Vail’s Opening Day & Vail Après ringing of the bells
We’ve been watching ski resorts open over the pass in Summit County and now it’s Eagle County’s turn to start spinning the lifts. Vail will open for its 57th season with approximately 91 acres of terrain, up from the originally announced acreage of 70 acres of terrain accessed via Gondola One in Vail Village starting at 9 a.m. on Friday.
New for this season, Vail will open skiing and riding out of Vail Village, with upload and download access to the Mid-Vail area via Gondola One (1). The resort will offer skiing and riding terrain for all ability levels on trails accessed by Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) out of Mid-Vail including Swingsville, Ramshorn, Slifer Express, Cappuccino, Upper Powerline, Lower Meadows.
Beginner terrain will be available at the base of Golden Peak with Gopher Hill Lift (#12) and Sherry’s Carpet (#33) open. The connector trail between Golden Peak and Vail Village will connect the two base areas.
If you hiked up the Berry Picker trail this summer, you noticed the pipes and trenches as Vail was prepping the mountain for more snowmaking capabilities. That has resulted in nearly 200 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking terrain this season, in addition to the previously existing 431 acres of snowmaking terrain.
Vail will continue to make snow across the mountain at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and look to expand open terrain as soon as possible.
As part of the Opening Day festivities, Beth Howard, Vail Mountain’s vice president and chief operating officer, along with snowmaking project leaders will perform a celebratory ribbon cutting on one of Vail’s new state-of-the-art snow guns at the base of Gondola One at 8:30 a.m.
Complimentary breakfast burritos and hot cocoa will be provided in Mountain Plaza at the base of Gondola One for early risers on opening day, while supplies last. If you don’t get there in time for the free burritos, Express Lift Bar will be open in Mountain Plaza as well. For dining options on the mountain, Look Ma at Mid-Vail and Buffalo’s at the top of Mountaintop Express Lift (#4) will be fully operational starting at 9 a.m.
Après-ski bell ringing
The start of the ski season also kicks off après-ski. Après-ski is French for “after ski” and it can be likened to happy hour after work. To take après ski up a notch and pay homage to the European ski areas, Vail will kick off Vail Après at 2:45 p.m. Friday with a ceremonial bell ringing on Pepi’s deck.
Sheika Gramshammer and her family, owners of Gastof Gramshammer and Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant will be joined by dignitaries from the town of Vail and Vail Mountain to kick off the inaugural Vail Après bell ringing and celebrate the start of Vail’s ski season.
To join in the celebration, members of the community are encouraged to gather on Pepi’s deck at 2:45 p.m. on Friday to take part in a ceremony that will launch this new tradition.
Following Friday’s launch, Vail Après will take place daily at 3 p.m. throughout the season with simultaneous bell ringing throughout Vail Village, Lionshead and on Vail Mountain to signify the beginning of après-ski.
Tales of the 10th
We just observed and thanked vets on Monday for Veterans Day, but this Friday you can learn quite a bit more about the famed 10th Mountain Division, the winter warfare unit that trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale before fighting battles in Europe during World War II. Acclaimed author and historian Maurice Isserman will give a 90-minute presentation beginning at 3 p.m.
The presentation coincides with the publication of Isserman’s new book, “The Winter Army: The World War II Odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America’s Elite Alpine Warriors.” The 10th Mountain Division is known for breaking down the last line of German defenses in the Italian Alps in 1945, which was instrumental in leading the Allies to victory.
Isserman has poured over letters and diaries written during battle. This material has never been published before and Isserman brings the voices of these soldiers to life.
Seating at the Colorado Snowsports Museum is limited, with a maximum capacity of 30 participants. A $5 to $10 donation per person is suggested. Please call 970-476-1876 in advance for availability. To learn more about the Colorado Snowsports Museum visit www.snowsportsmuseum.org.
Cocktails and Canvas: Ornament Painting
Get a jump on holiday decorating by creating your own ornaments at Cocktails and Canvas: Ornament Painting this Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Lionshead. Make a set of round glass ornaments, perfect for holiday decorations and handmade gifts. The Alpine Arts Center provides all materials and step-by-step instructions. Wine and beer can be purchased for those ages 21 and older at the event.
Paint a snowman, a wintery scene or do something more abstract. It’s all up to you and what inspires you at the time. You don’t need to be an artist to do this project, either. It’s all about having fun and getting into the holiday spirit.
This event takes place at the Vail Recreation District community programming room (second floor of Lionshead Parking Garage above the Welcome Center). Parking is free after 3 p.m. The class is being offered at the discounted rate of $20 per person due to sponsorship from the town of Vail and Alpine Bank. To register, go to www.alpineartscenter.org.
Vail Performing Arts Academy presents “Broadway Stars”
Feel like you’ve traveled to New York City with the songs of Broadway filling the stage as the students from the Vail Performing Arts Academy’s present “Broadway Stars”, a revue featuring performances of Broadway hits.
Audiences will be entertained by students ages 8 to 18 who will be singing numbers from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Seussical The Musical,” “Anastasia,” “The Addams Family,” “Hairspray,” “Be More Chill,” “Matilda,” “Billie Elliot,” “Beetlejuice” and more.
Even though these performers are students, the acting, singing, costumes and set design are all top-notch. Annah Scully, executive producer of the Vail Performing Arts Academy, surrounds herself with professionals like Colin Meiring, artistic director; Melinda Carlson, vocal coach; Maria Barry, assistant choreographer and Val Watts, costumer. There are also technicians who help with logistics and countless parents and volunteers who really help each child’s experience live up to the Vail Performing Arts Academy’s slogan: The Most Important Stage in a Child’s Life.
Speaking of stages, the students get to perform on a stage that has seen the likes of B.B. King, Ringo Starr and Jay Leno. “Broadway Stars” will be hosted at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for reserved seating. Call 970-845-8497 or visit www.vilarpac.org. To learn more about the Vail Performing Arts Academy, visit www.vpaa.org.
Epic Mountain Express Fill the Van food drive
On Saturday, Epic Mountain Express will be hosting the 22nd annual Fill the Van event across our mountain communities. Fill the Van is the largest single food drive across the mountain region, with donated food going directly to local food banks.
Chances are you need to grab some groceries this week, so why not wait and shop on Saturday during the food drive and pick up some extra non-perishable items, put them in a separate bag at checkout and drop them off on your way out of the store. Epic Mountain Express makes it easy for you to help our neighbors in need.
Collection locations will be set up all throughout Eagle County and beyond. Look for the teams next to the colorful Epic Mountain Express vans between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the following locations:
Eagle County locations:
- City Market – Vail
- City Market – Avon
- City Market – Eagle
- Safeway – Vail
- Wal-Mart – Eagle-Vail
- Village Market – Edwards
Summit County locations:
- Safeway – Frisco
- City Market – Dillon
- City Market – Breckenridge
Roaring Fork Valley locations:
- City Market – Glenwood
- City Market – El Jebel