At times, the year 2020 has brought out the worst in people, but it has also brought out the best in people. Save Our Restaurants is one example of locals doing what they can, where they live, right now to make things better.
Edwards residents Melinda Gladitsch and Beverly Freedman have been thinking about ways to help out local restaurants during the pandemic for quite some time and knew there were several individual efforts taking place in municipalities but no countywide efforts.
“We finally decided to make it happen by approaching key organizations across the county for buy-in, setting up social presences on Facebook and Instagram and launching the campaign,” Gladitsch said. Save Our Restaurants just launched this week.
The goal of Save Our Restaurants is simple: Order out at least once per week and share your experience on social media to spread the word.
Even with the vaccine coming to Colorado and Eagle County and hope on the horizon, there is still a long road ahead. State and county safety mandates are still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Eagle County restaurants are currently operating at 25% of capacity, or at 50 people or less, whichever is fewer.
“Our restaurants are facing strict dine-in restrictions and a large part of our population may not feel comfortable dining in anyway. But everyone can do their part to help our restaurants survive by ordering out frequently,” Gladitsch said.
Save Our Restaurants reached out to several local organizations including the Vail Valley Partnership, the Vail Chamber & Business Association and Beaver Creek Merchant Association to help get the word out and they promptly backed this grassroots effort.
“I feel like we are a community of action-oriented people. When we see a need and feel passionate about it, we try to take action. Beverly Freedman is an excellent example of that. She pushes for what she believes in,” Gladitsch said about her friend and cofounder of Save Our Restaurants.
Eagle County restaurants do not need to do anything to participate in the program because this effort will be driven by local and visiting diners.
“We look forward to seeing this effort grow and make a difference,” Gladitsch said.
The slopes are open at both Vail and Beaver Creek with new reservation systems in place for lift access and on-mountain dining
Beaver Creek Open for the Season
Skiing has returned to Eagle County with Vail opening its lifts last Friday and Beaver Creek dropping the ropes on Wednesday. Beaver Creek welcomed skiers and riders with more than 130 acres of beginner and intermediate terrain accessible via Centennial Express Lift (No. 6) , Haymeadow Express Gondola (No. 1) and Bachelor Gulch Express Lift (No. 16).
Vail Resorts has been preparing for this season since the pandemic closed the resorts on March 14 and say the goal is to stay open all winter.
To stay open, Vail Resorts has implemented some changes in operations to keep guests and employees safe. The biggest changes you’ll notice are the need for an Epic Pass, reservations to get on the slopes, reservations for restaurants and parking. To help keep it all straight, Beaver Creek has put together a checklist:
Do you have your Epic Pass?
With exclusive access to the early season and the ability to reserve core season dates before lift tickets go on sale, as well as Epic Mountain Rewards, this is the year to have an Epic Pass. Vail Resorts will stop selling passes on Dec. 6.
Have you made a reservation?
Reservations can be made week-of on EpicPass.com, and pass holders have exclusive access to booking priority reservation days for the core season before lift tickets go on sale.
Do you have your mask?
Bring your face covering! They’re required throughout every aspect of the ski and ride experience, including when loading, riding, and unloading lifts. Face coverings are now required in all public indoor and outdoor spaces in Vail and Beaver Creek.
Have you booked your Time to Dine reservation?
Many quick service restaurants require advance planning this year. Guests can book their Time to Dine through the EpicMix app. This is important: Even if you aren’t planning on purchasing food or drinks, you’ll need to book your time to warm-up as capacity will be limited. Dining facilities will be configured differently, so please check out the Winter Experience page to get the latest information. Guests can log on to book at 7 a.m. for their ski day.
Did you plan your parking?
At Beaver Creek, village transportation will continue to shuttle guests between base areas and parking lots but will operate with limited capacity. The resorts asks that you please be patient and respectful of the policies and procedures in place and ensure you’re standing 6-feet away from others while in the queue. Additional transportation info will be available soon on beavercreek.com and EpicMix.
Beaver Creek Village App
To keep track of all things Beaver Creek, and with the pandemic things may change often, stay connected with the new Beaver Creek Village app. Learn about events, activities, shopping, dining, and maps. There’s even a special section for those new to Beaver Creek.
Vail Resorts has updated EpicMix to include even more information about your ski day during these interesting times. Check the snow totals, use the interactive trail maps and book your dining experience all through the new EpicMix app. Many things like the annual Beaver Creek Tree Lighting Ceremony and Cookie Time, Thursday Night Lights and other iconic events won’t be happening this season, but there are a few innovative events and activities yet to be announced that you won’t want to miss and the app will be your best source for information.
New Shops in BC
Shopping has always been a big part of Beaver Village. Your favorites like Karin’s, BC Gear and Generation BC are still there along with Avalon, Siempre Viva, Gorsuch and many galleries throughout the village. You’ll be happy to hear that Rimini Cafe has your gelato, coffee drinks, and bites to eat, but it has expanded to offer guests more room this winter.
Speaking of coffee, there’s a new coffee shop in town. The Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company, based out of Minturn, has set up shop in the old Starbucks location. Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea Company will have European-style coffee drinks and sweet and savory pastries and other snacks baked on-site. Look for hot alcoholic drinks being served once they get their liquor license in a few weeks.
