Vail Logistics Information

VCEW 2022 Attendee Notes
Where
Reminder - this year, we’re not at the old Christiania hotel in Vail Village, we’re at the much larger luxury Arrabelle Hotel at Vail Square, in Lionshead Village.

The Arrabelle’s website is best found by searching for “arrabelle hotel vail”. It gives the hotel main line number as 855-516-1090. Their full address is 675 LIONSHEAD PLACE , VAIL, COLORADO 81657.

How to get there is therefore different from previous years;  as ever, your GPS/cellphone/whatever will probably know, but for those on I-70, you will want to take Exit 176. If you’re coming from Denver, exit and use the 4th exit to cross I70, and then at the roundabout on the other side, turn right at the first exit onto S Frontage Road W. Continue 0.7 miles, and turn left onto W Lionshead Circle. After 400ft, turn left onto Lionshead Place. Another 700 feet and you’re there. 

Parking

Every attendee who has reserved a room at the Arrabelle has one valet parking space at the Arrabelle included in the price.

Check-In 

You will be given appropriate VCEW paperwork - the program, updated Attendee notes if needed, anything hotel-related - at hotel check-in. We’ll hand out badges (for you and for any person sharing your room) in the bar Sunday evening.

VCEW Events

Traditionally, VCEW has a Reception every evening - meet and talk with speakers and other attendees, partake of a choice of beverages and some most excellent snacks - before walking in tidy procession to dinner at a Vail Village restaurant. This year, that’s changed somewhat too. Details will be in the Program, but here’s a summary:

  • Sunday evening, we will have no official Reception. Instead, we plan to gather in the hotel’s bar between check-in (5.00 pm) and dinner; dinner will be in the Arrabelle Ballroom (at 6.30), where we’ll be holding the Workshop (the Ballroom will be elegantly divided in two, for dining and workshopping). Look for helpful informational notes to be posted in the Ballroom as needed.
  • Monday night and Tuesday night, we will make our own way to Vail Village, where we will have our traditional Reception and our traditional Procession to Dinner.  The Reception isn’t really suitable for kids and teens; your person-sharing-your-room is welcome.  
  • You can walk from the hotel to the Reception - about a mile each way, perhaps 20-25 minutes, or you can use the Vail public transport system, which provides a shuttle service between Lionshead and Vail Village.  The end points are short walks from hotel,  VCEW Reception, and restaurant.  We will leave the Reception and walk to the restaurant (which is La Nonna - Italian - on Monday and The Left Bank - French - on Tuesday) in Vail Village in time to dine at 6.30pm.  At 8.00pm, having finished our meal, we go find the shuttle and go back to the hotel. 
  • Times approximate; it’s a continuous public transit service.
  • If there’s further information it’ll be provided at checkin and/or in the Arrabelle Ballroom.

General Arrangements

The Workshop is held in the Arrabelle Ballroom, which is where we will also be served breakfast and lunch (and Sunday dinner). See the Program for times.

Tuesday Afternoon

Traditionally, you get the early part of Tuesday afternoon off. Feel free to explore Vail, rent a bike, take a gondola up the mountain, whatever. 

The later part of Tuesday, however, is the planning session for VCEW 2023. Please try to attend, and use your experience at this year and prior years’s VCEW to help us make it even better next year.  Think about stuff you’d like to hear about, and who you know or could contact who could speak on interesting things.

Vail Info

There’s a bunch of info online about Vail and things to do.  You can start at discovervail.com and go from there. Probably the hotel concierge can help, too. Call the hotel’s main number to enquire!

Reminder

VCEW is an off the record Workshop. Please don’t photograph slides presented, nor record the presentations. Do feel free to ask speakers for copies of slides. Please bring a business card or two so we can make up a list of attendees who want their contact info shared with others.

Walking

Vail’s not that big. For example, it’s a bit over three quarters of a mile from the hotel to our Monday night restaurant - about 20 minutes. It’s a bit further to the Reception location -  a tad over a mile - and so perhaps 25 minutes walk.

Altitude

Don’t forget that Vail is at altitude - it’s at 8000 feet.  At least 8000 feet. If you take a gondola (or a bike) up the mountain you can get to 9,000 and 10,000 - and 11,000.  There’s less air between you and the sun - so beware sunburn. There’s less air - so expect to feel more exhausted.  The effects of drinking alcohol may be greater than you’re used to. The air is dry, so you can dehydrate more quickly than you’re used to; drinking more water than you’re used to may reduce any symptoms coming from altitude. If you have a health situation which might be affected by high altitude, talk to your doctor before coming. Use common sense. And don’t worry too much - about a quarter of  Vail visitors can expect to feel some symptoms, but these are generally very mild.

Transportation to Colorado and Vail

The nearest major airport to Vail is Denver International Airport (DIA) with hundreds of flights through various major air carriers. Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) is also available as a much smaller, more expensive, and more limited option.

Transportation from Denver International Airport to Vail:

There are many options to reach Vail from Denver. 

Many attendees choose to rent a car - it’s about a two and a half hour drive from the airport.

