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Valentine’s Day, Vail Legacy Days, President’s Day events and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 2/14/20

Valentine’s Day options

Valentine’s Day is here and there are plenty of unique ways to celebrate love in the Vail Valley. Here are just a few options, from pampering and outdoor adventures to family-friendly activities.

Dinner for two

This is one of the busiest nights for two-tops all year, so if you haven’t made a reservation yet, you may have a hard time getting into area restaurants. If that is the case, you can always try to find two seats at the bar and order a meal from there. You could also make it an early night and get a spot at après-ski and enjoy some live music, a few beers, nachos and other appetizers to make it a meal. Or, spend some quality time at home and make dinner together while listening to some of your favorite tunes. Pull out that pasta maker you got for your wedding years ago and make some homemade noodles and sauce. This is a more affordable way and comfortable way (put on a pair of sweats instead of stilettos) to do Valentine’s Day dinner.

If your kitchen skills aren’t up to par, order dinner from a food delivery service such as Orderfood Vail by à la Car, a restaurant delivery service that has been serving the valley since 1993. Go online or use their app and order early, because they could be busy during the Valentine’s Day holiday. They deliver from several restaurants between Vail and Edwards from 5 to 10 p.m.

Pampering possibilities

It’s not only Valentine’s Day weekend, it’s also Presidents Day weekend, so local spas may be busier due to those taking advantage of having a long weekend to come and visit the Vail Valley. If you can’t book an appointment, you can always say how much you care by buying your loved one a gift card for a massage appointment made at a later date.

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is offering $25 off gift cards through Valentine’s Day if you order online before midnight. Go to www.spaanjali.com for more details.

A manicure and pedicure can put you in a whole different mindset and with so many nail salons to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem getting an appointment this weekend. Grab a seat in the massage chair and drift off into a blissful state while treating your nails to some love. Add a paraffin hand wax to take care of those dry hands this time of year. And guys, if you haven’t had a pedicure before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Treat your feet, they deserve it!

Or, be a bit more adventurous and try a service that isn’t as traditional as massage. How about floatation therapy? The Lodge at Vail has the float pod tank complete with music and subtle lighting with colors of the seven chakras in the RockResort Spa (www.lodgeatvail.com). You can also try the Dream & Dreams Float Spa in Avon (www.dreamsfloat.com) where they have two private float rooms. Flotation therapy has been helping people reach a relaxed state in a warm-water, gravity-free atmosphere. Give either place a call and try a new way of pampering yourself.

Outdoorsy options

Want to get outdoors with you sweetie? Get some exercise before enjoying the box of chocolates with these activities you can do with the one you adore.

It’s been said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe, so there isn’t any extra skill required to get out on the snow and enjoy a different side of the mountain. Stop by the Vail Nordic Center at the Vail Golf Club or the Beaver Creek Nordic center and rent a pair of snowshoes, grab the trail map and head out for an adventure. Pack a picnic if you will be out there for a while.

No snowshoes? No problem. If you are staying on trails that are packed out already, you can easily use any of the traction devices that are popular now or just wear your hiking boots. Meadow Mountain in Minturn, Davos Trail in West Vail and the June Creek Trail in Singletree in Edwards are all well-traveled trails that you should be able to trek on easily. 

Head down toward Leadville and make a stop at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and Cookhouse. Rent gear or bring your own cross-country ski equipment. Lessons are available or explore the 27 kilometers of set track and ski-in to lunch or dinner at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. Get away from the crowds and enjoy the peacefulness you can find at 10,000 feet above sea level. Get more information at www.tennesseepass.com.

Skip the lift lines and try snowcat skiing. Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours is operated by Ski Cooper, also near Tennessee Pass and has 2,600 acres of open bowls, glades and timber in the San Isabel and White River National Forest. Tours are offered Thursday through Sunday from now until March 8. Go to www.skicooper.com/snowcat-skiing/ for more details.

We all know what Vail Pass looks like from I-70. View it from a different perspective –from a snowcat and the powdery terrain that Vail Powder Guides gives you access to. Vail Powder Guides is the only guided snowcat skiing outfitter permitted by the U.S. Forest Service to operate in the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area. Most of the drop-offs are above timberline at 12,000 feet, granting lucky skiers and riders amazing 360-degree views on sunny days. It’s just a quick drive from Vail to their meeting spot at exit 190 on Vail Pass. For more information, go to www.vailpowderguides.com.

Family style

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples, families can share the love with these family-friendly activities. From arts and crafts to ice cream, nothing says “I love you” like quality time spent with loved ones and sharing experiences.

The Alpine Arts Center is a perfect place to release your love for creativity and the arts, even if you are no Picasso. Stop by and make a heart-shaped box or a Valentine’s Day-themed plate. At Alpine Arts Center, you can truly make a gift that comes from the heart. Drop-in sessions are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. For a list of drop-in offerings, go to www.alpineartscenter.org.

It’s never too cold for ice cream. Head out to Sundae Artisan Ice Cream in Vail Village or the Corner at Edwards and share a scoop with someone you love. Sundae Artisan Ice Cream has a long list of curated flavors but they also create a specialty-themed flavor of the month all year long. Chocolate raspberry is February’s featured flavor. Sundae always starts out with the freshest ingredients and then adds unique flavors to create new concoctions each month. The chocolate raspberry features milk chocolate ice cream, homemade raspberry jam swirls and white chocolate chips. Grab or cone or take home a pint for the weekend. Learn more about Sundae at www.sundaeicecream.com.

