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More ski resorts opening, holiday craft fairs, art walks and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/8/19

More ski resorts open

Although the calendar still says autumn, winter is here in the minds of many skiers and snowboarders who are enjoying lift-accessed skiing and riding in Colorado. Arapahoe Basin and Keystone have been open since mid-October with Loveland, Eldora, Monarch and Wolf Creek opening their slopes a few weeks later. This Friday marks the opening day for two more Colorado resorts: Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. A snowy and cool October brought a lot of natural snow to the resorts and snowmaking crews have combined forces with Mother Nature to allow more than one run to be open this early in the season.

Breckenridge Ski Resort will offer nearly 200 acres of terrain on Peak 8 for opening day. Skiers and riders will have access to a variety of groomed trails on lower Peak 8 accessed by the Colorado SuperChair, Rocky Mountain SuperChair, 5-Chair and Rip’s Ride. The resort will offer skiing and riding for all ability levels on trails including Springmeier, 4 O’Clock, Columbine, Northstar, Duke’s, Claimjumper and Trygve’s.

Lifts are set to open at 9 a.m. while the BreckConnect Gondola will open at 8 a.m. to provide access from Town and the Gondola lots to the base of Peak 8. The official first chair celebration and banner-breaking will take place on the Colorado SuperChair. Before the rope drops, guests can enjoy complimentary waffles and DJ music on the snow.

Take note of some of the new conveniences at Peak 8 such as escalators, skier drop-off parking, skier services facilities, rental and retail space, public restrooms and more. You can buy a day pass or Epic Passes are still available through Nov. 24. For information on the resort, go to www.breckenridge.com. For information on Epic Passes, visit www.epicpass.com.

Copper Mountain will also open on Friday with more than 90 acres of terrain featuring skiing and riding for all ability levels. The American Eagle lift will begin turning at 9 a.m. and shortly thereafter the Easy Rider and Excelerator lifts will spin.

Trails that are expected to open Friday include Ptarmigan, Rhapsody, Main Vein, Fairplay and Easy Rider. Additionally, Lower Bouncer is expected to feature a Woodward Pop-Up park consisting of one jump and about a dozen features. Skiers and riders can look for more natural terrain to open as conditions allow.

Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy free live music, giveaways and a variety of dining and après ski options throughout Center Village.

Copper Mountain season passes are on sale for $589 for adults and $289 for children until November 18 when prices increase $40 and $20 respectively. The last chance to purchase Copper Mountain Four Packs for $279 in-person and online is now through November 18. For more information on opening day and passes, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

To show Copper’s appreciation for military veterans, the resort will offer $60 lift tickets on Veteran’s Day, Monday, Nov. 11. The $60 discounted lift tickets are available for one day only to all skiers and riders and must be purchased online before midnight Monday.

Vail Nordic Ski Swap

We just had the big Vail Ski & Snowboard Club swap where you could get everything you needed for alpine skiing and snowboarding a few weeks ago. This weekend, the Vail Nordic Center hosts the 35th annual Nordic Ski Swap at the Vail Nordic and Golf Clubhouse in Vail.

Winters are long in Colorado, so switch things up by switching out your activities. Taking a day off from alpine skiing or snowboarding and heading out to do some cross country skiing or skate skiing lets you experience the outdoors in a different way. Telemark gear and alpine touring gear can get you up to that next hut trip or allow you to avoid the crowds by skiing in the backcountry. Or skin up the mountain before work to get some cardio in before you start your day. Whatever your mode of transportation, it all provides a great workout (remember, the holidays are coming and you need to fit into those ski pants).

Getting into a new sport can be expensive. By going to a swap, you are able to find the gear that will allow you to try out the sport and see if it is right for you without paying retail.

Buy or sell skate skis, touring and track skis as well as telemark, backcountry and snowshoe equipment. Winter clothing will be on sale as well. Drop off Nordic gear you want to sell between 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday. The Nordic Ski Swap takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday with discounts starting after 12 p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Homestake Peak School Nordic program. Please note that it is cash or check only for purchases. Visit www.vailrec.com or call 970-479-2279 for more information.

