by Scott Mayerowitz, The Associated Press, December 30, 2015
Ski resorts are upping the ante, finding new ways this season to pamper guests who barely want to leave the slopes.
Ski-in, ski-out used to just refer to prime lodgings that didn't require a shuttle — or even a walk — to get to the trails. Today that coveted designation has been expanded to bars and even spa treatments. It's the ultimate in luxury — or laziness.
"Resorts want to differentiate themselves from one another," says Jennifer Rudolph, spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA. "It's a stand-out perk that guests both want to try — and appreciate — at the same time."
Helping this movement is the changing geography of resorts. Base areas have been reshaped in the past decade, with trails and lifts realigned to better suit real estate developers and expand the number of ski-in, ski-out properties. Those new properties are leveraging their location as a perk to their rich clientele who have already seen and done everything.
"Magical moments with friends and families are the goal and destinations are doing it up big," says Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. "There are only so many hard assets resorts can upgrade within a property, but experiences create lifetime memories."
Here is a look at some of the ski-in, ski-out options available this season.
SPA TREATMENTS, VICEROY SNOWMASS, COLORADO
Most spas offer a place to unwind, linger and escape the rush of modern life. At the Viceroy Snowmass, skiers now have another option: two quick treatments designed as a mid-day break from the rigors of skiing.
One treatment focuses on rejuvenating skiers' feet, with a warm bath, exfoliating scrub, cuticle grooming, hot stone massage and ending with a moisturizing cream. The other focuses on warning up hands and feet with coconut oil. Each treatment costs $95 and is 30 minutes long, just quick enough to get you carving through powder in the afternoon.
They were designed "to give guests an opportunity to warm up, relax and give their feet some relief after being in ski boots," says the Viceroy's general manager Hugh Templeman. "The treatments are perfect for anyone who wants to ski for the entire ski day, but seeks a restorative respite from the elements mid-day."
Guests leave on the layers of ski gear, just shedding their boots, coats, hats and gloves.
ICE LOUNGE, WALDORF ASTORIA PARK CITY, UTAH
Forget ending your day on the mountain with a cold beer. This season, apres ski is going upscale at the Waldorf Astoria Park City. The hotel is partnering with Champagne maker Moet to build a $20,000 ski-in, ski-out Arctic Ice Lounge that includes ice sculptures of penguins (Moet's mascot), igloos and ice seating for guests.
The bar will feature Champagne flights, bottle service and hand-crafted Champagne-based cocktails, as well as menu items themed around a raw bar concept such as oysters, caviar and sashimi.
Glasses of Moet Ice will be $19, $40 for a flight and $95 for a bottle. Cocktails will be $12. It's scheduled to open Jan. 15, a few days before the Sundance Film Festival, which starts Jan. 21 this year.
"Park City transforms itself into something very special during Sundance," says the hotel's general manager, Kerry Hing. "People are looking for what is new and creative and where to be seen. This is what we are co-branding with Moet to create."
BOURBON PEDICURES, PARK HYATT BEAVER CREEK, COLORADO
This slope-side resort is pairing booze with pedicures, an end-of-the-day relaxation routine that can be enjoyed moments after popping out of your skis and leaving them with the valet. (Yes, valets are no longer just for cars.)
The two different pedicure options (both 55 minutes, $90) include a bourbon drink for the hotel's newly-expanded bar menu.
And, when guests are ready to get back on the mountain, their heated boots are ready for them.
GOURMET HOT DOG CART, FOUR SEASONS RESORT & RESIDENCES JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING
When it snows at Jackson Hole, skiers are hesitant to step off the mountain, even for a minute. But racing down the mountain all day burns a lot of calories.
So the Four Seasons Resort & Residences found a solution: a gourmet hot dog cart, steps from the ski area's lifts and gondola. This season's menu includes elk chili, smoked buffalo bratwurst, warm chocolate chip cookies and — since you are on vacation — local beers on tap and hot chocolate with or without peppermint schnapps.
Follow Scott Mayerowitz at twitter.com/GlobeTrotScott. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/scott-mayerowitz
This article was written by SCOTT MAYEROWITZ from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.