So Much Fun Whitewater Rafting with Performance Tours!

Going white water rafting has been on the bucket list and this summer we crossed it off our list while vacationing in Keystone, Colorado.  We had the most amazing experience with Performance Tours! They offer several trips in different areas, all within an hour or two of Keystone Resort.  The closest rafting trip was the Blue River half day, but we wanted a full day trip, so we looked at the Royal Gorge Full Day and The Brown’s Canyon Full Day trips.  The Royal Gorge is a little further away from Keystone and the rafting is a little more challenging than Brown’s Canyon. Since it was our first time rafting, we decided on the Brown’s Canyon Full Day.  It costs $98 for a child and $108 for an adult, but as SummitCove guests, we got a special discount for everyone in our group!

 

We met our guide at the Performance Tours Boat House in Buena Vista, at 10:00 am and then we shuttled to the put in at Fisherman’s Bridge.  Everyone was chatting about it being a perfect blue sky Colorado day and the views of the Collegiate Peaks were astounding. It was amazing how many companies and people were all there at the put in and yet how quickly we still got out on the river.  Our guide gave us a safety talk and told us she had been guiding this part of the Arkansas River as well as the Royal Gorge for 5 years. I felt confident in her abilities and she was super friendly and had vast knowledge of the river.  

 

The river was fast moving and our guide was shouting paddle commands at us and we were following her directions with wide eyes!  Our guide had complete control of the raft. It would look like we were going to hit a rock and then at the last second she would turn the boat and we would skim past the rock and catch the current, it was so exciting!  This stretch of river has several class 3+ rapids and I was launched out of the boat in the rapid called Pinball. I was paddling and the next thing I knew I was in the river, completely under water. Before I had a chance to freak out I looked up through the water and I was right next to the boat.  I could see our guide. Before my head was above water I reached my hand up and our guide grabbed my life jacket and before I knew it she pulled me back in the boat. I was in and out of the river so quick, it was like it never even happened. I had an incredible rush of adrenaline and I am grateful for the quick response of our raft guide.  She was awesome and saved me from a nasty swim!  

Brown's Canyon Rafting Whitewater Rapids

 

We stopped for lunch, on a sandy beach, on the side of the river and had make our own sandwiches, with all the fixings.  I don’t know if it was the swim I had or the mountain air but that was the best sandwich I ever ate. After lunch we continued on and hit more rapids, with the last rapid being Seidel’s Suckhole.  Our guide said it is named that because years ago a guy named Seidel got sucked into the hole and he is still down there! We nailed that hole and fortunately everyone stayed in the boat and noone got to meet Seidel.

 

The joke became that the swimmers had to buy beer at the end of the trip and I was the only swimmer that day, so it looked like the beer was on me.  We shuttle back to Performance Tours Boat House and I ran and got some beers and we sat out on the deck with the guides and the other paddlers on our trip, recapped our awesome day and looked at our pictures from the trip.

 

Thanks to Performance Tours white water rafting is crossed off our bucket list but it left us wanting more.  So we added rafting the Royal Gorge to our bucket list. We will be back to do the Full Day Royal Gorge Trip with Performance Tours.  They take safety and having fun seriously. We have an amazing story to tell and an adventure we will never forget! Thanks Performance Tours, for the thrill of a lifetime!

 

Are You a Cornhole Master? Show Off Your Skills This Sunday!

Are you a cornhole master?  It’s time to break out those skills this weekend in Keystone!  Now is your chance to backup all that talk about your cornhole expertise with a friendly cornhole tournament.  Along with the Bluegrass & Beer Festival this weekend, August 3 & 4, New Belgium is hosting a Cornhole tournament.  The tournament takes place from 12:00pm – 2:00pm at Warren Station on Sunday afternoon. Come show off that college Cornhole acumen. There is a bonus prize for best team uniform so dust off those superhero capes or beer mug costumes of yours!  Of course New Belgium is hosting the tournament, so beer sipping will go along with the tossing. You could be good enough to be this year’s Crowned Cornhole Champion in a single elimination tournament. Games will  be held on the Warren Station Patio starting at noon on Sunday. Teams will compete in pairs and the winning team will walk away with a grand prize. Entry is $30 per team and includes two complimentary beers per team. Be sure to get registered early before it sells out! 

