Until recently, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead didn’t come to mind
immediately when visitors considered skiing Colorado’s Vail Valley.
But that’s changing.
Seven years ago the two villages and their ski areas became
linked to the better-known Beaver Creek Village via a high-speed
quad lift at Bachelor Gulch, but even then few guests wandered that
far off the beaten track. (Arrowhead is about 10 miles west of
Beaver Creek; Bachelor Gulch lies between the two.)
“For the most part, people who live in Arrowhead use that area,”
said Emily Jacob, spokeswoman for Beaver Creek Mountain, which
encompasses all three villages. “It’s one of the local
She added, however, the number of skiers at both of the
lesser-known villages has “increased quite substantially” in recent
years, as visitors have become more familiar with the terrain.
Between the two spots, there are 37 trails and three lifts. Add
in Beaver Creek Village and there are 146 trails and 14 lifts.
In all, the mountain offers 1,625 skiable acres, and one ticket
provides village-to-village access to all three ski areas.
In addition, lift tickets purchased there are valid at any of
Vail Resorts’ other Colorado ski areas Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone
and Arapahoe Basin.
Another major development that helped put the two villages on
the map was the opening last November of the 237-room Ritz-Carlton
Bachelor Gulch, just steps from the high-speed quad. The only hotel
property in Bachelor Gulch, it features a 21,000-square-foot spa
and fitness center, six food and beverage facilities, four tennis
courts and a full array of services for skiers and snow lovers.
“Bachelor Gulch definitely has come into its own with the
Ritz-Carlton,” Jacob said.
During summer, guests at the Ritz-Carlton and at any Vail
Resorts property, such as the Pines Lodge or the Inn at Beaver
Creek, have guaranteed tee times at the nearby Red Sky Golf Club,
which offers two new championship courses designed by Tom Fazio and
Greg Norman, respectively.
Unlike Beaver Creek Village, which clearly was developed for
visitors, Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch villages are patronized
mainly by Vail Valley residents. But there are plenty of
condominiums for rent and lots of food and beverage facilities for
guests who feel inclined to mix with the locals.
Beaver Creek Village offers three hotels, including the luxury
Park Hyatt, as well as a number of condominium units and dozens of
restaurants, bars and shops in a quaint, pedestrian village.
In addition, the town of Avon, located at the base of the
mountain, has eight moderately priced hotels and motels.
In all, more than 1,000 lodging units across several price
ranges are available.
“There’s something commissionable in each area,” Jacob said.
Despite the increasing popularity of Arrowhead and Bachelor
Gulch, there are no plans to develop them into larger resorts or
combine them with Beaver Creek into one large destination.
“It will always be a village-to-village experience,” Jacob said.
“We wanted to create a European atmosphere.”
Commissionable packages are available through wholesalers and