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Copper Mtn./A Basin trip

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I haven't skiied Copper or A Basin in over 20 years, but I plan on trying it again the last week of Feb. Would appreciate feedback on lodging, bars, and overall ski conditions. I'm playing with the idea of staying in Dillon, Frisco, or some other small town for a couple nights and commute from there. Any suggestions? (Two guys skiing for about 3 days....)

post #2 of 10
I'd recommend Dillon or Frisco unless you can somehow snag some cheap lodging at Keystone or Copper. Ptarmigan Lodge (Best Western) in Dillon is a nice place downtown in Dillon. You'll find other recommendations for Frisco lodging if you search. Regardless, I'd recommend staying downtown so you don't need to drive.

Anyway, you asked about bars.. so let's start with Frisco.

The favorite local bar with lots of character is the Moose Jaw located on Main St across from the gas station. "Lots of character" could be taken to mean dive bar. A pitcher of Michelob will run ya $5 during happy hour.. a great start to any evening. They also serve a decent burger for a good price.

Assuming you stumble out of there and want to find more entertainment, head either direction up or down the street. Blue Spruce can offer a very nice atmosphere (complete opposite of Moose Jaw) with a nice upscale restaurant. Whereas you'll meet lots of ski instructors and lift mechanics at Moose Jaw, you're more inclined to find resort VP's at Blue Spruce. If that's your scene, you'll probably stay all night. If not, head the other direction down Main St. and stop in at Johnny G's. Darts, pool, live music, cheap beer and other sinfully good stuff can be found. It's hit or miss there, but generally I've found business doesn't pick up till 9pm or so.

From there, keep going to Barkley's. It used to be one bar with one owner in two different buildings. Now it's two bars with two owners in two buildings.. and everyone will likely still be calling it Barkley's for a few years. Barkley's Margarita Bar has new owners that seem relatively boring. Business seems to have dropped off. Though, if you like NTN trivia you'll find it there.

The other side is now called something like, "The Chill" and I highly recommend it. It's sort of hard to find, but it's on Main St. near the intersection with 6th. They're doing an awesome Texas Hold'em tournament on Monday nights that's free to enter with cool prizes. They do lots of other cool events, the Frisco Disco on Fridays has been going for a few years and usually attracts quite a crowd. Saturdays they do an all request night. Last year they started Drinkin' with Lincoln - all you can drink for $5. They stopped doing it for a while, but they're going to start again.

Two other places get an honorable mention - Tuscato's and Farley's. Both are more restaurants than bars, but they're really nice. Farley's just opened, though they ran a restaurant at Copper for several years under the same name. This one is nicer. If you want a great steak and are willing to pay for it, go to Farley's.

New this year, at least new management, is Backcountry Brewery. Previously I hated the place, but it's gotten a lot better and the staff is a lot nicer. I still think the microbrews at Blue Spruce are better (I think they're Pug Ryan's), but the Backcountry Brewery stuff has really improved. Business doesn't seem to have picked up since the previous owners pissed a lot of people off, but it should get better soon.

Dillon has less to offer. It's quieter, but I kind of like that.

Pug Ryan's is a nice place downtown in Dillon across from the post office. In my opinion it's the best microbrew in the county. Good atmosphere and in general a good crowd. They have good dinners, but you'll pay for it.

Arapahoe Cafe has a bar called "Down Under". You can get there by going to the back of the restaurant and down the stairs. It's right next to the Ptarmigan Lodge. I'd definitely recommend it. They have pub specials every night for dinner and you might get lucky and find a great meal there for a nice price.

The only other bar in town right now is Wild Bills. It's a block from the Ptarmigan Lodge. It'll definitely be louder and a little dingier than the other two places. It's a typical bar, but the restaurant is pretty good.

Other than that, you're driving. Maxwell St. is near City Market and it's ok. Ruby Tuesdays is near there and has the best drink specials. The Cala in Summit Cove is worth going to. In Silverthorne I'd recommend Murphy's Irish Pub or the Old Dillon Inn. ODI usually has a lot of people on Friday and Saturday nights for their live music. In Keystone I'd recommend The Goat (a dive) or Snake River Saloon (nicer.)
post #3 of 10
Nice post vinn, since I'll be leaving for Copper tomorrow! There is a cure for east coast misery after all!
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Copper Mtn.

A plethora of great useful information! Thanks a lot. I particularly enjoyed the tips on the beer.....
post #5 of 10
Great review of the bars in Frisco/Dillon. Feel free to do the same for the bars in Copper. I'll be there this weekend.
post #6 of 10
Bars and Restaurants at Copper

East Village (advanced skiing terrain)
- Food Court is called Grand Hall and there is a daily "pasta" special for $3.99
- JJ's is the best moderate restaurant at Copper ... small but good menu: huge burgers at lunch and great steaks at dinner. Thurs to Sun Moe Dixon plays there for apres ski ... referred to as the "Jimmy Buffet of Copper"
- Double Diamond is a your standard restaurant with pretty good fish

Center Village
- Jack's is the food court and has a full bar
- Jill's Bar is outside and only open in good weather
- Endos has a sports bar feel with drink specials at apres and standard "pub" food
- Frijole's ... huge burritos for lunch
- Blue Moose Pizza ... many claim it's the best pizza and calzones. Their dough has a lot of spices in it, which is something I don't care for.
- Lazy Lizard ... big servings of tex-mex fare
- Pravda is the russian vodka bar that plays techno music
- Storm King Lounge (my personal favorite) is an upscale martini bar -- very 'city bar' feel
- Alexanders is a 5-star upscale restaurant (about $50 pp for dinner) with excellent food

Union Creek
- just a food court ... this is really the "family" place

In Frisco (Main Street) ... everything is moderately priced
- Blue Spruce is a real locals favorite with a bar side and proper restaurant. Bar service is slow. Food is good. The steak tips are REALLY good.
- Tuscato is the italian restaurant. I have enjoyed every meal there.
- Boatyard ... you can get pizza or a full dinner there and the food is quite good ... there is a good/cheap bottle of wine on the menu called something like "woohoo"
- Farley's Chop House is a bit more spendy but the food is very good.

