With 150 trails and 1,832 acres of ski terrain, Beaver Creek has come a long way since its first opening day in 1980, a celebration that featured former president Gerald R. Ford. The 2020-2021 season marks 40 years for Beaver Creek. The closing day at Beaver Creek is April 11 (Vail will close April 18).
5 facts about Beaver Creek
- The earliest known inhabitants of the Beaver Creek Valley were primarily the Utes as well as hunting groups from the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. The Utes were called Blue Sky People by other tribes. They called the peaks around them the Shining Mountains.
- Mining operations in Leadville and Aspen brought those who were tired of the daily grind of mining and living underground to an outdoor farming lifestyle. Instead of taking land, the farmers reaped what they sowed. Growing potatoes and lettuce became popular and profitable for a period in the early 1900s.
- Beaver Creek Resort pays homage to the original settlers of the Beaver Creeks through many addresses, business names and trails. Townsend Place and Allies Cabin are named after the George and Allie Townsend ranch family. Allie has been nicknamed the First Lady of Beaver Creek. Frank Bienkowski of Chicago was nicknamed Beano. He grew lettuce and sold it to Avon. Bienkowski settled near what is now known as the Beanos Cabin. Zachs Cabin at Bachelor Gulch was named after another homesteader who was a deputy sheriff who died in the line of duty.
- Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert, credited with being the founders of Vail, first considered turning Beaver Creek into a ski area. Eaton was well acquainted with the area since his relatives were also settlers from Beaver Creek. Eaton visited Seibert in the Beaver Creek Valley in the 1950s, but Willis Nottingham was unwilling to sell his property, so Eaton and Seibert moved east and eventually developed Vail.
- Before Beaver Creek opened, Pete Seibert took celebrities, ski writers and famous skiers on catamaran tours. The group would be driven in an IMP, a smaller version of a full-size snowcat. The tour included lunch at the Seibert Hotel, which was a former barn from one of the original Beaver Creeks families.
Vail Dailys Tricia Swenson has compiled a comprehensive list of 40 things to know about Beaver Creek, celebrating its 40th birthday. Read her story online at http://www.vaildaily.com. Swenson compiled the list of information gathered from discussions with longtime locals, her own experience as an instructor at the Beaver Creek Children’s Ski and Snowboard School, and books in the public library of Avon.
5 things to do
Challenge heels: This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, instead of hosting the 18th annual One-Day Talons Challenge, it can be completed by April 4. The event is also free this year, so why not give it a try? This formidable feat of skiing or snowboarding 26,226 vertical feet over some of Eagle County’s most rugged terrain in one day can instill fear in some and awe in others. Pick up a Talons Challenge ID at a participating business in Beaver Creek Village, complete the 26,226 vertical foot mountain challenge, and return to a store to redeem a collectible pin (IDs and pins available while supplies last).
Programming of the Vilar Performing Arts Center in March: The Vilar Performing Arts Center, a 535-seat amphitheater located under the Beaver Creek Ice Rink, hosts a variety of shows the rest of the winter, with a solid summer lineup coming together as well.
- March 21 and 22 An evening with Chris Thile 7:30 p.m. $ 98
- March 26 and 27 The California Honeydrops 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. $ 75 for general admission, Saturday 8:00 p.m. will air
- March 28 Jim Breuer presents Freedom of Laughter Tour 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. $ 62
Explore Beaver Creek Wonder: New this season, Beaver Creek Wonder features a new artistic playground of oversized, photo-friendly sculptures offering unique experiences scattered throughout the village. Each element is designed to appeal to families and provide a photo-worthy backdrop to capture and share. From towering frost flowers to ice bikes and a giant snow globe, Beaver Creek Wonder pays homage to winter and summer, reminding the resort that the resort is a year-round destination.
Live music: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, live music fills Beaver Creek Village. Musicians from Apres also perform throughout the week and on weekends as well. There are also silent discos at the ice rink on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Shopping and catering: From clothing to equipment, from brand name to locally made, from fine art to jewelry, Beaver Creek has a variety of shopping options in its village within walking distance. As the winter season draws to a close, keep an eye out for these end-of-season offers. Beaver Creek also offers fine dining, quick service, and take out options throughout the village and resort.
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