The Landing Mercantile is another new addition to Beaver Creek. Imagine a Vail Farmers Market and Art Show practically under one roof. That is what you will find at this beautiful location that overlooks the Beaver Creek Ice Rink. The store will feature regional artists curated for their unique and handmade wares. The store will also provide take-home food and wine and beer for guests to purchase for wondering around Beaver Creek Village.
Beaver Creek Wonder
Beaver Creek has some surprises for you the next time you visit the village. Beaver Creek Wonder is not a pandemic project, but rather something that has been in the making for over three years and it’s coming to fruition this season, which is fitting since many attractions need to be outdoors due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Beaver Creek is calling this an artistic playground of photo-friendly, over-sized sculptures that are placed throughout the plaza. Wynn Buzzell, a collaborative partner with Demiurge, has been working on the new Frost Flowers exhibit. “We’ve been trying to draw parallels between all the beauty that you see in the high country and the natural phenomenon of ice forms and snowflakes and combine that with the biology of flowers. We are creating an experience that we think will transform that part of the village,” Buzzell said. Each element is designed to draw families in, and provide a photo-worthy backdrop worth capturing and sharing. Get the cameras ready for when you head into the village. Here’s what the new creations will be called:
CHIPS: Dreamy childhood memories come alive at CHIPS: the remodeled ice cream truck that’s been turned into a cookie truck.
Frost Flowers: Ever in bloom, Frost Flowers and their petals illuminate the village each night
Snowed In: Experience the magic of a Colorado winter day inside this life-size snow globe.
Reflections: Discover a new perspective with a peek into the ski mirrors.
Ice Bikes: Enjoy classic summer fun on the rink as you pedal an ice bike, no skates necessary.
Super G: View Beaver Creek through vibrant, larger-than-life goggles.
Beaver Creek’s 40th Anniversary
Congratulations to Beaver Creek on the resort’s 40th anniversary this season. The resort opened on December 15, 1980 with 425 acres and 28 runs. Today, Beaver Creek boasts 1,832 acres, 150 trails and 23 lifts.
I remember my first trip to Beaver creek during the 1991-92 ski season. There were no escalators, heated sidewalks or free chocolate chip cookies handed out at 3 p.m., but Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Goofy were roaming around the village and Frank Doll would do fireside chats about those who settled the Eagle River Valley. Bachelor Gulch was not developed yet and the Vilar Performing Arts Center was just a thought, but I do remember the Coyote Cafe, the Beav’s original bar and restaurant, as the watering hole for locals and guests alike. And, rear-entry boots and neon were all the rage.
What a difference a few decades makes. Bachelor Gulch now completes the Village-to-Village experience, which was a concept Vail Resorts borrowed from European ski areas.
Beaver Creek had a temporary lodge when it first opened up, and now it houses hotels, condos, fractional ownership opportunities and single-family homes. Families have grown up here and now bring their kids to the world-class Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School, which boasts a gondola serving the beginner area and progressive terrain to aid in learning.
Beaver Creek has played host to U.S. presidents like Gerald R. Ford and other world leaders during the AEI World Forum and some of the most talented performers have graced the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, which opened its doors in February of 1998. Some of the fastest ski racers in the world have wowed the crowd with their speed and skill at the FIS World Cup races and FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. Beaver Creek also played host to the USA Pro Challenge cycling event, which brought the world’s fastest cyclists to the roads of Beaver Creek.
Due to COVID-19, big celebrations won’t mark Beaver Creek’s fourth decade, but take a moment to think about your journey through Beaver Creek’s history and how this little gem in the Rockies impacts your love of the mountains.
Vail Mountain Coffee and tea opens new Beaver Creek location
If you’re looking for a cup of Joe on your way to the lifts at Beaver Creek, stop by Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company’s new shop in the village. The old Starbucks location now houses the local coffee roaster, which is based out of Minturn.
Founders Chris Chantler and Craig Arseneau started Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company in 1989 with the Daily Grind on Bridge Street. They built up a successful wholesale business and now have a 7,150-square-foot facility in Minturn. They added a cafe a couple of years ago to that location.
“Our goal with the cafe in Minturn was to create an authentic coffee experience inviting our customers inside our roastery and sharing our story and passion for coffee and tea,” Chantler said. “The cafe caught the eye of Vail Resorts as a potential coffee partner at Beaver Creek. I think Beaver Creek is trying build on the guest experience by offering a unique local coffee concept.”
Things moved fast, even during a pandemic, and Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company and Vail Resorts inked the deal in mid-September and the remodel started on Oct. 2. They opened for business on Nov. 13.
“A rather stressful six weeks for sure,” Chantler said. “We are so grateful to the team at Arrigoni Woods and European Wood Concepts for their design experience and the professional way they executed the remodel. Timing is everything and we are very excited to join the Beaver Creek community.”
At the new location, look for drinks that are more European in style.
“Craig and I have always wanted to showcase the coffee in our espresso drinks and not mask the flavor with various sweet flavorings and copious volumes of steamed milk,” Chantler said.
The cappuccinos will be more of European size made with a double shot and just 5 ounces of velvety milk foam layered on top. The Cortado and Flat White drinks on the menu will be served with the same philosophy. Mochas and traditional lattes will be offered in traditional sizes with the opportunity to flavor with both regular syrups and sugar free options.
For tea lovers, the shop sells 55 different loose leaf teas at the Minturn location. In Beaver Creek, they have edited the list to 12 of their top selling teas. Pair any of these drinks with fresh sweet and savory items baked on-site for breakfast, lunch and grab-and-go snacks throughout the day.
