Local outfit keeps families entertained | VailDaily.com

Local outfit keeps families entertained

Kelly Vasbinder
Vail CO, Colorado
PHOTO BY SHANE MACOMBERConnor Nostrand sinks an easy putt "pool style" on the Beaver Creek mini golf course.

When Cathy and Charlie Alexander moved to the Vail Valley from Waco, Texas, 17 years ago, they noticed something. Aside from the natural beauty and recreational activities offered by the great Rocky Mountains, there wasn’t much else for a family to do. “So, we came up with the idea of mini golf in the summer, and pitched it to Vail Associates,” said Cathy. Flash forward nearly two decades later, and what once was a wood-based, portable mini golf course at the base of Lionshead is now a full-fledged family adventure center that entertains hundreds of Beaver Creek tourists and locals every summer.

Cathy laughed as she reflected on the first few summers. “Business was great for what we knew then, but summers weren’t nearly as busy then as they are now.”

With business growing more every summer, the activities keep getting bigger and better. The Alexanders’ company, LMG Inc., has made good old-fashioned family fun a regular tourist, and local, attraction throughout the entire valley. “We are always looking for things that fit into our valley.” While the majority of activity seekers are tourists, she does see a lot of locals dropping in. “People just want a place to have clean family fun, and not worry about who is lurking around the corner,” she added, while praising

the valley for its safe family environment. “Also, there are few family activities that you can afford to do in this valley, aside from hiking and biking, and that is what we provide.”

While the Lionshead mini golf course has been put away due to the construction of Arrabelle, fun seekers can head up to Beaver Creek to find all the enjoyable activities there.

Beaver Creek Village offers a full, 18-hole miniature golf course, a bungee trampoline and a climbing wall. “It’s great that we get to run a business where people actually come to you to have a great time.” Lately, the bungee trampoline seems to be a stick-out favorite at Beaver Creek. “It’s just a thrill to be that weightless. It’s like a roller-coaster really, and you even get that stomach dropping,” she exclaimed. Some jumpers can even get as high as 20 feet into the air. “The kids just laugh and scream the whole time, even the adults who get on have the best time.”

And while fun is a promise with each activity, Cathy and Charlie stressed the importance of ensuring the safety of every activity. Cathy emphasizes, “We have been in business for 17 years, and we have never had a major accident.” Every employee of their company, LMG, Inc., has been trained to double-check all of the equipment throughout the day. “Each child has the operator’s undivided attention,” promised Cathy. “Our mission statement is for a fun and safe family atmosphere for each guest, and we work hard to give this.”

While most kids would happily jump on trampolines, climb walls and play putt-putt all day long, Cathy and Charlie thrive on knowing there are many undiscovered roads in family activities.This summer, they’re opening a new project in Wolcott.

“A couple of years ago, we came across a zipline tour, and we thought, ‘well, this would be fun for our valley,'” said Cathy about the discovery. The Alexanders are keeping very busy with the set-up of the new adventure zipline, and they plan to have it open and ready for use in July.

A zipline tour is a designed series of zip cables and platforms that allow guests the freedom of traveling from platform to platform, secured by a harness, at high speeds. The Wolcott zipline tour will take about two and a half hours to complete. Guests will travel along six ziplines ranging from 150 feet long to 1,000 feet long. Guests will find themselves zipping through the Alkali Canyon anywhere from 75 feet to 150 feet up in the air. “It is definitely for the extreme adrenaline junkie,” said Cathy. But she firmly adds, “It is very safe. Ziplining is for the guest who wants to safely get their blood pumping.”

While an official price has yet to be set, Cathy estimates that the tour will cost around $125 per person, which includes all the equipment, two guides, water, and a snack. Guests should expect to do some walking and hiking from platform to platform, but the trails will be accommodating for persons of all levels of fitness. “We want any guest to be able to participate,” Cathy added. The zipline tour will be located off Highway 131 in Wolcott, on the 4 Eagle Ranch property.

“This industry amazes me, and it comes up with new things to do all the time,” Cathy said. “We want to stay on top, and continue to bring whatever is new and fun to our valley.” s

Support Local Journalism