Best Breakfast is in Dillon: The Sunshine Cafe
Next best bet is the Log Cabin in Frisco on Main Street

liquor stores are closed on Sundays and the beer you buy in a supermarket has significantly lower alcohol content .... BEWARE
post #7 of 10

Copper Bars

Originally Posted by klkaye
Bars and Restaurants at Copper
To follow up...

JJ's in the east village has the shiny, happy apres thing people like. You can all hold hands and sing along with Mo. Expect a lot of Jimmy Buffett covers and Coors products. It's probably worth going to if you were planning on hitting the bar at 4pm anyway.

From there you can head to Double Diamond. It usually has a decent crowd and can be a nice place to hang out with someone.

Over at the center village, the prime Copper location is Endo's. I'd skip it, but you'll probably find the cheapest drink specials on the mountain there. All of the other options are much more interesting.

You might want to check the list of events for the day because a lot of stuff has been happening in center village near the new half pipe. It's kind of fun to sit on the deck of Jack's bar or the new umbrella bar, Jill's, and watch people in the stunt ditch. That'd be a like a 3pm or 4pm time for seeing the Copper Freeride team in there. Drinks on the deck on a sunny day.. it makes me wish it was April.

Blue Moose has a nice little bar. I really like going there and I should probably get there more often. They have a decent beer selection.

The chinese restaurant, Imperial Palace, has a bar too. It feels kind of weird to drink there and no one really does, but I think they have a cheap happy hour. It'll be the quietest bar on the mountain.

My favorite bars are Storm King Lounge and McGillicuddy's. If I want a nice place to sit down (couches, chairs, tables) I go to Storm King. It's a great place to kick back with a martini and I was pleasantly surprised to see a local musician playing there the other night. If you're looking to hook up with a newly divorced 40-something year-old, it's the best place to go.

McGillicuddy's is an Irish Bar and there's plenty of nights I've found myself waking up on the floor of the office because I didn't make it home from there. They serve Smithwick's and I'd recommend not having more than 10 - 12 pints. You can also get black & tans, car bombs, Guiness, etc. A pool table is upstairs and it's a great place to hang out with a group. There's a futon hiding up there too.

Salsa Mtn is sort of the local place on the mountain. It's where a lot of employees hang out and it's a decent place. If there's one place I usually end up, it's there. It's low-key, beer at a decent price, tables, pool, TV's, and nice bartenders.

Lazy Lizard has a bar with good margaritas, tables, etc. It's ok, but I'd really only go there if you're looking for a marg. Otherwise there's nothing special about the place.

Alexander's on the Ditch.. um, I mean on the Creek, has a really nice bar too. It has the same atmosphere as Storm King sans couches. It's the place I'd go for wine. It's also the nicest restaurant on the mountain.

Pravda is the late night spot. They have newly installed handles on the ceiling to facilitate dancing on the bar. It'll likely be a young crowd. The music may or may not be too loud to have a conversation. Downstairs is usually quieter and that's where I'll end up if I'm out past midnight. If you're looking to hook up with a slutty 20-something year old with a tattoo in the middle of her back, it's your best bet.

Union Creek and Solitude both have a bar if you're bored. Maybe a good place to meet up with people during the day. I'm not sure if Solitude's bar is operating right now though.

If I was going to do a bar crawl, I guess it'd go like this: check the events list and see if there's something going on in the half pipe late in the afternoon. If so, go Jack's and sit on the deck to watch it. If not, go see Mo. If you get bored, go to Double Diamond. For a really nice dinner, go to Alexander's. For an average meal, go to Lazy Lizard. For a cheaper, bar-style dinner, go to Blue Moose. Have a drink at Blue Moose to start the night. Then head to Storm King for a drink or three before going to McGillicuddy's. If you're still standing (keeping in mind your body is not going to react the same way to alcohol and dehydration at 9600') head to Salsa or Pravda.
post #8 of 10
10 or 12 pints! Vinn, You didn't look like a party animal. If I drank 12 pints of the Irish, I'd have to ski the trees all day looking for a place to pee.
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by Lars
10 or 12 pints! Vinn, You didn't look like a party animal. If I drank 12 pints of the Irish, I'd have to ski the trees all day looking for a place to pee.
Much less so now since the drive home to Breckenridge requires your BAC to be .08 or less.

I only go out 3 or 4 nights a week, but I keep a thermarest and sleeping bag in the office for those especially fun nights.
post #10 of 10
McGillicuddy's is a real young people (read: employees) crowd with limited food options but great beers on tap.

Silverheels is on Main Street in Frisco and it's FAB. One of the three top restaurants in Frisco
1) Blue Spruce
2) Farley's
3) Silverheels at the Ore House
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