| VailDaily.com

Despite recent high-profile accidents, Colorado has among the safest, most inspected ski lifts in the world

FRISCO — Lift malfunctions and accidents are statistically rare, but Colorado resorts have had a rash of high-profile issues in the past three years, including one that killed a visitor at Ski Granby Ranch in December 2016.

In 2017, a Loveland Ski Area employee was killed while working on a magic carpet lift. Last winter, an empty gondola cabin fell off the line at Copper Mountain Resort during testing of the new lift. And this summer, Vail Mountain’s gondola broke down, leading to the evacuation of 74 employees.

Despite the recent incidents, Colorado is one of the safest places when it comes to riding lifts at ski resorts. According to an article by Outside Magazine, Colorado is one of 20 states that has a tramway safety board or some sort of third party regulatory agency for ski lifts. In addition, Colorado is considered to have one of the two most extensive safety boards in the country. At European ski resorts, the lift malfunction fatality rate is nine times higher than at U.S. ski areas.

The Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board is the state’s regulatory agency for lifts at ski resorts. The board conducts two to four inspections on each lift annually, depending on the scope of activities the ski area provides. Two are licensure inspections, which give resorts permission to operate their lifts ahead of the winter and summer seasons, and two are unannounced. One unannounced inspection occurs soon after winter operations have begun, and a second is conducted in summer for ski areas that operate lifts for hikers and bikers.

The inspections are done by one of eight contract engineers, according to the Tramway Safety Board.

The safety board also is responsible for tracking accidents. It requires ski areas to report injuries resulting from lift accidents and publishes its findings following an investigation.

According to records provided to the Summit Daily News by the safety board, there have been 34 lift accidents that resulted in evacuation or injuries in Summit County since 2014:

  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Area: six lift incidents. All were classified as skier error or skier medical issues. 
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort: eight lift incidents. One incident was due to electric malfunction while the other incidents were due to skier error, a power surge or wind. 
  • Copper Mountain Resort: 14 lift incidents. Nine were due to electrical malfunctions or other lift malfunctions. The remaining five were due to weather, a child falling after the bar was raised, or causes that are unknown or still under investigation.
  • Keystone Resort: six lift incidents. All were due to skier error, weather or medical issues.

The Tramway Safety Board already has completed its seasonal licensure inspections at some of Summit County’s resorts.

At A-Basin’s inspection, Slopes Maintenance Manager Louis Skowyra said the safety board was concerned about the potential of large trees blowing over in a big wind storm, which could compromise lift safety. A-Basin crews worked to cut or trim a few trees before receiving their license, something Skowyra called a relatively easy fix.

The next inspection of each lift is the unannounced early winter inspection, which is intended to take a hard look at the lift operators and their training, Skowyra said.

“The tramway inspector will come up, look at every lift and spend a lot of time with the lift operators, giving them a pop quiz,” Skowyra said. “We could lose our license if a liftie blows a series of questions, so it’s pretty serious. Every year, the questions are different, but they’re really getting into the training of our employees.”

Skowyra also gave credit to the extensive work of the lift maintenance crews.

“Internally, we all staff lift maintenance crews, and these guys and gals are among the most skilled in the ski industry,” Skowyra said. “They put a ton of time into what they do. They’re constantly training and re-certifying themselves. They are literally looking at lifts every day. They’re going through exhaustive checks. There are weekly inspections and monthly inspections that go even deeper than the daily inspections.”

The lift mechanics are especially busy in summer as they are working toward the seasonal inspection, Skowyra said. To ensure lift safety, ski area employees pull a percentage of the chairs off the line to take them apart, look at each component and do testing. 

According to Skowyra, A-Basin has plans to replace two of its lifts next summer: the Pallavicini lift and the Molly Hogan lift. While the lifts passed the safety board inspection this year, Skowyra said the 1978 lifts are simply due for an upgrade. 

Regulation by the safety board is something Skowyra embraces, calling it “good government regulation.”

“There is a lot of sensitivity right now that we can all appreciate,” Skowyra said. “We’re not shy about saying this, that aerial tramway passenger safety is our top priority. Our guests’ safety at Arapahoe Basin is our top priority, and chairlift safety is a big part of that.”

