Founded in 1859, Breckenridge dates from a time when skis were made of wood and gondolas were unimaginable. Now skis are parabolic and the lines for the gondolas are unimaginable – so while some things have changed, others have not. This is reflected in the delightful architecture of the town. As the town grew, the essence of Breckenridge stayed the same, and original Victorian townhouses sit side-by-side with careful reconstructions. It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I had visited Breckenridge as a child and found it much expanded since the 1970s, but essentially looking the same.
Development continues at a rapid clip – our spotless, welcoming condominium rental at the Mountain Thunder Lodge was built only last year, and is owned by the same folks who own Vail. Our Peaks passes allowed us to ski at five different Colorado resorts, although in the three days we had to ski, we found Breckenridge itself more than adequate and didn’t even stray over to nearby Copper Mountain. We did, however, save a bundle - $90 off on three-day passes for five adults. Not bad!
There are some wonderful, unique things about Breckenridge. Driving by an oxygen bar and watching people reading the paper while getting their daily fix is always entertaining. A drive over to Lake Dillon will often reward you with a close-up view of snowboarders "kiting" across the frozen lake. You might spy a local climbing the ice chutes, or encounter a paraplegic or blind skier schussing down the hill alongside someone in one of those goofy hats that seem to have taken the winter-sports world by storm. Free buses whisk skiers from condos and hotels directly to the slopes. On the other hand, Breckenridge’s facilities have not been updated in some time. I never noticed how much I appreciated the plastic bins in the bathroom stalls that keep your gloves and goggles safe from harm’s way while you use the facilities, until I visited a resort that didn’t have them. The lack of public parking is an ongoing problem that gets worse every year. But if you’ve got non-skiers with you, Breckenridge is an exceptional choice for your ski vacation. With so much to do on AND off the slopes, and a great restaurant or bar around every corner, it’s a winter paradise for all parties involved.