Vail is America’s foremost planned ski town. The renowned community fills a narrow forested valley deep in the central Colorado Rockies. It was founded in 1962 when both the townsite and initial ski runs were completed. Major growth followed opening of the freeway from Denver.
Today, the original alpine-themed architecture has been subordinated to more monumental, angular structures. Vail Village has solidly established a pedestrian-only core distinguished by fountains, sculptures, flower-bordered walkways, courtyards, and parks by the creek. Cobblestone streets are now heated in winter for pedestrian comfort. Lionshead Village, no longer vying to be the heart of town, is a burgeoning sub-hub. Since 2000, much of Vail Valley has undergone mega-construction, resulting in well over one billion dollars in new ski-related facilities ranging from gondolas, lifts and runs to resorts, condominiums, and new restaurants and amenity services westward for more than ten miles to Beaver Creek (now a major satellite ski-oriented center, along with Avon).
For more information, check with the local Chamber of Commerce.
Return to links to all 100 Great Towns