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Kelsey in Keystone: Bunny Slopes Aren’t Just for Kids

The bunny slope is no joke.

That’s what I concluded after I was forced into attending ski school on my first winter trip to Keystone, Colorado.

I know what you’re thinking. Before experiencing it, I was thinking it, too. The bunny slope is for kids. You’re in shape. You run and lift weights. You’re decently athletic. You’re no couch potato. You’re a weekend warrior.

Those Nike commercials showing regular people doing awesomely hard athletic things like crossfit or sprints or pickup basketball or power lifting? That’s you. You don’t need ski school. You’re an athlete.

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Except that you do. Oh you totally do, and while I probably wouldn’t be a model in one of those commercials, I know right before I went to ski in Keystone, I was in the best shape of my adult life.

I had just spent months training to fight a world champion professional boxer. All the stuff you see Rocky do in the movies? I did it every day for three months. I busted my butt to get ready for that experience, and I was fit, fast and strong. I held my own in there, and while I got beat-up, I landed my fair share of punches, too, even in the last round when my arms were so tired I could hardly keep my arms up.

So I was certain I could just rent my skis, hit the slopes and wing it.

Luckily for me, I went to the mountains with a seasoned ski person. He was adamant I needed to take lessons, and while I am a pretty hardheaded individual, it ultimately came down to this one bit of wisdom conveyed to me.

You’re not going to ski school for yourself. You’re going for all the other people trying to ski around you. Unless you know what you’re doing, they won’t be safe.

I knew he was right, so off I went.

I didn’t go by myself either. Xavier, someone who visits the area often for snowbound fun, headed there with me. This guy can ski. He’s done it for years, and he loves it. He’s visited Keystone for years on vacation and before that he went to similar places with his family every year.

“I just like to get a refresher every now and then,” said Xavier. “I haven’t skied in a couple of years.”

We get to our school, and split up into the different groups. I’m not with the toddlers, but I might as well be. I’m with the people who don’t know how to put on their skis. I’m with the people who can only turn one direction once they get going downhill. I’m with the people who fall down to stop.

I was right where I belonged.

mountain house ski school

Whatever you think about it, here’s the truth. You can’t wing it. I mean, theoretically you could, but you’d be more like a baby trying out those first steps than you would be a competent adult making an informed decision to stand. You won’t be graceful or fast or a savant. You’ll be just like everybody else: a baby deer with twigs for legs.

And it’s fun. Believe me! It’s a blast. Oh sure, your feet feel like they’re broken (or worse) after a few hours stuffed in those ski boots you rented. Here’s a quick bit of advice: Don’t cheap out on equipment. The reason they have more expensive boots and skis and such to rent is because they’re better. Instead of limping around the next day like you were trapped in Stephen King’s Misery novel, you’ll walk upright like a normal human being.

Maybe it’s the name that dissuades you. Don’t think of a cute and fluffy cartoon bunny. Think of a rabbit: a gangly, real life rabbit with more muscle in his legs than you probably have on your whole body. Have you ever tried to pick up a wild rabbit? One that doesn’t want to feel the foreign grip of human hands? That’s the bunny slope.

Yes, skiing is awesome. It’s fun. It’s what you came to Keystone to do. But it’s challenging and it has to be respected.

Don’t believe me?

Let me leave you with this. I came to Keystone with visions of Bode Miller or Picabu Street in my head. I’d hit the slopes like a boss, and leave all who didn’t believe in my athletic prowess in my wake.

But after an entire day at ski school, I was done. I had learned so much, but I knew with only a few days at Keystone and part of it work related, I either needed to spend the rest of my days honing my new craft at ski school, or I needed to just relax and enjoy the other fun stuff to do in the area and let my feet recover from the onslaught for which they were not prepared.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not deterred from doing it again. I can’t wait to go back! I know how to put on my skis now. I know how to turn left when I’m going downhill. I know how to stop, at least theoretically, without falling down.

But I also know I need to respect the pursuit. The bunny slope isn’t just for kids. It’s for everybody. It’s for me, and it’s for you, too.

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Black Friday Special

Thanksgiving in Keystone

Bring the family to Keystone and celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by the mountains. Prepare the big meal in one of our kitchens, then spend all day eating, watching football or heading outside to explore the great outdoors. Best part of this deal? You get to come back to your own home without all the mess.

Below is a schedule of area events you won’t want to miss if you’re here for Thanksgiving. (Even Santa makes an appearance!)

Late November Events

Welcome Winter Family Carnival

LOCATION: Warren Station, River Run Village, Keystone
DATE: Saturday, November 26th
TIME: 3-6 p.m.
COST: Free Admission
  • Head over to Warren Station for a family welcome to the start of winter! Adults can savor a cocktail in the ballroom while the kids enjoy carnival favorites like face painting, crafts and a bounce house. There will be kettle corn, hot chocolate and other beverages. Chris Thompson and Coral Creek will be playing bluegrass and American favorites for everyone’s enjoyment.
 

