Colorado’s Bargain Season – The New York Times

The weekend before Christmas, a night at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, the luxurious hotel at the center of the Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Colorado, costs $1,489. In July, it goes for $659. But on a recent Saturday night, my wife and I paid just $189 for a similar room. We had to add $30 for valet parking, but breakfast was free and with spa treatments half-price, we spent only $80 for a half-hour in a copper bathtub-for-two, which included champagne, robes, slippers and tinkly new-age music.

I love Colorado ski towns just after skiing ends, during what locals call mud season. (The expression is too dirty for Aspen, which has rebranded it “the secret season.”) For roughly two months, beatific mountain villages empty out, chichi hotels become affordable, “drink the bar dry” specials pop up and shops go half-price or more.

The whole thing repeats after Labor Day, especially in October, but it’s more crowded and expensive because of “leaf-peepers” seeking fall colors. In late April, you have the place to yourself.

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