The sight of the snow-capped Rockies or Sierras beckoning from a distance is proving too much for corporate travelers to resist. After a long business trip, a growing number of entrepreneurs are heading for the hills for a snow-packed vacation to take advantage of cheaper airfares that mandate a Saturday-night stayover.
According to the National Ski Areas Association, Alpine resort visits during the 1997-98 season increased by about 3 percent to an estimated 54.1 million. Ski resorts such as Colorado's Breckenridge and Keystone--each just over an hour away from Denver--are courting corporate travelers with ski-free/stay-free packages and other off-season specials.
Even big-city hotels are getting in on the act. At the Broadmoor hotel, an upscale 700-room property in Colorado Springs, Colorado, "There are people who stay here for a few days on business and then go to the mountains for the weekend," says Broadmoor's Mark Klein. The hotel's concierge staff can help guests find transportation, ski equipment and even a good slope-side restaurant.
Day-trippers should expect to spend anywhere from $70 to $100 per day for transportation, meals, rentals and lift tickets, while business travelers who want to make a weekend of it should factor in lodging costs as well, which can run anywhere from $90 to more than $200 per night.
Christopher Elliott is a writer in Los Angeles and a columnist for "ABC News Online."
The Broadmoor Hotel, 1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80906, (719) 577-5777
Christopher Elliott is an Orlando, Fla., writer and independent producer who specializes in technology, travel and mobile computing. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and online. You can find out more about him on his website or sign up for his free weekly newsletter.