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My partner and I are contemplating making the pilgrimage to Vail International Festival of Dance this summer... inspired by others' trips and glowing reports. But as I consider it, I have some questions, that I wonder if others who have been there can weigh in on. 

1. Altitude. Neither my partner nor I has any experience at elevations like this. How likely is it that we will get there for an expensive vacation and find ourselves headachey and too sick to go out for days? 

2. Lodgings. We are looking at a short-term rental. Besides Vail itself, what towns are nearby and close enough for a quick drive to the theatre? Is there anything in particular, for this event, that I should be looking for in an airbnb?

3. Tickets. I see they offer the all-lawn pass. Is it worth upgrading for some performances, such as the International Evenings of Dance? What is the view like from the lawn, especially when the performance starts when it's still light, before sundown? 

4. Getting there. I hear the drive from Denver is both long and congested. How should I weigh the extra expense of making a flight connection and arriving at the smaller airport close to Vail (Eagle County)? 

5. Anything else? 

Thanks all!

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Just a couple tips from what I experienced.

I flew to Vail and felt so nauseous from the landing that I preferred to drive back with some people I met there!

The altitude felt fine to me but I was young and healthy. I remember seeing dancers using oxygen side stage when dancing hard parts though. 

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Altitude: Denver is 5430 feet. Vail is 8239. Altitude is a real thing so be cautious, although it hits people differently. Drink lots of water. Easy on the alcohol. Take it easy. They sell individually sized oxygen at the airport that is worth the money if this is new to you. They keep oxygen tanks in the wings for the dancers. You won't fully acclimate in a few days.


Airport: The take-offs and landings at Denver airport are usually turbulent. Something about winds off the mountains to the west, plains to the east. Trust the pilots. They're good at this. But the Vail airport is one of the most dangerous in the country and you might want to avoid it. 


Ground transportation: Take the light-rail A line from Denver airport to Union Station in downtown Denver ($10). 



From Union Station, take the Bustang to Vail (West line $17). They have been upgrading the buses and routes to get people out of cars on the seriously jammed I-70 into the mountains. 



Edited by California
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I am migraine prone and have difficulties at altitude, which has kept my Vail fantasies in check.  But maybe see if your doctors would 'pre' prescribe for you some headache meds suitable for migraine and also nausea. (Not opioids or anything addictive of that kind--but there are drugs that work better for Migraine and related Nausea than what's available without a prescription. Since I'm not a Doctor I don't want to list drug options for another person, but you could ask your doctor and likely s/he will have ideas.)

I do hope you are able to go and have a great time! I have often thought about it.

Edited by Drew
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