Neon-blue lights illuminate Clutch Gaming Arena, where 50 gaming PCs and five Xbox 360 stations await eager players. Gamers can choose from more than 300 games, matched with a huge variety of energy drinks, nonalcoholic beverages, and snacks. After a day racing in Ducati World Championship or blasting newbs in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, patrons have the chance to play the spectator; the facility broadcasts national and international tournaments on a massive projector. When it's time to get back in control, gamers can take part in Clutch's own casted, cash-prize tournaments for popular games such as League of Legends and StarCraft II.
A drive-thru and walk-up destination for a quick, satisfying cup of joe, Rocky Mountain Mocha's small stature can be deceiving, as there's much more than freshly brewed coffee on the extensive menu. Using fresh beans imported from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Honduras, and El Salvador, baristas craft drinks such as flavored lattes, Black Forest mochas, and foamy cappuccinos. The menu also includes non-caffeinated Italian sodas in a variety of flavors, such as strawberry, sugar cane, lemon, and watermelon.
Nanna's Tea has created a collection of tasty white, green, herbal, and black teas from around the world to marry with its delicate tea sandwiches, soups, and daily-baked pastries. Its picturesque outdoor gardens present a placid locale for visitors decompress while taking formal tea or recharge while chatting over breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The tea-of-the-month club exposes members to a vast array of exotic flavors, and children's tea parties teach tikes how to use the teaspoon to slap the hands of any teddy bear caught hoarding crumpets.
The menu offers a white mocha ($3.25 for 12 ounces), latte ($2.60), cappuccino ($2.60), hot chocolate ($2.50), steamers ($2.10), blended drinks such as the Frozen Hotty ($3.85) and more. Coffee comes in A, B, and C-sized perky cups. An A-cup of house blend costs $1.75, so this Groupon could caffeinate your mornings for an entire workweek. Add a $.40 flavor shot or a $.50 soy shot for an extra boost. Freshly baked pastries are available daily to complement the coffee. Cold drinks include an iced latte ($2.60 for 12 ounces), mocha ($3), and coffee ($1.55) as well as an Italian soda ($2.75) and an Arnold Palmer ($2).
Not much surpasses the delight of having a snow-day off from school—unless it's the sensation of zooming down a powder-covered cliff face. At Copper Mountain, visitors of all ages recreate snow-day elation on slopes seemingly made to be skied. Naturally divided into terrain of varying difficulty, the 2,645 acres of mountainous landscape were identified as "the most outstanding potential ski area in the Arapaho National Forest" by an early US Forest Service survey team.
Resort planners took their cues from these natural features, mapping out distinct ski areas that keep beginner, intermediate, and expert slopes largely separate from each other, helping skiers of disparate experience levels stay out of each other's way. Each area corresponds to a village, where shops and restaurants amuse visitors relaxing between rides and snowmen relaxing between top-hat fittings while 22 lifts whisk skiers up to the mountain's 126 uncrowded trails and vaunted back bowls. Experts craving access to hard-to-reach crags can hop on a snowcat for a ride up the mountain free of charge. And for those looking to boost their skills, lessons range from children's classes to quickie refreshers that reinforce advanced skills.
But skis aren't the only tools that afford thrilling trips. Pipes and parks let boarders practice mid-air tricks, and a four-lane tubing hill sends families through banked curves. Critterland charms younger visitors with friendly characters, forts, and rides, and complimentary snowshoe tours acquaint groups with the pine- and spruce-tree-dotted countryside. Away from the snow, a bevy of year-round bars and restaurants complement the amenities of the local spa and gym.
Thanks to a highly efficient snowmaking system, powder dusts Copper Mountain for one of the region's longest ski seasons—November through early April. But enthusiasts needn't pack up their gear in the off-season. Woodward at Copper hosts year-round programming for snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing, and cheer disciplines. A 19,400-square-foot playground known as the Barn houses bowls and artificial jumps, which deposit airborne athletes safely into foam pits, much the way young penguins learn to fly.