Oktoberfest Comes to Keystone Colorado on September 7, 2013!

Nothing screams fall like Oktoberfest season and this year Keystone is hosting its own Oktoberfest Celebration with Colorado Beers in River Run Village on Saturday, September 7, 2013!  Commemorative mugs will be available for purchase for just $25 and you receive 3 free beers with your mug purchase!  Four local breweries will be on-hand, serving up the freshest seasonal brews, including Breckenridge Brewery, Dillon Dam and Pug Ryan’s.  Food and beer will be served all day from 2 – 6pm.  You might even see some pretzel necklaces floating around!  What’s good beer without pretzels?!  A free concert will also be at the center of the festivities, with ‘Those Austrian Guys’ playing throughout the day.  This will be a family-friendly event, with activities available for kids and adults!  Purchase your Beer Steins early here: https://www.eventbrite.com/event/7721399915.

Prior to the Oktoberfest festival, check out the A-51 Backyard BBQ Rail Jam taking place at the West Gondola Parking Lot, starting at 11:30 am.  Enter the jam for your chance to win some awesome prizes or just stop by to watch some great athletes putting on their best show!

Backyard BBQ River Run Rail Jam 2012

This will be an awesome way to wrap up one of the last weekends of summer in the Rockies!  Book your discounted lodging here.  Don’t miss this fun weekend in Keystone Colorado.

Labor Day Weekend in Keystone

Labor Day is almost here, meaning colder months are just around the corner!  Summer in Keystone is coming to a close, with just a few more scheduled summer events and the bike park coming to a close tentatively on September 15. Labor Day Weekend is a great time to come up and enjoy some of the last weeks of the summer before the snow starts to fall.

Kicking off Labor Day weekend in Keystone will be the last 2013 edition of the Friday Afternoon Club, featuring free gondola rides up to the top of Dercum Mountain.  Enjoy yard games, hiking, and a free concert at 11,000 feet with music from The Luv Brothers from 4 – 7pm.  This is a great way to explore the mountain, take in the views, and enjoy food and drinks and a free concert at altitude.

On both Saturday and Sunday, check out a new event in Keystone, Cirque Due Wheels happening in River Run Village.  Saturday’s circus event features a free, live circus act, bringing in wild entertainers who perform juggling, aerial fabric acts, and other fun entertainment, from 3 – 7pm.  Sunday is the main event; Cirque Due Wheels,a circus themed bike festival.  Participate in events like competitive racing, costume contests, circus performers, live music, food, and of course all the biking you can handle!

Also taking place on Sunday in Lakeside Village is the annual food festival event, a ‘Taste of Keystone.’  There’s no better way to sample the best food from some of Keystone’s Top Chefs.  Tasting tickets will be available for purchase at this single-day event, so come walk around the beautiful Keystone Lake and satisfy your taste-buds with cuisine from some amazing local Keystone restaurants including the Alpenglow Stube, Ski Tip Lodge,  Keystone Ranch, Bighorn Steakhouse and the Black Bear Grill.  There will also be live music and a silent auction benefiting Mountain Mentors.

The annual ‘Taste of Keystone’ Festival happening at Keystone’s Lakeside Village Area over Labor Day weekend

Make your reservations for Labor Day Weekend in Keystone today!

Keystone Kidtopia Snow Fort

If you are visiting Keystone this winter, you will certainly run into this larger than life snow fort at the top of Dercum Mountain, just to the left of the River Run Gondola.  Each year the kids snow castle has a new theme, usually Dragon related.  The fort contains tunnels, lookout towers, and even a unique ice sculpture throne perfect for being crowned King or Queen of the castle, playing tag, or even a playful snowball fight. 

The snow fort is part of Keystone Kidtopia, a festival that is designed just for kids, exclusively at Keystone! The 2012/2013 Kidtopia features daily programming all season long, rather than just on busy weekends like last year.  Some other feature events include Saturday Evening Fireworks shows, Disco Tubing, Glowtown Skate nights, Cupcakes and Canvases, cookie Hour and S’mores Saturdays. You and your kids will have the time of their lives this season while visiting Keystone Resort!