Cornhole Tournament at Warren Station

Bluegrass & Beer Festival ticket and lodging packages for the festival this weekend are still available with SummitCove Lodging until 4pm on Friday, August 2nd. Packages can save you up to 15% on your lodging and tickets.  Book a condo in River Run Village and walk to the festivities all weekend long.  Stop by the SummitCove Booth inside the festival to get a free pretzel necklace and to enter to win a prize package for the 2020 Bluegrass and Beer Festival at Keystone!

Keystone Science School Offers Incredible Summer Camp Programs

Keystone Science School has amazing programs for kids ages 5 – 17, all summer long.  They offer many different camps during the summer and break them up based on age.  The day camps are Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 5, with an optional overnight on Wednesdays.  They have 1 camp counselor to about 6 kids. They also offer overnight camps, which are 6 days and they pack in a lot of outdoor adventure.  In both the day camps and overnight camps, the campers go on nature hikes, summit mountains, go white water rafting, learn to rock climb, have campfires and really live the wilderness camp experience!  Lastly, they also offer 2 Wilderness Adventure Camps where kids sleep in tents while exploring Colorado and Utah. The Keystone Voyagers Camp is for kids ages 12 – 14 and it is one week long. The other camp is Keystone Mountain Adventures and this is a multi-week camp.  These camps are field-based and not only do the kids learn a lot about science, and nature they also build leadership skills and friendships. The Keystone Science School also offers financial aid to campers to make this experience more affordable.  Families can plan a summer vacation based on the camp dates and parents can enjoy some alone time while kids attend camp during the day! Choose a condo or vacation home in the West Keystone area of the resort to be super close to the Science School headquarters! 

 

The camp I picked for my girls, 8 and 10 years old, was the Water Adventure Camp.  It was $449 for the week. We did get some financial aid so that really helped. In this camp my girls learned so much about water ecology and water safety through fun activities.  They went canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and white water rafting, which was their favorite. They both wanted to spend the night on Wednesday and it was probably their most memorable part of camp.  They sang songs around the campfire with the new friends they made. They loved spending the night with their new friends and their super cool Camp Counselor. They also loved the independence. At the end of the week both my kids were happy, tired and couldn’t wait to do it again next summer.  This camp helped build their self esteem and leadership skills. Making friends was also a highlight and they are both busy planning their next adventure with the kids from camp. I love that my kids are involved with other kids that like the out of doors more than their electronics! This is definitely an experience that will positively affect both my girls’ lives and we will be signing them up again next summer!  

Keystone Science School

I think it is worth mentioning that the Keystone Science School also offers a few other programs.  The Catch Program is an after school and summer program for kids in the Summit County School District.  ‘Catch’ stands for Coordinated Approach to Child Health. These programs are offered on a sliding fee scale and teach healthy physical activity and eating habits, while having fun.  Keystone Science School also offers a Girls In Stem Program. It is an empowering, hands-on program that brings real-world learning in a fun environment. Female STEM professionals are involved in the program to help support females students who want to enter the male-dominated workforce, in science and math.

Whichever program you and your child pick, they are guaranteed to learn and grow so much, while having the best time of their lives.  The Keystone Science School is an amazing experience for kids!

Catch Some Laughs at the Summer Comedy Series at Warren Station

There’s no shortage of laughs this summer with the Summer Comedy Series at Warren Station at Keystone Resort.

This Thursday, July 18, 2019 catch the second installment of comedy with Brandt Tobler and opener Geoff Tice.  Brandt Tobler is a comedian, author and actor originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  He has been featured on a number of shows on Comedy Central, Fox and ESPN and has an award winning podcast, ‘The 31’ and best-selling memoir, ‘Free Roll’ that was released in the summer of 2017.

 

The final installment of the Summer Comedy Series will take place on August 22, 2019 featuring headliner David Rodrigues and opener Mike Hammock.  David has been on the comedy scene since 2015, when he won Denver Comedy Works’ ‘New Faces Competition’, followed by numerous other awards  including 1st place in the Stand-up Showdown at Denver Improv and winner of the 2017 Comedy Works’ Funny Final Four. Mike Hammock also won the ‘New Faces Competition’ in 2018 and combines edgy humor with a broad good natured approach.

