Great values on ski/lodging packages and lots of free and low-cost ways to have fun.
There’s no need to stop traveling when deals are this good for a ski vacation in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colo. From late November to mid-December, stay at participating lodging partners and ski free, or consider one of two fly free packages. Once here there is free transportation and plenty of things to do for free or $6 or less.
For more great deals, go to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s web sites, www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com and www.stimulusvacations.com.
Stay & Ski Free
Take advantage of this early season offer to purchase accommodations from participating lodging partners in the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley and ski free at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) from Nov. 25 – Dec. 16, 2009. Go to www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com/ski-free.
Grand Lodge, Crested Butte Lodging, Nordic Inn, Crested Butte Retreat, Inn at Crested Butte, Bed & Breakfasts of Crested Butte, Pioneer Guest Cabins and Water Wheel Inn are some of the participating properties. Most have two- or three-night minimums, with prices primarily based on double occupancy. For example, the low starts at $42 per person, per night for double occupancy at the Water Wheel Inn in Gunnison. A stay at one of the Bed and Breakfasts of Crested Butte is $60 per person, per night for a queen guest room, and Grand Lodge in Mt. Crested Butte is $84 per person, per night for the same type of room. Some deals even include breakfast.
Fly Free Deals
When traveling by air to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) on United, Delta and American between December 17, 2009 and April 4, 2010, take advantage of CBMR’s Friends and Family Fly Free program. Buy two airline tickets and get the third free when staying in CBMR’s lodging properties for at least four nights. The maximum number of free tickets per itinerary is three (for a booking of nine tickets), and the maximum travel credit is $450 per free airline ticket.
The offer is subject to availability and not valid for inbound travel to GUC between Dec. 26 – 29, 2009 or outbound travel from GUC between Dec. 30, 2009 – Jan. 3, 2010. Offer also is not valid for any travel between March 12 – 16, 2010.
Families also can save with CBMR’s Kids Fly Free promotion from Jan. 3 – Feb. 12, 2010. One child, ages 2 – 12 years, flies free on American Airlines with a paying adult. There is a minimum three-night stay at CBMR properties required and arrivals into the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) must be scheduled Sunday through Wednesday. Departures from GUC must be scheduled from Tuesday through Friday. Through this promotion, kids, ages 2 – 12, also receive a free child’s lift ticket when accompanied by a paying adult and stay in CBMR lodging for free with no additional fees.
These offers cannot be combined with any other offers and are valid only on new reservations. For information and reservations visit www.skicb.com or call Crested Butte Vacations at (800) 600-2803.
Spring Madness Special
Stay at any of the Bed & Breakfasts of Crested Butte, a local group of B&B’s, from March 28 through April 4, 2010 and enjoy four nights lodging and two days of skiing for only $99 per night, per person, based on double occupancy. The rate includes a complimentary gourmet breakfast served each morning of your stay. The prices are subject to change and cannot be combined with any other specials or packages. Valid at the Elizabeth Anne Bed and Breakfast, Purple Mountain Bed and Breakfast, and The Ruby of Crested Butte. Additional nights are available at a discount with purchase. For more details or to book, go to www.CrestedButteBedandBreakfasts.com.
Free/Low-Cost Entertainment & Transportation
Events & Culture
Get into the holiday spirit at Night of Lights in Gunnison on Dec. 4 and Light Up Night & Holiday Parade in Crested Butte on Dec. 5. Both events are free.
Watch the silliness and seriousness as racers take off during the 24th annual Alley Loop Nordic ski race on Feb. 6. While you’ll see plenty of Lycra on racers attempting to qualify for the American Birkebeiner, many families and casual racers wear costumes for the shorter races that go through the streets, alleys and trails of Crested Butte.
Flush out winter and welcome spring at the 42nd annual Flauschink held April 1 – 4 during the last week of ski season. Some Flauschink festivities are free, while others cost $5 or less with a $3 button purchase.
On the last Thursday of December through March, stroll the galleries of Crested Butte during ArtWalk Evening. At many locations, refreshments are served and guest artists are on hand.
Western State College offers several free concerts by faculty, students and guest artists throughout the year.
At the Gunnison Arts Center and Crested Butte Center for the Arts, view art exhibits for free. The Gunnison Arts Center also has a gift shop filled with items created by local artists.
There is a $3 fee (12 and under are free) to enjoy the exhibits at Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, but enjoy the lobby filled with items that used to be sold at Tony’s Conoco, photos of old-timers and an excellent gift shop for free.
Go sledding and ice skating at the Crested Butte Nordic Center. There is no cost to use the hill or rink, and the center offers inexpensive ice skate and sled rentals.
Join the Crested Butte Nordic Center for a free lesson during “Learn to Skate Ski for FREE!” on the first Thursday of every month from December – March. The class starts at 1 p.m. and is limited to 12 people, so reserve a space by calling (970) 349-1707 by the Tuesday before. Ski rentals are available for $15.
If you have snowshoes or Nordic skiing equipment, ask local outfitters where to go in the backcountry or on free Nordic trails in Gunnison. Equipment also can be rented for a reasonable price.
Drop a line in the Taylor River or Blue Mesa Lake. A fishing license is required.
Enjoy a day at the Gunnison Recreation Center’s entire facility for only $4 for kids ages 5 – 17 and $6 for adults. Kids under 5 are free. Think an indoor pool with slides, rock climbing wall, gym, game room and fun galore.
The City of Gunnison Ice Facility at Jorgensen Park features three sheets of ice: an indoor NHL-size rink, outdoor Olympic-size covered rink, and outdoor frozen pond. The admission cost for the indoor rink is $3 for ages 18 and older, $2 for ages 5 – 17, and free for kids under 5. Skate rentals are $3 per pair. There is no cost to use the outdoor rink and pond. There are scheduled times for public skate at both rinks, and the pond is dedicated to open skating.
Colorful Mountain Express buses painted by local artists provide free transportation between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. The main bus stops are at the visitor center in Crested Butte and the ski area, with several other stops in both Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte.
The Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority offers free bus service between Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte so you can stay at one end of the valley and still have an easy and free way to connect to the other end.
Visitor Information & Personalized Vacation Packages
To find out more about Gunnison County or to book other vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free line, (800) 814-8893, or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com. Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow on www.twitter.com/gcbta.
The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines with flights from Denver and during the winter season by American Airlines with direct flights from Dallas/Fort Worth and Delta Air Lines with direct flights from Salt Lake City and Atlanta.
About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.
Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.
Gunnison, a real western town located 28 miles from Crested Butte, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, a four-year institution offering majors in the liberal arts and sciences and professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.
In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.
Source: Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association