Keeping it FRESH


WINTER 2018-19

Vail Resorts is dedicated to providing the world’s best customer experience year-after-year, resulting in constant upgrades and exciting new technologies. Here is a look at what’s new at Vail & Beaver Creek for the 2018-2019 ski season.


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    Vail Mountain is installing 10 new low-energy + high capacity fan guns on Born Free trail in Lionshead AND upgrading pumps mountain-wide to increase snowmaking productivity.


    The Back Bowls will be even more accessible with a 30% increase in groomed terrain. Only a few more weeks until you can shred fresh corduroy on trails like The Slot, Poppyfields, Grand Review, Big Rock Park, Ricky’s Ridge, Yonder Gully and more!


    Located in Vail Village, the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum is back open after a year-long, $2.6M renovation. Make sure to check out the new interactive exhibits that delve deep into Colorado’s snowsports history. It is also a great place to stock up on unique gifts for all ages.



    Beaver Creek is focusing efforts on learning terrain with its reimagined Haymeadow Park Learning Area. Following the debut of the upgraded Red Buffalo Park beginner terrain in 2017-18, Haymeadow Park will feature a beginner gondola and lift, Haymeadow Express Gondola and Highlands Lift, in addition to magic carpets designed for beginner skiers and snowboarders — of all ages. Terrain improvements include a learning area with small terrain features, a beginner racecourse, Buffalo Bumps and Berms and Ske-Cology environmental learning. Haymeadow Park also features a new Ice Cream Parlour located at The Ranch, offering soup, sandwiches and more for kids enrolled in ski school.


    He can't carry your skis or give you directions, but Beaver Creek's newest ambassador will be accompanying the mountain safety team to spread the word about safety on the hill. Beaver Creek's first-ever mountain safety dog Willy is not a certified avalanche rescue dog, but his handler Mark Carll has plenty of important information for guests about safe skiing and riding in the mountains. Willy is a golden retriever. Follow his travels this winter using hashtag #WillyBeSafe.


    Planned for 2020-21, Beaver Creek's continued focus on family-friendly zones on the mountain continue with the McCoy Park expansion. The proposal includes lift-served ski terrain at McCoy Park, located at the top of Strawberry Park Lift and currently offering Nordic and snowshoe trails. The plan would add about 250 acres to the resort's skiable terrain, developing 17 trails that would be "groomable glades." About 75 percent of the terrain would be beginner, with the remaining being intermediate. All plans are subject to U.S. Forest Service approval and a decision is expected later in 2018, with a two-year proposed build out.

EMMA: A Digital Mountain Assistant at your Fingertips


Emma, The Epic Mountain Assistant is basically the Siri of the slopes. Emma offers guests an unprecedented breadth of information tailored to each resort. Emma’s got you covered on topics such as snow conditions and lift line wait times, parking and in-resort wayfinding, ski school, lift tickets and equipment rental options, on- and off-mountain dining and activities recommendations and more. Using artificial intelligence and natural language processing, Emma has the ability to answer a wide range of questions in real time through text messages.

CLICK HERE to become more acquainted with EMMA.

EAGLE: Colorado's most underrated community

 Showdown Town in Eagle’s town park | A free concert series every Thursday in the Summer

Showdown Town in Eagle’s town park | A free concert series every Thursday in the Summer

A website called House Method recently named the Town of Eagle the most underrated community in all of Colorado. House Method describes itself as a resource to help people "create the home you imagine." That mission includes everything from product reviews to renovation tips and an annual listing of the most underrated towns in America.

"We put out a national query for nominations and polled our editorial teams," said Emily McCrary Ruiz-Esparaza. "All in all, we evaluated about 500 towns to create this list."

House Method was looking for towns that featured the following:

Commerce: A place that could supply good jobs for residents.

Art: A place with an interesting art scene or rich cultural history.

Beauty: A lovely place where people would want to live and visit because of its scenery.

Surprise: Lots of places meet the other criteria, but House Method wanted to uncover communities that had something surprising about them based on their location or history.

"And finally, we wanted to find places that most of the population hadn't heard of," said Ruiz-Esparaza. "You'll find some exceptions, but these are cities that get publicity for only one event (like Park City's famous Sundance festival) or are often overlooked for their more famous neighbors."


House Method writes "Located along the Eagle River, and just minutes from the world-class resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, Eagle is the perfect destination for the outdoor enthusiast."

Calling the community a "hidden Colorado gem," House Method touted Eagle's "variety of hiking trails, mountain biking, hunting and trail running. Fishing is also extremely popular in Eagle and is considered a year-round sport. While fishing at Brush Creek, Sylvan Lake or Nolan Lake, you'll get to enjoy vast meadows and mountain peaks as your backdrop."

On the economic front, House Method shared the following. "Eagle has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country — just 2.1 percent."


When she talks about Eagle, Kensinger targets that "surprise" factor the House Method cited.

"It's hard to find the quality of a little town like Eagle. The beauty and the people are really what makes it so special."

After graduating from Eagle Valley High School in 1975, Kensinger has lived in Denver, Grand Junction, the Bay Area of California, Maine, Colorado Springs and Monument.

"Eagle is the best of all those places," she said. "I had forgotten how truly beautiful it is here."

Kensinger's affection for the community isn't unique and she recently reached out to a number of like-minded neighbors to form a new group called Friends of Eagle.

"Our mission is to build community in the town of Eagle," she said. "We are trying to meld everyone together in this great little town and we want to have fun doing it."