Tickets for each event are $15 in advance or $20 day of show and the shows are 18 and up events. Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 7:30, seats are general admission, first come, first serve.  Don’t miss out on your chance for a night of fun at Warren Station at River Run Village in Keystone! 

 

Live Music at the Dillon Amphitheater This Week

Just 7 miles west of Keystone, on the shores of Lake Dillon sits the world class, recently renovated Lake Dillon Amphitheater.  The backdrop of Lake Dillon and Ten Mile Range serve up some of the best sunsets along with National music acts all summer long in Summit County.  The amphitheater also hosts outdoor movie nights, yoga, and even dance lessons. A full schedule of summer 2019 events can be found here: https://www.townofdillon.com/events/dillon-events-line-up.

 

This weekend on Friday, July 11th, 2019 the amphitheater hosts Robert Cray.  He has been crossing the lines between blues, soul, and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 critically acclaimed albums, this is a free show you don’t want to miss, starting at 7 pm.  

 

On Saturday July 12th is another free reggae concert.  The Pato Banton concert is an event not to be missed and an experience not to be forgotten. Positive vibrations with a beat will keep you dancing, while Pato delivers a message that is for the mind and soul. His performance has been likened to live theater where audience members become participants. Pato and his music have given audience members the strength to “Stay Positive” & “Never Give In.”  Catch the tunes beginning at 7pm, bring a blanket and enjoy an evening by the water. 

 

Next week at the Dillon Amphitheatre features two nights of Colorado Jam Band, The String Cheese Incident, who is back for the 2nd year performance at the venue.  The band is celebrating 25 years together and the shows should be two nights of surprises and fun from this popular band! Tickets are still on sale, but will likely sell out soon.

String Cheese Incident Dillon CO
The String Cheese Incident Playing For a Sold Out Crowd in July 2018

Regardless of your favorite music genre, these concerts will get your toes tapping and awaken all of your senses!  Don’t miss the chance to attend an amazing event at the Dillon Amphitheatre during your Keystone vacation!

 

Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival is Almost Here!

Calling all oenophiles and music lovers. It’s time for the Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival!  Filled with wine tastings, educational seminars and live music from such great artists as Pg6ix, Kirby Velarde quartet, Harold Rapp, Jackiem Joyner, Stanley Jordan, and Selena Albright.  All these greats are headlined by crowd favorite Dotsero. The River Run Village Grand Tasting brings it all together. With our epic summer time days here for this fabulous festival, the mountains are calling. The festival kicks off with a reserve wine tasting this Friday, July 12th at 7:00pm and continues through the weekend.

Wine and Jazz Festival Pour

The wine seminars are an engaging and fun way to increase your wine knowledge.  Starting Saturday, July 13th at 12:00pm at Warren Station we have “Let’s talk DIRT-Y” with viticulturist Rudy Marchesi.  He was Oregon’s person of the year and is the owner of Montinore Estate in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. He is a leader in certified organic farming and the biodynamic community.  Don’t miss his story and wine tastings. Included is a 2017 Pinot Fris, NV Borealis, 2018 almost dry Riesling, 2017 Red Cap Pinot Noir, and a 2014 Grahams Block 7 Pinot Noir.

Next up at 2:00PM at Warren Station is Master Sommelier Roland Mico leading the “More than Pinot Noir” seminar.  Alternatives to Pinot Noir being served will include a Nerello Mascalese and a Beaujolais.   

Ending the day nicely we have “Let’s Talk Tequila – Shaken, Stirred, and Straight”.  This takes place at Warren Station at 4:00PM. We all have our favorite Margarita places.  Presented by Tyler Wang, you will learn history, production, and an insider’s guide to Tequila.  You will also learn about pairing ingredients and try a Paloma Cocktail. Included are samplings of El Tesoro Tequilas. Concluding this fascinating seminar will be a cocktail creation demonstration.  Take your newfound seminar knowledge and browse the wine tents in River Run Village while listening to some fantastic jazz and enjoying the wonderful summertime weather in the mountains. 

Make sure you stick around for Sunday’s festivities.  The day opens with the annual favorite seminar, ‘Prosecco and Pancakes’, running from 10:30am – 12:30pm at Warren Station.  Enjoy scrumptious Ruffino Prosecco Cocktails with an interesting mix of pancakes, toppings and classic breakfast sides, a great way to start the day!  