Skowyra also expressed complete faith in other Colorado ski areas, even addressing the recent gondola incident at Vail. 

“I trust their systems and their people and their procedures,” Skowyra said about Vail. “Like anything, machines break down from time to time and parts fail, and that’s why we have these checks.” 

In a statement sent to the Vail Daily, Vail Resorts said it has implemented “new safety checks, above and beyond industry standards” as a result of the incident.

“You can feel safe loading any aerial tramway in this state,” Skowyra said. “There’s nothing more scrutinized in this industry than lift safety.”

SEE: Full list of opening, closing dates for Colorado ski resorts

The 2019-20 ski season has begun in Colorado with skiers and the recent openings of Arapahoe Basin and Keystone Resort.

Colorado Ski Country USA says recent cold temperatures have allowed four ski areas to make snow in advance of the season, while all ski areas in the state received between a dusting and 10 inches of snow on Thursday.

“October snowfall is not only exciting for our ski areas, but a reminder to both experienced skiers and riders and those that may be new to the sport that the 2019-20 winter season is here,” said CSCUSA President and CEO Melanie Mills in a statement. “The recent snowfall has been helpful, but we can’t forget the countless hours of labor and logistics that our snowmakers, groomers and operations crews have undertaken over the past weeks. We are looking forward to welcoming guests from locations worldwide and of all ability levels after a summer and fall of significant investment across Colorado at ski areas of all sizes.”

Below is a current list of scheduled opening and tentative closing dates for Colorado ski resorts. Dates are subject to change.

Arapahoe BasinOct. 11June 7
Aspen HighlandsDec. 7April 12
Beaver CreekNov. 27April 12
BreckenridgeNov. 8May 25
ButtermilkDec. 7April 5
Copper MountainNov. 8April 19
Ski CooperDec. 7April 12
Echo MountainNov. 29April 12
EldoraNov. 15April 12
Granby RanchDec. 13March 29
HesperusDec. 21TBD
Howelsen HillNov. 30March 15
Kendall MountainDec. 14March 29
KeystoneOct. 12April 12
LovelandMid-OctoberMay 5
MonarchNov. 22April 5
PowderhornDec. 13March 29
PurgatoryNov. 23TBD
SilvertonDec. 26April 19
SnowmassNov. 28April 19
SteamboatNov. 26April 12
SunlightDec. 13April 5
TellurideNov. 28April 5
VailNov. 15April 19
Winter ParkNov. 13April 19
Wolf CreekNov. 1April 5

Roller skiing mimics Nordic skiing

You may have seen a pack of athletes cruising on the bike path not on bikes, not on foot, but on roller skis. It’s not a new fad, it’s a way to train for the upcoming Nordic ski racing season.

All summer long Daniel Weiland has been taking the Nordic ski team from Ski & Snowboard Club Vail to stretches of smooth and relatively flat terrain for training purposes.

“There’s not a ton of flat bike paths around here, but we’ve found some good places to go throughout the region,” said Weiland, who is the Nordic programs director for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.

The team trains on paths along Big Horn Road in East Vail or on the path between Avon and Edwards near Highway 6, or on the new path near Horn Ranch outside of Wolcott, CO. They have also ventured out to paths in Glenwood, Aspen and Summit County.

Roller skis are the same width as Nordic skis but are much shorter. The same bindings, boots and poles are used on the pavement. There are classic and skate roller skis. “The classic roller skis have wider wheels and a ratchet so it only goes forward in direction. The skate roller skis have narrower wheels that help mimic the lateral push movement you do while skate skiing,” Weiland said.

No one wants winter to come more than the athletes at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, but in the meantime, these athletes say roller skiing mimics the movements of the sport quite well.

Izzy Glackin is a freshman at Vail Mountain School and has been on the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Nordic team for eight years and has been roller skiing for four years. “I love roller skiing, it feels so much like the real thing, you’re just not on snow, but when I first started I was sort of scared to try it,” Glackin said. “The consequences if you fall are much greater on the path versus snow.”

Glackin’s advice if you fall? “Brace yourself.”

