Beaver Creek, CO

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44 thoughts on “Beaver Creek, CO

  1. Duncan October 27, 2018 / 10:34 am

    Shouldn’t Haymeadow express be called Buckaroo Express?


  2. Jonathan March 27, 2019 / 9:10 am

    I think Beaver Creek needs to do the following upgrades:

    1. Do the McCoy Park Expansion (same as what is planned for 2020)

    2. Replace Strawberry Park Express with 8 person gondola (capacity of 3200/hour)

    3. Replace Upper and Lower BC Mtn. lifts with 8 person gondola with mid point where the two lifts meet (Capacity of 2500/hour)

    4. Replace Elkhorn with High Speed quad from Lower BC Mtn Express. Do a similar mid station like Orange Bubble Express in Park City. (Same Capacity)

    5. Replace Highlands Lift with new fixed grip quad (Capacity of 1800/hour)

    6. Replace Arrow Bahn with 6 chair (Capacity of 2500/hour)

    Please let me know your thoughts on this.


    • skitheeast March 27, 2019 / 11:46 am

      1) Yes
      2) I see the argument for an upgrade in capacity here, not sure if a gondola is necessary though
      3) I would honestly replace Lower BC and Bachelor Gulch with a 2 stage gondola and make the angle/mid station basically where the Ritz is. Possibly even attach it to the Riverfront Gondola. That way Mamie’s can theoretically have dinners when the slopes are closed and the people staying at the Ritz can have easier access to Avon after skiing.
      4) If you mean having Elkhorn start where Lower BC starts, that would not make sense because Elkhorn needs to start where it does as trails and there and there are no other lift options. Agree is should go detachable though and maybe extend it to top of Strawberry Park.
      5) Yes
      6) I would replace it with a gondola and have it end at the top of Bachelor Gulch.


      • The Bachelor Gulch Express lift has trails of its own and is used for a fair amount of lapping, so a gondola isn’t really possible. Even so, a two stage gondola with a midstation at the Ritz would be impossible because of all the houses in the way.


        • alex June 20, 2019 / 11:55 am

          This is not true. There was (and still is) a lift line available if they ever decided to replace lower/upper BC express with a two stage gondola. You can see where the mid-station was originally planned to be in the little indentation off Daybreak Ridge Rd (its now a car drop off spot) between the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch and Snowcloud lodge.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif December 24, 2019 / 9:30 am

        I think at most, I could see the Strawberry Park Express becoming a chondola much like the Centennial Express lift.


      • Donald Reif December 14, 2020 / 9:36 am

        If making Elkhorn into a high speed quad, I would have to build a ski bridge across the road to eliminate the need to have loading areas on each side. Park City had a similar issue with the Town lift where it originally had two loading areas separated by a road, with the second one getting eliminated with the construction of the Town Bridge in 2000.


    • Donald Reif December 24, 2019 / 9:30 am

      McCoy Park is going through, with a high speed quad for lapping and a fixed grip quad for egress.


  3. Kaden K June 20, 2019 / 9:47 am

    Why are there no Leitner-Poma lifts at beaver creek?


    • jcpierce05 June 20, 2019 / 11:11 am

      I would guess it’s maintenance. You would have to train them to do work on Leitner Poma lifts. That’s probably why Breck hasn’t installed Doppelmayr since the T-Bar. I’m my opinion, Doppelmayr makes higher quality lifts then Leitner Poma and I think they are trying to keep a luxury resort feel.


      • Donald Reif June 20, 2019 / 8:47 pm

        Each resort has different preferences. Breck is a Leitner-Poma loyal resort, Beaver Creek is a Doppelmayr loyal area, and Vail proper has gone back and forth between Doppelmayr and Leitner-Poma with their newest lifts.