In addition to coffee in the morning, Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company is planning on serving hot drinks with alcohol once they receive their liquor license in a few weeks. Chantler says they also plan to offer a weekly cocktail on tap, micro beers and wine. The hot craft cocktails will feature spirits from local distilleries paired with their coffee, teas and Ghirardelli hot chocolate. Some of the creative cocktails include:
The Ullr Hot Chocolate — Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate with Ullr Peppermint Cinnamon Schnapps — guaranteed to create a few snow angles at après ski
The Grind Irish Coffee — Rock & Rye whisky, Irish cream, coffee with a hint of vanilla
Rock n’ Chai — Rye whiskey, Kummel steamed with Sherpa Chai
London Calling — Earl Grey tea with Fernet, dry Curcao honey syrup and oat milk.
The new Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company in Beaver Creek plans to be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. this winter. For more information, visit vailcoffee.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Warren Miller movie premiere, restaurant deals, art programs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/13/20
America Recycles Day
America Recycles Day is Nov. 15 and Eagle County wants to help you understand the best ways to recycle every day of the year. According to the lovevail.org website, the current national recycling rate is 35% while the state of Colorado’s rate is 16%. The town of Vail recycling rate is 27%, just shy of the Eagle County rate of 28%.
Are you confused about what can and can’t be recycled? If the answer is yes, download the free Eagle County Waste Wizard app. The Recycling Guide will give you and your family the answers to all your recycling questions at your fingertips.
Walking Mountains Science Center has been counting down to America Recycles Day by offering tips and tricks to help you recycle right and manage your waste more sustainably. New tips are posted daily to its Sustainability Facebook page and Instagram stories (search for @walkingmtns). You can also send in your questions to @walkingmtns or tag #recycleright and the Walking Mountains Zero Waste team will answer your questions.
If you want to ditch the single-use plastics, head over to Fill & Refill, a store in Edwards that is dedicated to reducing single-use plastic by selling many household items like shampoo and laundry detergent that are unpackaged. Simply bring in your own containers or purchase reusable containers at Fill & Refill and break the cycle of contributing to more plastic waste. More info can be found at fillandrefill.com.
On Friday, the town of Vail had planned to host a recycling event for paper shredding and electronic waste. Due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Eagle County, the town of Vail is postponing the event and it will be rescheduled when the COVID-19 case numbers have been lowered.
As an alternative, Eagle County residents can take electronics waste to the Eagle County Household Hazardous Waste facility in Wolcott. The facility is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. There is a small charge for electronics and Eagle County residents can deposit up to 20 items of household hazardous waste, such as paint, free of charge per visit.
Second Friday ARTwalk on Broadway
This weekend marks the second anniversary of the Second Friday ARTwalk, a monthly event held in downtown Eagle. The milestone won’t be marked by any grand celebrations due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you are still invited to stop by and support local artists and shops on Broadway and beyond on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. by ordering takeout, getting gift cards and doing a quick shopping trip in the shops and galleries.
Founder and event organizer Tara Novak, owner of ARTSPaCE workshop and gallery, has been working hard throughout the pandemic to support local artists and small businesses that are a part of the Eagle community. Novak is currently working on uploading items by local artists for holiday gift ideas on artspaceworkshop.com to provide a resource for those looking to shop local this holiday season.
The Vail Valley Art Guild will be holding a member exhibit on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors will be allowed to choose two free holiday greetings cards designed by artist Beth Levine. The Vail Valley Art Guild’s Gallery is located at 108 Second Street in Eagle.
Even though the Broadway Promenade in downtown Eagle won’t be bustling with exhibitor tents and food trucks like it has in the past, browse the art galleries and stop by the restaurants for a quick bite or takeout or buy a gift card and support those places as well:
Bonfire Brewery’s 10th Anniversary Celebration – new chalk art reveal by Natalia Gray, live music with The Evolution from 6 to 9 p.m.
Katch of the Day Wine Bar – Frida Kahlo, Picasso, other assorted vintage art and wine specials
Owashi Sushi Kitchen – fine art exhibit and dining specials
Chics Couture – fall sale, local artisan jewelry
Everyday Outfitters – fall sale, home holiday decor and art prints
71st annual Warren Miller Movie Premier
Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still stoke season and the 71st annual Warren Miller movie, “Future Retro,” is the official flick that kicks it off.
You read that correctly, 71 years of Warren Miller films. These films about winter skiing and snowboarding attract die-hard enthusiasts, aspiring wanna-be pro athletes and even those who may never step foot on the slopes this winter. The footage, music and commentary are that entertaining and iconic. And although you can’t watch this year’s movie on the big screen like in the past, you’ll still see the beautiful scenery, amazing athleticism and hear some of Warren’s famous quotes.
“Future Retro” features a cast of nearly two dozen of today’s most talented skiers and snowboarders that will take you to the slopes of Utah, Vermont, Montana and Alaska. International destinations include Switzerland, Iceland and Antarctica. For those of you missing the Birds of Prey World Cup Races at Beaver Creek this year, there is a segment from last year’s women’s World Cup race in Killington, VT.
Due to the pandemic, “Future Retro” is being premiered in locations across the U.S. over a three-week period via a streaming platform. Last Saturday, the East Coast got to view “Future Retro,” This Saturday, the Rocky Mountain Region can view it at 6 p.m. MST and next Saturday the West Coast will be able to see the film.
