On the Great Destinations Radio Show we like to catch up with Brits living abroad – people who have moved to their dream destinations to provide services for travellers. I caught up with Niki Harris from the Fireside Inn in Breckenridge, Colorado. She’s lived there for sixteen years, so knows what visitors like.
The Fireside Inn is a B&B and hostel with a mix of en-suite and shared rooms. Niki told me that B&B’s in America are similar to those in the UK, although there are a few key differences. “A lot of American B&Bs are purpose built which, to us, always seems a bit bizarre,” she explained. “They’re often restaurants as well and can be very large. And there can be a manager on site as opposed to the owners.”
Niki told me Breckenridge is set high in the mountains in a particularly beautiful spot. “The tree line is way above that of the Alps – at 14,000ft – so it’s really pretty,” she said. “There are lots of pine trees and aspens too, so if you come in the autumn there are just amazing colours – bright orange and yellow.”
I asked Niki why visitors go to Breckenridge? “They come for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and all the winter sports you can possibly think of. And then in the summer, there’s the most amazing mountain biking, road biking, hiking. We also have a lot of arts festivals and a fun park.”
Niki said there’s also has an amazing arts scene in the town. “We have the Snow Sculpting World Championships this year. And we have a big arts district, which has won lots of awards. There are also arts and crafts going on and local artists in residence.”
Unlike many places in the Alps, the resort wasn’t purpose built. “Breckenridge was a gold mining town before it became a ski area,” said Niki. “That means it’s a real town with a year-round population. I think it has a real charm about it.”
And Niki says there are other things about the resort that could attract skiers from Europe. “The organisation is amazing here, as you’d expect in America. The peaks are in a line so it’s very easy to get from one to the other. And you’re not waiting for a big cable car to take you up. They organise the queues well!”
If you’re thinking about visiting Breckenridge, then you can find Niki’s accommodation at FiresideInn.com.