Changes to Parking at Keystone Ski Resort for the 18 / 19 Ski Season

If you haven’t visited Keystone Resort before or haven’t visited in a few years, we want to let you know that the parking rules in the resort area have changed quite a bit and continue to change each year.  Keystone is still one of the few resorts to still offer free skier parking! 

 

Keystone Resort has been working on their strategic parking plan, trying to make the best use of all parking lots while still keeping day skier parking in the Montezuma and North Shuttle lots free. Unfortunately there is a capacity to the amount of parking available in Keystone and to continue to make it fair to all users, they have updated the parking rules again this year.

 

Last year Keystone Resort restricted the number of spots available for overnight guests. This has continued for the 18-19 season. Last year the only free overnight overflow parking lot was located in the Keystone Lodge and Spa parking lot. This lot will still be free for overnight guests with a parking permit, but they are reducing the amount of spaces available in that lot for overnight guests on a first come, first serve basis.

 

New this year, the resort will be opening up paid overnight parking in the Hunki Dori Lot, Gold Bug and Mountain House A, B, D and E (formerly the Marmot, Porcupine and Pika lots). These lots will cost $20 per night, in addition to the daily fee and must be paid at the kiosk, they cannot be paid via the passport app.  

 

SummitCove Vacation Lodging as a limited amount of overnight parking passes available for $15/night in the Montezuma Lot at River Run Village. These will be available on a first come, first serve basis upon check in.

 

Many condo buildings in Keystone have a strict one car per condo policy. The reason being that most of these buildings actually only have enough spots for each condo to have one space. We highly encourage you to carpool to Keystone for your stay or consider taking a shuttle. Airport shuttles go straight to Keystone from Denver International Airport. All SummitCove guests receive 5% – 10% shuttle discount with our partners Summit Express and Fresh Tracks.

 

Once you’re in Keystone there is a free resort shuttle that will take you anywhere you’d like in the resort and Summit County has a free bus system that will take you anywhere in Summit County including Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge.

 

If you are expecting to be traveling with a large group or multiple vehicles, you may want to inquire about renting a private home with larger parking availability.  

 

Day parking is still available for free in the Montezuma Lot, North Shuttle Lot and Powerline Lot. All other lots are pay parking for day users using the Passport Parking App.  If you have any questions, please reach out to a SummitCove guest service agent or call us at (970) 368-7023. 

 

MINI Cooper Takes the States 2018 Landing in Keystone Resort

MINI Cooper Takes the States 2018 is back this summer for its 7th biennial consumer loyalty event with a final destination, the ‘Rally to the Rockies’ at Keystone, Colorado. MINI drivers will head from both the East and West kickoff points, starting in Portland, Oregon and Orlando, Florida.  The event starts simultaneously on both ends of the country on July 14, 2018, each side featuring 7 stops before joining the route in the middle for the final weekend at Keystone Resort, July 20 – 22. Drivers will be able to experience the fun and excitement of a unique road trip experience  as they wind their way to Colorado. Once MINI drivers reach Keystone, there will be a fun weekend planned consisting of activities, awesome drives, fun events, parties and more.  The only stipulation to be a part of this fun event?  You have to drive a MINI to get there! Owners, future owners, fans, and more of MINI’s are all invited to join MTTS 2018! Registration options start at $75, so get registered today and join the fun!

 

MINI Cooper Takes the States 2018 July 20 - 22 at Keystone Resort Colorado
MINI Takes the States 2018 July 20 – 22 at Keystone Resort Colorado

 

Book discounted lodging for the event with SummitCove Lodging here:

MINI Takes the States 2018

 

SummitCove Lodging has over 300 vacation lodging properties at Keystone Resort.  Guests will enjoy additional discounts on local activities, equipment rentals and dining in the area.  SummitCove has a convenient local check-in desk at Keystone Resort that is open 24 hours a day for guests.  Book your lodging today because this event weekend will sell out!