A ticket for the movie premiere costs $30 and that will accommodate one to four people on a single device. This ticket gives you and your three guests access to door prizes like ski gear, coupon codes and other swag. Have more than four who want access to the goods? Simply purchase more tickets to accommodate your viewers. You will have access to the event for up to 48 hours in case you can’t watch it Saturday or want to watch it again.
Olympian and long-time Warren Miller films narrator Jonny Moseley reprises his role in this year’s film and will kick it off with a virtual red carpet experience. Get your living room ready for the 71st annual Warren Miller movie with popcorn, “free” drinks from your own fridge and a comfortable couch. To purchase tickets or watch the movie trailer go to warrenmiller.com.
Cupcakes and Clay
Instead of Cupcakes and Canvas, Alpine Arts Center is hosting its Cupcakes and Clay event this Sunday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Enjoy delicious cupcakes while creating a lasting piece of functional art. This week, the class will be creating platters for serving or as a decorative piece to display.
During the class, you will be provided with all the art materials to make the platter and the instruction and assistance you’ll need throughout your artistic journey. Start with a ball of clay and shape it into the desired platter you envision. This is the family-friendly version of Cocktails and Canvas, but those over 21 are allowed to purchase beer, wine or champagne from the Alpine Art Center for $6 each.
Go to alpineartscenter.org to make a reservation for the class. Tickets are $35 and include the cupcakes and all the art supplies. You can do the class virtually for $25, which doesn’t include the art materials, but you can buy art class kits online as well.
You may have seen information about the Social Arts Programs that the Alpine Arts Center is doing for the town of Vail this season. These are discounted classes for $20 due to support from the town of Vail, Alpine Bank, Holy Cross Energy and Vail Daily. This Friday’s trail map painting class is already sold out but inquire about a virtual class. More information can be found at alpineartscenter.org.
Off season deals
There are a few restaurants doing deals this time of year. Take advantage of the savings and treat yourself to a nice meal before the ski season starts and support local restaurants:
Northside Coffee & Kitchen:
All entrées $20
Filet mignon, rib eye or prime rib $24
Lobster shrimp risotto $27
20% off all appetizers and sushi
20% off all whole fish and wine over $100
Available Sunday – Thursday
Must mention ad to receive the discount, dine-in only
Route 6 Cafe and Bar:
Three courses for $21
First course: soup, chili, house or Caesar salad
Second course: choice of any entrée
Third course: chocolate brownie or apple tort a la mode
Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Bavarian fun, trail runs, walks for charity and a grape stomp: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 9/25/20
Septemberfest at Beaver Creek
It’s not quite the annual Oktoberfest celebration Beaver Creek hosts every fall, but we’ll take it. Septemberfest will offer up Bavarian food, beer, music and fun this Friday and Saturday.
Area restaurants will feature specials on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. No tickets required for entry, a la carte food and beverages will be available for purchase at restaurants in Beaver Creek Village. Here are a few samples of what you’ll see:
The Dusty Boot: Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with chips, cheese beer soup with pretzels
The Golden Eagle Inn: Schnitzel and Kolsch Beer
Coyote Cafe: Beirock and Oktoberfest Lager
The Met Kitchen: Strudel and The Kaiser Lager
Pair those items with your dirndl or lederhosen and enjoy live music performed in the village. For more information, go to beavercreek.com.
Last weekend for gondola rides
The last weekend in September marks that last time you can ride lifts until the winter season fires back up on November 20 on Vail Mountain and November 25 at Beaver Creek Resort. Vail starts the weekend early with lifts starting at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and will run Gondola One in Vail Village until 4 p.m. Those are the operating hours for Saturday and Sunday as well. Beaver Creek will have the Centennial lift running from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
If you work up an appetite, you can purchase a grab-and-go lunch from Sarge’s Deck on Vail Mountain at Mid Vail or from Spruce Saddle at Beaver Creek. This is prime hiking and biking season because of the fall colors. Have the camera handy so you can snap a few pictures of the golden aspen leaves whether you are hiking or biking up or down the trails.
Beaver Lake is a popular destination this time of year. You can hike up the trail from the base area by starting out on the Five Senses Trail before embarking on the Beaver Lake Trail or take the Centennial lift up to Spruce Saddle and follow the Royal Elk Trail to Beaver Lake.
Bikers can try the Grand Traverse trail for spectacular views of the back bowls or do a lap on Big Mamba and Radio Flyer.
Keep an eye on the time if you are hoping to download the lifts at the end of the day. The temperature is cooler as you ascent, so pack an extra layer for once you get to the top. For more information visit vail.com or beavercreek.com.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Saturday marks the third annual Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects 5.8 million Americans and 76,000 Coloradoans. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the walk won’t be held in one central location. Instead, participants are encouraged to walk their families or small groups on neighborhood streets, school tracks and trails in support of a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Registration is still open by going to alz.org/walk. Search for the Vail Valley’s walk and join a team or sign up as an individual. Registration is free, but if you’d like to donate you can do so with or without walking in the event. The goal of the Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s local planning committee is to raise $130,000 by the end of 2020 and at press time over $74,000 had been raised. Here are some stats about Alzheimer’s and why this is such a national concern:
5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to reach nearly 14 million by 2050
More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, providing an estimated 18.5 billion hours valued at nearly $234 billion
There is so prevention, treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Walk with your family and friends at this year’s Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s. For more information, go to alz.org/walk.