Meet Santa

LOCATION: River Run Village, Keystone
DATE: Saturday, November 26th (and all throughout December)
TIME: 3-7 p.m.
  • Santa Claus is making his first appearance in Keystone two days after Thanksgiving. Meet up with Santa for photos and celebrate the River Run tree lighting!
 

The Lighting of River Run Celebration

LOCATION: Events Plaza, River Run Village, Keystone
DATE: Saturday, November 26th
TIME: 5 p.m.
COST: Free Admission, Free Cookies & Hot Chocolate while supplies last
  • Ring in the holiday season at Keystone with their 4th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration! Visit with Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate while listening to carolers and holiday music throughout the village. Holiday themed goodies will be available for children. The tree lighting will be at 6:05 p.m.
 

Kids’ Night Out

LOCATION: Kidtopia Headquarters, Dercum Square, River Run Village, Keystone
DATE: Sunday, November 27th (and all Sundays through March 26 except December 25)
TIME: 5-8 p.m.
COST: $95/child (includes dinner and activities)
AGES: 3-12 years
Reservations Required (970-496-4386)
  • Send all the parents somewhere else, it’s time for the kids to have some fun! There will be arts, crafts, movies and more. Enjoy a kid-friendly dinner and make some new friends!
 

Main Street

LOCATION: Breckenridge
DATE: All Weekend
  • Main Street in Breckenridge boasts some of the best shopping and eateries around! They have a wide array of restaurants offering Thanksgiving meals (call in advance) and these places are known for their great food. Plus, you have various other activities and theater shows to choose from all weekend. Visit gobreck.com for all the information.
 

Need a place to stay? Click the book now button below, then enter in your desired dates of stay. As of the writing of this, we had eight properties with availability Thursday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

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images from clipartlord.com

Keystone Vacation Rental Highlight: New Rentals

It comes as no surprise that Keystone is a popular winter destination. That’s why it’s important to book early so you can lock down the vacation rental that’s a perfect fit for you.

Although quite a number of our properties have been booked for this winter, we recently brought on several new properties whose calendars are wide open!

NEW RENTALS

0238 WILD IRISHMAN ROAD

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1797 KEYSTONE RANCH ROAD

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RED HAWK LODGE #2280

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LONE EAGLE #3020

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PINES #2039

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LAKESHORE #1527

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NOW HIRING!

Ski season is almost here and that means we’re preparing to do all it is we do, but at nearly 100% occupancy.

Unlike many of our competitors, we operate an in-house housekeeping and laundry staff. This allows us full control over quality, and when something doesn’t meet our standards we can quickly take care of it. But this also means we must actively search for people who want to be part of a great team so we are fully staffed by the time ski season rolls around.

We are always accepting applications for all of our positions. We have found that staffing needs can change suddenly so we never turn down a request for an application.

Right now we are actively looking to increase our housekeeping staff. Pay starts at $12.50/hr plus tips, and there’s a chance to earn more through bonuses.

now-hiring

HOUSEKEEPERCOMPENSATION
  • $12.50 to $14 hourly
  • full-time or part-time, flexible schedules
  • potential for bonus
  • 100% of tips kept by housekeeper
RESPONSIBILITIES
  • clean properties
  • make up beds
  • drive to each property
  • organize supplies and laundry
  • perform minor maintenance tasks (i.e. change a light bulb)
  • report issues to management/maintenance
  • assist in laundry as needed
QUALIFICATIONS
  • some housekeeping experience
  • able to work quickly and follow checklist
  • reliable transportation
  • space in vehicle for supplies while working (we provide all cleaning supplies)
HOW TO APPLY
  • Complete our online application.
  • Stop by our office to request an application and fill it out.
  • Set up an interview by calling 970-368-4800, ext. 1.
  

SUMMIT COUNTY MOUNTAIN RETREATS

WHAT DO WE DO? Basically we do all the hard work of maintaining and cleaning properties between guest stays for Keystone homeowners, allowing thousands to enjoy the grandeur that is our mountain resort.

WHO DO WE SERVE? Our customers fall into two categories: clients and guests. Our clients are Keystone homeowners whose properties we manage, and our guests are anyone who books a stay with us at one of the properties we manage.

WHY WORK HERE? We treat employees like the valuable human beings they are. Seriously. We really do. Some companies treat employees as assets to help meet a bottom line. We see employees as unique individuals who desire success and fulfillment. Come work for us and you’ll have the opportunity to grow and advance within our company while being treated fairly and paid a competitive wage. What else could you ask for?

Kelsey in Keystone: Snow Tubing!

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Looking for a terrifically fun and exciting snow adventure that provides the thrills and spills of skiing or snowboarding without having to take lessons or know what you’re doing?

Sound too good to be true? It totally isn’t. It’s freaking snow tubing.

Admittedly, snow tubing sounded fun to me going into it, but it exceeded my stupid high expectations with ease. Hop on a tube—the kind you usually sit in while floating around in water—and cascade down a mountain in a controlled environment that pretty much everyone in your family who might be interested in such a thing can enjoy.

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It’s just like it sounds. You climb into your donut-round snow craft, tell your operator (i.e., the person who helped you sit down on the tube by holding it while you climbed on so you didn’t fall down on your face) whether you want him or her to spin you and then hold on for dear life.

