Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN) just announced on Monday that it's ski season has been extended to May 1, 2022, making it their longest ski season on record. Vail reported 11" of new snow (courtesy of: OnTheSnow)Thursday morning giving the mountain a base depth of 72" of snow. The weather on Wednesday night had many drivers confused on how to handle the wintery conditions, there were accidents and traffic backed up for miles. There are ways to mitigate the risks of winter travel, especially if you are from a state where snow is not common.
While renting a car is generally not advised due to the long lines at the airport and ill-equipped vehicles, private transfers are the way to go. The drivers are aware up-to-the-hour of road, traffic, and weather conditions and will make any necessary adjustments to ensure a smooth traveling experience. Instead of grabbing your bags from baggage claim and then taking the airport shuttle to the rental car lot, our drivers will pick up right next to baggage claim. We have a fleet of luxury SUV's and executive vans that make private transfers from Denver Airport to any of the ski resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, Breckenridge, and Steamboat Springs) a cinch. The vehicles are outfitted with top-of-the-line safety features, snow tires, and 4-wheel drive.
Eagle Airport private transfers are also a great option, our drivers will meet you in the lobby and drive you to your destination. Common trips are:
Private transfers from Eagle Airport to Beaver Creek, Vail, and Aspen. While it's common for people to book flights into Aspen Airport, many people hedge the risk of weather and will book flights into Eagle Airport and book a private transfer to Aspen. Mr. Chauffeur is also able to accommodate for private jets in the Vail Valley Jet Center.
Interstate 70 or simply i70 is a highway that runs east and west in the state of Colorado. From Denver to Vail there are several geographic obstacles that can make driving in winter conditions difficult. The first obstacle is the Floyd Hill and foothills area where the road is windy and traffic can be heavy. The second obstacle is the Eisenhower Tunnel (elevation 11,158 ft), where you face a 7% grade for 7 miles to Silverthorne. The last main obstacle is the Vail Pass (elevation 10,666 ft) 7% grade (max) over 9 miles of downhill. Thousands of cars travel these areas everyday, many of which have little to no experience with winter driving, and many of which are not outfitted with snow safety equipment. All three of these areas have traction laws during snowstorms, there are fines associated with failing to comply. The fine for simply not having equipment is $130 while the fine for blocking the roadway is $650 ($1,132 for semi tractor trailers). We're not trying to scare you with this information, but rather make you aware of the risks associated with do-it-your-self winter travel. Not every rental company will put snow tires on their cars, and not every vehicle is 4-wheel drive. Every vehicle our fleet is in full compliance of these laws and safety standards.
In March/April, there will be days where the weather is warm (40 degrees+) and sunny. This does not indicate that there will be no more snow. The weather in the Colorado Rockies is extremely variable and unpredictable. It could be sunny and warm during the day, but then at night we can receive 10 inches of snow. During this time of year, the snow has a higher moisture content, due to the warm and cold air mix. This snow is much heavier than mid-season's dry and light snow mix. It's common to receive snowfall during April as well as May, while it's common to have surprise storms that were not forecasted. You should definitely trust the weather people, but also be cautious when planning a trip to the mountains. Anticipate weather changes, delays, and hazardous driving conditions. Give yourself extra time for travel so you don't have to rush. Most Importantly, enjoy the (long) ski season. It's nice to get away from the cities and head to the mountains for a ski getaway. Kudos to you for doing your due diligence on planning travel. You will set yourself ahead of other oblivious travelers that just want to wing it.