Boneyard Boogie Trail Run
This Saturday marks the final race in the Dynafit 2020 Vail Trail Running Series. The Boneyard Boogie is presented by and held in the town of Eagle. This race typically takes place in the spring, but due to COVID-19 cancellations and postponements, this race was pushed to the fall. The benefit will be the wonderful fall colors that racers will get to see by having it held in September versus May.
The Boneyard Boogie is a 13k race that starts and ends at the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink. The terrain is mostly dirt single track with a small percentage of double track that winds through pinyon groves and juniper shrubs. The race includes about 1,400 feet of climbing.
The race is capped at 175 runners and there is no day-of registration. Racers can pick up their race numbers or register ahead of time in person (space available) on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Peak Performance in Edwards.
As with all the other races, there is a race t-shirt and Northside Coffee and Kitchen will be serving up donuts. You can grab both after you finish and head home. Due to COVID-19, the series champion and raffle winner prizes will be given out by staff at the race area as racers finish. Boneyard Boogie overall men’s and women’s finisher prizes will be mailed. Go to vailrec.org for more information.
“I Love Lucy” Wine Crush
If you’ve ever followed the “I Love Lucy” show, the classic comedy that starred Lucille Ball, you may have seen the episode where Lucy stomps grapes with her feet. Each year during harvest time, Vines at Vail allows those who dare put their feet in the vat to stomp grapes and don a costume similar to the outfit Lucy wore in that famous episode. The best costume and look alike winner will receive a $150 credit toward Vines at Vail wine.
All fun and games aside, it’s a busy time at Vines at Vail with the crush and press going on this fall with harvest in full swing. This boutique mountain winery has been sharing the experience with guests for decades. The grapes are from Lodi, Amador and Stockton, CA.
After the grape stomp and costume contest, stick around and taste some wines that have already been bottled. The event goes until 5 p.m. Vines at Vail offers Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Petit Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, just to name a few.
For more information about tickets to this event and to learn about how you can get your own barrel or host an event out there with your friends – Vines at Vail is located at 4 Eagle Ranch – visit vinesatvailwinery.com. If you can’t get there on Saturday, Vines at Vail is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Oct. 15 and open Fridays and Saturdays through November.
Cheeseburgers in paradise
According to the National Day Calendar website, Sept. 18 is National Cheeseburger Day. In honor of this American staple, we thought we’d share some delicious details on the places that serve up a fantastic cheeseburger up and down the valley.
Restaurant: Craftsman – Edwards
Name: Schmidt Mac
The Goods: Two all-beef patties, Fromage Américain (American cheese), tender belly bacon, griddled onion, shrettuce (shredded lettuce), special sauce, dill pickles on a Hovey & Harrison sesame seed bun.
Word has it that Christopher Schmidt, chef-owner of Craftsman, created this as a staff meal when he worked at Sweet Basil. Made with fresh ingredients like grass feed beef, “freedom” (American) cheese and quality bacon and secret mayo-based sauce has qualified the Schmidt Mac to win the Vail Daily’s Best of the Vail Valley gold medal for best burger last year and the bronze medal in 2018.
Restaurant: Southside Benderz – Avon
Name: Original Benderz Burgerz
The Goods: Your choice of a single, double or triple one-third pound beef patty served on Benderz’ signature fresh-baked, house-made-every-day bun with 2,000-island dressing, lettuce, tomato and red onion with your choice of American, cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, provolone or bleu cheese. Other add-ons include mushrooms, jalapeños, grilled onions as well as avocado, bacon and a fried egg.
Stop by Southside Benderz for what Denver’s Westword Magazine calls the best burger on I-70. What makes its burger so great? “It’s the beef! Fresh, never frozen Angus beef is what sets our burgers apart,” said Noah Bender, the namesake behind Southside Benders. “We make our buns at our Northside bakery and people love our atmosphere with the big giant bar and patio,” Bender said. The Benderz burger has earned the Vail Daily’s Best of the Valley bronze medal in 2019 and the silver medal in 2018 and 2017.
Breaking news, there will be even more space to enjoy a Benderz burger. Its sister restaurant, Pavalici’s Pizza, is closed and Benderz Burgers will open an additional location in its original spot where Northside Coffee and Kitchen sits on the north side of 1-70 in October.
Restaurant: Bully Ranch – Vail Village
The Goods: Bully Ranch gives you a choice of protein: Redbird chicken, 7X Wagyu Japanese beef, buffalo and even a non-meat option with the Impossible burger.
“We have five distinct styles of burgers that are regionalized, from our South of the Border burger with house-made spicy guacamole to our Bully Bourbon burger with smoked cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon and house-made bourbon demi-glace, cheeseburgers are the ultimate American comfort food,” said Jeffrey Geller of the Bully Ranch at the Sonnenalp Hotel Vail.
“What I love the most is how wonderful and warming they can be. It brings you back to that place where you had your first cheeseburger,” Geller said. “Come try one along with one of our signature mudslide drinks.”
Restaurant: Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse – Lionshead and Beaver Creek
Name: Mountain Cheeseburger
The Goods: a one-half pound patty of the chef’s special grind, choice of eight types of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, brioche bun, fries, pickle and then pick add-ons like bacon, avocado, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and grilled jalapenos.