      • pbropetech November 30, 2020 / 8:57 am

        Nothing to do with maintenance, unless you’re talking commonality of parts. I’ve worked on six manufacturers in my career, and there’s no specialised training that would prevent a mechanic from working on a specific manufacturer. There would be a familiarisation period, of course. As far as luxurious goes, you should ride the new Flyer at Copper. I’d argue that it’s as smooth and comfortable as any lift out there.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Cassius Masters September 1, 2019 / 5:58 pm

    Where does one park at BC? The gooooogle map isn’t very forthcoming.


    • Donald Reif September 2, 2019 / 7:06 am

      There’s parking garages in the Beaver Creek Village, with escalators up to the Centennial Express. Or you can park in Avon, and ride the Riverfront Gondola over to the Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express.


      • Cassius Masters September 4, 2019 / 9:03 pm

        Garages? What sorta bougie place is this?


        • Ryan Murphy September 4, 2019 / 10:32 pm

          Beaver Creek and Deer Valley are luxury first, skiing second. They’re in a league of their own.


        • skitheeast February 3, 2021 / 12:06 pm

          Beaver Creek is no doubt a luxury resort, but parking garages are not unique to the mountain. The two neighboring I-70 resorts, Vail and Copper, both have at least one garage because there is limited room at the base with the highway and villages squeezed between the mountains. On the east coast, Stratton has a garage because they wanted more parking when they constructed their village.


        • Bob October 11, 2022 / 10:59 am

          Partly there’s a garage due to space. Unlike some other resorts, Beaver Creek’s Village and base are in a fairly skinny valley, which causes there to just not be the space needed for massive parking lots. Therefore, VR decided to build a garage underneath the village, where you can then ride escalators to the lifts (oh, the luxury). Also, someone decided to build a bunch of multi-million dollar houses and massive golf courses where the parking lots should go, causing all the non-garage parking to be far away.


    • Kevin September 4, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      Elk Lot or Bear Lot, you’ll have to pay to park there but it isn’t as expensive as parking at the base garage. Elk lot is a short shuttle ride to the base, Bear Lot will shuttle you to Chair 15. 3rd option is Arrowhead, but that lot fills up quickly.


  5. Andrew Riedell March 8, 2020 / 9:05 pm

    Bachelor and Cinch have their verts mixed up in the table (and perhaps their other metrics as well, not sure)
    Thanks for the stats otherwise!


  6. Thomas Jett November 30, 2020 / 1:16 am

    Does anyone know why there was never a chair 3 built?


    • Boardski February 3, 2021 / 3:56 am

      Chair 3 was originally planned to originate to the left of lift 2 (looking up the mountain) and terminate just above the bottom of lift 4. It seems as if the snow retention might be an issue in that area. In the building for the original Lionshead Gondola at Vail, there was a topographic model which showed all of the planned lifts at Beaver Creek. Interestingly enough, except for lift 3, all lifts were built exactly as planned on that mode

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif February 3, 2021 / 6:05 am

        Part of me suspects that lift 3 would’ve been built as a high speed quad and called the Lower Horseshoe lift.


  7. Coloski December 3, 2020 / 7:44 am

    Peter, can you add the chair numbers to the spreadsheet please? Thanks


  8. jcpierce05 February 2, 2021 / 5:40 pm

    A couple questions regarding Beaver Creek:

    1) Why does Beaver Creek have three different paint schemes for their lifts? Chairs 1, 4, 5, 6, 8,10, 12, and 14 have a nice cherry red to them, chairs 9, and 11 have a bright apple red, and chairs 15, 16, and 18 have a muddy brownish red color to them. I get that with chair 16 they may have been trying to blend the bottom terminal in with the Ritz, but for the other lifts, I feel like they should all be the same color. Chair 17 could stay the same, as it’s next on the list for replacement. Will Beaver Creek stick with the cherry red for McCoy park or will they go with the brownish red?

    2) Is it just me or is Beaver Creek super crowded this year? Lines are 10+ minutes on 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 16, parking is all filled up by 9:30am most weekend mornings, when in years past you could easily find a spot in the Bear Lot at 10:30am. I am also pretty disappointed that there are no cookies this year, but I can live without them.