2nd Friday Artwalks on Broadway

Eagle Arts presents 2nd Friday Artwalks this Friday, but this time it’s extra special because the art community in Eagle is celebrating its first anniversary. What started out as an idea artist Tara Novak of Artspace workshop+gallery hatched with the Vail Valley Art Guild and Red Canyon Cafe to host the first Eagle Art Walk last November has grown into an event that encompasses more than art.

Broadway Street in Eagle will turn into a holiday market with galleries, shops and restaurants offering art exhibitions, live music, interactive activities, sales and specials.

Presented by Eagle Arts and the Broadway Business Community, join family and friends from 5 to 8 p.m. for a fun evening out. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/eagleartscolorado. Here are a few of the participating businesses and what they will be featuring:

  • Alpaca Yarn Shop
    – Live alpacas, bring your knitting projects for a Knit Night
  • Artspace workshop+gallery
    – Art exhibit and live music
    – Eagle Arts raffle and food drive – bring a canned food item, get a ticket
    – 3 Holiday gift making mini-workshops
  • Bonfire Brewing
    – Happy hour and live music
  • Old Town Hall Gallery – Vail Valley Art Guild
    – New gallery location and exhibition
    – Live music with Jen Mack
  • Owashi Sushi & Kitchen
    – Art exhibit and dinner special
  • Katch of the Day Wine Bar
    – Fundraiser for Zehr Goat Ranch with goats
  • Brush Creek Saloon
    – Dinner specials
  • Everyday Outfitters
    – Live Music, refreshments and art
  • Fusion Hair Salon
    – Art and pottery exhibition
  • Petals of Provence
    – Holiday gift making mini-workshop

Craftsman’s Christmas Market

What’s been known as the Chicken Noodle Soup & Bazaar for years is now the Craftsman’s Christmas Market. Hosted at the Brush Creek Elementary in Eagle, the holiday market and crafts fair will feature hand-made items that are unique to this region. Shoppers will still be able to find their favorite western and vintage items as well as visit the man in the big red suit. Santa will make an appearance in Eagle County, so bring the kids along to this event.

Along with the crafts, the famous home-made chicken noodle soup and pies will be available for purchase to enjoy with friends while you shop or you can even take it home and enjoy it later.  

This holiday fair has been going on for over 40 years and is the main fundraiser for the United Methodist Women of Eagle Valley. The proceeds from this event go directly to helping women and children in our community and throughout the world. Stop by Brush Creek Elementary School from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Leading up to Veteran’s Day, which is Monday, the veterans from the Mount of the Holy Cross VFW Post 10721 out of Minturn were busy visiting 19 schools and being part of receptions, assemblies and classroom talks. Kids from all grade levels were able to learn more about what it was like to be on a tour of duty or to serve during a time of peace.

Many of the veterans wore their uniforms or fatigues and brought other items like canteens, technical backpacks and fireproof flight suits to share in the classrooms so the kids could see the gear and learn about what it was like in the jungles of Vietnam during that war or flying a B-52 bomber.

According to Military.com, Veteran’s Day honors veterans who are living or deceased who served honorably in the military during wartime or peacetime. It is sometimes confused with Memorial Day, which honors service members who died during service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Veteran’s Day is observed on Nov. 11, which was also known as Armistice Day.

A public Veterans Day ceremony will be held at Freedom Park in Edwards at 4 p.m. on Monday. The guest speaker will be retired US Navy Chaplain Rabbi Joel Newman. The VFW has enlisted the talents of community members to perform on Monday. Nicole Gustafson will sing the “National Anthem”. Gustafson is a former student of Vail Performing Arts Academy, who is currently attending Colorado Mountain College working towards a nursing degree. The 5th-grade classes from Edwards and Avon Elementary Schools will be singing also.

Freedom Park hosts many military-related ceremonies throughout the year. Along the west end of the pond, you will find the Freedom Park Memorial, a 600-pound piece of limestone from the Pentagon’s west wall. The memorial not only commemorates 9/11 but also honors fallen veterans, police and emergency personnel from Eagle County.

