Often referred to as Vail's sister resort, Beaver Creek is much more than that with it's unique terrain, though it simultaneously manages to be even more exclusive and correspondingly expensive than Vail, if that's possible.
With a motto of 'not exactly roughing it', Beaver Creek is unashamedly luxurious. If the budget is tight, consider staying down in the valley, in Avon. You can expect to be treated almost like royalty, with boot warming, ski valets and even warm cookies handed out by lifts. Despite this, it lacks the snotty glamour of Vail, with a greater focus on skiing, while smaller crowds mean fresh snow lasts a little longer. Mountainside restaraunts tend to either be members-only or require booking far in advance, while there is very limited post dinner activities in town.
The lift system spreads across the mountains to Bachelor Gulch, a small collection of condos and houses and a Ritz Carlton hotel, and then to Arrowhead, another slope-side hamlet.There are free car parks in Avon for day visitors (parking in Beaver Creek is expensive and limited); you can take a free shuttle to the resort, or a fast chair up to Bachelor Gulch. A gondola links the Riverfront area of Avon to this chair. The mountain regularly plays host to FIS world cup races, while the mountain also has a great range of easily accessible adventurous back country terrain.
Day trips to Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain are possible.