“Our chef’s grind is 80% chuck beef and 20% brisket. The brisket is a bit fattier and we fold that in to give the burger that rich flavor,” said Joe Griffith, manager at Beaver Creek Chophouse. “We’ve kept this same burger on the menu for the past several years. We sell them all day and all night.”
Restaurant: Dusty Boot Roadhouse
The Goods: Choose from building your own burger to the classic Boot Burger with crispy fried onions, Applewood bacon, jalapeño jack cheese and house-made guacamole. The Fat Burger takes things to new heights with onion rings piled on top of bleu cheese crumbles, Applewood bacon and barbecue sauce. Need more? Add a fried egg or pork green chili to your burger.
“Everybody loves our burgers. We use Colorado raised hormone-free Angus beef,” said Alina Dabrowski, bartender at Dusty Boot. She also suggested you pair it with a Hazy IPA beer.
Restaurant: Brush Creek Saloon – Eagle
The Goods: With over a dozen burgers to choose from you’ll need to head down to the Brush Creek Saloon a few nights a week to taste them all. Try the Eagle Fire Truck with natural beef, bacon, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, chipotle mayo and pico de gallo.
“The Eagle Fire Truck is our most popular burger on the menu,” said Brush Creek Saloon bartender Devon Sartori. “We use Aspen Ridge beef and it’s served with hand-cut fries, a fried jalapeno on top and it’s about six inches tall.”
World-class music at The Amp, an art walk and a 5k and movie combo: Tricia’s Weekend Picks for 8/14/20
“Voice of the Violin”
The Vilar Performing Arts Center presents Joshua Bell & Larisa Martinez’s “The Voice and the Violin” with pianist Peter Dugan. Although the event is presented by the Vilar, the concert will take place at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Friday night at 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, The Amp is only allowed to have 175 concertgoers at a performance. That small number and the fact that this is a hot ticket is the reason the event has already sold out. But, the good news is it will be streamed live through Veeps.
For $20 you can watch the streaming version and see a number of “firsts.” This marks the first in-person performance for Bell and Martinez since the pandemic began. It’s also the live premiere of their new work, “The Voice and the Violin.”
Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era and has performed in Vail many times before. Larisa Martinez is an award-winning soprano vocalist who has a strong and unique presence in the classical performance world. This husband-wife duo is teaming up with pianist Peter Dugan. Dugan is a sought-after multi-genre artist who has performed with Itzhak Perlman, Renee Fleming, Jesse Collin Young, Glenn Close and many more.
The performance will include music from Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Strauss, Puccini’s “La Bohème” and Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”
View this live performance filmed in our backyard at The Amp from the comfort of your own home. Visit grfavail.com to get the $20 tickets for the live stream, which will be available for a rewatch until Aug. 28. Please note that 50% of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to mental and behavioral health initiatives in the Vail Valley.
2nd Friday Art Walk on Broadway
The 2nd Friday Art Walk is happening on Broadway in Eagle this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and is a celebration of the arts, local businesses and the history of downtown Eagle. It’s a fun way to come together (while still social distancing) when the workweek is done.
Kick-off the evening with Yoga + Beats, which brings yoga to the street and down-tempo beats for a sunset session on the mat. After yoga, take your ticket for the yoga class to Katch of the Day and get a free glass of wine. Space is limited, so get your tickets soon at yogaandbeats.com.
Art features include fine artist Tara Novak (founder and organizer of the event) of Artspace Workshop and Gallery. Novak will be exhibiting a special series celebrating all the years of collaboration with Yoga Off Broadway and Eagle Yoga Fest. The amazing photography of Raj Manickam will also be on display.
In addition to artists and vendors in tents and live music along Broadway, other attractions include:
Happy hour and ax throwing at Bonfire Brewing
Sales at Everyday Outfitters and Jules Collectibles
Flower cart and crafts from Petals of Provence
Deals at area restaurants and food trucks
Broadway will be closed down for this event to allow for more social distancing. For more information go to the Eagle Arts Facebook page.
Rewind at Beaver Creek F.A.C.
Unwind with Rewind at Beaver Creek’s F.A.C. (Friday Afternoon Club) this Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Rink Stage on Beaver Creek Plaza. Rewind is a local band that celebrates tunes from the 80s and is comprised of five guys who all have day jobs but love to play music as a side gig.
Rewind has gained quite a local following and there’s pent up demand to hear them play. Due to COVID-19, they haven’t played a live show in several months. “We had three shows canceled this spring and had another show canceled this summer,” said Josh Lautenberg, the drummer for Rewind. “We are thrilled to be playing this Friday and will be bringing our favorite music and energetic style to guests and locals at Beaver Creek,” Lautenberg said.
During F.A.C., grab a bite from a local restaurant and sit in the big, overstuffed couches and chairs outside on the plaza. You can even wander with drinks due to Beaver Creek’s Common Consumption Area, which allows you to carry a drink purchased from a licensed liquor establishment in approved disposable cups through designated areas of Beaver Creek from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Check out the special deals during F.A.C.
Beaver Creek Chophouse: $2 oysters and live music from 4 to 7 p.m.
