After receiving a few less-than-perfect snow years, Keystone Ski Resort recorded one of its best years in 2005/06, and with its opening ahead of schedule on November 3 for the 2006/07 season, it’s poised to be another amazing year. Keystone was beginning to become the “redheaded stepchild” of the Vail Resorts family until it rose from its slumber to become one of the region’s finest resorts. Just talk to the locals – after just stopping by Keystone for a few switchbacks after work for the past few years, with the “fresh” dumps the snow gods bestowed on 06/05, they rediscovered the incredible variety of terrain that Keystone has to offer. They tried the new Cat Skiing program which is opening up some of the major ski games without the hard work of walking to do it, they knocked down the trees on North Peak and The Outback, the Jibbers between them killed the rails, they rode the walls and smashed the SuperPipe at Area 51. When they were done for the day (and that could be up to 12 hours of hard skiing or horseback riding after the lights go up!) they then stopped to party at the Villages with all the “Après Ski.” action provided by the new bars, restaurants and nightclubs on the base.

When it comes to vacation lodging, Keystone also has many options and prices. As a general rule, the closer you get to a ski lift, the more expensive your condo becomes. However, Keystone has something for everyone. The original Village is Mountain House, and there are affordable hostels and options, as well as new mid-priced resorts (a couple of high-end gems, too!). The newer European-style pedestrian village at River Run has a great location, and all the buildings are of a similar design and standard, and are generally priced a bit higher than Mountain House. The two true “Ski in Ski out” lodges right across from the gondola in the River Run base area are Lone Eagle and The Timbers, and they are highly sought after, if a bit hard on the pocketbook! Keystone also has a lot more to offer than just the two base areas. Spread out for 7 miles along the Snake River, there are many neighborhoods filled with great lodging options at great prices. From value-oriented to brand new condominium communities, cute family-style townhomes, or high-end private homes, you’ll find everything you need. Almost everything is within walking distance to a free shuttle bus stop that takes you to the slopes, or a short drive will take you to the ample parking lots in both base areas (free parking at River Run is HUGE).

Local knowledge is the key to finding the perfect accommodation in the perfect location at the perfect price. That’s why it’s so important to get good advice from experts who know the area inside and out. Someone who knows every complex and every location, someone who knows your pros and cons and can go through all the options to find the perfect place to fit your needs. How do you do that on your own without spending an entire year online planning your next getaway?

You need help from local experts. You won’t find that on any of the big travel sites. They specialize in volume bookings; you’re just another number to them. The place to go is independent travel planners. They will plan your entire vacation for you on an “à la carte” basis: everything you need, nothing you don’t! They can also do it at the same or better prices than those available on the megasites, and without additional charges. Why go anywhere else?

He works too hard for too long to have anything less than perfection when he finally gets his vacation. Make sure the time you spend on your next ski vacation is “Pure, Simple, Pleasure”

You now have a friend in the Colorado Ski Vacation business – The Mountains USA

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