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