 

The Age Old Question: Should I Purchase Travel Insurance for My Colorado Vacation?

The end of March brought with it a lot of snow, a blizzard hit the Denver area with 1 to 2 feet of snow falling on March 23rd.  This was perfect timing for Spring Break skiers and riders to enjoy the powder, but with one catch: only if they could actually get to the mountains.  Denver International Airport closed for most of the day and had to cancel more than 1,300 flights, leaving many hopeful skiers stranded at their home airports as air traffic across the country was disrupted by the storm and flight cancellations. Roads in Colorado closed as well, leaving many people unable to make the trip.
 
Here at SummitCove Vacation Lodging we started getting calls from guests who would be arriving late or had to cancel their trip completely.  Unfortunately, we were unable to offer refunds based on our Cancellation Policy – which is standard in the vacation rental industry.  However, our guests could have been reimbursed for the cost of their lost lodging and often airfare too by purchasing travel insurance when they set up their reservations.   
 
We ask all of our guests if they would like to purchase travel insurance when they are making a reservation with one of our vacation planners.  This insurance costs about 7 percent of your reservation total to add it to your reservation and covers things like flight delays or cancellations, illness that prevents you from traveling or the death of a family member.  There are some additional coverages for lost baggage and emergency accident or sickness with medical expenses during your trip.  The insurance also offers emergency roadside assistance and trip delay expenses, for example if you had to stay the night at an airport hotel if your flight was cancelled.
 
Traffic backing up on I-70 during a winter storm. Avoid stress by purchasing travel insurance for your next Colorado vacation.
According to statistics from the US Travel Insurance Association, one in six Americans say their travel plans have been impacted by medical conditions, natural disasters including severe weather or flight delays.  Only one in five people whose travel plans were impacted had purchased travel insurance. 
 
When you stay with SummitCove Vacation Lodging, all of our guests have the option to purchase travel insurance from RED SKY Travel Insurance.  We have worked with them for years and have found them to be a terrific company when handling claims for our guests.
 
 
We recommend travel insurance for all of guests to protect your investment in the event of an emergency. Although it may seem easy to just say no when asked if you’d like to add trip insurance to your reservation, you may want to think again and say yes next time, especially when you may have thousands of dollars on the line for your upcoming family vacation.  We guarantee you will be glad you have it the next time a big storm rolls in to Keystone or the Denver area.  I-70 road closures happen fairly frequently during the winter months when the weather turns bad and it is not uncommon for people to get stuck for a few hours or sometimes an extra night in the mountains.  When you have trip insurance, you can relax and just enjoy another powder day on the mountain without having to stress about your travel plans!
 
Written By: Cindy Lucero

Wassail Days in Frisco CO

Take a walk down Frisco’s Main Street this December to experience Wassail Days. All participating shops will be serving their own version of Wassail (and in some cases delicious sweet treats) from December 4th through 13th, during business hours. In addition to the free samples to warm you up, there will be daily winter activities to accompany Frisco’s welcoming of winter!

Frisco Wassail Days
Photo courtesy of www.townoffrisco.com

What is Wassail you ask? It is a hot spiced drink served over the holidays. It this case, it will be variations of hot cider. Wassail is also known as the tradition of going from house to house singing carols. Partake in this traditional holiday event by going to business to business trying out their different recipes (singing is optional)! Before you start, pick up a “12 Sips of Wassail” card from the Frisco Visitors center for an opportunity to receive a commemorative Frisco Wassail mug when you visit every stop.  There are some fun events scheduled including an ‘Ugly Sweater Challenge’ and the ‘Soup Cup Classic’ at the Frisco Adventure Center featuring unlimited soup tasting and tubing!

Frisco is just a few miles from Keystone and is a fun place to spend an afternoon.  Take your family snow-tubing at the Frisco Adventure Center and then warm up with your free cup of Wassail!  Be sure to take advantage of your Key to Keystone coupon for discounted tubing for your family.  For more information or to view a full schedule of events for Frisco’s Wassail Days, click here. 