Night Skiing in Keystone, Colorado

The sun setting at Keystone Resort

One of our favorite things about Keystone Resort is Night Skiing! Keystone offers visitors with one of Colorado’s longest ski days- you can ski or ride long after nearly all the other mountains close.  Your lift ticket is good all day and into the night!   Watch the sun set over the beautiful Rocky Mountains while enjoying a few more runs. The serenity of the mountain at night is a completely different unique experience than what you get during the day.  Check out the schedule below for night skiing hours and dates and be sure to try it at least once during your visit to Keystone!

2012/2013 Keystone Night Skiing Schedule
Wednesday, November 21 – 25, 2012
November 30 – December 1, 2012
December 7 – 8, 2012
December 14 – 15, 2012
December 21 – January 6, 2013
January 9 – April 7, 2013 (Wednesday – Sunday and select Holiday Mondays)
Open 7 days a week during March

Hours: (On Days With Night Skiing)
Open until 8p Wednesday – Saturday
Open until 6p Sunday and select Holiday Mondays
A51 Terrain Park closes at 6p all night ski nights

Avoid I-70 Traffic Jams During Ski Season

Winter weather conditions and numerous travelers on the roads can sometimes clog up traffic on I-70 back and forth between Denver and the Mountains, especially on weekends and Holidays during ski season.  With a little planning and traffic watching, it can be easy to avoid the traffic jam and spend more time on the slopes, instead of the highway.

Winterize Your Vehicle
Your vehicle makes a huge difference in your travel experience to the mountains.  Be sure you have a vehicle with good tires, 4-wheel or all-wheel drive, working windshield wipers and finally a full tank of wiper fluid.  Even if the going is slow, a well-equipped vehicle will allow you to move with the flow of traffic without having to worry about sliding off the road or not being able to see the car in front of you.  You might even think about placing a sandbag or bag of kitty litter in the trunk to add more weight- it’s also nice to have on hand in case you get stuck anywhere to use for traction!

Leave Early… Very Early
Although 5 am may seem early, it’s a sure way to beat the interstate traffic crowds, both going to and from the mountains.  The early bird gets the worm… or in this case the fresh powder and open roads!

Leave Later in the Day… Have Dinner, Hit the Hot Tubs, etc.
Enjoy another day on the slopes and finish up your last day with an early dinner, happy hour, or one last trip to the hot tubs.  Typically the traffic clears up later in the afternoon or early evening, but you just have to time it right.  Have fun hanging out and be sure to keep an eye on CDOT’s website for traffic updates and to view live cameras or you can even sign up for traffic text alerts!

Stay an Extra Night
SummitCove.com can offer amazing last minute deals for adding an extra night if your property is available.  This way you can squeeze in an extra day of skiing, hot-tubbing and relaxing before you hit the road. Leave early Monday morning for a nice quiet drive, sans traffic.  If the weather is bad, wait it out an extra day to see if things will clear up.

Take an Alternate Route
 If you really need to get back to Denver quickly, think about taking an alternate route.   Head West on I-70, getting off on the Copper exit, go through Leadville and Buena Vista, and down 285 back to Denver.

 

Welcome Winter Thanksgiving Weekend at the Family Carnival in Keystone

Welcome Winter Family Carnival – Warren Station Center for the Arts
A new event will be taking place this year in Keystone over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. The Welcome Winter Family Carnival is taking place at Warren Station on Saturday, November 24 to kick-off the winter season!  The free event begins at 3pm and will feature tons of fun activities for the kids to enjoy – face painting and balloon art from Freya the Winter Fairy, a bounce house and indoor games. Starting at 6:30 pm, enjoy the sounds of live music when Chris Thompson & Coral Creek put on a high energy concert! The band features original material in the rock, reggae, country and bluegrass genres, plus great covers from The Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Dylan, Peter Rowan, Jimmy Cliff and others – including unique renditions of traditional bluegrass tunes and rock classics.

 

Free parking will be available at the River Run Lots, located just off Gondola Road.  Don’t miss this fun new event in Keystone over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend!

