The Vail ski resort and I go way back. I started going there when I first moved to Colorado when I was 23. When I worked at Keystone, my co workers and I would have a blast heading over there for a few nights.
Vail has always been on my radar and is probably the root of the reason I live here. Longer story... Getting to Vail has always been pretty easy. Fly to Denver and it is 2 hours away by car or shuttle. Or you can also fly to the Vail/Eagle airport and drive only about 40 minutes.
Skiing Vail is the reason to go, and they make it easy for you with their EPIC pass, a season pass valid at multiple ski resorts. If you're shopping early, you can snag this from Ski.com for under $500. It is the best deal in the ski industry.
Anyway, the chance for a powder day in the back bowls of Vail have to be the best reason to come and visit in my opinion. You simply cannot fathom how wide open, humongous and steep these intermediate level bowls are until you have experienced them first hand. Sure Vail has the village plucked right from the streets of St. Moritz and the countless 5-star level hotels and the best ski shuttle system I have ever seen. But the back bowls are why they built this village in the first place.
I recently visited Vail with a group of people and we had a blast. We stayed at the Antler’s in Lionshead and thought it was great. The river is outside the back door and it's a very short walk from the gondola, making it a perfect location. The Inside of the condo itself did not blow us away with its furnishings, but nobody complained and it was very spacious. We saw a free concert, had high-octane après ski and enjoyed a few inches of fresh snow. Hot tubs were hot, pool was warm and we did not get in our vehicles until our trip was over. Could not ask for anything more.
Vail is overall one of the best places to go in the country. And even though the skiing is great, you might still find yourself sitting at Garfinkels in Lionshead, having a beer and watching all the people.