Strictly Business Omaha Visits Colorado, 2009
Growing up in western Nebraska as much of our staff did, many of us spent childhood vacations skiing in nearby Colorado. As we grew up and moved to the cities of Lincoln and Omaha, we found that Colorado was not as accessible as it once was (Angela Woltman’s home was only a half hour from the Colorado border). However, we all found we’d missed our ski vacations, so decided to plan one for our families in late winter of last year. After doing much research,we decided to avoid the larger and more recognized ski areas such as Aspen and Vail, for a smaller, less commercialized spot. Read on for more information on our wonderful Colorado ski vacation!
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort | 15870 County Road 162 Nathrop, CO 81236 | 1.888.395.7799 toll free | Mtprinceton.com
The Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, where we chose to stay, was the perfect place for our party. The heart of the resort is their geothermal springs, allowing guests to lounge in crystal clear, odorless waters that reach 135 degrees. The resort is just a mile away from the Colorado Trail, which offers opportunities to hike, mountain bike and experience beautiful scenery. Also accessible are fishing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and, of course, skiing and snowmobiling (both of which we took part in). Mount Princeton offers a number of lodging options, but we chose to stay in a couple of the cozy log cabins nestled in the woods, just a short walk from the main lodge. These cabins look rustic, but offer all the modern amenities you need and can accommodate up to eight people. With full kitchens, we were able to cook many of our own meals and enjoyed hanging out in the beautiful cabins when we needed to warm up or take a break from skiing.
Monarch Mountain | 888-996-SNOW | Skimonarch.com
Monarch Mountain, just thirty minutes away from Mount Princeton, is the perfect ski area with abundant natural snow (350+ inches) and friendly people to help make your experience wonderful. A small resort, you can walk from your car right to the lifts, the prices are very reasonable and all the runs naturally flow back to the base area so that no one in your party gets lost! The mountain has 63 trails, 14% of which are beginner, 28% intermediate, 27% advanced and 31% expert. The longest run is 1 mile in length, the uphill capacity is 6,100 skiers per hour and lifts are open from 9 am to 4 pm daily. With 800 acres along the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range, Monarch is just a gorgeous, laid-back place to ski away from the hustle and bustle (and time share salespeople) of more recognized ski resorts.
Monarch Tours | 800-539-2573 | www.snowmobilemonarch.com
If skiing isn’t your thing or you want a little variety, you should get in touch with Monarch Tours, which offers a number of snowmobile tour options. You can take all day tours, half day rides, tour-hour rides riding. If you just feel like doing some fun snowmobiling, you can forego the tours and just rent snowmobiles for an hour or two and do some exploring on your own. All of the snowmobiles at Monarch Tours are Polaris 550 cc RMK or 550 cc Sport Touring. Trips are provided for all experience levels, so don’t worry if you’ve never operated a snowmobile before. We all had a great time, whether we were driving the snowmobiles or just enjoying the great scenery.
Boathouse Cantina | 228 F. Street Salida, CO | www.boathousecantina.com
With all of the skiing and snowmobiling we were doing, we certainly worked up an appetite. Luckily, there are many wonderful restaurants nearby, so when we didn’t feel like cooking in our cabin or dining in the lodge, we were able to find close restaurants to visit. One evening, our choice was the Boathouse Cantina in nearby Salida. This great restaurant is on the Arkansas river and boasts glass garage doors around the entire restaurant that are open all summer and warm fall days. You can see the kayakers on the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery while munching on some truly delicious dishes like Baja Fish Tacos, Tempura Battered Shrimp, Green Chili Cheddar BLT and Chili Rellenos. Visit the Cantina for great food, wonderful drinks (they have world famous boat drinks and margaritas!) or to watch your favorite sporting event on their two big screen televisions.
Amica’s | 136 E. 2nd St. Salida, CO 81201 | (719) 539-5219 | www.amicassalida.com
Our other dinner choice was Amica’s, a great place that offers pizza, paninis, decadent desserts and microbrews, also in Salida. The wood-fired pizzas are amazing here, and we sampled the Alghero (roasted chicken, Portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, gorgonzola, balsamic marinara sauce, mozzarella and rosemary),the Michelangelo (Italian sausage, caramelized onions, green chiles, goat cheese, mozzarella and pesto) and the pepperoni. There is also a number of unique salads (like the Insalata Spinaci with pine nuts, gorgonzola and pesto vinaigrette), paninis (the eggplant was our favorite), calzones and desserts to die for. We fell in love with the assorted truffles, which are made fresh in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and the Peanut Butter Mousse. Definitely a must is you are in the area and hungry! Our Colorado ski vacation definitely lived up to our memories of skiing as kids and we can’t wait to go back. If you’re looking for low-key skiing with breathtaking scenery and very nice people, you can’t go wrong with the Salida area and Monarch.