Easy Cooking in Your Ski Condo

Feeding your family during a vacation can be tough.  Long days, busy schedules, and high altitudes may make you want to order in pizza every night, but we’ve got a few recipes that will be easy to prepare and save you money by not eating out every night. The nice thing is that most of our vacation rental properties in Keystone feature a full size kitchen and all of the cooking supplies you need to make a great meal.  Cooking while you’re on vacation does present its challenges- you’re usually working with fewer tools, unfamiliar appliances and without your normal spice cabinet.  You will also be busy with activities and tired at the end of the day! What you should look for when you are planning your meals are some simple, easy-to-make recipes that will please even the pickiest eaters, feed a crowd, have few ingredients and make plenty of leftovers.  Here are four of our favorite easy dinner recipes for your next family ski vacation:

Easy Mexican Fajitas

Ingredients:
– Medium size flour tortillas
– 1 Lb. skirt or flank steak
– 1 Package taco of fajita seasoning
– 1 White or yellow onion
– 1 Red bell pepper
– 1 Green bell pepper
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– Prepared guacamole
– Prepared pico de gallo salsa
– Shredded cheddar cheese
– Sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.  Rub the steak with half of the fajita seasoning and salt and pepper and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Slice onions and peppers and then sauté in olive oil over Medium heat.  Take the meat out of the oven and then slice it against the grain in thin strips. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 30 – 40 seconds.  Serve ingredients in bowls or plates and let your family create their own as they please!

Beef and Bean Chili

Ingredients:
– 2 Lbs ground beef or buffalo
– 1 Large onion, chopped
– 2 Stalks of celery, chopped
– 8 Cups (4-15oz cans or 2-28oz cans) tomato sauce
– 8 Cups (4-15oz cans) beans (2 kidney, 1 pinto and 1 black or garbanzo)
– 1/4 Cup chili seasoning (your favorite brand)
– Salt & pepper, to taste
– Cayenne pepper, to taste
– Chopped fresh or canned jalapeno peppers, to taste
– 1/2 Lb. elbow macaroni

Directions:
In a large stockpot, brown the beef. Break it apart into large chunks, season with salt, pepper, and about half of the chili seasoning and cook until it is just slightly  pink.  Once the meat is browned, stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Bring everything to a boil and then cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  The flavors only get better the longer you simmer;  if you have a crockpot, you can throw everything in before you head out to the mountain, and the feast will be ready when you get back at the end of the day! In the meantime, cook up the pasta and set aside.  Once you are ready to eat, add the macaroni pasta to the chili and serve hot with shredded cheese, sour cream and corn chips or crackers for the perfect warm and easy to prepare meal!  You can leave the jalapenos out if your family doesn’t like spicy foods.

Italian Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli

Ingredients:
-2 Lbs. mix of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts
-8 Tsp melted butter
-1 Cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
-2 Tsp olive oil
-1 Lb. baby new potatoes, halved
-1 Half white onion, chopped
-1 Clove garlic, chopped
-1 Large head of broccoli
-1 Half of lemon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Dress the chicken with 6 tsp melted butter, then  roll in seasoned breadcrumbs and place in a casserole dish or roasting pan. In another pan, drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Chop the garlic and onions and add to the potato mix.  Cover both dishes with tinfoil or pan covers and cook both the chicken and potatoes for 40 minutes.  About 5 minutes before the timer beeps, steam the broccoli and top with juice of lemon, a pinch of salt and remaining butter.  Serve and enjoy!

B for D (Breakfast for Dinner)

Ingredients:
-1 Box of pancake mix
-Eggs (2 per person)
-Bacon
-Milk
-Fresh blueberries
-Butter
-Maple syrup
-Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:
Start with the bacon, either fry or bake according to package directions.  Make the pancakes according to recipe on box, adding the blueberries into the batter. Crack all of the eggs in a bowl, add a splash of milk, whisk and scramble, adding the cheddar cheese if you’d like.  Serve this for breakfast or dinner, a family favorite!