The group's first event was a rousing success — the Our Community Table dinner celebrated in late August. Eagle residents were invited to share a meal with their neighbors at tables set up the length of Broadway, Eagle's main street. Everyone was asked to bring and share their own food and the event did not seek out sponsors but it did ask for donations to cover the cost of renting and setting up the tables. "Our donors were so gracious. We get amounts ranging from $25 to $500," Kensinger said.

"We were hoping to get 300 to 400 people. We ended up with between 800 and 900 people," Kensinger said. "We were just over the moon."

That turnout is indicative of the community, she said.

"People here want to get together. They want to know the history of the town and contribute."

SOURCE: Vail Daily

Colorado Day



On August 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant made Colorado the "Centennial State." Now known as "Colorado Day," where residents come together to celebrate the best of our lovely state, whether it be music, recreation, or its rich history. 

In honor of Colorado Day, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is waiving entrance fees to all 42 state parks on Monday, August 6th. You might be asking yourself, but how do I choose!? Luckily they put together a list of some fan favorites to help you narrow your search. 

I have only been a Coloradan for 10 years but feel lucky to call it home. To show my state pride on this special day I have compiled some fun facts about why Colorado ROCKS (see what I did there). 


Colorado is the only state in history to turn down the Olympics? In 1976 the Winter Olympics were planned to be held in Denver but in a last minute vote 62% of voting Coloradans chose to pass because of the costs, pollution and population boom it would have on the state. 


Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet.


Colfax Avenue in Denver is the longest continuous street in America! 


The 13th step of the state capital building is exactly 1 mile high above sea level.


Denver has the largest city park system in the nation with 205 parks in City limits and 20,000 acres of parks in the neighboring mountains. 


Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state. Cheers to that! 


Here is to you Colorado! You look pretty darn good for 142.


Eagle County | Top 20 Happiest Counties in the US

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  • POVERTY RATE: 8.1%

  • MARRIAGE RATE: 50.2%




A company called Smart Asset recently ranked the top 25 "Happiest Counties in America" and Eagle County hit the list at #20. In order to rank the happiest places they compared counties across eight factors: unemployment rate, poverty rate, affordability ratio, marriage rate, divorce rate, bankruptcy rate, live expectancy, and physical activity rate. 

First they ranked each county in each metric. Then they found the average ranking for each county to create the final score. Eagle County finished out with a 92.34...not too shabby! 

Check out the top 25 below and CLICK HERE for the full story!

 SOURCE: Smart Assets | 

SOURCE: Smart Assets | 

EPIC PASS 2018/2019 | 65 Resorts. One Pass.

 Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts

I feel like every year I write a post encouraging people to lock in the best price for next seasons EPIC PASS and every year I find myself blown away with the new resorts added to the "Family." As much as people can complain about Vail Resorts quest for total domination, as a pass holder and someone who loves to explore other destinations, I fully encourage it. 

For a limited time you can still purchase an EPIC PASS for the 2018/2019 season for $899 and you then get access to 65 Resorts across the world. CLICK HERE to lock it down. 



COLORADO: Telluride & Crested Butte *two of my favorite ski towns EVER.

NORTHEAST: Okemo & Mount Sunapee *Old stomping grounds back in VT & NH

WASHINGTON: Stevens Pass 


Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Nakiska Ski Area, Stoneham, Mont-Sainte Anne, and Kimberley Alpine Resort

JAPOWW (Japan)

Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park, Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort, Habuka Goryu Snow Resort, Hakuba Happo-One Snow Resort, Jiigtake Snow Resort, Kashimayari Ski Resort, Tsugaike Kogen Snow resort. 


You also have access to 30 European Resorts across France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria including Tinges-Val D'Isere, Skirama Dolomiti, Paradiski, Les 3 Vallees, Arlberg, Adamelle Brenta, 4 Vallees

Like I said, pretty EPIC and totally worth $899! I hate to admit it, but writing this post got me excited to SKI!!!! CLICK HERE to join the fun. 





Forecast is looking promising...

OPENSNOW: Two storms will bring powder to the west.


It feels good to wake up to some promising news in the snow forecast. Our friend Joel Gratz is calling for two strong storms this week and states, "The western US is back aboard the storm train!" This weekend both Vail and Beaver Creek enjoyed "free refills" with over a foot of fresh champagne powder falling for most of Saturday. If you weren't able to get out there this past weekend (like me), don't worry, because we will see another storm in the Rockies later this week. 


Joel predicts the second storm will move from the Pacific Northwest, down the spine of the Rockies and through Colorado and New Mexico. No need to get your Valentine flowers this year, fresh powder is on its way! 

How will the new tax bill affect homeowners?

On December 20, 2017 Congress passed H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which has now received the President's signature and took effect on January 1, 2018. There are many intricacies to the new bill to explore, but there are a few major takeaways on how it will affect homeowners over the next seven years. 

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Impact on home sales, the real estate market, and mortgage financing:

  • The bill keeps the option to exclude up to $500K of gain on the sale of a primary residence.
  • The bill keeps business interest deductions for real estate, plus Section 1031 like-kind exchanges for real property, which will ensure that the costs of home financing remains affordable and real estate activity remains a vibrant part of the economy.
  • The bill keeps the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and the tax-exempt status for private activity bonds (PABs), tow rules that will help preserve options for affordable multi-family housing and consumer access to affordable mortgage credit. 

I found a great article from the National Law Review with a comprehensive and user-friendly breakdown of other highlights from this new bill -> check it out HERE.