Roller skiing is not for the novice, Weiland says. “These kids have a keen sense of balance from all their training on snow and they handle the roller skis very well. Some can even do 180 degree turns while they are going down the path,” Weiland said.

Cole Flashner is also a freshman at Vail Mountain School and has been Nordic skiing with the team for two years and said that this is his first summer on roller skis and he’s seen improvement in his skills.

“Doing this over the summer helps because you don’t have that gap of time where you forget what you’ve already learned and you can enhance what you’ve learned last winter,” Flashner said. These athletes will be on snow soon enough, but in the meantime, if you see them on the paths give them plenty of room as they zoom on through. To see them in action, watch today’s video.

Arapahoe Basin opens first in tight contest to start 2019–20 ski season in Colorado

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area made a late save Friday in a close contest to claim bragging rights as first to open for the 2019-20 season in North America.

The Summit County ski area opened for an abbreviated session on Friday, foiling nearby competitor Keystone Resort, which had announced earlier in the day that they would be starting lift service on Saturday.

“We did this because the snow is really good, our people are anxious, and we are ready to go,” A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth wrote in his blog. “We thought it would be fun.”

At Arapahoe Basin again for the first chair of the season was “Nate Dogggg” Nadler, a recognizable Opening Day personality who claimed 20 straight years of being on the first chair of the season at A-Basin in 2015. Nadler was camping out at Keystone awaiting Opening Day when he received word that A-Basin would open first. He headed up the hill and was able to claim first chair at A-Basin instead.

Camping at Keystone

After closing for the 2018-19 season July 4, A-Basin was closed for only 99 days, the shortest off-season in its history, according to a news release.

Vail local Taylor Parris was on his snowboard for the July 4 close and the Oct. 11 opening. Following his final run at A-Basin on Friday, Parris made the trip to Keystone with Vail locals Cesar Hermosillo, Jenn Natbony, Tyler Moore and Liz Westbrook to spend the night awaiting the first full day of the season on Saturday.

“We had planned to camp out at Keystone, but when we heard A-Basin was opening first we came up there instead,” Hermosillo said.

“But the plan to camp at Keystone is definitely still on,” he added.

Vail locals Matt Hughes, Selena Colea, Josh Addelson and Grant Troester were also skiing at A-Basin on Friday. Hughes said he was actually on Vail Mountain when he heard A-Basin was opening.

“I saw the Instagram post and immediately left,” he said with a laugh.

Keystone will open at 9 a.m. while A-Basin will resume operations at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Goodbye fall, hello winter: 15 winter events coming to Vail, Beaver Creek

From Burton US Open in Vail to Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek, here’s a list of events coming to Vail and Beaver Creek this winter.

Oct. 25-27

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Ski & Snowboard Swap

Celebrating 50 years, the annual SSCV Ski & Snowboard Swap has all of the gear you need for the upcoming winter. From skis and snowboards to helmets, gloves and goggles — used and new — everything is available for great prices. A portion of proceeds benefit Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. Sell your gear by dropping off accepted items on one of three days leading up to the event. Visit www.vailskiswap.com for more information and details about how to sell your gear.

Dobson Ice Arena in Vail is filled with all sorts of winter gear during the annual Ski and Snowboard Swap.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Oct. 26

2019 Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Induction

The Class of 2019 includes Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler, an Olympic silver medalist in halfpipe in 2006; Jeff Gorsuch, an Aspen ski retailer and philanthropist; the late Martin Hart, who helped transform Steamboat Springs; Steve Raymond, co-founder of the Adaptive Spirit program; and the Pioneer Hall of Fame selection Jake Hoeschler, of Winter Park, who revolutionized the ski retail industry with his exclusive ski liability insurance program. Tickets for the gala, taking place at Vail Marriott Mountain Resort in Lionshead, are $325, with tables of 10 available starting at $3,750. A $250 individual ticket is also available but doesn’t include seating location preference. Visit www.snowsportsmuseum.org or call 970-476-1876 for tickets or more information. The Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame is located in Vail.

Gretchen Bleiler won silver at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and finished her historic snowboarding career with four X Games golds. She will be inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame in October.

