SUN & SKI

Aspen and Vail … been there, skied that, right? Now there’s a new kid in the mountain scene, a very hip one, called One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge. Join our guy-on-the-go Lance Avery Morgan has he ventures to see what all why the new mountain resort has big goals to be your next destination.

Photography courtesy of One Ski Hill Place and Go Breck

As most Texans know, there are several shades of Colorado. Aspen? It’s snooty, awfully scene-ish and it takes a great deal of work to keep up appearances while there on vacation. Vail? Experts say it has better snow and a more skiable terrain for anti-spectacle types who enjoy charm more than razzle-dazzle, but it can feel a little pre-fab since it was developed only 40 years ago. Then there is tunr of the 19th century charm of Breckenridge. The area has upped its game with its laid-back luxe factor and has become the go-to sporty destination for the deluxe traveling experience – for ski or sun.

So, why Breckenridge, or Breck, as the insiders refer to it? When ambitious prospectors discovered gold in 1859, they also discovered Breckenridge. Little did they know the real gold they would actually encounter. Today’s version of that precious metal can now be seen in the genuinely inviting vibe of the town and its surrounding area. With more than its fair share of snow in the winter and supremely pleasant weather in the months that do not snow, what’s not to love? Those who live there like to say they’ve moved there for the winters to ski… and also stay for the summers to play.

Want adventure? It’s easily found in every 360-degree turn in Breckenridge. A hike up the mighty peaks will clear your mind. I took the chair rail up the mountain and encountered very few people doing the same, so it feels like your own mountain to conquer. During the warmer weather months, you can hop on a hot air balloon ride, and there is also whitewater rafting, biking, hiking, fly fishing and rock climbing that represents why Breckenridge is much more than a ski destination.

Want a sociability aspect in your getaway? The people, both locals and visitors, have an inimitably friendly appeal and a slew of activities to match their regional robustness. With five huge peaks nearby, 2,908 acres, four terrain parks, a 22ft Superpipe, 11 bowls, the highest chairlift in North America, family-friendly terrain and a world-class ski school are all situated above an authentic, hip mountain town with awe-inspiring views. These are just some of the reasons why “Breck” is one of the most popular ski resorts in the country, bar none.

I recently visited One Ski Hill Place, a RockResort, and experienced what is surely the finest set of accommodations in the region.Truly the ultimate mountain retreat there, it has a slope-side location that can’t be beat. After a quick hop to Denver from Texas, a shuttle (recommended: Colorado Mountain Express for both private and group shuttles), I arrived at the mountain lodge-inspired venue that is conveniently set at the base of Peak 8, the hub of activity and adventure at Breckenridge Ski Resort. One Ski Hill Place offers adventure-seeking families unparalleled ski-in/ski-out access with four chairlifts and the BreckConnect Gondola just steps away. The slopes are considered so spectacular by most that last year the resort hosted eight Olympians fresh from their recent Sochi triumphs. Now that’s world class.

At One Ski Hill Place, there may be more Texans in residence than from anywhere else. The chic community features 88 whole-ownership, studio to four-bedroom fully furnished places. It has a variety of amenities appeal to the whole family, including a private bowling alley and private screening rooms, a rejuvenation center offering body treatments, a steam room and sauna, two pools, hot tubs, gourmet dining in three restaurants (The Living Room, The T-Bar and Ski Hill Grill), as well as 24/7 Front Desk services. I learned that home ownership comes with a great deal of perks, including membership to an owner’s-only alpine club called The One Club, replete with VIP ski valet services, a private owners club and locker rooms, a healthy calendar of owner-only events, and a dedicated owner’s concierge. For children, and children at hear, the Summer Fun Park on the grounds is a must-do.

I learned that owners are also part of The One Club and the “First Tracks” program that gives them access to skiing on the mountains two hours before it opens to the public, so it’s ideal for personal communing with nature and private family hikes. Units range from approximately 515 to 1,996 square-feet. In-room amenities include wood floors, granite countertops, high-end stainless appliances, a five-piece master bath, stone fireplace, in-residence washers and dryers, spacious decks and large windows with those breathtaking alpine views. The two-bedroom suite where I stayed, with an impeccable view of the snow-capped mountains, was in the million-dollar-plus range.

You may not want to leave One Ski Hill Place that offers all the recreational choices, yet when you do venture out getting into town is a breeze with the gondola or the complimentary shuttle the town provides (with a call, it often arrives in less that 10 minutes) and it gives you access to miles of restaurants and shops with brands that are indigenous to the area.

In fact, there are over 200 restaurants, bars, and shops, and numerous year-round activities and events. The concierge, Wendy, at One Ski Hill Place, was a miracle worker for recommendations and reservations and the OpenTable restaurant reservation app is welcome in the city, too. Best restaurants in town? There are so many, yet my favorites were Relish and Twist (owned by the same proprietors), Modis, and Park and Main and Empire Burger (also owned by the same owners).

For the culturally minded there is the Riverwalk Center, located along the gently rolling Blue River, is seasonal amphitheater covered by tenting, anchors the Breckenridge Cultural Arts District. While there I saw the National Reparatory Theatre’s moving performance of Don Quixote and the state of the art facility also hosts the Breckenridge Music Festival, film festivals, and serves as the touchstone for high culture in the region.

Regardless of the temperature when you pack your bags for One Ski Hill Place and its exciting array of adventures, know that you will be moved by the mountainous vistas and dazzled by what Colorado offers most: tranquility and peace of mind. It’s Breck-tastic.