Resort Retail Roundup

Even if one is not a fan of les sports d’hiver, there are plenty of diversions right in Beaver Creek Village, and no shortage of ways to max out the credit cards. In addition to numerous shops for ski/snowboard equipment and winter fashions, there are plenty of Western-themed art galleries (paintings of cowboys, bears catching salmon, bronze sculptures of Native American children), shops featuring tourist gear (t-shirts, mouse pads, shot glasses, etc. all bearing the resort logo), and jewelry stores ranging from the generic to the expensive-but-tacky. Some retail spaces seem to turn over fairly frequently, but these are a few of the shops managing to stay afloat from year to year in this rarefied environment.

There are furs, and then there are Fantasia Furs.

If you’re looking for a standout fur, be sure to stop in here. Not all of the pieces are as colorful as this jacket destined for the Valentine’s Day window display, but many feature beautiful and unique textures and patterns.

This charming British couple were very good sports to model some of the merchandise at the insistence of the convivial proprietress.

Another Valentine-themed display, this one from a shop (can’t remember the name) which featured handmade sweaters, jewelry and some stunning embroidered wool coats.

Fur boots are ubiquitous…

Karin’s carries home accessories. I always see something I want here. One year it was a French rooster plate. This year it was Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needlepoint pillow. No, I didn’t.
Cosmetics, and the largest selection of Vera Bradley bags I’ve ever seen in one place:

Gorgeous Scottish cashmere (tempting, but ultimately trop chèr pour moi)…

Fine wines and beers, but be sure to stock up on Saturday (store is closed on Sunday)…

And the Pismo Fine Art Glass Gallery, which features some incredible pieces, including work by Dale Chihuly, as well as some very reasonably priced jewelry.

So what did I buy, you ask?

Yes, I have joined the ranks of The Helmeted. Back when I first started skiing, the only people wearing helmets were the Very Serious Skiiers or The Xtreme Hotdoggers. Now, probably 50% of those one sees on the mountain are wearing helmets. Surprisingly, it’s quite comfortable, and in addition to protecting the skull, results in far less severe “hat head” than knit caps.
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  1. Resort shops are alike in the sense that they are crammed with things no one really needs (except a helmet!) Though I bound into them expecting to see unique goods, I find them oddly enervating. That red fur is a lot of funky fun though.

  2. Couture Allure – have you ever been to the Bellagio in Vegas? The entire ceiling in the lobby is covered with his flowers. Amazing work!

    Duchesse – I used to succumb to those items that worked while at the resort but then were never worn again. I find that the “wear it in Paris” benchmark serves well to keep purchases in perspective.

    WendyB – oooh, I am so envious of your friends. I love his work!

  3. Daffodil – well, the Paris rule doesn’t apply to sports equipment. I probably wouldn’t wear my ski boots or powder pants there either. 😉 But it does save me from buying clothing that would look out of place anywhere but a ski resort.

  4. Isn’t Chihuly’s work incredible? We recently saw a retrospective of his work at the Rhode Island School of Design museum. Truly jaw-dropping.

  5. Your new helmet is quite dashing! I don’t know about the “wear it in Paris” rule, but it sure looks like a “wear it in Venice Beach” pick.

  6. Chihuly rocks the house. I saw an installation of his work at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago and it was incredible–a zillion pieces, all nestled in the various bits of greenery.

  7. I absolutely love Chihuly. I saw an installation at the St. Louis Art Museum and have been to visit the glass museum in Tacoma, Washingon. Amazing artist.