Turn your donations into dollars

At Vail Valley Cares your donations equal dollars for area nonprofits. Anytime you shop or donate at the Vail Valley Cares Thrifty Shops the money goes back into the community to support well-needed programs. This year, Vail Valley Cares granted over $300,000 to 44 local nonprofits at the 19th annual grant breakfast on Aug. 28.

The event was hosted at Trinity Church in Edwards. Greg Osteen, executive director of Vail Valley Cares and Jeff Apps, one of the board members, handed out the checks and each recipient got to come up and say a heartfelt thank you and tell the audience how the money will be utilized. During the program, there were plenty of smiles, cheers and even some tears.

Many of the representatives for the nonprofits spoke about how humbled they were to be in a room filled with people doing so much good. It’s a reminder of how many nonprofits are in the Vail Valley and that there are so many needs. “Your existence does make a difference. You are the backbone of Eagle County,” said Pat Hamilton, of the Swift Eagle Foundation.

The Vail Valley Cares Thrifty Shops in Edwards and Eagle were closed for part of the day so the staff could attend and be recognized for their efforts. The audience gave them a standing ovation for their service to the community.

Vail Valley Cares has a grant application process each spring. The services the nonprofits provide range from literacy programs and senior citizens care to early childhood learning and mental health services. For many of these groups, the extra funding they receive from Vail Valley Cares is vital to their operations.

In addition to the grants given to nonprofits, Vail Valley Cares also gives scholarships to Colorado Mountain College students. Since 2000, Vail Valley Cares has given away over $4 million dollars.

Consider the lifecycle of your donations and support Vail Valley Cares. To learn more visit www.vailvalleycares.com.

Steve Martin, “Tosca”, art shows and more: Tricia’s weekend picks for 7/12/19

Steve Martin and Martin Short at Whistle Pig Vail

Whistle Pig Vail returns this weekend for its second year, and will kick it off with a little comedy and music with Steve Martin and Martin Short.

The show is titled, “Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t,” and comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short will present new material in a variety of musical sketches as only those two can do, along with insights about their amazing careers in show business. Joining the comedic duo will be Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers. The tour also features renowned pianist and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” band member Jeff Babko.

Whistle Pig Vail is a summer-long music series that brings a new era of headliner music to the iconic Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Some of the other acts lined up to perform at Whistle Pig Vail include Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Bon Iver and The Steve Miller Band. The series is booked in collaboration with AEG Presents, one of the largest live music companies in the world, and will bring well-known rock, pop, country and bluegrass icons to Vail for shows throughout the summer.

Expect to be fully entertained during this first show of the Whistle Pig Vail series. Tickets are $65 for lawn seating and range from $179.50-$299.50 for reserved seating. Go to www.grfavail.com for more information.

Bravo! Vail presents “Tosca”

The Philadelphia Orchestra is quickly winding down its stay in Vail, but before it goes, it has a big weekend that includes a premier opera production of Puccini’s “Tosca”.

In addition to the opera, which opens on Thursday and also runs on Saturday, Friday’s Bravo! Vail performance will feature the sounds of Mozart and Rachmaninoff. With conductor Yannick Nezet-Sequin conducting and Seong-Jin Cho on piano, listen to Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor” and learn why Cho feels playing the piano is like singing and why he thinks Mozart is a genius. Read the program notes to get special insights on the performers and the pieces that are performed throughout the season.

Saturday night, sit back and be treated to Bravo! Vail’s most ambitious project to date. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater will be transformed as a fully staged production of Puccini’s “Tosca” debuts in Vail. “Tosca” is a thrilling melodrama set in Rome during the Napoleonic wars. Follow the twists and turns around this fatal love triangle in this must-see event.

There’s been a lot of attention surrounding this event. To get the audiences ready for this performance Bravo! Vail along with the Vail Symposium have hosted various talks including a conductor’s guide and an immersive look at this opera earlier this week. Take advantage of opportunities to meet the director and cast on Friday or attend the pre-performance talk on Saturday. For more information, visit www.bravovail.org.