Nov. 15

Vail Mountain Opening Day

New this year, early-season snowmaking efforts shift from Lionshead toward Gondola One, with the largest snowmaking project currently underway in North America happening at Vail Mountain — on pace to be the largest ever completed in a one-year span. First to open will be Swingsville and Ramshorn. Get those legs ready, skis waxed and be ready for Day 1. Visit www.vail.com

Vail Mountain, opening
Vail Mountain is scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 15.
Vail Resorts

Nov. 27

Beaver Creek Opening Day

A day at Beaver Creek is never complete without Cookie Time — including Opening Day. The lifts are scheduled to start turning at Beaver Creek the day before Thanksgiving. The 15th annual Cookie Competition takes place at 2 p.m. leading up to the regular — and daily — 3 p.m. Cookie Time at Beaver Creek. Visit www.beavercreek.com.

Beaver Creek is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 27 — the day before Thanksgiving.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Select Fridays throughout the winter

10th Mountain Legacy Parade

Skiers dressed in traditional 10th Mountain Division Ski Trooper uniforms perform a torchlight ski down Vail Mountain to the base of Gondola One followed by a parade of military veterans through Vail Village and more. Dates are Fridays: Nov. 29; Dec. 27; Jan. 3 and 17; Feb. 14; and March 6. For more information, visit www.vail.com.

Military veteran dressed as traditional 10th Mountain Division soldiers march down Bridge Street during a 10th Mountain Legacy Parade last winter. Legacy Parades return to Vail during select Fridays this winter.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Dec. 5-8

Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek

Ranked as the No. 1 overall stop by the athletes and coaches who participate, Birds of Prey brings men’s World Cup super-G, downhill and giant slalom races to Beaver Creek. In addition to the fastest men on skis racing down Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey, the event includes live music, beer tastings, ski films, parties and more. Visit www.bcworldcup.com.

The world’s fastest men on skis come to Beaver Creek each year for Birds of Prey World Cup races. This year’s races are Dec. 5-8.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Dec. 12-15

Vail Snow Days

This four-day festival brings free music to Ford Park in Vail, in-town and on-mountain early season specials, après and after-dark parties, an expo village and more. Musical acts are TBD. Visit www.vailsnowdays.com.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats were one of the big-name acts at last year’s Vail Snow Days festival. This year’s Snow Days are scheduled for Dec. 12-15.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Dec. 14-31

Vail Holidays

A two-week celebration, Vail Holidays takes place in December and includes Vail Snow Days; activities for kids including ice skating and cookie decorating; the annual tree lighting ceremony and lantern walk at Vail Mountain; a New Year’s Eve fireworks show; and more. Get in the holiday spirit this year with Vail Holidays. Visit www.vail.com.

Vail Holidays features lots of activities to keep kids entertained.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Feb. 14-18

Vail Legacy Days

Vail Legacy Days is a four-day celebration of the rich history of Vail and the legacy left by its founders, former members of the 10th Mountain Division and the community members that made Vail what it is today. Celebrate the legacy of Vail with the 10th Mountain Parade, 75th anniversary Riva Ridge Ski Down and more. Visit www.vail.com.

Vail Legacy Days celebrates the rich history of Vail in February.
Special to the Daily

Feb. 22

Talon’s Challenge at Beaver Creek

You vs. 26,266 vertical feet at Beaver Creek — are you up for the Talon’s Challenge? The 17th annual Talon’s Challenge pits skiers and snowboards against 14 black and double black diamond runs — totaling over 26,000 vertical feet — in one day. Celebrate the accomplishment at the après party at Talon’s restaurant. Visit www.beavercreek.com.

Are you up for the Talon’s Challenge this year?
Townsend Bessent | Daily file photo |

Feb. 24-29

Burton US Open

Returning to Vail, the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships bring the best men and women in the world to the halfpipe and slopestyle courses on Vail Mountain. The five-day event features free music, a party at Dobson Ice Arena and activities for kids, including a learn-to-ride Riglet Park and Burton Girls Ride Days. Visit www.vail.com.