Dusty Boot: cheeseburger, fries and a 16 ounce Coors Banquet Beer for $16
Blue Moose Pizza: Colorado craft draft and a slice of pizza for $6
Alpine & Antlers: kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree
UPDATE: Due to smoke from the Grizzly Creek wildfire, we have cancelled tomorrow’s GoPro Mountain Games Elements: Apres 5K run, as well as the showing of The Barkley Marathons scheduled for after the race at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
The GoPro Mountain Games, which are typically held in June, were rescheduled for August, but with the current COVID-19 restrictions the GoPro Mountain Games were canceled for 2020. With that being said, there are some “mini-events” called GoPro Mountain Games Elements that are being scheduled. This Saturday you can take part in a 5k run (or walk if you’d like) followed by a movie.
It’s called an Après 5k run, which right there tells you it’s not too serious. Five kilometers is about equal to 3.1 miles and that amount of distance can almost be done straight off the couch. Follow up the exercise with a movie on the big screen at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. “The Barkley Marathons” movie will be shown on the huge23-by-9-foot video screenwith plenty of room to social distance on the lawn at The Amp.
The course begins at Mountain Plaza in Vail, runs through much of the traditional 5K event, and finishes at The Amp. To reduce crowding, there will be three waves with start times happening at 5:20, 5:40 and 6 p.m.
Register for the 5k and the movie or just the movie at https://mountaingames.com/the-games/elements/. But, if you do the 5k, you are entered to win some cool prizes. World-class runner Andy Wacker will take part in the event and help out with some giveaways at The Amp after the race.
Drive-in movies, Vail Dance Festival and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/7/20
Beaver Creek Weekend Happs
Head on up to Beaver Creek for some live music, a silent disco and an a la carte menu at Zusamenn this weekend. The Beav’ has music every day of the week from 2 to 8 p.m. but on Fridays check out F.A.C. (Friday Afternoon Club) from 3 to 5 p.m. on the plaza. Families can not only enjoy live music but also bites from local restaurants, refreshing beverages, shopping, games and more.
Follow F.A.C. is a family-friendly silent disco from 5 to 8 p.m. Complimentary pairs of headphones are handed out so you can dance to the rhythm of your own beat or pair up with someone who is also dancing to that frequency. If you miss the dancing on Friday or didn’t get enough, the silent disco is offered on Saturdays from 5 to 8 p.m., too.
On Saturday, check out Zusamenn, which is a celebration of food and community. Loosely translated from its German roots, zusamenn means something collective or a gathering. The gatherings will be more socially-distanced this summer, but the live music will be performed by crowd favorites Spinphony on the rink stage between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Spinphony is an all-female electric string quartet out of Denver. They blend Bach with AC/DC for a unique, high energy sound.
The event is free to attend and you can purchase food and drinks along the way. This festival of flavors was created by Beaver Creek’s renowned chefs and restaurants. Visit village restaurants to select from delectable small plates and signature beverages and cocktails. For more information, please view beavercreek.com.
Drive-in movies are a perfect way to see a flick during a pandemic. The Blue Starlite Drive-In returns to Minturn this summer with classic movies and safety measures in place to watch a movie on the big screen this weekend.
The 1985 adventure comedy “Goonies” will be showing on Friday night. Get tickets in advance online and read all of the COVID-19 safety protocols. You can even order concessions in advance and those items will be provided to you when you arrive as to limit the time people are out of their cars.
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is showing on Saturday night. This 1989 film is the last in the three-part series that starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Sean Connery plays Indian Jones’ father.
Both movies start at 8:50 p.m. and the gates open at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance online and learn more at bluestarlitedrivein.com.
Vail Dance Festival: Digital Edition
The 32nd annual Vail Dance Festival kicked off last week and although the dancers weren’t able to gather physically on the stage in Vail, their on-screen presence has touched the Vail Valley and beyond. The Vail Dance Festival: Digital Edition showcased world premieres that happened in Vail in recent years and really offered a “best of” look at what makes the Vail Dance Festival so special. The performances have been shown on Vail Dance Festival’s Facebook and YouTube accounts and all shows will be available until August 15.
Opening night seemed to have the most comments on social media and the numbers show that there are around 63,000 views across Facebook and YouTube. Facebook provides a breakdown of where people are watching the videos and although most viewers are from the US, data showed that viewers were tuning in all over Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
Closing night is Friday at 6 p.m. online. Damian Woetzel, the artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival, hosts this digital show remotely. Woetzel will walk you through what performances you will see and highlight some of the artists involved. “Carolina Shout” will be shown first. This 2019 world premiere features dancers Michelle Dorrance and Lil Buck along with music by jazz pianist Jason Moran.
The second part of the show will feature the 2017 premiere of “we seem to be more than one.” This performance was a collaboration between tap-dancing sensation, Michelle Dorrnance and various artists at the festival and brings in dance moves from tap, ballet, contemporary, jookin’, flamenco, and modern traditions.
Celebrate this summer tradition in Vail by watching the Vail Dance Festival and to learn more about how you can support the festival and the artists during these trying times, visit vaildance.org.
Nottingham Park activities
Please note that Nottingham Lake will be closed for the USA Swimming Open Water Championships but the Harry A. Nottingham Park will still be open and offers plenty of things to do without adding water.
Nottingham Lake will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This will include the beach and grass area on the north side of the lake. There will be no fishing, boating, SUPing or swimming allowed during this time, but there are still lots of amenities in the park to enjoy.