FAC at Beaver Creek

Friday’s mean FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) and Beaver Creek invites you to wind down after a day of activities at Village Plaza. From 4:30-7:00 each Friday through Aug. 23, sip on an ice cold Stella Artois or Breckenridge Brewery beer, or cheers to the day’s events with a glass of wine with friends and family while enjoying live music.

While you sit back and relax, the kids can keep going with lawn games like giant Jenga, Connect Four and ice skating from 6 to 10 p.m. Local caricaturist Ken Carpenter will be on hand as well if you want a comical portrait created of your family through his eyes.

Jade Vases, a 5-person indie band out of Denver, will be playing tunes under the pergola and will fill the Plaza Pavilion with music to get your weekend started.

For more information and the musical line up for the rest of the summer, check out www.beavercreek.com/events.

Art on the Rockies

For nearly a decade, Art on the Rockies has brought in talented artists for a 3-day event showcasing their craft in Edwards. Art on the Rockies is an opportunity to see new art, talk to artists and attain artwork at all price points.

This juried show brings in artistic styles ranging from sculpture, painting, photography, ceramics, mixed metal, glass, jewelry and more. Over 130 artists from around the country converge near the Colorado Mountain College campus surrounded by a gorgeous backdrop of scenic views around Edwards.

Many of the participating artists also are known from renowned shows such as La Quinta Arts Festival in Palm Springs, CA, and Celebration for the Arts in Scottsdale, AZ.

On Friday, enjoy a little champagne during the opening reception at 4 p.m. On Sunday, the silent auction fundraiser closes at 3 p.m. All proceeds benefit free art programming for local youth.

In addition to meeting the artists and viewing the art, food and beverages will be available for purchase and a kids zone will be set up for aspiring youngsters who want to create some art at the event. For more information, visit www.artontherockies.org.

Eagle’s 2nd Friday ARTwalks and Sidewalk Sale

Speaking of art, Eagle has embraced the second Friday ARTwalks since they began in November, the event is growing to two days this weekend. Eagle’s 2nd Friday ARTwalk and Sidewalk Sale brings in local fine artist’s tents and exhibits, interactive art activities, plein air painters, food vendors, Quiet Kat demo rides, and a chance to meet local alpacas and goats.

There will also be live music at various businesses on Broadway including ARTSPaCE, Bonfire Brewery, Everyday Outfitters, and Petals of Provence.

“July’s ARTwalk will be our ninth consecutive 2nd Friday event. We started with three art gallery venues, including ARTSPaCE workshop+gallery, Vail Valley Art Guild gallery and Red Canyon Cafe,” said Tara Novak, artist and owner of ARTSPaCE workshop+gallery and founder of the event.

“This weekend we will have nine galleries and business venues exhibiting our talented local artists plus an Art Market Zone on Broadway with over a dozen local artists showcasing their work in tents on the street.”

It all starts on Friday at 4 p.m. and continues Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more details, please visit the Facebook page @eagleartscolorado.

Cotton & Co. Street Boutique brings fashions to you

It’s a beautiful thing when your talents and passion can lead you to a job you love. That’s what happened to Kailey Cotton Gorbold, the driving force –literally – behind Cotton & Co. Street Boutique, a mobile clothing store that brings styles to you.

You’ve probably seen the big pink truck parked outside the busy intersection at the Gashouse along Highway 6 in Edwards on Wednesdays or in downtown Eagle Ranch during lunchtime on Fridays. This new business allows Gorbold, who has been an assistant buyer at Base Mountain Sports and assistant manager at Beaver Creek Sports and a Sales Associate at Loro Piana in Vail, a chance to sell clothing while also managing a household with her husband and two small children.

“My husband and I brainstormed my passions and how I could incorporate that into our lives, allowing my time to be flexible with the kids and our lifestyle. He came up with a traveling boutique,” Gorbold said.

First Chair Designs created the bright look for this former linen truck while Gorbold’s husband and in-laws built out the inside of the truck. “My husband’s parents traveled from upstate New York and they all worked all day, every day for a month to get most of it completed. It turned out way better than I ever imagined,” Gorbold said.  

