A-Basin is definitely a place with an almost exclusive emphasis on skiing and riding: there’s a couple of restaurants and a bar, but that’s it for amenities. The good news is that when it comes to finding a place to stay, the surrounding area has a wide array of choices so you can find something to meet just about any budget, group size, and taste. Most visitors will stay in Keystone, Breckenridge, Dillon, Silverthorne, or Frisco. All of them are served by the free Summit Stage.
The closest is Keystone, only about 15 minutes from A-Basin. You can find plenty of hotels, condo rentals, restaurants and some bars. It sells itself as a resort for intermediate skiers with family friendly amenities – so it could be a good place to take your kids, but maybe not so much for your pal’s skiing bachelor party!
Just a little farther west past Keystone is Summit Cove, a lake front community on the shores of Dillon Reservoir with vacation rentals that offer a quieter, more residential kind of experience.
The neighboring towns of Dillon and Silverthorne are about 20 minutes away and offer the least expensive lodging options including several national chain hotels and motels. Right on I-70, they’re centrally located relative to Summit County’s ski resorts, and are 45 minutes from Vail and 60 minutes from Beaver Creek. Their biggest downside is that neither one of them really have much of a downtown, so dining (aside from chains) and nightlife are limited.
Frisco is the next town to the west along I-70, with easy access to Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. It’s about 10 minutes closer to Beaver Creek and Vail than Dillon and Silverthorne are, so it’s a great place to set up base if you’re stopping by those resorts. Frisco has a wide array of chain hotels for the more budget-minded traveler, along with some good restaurants. There’s also a Walmart for stocking up on the cheap, and a Whole Foods for stocking up on the not-so-cheap.
Breckenridge is about 30-45 minutes from A-Basin, and the Old West town at the base of the resort is where the entire county comes to shop, eat, and party. It has a couple grocery stores (though locals feel the one off Main on Ridge is overpriced, and go to City Market on the north edge of town instead). There’s plenty of places to stay, and Main Street hosts events all year long. If you like a healthy dose of revelry with your snowsports, the bar scene in Breck is one few other ski towns can match with a party somewhere every night of the week! You can learn more in our review of Breckenridge, so be sure to have a look.
From all this, you can see that getting to A-Basin from wherever you’re staying is too far to walk, so you’ll either need to catch a ride or drive yourself. Walking around A-Basin itself, on the other hand, is super easy because of the compact base area, which is really just a handful of buildings at the base of the lifts.
If you’re driving, parking is easy to find. The main lot, Early Riser, is right at the base of the slopes and is mostly first-come first-served. On weekends or party days (such as the legendary April 1st party) you’ll want to come early because it can fill up fast. If you have to settle for one of the auxiliary lots, fear not – they’re only about a 5-10 minute walk from the slopes.
The Early Riser lot is also home to the famous (or infamous?) “Beach” – surely part of the legend that is A-Basin! Right at the base of the three lower mountain lifts, it’s one of the best parking lot party scenes in all of skiing, with grilling, partying, occasional costumes, and general shenanigans. Fifteen spots, each which have room for two passenger cars and provide a picnic table, can be reserved for 100 USD and up, depending on the time of year. But you don’t really need to shell out the dough to able to chill your drinks in the snow and join the festivities, just have a designated driver or make plans to take the Summit Stage, of course!