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Consistently ranked as one of North America's leading ski destinations, Vail has a reputation few can match. The four-letter word means Valhalla for skiers of all skill levels. Vail has plenty of open areas where novices can learn the ropes. It can also be an ego-building mountain for intermediate and advanced skiers who hit the slopes only a week or two a season. Some areas, like Blue
Sky Basin, can make you feel like a pro.
Although Vail is a long, thin town spread for several miles along the Eagle River and comprising East Vail, Vail Village, Lionshead in the center, and West Vail, the hub of activity in winter and summer revolves around Vail Village, and the recently redone Lionshead, which has shops, restaurants, a heated gondola, and even a glockenspiel tower. Vail Village is also a hub of retail and dining with direct lift access to the mountain.
As with the majority of the area's resorts, the heart of Beaver Creek is a mountainside village. What sets Beaver Creek apart is that it's a...