Tennis, anyone? The Harry A. Nottingham Park not only has three tennis courts, but it also has four pickleball courts, two basketball courts and two athletic fields for rent. The playground equipment will be open as well. The bike path around the lake and the park is perfect for the littlest bikers since there isn’t much of an incline to wear them out. It’s also great if you’ve fired up those rollerblades and want to cruise on a path that is smooth and flat.
Nottingham Park also has grills and picnic tables in case you want to have a cookout. Or, order meals from one of the many nearby restaurants and enjoy dining with a view. If you want to also enjoy an adult beverage, the Avon Town Council allows open containers and public consumption of alcohol at Nottingham Park and on the Main Street Pedestrian Mall between 11:30 a.m. and until 30 minutes after dusk. For more information, go to avon.org.
Open for Business: Sakaba
Name of business: Sakaba, located at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Physical address: 0130 Daybreak Ridge Rd, Avon, CO 81620
What goods or services are you offering at this time?
We are offering a full menu at Sakaba, featuring the freshest fish. We have a wide variety of sushi, sashimi and nigiri, as well as hot and cold plates, like our Black Miso Cod, and an expansive selection of sake, beer, wine and cocktails. Or, enjoy a real treat and let the chef prepare a four-chair omakase experience for your group!
How have you adjusted to serve your customers during these unprecedented times?
We are now serving our full menu outside and maintaining proper social distancing and safety protocols at all times.
How can the community support you?
Please, come and dine with us on our patio! The weather is beautiful and the food light and fresh, perfect for summer. Gift certificates are always a great option too, whether for a visit later this year, or it always makes for a great gift!
What’s the best source to keep up to date with your offerings?
Our website is up-to-date, but please always feel free to give us a ring to make a reservation, or ask us any questions.
What’s the response been?
We have been thrilled to host returning Ritz-Carlton guests at Sakaba, many of whom are just venturing out for the first time, and show them a great dining experience. It has also been great to see so many local faces too at the restaurant. We are thankful we have the opportunity to serve guests outside and our employees are also happy to see both our local fans and new and returning hotel guests.
What are your plans going forward as the “new normal” evolves?
We have updated health and safety processes in place to welcome guests to Sakaba. We look forward to meeting more locals and visitors as we go through our first summer season at Sakaba!
Phil Long and his daughter raise $28K for Chophouse employees
Phil, Facebook Live and Fireball helped raise over $28,000
Phil Long, co-owner of the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse,
has been cheering people up by doing concerts on Facebook Live for the past
several Fridays at 5 p.m. His traditional “Throw Money at Me” tip jar has been
traded in for a virtual form of payment. And the Fireball shots? They’re right
next to Phil’s keyboard, but you have to shoot whatever liquor you have in your
cabinet at home to play along.
Joining Phil in this effort was his 23-year-old daughter,
Jessica, who had come home for a spring ski trip in March. She currently lives
and works in New York City but with the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home
orders, Jessica has been staying put in Eagle County.
For the past several Fridays, Phil and Jessica have been doing Facebook Live shows from Phil’s basement in Eagle. After two nights of concerts, the duo raised over $10,000. Jessica designated half of that amount to the New York City mayor’s COVID-19 relief fund and Phil sent his half to the Eagle Valley Community Foundation.But they weren’t done yet. Little did they know they were about to raise another $28,000.
“It’s rare when you are really, truly surprised about something. I mean, I’m truly surprised that the world is shut down right now, but I’m very surprised at the amount of money that’s been donated. We are so humbled by it,” Phil said. “It’s a huge testament to our customer base and those who visit Vail often.”
There was an anonymous donor who pledged to match donations
up to $5,000. Another donor also pledged to match donations up to $5,000 and
then added $5,000 more the next day.
Phil and Jessica said there were people tuning in from
25 states and five countries. The live show had 7,000 views and 32 people
shared it. This fundraiser on April 17 earned funds for the Vail and
Beaver Creek Chophouse employees.
“When the staff heard about this, they were really appreciative. A lot of them posted comments during the show expressing their gratitude for everyone’s generosity,” Jessica said. “A lot of the people who work here have been here a long time and are well known and loved by our customers because they make them feel welcome and special. This shows that the feeling is mutual.”
“Any little bit helps,” Phil added. “Whether we could earn a big or a small amount, we wanted them to know that we care for them.”
The Longs were also assisted by family, friends and neighbors who helped put these shows together. Phil’s girlfriend, Vivian Christian, would follow the hundreds of greetings, comments, and requests on the Facebook Live account and relay the information to Phil and Jessica. John Long, Phil’s son and Jessica’s brother and family friend and fellow quarantine buddy, Matt Genelin made cameo appearances as well.
“We could not have done this without our friends Justin McNulty and Brad Korell, they really are the ones who made the fundraising possible by setting up all the accounts for people to give virtually,” Phil said. “It was like we had a whole production team helping us out.”
Jessica said friends supported them through the windows, too. “My childhood friend Amie Hixon and her mom Lori would bring little chairs down into our window well with their cooler of drinks and wave and cheer us on,” Jessica said. “Even though we were separated by glass, it was so cool to have them near.”
The fundraising concerts are over, but Phil and Jessica
still plan to make music on Friday nights. “It’s so fun, we think we’re going
in with a plan, and then it just changes based on comments we get on Facebook Live,”
Jessica said. “It’s our way of giving back.”
If you’d still like to contribute to the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse employee fund, you can do so in the following ways: