Planning Your Ski Tip on a Budget: Part 3 – Food and Dining

One advantage of staying in a vacation condo versus a standard hotel room is that they most often come equipped with a kitchen. If you have skied at any resort before, you know that eating out or even just having lunch on the mountain can be expensive, so having access to a kitchen and the ability to enjoy a nice dinner around the fire in your condo can save you a pretty penny.

Ski resorts are often in remote locations and the price of food can be higher than in a normal city setting.  When you are heading to Keystone, we recommend doing your grocery shopping before you get to Keystone at the City Market in Dillon (about 7 miles from Keystone). They have a good variety of options and better prices than the smaller markets in Keystone.  Many of our vacation condos have a crockpot and there’s nothing better than getting back from a long day of skiing and having dinner already made and ready to eat! A personal favorite crockpot recipe of mine is this recipe for Korean Tacos.  Stock up your fridge and buy things like sandwich meat, cheese and hearty rolls to bring your own lunch on the mountain and pocket snacks like granola bars, string cheese, beef jerky and trail mix.  Pickup some quick to make breakfast items like bagels with cream cheese or easy breakfast burritos with eggs, cheese, sausage and whatever veggies you have on hand wrapped in a grilled tortilla. Chili and spaghetti are hearty meals that can feed a group on a budget. To save money and not have to throw away food when you leave, plan out your meals in advance and think about buying versatile ingredients that can be used in a number of meals.

Of course, it’s great to be able to treat yourself when you’re on vacation too and go out and enjoy some of the local fare.  Personally, experiencing new food and going to new restaurants is one of my favorite parts of going on vacation. For those of you who are looking for some inexpensive spots to eat, don’t forget about happy hour. There is a plethora of great places that have specials and/or happy hours for you to take advantage of. One of my personal favorites is at the Arapahoe Cafe in Dillon.  Visit their ‘Pub Down Under’ for $6.50 specials each night, ranging from Burger Night to Taco Night. I can personally say, they have yet to disappoint me. Another personal favorite is Kemosabe Sushi in Frisco. They have a $4-$6-$8 menu with several different options for sushi rolls, drinks, sashimi, etc. from 4pm until 6pm.

Here in Keystone, the Snake River Saloon is a great option. They have happy hour drink specials as well as 50 cent wings. The Snake River Saloon is on the bus route in Keystone, so you won’t even need to get in your car!  Dos Locos Mexican Cantina is another great spot for happy hour with deals on tacos, wings and margaritas!  Luigis Italian restaurant also has a progressive happy hour with deals on beer, appetizers, and even personal pizzas.  Enjoy an early dinner and early bedtime!  

Don’t forget to check out your exclusive Key to Keystone coupon book which has some great restaurant deals like a free margarita with purchase from Dos Locos, 10% off a pie from Pizza 101 and $12 off dinner at the Snake River Saloon.  It even has a coupon for Room Service Direct which will deliver a meal right to your condo on those nights where you just want to stay in.

Written By: Elizabeth Constantine

Grocery Shopping & Meal Planning Tips for Your Next Keystone Ski Vacation

The great thing about renting a condo versus a hotel room is all of the extra space and typically, access to a full kitchen.  Preparing meals at your condo instead of eating out for every meal can make a huge difference in your vacation budget and save you a ton of money. It is also a good way to choose healthy meal options. But it does require some planning, maybe you still want to dine out a night or two or have an early apres happy hour / dinner, but you know you will want some snacks, lunches and dinners at the condo. So how do you shop for groceries while you’re on a ski vacation?

If you are arriving by shuttle, grocery shopping can be especially challenging. The closest large grocery store to Keystone is City Market in Dillon which is 7 miles from the resort. In Keystone, there are a few options for your basic necessities like bread, eggs, milk, granola bars etc. One great option is to stop at the Gateway Grocers here in the Gateway Lodge, the same building as the SummitCove check-in office. When you stop to check-in, you can easily pop in and grab some snacks, milk, beer, and more.  In River Run Village, there is the Rockin’ R Ranch located next to the Zuma Roadhouse, at the base of Arapahoe Lodge. This mini grocery store will get you by if you plan on going out to eat most nights. Over in West Keystone, there is a little gas station with Keystone Grocers inside. This store has a few more options than Rockin’ R Ranch but is also not a full grocery store. Keystone Grocers also has a liquor store in the building as well.

Here in the high country, you should try to buy beer, wine and liquor at a liquor store. The gas stations and grocery stores only sell beer that is 3.2% alcohol, Colorado State Law. Remember though, altitude affects your blood alcohol content. If you normally drink 2 beers and feel okay, that might not be the case at 9,000+ feet. Please drink responsibly!

Another option if you are arriving by shuttle or want to avoid the grocery store lines is to plan for Peak Provisions to deliver your groceries to you! They have a long list of options on their website with snacks, entrees, bakery items, meat and seafood to choose from. They also offer prepared meals if you don’t want to ‘cook’ but still want to eat in your condo, all you have to do is pop it in the oven when you are ready. The best part is that they deliver directly to you, you can arrange for it to be delivered to your condo before you even arrive in Keystone. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

If you are renting a car or driving your own, we recommend stopping at City Market in Dillon on your way into town. They have all of the comforts you would expect at your home grocery store and at great prices too! It’s not a long drive back to town, but if it is snowy the roads can be bad and stopping before you get here is your best option.  There is also a Natural Grocers and Target in Silverthorne for additional shopping options.  Plan out your trip ahead of time and decide how many meals you want to eat out and go from there.

Ok, so maybe now you feel comfortable about where to shop, but now you have to decide what to shop for.

Lift Ride/On-Mountain Snacks:

  • Granola bars
  • String cheese or wax-wrapped cheese snacks
  • Beef jerky
  • Trail mix
  • Fruit snacks
  • Clementines
  • Yogurt-covered raisins or pretzels
  • Baby Ruth, Snickers, or other nut-based candy bars

For meal planning, think about buying items that can be used in multiple meals and get creative to avoid waste and leftover food at the end of your trip.  For example, have beef tacos for dinner and then use the leftover meat, cheese and peppers in a breakfast burrito the next morning. This will save you on cooking time in the morning too, or you can even prepare them the night before and microwave them in the morning. Leftover eggs? Why not have breakfast for dinner with blueberry pancakes and bacon!

Each full kitchen in a SummitCove condo is stocked with all the amenities you need for cooking your favorite meals including pots, pans, dishes, silverware and utensils. All of our condos are stocked with salt and pepper, but you may want to buy or bring a few other spices and olive oil for cooking. For breakfast, eggs are always a great choice, a full serving of protein and very filling to get you through the morning. Oatmeal, bagels, or yogurt and granola are also great, easy breakfast ideas. For lunch, if you’re not eating out on the mountain you might want to pack a bagged lunch to keep in a locker at the base, or maybe just go back to your condo for a quick lunch break, depending how close your condo is. Peanut butter and jelly is an easy and quick go to. Or maybe get some deli meats and cheese to make a quick cold cut sandwich. Some good snacks are hummus and veggies, apples, bananas, and crackers with cheese. For dinner, quick and easy meals are the best, since you will most likely have worked up quite an appetite on the slopes. Many of our properties are stocked with a crock pot and we would be happy to loan you one if it does not. This way you can put something together in the morning, let it cook all day and come back to a hot dinner that is ready to go. Think about preparing a delicious chili with sour cream, cheese and dipping bread or a yummy pot roast and potatoes meal.

These are just a few ideas to get you started and make you feel confident that eating meals on a ski vacation can be easy and save you money. If you arriving by shuttle make sure to plan ahead of time and check out the Peak Provisions website. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!  Don’t forget your reusable cloth grocery bags!

Written By: Chelsea Gribbin