Finish off two days of education, memories, fun, wine, spirits and bubbles with “Name! That! Wine!” at 2:00pm at Warren Station.  The presenter is Ben Braley. You will try blind tastings and learn more about approach and flavor characteristics for many different varietals.  This will all take place in an exciting game show style format. Blind tastings are an excellent way to learn about our own palate and what you are smelling and tasting.  

We hope you can join us for this amazing weekend of Wine and Jazz.  Stay the weekend and book one of our ticket and lodging festival packages, where you can save up to 15% on your weekend. But hurry, package sales end Friday at 4 pm.  If there is a certain seminar you are interested in attending, be sure to also purchase your seminar tickets in advance, as they typically sell out! Book a River Run Condo with a festival view and you can watch the music from the balcony and you won’t have to worry about driving anywhere after wine tasting. We hope to see you this weekend! 

Digging into Mountain Biking Dirt Camp for Kids at Keystone!

My 12 year old daughter is fearless.  She loves any sport that involves going fast and defies gravity.  Her favorite sport is rock climbing and she can do that at a gym any day of the year, but when the weather is nice, she is a mountain bike girl all day long. She mastered the uphill skills near our home in Golden, but was not super confident on the downhill sections.  Last summer, we noticed that Keystone was offering ‘Dirt Camp’ for kids ages 9 – 13 and she begged to get in on the action. She loved every minute of it and learned some great bike skills. All winter she waited for the 2019 dates to be announced and made sure we blocked the dates off until she could register.  

 

The first session of 2019 Keystone ‘Dirt Camp’ started on June 24.  She walked into the bike school building and noticed her favorite bike coaches from last year were back.  They all greeted her by name and after a round of fist bumps, checked over her bike for mechanical issues. We walked over to Keystone Sports to get her outfitted with downhill gear, with her coach in charge of making sure everything fit properly.  

Summer Mountain Bike Dirt Camp for Kids at Keystone CO

Coaches spent the first day helping the kids practice the skills they would need on the mountain.  Track stands, wheelies, slow speed turns, cornering, etc.. Torrey felt like she mastered the techniques by the end of the day.  When she returned to our condo at the Springs building, she was beaming with pride that she had gotten ‘camper of the day!’ She spent the evening in the pool telling her friends that they should go to the next camp session.

 

The next day, the campers hit the mountain to practice their newly acquired skills. Torrey reported that they couldn’t do some of their favorite trails, like “Girl Scout” because of snow at the top.  They were able to do “River Run” and she felt like she was working beyond her comfort zone. By day 3, she said she was really trying to push herself and maybe went too far. She took a hard fall, but was glad that she had a full face helmet and compression jacket.  Her instructor let me know that they looked her over thoroughly and felt she could finish the day. At the end of day 4, Torrey was sore and tired. She had backed off on her speed and felt safer, but she was working hard to master the tough terrain of blue trails. Though she was tired, she was so excited to get to class on day 5.  As I dropped her off, she asked if she could register for the next session, happening in a few weeks on July 15 -19.

 

If you have a child interested in developing their mountain bike skills, I highly recommend Keystone Dirt Camp! The instructors are fantastic.  In fact, they are considering hosting a similar camp for women that I just might look into for myself and a group of friends. After all, I need to keep up with Torrey! Each camp entry includes one on one instruction, Dirt Camp swag, daily bike, equipment & storage during the camp, a daily bike haul ticket and trail access. 

SummitCove Lodging Bike to Work Day 2019

A big shout out to the SummitCove team members who participated in Bike to Work Day Colorado 2019!

Participants were greeted around Summit County and Colorado with bike stations to encourage riders, some with free breakfast and giveaways items.  Biking to work has a variety of benefits including helping you to stay healthy and active, saving money by using less gas and reducing your overall carbon footprint.

We hope that everyone is inspired to bike to work more often throughout the year and give a bike thank you to those who participated.

Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day

Stars & Guitars: New and Improved 4th of July Celebrations at Keystone This Summer!

This summer, Independence Day visitors are going to love the brand new, totally stacked, weekend packed lineup this year for the 2019 4th of July celebrations at Keystone Resort. ‘Stars and Guitars’ will be an entire 4 days of fun with live music, the bike parade, B.L.A.M., BBQ’s, Kidtopia Kidzfest, activities and more.

