The Dog Lover’s Epic Guide to Vail

Get your sporting dog out of the condo and onto the slopes!

By Si Si Penaloza

Dog Lover's Guide to Vail - Get Leashed Mag

Photo credit: Vail Resorts

The best part of a ski holiday ­– besides the powder ­– is the social high. On my recent trip to Vail, the mountains glistened with fresh snow while the village crackled with cozy comforts and a cool community. Best of all, Vail is a four season wonderland for adventurous dogs, even if that “big adventure” boils down to paws getting primped and pampered. What’s better than spending the day on these majestic slopes and topping it off with a cuddlefest by the fire with your fur mate?

From posh pet amenities and perfectly groomed runs to droolworthy spas, Vail takes its hedonistic delights very seriously. Slopeside lunch spots buzz with high altitude excitement and post­-mogul glee. It’s an undeniably upscale scene, without the airs of Aspen. With its sporting spirit and thriving restaurants, Vail doesn’t need celebrities to validate its winning appeal. Here, it’s all about the mountain.

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As the temperature drops, powder junkies flock to Vail on the Epic Pass; the greatest thing to happen to skiers since high speed chair lifts. Imagine one pass that pays for itself in five days, giving you unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan, and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. Best of all? No blackout dates.

Vail Resorts is the world’s leading mountain resort operator; the company holds nine world ­class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas. As a company overall, Vail Resorts wins top marks for pet privileges. I spotted several sporting and working breeds ­– Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees –­ thriving in their element here. You’ll see a whole new side of your urban dog when you unleash them in this inspiring, snowcapped landscape. A hefty Bernese Mountain dog may be clumsy going down narrow loft stairs, but he’s all muscle and mojo on the mountain. But where oh where to stay? Good thing Get Leashed has the inside scoop on all things Vail.

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The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort

Snow vacations may be a winter staple, but with so many resorts catering to jet­-setting pets, choosing a hotel can be tricky. If you can book early, cinch a pet-­friendly room at The Arrabelle.

The Arrabelle allows pets in select guests rooms and private residences. The hotel invokes a pioneer spirit of wood and stone ski cabins; think sky-high European charm, with vaulted ceilings and granite fireplaces. If your group prefers to kick back and self­-cater, the best bet is going for one of the private residences — a portfolio of spectacular homes within a quick jaunt of every leisure activity you could possible imagine. Imagine the rush of an alpine picnic here, complete with a choice of craft ciders or champagne!

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