    3) Any idea why they haven’t opened Grouse Mountain and runs off of Birds of Prey? Beaver Creek says they have a 30″ base, and Keystone has a 31″ base, yet Keystone has much more terrain open. There are a fair amount of rocks and twigs sticking up on the groomed runs, but arguably they could open up 10 to spread some of the crowd out. I do think it would be helpful if Beaver Creek did some brush cutting this summer.

    For the spreadsheet, Drink of Water Lift had 176 chairs.


    • Donald Reif February 2, 2021 / 5:46 pm

      1) Candy apple red is the paint color for the Beaver Creek Mountain lifts, while maroon red is the color for the Bachelor Gulch area lifts.

      3) It is dependent on ski patrol.


    • skitheeast February 2, 2021 / 8:51 pm

      The crowding may be a result of the reservation system. Historically, Vail’s I-70 resorts in order of visitation have been Vail, Breck, Keystone, Beaver Creek. However, Beaver Creek actually has a higher capacity than Keystone. So, unless Vail has been suppressing Beaver Creek’s slots to preserve its more luxurious reputation, Beaver Creek would have more reservation spots than expected, which would correlate to more visitors when resorts start running out of spots.


      • Donald Reif March 14, 2021 / 8:07 pm

        Beaver Creek’s larger capacity is no doubt because it has a much larger lift system that can better distribute people around (Keystone has way too many chokepoints).


  9. Tyler February 3, 2021 / 8:39 am

    Breck and Keystone have been selling out every weekend day all season, but you can usually get a reservation at Vail or BC the day before.

    I’ve been to BC a couple times on the weekends this year and I’ve hardly seen anyone around. Ski right up to Larkspur, Strawberry Park, Rose Bowl, Birds of Prey without stopping. Centennial, Cinch, and Red Buffalo get a bit crowded but much less than the comparable bottlenecks at Vail like 11 and 4.


  10. Alex Kennedy February 14, 2021 / 10:23 pm

    Wow. I think this is one of the only resorts having all Top Drive and Bottom Tension Lifts (with the exception of Birds of prey Express)


  11. skibumbarnes March 2, 2021 / 5:15 pm

    I think Beaver Creek should somehow make these 2 changes possible:

    1. A gondola to replace Upper and Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express: A gondola to replace Upper and Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express I think would be great. Firstly, these are transport lifts that ultimately connect two different parts of Beaver Creek. I think gondolas or larger chairlifts (6 and 8 packs) are the best solutions when making a transport lift. The reason I think this alignment should be a gondola is because the lift would feature a mid station in the area where the current upper terminal of Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express currently is and the lower terminal of Upper Beaver Creek Mountain Express currently is. I think mid-stations generally work better with gondolas because they allow for easy onload and offload, when with most chairlifts they only can normally feature only onload and offload instead of both. Another reason why this alignment would be great for a gondola is due the fact that this is where many people start their day off at Beaver Creek. With parking lots at the bottom of Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express, it is the only way for the people who park in those lots to get up on the mountain. Personally, I think a gondola is a great way to get people up on the mountain. A gondola allows people to sit down in a somewhat enclosed and private area, which somewhat allows them to think out their plan for the day on the mountain. (Personally, when I ski at Stowe and start my day in the gondola, it helps me plan out my day better and gets me pumped for the day. I don’t know if thats just me but..) I think the gondola should just be a typical 3,200 pph gondola, and if you want to get specific, a Doppelmayr 8-MGD would probably work real good for the alignment. Overall, I think a gondola would be a massive improvement in terms of getting up onto the mountain at Beaver Creek.