Keystone has a few small markets where you can purchase groceries, but we recommend planning your meals and grocery list on the plane or in the car ahead of time and then stopping at the City Market in Dillon before you head into Keystone.  You will be exiting off of I-70 at the ‘Dillon/Silverthorne’ exit, take an immediate left and the City Market will be two stoplights ahead on the left, and then Keystone is about 7 miles further down the road. Remember to look for recipes with a simple and short ingredient list that are easy to prepare. Also think about things that are easy and quick for breakfast and snacks to take with you on the mountain, such as granola bars.  Bottled water is not really necessary, as the water in Keystone tastes great! Many of our ski condos come stocked with crock-pots, which is a great tool for ski vacation meals- just throw it all in in the morning and dinner is ready when you get home!  Check out the SummitCove.com’s ‘Ski Vacation Meal Ideas’ Board on Pinterest for more easy recipes!

Visit Serenity Spa for Your Next Spa Treatment or Massage in Keystone

Located in Keystone, Colorado at the entrance to River Run Village and just a few doors down from the SummitCove.com check-in office is Serenity Spa & Salon.  They are a full service resort day spa and salon that promotes a relaxing, stress-free atmosphere, where their guests always come first; from hair care services and treatments to a wide variety of massage, skin care, body, hand and foot care treatments.  Whether you are looking for a relaxing afternoon with your girlfriends or a much needed massage to soothe those sore skiing muscles, Serenity Spa is the place to go in Keystone!

Serenity Spa & Salon features AVEDA, Rhonda Allison and Being True products known for their high quality and environmentally friendly, natural ingredients that are made from plant and flower extracts and essences. As their guest you can expect to be treated with the highest level of customer care. You can expect to “experience the difference” at Serenity Spa & Salon, which has been voted #1  in the ‘Best of Summit: Day Spa’ for the last seven years!  All SummitCove guests receive a money saving coupon for Serenity in their Key to Keystone Coupon Book!

We invite you to “Experience the Difference…” at this luxurious AVEDA Day Spa & Salon next time you are in Keystone Resort!

 

Ski Vacation Packing List

Packing for a ski trip requires a little more thought than the ordinary trip, as there is alot of gear and clothing involved.  When packing your clothes, remember: Layers are your friends and cotton is not. Cotton holds moisture in and will actually make you colder if it becomes wet.  Blended ‘wicking’ fabrics and layers will keep you dry and warm, making you a happy skier or rider.  Use this list below as your ‘base layer’ when packing for your next Colorado Ski Vacation.

Clothing

– Base ‘thermal’ layer top & bottom. Long underwear, tights, etc. avoid cotton and look for blended ‘wicking’ fabrics that will keep you dry.
– Warm socks, (avoid cotton, look for a wool blend) bring multiple pairs.
– Sweaters/long sleeve shirts for wearing around the Village at Keystone
– Light sweatshirt or flannel shirt for layering or as a substitute for a jacket on a nice day
– 1 to 2 pairs of jeans or pants (one casual and one dressy dark pair)
– Turtleneck (optional)
– One ‘dressy’ outfit for nice dinners… think dark jeans and a warm sweater with boots. Remember its cold and you’re in the mountains!  You won’t see many people wearing dresses, ties, or high heels of any kind.
– ‘Lounge’ clothes for game night at your condo or a movie
– Swimsuit to enjoy the heated pools, hot tubs, and saunas
– ‘Cover up’ clothes to wear TO the pool and hot tub
– PJs/Sweats
– Undergarments

Outerwear

– Hat
– Scarf
– Warm, water-resistant gloves
– Glove liners (depends on your gloves)
– Facemask
– Bandana (Can be used as a facemask or under your helmet)
– Googles. If you don’t have a pair you should really think about investing in some; they will last you a VERY long time,  keep your face warm and eyes tear-free and protected from the winds and sun. An orange lens is a great ‘all-around’ lens. Yellow or clear lenses are great for night skiing and the ‘fire’ or dark lenses are great for very bright, sunny days (but terrible for night skiing).  Look for discounted ski clearance shops online or the ‘one deal at a time’ type of websites that feature snow gear, you can often find a great pair for only $30-$40.
– Sunglasses, it’s VERY sunny in Colorado!
– Warm jacket or shell
– Fleece or sweatshirt to go under shell-style jackets
– Waterproof ski pants- jeans or windbreaker style pants will NOT do the job
– Snow boots or trail shoes to wear around town
– Pea coat or other jacket to wear when not skiing (not necessary)

