April 24, 2014
Eagle County is home to some of the world's most famous, upscale ski resorts, which means it is also home to lots of top notch restaurants, luxurious spas and trendy boutiques.
But for the folks who live and work in this valley, during the ski season it is pretty pricey to frequent these nearby amenities. That all changes once the mountain closes.
May can be an unkind month in the Colorado high country. Locals call it mud season for a reason. But late April and early May does bring a great boon — locals' specials at restaurants and spas and seasonal sales at shops.
"Usually during the mud season we try to go up to Vail and have dinner at least once," said Erin Ivie of Eagle. In the past, she and her husband Nate have taken advantage of specials offered at Billy's Island Grill and Sushiokava.
"Some places offer 50 percent off or a special three-course menu," said Ivie. This year the Ivies are watching newspaper ads to see if Elway's plans a seasonal special, because that's one of their favorite Vail eateries.
In general, Ivie noted that dining in Vail or Beaver Creek is a great treat. "A lot of the restaurants up there do a really good job bringing in locally grown food," she said.
For the past 32 years the Minturn Country Club has been offering one of the valley's signature dining specials — Locals Steak Night. This annual dining special is slated for tonight, April 24, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Noting that beef prices are the highest the restaurant has ever seen, the price has gone up a bit for 2014, but it's still a whopping deal. A mere $3.99 buys an 8 ounce New York strip steak, shrimp kabobs, lemon chicken or teriyaki chicken. A trip to the restaurant's salad will cost another $2.50. And in true local's fashion, beer from Eagle's Bonfire Brewing Company will be featured.
"It's a promotion and a local's appreciation special. That's why we do it," said T.J. Ricci, general manager at the Minturn Country Club. "We always offer it because we feel it's the best way to get our name out there. It's the locals who tell the tourists about the best places to go."
While the Minturn Country Club's Local's Steak Night is arguably the most well-known off season special, it has plenty of company. Terra Bistro, Nozawa and Russells are among the eateries currently offering 50 percent off prices. Other restaurants including La Tour, Eat!, and Zino Ristorante are already offering special entree pricing or two- or three-course dinner specials. The specials season traditionally lingers through May at upvalley restaurants.
Locals specials aren't restricted to the dinning room.
Sonnenalp Spa in Vail is offering the Spring Rejuvination Package that features four spa visits for $129.99. Once purchased, guests must use their spa treatments in four separate visits within five months.
The four days of four services include a 25-minute refresher facial, a 50-minute Swedish massage, a polish change that includes light shaping for either hands or feet, and a full spa day including use of the wellness center, steam and sauna rooms, indoor and outdoor tranquility pool, the co-ed whirlpools and the Oxygen Bar. There are a limited number of packages available.
For spa customers who can only manage one day away, the Sonnenalp is also offering a soothing 80-minute Warm Herbal Poultice Massage plus all use of the facilities for the day for $139 (regularly $245).
To book either of these deals, call 970-479-5404 or visit http://www.sonnenalp.com/spa/ for more information.
At the Cascade Club's Aria Spa, book a 50-minute or longer spa service Monday through Thursday between 2 to 4 p.m. and enjoy 30 percent off plus one complimentary beverage. Massages, facials and body treatments are included in this deal.
"Many people don't realize what you get with a spa day," says Aria massage therapist Judy Alskelson. "The use of all the facilities is a treat in itself, and the advantage of a big spa is that we have fourteen treatment rooms so big groups can book."
Aria also provides childcare during treatments.
Aria is also offering 20 percent off all nail services. These offers are valid through May 31, and cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Through June 27, enjoy a spa and pool day, in addition to a massage and wine for $109 (a savings of $85 –purchase through http://www.travelzoo.com).
To book, call 970-479-5942 or visit http://www.vailcascade.com/vail-colorado-spas.php for more information.
Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek is offering a spa day that includes a massage and wine through June 9 for $139. Call 970-748-7500 to book or visit http://www.allegriaspa.com/ for more information.
Through June 15, the Vail Mountain Lodge is offering a spa day that includes a massage for just $99 ($160 regularly). Call 970-476-7721 or visit
Closer to home
In the downvalley communities of Eagle and Gypsum, prices for dining and spa treatments are always lower than their upvalley counterparts, but some of the local establishments also offer mud season specials.
Paradigms Restaurant in Eagle is offering an early dining special — 50 percent off main dishes with an appetizer between 5 and 6 p.m.
"April and May are just so slow. We wanted to try to get people in and get them in here earlier," said chef/owner Nate McMullen. "With the days getting longer, people are waiting until later to eat, so we are offering this special."
Elements Day Spa in Eagle wants customers to experience deals year round with memberships. The spa's Elements of Beauty program has an annual fee of $990, but the spa also offers a six-month membership and month-to-month plans.
The year long membership includes a monthly treatments of a one-hour custom facial or one-hour Swedish massage, plus four facial upgrades per year, two deep tissue massage upgrades, one complimentary make-up application and discounted spa party pricing. In addition, members received preferred pricing for family and friends and 10 percent off retail purchases. Elements also offers things you wouldn't typically think of in Eagle, including spray tans.
"The South Seas airbrush spray tan was great," says Eagle resident Nikki Baldwin-Braun, who received the service from Aimee Kintner at Elements Day Spa. "It gave me a safe glow for my vacation."
For more information visit http://www.elementsadayspa.com or call 970-328-7721.
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