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No romance in Summit? No way

SUMMIT COUNTY – Anyone who’s come to town looking for love or a companion has heard the expressions.

“The odds are good, but the goods are odd,” the ladies say. The men lament, “It’s not your girlfriend, it’s just your turn.”

Nevertheless, couples do find romance in Summit County. Hundreds of men propose each year, and fiancees wed in the scenic environs that complement vows of everlasting amour.



But not according to Skisnowboard.net. The Internet site reviews ski areas throughout North America and publishes guidebooks on deals, events and resorts. Timed (coincidentally enough) with Valentine’s Day, the group published top 10 lists of the most romantic ski resorts in the East and West. Colorado resorts at Beaver Creek, Crested Butte and Telluride made the list, and Aspen came in at No. 2, but Summit County ski areas were jilted.

“We really worked hard to pick places which offer a kind of picture-perfect location, atmospheric restaurants, a great visual scene and great skiing,” said Charles Leocha, publisher and president of Skisnowboard.net.



Leocha said his company’s 20 contributors pitched their favorites for romantic resorts, and he made the final list. He said remote, quaint ski areas, such as Alta in Utah, lend themselves to romance.

“Copper Mountain is its own experience – kind of like getting on a cruise ship because it’s self-contained,” Leocha said. “Depending on who you’re with, it can be romantic.

“Breckenridge is a little too sprawling and tending towards urban,” he said. “People like the town, and it’s featured in many of our other top 10 lists.

“Keystone is pretty much a collection of condos at the base of the ski area. It’s just not at the level of Sun Valley (Idaho) or Crested Butte.”

Summit County residents and resort officials said Leocha’s contributors might need to take another look for next year’s list because Colorado High Country resorts are as romantic as it gets.

Keystone spokesman Mike Lee said reviewers “must not have ever eaten at the (Alpenglow) Stube.” Lee cited the resort’s conference services department as proof that romance is alive and well in Summit County – the department helps arrange dozens of weddings each summer.

“If we didn’t make the top 10, it’s because they’ve never come here,” Lee said.

When men want to propose to their girlfriends in Breckenridge, they go to the Hunt Placer Inn. Co-owner Kelly Butler helps about 20 men each year find the perfect location to take a knee and pop the question. Butler said it’s a common enough event that most of the guests know about it and wait anxiously to hear how the proposal fared. The inn was featured last year on a Travel Channel show about the top 10 most romantic bed and breakfast lodges in the country, and Butler said it attracts plenty of couples to Breckenridge.

“It’s the intimacy they want,” Butler said. “They get the charm of a small town. They come from bigger places with hustle and bustle, and they want a quiet getaway in the snow. You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through town here. That’s romance.”

Butler said she and guests are wondering if they might see a few proposals today.

Silverthorne resident Allison Simson met her husband on the slopes at Keystone when both of them were skiing instructors. In 1996, they married on Keystone Mountain because it was the special place in their hearts.

“It was very, very romantic,” Simson said. “It’s a beautiful setting, as picturesque as anywhere – and the prettier the better. I think there’s a lot of people who come up here looking for love. They might not know it – they might be looking for skiing, too – but they find both. We have the whole package here.”

Loveland Ski Area is best known for its romance, especially on Valentine’s Day. Today, more than 60 couples will marry and renew their wedding vows on the slopes east of the Eisenhower Tunnel, according to sales and promotion manager Ken Kelley. Kelley said the culture that has developed around the event lends to its popularity, but the scenery and the local flavor add to the romance.

“I’m from here, so I’m a little biased, I guess,” Kelley said. “But somebody from around here should have made the list.”

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Most Romantic Resorts in the West

1. Sun Valley, Idaho

2. Aspen, Colo.

3. Banff/Lake Louise, Canada

4. Deer Valley, Utah

5. Santa Fe, N.M.

6. Crested Butte, Colo.

7. Taos, N.M.

8. Telluride, Colo.

9. Alta, Utah

10. Beaver Creek, Colo.

– As ranked by Skisnowboard.net

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Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.


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