Miscellaneous Items

– Camera
– Camera battery charger or extra batteries
– Helmet Cam (if you have one)
– Sunblock (or plan on buying some here)
– Playing cards
– Chapstick
– Tylenol or Advil for sore muscles or headaches
– Prescription Medicines
– Reusable water bottle
– Toiletries.. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, tweezers, makeup, etc.
– IPod or MP3 Player w/ Headphones
– Flip Flops to wear to the pool
– Slippers
– Laptop or IPad to send photos to your friends and make them totally jealous
– A good book to read by the fireplace
– Ski Passes or tickets if you have them
– Cell phone
– Phone charger
– Travel journal to record your trip memories
– Hand/foot warmers (if you tend to get cold)

A Few Tips:

– Pack & dress in layers. Colorado weather changes quickly so you may need to add or remove a layer in your outfit to achieve that perfect temperature.  You will even notice a drop in the temperature once the sun goes behind the mountain.

– It can be cold on the slopes, but remember you will be moving and working your body-  no need to OVER dress or you will find yourself sweating under your jacket! Many people don’t realize how much sun and warm winter days we have in Colorado. The coldest moments are on the chairlift or during a snowstorm, but you can always hop on the gondola to warm up!

– Drink lots of water before and during your vacation. It helps to prevent altitude sickness and combat our dry winter air.

– If you are bringing your own equipment, stuff and ‘pad’ your ski bag with the bulkier jackets and pants to provide extra padding for your gear and save room in your suitcase! Don’t forget your boots, helmet, and ski poles!

– Get your equipment waxed ahead of time so its ready to go when you get here.

– If you will be renting skis or boards, reserve them ahead of time for the best selection and to ensure the shop doesn’t run out of gear before you get there. Mountain View Sports offers 25% off rentals to SummitCove Guests.

– Look early for discount lift tickets online or consider buying a season pass. They usually pay for themselves after 4-5 days.  See your confirmation e-mail for a link to discount lift tickets.

 

 

New Private Home Available for Your Next Keystone Ski Vacation

SummitCove Keystone Rentals is proud to announce the addition of a new private home in the West Keystone area at Keystone Resort to our rental program.

Keystone Gulch Estate #1688 is a four bedroom, three and a half bath home,  just minutes away from the Mountain House Ski Lifts and Base Area at Keystone. This property features some incredibly unique amenities, including a private indoor hot tub, foosball table and a massive flat screen television that emerges from its own cabinet via remote control!  Recent upgrades include new carpets, updated decor and furnishings. This property is tucked away in a serene mountain setting, close to hiking and snowshoeing trails, Keystone golf courses, the Keystone stables, and the free Keystone Resort Shuttle stop.

This immaculate home has it all! The open floor plan and vaulted ceilings throughout the house really enhance the space and the mountain decor will make you feel right at home. Huge windows boast sensational forest views  in both the winter and summer months. A private heated two-car garage keeps your car warm and snow free during the snowy winter months.  Downstairs in the living area and great room you will find a wet bar, huge flat screen TV with surround sound, along with a stereo system that has the ability to broadcast throughout the house!  There is also a plethora of board games and a chess board to host a family game night by the fire on a chilly winter evening!

Did we mention the state of the art kitchen? Whether you are making a snack or a gourmet meal, this kitchen has everything you could ever want. Top of the line appliances including double ovens, granite counter tops, and directly open to the dining area, you will fall in love with this fully stocked luxurious kitchen! Outside is a private gas grill and patio area to extend your space in the summer months and allow you to take in the serenity of the forest.

The master bedroom suite is straight out of the magazines, with mountain views, a private gas fireplace, sitting area, king bed and master bath with jetted tubs and separate luxurious shower.   A secret ‘hidden’ rotating TV feature will really impress and allow you to watch from bed or the sitting area!  Talk about a private retreat!  Two of the other bedrooms offer queen and full beds, with the fourth bedroom featuring bunks and a trundle bed for kids or a large group.

If you have been searching for the perfect mountain escape to host your next family ski vacation, wedding group or Colorado family reunion, be sure to check out this amazing mountain home, now managed by SummitCove Lodging!  Hurry, prime dates will book quickly at this spectacular home!