Snow tubing is freaking awesome. It’s as fast as you want, but you feel secure enough while you’re doing it that you can actually enjoy it.

Like I said, I had high expectations going into our snow tubing experience in Keystone. From our luxurious rental property at The Timbers on River Run, we walked over to Adventure Point to schedule our family fun.

When it was time to head over, we took the gondola up Dercum Mountain, walked over to the tubing area and got ready. The friendly staff gave us a quick rundown of what to expect, had us grab our tubes and off we went.

The silly smile you have plastered to your face after your first slide.
The silly smile you have plastered to your face after your first slide.

I’m sure we were there for an hour. I don’t remember how many times I made the gleeful slide down the slope to the bottom, but I know it was all over much too soon.

Here’s the best part…errrr…second best! Obviously, going down is the best part, but after flying down the hill in a fun-filled frolic, riding the fluffy white snow as if it were a satin slide, we didn’t even have to walk up the hill to go down again.

Yes, even for the snow tubers, at the end of the ride there is a nifty conveyor belt to ride back to the top where the fun begins.

I went over and over and over again. I went down alone. I went in groups. Facing forward, backward, to the side, spinning—All of it was a blast!

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There were even times when I just stayed up at the top to see all the different faces of my fellow travelers! My wife’s face was filled with glee just as much as her goddaughter Libby’s was as they cascaded down in tandem.

And it didn’t matter how many times I had gone. Even our friends, who make their way to Keystone every year and snowtubing is a priority, looked just as stoked each time they sat down in their tube for the ride, too.

The fun of snow tubing causes Keystone veterans to do things like this.
The fun of snow tubing causes Keystone veterans to do things like this.

Snow tubing is awesome and it’s for anyone visiting Keystone during the winter. No matter how much you might love other things to do—and there are plenty—make some time for snow tubing. You will not be disappointed!

Kelsey in Keystone is brought to you by Kelsey McCarson, a freelance writer, one-time amateur charity boxer, and hamburger connoisseur. Let him know where to find the best burger at kelseymccarson(a)gmail.com. 

Selfie Snow Tubing Video

Get an insider look at snow tubing with William as he spins down a run!

MLK & President’s Day Weekends: Book early!

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Two of the busiest ski weekends of the year are fast approaching, so if you want to ensure you have the most ideal place to stay this upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. & President’s Day holiday weekends, it’s time to visit our website.

Almost 30% of our properties are already gone, so waiting to book your stay means you could miss out on the most ideal vacation rental for you and your and family.

See you on the slopes!

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Twice the Savings this October!

oct16saveLooking for a great deal?Then you’ve come to the right place. We already offer the lowest nightly rates and now you can save even more during October.

  • Save 15% on Fridays & Saturdays
  • Save 25% on Sundays-Thursdays

Discounted nightly rates start at just $32. 

Just use promo code OCT16SAVE.

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Come and enjoy Keystone in the fall!

Leave the paperwork, meetings and house cleaning behind, while you enter a world of tranquility amongst the majestic mountains. Take advantage of some of the nation’s best hiking or take in the beauty from a relaxing hot tub. Changing colors, cool temperatures and perhaps a light dusting of snow await you.

FINE PRINT

OCT16SAVE Save 15% on the nightly rates of Fridays & Saturdays during the month of October. Save 25% on the nightly rates of Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays during the month of October.

Promo code is valid through Sunday, September 25.

Any nights of stay before October 1 or after October 31 are not included.

Discount taken from rates that are subject to change.

Applies to new reservations or reservations made on the same day this promotion was sent out.

Cannot be combined with other SCMR promotions.

*Some properties not applicable. Fees and taxes are not discounted.

ICYMI: Our Fall Sale Ends Sunday, September 4th!

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2 More Days to Save…

Our Fall Sale ends this Sunday! 

Through September 4th you can save 15% on any nights of stay from September 5th through November 3rd when you use promo code FALL16B. Discounted rates start at just $36.

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FINE PRINT

FALL16B Save 15% on all nights of stay from September 5-November 3. Promo code is valid through Sunday, September 4.  

Any nights of stay before September 5 or after November 3 are not included.

Discount taken from rates that are subject to change.

Applies to new reservations or reservations made on the same day this promotion was sent out.

Cannot be combined with other SCMR promotions.

*Some properties not applicable. Fees and taxes are not discounted.

FALL SALE EXTENDED!

FALL16B

We’re extending our Fall Sale! 

Through September 4th you can save 15% on any nights of stay from September 5th through November 3rd when you use promo code FALL16B. Discounted rates start at just $36.

Take advantage of this great deal and book today!

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FINE PRINT

FALL16B Save 15% on all nights of stay from September 5-November 3. Promo code is valid through Sunday, September 4.  

Any nights of stay before September 5 or after November 3 are not included.

Discount taken from rates that are subject to change.

Applies to new reservations or reservations made on the same day this promotion was sent out.

Cannot be combined with other SCMR promotions.

*Some properties not applicable. Fees and taxes are not discounted.