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May 30, 2011

Spring Back to Vail Contest Winner Writes About Her Experience

By Guest Blogger

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Spring Back To Vail_Train Concert
Train performs at Spring Back to Vail in Vail, Colorado (Laura Parrington)

The Spring Back to Vail contest winner has accepted her prize and returned to tell the story. This past February, users were eligible to win by writing a review of their favorite ski/snowboard resort in's Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide. Our winner, Laura Parrington, wrote the best resort review and in return attended Colorado's premier end-of-season event, Spring Back to Vail (April 15-24). In addition, she received two round-trip flights to Vail (provided by and Orbitz), two nights at RockResort's The Lodge at Vail, and two days of lift tickets provided by Vail Resorts. Here is what our winner had to say about her days spraying powder in Vail, Colorado. 

People didn't believe me when I say I won this trip to Spring Back to Vail all by submitting a travel review online. But that's exactly how it happened. was holding an online contest that entered you to win a trip to Vail if you submitted a review of a ski resort. I wrote about Winter Park, one of my favorite resorts. Several weeks later, I was notified that my review won. It was that easy.

Day 1
It was a relaxing flight directly into Vail. Within minutes of arriving, our Colorado Mountain Express shuttle picked us up, bound for The Lodge at Vail. It is hands down a first-class resort, yet both my fiancé and I agreed it still maintained that warm lodgy feel with its stone and wood accents, big fire hearths, and cozy rooms. The Lodge staff was very friendly and took care of our every request from the moment we arrived. After a quick bite at the nearby Red Lion Pub (amazing chili baked potatoes!), we took a turn through the lodge's spa and enjoyed the outdoor hot tub and pool area, where we could watch skiers make their way down their last runs of the day. To end the evening, we met Sara, PR Coordinator for The Lodge at Vail, for drinks in the resort's own Mickey's Lounge and Piano Bar. Sara filled us in on all the events happening for Spring Back to Vail and that's when we were surprised to find out that we were on our way to see Train. The concert was an absolute blast! A perfect end to the day.

Day 2
The skiing was, needless to say, terrific. You could probably spend several weeks traversing the mountains that make up Vail Ski Resort. Just looking at the map makes you smile with how much terrain there is to cover. The views from the top were breathtaking. There was no way we could do it justice in a day; but we had a blast all the same. After a few warm-up runs, my fiancé and I took one of the catwalks (trails that cut straight across the mountain) over to the back bowls, then up the Orient Express, and down Champagne Glade. It was the end of April, and on Champagne Glade we were skimming across two feet of fresh powder. In the afternoon we worked off our bowls of chili by taking on the steeper Riya Run and Tourist Trap, later finishing out the day on Avanti. My favorite moment was when we were about to call it a day, took one look at each other, and said "One more!". After heading down the mountain, we each took advantage one last time of the Spa at The Lodge at Vail to soothe our tired muscles. We grabbed a bite at a nearby Mexican restaurant, then headed back towards the lodge to enjoy mellow beats at that night's music performance by the Greyboy Allstars.

Day 3
The next morning, as we were driving away from the village on the Colorado Mountain Express, it was hard to believe we just had this amazing vacation in the span of a few short days. Thanks for treating us right Vail—and a huge thanks to The Away Network for making this all possible!


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