Since 1962, Vail has been luring winter adventurers of all types to its curvaceous mountains. While Vail is best known for evoking “Old World” European charm, there is an entirely other part of Vail that is steeped in history — from its beginning as a summer residence for the Ute American Indians and the important role it played in the Gold Rush, to becoming American’s number one ski resort.
Find out how you can conjure up its Colorado history and the roots that gave way to the ski legend that it is today and uncover the “real” Vail with this winter weekend getaway guide.
Where To Stay
Where: 715 W Lionshead Cir., Vail
The Lowdown: Embodying what Vail represents, The Hythe offers a sense of celebration and adventure year-round while highlighting Vail’s legendary ski culture. Inspired by the legendary founders of Vail Ski Resort, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, The Hythe reimagines the revelry, camaraderie and hospitality of après ski, infusing the “good-time-was-had-by-all” spirit into all who stay here.
The brand-new luxury resort concept brings the history of Vail to life and shares the mutual love of skiing through thoughtful details that hearken to the pioneering spirits of the past. With hidden nooks and crannies for gathering with your friends and family, glamorous 60’s touches and historic ski references, journaled thoughts from the founders, black and white snapshots of those who first skied the mountains and books about the history of Vail, you can’t help but feel nostalgic.
The Hythe’s namesake, “haven,” is fully realized in the resort’s lavish guest rooms, custom elegant furniture and art pieces, an opulent lobby and bar, including the Revel Lounge that is meant to inspire guests to linger longer with stories to share about their day on the mountain.
The hotel aims to serve as a gateway to Vail’s most exciting and desirable experiences, whether guests are looking to partake in exclusive alpine excursions or rejuvenate at the on-site recovery-focused spa. For those that wish to experience Vail in a completely immersive way, “Personal Adventure Stewards” will be available to help plan the ultimate itinerary.
What To Do
Where: 231 S Frontage Rd. E, Vail
The Lowdown: Formerly known as the Colorado Ski Museum, the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to the sport of skiing and snowsports. For anyone who loves the slopes, this free (donations accepted) museum is a must. Paying tribute to those who have paved the way to the birth, rise and explosion of skiing and snowboarding and what it means to the state of Colorado.
Seven exhibits are on display including a Climb to Glory, the story about the 10th Mountain Division, Ski Fashion and Function, Skiing Through Time, a chronological timeline of skiing in Colorado, and the Hall of Fame. Their Hall of Fame has inducted over 200 athletes, coaches and supporters of snow sports in Colorado since its first class in 1977.
Plus, you can learn more about Vail and how it became what it is today with one of their walking tours. In the winter season, they run twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Hit The Slopes
Of course one of the best ways to truly appreciate the history of Vail and all it has to offer is by experiencing its legendary terrain. With 5,317 acres of skiable terrain, 195 trails, 31 lifts and a mountain steeped in history, it’s no wonder Vail is a ski legend.
Ski Riva Ridge, one of Vail’s original trails. It is the longest single run on the mountain at four miles. It was named by members of the 10th Mountain Division, many of who played important roles in founding Vail.
Where To Eat
The Lowdown: Feast your senses on Margie’s Haas at The Hythe. Created as a tribute to the World War II local home cook, Margie Haas, the restaurant celebrates her flair for hosting and is inspired by troopers from the 10th Mountain Division often driving through the valley on their way to Denver and stopping at the Haas’ home for one of Margie’s home-cooked meals after World War II began.
Offering contemporary, alpine-American cuisine with a fresh approach to classic recipes and ingredients, Margie’s Haas is led by Executive Chef Patrick Dahms who has created a modern menu that brings 35 years of experience in Alpine cuisine.
Where To Après-Ski
The Lowdown: The après-ski scene is as much a part of Colorado’s winter culture as the snow and skis. And Vail is home to some of the most legendary apres-ski spots in the state.
Visit the Hyth’s lobby bar, the 10th Mountain, for iconic spirits infused with the history of Vail. Partnering with local 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirit Company, the bar is a place for guests to gather for an apres cocktail around the custom lobby fireplace.
As guests drink, they have the opportunity to learn about the 10th Mountain Division in tandem with the history and importance of whiskey in the region. Or visit their tasting room near the historic Covered Bridge in Vail.
Other apres-ski hot spots include The Remedy Bar for innovative and playful cocktails, The 10th, located on Gondola One with a view of Gore Range and The Red Lion, one of the oldest bars in Vail opening in 1963.