The premise and the promise of Eleven Experience in Crested Butte, Colorado is great snow, no lift lines, exclusive use, privacy, wonderful food, and deluxe accommodations, all in a picturesque Rocky Mountain setting. In other words, it’s offering what most skier and riders will be dreaming about this winter.
Eleven Experience is part of a new breed of exclusive and private properties. It’s not exactly a group of resorts, not is it a bunch of hotels or rental villas. It’s a hybrid, one that seems ready-made for pandemic times when those who do travel are doing so in a pod or bubble.
Eleven Experience defines itself as “a carefully curated collection of lodges, chalets and beach houses hidden in extraordinary destinations around the globe. The company beckons ‘Adventure Capitalists,’ intrepid travelers and outdoor enthusiasts who seek the thrill and challenge of authentic, life-changing experiences and understated luxury.”
These so-called Adventure Capitalists are well-heeled by definition. The company has properties in the French Alps, the Bahamas, Patagonia and New Zealand.
Their Rocky Mountain ski operation is based out of Crested Butte, Colorado, with lodging at Scarp Ridge Lodge and adjacent Sopris House. It’s not slope side, but that’s not much of a disadvantage since the properties are in the heart of charming Crested Butte and they bring you to the backcountry every day.
A custom-designed snowcat picks guests up each morning and drops them at 1,000+ acres of exclusive ski terrain in nearby Irwin, located about 13 miles west of the town of Crested Butte, an area that has long had a snow cat operation. Eleven has exclusive access to the 1,000-plus acres at Irwin and two on-mountain outposts, the Cat Barn and the Movie Cabin, for guests to enjoy lunch and après. At over 10,000 feet above sea level in the Elk Mountains, this ski terrain is situated in the “snow shadow” of the Ruby range, which means it is favored to receive a great deal of snow from December through April. The area averages 450 inches of snow every winter season, which can be twice the amount that falls in the town of Crested Butte. Guests have the option of heading out on snowshoes, cross country skis, or fat bikes as well.
At day’s end, guests return to Eleven Experience’s lodging in Crested Butte. Scarp Ridge Lodge is a former Croatian saloon that retains its old west façade. Inside it’s completely transformed, with five king rooms with ensuite bathrooms, a children’s bunkroom and a connecting nanny room. There is an indoor saltwater pool, steam room and sauna, as well as indoor and outdoor hot tubs. It has a gym equipped with an elliptical machine and Pilates reformer, a media room, an oxygen-enriched air system, and ski lockers.
Next door neighbor is Sopris House, an 1882 structure that was formerly the Spritzer Bar, which was operated by Slovenian immigrants. It offers three king rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and a twin suite with an ensuite bathroom. There is a private “saloon” with a pool table and juke box, a private outdoor courtyard, a media room, an outdoor copper hot tub, cold plunge pool, sauna and in-room retail bar.
Eleven Experience has a second cat ski this year so two small groups – one at Sopris House and one at Scarp Ridge Lodge — can have their own cat. Or one party can share both.
Private powder and luxury at this level comes at a cost. Scarp Ridge Lodge is available for buyout this winter starting at $15,700 per night based on 10 guests inclusive of breakfast, lunch, après, equipment and cat ski door-to-door. Sopris House is available for $10,500 per night based on 8 guests inclusive of breakfast, lunch, après, equipment and cat ski-door-to- door. Visit Eleven Experience for details.