Written By: Lauren Smith

 

I-70 Mountain Express Toll Lane To Open This Winter

This past summer and fall, anyone traveling to or from Summit County probably drove through road construction at some point as workers paved the way for installation of a new toll lane on a section of the Eastbound I-70 corridor between Empire and Idaho Springs.  This new lane is one solution of many proposed ideas to help to alleviate some of the heavy traffic congestion issues, particularly on the weekends and holidays during the ski season. Drivers who use the new toll lane can expect to shave up to 30 minutes off of a typical drive to Denver on a Sunday in ‘ski traffic’.  Other solutions that are being put into action this winter include the enforcement of Traction Laws and Passenger Vehicle Chain Laws.

Heavy Ski Traffic on I-70

How the Toll Lane Will Work:

The new Eastbound toll lane is scheduled to be open for use starting Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. Availability of the Mountain Express Toll Lane will be offered 73 days per year and only during periods of peak travel such as the weekends and holidays.  The Express Lane stretches for 13 miles along eastbound I-70 from the Empire Junction through the Veterans Memorial Tunnels (aka Twin Tunnels) in Idaho Springs. When the lane is not open it will be considered a shoulder and it likely won’t be open during heavy snow periods.

When tolling commences, electronic message signs on the Mountain Express Toll Lane will clearly display the current toll price prior to Express Lane entrance points, so motorists will know how much they will be charged if they choose to take advantage of the lane.

Limitations on the Lane:

Semi-trailers, vehicles with more than two axles, buses or any trailers over 25 feet will not be allowed to use the lane. There is no set number of passengers required to use the lane and motorcycles are permitted as well, but keep in mind that anyone using the Express lane will be charged for use. High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV), motorcycles and hybrids will pay the same fees as everyone else; there are no free uses during normal operation.

Rates and Toll Collection:

There are two ways for drivers to use the lane, with an ‘ExpressToll’ account, aimed at regular users or a ‘License Plate Toll’, which is how a typical visitor would likely use the lane. The base toll rate for ExpressToll pass holders is $3 and with typical traffic volumes, it may range between $8 and $10.  At high traffic volumes, the afternoon rate ranges between $10 and $15 or higher depending upon trip reliability and traffic volume. The concept is basic- as traffic increases, the toll prices increase in order to keep the traffic moving.  Drivers who don’t hold a pass, using License Plate Tolling, will pay the toll plus an additional surcharge fee to cover the increased costs of processing the transaction without a pass. The bill will be sent to the registered vehicle owner.  There is no traditional ‘toll booth’, as overhead readers track tolling instead of requiring a stop and pay method.

The two existing general purpose lanes will remain free and open to all travelers at all times. If traffic gets detoured onto the Express Lane during an incident on I-70 or if there is an incident on the Express Lane, no tolls will be charged.

CDOT encourages motorists using the Express Lanes on I-70 to get an ExpressToll account and pass to save money on tolls every time.  The electronic pass means motorists with a pass will be charged automatically for the toll and avoid additional fees associated with License Plate Tolling.  Express Toll accounts and passes may be obtained at www.ExpressToll.com or you may call 303-537-3470 for more information.

Here is an example of the toll rates during a high volume time:

Express Toll

License Plate Toll

Morning

$3

$6.75

Afternoon

$10

$17.83

Mid-Afternoon

$15

$25.00

Late-Afternoon

$5

$9.92

Evening

$4

$8.33

We are excited to see how this new Express Toll lane can help locals and visitors alike experience easier and faster travel to and from the mountains this winter.  In addition to the new toll lane, there are some other tips to ensure a quick trip to the airport.  Stay Sunday night or opt for our late 8 pm Sunday checkout option and avoid the peak Sunday travel times.  Do you have flexible vacation dates?  Book your winter ski vacation for a non-peak weekend or even a mid-week stay, avoiding school breaks and holiday weekends. You will find wide open runs, short to no lift lines and better lodging rates and property selection. Call a SummitCove vacation planner today so we can help you find your perfect Keystone vacation rental.