“When we designed it, I wanted it to be loud on the outside and light and airy on the inside. I didn’t want customers to feel like they were walking into a cave,” Gorbold said.

This small store packs in the goods. Gorbold carries about eight different lines of women’s clothing, handbags and jewelry. She’s proud to offer variety at a good price. “Most of us have many hobbies around here, and our dollars are spread thin, so it’s meant to be fun, bright and budget-friendly,” Gorbold said. 

Follow this traveling boutique on Instagram, Facebook or www.cottoncosb.com for a complete and updated schedule of where the truck will be. Cotton & Co. is also available for private parties and events.

Vail Valley commercial property is in pretty short supply

EAGLE COUNTY — We all know Vail is an economic powerhouse. If you need proof, just look at the retail vacancy rate in town: .45 percent.

That’s right, less than .5 percent of Vail’s retail space was vacant in 2018, according to a report from NAI Mountain Commercial. Vacancies are low in the rest of the valley as well: 2.6 percent for Eagle-Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek and Edwards and 2.2 percent for Eagle and Gypsum.

The rate in Denver was 5.2 percent in 2018.

The Vail vacancy rate is also driving rent increases in town. While commercial rent in the rest of the valley is still lower than the peaks seen in 2007, for the past few years rent in Vail has surpassed that high-water mark from the previous decade.

‘No vacancy’

“There’s virtually no vacancy (in Vail),” NAI Mountain Commercial Vice President and managing broker Erich Schmidt said.

In fact, he said, businesses rarely move out of prime spots in Vail. When that happens, someone new often comes in before anyone can hang a “for rent” sign.

Rental rates for prime space in Vail Village can approach $120 per square foot. In Lionshead Village, prime space can be as high as $65 per square foot.

The story is different in the rest of the valley. While vacancy rates are low, there are spaces lingering on the market.

Avon, in particular, has some significant spaces available, including the site of the former Montana’s and Outback restaurants, as well as the space formerly occupied by Office Depot.

Schmidt said those larger spaces will be hard to fill.

“When we get above 2,000 to 2,500 square feet … national retailers aren’t really expanding, and when they are, they’re expanding in metropolitan areas,” Schmidt said.

Smaller spaces are also difficult, due to factors including the changing retail environment, the cost of space and difficulty finding employees.

Vail Valley Partnership CEO Chris Romer said members of the regional chamber of commerce are telling him that they’re mostly standing pat in the spaces they have now.

Leasing’s picking up

But, Schmidt said, his firm has seen an uptick in leasing interest and activity in the past few weeks.

“Leasing always picks up as we go to spring — especially in a strong ski year,” Schmidt said. “We’ve seen a pickup in activity, especially in Traer Creek Plaza (in Avon), both for retail and office space.”

Interest in Edwards continues to be strong, but Schmidt said there isn’t a lot of space available.

The other side of the retail coin is that UPS has expanded its operation in Gypsum, and now holds about 40,000 square feet of warehouse space near the Eagle County Regional Airport.

Other warehouse and commercial space is also being leased or sold in the western part of the valley.

Those businesses are often looking for space with tall garage doors. Some new building is taking place in those areas, but not a lot, Schmidt said.

The relative lack of available space, as well as the high cost of construction, also seems to be driving prices when a commercial property comes up for sale. Schmidt said another driver is businesses relocating from Denver or the Front Range to the Western Slope.

The biggest of those sales in 2018 was the sale of the West Vail Mall. That sale — for $14 million — closed in the fourth quarter of the year. A pair of sales — of the separately-sold A and B buildings of the Northstar Center in Edwards, also topped $14 million. Another sale, of a roughly 500 square foot retail space in the Lodge at Vail, topped $1 million. That’s about $2,000 per square foot. According to data from Land Title Guarantee Co., 2018’s highest price per square foot for residential property was a unit in Solaris that sold for $3,095 per square foot.

The cost to rent, buy or build, combined with an employee shortage, is crimping potential economic growth in the valley, Romer said.

“It’s a perfect storm of challenges in an economy that’s overall doing pretty well,” he said.

Vail Daily Business editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2930.