Reviews & Photos
March 14 2012
River Run Condominiums
1 family found this helpful
129 River Run Rd,
"River Run Condos- convenience is the best value during a ski vacation"
There are several different lodging options at Keystone but I think most families would agree that the space and convenience of a condo is the way to go. My family stayed in Arapahoe Lodge which was centrally located in River Run village and within quick walking distance to the gondola, ski school, dining, and entertainment. The condos are privately owned but the resort rents them out in a similar fashion to hotel rooms. Studio to three bedroom condos available and my family stayed in a two bedroom. The décor is what I would deem contemporary mountain rustic. There was a kitchen, living area, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Ski lockers for each condo are complimentary and located just off the downstairs lobby (which means you don’t have to lug all your wet ski stuff upstairs). A washer and dryer, two key elements to any successful family ski vacation, were located inside the condo and a large laundry facility was located downstairs as well.
The kitchen was stocked with basic utensils, cups, and plates. The full sized fridge, microwave, range, and oven were extremely convenient and cost saving, considering how expensive meals are in ski towns. If you are able to, I recommend stopping at a major grocery store before you arrive and stocking up on breakfast and lunch supplies because the little general store in River Run Village is pricey. The living area was large and included a dining table, couch, fireplace and tv. There was a balcony but it was too cold to enjoy while we were visiting. Bedrooms featured flat screen tvs and comfortable beds. Ski lockers for each condo located downstairs and are complimentary. There was a pool and spa that was heated but nobody in my family was crazy enough to take a dip in the 20 degree weather.
Overall, we found the ski in/ski out location extremely convenient and had no need for a car because we could walk or take a free shuttle to wherever we wanted to go throughout the large resort. While guests will pay more for a prime location, I believe it is worth the additional cost during a ski vacation.
Disclosure: My family received a complimentary stay at the Arapahoe Lodge as part of a press trip to Keystone Resort. All opinions are my own.
February 28 2012
1 family found this helpful
Keystone Ski and Ride School
1201 Keystone Road,
"Amazing instuctors help create a great experience for all skill levels"
I am 33 years old and up until my recent visit to Keystone had never skied. Most of my reasons for avoiding the slopes stem from the fact that I am a klutz and was afraid of getting injured. Luckily I was talked into ski school and now I can't imagine ever wanting to sit and watch from the ski lodge again!
I took a private lesson with my instructor Mark, who was friendly, patient, and made me feel comfortable from the moment I first learned how to strap on my ski boots. I started off without skis while Mark educated me on movements and safety, gradually having me move up a level as I was ready. I went from one ski, to two skis, to gliding on a flat spot of snow, to mastering stops on a tiny hill in no time.
Once I managed to perfect my wedge and stop consistently on my own, we went up the gondola to the top of the mountain so that I could learn turns in the practice area. With Mark’s guidance, I managed to pick up turns quickly and the only time my klutziness appeared was when I got on the magic carpet to go up the hill. It was as if I suddenly had balance and grace as long as I had two skis on my feet!
The difference between us skiers with instructors and the skiers trying to learn from their friends in the practice area was incredible obvious. The pros made sure that skiers had the skills to build upon so that they didn't fall all the time and the skiers relying on friends seemed to be hazards to themselves. If I had tried to go out there with no instruction, I am pretty sure I would have hated skiing and fallen several times. Instead, I never fell, was able to master stopping, did well with turning, and made it down the easiest slope by the end of my 3 hour lesson. Without my lesson I would have been terrified of that hill!
If you can afford a lesson, I HIGHLY recommend it. If I were in town longer, I would have loved to take another lesson to further improve my skills and start heading down those green runs. I can't wait to ski again and I have Mark and the incredible program at Keystone to thank!
My children spent two days in the children’s ski school which runs from 9:00 to 3:30. I suggest arriving 20 minutes early the first day to fill out paperwork and get the kids situated and recommend picking up your rentals the night before. Kids are assigned to groups based on their ability and experience and lunch is included.
My kids made huge improvements in during those two days, mastering their pizza wedges (aka: stops) and were efficient at following the alien goo (aka: turning) by the end of the second day. The kids seemed pretty independent by the end of the second day and were whizzing down the bunny hill and back up the magic carpet like pros and their instructor, Mr. Will, was confident they were ready to go up to the next level. My kids LOVED ski school and never wanted to leave. They made friends with other kids and were so proud of what they had accomplished. Everyone on staff was friendly, enthusiastic, and seemed to know how to motivate the kids and keep them excited about skiing.
Disclosure: The lovely people at Keystone talked me into my first ski lesson as part of my family’s complimentary stay at Keystone Resort. They did not ask me to express any specific opinions about my experience and all opinions are entirely my own.