The Burton US Open returns to Vail in February, bringing the world’s best male and female snowboarders to town.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaild

March 26-29

17th annual Vail Film Festival

The Vail Film Festival brings impressive, unique films to Vail each year, from documentaries to shorts to features. Organizers of the Vail Film Festival each year focus on promoting women in the industry. Mix in some films with your ski days March 26-29. Visit www.vailfilmfestival.com.

“Once Upon a River” showed at the Vail Film Festival in August. The Vail Film Festival returns in March.
Special to the Daily

March 28

Pink Vail

Vail Mountain turns pink every year on Pink Vail, a fundraiser that brings nearly 3,000 people dressed in pink together to benefit the Shaw Cancer Center. Participants range in age from 1 to 95 years old, including cancer survivors. Watch out for Team Double Stuffed — a top fundraising team every year. The day includes checkpoints across the mountain, live music, a headquarters at the base and lots of pink. Visit www.pinkvail.com.

Pink Vail brings together cancer fighters, survivors as well as friends and family who ride in memory of loved ones.
Weekly file photo

April 1-4

Taste of Vail

The annual Taste of Vail brings together three essentials in life: food, drink and skiing. The four-day festival includes a Debut of Rosé 2020/First Taste of 2019 Rosé event; American Lamb Cook-Off & Aprés Ski Tasting; Grand Tasting; and Mountain Top Tasting. Visit www.tasteofvail.com. Ticket prices vary by event.

Taste of Vail’s Mountain Top Tasting brings together cozy spring dishes, decadent desserts and wines chosen for outdoor sipping.
Townsend Bessent | Townsend@vaildaily.com

April 10-19

Spring Back to Vail

The annual Spring Back to Vail is a celebration of the changing of the seasons and features the World Pond Skimming Championships at Lake Golden Peak, free live music and more heading into the final days of the ski season.

A snowboarder tries to skim across the pond at the base of Golden Peak for the World Pond Skimming Championship at Spring Back to Vail.
Photo Courtesy Vail Resorts

Closing Days

  • Vail: April 29
  • Beaver Creek: April 12
Check out the Vail Daily’s on-mountain snow report this winter, On the Hill, available on www.VailDaily.com and YouTube.
Ross Leonhart | rleonhart@vaildaily.com

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Lumberjack games, folk songs, pumpkin patches and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/11/19

Man of the Cliff

You’ve got to love an event with a tagline like this: “Gentlemen, start your beards!”

Flannel-clad folks will be flocking to Avon’s Nottingham Park on Saturday and Sunday to take part in the 11th annual Man of the Cliff. This event brings different types of competitions to the Vail Valley. Instead of mountain biking or trail running, participants get to show their skills at ax throwing, keg tossing, speed chopping, spear throwing and other lumberjack games.

Man of the Cliff isn’t just for the guys; ladies do pretty well during the competitions, also. Some of the tasks are more about finesse than pure strength.

New this year is the four-person team event. Get your plaid posse together and see if you can out-chop and out-toss the other teams. The winning team will be announced on Sunday along with the Man and Woman of the Cliff.  

This event started out as an idea hatched by Amanda Williams and her husband, Adam, while they were enjoying time with friends around a campfire in Red Cliff. The concept grew and became a reality hosted in Red Cliff for many years before moving to Avon. 

Every year, Man of the Cliff puts money toward a nonprofit. This year Can Do Multiple Sclerosis will receive the fundraising dollars.

Bonfire Brewing has been a supporter of Man of the Cliff for years and is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event. They will be serving up some of their classics along with seasonal brews.

To learn more about the event and to register a team, go to www.manofthecliff.com. Slots fill up fast, so register in advance. Participation costs $85, but you can also come and watch. Spectators pay $10 and the proceeds all go to Can Do MS.

Underground Sound Concert Series

If you like the sounds of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash or Robert Earl Keen, then this week’s Underground Sound concert with Todd Snider is for you. Snider will be sharing the stage with special guest Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on Friday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. 

You may be thinking, ‘Todd Snider…how do I know that name?’ Well, in addition to touring solo, Snider is also known as the frontman of supergroup Hard Working Americans, a band made up of members of Widespread Panic and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Snider has been called a troubadour and philosopher but he is truly a storyteller and tells those stories through folk music.

