Keystone Resort Colorado Villages by Steve Falk
Two of the Keystone villages are also base areas for the ski mountain. Mountain House and River Run.
This is the original base area for Keystone when Max Dercum founded Keystone in 1970. The Snake River Runs along the base of Dercum Mountain, so there is precious little space right on the slopes. Only 4 buildings in Keystone are actually ski-in ski-out. Two of those buildings are in Mountain House Village (Chateaux D'Mont the original luxury condo building featuring in-room hot tubs and Slopeside which is an economical ski-in ski-out building). Mountain House is FAR less crowded than River Run and has a nicer beginners and ski school area. You will find one cafeteria style restaurant, one ski rental shop and one pizza joint, but not much else in the village. Mountain House is like having your own private mountain though.
In 1987, Intrawest (owns Whistler and Copper Mountain and Winter Park) developed the $700M River Run that is the quintessential alpine ski village. 12 individual condo buildings are arranged with shops and coffee houses and restaurants on the ground floor. The River Run gondola and high speed quad lifts service River Run. River Run is by far the most desirable location in Keystone as judged by numbers of guests wanting to stay there. The condo buildings are newer and the amenities are quite nice (pools, hot tubs, pool tables, saunas, fitness centers, etc). Downsides are that it's expensive, the rooms tend to be smaller, and it can get quite crowded.
Typical Guest: Families and Young Urban Professionals
West Keystone is group of many traditional condo buildings that are of all ages. It's only about 5 mins drive to either base area and is serviced by free shuttle buses that run every 20 mins in the peak season. The condos are nestled in mature pine forests and spaced out with nice Snake River Views. West Keystone is also where the two world-class golf courses are located. West Keystone is where you get the most for your money if you don't mind being 10 mins or so from the slopes. Downsides are that some of the buildings are older, so it is recommended to be able to see the actual condo you're renting as they do vary widely in quality.
Typical Guest: Families wanting value and people that come to Keystone year after year.
The newest addition to Keystone is East Keystone. Built on the old 'Ski Tip Lodge' property which was the original stagecoach stop after you passed over the mountain pass into Keystone. There are only a few condo communities and lots of multi-million dollar homes. The condos in East Keystone are large and new and nice and again, only 5-10 mins to the slopes at River Run.
Typical Guest: Affluent people wanting quiet and quality.
US Highway 6 bisects Keystone into the mountain side (to the south of US 6) and North Keystone which is everything across highway 6. You can get alot for your money in North Keystone. The buildings tend to be older, however there are some newer developments also. Again... only 10 mins to the slopes AND you can see them easily from your condo in North Keystone.
Typical Guest: Young guests looking for cheap accomodations and Senior guests looking for value.
This is the village Keystone built around a 5 acre lake to go with the Keystone conference center. Nice older well maintained condos surround the lake that you can boat in summer on a canoe, or skate on in winter. There are also several shops and restaurants and the Keystone Inn, which is a 4-star hotel run by Vail Resorts
Typical Guest: Conference Attendee and people wanting a hotel instead of a condo.
The 7th village is the gated community built on the original homestead site for Keystone Resort. Keystone Ranch doesn't have condo buildings, only single family homes ranging from $1M and older to brand new huge homes valued at well over $10M. Only a few of the homes are available for rent. This is also home to the clubhouse for the golf courses which wind into West Keystone from here.
Typical Guest: Affluent guests wanting a home instead of a condo.
About the Author
Steve Falk is co-owner of SkyRun Condos in Keystone Colorado. For more information and photos of all of the Keystone Villages discussed in this article, see www.SkyRunCondos.com.