just about any ski resort or destination that you feel, meets your wishes. Wherever you go work with your travel company and try to create the best package available for the best price. Then, all you have to do is enjoy!

You are in luck this year if you haven’t booked your Colorado ski vacation.   Because of the economic downturn, most ski resorts still have room for you and they are offering great discounts.  If you are booking online, you might want to consider an agent that specializes in ski vacations, such as which has a working relationship with all the major Colorado ski resorts and is headquartered in Aspen, Colorado.

This should be a great year for skiing in Colorado.  The snow is already falling, the ski areas are opening and everything is set for a fantastic ski season.

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