Vail Facilities & Services

The range and quality of ski resort services and facilities at Vail are phenomenal. The amenities are part of what gives Vail its mega-resort status. The only downside of Vail is that most things cost a lot more than your average USA ski resort. Ski lessons, ski rentals, snowboard hire and child care all have a “Vail mark-up”.

Vail Ski Rentals The resort owned shop for snowboard and ski rentals is Vail Sports who have various locations across Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. They can provide for all your skiing and snowboarding rental needs and they provide complimentary in shop equipment storage and delivery to your room. The rates they charge for ski rentals are extraordinarily high relative to most other USA ski resorts.

There are lots of other outlets for Vail ski rentals peppered throughout the resort. These ski shops generally also offer overnight storage and most have rates that are significantly cheaper than Vail Sports. For example American Ski Exchange in Vail Village has good rates. The rentals at Gorsuch are also high quality and their tuning workshop is top notch.

Like most upscale resorts there are also a few ski rental services that come to your accommodation.

Facilities for Children The only child minding facility in Vail is the Small World Nursery located in the Golden Peak area adjacent to Vail Village. It caters for children from 2 months to 6 years old, with the kids grouped into age appropriate rooms. For children over 20 months, they also offer a Micro Mice program as part of the child care, whereby your child can have a 30 minute skiing experience.

Vail also has various private babysitting services that come to your hotel or condo.

Adventure Ridge at Eagles Nest has superb activities for kids.

Vail Ski School Vail Snowsports School employs some of the best instructors from around the world. The school has five locations in the resort including two on the mountain at Eagles Nest and Mid Vail. As expected, a wide range of programs are available.

Vail Snowsports School has numerous programs for kids including Mini Mice, Mogul Mice, and Superstars. Kids ski school is for ages 3 up to 12 and consists of a full day lesson that includes lunch and lunch time supervision. Full day lessons are also available for teens.

Adult group lessons are generally for the full day. In addition to standard group lessons they also have premium lessons that have a maximum of 3 or 4 participants per class. For strong intermediate riders and up, the Vail ski school also offers Adventure Sessions which entail guiding around the mountain whilst also providing a few pointers along the way.

Private lessons are a minimum of a half day, and you’ll need your black Amex card ready to go!

Ski and Snowboard Storage, Valet & Concierge Services To counteract the minimal ski-in ski-out accommodation at Vail, lots of operators have equipment storage facilities right near the slopes so you don’t have to have to lug it back to your lodging.

If you’re renting equipment, many of the Vail ski rental shops offer complimentary overnight storage. Alternatively various ski shops offer a public ski concierge service for a small fee. One example is Vail Sports at Lionshead who have a ski valet and storage facility right near the gondola.

Otherwise lots of the upscale hotels have ski concierge services available for their guests. For example the Four Seasons Vail has a ski valet facility close to the base of the Vista Bahn lift where there are equipment lockers. The concierge staff will even carry your equipment onto the snow and place it down ready to click in. Superb!

Eating On Mountain The on mountain eateries are top notch. There are at least eight different locations on the mountain to purchase food, and that doesn’t include the huge variety of eateries in the base areas of Vail Village and Lionshead. Some of them can get busy during the “witching hours” of midday to 1.30pm (particularly Mid Vail ie top of the Vista Bahn lift).

Both Eagles Nest and Mid Vail have multiple dining venues. Eagles Nest has a table service restaurant and the 10th is a new flash restaurant at Mid-Vail. Reservations are highly recommended.

The Food Courts at Two Elk and Mid Vail both provide top quality food guaranteed to make your legs suffer whilst skiing the afternoon. The Two Elk lodge is ginormous. This place is so big that if you arrange to meet a friend there for lunch you might not find them!! The day lodge is a self service cafeteria with the usual fare, but they also have great burritos with all the Mexican trimmings. Such lunches can make a download on the Eagle Bahn Gondola and early après at Garfinkel’s look very attractive. Another bonus with the on mountain eateries is that Vail has a policy of serving only all natural, hormone free meats and poultry, and organic dairy products.

One of the most enjoyable ways to eat lunch at Vail is to have a BBQ at Belles Camp in Blue Sky Basin. It complements a perfect Vail experience - sun, good friends, great skiing, 3,550m of elevation, views of several Colorado 14ers, and an awesome BBQ. BYO meat (or veggie burgers) in your backpack. Non alcoholic drinks can be purchased up there. If you have a severe case of ‘lunchtime legs’ after feasting on scorched flesh and burgers, ski down In The Wuides and Kelly’s Toll Road to get back to civilisation safely.