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The Great Divide Lodge

Breckenridge, Colorado

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The town of Breckenridge, Colorado, has been around for a long time. For a while it was a nameless mining settlement. Then, in the late 1850s, the people decided they wanted a Post Office. This sort of amenity wasn’t always easy to come by in the middle of the Rockies a hundred and fifty years ago, so they decided to go (almost) right to the top. They named their town Breckinridge (with an ‘i’ in the middle) after John C. Breckinridge, the then Vice President of the United States. This bit of conspicuous flattery worked, and the august VP rewarded the town with the Post Office it wanted.

The change in spelling from ‘Breckinridge’ to ‘Breckenridge’ came a few years later in 1861. John C. Breckinridge came out in support of the South at the start of the Civil War. Most people in Colorado were strongly pro-Union, and changed the spelling of their town’s name to distance themselves from their former benefactor.

All this typical Coloradoan pragmatism is still evident in Breckenridge today. When the town’s major ski resort hotel, the Great Divide Lodge, was built, it was positioned just fifty yards from the base of the resort’s Peak 9 slopes, and not much further from the main thoroughfare of Breckenridge itself. The accommodation the Great Divide Lodge offers is everything you might desire after a chilly day on the piste or hiking in the hills. The rooms and suites themselves are geared around families on skiing breaks, or, alternatively, business executives – the area in general and the Great Divide Lodge in particular is very popular for conferences and meetings. All of the rooms feature one or two king or queen size beds, plus useful amenities like ironing boards, coffee makers and satellite TV. Additionally if you pick one of the Executive or ‘Murphy’ suites you get you own work/in-room dining area plus other luxuries like couches and a Nintendo for the kids. Throughout all the hotel’s rooms there is an emphasis on comfort and the management obviously set great store by the abundance and quality of their soft furnishings – exactly the kind of softness you want to sink into after a long day’s skiing! All rooms feature dataport facilities for conference attendees or vacationers who can’t quite make the break from work.

Out in the town itself there’s a lot of see and do. If you’re staying in the town during the winter, then besides the obvious – skiing – you can also try your hand at snowshoeing, snowboarding, skating and snowmobiling. If want to find out what it felt like to be a real Rockies pioneer you can even have a go at controlling a dog sledding – not the easiest way to travel, but certainly one of the most exhilarating.

There isn’t enough snow to get involved in these activities all year round. But that doesn’t stop Breckenridge offering a great selection of things to do in the summer months, too. You can hike, mountain bike, ride horseback or go fishing – as well as spend you evenings attending all kinds of great cultural events. The town has its very own Mardi Gras, and every June there is a Breckenridge Jazz Festival – much of which takes place on the magical floating stage on local lake Maggie’s Pond. This is the kind of town that just keeps on going all year around!

Back at the Great Divide Lodge you’ll find great food and drink on offer to tempt you when you return from whatever activity you’ve chosen on any given day. The only restaurant within the hotel itself is the Brecks Lounge Restaurant and Bar. This serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week from 7am to 9pm. You can find a great selection of locally-sourced fare on offer, and some of the Rocky Mountain steak and lamb dishes really are fantastic. If you’d like a change of scenery, you could venture into the resort village to visit the Park Avenue Pub. This is a great place to enjoy a beer or a glass of wine, and maybe a light snack, while meeting and mingling with your fellow vacationers. The modern interior and the old-fashioned hospitality of the pub combine into a truly memorable social experience. Even better, you don’t need to settle your bar tab on the night – it can be sent right back over to reception at the Great Divide Lodge and tacked on to your bill.

If you’re interested in taking an outdoors-oriented break in the US – either during the winter or the summer – a trip to the Great Divide Lodge and Breckenridge in general will present you with a great diversity of leisure options and fun activities. Strap on your ski boots and head for the Great Divide!

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