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Food On The Hill

Favorite Ski Areas Have Expanded Dining Options

New ski area dining options range from the decidedly casual to upscale fare in rustic settings.

New ski area dining options range from the decidedly casual to upscale fare in rustic settings.

The newest attractions at Colorado’s famed ski areas this winter won’t be state-of-the-art high-speed lifts or some crazy new sport. It’ll be food – plain or fancy, hot off a grill or with a glass of vino by a roaring fire.

The growing numbers of foodies are demanding more options and better fare at ski areas, and the industry has heard the call. Three areas that are very accessible for Colorado Springs skiers have made some major changes and improvements. 

Here’s what’s new this year:

Arapahoe Basin

For a small ski area, A-Basin has big dining options. The 6th Alley Bar & Grill, which has always been a fast-food operation (we’re talking pizza and nachos), has added a full gourmet “dinner” menu. Think seared ahi tuna with jasmine rice or a steak with roasted asparagus – and the upscale menu is available all day long. 

It will also continue its long tradition of moonlight dinners – that’s not new – but they will add a new offering this year. In April, they’ll do a Polynesian dinner, complete with fire dancers. 

“It could get pretty wild,” says Adrienne Isaac, marketing manager for the ski area. 

Copper Mountain

Food options at Copper include something for everyone. For those needing their Starbucks fix, there’s a new full-service location by the American Eagle lift. It’ll help fuel your way through a day on the hill.

 What was the Belgian Bean, is now Mahi Fish Tacos (located in Center Village near the covered bridge). Mahi Fish will also feature many other kinds of fish, as well as salads and quesadillas. Belgian Bean waffle fans don’t worry. You can still indulge in those tender, tasty waffles at a new location (in what was Flyer’s Soup Shack).  

The deck outside of the new Belgian Bean becomes Flyer’s Grill. This on-hill dining option offers burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork and other barbecue options. Here’s the place to quaff a cold beer at the end of the day.

New this year, Copper is offering moonlight dinners on the mountain. On three designated evenings throughout the winter – including New Year’s Eve – guests can take the American Eagle chairlift up to Solitude Station, located mid-mountain, for a finer dining experience. Upon completion of dinner, guests can then ski or snowboard back down to Center Village for a cocktail to finish the evening. Tickets will be sold at the Center Village Guest Services location and online at CopperColorado.com. 

Crested Butte

The newest dining addition at this popular resort is the Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks. Listen for the alphorn as it summons you to the 35- foot umbrella covering a large deck with spectacular 360-degree views. Enjoy the panorama while getting a bite to eat, tipping a Bavarian beer and soaking up the sunshine. It’s at the top of the Painter Boy lift.

Of course, the sleigh ride dinners continue to be popular, as well as fine dining up at Uley’s Cabin, but the newest thing this year is the upgraded alpine menu and new décor at the WoodStone Grille. Try the new stone-fired pizza, pasta and signature grill items. 

And, like many tropical resorts, there’s also going to be new cocktail service to the swimming pool and hot tub.

 What a way to end the day.