Rocky Mountain Recession Special

Vail, Colorado

You probably know Vail as a sprawling ski resort with a surplus of fur. But in summer the town transforms into an affordable multiĀ­sport epicenter, thanks to steep off-season discounts in glitzy hotels. Take the Mountain Haus, which hacks its prices from $415 to $176. On Saturday, ride the gondola up Vail Mountain to charge on 50 miles of singletrack (bring your own bike). Catch the 10 A.M. gondola to beat afternoon thunderstorms. When the rains come, gorge on a 14-inch "Recession Buster" sub at La Bottega. The next day, downshift and stroll the farmers' market. Highlight: the $7 brat at the Alpenrose Too restaurant's stand.

EXPENSE REPORT Two nights at the Mountain Haus ( $352. Two breakfast sandwiches at Loaded Joe's Coffeehouse (970-479-2883): $12. Two gondola passes: $50. Two Recession Buster subs ( $20. Two brats (970-476-8899): $14. Total: $448

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