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Friday, December 26, 2014 Leave a Comment

By Jaime Travis

My family has been visiting Keystone almost every Saturday for the last 4 years.....well, that is, my husband and two kids have.  Anyone who knows me knows, I do not ski, snowshoe, snowboard, or do anything that requires me to be cold (and possibly fall repeatedly) for an extended period of time. I am a city girl through and through, and despite being a native, I have have no interest in learning any of the above.

Despite this, I want my kids to become skiers/snowboarders, and I love knowing that they have a top-notch ski program to guide them.  In fact, my son Jack has been part of the Keystone Kroozers since he was but a wee 3 year old.  My daughter, Lucca, who is 5, is enjoying her second year in the program.  Everyone knows there are myriad of choices in Colorado, we truly are spoiled, but for our family, Kroozers was a no-brainer.  Why you may ask?  There are a few reasons: first and foremost, Keystone is one of the closest resorts to the front-range, and luckily, also happens to be one of the best.  Second, the Kroozers program pairs amazing instructors with the same kids for the entire run of the program.  The instructors get to know the kids and give great feedback.  Lastly, the price.  This coming January Kroozers is a 4 week program and runs $399 for one child with discounts for the second.  February and March are 3 week sessions and are $340.  A one day ski lessons at the resort costs $163.  The savings is marked.

As I mentioned, my kids and husband make the one day trip up nearly every week of the winter, and after lots of guilt from my oldest, I was convinced to go up for a recent weekend.  I also invited my parents to come along, as I needed another non-skier (my mom), for solidarity.  After a little research, I discovered there are many terrific options for a stay at the mountain, and we ultimately opted for a 3-bedroom condo in River Run Village. The accommodations were outstanding, I am fairly certain my son would have happily stayed in his room the entire weekend once he caught a glimpse of the flat-screen tv en suite.  Our building (The Springs) also had a heated outdoor pool, complete with slide, outdoor fire pit and hot tub, also a huge hit.  We could very easily walk to the village and we were just steps away from the River Run gondola.  As Jack said "it was rad."

While the kids and my husband and dad were off skiing, my mom and I explored the village, did some shopping at the outlets in Dillon and just relaxed.  When the ski day was over we all headed over to the parade in River Run Village which ends at the ice-skating rink (every Staurday at 4pm) complete with choreographed dance moves, free hot chocolate and cookies and a DJ.  Later, we headed up to the summit of North Peak Mountain in the River Run gondola to the resort's fondue restaurant, Der Fondue Chessel.  If you're wondering if there was a wandering Alpine band serenading you during your meal, you're in luck.  And, you can never go wrong with dipping various items in cheese or chocolate.

On our final day at Keystone, I had the total pleasure of enjoying an 80 minute massage at the resort's bucolic spa.  Located on the ground floor of the Keystone Lodge and Spa, this little gem is a must visit for those in need of a little tlc.  As I discovered during our weekend, there are many, many things to do in Keystone for the non-skier.  The resort offers great shopping, dining, a wonderful spa, and the outlets are just a 10 minute drive away. There is ice-skating, tubing, Kidtopia (a kick-ass snow fort), great people-watching and gorgeous views.  Our weekend in Keystone really opened my eyes to what I had been missing over the years (fun, food, family, relaxation, beauty).

If you have never been to Keystone, or just haven't been in awhile, you should go! Thanks a million Keystone, I will be back!