February 28 2012
0 families found this helpful
Adventure Point Tubing at Keystone Resort
1200 Keystone Road,
"Great fun for those who love speed"
Tubing at Keystone is nothing like any day on a sled hill that I had ever experienced. For $31, tubers have one adrenaline-filled one hour to enjoy the hill. Tubers watch a short instructional video and then grab a tube and get in line to head down the hill. There are four runs, two faster than the others, and riders must have their own tubes but can go down with up to four tubes connected at a time.
My kids are five years old and were on the younger end for this experience considering the minimum height is 42 inches. My daughter and I watched my husband and son go first. Wow! They zipped down that steep hill with so much speed! Though he was a bit surprised by the speed of his ride, my son loved it and was ready to go again. He and my husband carried their tubes over to the long magic carpet escalator and enjoyed the leisurely ride back up the mountain (quite different from the normal lugging and climbing involved in sledding). Next my daughter and I went. I loved it, she hated it. Screaming, crying, let everyone within a hundred miles know that she hated it. She is a timid child and doesn't like roller coasters so it shouldn't have been a big surprise to me. Her response reaffirmed my belief that this kind of tubing is best suited for those who love speed and thrills. The hill is high and fast but very safe and the magic carpet that takes tubers back up the hill is a definite luxury. The price may seem high for one hour of tubing but since riders can go several times in one hour, most people won't need more than that.
Tip: Call ahead to reserve your time as tubing is very popular. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time and allow about 20 minutes to ride the gondola up (35 minutes total).
Disclosure: My family received a complimentary stay at Keystone which involved tubing in order for me to complete a story and reviews for Trekaroo. All opinions are my own.
February 27 2012
0 families found this helpful
Pinnacle Peak Park
26802 N. 102nd Way,
"Great desert hike for families"
My family climbed this peak while staying at the nearby Four Seasons resort. Pinnacle Peak is 3,171 feet in elevation and the 150-acre park that surrounds the peak is a great place for families to get outside and hike or rock climb. While there is a ¾ mile trail connecting the resort to Pinnacle Peak Park, my family opted to hop in the car and park closer to the main trailhead so that the kids would have more energy for the climb up the peak. The trail is popular with a wide variety of users including serious trail runners and families with children enjoying some outdoor time together. Views are impressive as the 1.75 mile trail climbs to a maximum elevation of 2,889 feet and my kids delighted in spotting lizards sunning themselves on rocks and a cottontail sneaking out for a midday snack.
February 14 2012
2 families found this helpful
Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride Dinner
Adventure Center Lakeside Village,
"A classic winter experience that every member of the family will love"
I think we all begin fantasizing about sleigh rides the first time we ever hear “Jingle Bells”. Dashing with across a snow covered valley, snuggled up with someone you love is both romantic and idyllic. At Keystone, your family’s sleigh riding fantasies can become a reality with their Sleigh Ride dinner. After meeting at the Adventure Center and taking a short bus ride out of town, two draft horses take guests on a ride through a moonlit snow-covered valley to a special dinner inside the recreated homestead of one of the original settlers in the area. Thick blankets help guests take their focus off the freezing temperatures and on to the fresh elk tracks in the snow, shadows cast by the bare bones of an aspen lit by a full moon, and a coyote trotting 50 yards of the sleigh on his nightly quest for a meal. A husband and wife cowboy team tells stories about the area, cracks cheesy jokes, and gets people excited about the meal they are about to enjoy inside the cabin.
The cabin’s atmosphere is as warm as the toasty baked biscuits waiting at picnic bench tables for each family/group. Steaming cast iron kettles full of the best barley beef stew you will ever have are accompanied by the songs of a cowgirl and her guitar. My daughter thought the singing cowgirl was the highlight of the experience and swooned when she agreed to play her request; “Jingle Bells”. The complimentary shot of peppermint schnapps (adults only!) kicks up a cup of hot chocolate quite nicely. The entrée choices are grilled chicken, grilled, steak, grilled salmon, and a vegetarian option with heaping portions of potatoes and veggies. The food was plentiful, fresh, and tasty. Just when we thought we would burst from all the good food, apple pie and vanilla ice cream appeared before us, and of course we all suddenly had enough room left to squeeze in a few bites.
The only drawback to this adventure is the lack of indoor plumbing. This means that when you need to use the facilities, you need to bundle up and head to the outhouse! While it was freezing outside, modern bathrooms really would have taken away from the ambiance so they weren’t missed too much.
Prices are $49.50 per adult, $45 for children 4-12 and $10 for children 3 and under. While $45 does seem like a ton to spend on dinner for a child, this experience is much more than just dinner. The entire sleigh ride excursion takes about 3 hours and the meal, entertainment, and unique opportunity are well worth the cost.
Disclosure: My family was hosted by Keystone Resort. All opinions are my own.