Written By: Rusty Simmons

How to Plan For Travel During The USA Pro Cycling Challenge

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge has become known as “America’s Race” and is now one of the most important and prominent cycling races in the country. The race takes place over multiple days and covers a span of more than 500 miles and we are lucky enough to host it right here in Colorado. This years race will start in Steamboat Springs on Monday, August 17th and ultimately finish in Denver on Sunday, August 23rd. In between Steamboat Springs and Denver, the racers will travel through a host of towns including Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Frisco, Aspen, Loveland, Fort Collins, Golden and more.

So what does this mean for us in Summit County and those who will be traveling in the area during this time? Besides for the fact that we will be witnessing history right outside of our front doors, there will be thousands of people traveling here to do the same. And when thousands of people travel to specific areas, we get congested highways and roads.

The race will be in and out of Summit County all of next week. Not only will I-70 be affected but the County itself will see a large impact. Almost all state highways surrounding I-70 will have delays and closures scheduled throughout next week as well. Tuesday, August 18th will be the most heavily impacted day in this area.  From about 2:30 – 3:30 pm, I-70 ramps at Dillon/Silverthorne in both directions will be closed.  From 1:30 – 6 pm, Loveland Pass will be closed, but busses will be available to shuttle spectators up to Arapahoe Basin.

For more detailed information about road closures and the race itself please visit these two websites:
GO I-70
USA Pro Cycling Challenge

On Sunday August, 23rd the race returns to its roots, finishing off in Denver. The race will start in Golden that morning and is planned to finish at Denver’s Civic Center Park approximately 5 hours later. If you are in the Denver region on this day, plan for heavier traffic than normal. The event will be celebrated with food, drinks, vendors and much more. If you are in the area on this day I highly recommend being a part of this experience. Book discounted lodging for the event in nearby Keystone with SummitCove Lodging and enjoy 15% off stays when you use the promo code ‘ProCycle15‘.

 Written By: Patrick Foley

The Colorado ‘Bustang’ Shuttle: Affordable and Eco-Friendly Mountain Travel

If you live in Colorado, you most likely appreciate the opportunities our state provides when it comes to public transportation. Whether you are using the services because you have no other choice or just trying to be environmentally conscious, it is an extremely useful option.

Here in Keystone, getting from one town to the next is a breeze with the Summit Stage. It’s even free. In Boulder and Fort Collins the buses are flocking with students going about their day. In Denver, riding the bus is an essential part of many people’s lives. In Colorado Springs it is hard to even imagine life without the Mountain Metropolitan Transportation system.

It’s when you are trying to get from city to city that things can become difficult. At the moment, there are no major bus lines that will connect you to Denver from Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, or anywhere along the I-70 corridor. Over the past few years there has been a growing demand for some type of transportation along these routes. Currently, the only way to get from one major city to the next is by purchasing an expensive shuttle ride. Until now…

Colorado will turn many people’s dreams into a reality this upcoming Spring when they release, “The Bustang.” The Bustang is (more or less) the combination of a Greyhound bus and a Ford Mustang. The bus will hold 51 passengers, luggage, and six bicycles. The amenities on the bus include free wireless internet, usb ports, outlets, reclining chairs and possibly the most important amenity, a bathroom.

So, what routes will this bus travel along? Colorado Department of Transportation will provide services from 3 of Colorado’s major cities to and from Denver. Those three cities include Glenwood Springs, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs. Each bus will make stops at major towns as well as existing park and ride stations along the way. For example; the bus that travels between Denver and Glenwood Springs will make stops at Eagle, Vail, and Frisco.

The bus services will only run during the week to start. If that proves to be a successful venture, they will most likely add additional weekend trips. There will be one roundtrip bus each day between Glenwood Springs and Denver. Fort Collins and Colorado Springs will both have 5 round trip busses between Denver. All these busses will travel during peak hours only. There will be one off-peak bus from Denver to Colorado Springs each day as well.

