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Tools and Tips for Designing a Ski RetreatOctober 1, 2007 By: Dan Butcher Home-Based Travel Agent
Keep these pages handy for when your next snow-bunny client gives you a call
Aspen and Vail, Colorado
• Getting There: Denver International Airport (DIA) is 220 miles from Aspen/ Snowmass and 110 miles from Vail. Approximately 150 nonstop and connecting flights fly weekly into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE), which is six miles to Snowmass and three miles to Aspen. Also, Vail/Eagle County Airport (EGE) is 30 minutes from Vail Village. Many properties offer complimentary airport transfers; or arrange them in advance through Colorado Mountain Express (www.cmex.com, 800-525-6363) or High Mountain Taxi (Aspen: 970-925-8294, Vail: 970-524-5555, www.hmtaxi.com).
• Hotels: For Aspen/Snowmass, you can't go wrong booking any of these four top properties: the Villas at the Snowmass Club (www.snowmassclub.com; agent contact: Linda Sonsini, 800-525-9402, [email protected]), which boasts Snowmass Village's top accommodations and an athletic club, and Aspen's "big three": the Hotel Jerome ( www.hoteljerome.com, agent contact: Jennifer Barnhart, 970-920-1000 ext. 623, [email protected]), a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World; the St. Regis Resort, Aspen (www.stregisaspen.com; contact: Luxury Collections, 800-835-3589), with a heated outdoor pool and a new Remède Spa; and The Little Nell (www.thelittlenell.com; contact: David Kaso, 970-920-6332, [email protected] Aspen's only Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel. There are also many smaller lodges throughout both areas; budget-minded clients can consider staying in nearby Basalt.
For Vail, a good bet is the 292-room ski-in/ski-out Vail Cascade Resort & Spa (
www.vailcascade.com), which recently announced that it will undergo a $30 million transformation over the next 18 months, with all major construction to be completed before the ski season begins in late 2008. The best rooms to book are the Deluxe Mountain View Rooms and the Mountain View Suites. For large groups or families, reserve the Liftside Condominiums or the brand new Westhaven Condos; the property also offers a selection of private homes.
For spa information, Maggie Dunphy (970-479-7003, [email protected]) is the director of spa services. The Vail Cascade offers travel agents 10 percent commission. The travel agent liaison is Cristen Meyer, leisure sales manager ([email protected], 970-479-7059 or 800-420-2424).
Park City, Utah
• Getting There: Park City is a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Helicopter transfers are available via Park City Helitours (www.parkcityhelitours.com); Hotel Park City also has a private on-site landing area. Million Air Salt Lake City (www.millionairslc.com) provides private jet services. Book airport transfers through All Resort Express (www.allresort.com, 800-457-9457).
• Hotels: Try Hotel Park City (www.hotelparkcity.com), a member of The Leading Hotels of the World with 100 suites and 46 privately owned units in the Cottages, which enter a rental pool when unoccupied and which are popular with celebrities during the Sundance Film Festival. The most requested accommodations are the 650-square-foot Cottage Deluxe Executive Suites, which opened last December and feature a private master bedroom, a private six-person Jacuzzi and two fireplaces.
The best accommodations for large families and groups are the 750-square-foot Cottage Luxury Suites, which come with a full kitchen and connect to a Cottage Deluxe Executive Suite. When combined, the suites have two master bedrooms and two twin sofa beds, providing room for eight.
All accommodations are bookable through the GDS and have a leather sofa sleeper, private balcony or patio, marble bathrooms, jetted tubs, Bose Surround Sound entertainment systems, Bulgari amenities and T1 wireless Internet access. The property does not allow pets.
Amenities at the Spa at Hotel Park City include dry saunas, herbal-infused steam rooms, whirlpools, meditation rooms, a health club, hair salon, eight treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure room and a wet room with a hydrotherapy tub. The spa director is Tracy Harper ([email protected] 435-940-5080). Book treatments for your clients at the time you make their reservation.
The chief concierge is Daine Smith ([email protected] , 435-940-5098). Agents can call 435-200-2000 or e-mail [email protected]. The hotel recommends booking six to eight months in advance for the following periods: December 20-January 6, January 18-28 (dates of the Sundance Film Festival) and Presidents' Week in mid-February.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
• Getting There: The Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is less than 50 miles from Squaw Valley USA and less than 60 miles from Heavenly Mountain Resort. Sacramento International Airport (SAC) is about 115 miles from both Squaw Valley and Heavenly; both are approximately three hours from San Francisco. Book transfers through North Lake Tahoe Express (www.northlaketahoeexpress.com, 866-216-5222), South Tahoe Express (www.southtahoeexpress.com, 866-89-TAHOE or 866-898-2463), or Mountain Cab (www.mountaincab.com, 530-582-5828).
• Hotels: The Village at Squaw Valley USA (www.thevillageatsquaw.com), an Intrawest development, opened in late 2002 at the base of the slopes between Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Accommodations include 276 one-, two- and three-bedroom resort condominiums, each with a fully equipped kitchen, gas fireplace, patio, and heated floors throughout. Other amenities include outdoor hot tubs,
fitness rooms, a billiards lounge and a Kid's Club. The travel agent liaison for The Village is Christy Beck (530-584-6227,
RockResorts will operate The Chateau at Heavenly Village
(http://chateauatheavenly.rockresorts.com, 866-422-0919) at the base of Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe. Slated for completion in early winter 2009, the $420 million, 11.5-acre redevelopment will include two luxury condo-hotels, a 16,000-square-foot RockResorts Spa, 50,000-square-foot convention center with 21,000 square-foot pre-function area, 1.5-acre park and a collection of shops and restaurants.