    2. Elkhorn lift upgrade: Elkhorn doesn’t does not need an upgrade too much, but with two perfectly fine lifts just removed, why not upgrade the last (major) fixed grip at Beaver Creek? Either Upper Beaver Creek Express or Lower Beaver Creek Express can be used here and would increase the capacity where Elkhorn currently runs by a lot. Elkhorn also shares a fair share of trails as well, and was probably eventually going to get replaced sooner than later, but instead now they do not have to build an all new lift, saving Beaver Creek/Vail money.

    I could see Vail Resorts putting money into these sort of plans maybe in around 7 years, but with a plethora of other resorts Vail owns I can’t assume what resorts they will be investing into.

    Here is a map of the lift upgrades I proposed with a shortened summary of what I just said as well:


    • skitheeast March 14, 2021 / 6:03 pm

      I agree with both of your ideas, although I would have the gondola mid-station be down at Bachelor Gulch like they originally planned. This would allow guests staying there to utilize the lift as well.


    • Brownsfan27 March 14, 2021 / 6:34 pm

      The issue with Elkhorn is that it crosses the main road, which means it has a mid-station. Pretty sure Vail will not put in that kind of money for a lift that does not see much action.


    • Donald Reif March 14, 2021 / 7:56 pm

      The Upper and Lower Beaver Creek Mountain Express lifts should stay as is. They’re relatively new, and UBCM serves a vital link in that it allows one to travel directly from Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch to the Talons pods (Larkspur, Grouse Mountain, and Birds of Prey), bypassing Beaver Creek Village entirely (before 2004, you had to take Intertwine down to the Strawberry Park Express lift). These people would probably prefer not to have to take their skis off when transiting east, and the number of people using it to transit out of the Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch pods is probably larger than people coming up from Avon.

      Upgrading Elkhead, on the other hand, that could be done with an all-new lift. It would certainly get Beaver Creek to the point of effectively having a 100% detachable fleet when its mainline lifts are concerned, just like Vail. The one caveat would be the road crossing, but there are ways this could be solved. (Ideally, I’d go with a ski bridge, which PCMR did to get rid of Town’s mid-load station in 2000).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob August 11, 2022 / 7:34 pm

        I wouldn’t be against UBCM getting bubbles. That lift can be extremely long and extremely cold.


  12. Peter March 8, 2021 / 2:13 pm

    Looks like theres a nice steep, alpine bowl up between the tops of Beaver Creek Mountain and Grouse Mountain. Has this ever been considered to be developed into the Beaver Creek resort as hike-to-terrain or even lift serviced terrain?


    • BC Skier Guy March 11, 2021 / 1:23 pm

      This is an area of terrain known as the Bald Spot, popular with backcountry skiers and accessed from the top of Chairs 5 and 8. I don’t believe there are any plans to incorporate this into the resort and its not currently in the permit boundary. I’m pretty sure the Bald Spot is close to or partially located in the Holy Cross Wilderness, making any resort expansion difficult if not impossible. Plus, this terrain is very windswept and avy-prone which makes any expansion unlikely to begin with.


      • skitheeast November 1, 2021 / 4:27 pm

        Much of the bowl, including almost everything above ~10,800 ft, is a part of the Holy Cross Wilderness Area and therefore unable to be developed. Beaver Creek can theoretically expand east towards Minturn or west towards Edwards, but not much south.


  13. skitheeast March 14, 2021 / 6:14 pm

    Residents of Eagle-Vail have been trying to get a lift from the EagleVail Golf Club up to Beaver Creek for a number of years. The lift would be pretty long, over 1.5 miles, and therefore likely be a low-capacity gondola. However, Vail has shot them down every time. For Vail, they do not want to have to pay for the lift or its operation given that it will give them little in return. Eagle-Vail has not proposed adding a full base area with parking or a decent lodge, so it would only really be accessible for residents. Eagle-Vail has offered to pay for the lift but not its operation, which Vail still views as too little. Plus, Vail would rather request the USFS to extend its SUP for what it views as more beneficial projects in the future.


  14. Donald Reif December 20, 2021 / 4:10 pm

    11 towers and 94 chairs on Reunion:


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