There is a wide variety of people that will benefit from these busses. Many people will use the services as an alternate way of commuting to and from Denver. That will give these folks extra time to get some work done or even get another hour of sleep before/after the work day. With reclining seats and wireless internet available, both these options sound more appealing than sitting behind the wheel of your vehicle.

For those folks visiting Colorado on a budget, this bus will be a huge help. Instead of paying upwards of $50 for a shuttle ride to the ski resorts, you can easily cut that price in half. It will likely involve taking two busses, but if timed out correctly the process should be very easy. Not only is this a money saver but it is the safer option for those people who dislike driving in some of Colorado’s treturous weather. These busses will be equipped with drop down chains that can be applied in seconds for when the roads get icy or snowy.

If you are one of the many Colorado folks that have a particular week day dedicated as your ski day, this bus will come in handy for you as well. It is a small fee of $9 to get to Loveland from Denver or $17 dollars to go all the way to Vail. If you have traveled these mountain roads before, you are well aware that this is probably less than you would pay in gas.  It is also friendlier on the environment and could potentially ease traffic once it becomes more widely-used by having less cars out on the roads.  Not to mention the fewer miles and maintenance on your own vehicle!  You can spend the time reading, watching movies, napping or just enjoying the view!

Bustang fares will vary depending on how far you are traveling. Here is some of the standard projected bus fares:

Glenwood Springs    >     Denver     $28
Colorado Springs     >      Denver     $12
Fort Collins               >     Denver     $10

You will be able to purchase 10-ride, 20-ride, and 40-ride passes to save money as well.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has been working for years to design and outline the details of this bus. As Colorado and its mountains continue to become more popular every year, this new bus option couldn’t come at a better time. Whether you are just visiting or a Colorado local, we suggest you give The Bustang a try at least once! The projected launch date is March of 2015.

Written By: Patrick Foley

Do You Need 4-Wheel Drive in Keystone?

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

Do you need 4 wheel drive to get to Keystone Ski Resort?

A question we are often asked is “will I need to rent a four-wheel drive vehicle in order to get to keystone?”. The answer is a resounding “not at all”. Keystone is renowned as being the most easily accessible ski resort to get to from Denver and earned this reputation for several reasons.

 

The first is convenience. The majority of the short drive from Denver to Keystone is along the major I-70. This route is a very scenic drive that brings you into the Colorado Rockies, meanwhile passing through some of the old Colorado mining towns from the start of the gold rush. The drive ends shortly after passing through the continental divide via the Eisenhower Tunnel, the longest mountain tunnel in the US and the highest point of the Interstate Highway system. Once you are through the tunnel, the Dillon/Silverthorne exit is a short 10 minutes away.  Sometimes the road can get slick or snowy and we do recommend checking the ‘CO-Trip’ App if conditions are bad, as it will tell you estimated travel times and any current road closures.

 

Once you take the Dillon/Silverthorne exit, Keystone is a mere 10 minutes away on Highway 6, a four lane highway that is incredibly well maintained. Any night there is snow fall or accumulation on the roads, Summit County begins operating snow plows that run the entire night, or for as long as is needed depending on the snow. Keystone maintains and clears its own roads, parking lots, and even sidewalks daily. Summit Cove Lodging offers rentals at Lone Eagle and The Timbers, both of which are located along a heated road if conditions are still a concern for you. Also, much of River Run has underground heated garages, making parking a breeze and it’s nice to not have to scrape off ice in the morning!

 

If you are worried about driving in the mountains, another option to consider is booking an airport shuttle.  These shuttles do the driving for you and will drive you to our check-in office and then right to your vacation rental doorstep.  We recommend staying in River Run or somewhere on the Keystone Resort Free Shuttle route if you are going to be without a car.  All SummitCove Lodging guests receive discounted airport shuttles through Summit Express and Fresh Tracks.