The route to Vail from DIA is a scenic, mountainous, toll-free route along Interstate 70 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_70_in_Colorado).  After passing through the plains before Denver, travel includes a steep climb through the Rocky Mountains and many small towns and major tunnels including the large Eisenhower Tunnel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_Tunnel) before arriving at Vail.  

There are a number of towns and communities along I-70 between Denver and Vail providing the usual services, and Vail Village itself has a number of establishments for eating and drinking.

Other transport options from Denver to Vail included a daily shuttle van or bus by Epic Mountain Express (used to be Colorado Mountain Express) (https://www.epicmountainexpress.com) or Peak 1 Express (https://www.mountainshuttle.com/shuttle-schedule/vail/).

“Ridesharing" services such as Uber or Lyft are available but services may be extremely limited or unreliable at times.

Note:  please pay attention to bus and shuttle schedules etc if you plan to use these to get to the Workshop.

Transportation in Vail

Vail is largely walkable, but for longer excursions  the Town of Vail offers a free intown bus service (https://www.vailgov.com/bus-schedules#la-1768353-intown-buses) and https://www.vailgov.com/government/departments/transportation-services/bus-information/bus-schedules#la-1768353-intown-buses

Altitude Effects

While Vail Village is rather lovely, and set in magnificent mountain scenery, it also enjoys an altitude of about 8000 feet (around 2500m). 

This altitude has three major and immediate effects:

  • there’s a lot less oxygen than you’re probably used to
  • the air is dry, and you can much more easily become dehydrated at altitude. 
  • there’s a lot less atmosphere between you and the sun, so you get a lot more UV

To help deal with the effects of all this, consider following the Altitude Sickness Prevention tips from https://thinkvail.com/preventing-altitude-sickness-in-colorado/ excerpted here:

Altitude Sickness Prevention

Hydration

If you can, start drinking more water a day or two before you arrive at altitude. Once you arrive drink LOTS of (H2O). Staying hydrated is the first line of defense against altitude sickness.

Acclimation

Go up in increments, allowing the body time to adjust to each level before moving up to the next. If someone from Florida or Texas goes directly to Vail, they are more likely to develop altitude sickness than if they acclimate more slowly, by stopping in Denver or Colorado Springs for a night first. About 24 hours should be sufficient.

Exertion

Limit your level of exertion on the first day while your body is acclimating, plan to start skiing your second day, not your first. Also, get plenty of rest.

Avoid Sedatives

Avoid sedatives such as benzodiazepine. The effects of some drugs, such as, tranquilizers are greatly increased at higher altitudes

Limit Alcohol Intake

Alcohol binds oxygen and water and robs your body of these two important nutrients. Avoid overindulging in alcohol during the first 24 to 48 hours. Hangovers will be much more intense

Travel Companion

If someone begins to experience severe symptoms get them to a lower altitude quickly.

Watch Children

Young children can also be affected by this. Be careful, keep your eye on your kids and look out for symptoms in them as well.

Go Down in Elevation

Most symptoms clear up with 1-3 days if they become severe or persist longer speak with a doctor or go down in elevation immediately and symptoms will go away.

Doctor Prescribed Medication

If you’re prone to Acute Mountain Sickness, you can also see a doctor and start taking Diamox® 24 hours prior to arrival to avoid unnecessary suffering.

Please note: nobody in the VCEW organisation is qualified to offer medical advice and these notes are simply to remind you of the known effects of altitude on most people. If you know, or have reason to believe, that altitude presents out of the ordinary risks for you, it is your responsibility to have discussed the situation and what you should do with your medical advisors.

Accommodation

The Workshop fee includes accommodation at the Workshop hotel. You may bring a companion to share your room for an extra fee; the fee covers all the workshop events and food. Details on the Registration page.

Food

The Workshop provides meals as part of the Workshop fee. 

The evenings start with getting together for a Reception with drinks, munchies and conversations (place announced during the workshop) followed by a dinner at the hotel or in the Village (as described in the Program).

Folk with special dietary requirements are encouraged to let a member of the Committee know as soon as possible. If you’ve registered someone as a second person in your room, they’re invited to all of this.

Internet

The Workshop hotel as well as various portions of Vail Valley offer free Wifi interent.

Participant Activities

Tuesday afternoon is traditionally time off for workshop participants,  providing an opportunity to explore the region alone or with with other attendees. 

Activities include

  • Hiking Vail Mountain (take a gondola up the mountain and walk around up there; or for the adventurous, rent a bike and ride down...)
  • River rafting is often offered - if offered,  an organiser will be present at an evening get-together 

Family Activities

While best-known for winter sports, Vail (and Colorado as a whole) is also a summertime tourism destination. So there should be plenty to see and enjoy if you’ve brought your family along. 

Vail Tourism

The Vail Tourism Site also provides information about the various activities in town. Please visit them at https://www.visitvailvalley.com/

Continuous Improvement Scheme

To make this Guide more helpful in the future, please feel free to email suggestions of Good Things that others may enjoy (and possibly of Absolute Disasters that others may like to be warned about)  - and suggestions in general -  to the Membership Chair - membership@vcew.org - at your convenience.

Ω© Vail Computer Elements Workshop 2019 et seq