The festivities start off on Thursday, July 4th with the annual Independence Day Bike Decorating Parade in River Run VillageSummitCove Lodging will be on hand, passing out free bike decorations and cheering on the parade.  Bring your bike and add some sparkle, happening from 10:30 – 11:30 am on July 4th.  Following the parade, families can head over to Lakeside Village for the Bubble Beach Party from 12 – 1 and create bubbles as big as your head! Looking for some creative fun? Check out the Star-Spangled Cupcakes and Canvases event at the Kidtopia Headquarters at Expedition Station from 3 – 4 pm. The Independence Day Party kicks off from 3 – 7 at Lakeside Village with face painting, live music, crafts, bounce houses and more!  Finishing off the night will be the So What Brothers, as they take the main stage at Lakeside from 4 – 7 pm.

 

Day two of celebrations starts at the Kidtopia Stars & Stripes Party & BBQ at Lakeside Village from 12 – 6 pm on Saturday, July 5. You’ll enjoy field games and a summer BBQ, along with the live music and antics of Circus Foundry, performing from 2 – 5 pm and then Meadow Mountain playing from 2 – 4 pm.  You can also take a ride on the Keystone Gondola, free of charge, at the Friday Afternoon Club anytime from 1 – 7 pm.  Cap off the evening with a cold beverage, live music and shopping from local artists at Warren Station’s B.L.A.M. (Beer, Local Art & Music) from 5 – 9 pm in River Run.

 

Saturday is a day for the kids! Kidtopia Kidzfest happens from 11 am – 3 pm in River Run Village.  A Kidtopia Train will be winding through the village with free rides all afternoon. Kids can get their faces painted, jump in the bounce house or ride down the giant inflatable slide – the choices for fun are endless!

 

The music doesn’t stop on Saturday either with the Kidtopia Stars & Guitars Concert. Cover band, Rock and Roll Playhouse will play your rock favorites such as Tom Petty and Rolling Stones from 3 – 5 pm.  The main act, Hazel Miller Band will be rocking the main stage from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.  If the live music isn’t your jam, head over to the Adventure Center instead for Camp Night, where you can enjoy a fire with s’mores, crafts and more from 5 – 7pm!

 

Rise and shine Sunday morning for pancakes at New Moon Cafe, followed by the Strider Balance Bike Races in River Run from 10 – 11 am.  Enjoy a relaxed afternoon by the Lake in the Lakeside Gazebo with live Bluegrass music from Moidel Music and Colorado Wildflower Crafts, where participants can color their own flower pots to bring home as a souvenir!

 

Don’t forget to squeeze in your other favorite summer activities while you are here, like downhill mountain biking, fly fishing on the Snake River, stand-up paddle boarding or going on a Wildflower Hike atop Dercum Mountain. There’s so much to do that you might find you need to stay a whole week at Keystone this summer! Check out available vacation rental condos here- we recommend staying in River Run or Lakeside Village for the 4th of July holiday to be where the action is. Make your plans today to enjoy a whole new Independence Day weekend celebration at Keystone this summer!

Labor Day Weekend at Keystone Resort

Head to Keystone this weekend for some Labor Day weekend fun and family friendly events!  On Friday, head up the River Run Gondola – FOR FREE at the Friday Afternoon Club!  Head to the top for some pre-5K stretching on a mountain top hike and then sit back and enjoy live music and drink specials.  On Saturday, participate in the Das Bier Burner 5K at noon to earn your free brat and beer at Keystone Oktoberfest, which kicks off after the race from 1 – 6 pm. Keystone’s Oktoberfest is one of the most family friendly in all of Colorado, with dancing, face painting and performances from the Edelweiss Schuhplattlers dancers.  German Fare and of course Oktoberfest beers, live music and polka dancers complete this great event at Keystone.  On Sunday head to Lakeside Village for ‘A Taste of Keystone’ where you can sample delicious cuisine from Keystone’s best restaurants as you take in the views and enjoy live music around the lake.  Rent a stand up paddle board or paddle boat for a fun afternoon in the sun.

Kids enjoying Chicken Dance at Keystone Oktoberfest

 

Enjoy one last weekend in the mountains before Fall arrives!  View available weekend lodging in Keystone on our website.