|(TOP) Chris Anthony charges down the mountain; (BOTTOM) Charming Beaver Creek Village at dusk.
photography courtesy of Beaver Creek
WHY NOW: After a ridiculously humid summer, you could use a little cool, dry air, even if it contains snow flurries. So head to the Colorado mountains for Technique Week, a souped-up version of ski school at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa (www.beavercreek.hyatt.com), the fantastic ski in/ski out hotel at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain. For five days, world-class instructors teach skiers of varying skills, while a cameraman documents their progress for a take-home DVD. Along the way, you get a lot more than a lesson. You’ll make new friends, share some laughs (often at yourself), soothe your soul at the newly renovated 30,000-square-foot Allegria Spa, and watch yourself in action on the small screen during a farewell dinner. TOP-NOTCH TALENT: Beaver Creek is most proud of Chris Anthony, champion extreme skier and star of 17 Warren Miller films. Anthony grew up in Vail (the resort next door), so he knows the slopes like no one else; Beaver Creek Mountain is literally his backyard. In 2007, the Park Hyatt appointed Anthony ski ambassador for Technique Week, and this year Anthony returns for two sessions: December 2–7 and January 6–11, 2008. Even though he has skied with—and instructed—the rich and famous (not to mention he’s famous in his own right), he talks about his many high-style celebrity adventures with an endearing mix of humility and awe. But enough about his stories—the guy can ski, twisting and turning and tricking it up as naturally as most of us walk on solid ground. So it’s a privilege to get some one-on-one time with this champ, who will show you moves that will have you skiing better than you ever thought possible. However, Anthony’s not the only expert in this crowd. All of the instructors are hand-selected, and all are equally adept at teaching, whether you’re skiing the bunny slopes or double black diamonds. Dave Pivet was in charge of the beginners’ group (read: one other girl and me) on my trip, and despite his mad skills, he was all kinds of patient and cheered loudly when we hit milestones, such as learning how to turn properly. To reward him for his kindness, we treated him to après-ski at Rocks Modern Grill, where his fellow instructors like to hang and drink $1 beers. Nice. OFF THE SLOPES: Beaver Creek Village may be small, but there’s enough to keep you busy when you need a break from your skis. Ladies will love Roxy (800-775-7699), especially for its killer selection of Michael Stars tees; art enthusiasts should pop in to J. Cotter Gallery (970-949-8111), which carries cool pieces by Paul Tamanian and John Geldersma’s Spirit Poles. The skating rink, open 24-7 in the winter, is a great place to take a spin. For lunch we sat by the window at Toscanini (970-845-5590), overlooking the rink, and savored prosciutto e funghi with a wedge of polenta and beet micro greens and pizza with sausage crumbles and dollops of ricotta. After lunch we cruised around the village, window-shopped, and snapped our photo with Thomas Jefferson—well, a sculpture that looked a lot like him, at least. Back at the Park Hyatt, we enjoyed après ski—this time in the form of s’mores (with homemade marshmallows) around the fire pit outside of Bivan’s, the hotel’s restaurant. Yum.
Bundle up for an open-air sleigh ride and head to Beano’s Cabin (970-949-9090. www.beavercreek.com), a beautiful, hand-hewn log cabin 9,000 feet up, where executive chef Steve Topple prepares smashing dishes, such as pan-seared Georges Bank scallops with white bean and rock shrimp ragout or pecan-crusted elk tenderloin with pumpkin purée. Do the tasting menu, paired with wines from an award-winning list. You’ll never look at the mountains the same way again.
Resources GENERAL INFORMATION
HOW TO GET THERE
American Airlines (www.aa.com) and United Airlines (www.united.com) fly daily nonstop to Eagle County Regional Airport, or you can fly into Denver International Airport. Colorado Mountain Express (800-525-6363) provides shuttle service from both airports. From Eagle County, the rate is $46 per person, one way; from Denver, the rate is $73 per person, one way. Discounts are available for parties of three or more traveling together.
WHERE TO STAY
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa
50 W. Thomas Pl., Avon. 970-949-1234. www.beavercreek.hyatt.com
Rates for Technique Week
December 2–7, 2007 (with instructor Chris Anthony): $2,595 double per person; $3,095 single
December 9–13, 2007 (with instructor Deb Armstrong): $2,515 double per person; $3,095 single January 6–11, 2008 (with instructor Chris Anthony): $2,825 double per person; $3,550 single
March 31–April 4, 2008 (with instructor Deb Armstrong): $2,145 double per person; $2,595 single
Technique Week includes:
• Four- or five-night deluxe accommodations with breakfast daily
• Three or four days of skiing and personalized instruction with Deb Armstrong or Chris Anthony and teaching team from Vail/Beaver Creek ski school
• Three- or four-day lift tickets for Vail and Beaver Creek
• Nightly amenity package
• Complete skiing evaluation with the use of video analysis
• Take-home ski adventure DVD
• Credit to the newly renovated Allegria Spa for a treatment
• Welcome reception dinner
• Après ski events and parties
• Two or three dinners, depending on length of stay
• Evening seminar on nutritional and ski conditioning
WHERE TO EAT
Toscanini, Beaver Creek Village, 970-845-5590
Beano’s Cabin, 970-949-9090 or www.beavercreek.com
Beaver Creek Chophouse, 15 W. Thomas Pl., Avon. 970-845-0555 www.beavercreekchophouse.com
Rocks Modern Grill (après ski), Beaver Creek Lodge, 26 Avondale Ln. 970-845-9800