Joining Snider in all of this storytelling is Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who is considered to be the foundation of the folk music scene. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and even Johnny Cash have paid homage to Elliott because, even with all the trends the music industry sees, his songs are timeless. 

The intimate setting of the Vilar will lend itself to this type of show. Artists love to play at the Vilar not only for the acoustics, but also because they can interact with the crowd.

This Friday marks the second in a series of seven shows at the Vilar. The Underground Sound Pass is still available for $125 and that includes Friday’s show and the remaining five concerts, a drink at each concert and it is transferable. Individual tickets for the show are $35. For more information and a chance to listen to Snider and Elliott’s music, visit www.vilarpac.org.

Fall Fest Spooktacular

It’s time to test out those Halloween costumes! The Town of Gypsum is hosting its annual Fall Fest Spooktacular on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Get the kids dressed up and bring them to the Lundgren Amphitheater. A pumpkin patch will set the scene on the lawn along with a haunted maze. The Town of Gypsum will host carnival games and prizes. Grab some free popcorn and hot dogs courtesy of Costco.

There is a pumpkin carving contest, but the entry forms were due Thursday. You can still enjoy the creativity since the pumpkins will be on display on Saturday.  Make a note of this deadline in case your kids really wanted to be a part of it and register earlier next year.

This event is free to the public. For more information, go to www.townofgypsum.com.

Vail Valley Fine Arts Show

View local art this Friday during the Vail Valley Fine Arts Show while enjoying a little jazz music and a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Edwards.

For the sixth year in a row, Colorado Mountain College and the Vail Valley Art Guild will join forces to present a unique look at work by local artists, sculptors, ceramic artists, photographers and woodworkers.

This year’s show was judged by the owners of Vail International Gallery and the Raitman Gallery and includes 2-D abstracts, portraits, figures, landscapes and still life in both painting and photography mediums as well as 3-D sculpture and functional pieces.

Many of the artists and photographers on exhibit participate in classes and workshops sponsored by Colorado Mountain College and the Vail Valley Art Guild. 

In addition to featuring more than 234 works by 59 artists in an array of mediums, the exhibit will feature refreshments – including nice cheese and smoked salmon – and jazz for patrons to enjoy while perusing the art. The Jeremiah Johnson Jazz Quartet will provide live music. Side note: besides playing tenor sax, Johnson is the assistant dean of the art department at the college.

Can’t make it on Friday night? The Vail Valley Fine Art Show is currently on exhibit and the artwork is available for purchase through November 15th at Colorado Mountain College. Visit www.coloradomtn.edu/campuses/vail-valley-edwards for more information.

Sing and tip for charity

A couple of charity events you won’t want to miss include the Tip a Cop event for Special Olympics and a Karaoke Cafe that benefits the Vail Performing Arts Academy.

Police officers “protect and serve” but they will be concentrating on the serving portion of that motto at the Blue Plate in Avon on Saturday.

Officers and deputies will serve patrons at the Blue Plate for tips. Tips received go to support Special Olympic athletes with intellectual disabilities. Dinner will be served between 5 and 9 p.m. Call for a reservation and help out Eagle County law enforcement teams who are raising money and awareness for the Special Olympics of Colorado. If you wish to donate online go to give.specialolympics.org.

Also on Saturday, the Vail Performing Arts Academy is inviting you to sing for your supper, sort of, with a Karaoke competition and a delicious dinner. Diners will enjoy a New York Little Italy-themed buffet for $25 (kids 10 years old and younger are $15).

The Vail Performing Arts Academy is dedicated to providing theatrical, educational and cultural experiences for the youth of Eagle County. Since 1995, the Vail Performing Arts Academy has done performances ranging from “Grease” in 1998 to “Frozen, Jr.” this past summer.

Hovey & Harrison will be the place to be if you want to let your talents shine, but do be aware that this IS the Vail Performing Arts Academy, so there may be some stiff competition with all the good singers in the house. All ages are welcome and there are prizes for the best performers. You can also just sit back and relax and enjoy the entertainment while supporting the Academy’s year-round programs. The event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. To buy tickets and learn more visit www.vpaa.org.