Jun192012

Keystone Resort Colorado Pictorial Review–Pt. 1

Keystone Resort hosted the Travel Blog Exchange conference TBEX12 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains about 90 miles west of Denver. This is a high altitude resort at about 9,300 ft. in elevation for the lodging area and over 11,000 ft. for the ski area reached by enclosed gondola lifts.

This is my third summer traveling from my sea level home in Monterey, California to the Rocky Mountain resort towns of Vail-Beaver Creek, Aspen and now Keystone. It can’t be overstated that a significant portion of visitors will feel the effects of the low-oxygen, high-altitude air. My recommendation is to try and stay for at least 5 to 7 days if you plan to visit the high mountains since you may find yourself without the energy to do much for the first two or three days of your stay.

Keystone Resort is an actual village consisting of about a dozen lodging buildings spread across a mile long stretch of valley on both sides of Highway 6. A shuttle transports guests and visitors from the Lodge to Conference Center and other Keystone Village locations.

Dillon, Colorado is the nearest town about 6 miles to the west on Highway 6. The only chain hotels in Dillon are Best Western, Choice and Wyndham properties.

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The view from my Keystone Resort room in Lakeside Village. This building is physically connected to the AAA 4-diamond Keystone Lodge. Personally I think the view was better here than at the rooms in the Lodge. The sign on the building across the way gives the lake elevation as 9,321 ft.

I paid a conference rate of $144.50 all-in for my 2-night stay. I feel like I received great value with a studio suite including a kitchen.

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This Lakeside Village studio suite is a time-share condo. A sign in a real estate office in the complex indicated this type of unit is priced around $200,000.

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The room had a pull-down wall bed.

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Traveling alone I kept the bed out for my stay.

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The kitchen was a great feature that I didn’t use during my stay except to keep some cold beer and make coffee. There is a grocery store in Keystone Village that I saw from the shuttle as we traveled to the River Run Village section for the gondola lift up the mountains.

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The conference activities kept me from exploring much of Keystone Village. I attended a function with Jen Miner of The Vacation Gals and John DiScala aka Johnny Jet for SPG Amex Stars at 9,280 Taphouse in the River Run Village.

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This was the only time I ventured to that part of the resort complex.

The River Run Village section of Keystone Resort is where several restaurants and shops are located. This is also the place for gondola lift rides up to Dercum Mountain at 11,640 ft.

In summer the gondola lift cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children.

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Atop Dercum Mountain.

Our TBEX function was atop North Peak and Dercum Mountain was just a stopover to walk to the next gondola lift traversing across to the North Peak mountain top behind the Keystone sign. The two gondola rides took about 30 minutes to travel from River Run Village to the Outpost on North Peak at 11,444 ft.

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North Peak has mountain top dining and ski/mountain bike runs.

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Sunset from atop North Peak, 11,444 ft.

While the views are nice from the gondola, the scratched glass limited photography opportunities. I am amazed how few pictures I took while up on the mountain. My brain was fuzzy. There was so much complimentary food and drink available for TBEX conference attendees and I only managed to eat a few pieces of asparagus and bell pepper with water all evening. The altitude periodically gave me dizzy spells and I avoided drinking any alcohol for the evening event.

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Chocolate and more chocolate in the dessert tent for the TBEX reception and all I could stomach was a few photos at 11,444 ft. There is a beautiful lodge on North Peak and I did not even take a single photo of the building.

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Brilliant light at sunset on North Peak, Keystone Resort.

I will post more photos and describe Keystone Lodge and TBEX 12 conference in separate posts.

Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Ric,

    Sorry I didn’t get to meet you at TBEX. Your pictures really take me back. While I was definitely dizzy at the summit, sounds like you had a rougher time with the altitude. Look forward to your next posts.

  2. @Jeff – There were so many people at TBEX and I didn’t meet many of the people who were explicity asking to meet me.

    I don’t know if I was having that bad a time with the altitude or if it was the five or so beers I had already consumed that day during the TBEX Beer Road Rally. I had a pint of beer at the 9,280 TapHouse just prior to heading up the gondola lift.

  3. @Tyler – Altitude effects vary by person and what they have eaten and drunk. I know someone who tried living full time in Dillon and never really adjusted, so she moved down to Denver. I can’t imagine the fun someone from sea level must have going to 9K in one day.

    Of course, for us Colorado folks, the air is too thick to breath at sea level. 🙂

  4. Hi,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about things to do around Lakeside Village to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you 🙂
    Jane

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