Stop by the Avon Public Library for a friendship-themed storytime for children. Bring the preschool-aged kids to the Avon Public Library to take part in some crafts and a bilingual storytime talking about friendship at 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.evld.org.  

Vail Heartbreakers

Does all this Valentine’s Day talk have you thinking about how you are single but ready to mingle? The Vail Daily is hosting the Vail Heartbreakers contest and wants to hear what you are looking for in a date. This online contest asks you to submit your best photo and answer the following questions in order to have a chance to win a prize package to make that first date extra special:

  • What’s your name and where do you live?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s your biggest turn-on?
  • What’s your biggest turn-off?
  • What makes a perfect date?

Go to www.vaildaily.com to enter. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Enter between now and Feb. 21. Even if you don’t submit a photo and your information, anyone can vote on the entries starting on Feb. 22 until the contest ends on Feb. 28.

Spangled at Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek celebrates the Presidents Day holiday with Spangled, a weekend full of events that are inspired by American heritage and historical fun facts and music around the Beaver Creek Plaza.

Friday – Monumental Music – 3 to 6 p.m.

  • La Pompe Jazz Band – 3 to 4:30 and 4:50 to 6 p.m.
  • Dance lessons with Swingin’ Denver – 3:30 and 5 p.m.

Saturday – Ceremony of Lights from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Circus performers, a live DJ and red, white and blue sparklers for the kids – 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Family Fun Fest  – 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday – National Statesmen – 3 to 6 p.m.

  • Live ice carving – 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Make snow angels in the Snow Angel Park 3 to 6 p.m.
  • S’mores bar – 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Personalized ice bricks (while supplies last) – 5 to 6 p.m.

Monday – American Ski Culture – 4 to 7 p.m.

  • Hot chocolate and coffee cart – 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Displays of innovators of the sport, vintage posters and gear
  • Ice skating exhibition performances – 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Outdoor showing of the “Ice Princess” movie – 5:15 p.m.

Vail Legacy Days

This Monday marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge, a pivotal point in World War II and the event for which the Riva Ridge trail on Vail Mountain is named. All weekend long, Vail will be celebrating its heritage with special events that honor the famed Army winter-warfare unit, the 10th Mountain Division, which trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale. Events throughout the weekend include:

Friday

  • Tales from the 10th at the Colorado Snowsports Museum – 4 p.m. – acclaimed historians and authors tell fascinating stories of the 10th Mountain Division. A $5-$10 per person donation is suggested.
  • 10th Mountain Legacy Parade, torchlight ski down and parade down Bridge Street – 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Colorado Snowsports Museum will stay open until 8 p.m. for guests to learn more about Colorado’s ski history through the new 10th Mountain Division exhibit and a special guest speaker.

Saturday

  • Meet the Colorado National Guard – Base of Gondola One – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Blackhawk helicopter landing – top of Avanti Express Lift  – 12 to 2 p.m.
  • Ski with a Soldier historic mountain tour – 10:30 a.m. at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola

Sunday

  • Meet the Colorado National Guard – Base of Gondola One – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Ski Trooper Race – watch as modern-day ski troopers from the Colorado Army National Guard compete in three-person teams on the black diamond runs at the base of Gondola One from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Ski with a Soldier historic mountain tour – 10:30 a.m. at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola

Monday

  • Meet the Colorado National Guard – Base of Gondola One – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Ski with a Soldier historic mountain tour – 10:30 a.m. at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola
  • 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – meet at the Mountain Safety Center at the top of Mountain Top Express lift at 11 a.m. to warm up with hot cocoa while learning about the 10th Mountain Division’s Battle of Riva Ridge, followed by a group ski down Riva Ridge to Vail Village. 

A “Blizzard” at the Vilar

After a multi-day winter storm dropped over three feet of snow on the slopes last weekend, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek is bringing the blizzard indoors for Cirque FLIP Fabrique. This entertaining family-friendly show will hit the stage on Sunday at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Cirque FLIP Fabrique, a contemporary circus from Canada founded in 2011, has performed more than 1,000 shows in more than 15 countries. They have worked with the prestigious Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Éloize and have taken part in many international circus festivals.

What can you expect on Sunday? Amazing acrobatics, huge and complex group stunts, aerial dance, leaps, bounds, tons of somersaults and a bit of comedy. The athleticism will be impressive, but so will the scenery, as the stage will be set to depict a snow day. This will all be set to a score that will be played live on stage. 

Tickets are $60 for adults and $45 for kids. A family four-pack is available for $180. Reach out to the Vilar Performing Arts Center by calling 970-845-8497 or go to www.vilarPAC.org.

Comedy, doo-wop music, full moon snowshoe tours and more: Tricia’s weekend picks

The Doo Wop Project

This weekend, get your musical entertainment fix with the nostalgic music of The Doo Wop Project on Friday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Did you realize that doo-wop music got its start about 80 years ago? Standing the tests of time, the classic sounds are still loved today. If you like the music of Frankie Valli, The Drifters and Dion, take a trip down a musical memory lane with The Doo Wop Project.

“The interesting thing about this production is that it was conceptualized backstage during a Broadway show among the show’s stars,” said Ruthie Hamrick, senior marketing manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

“The show features Broadway stars who have been performing in hits including “Jersey Boys,” “Motown: The Musical,” “A Bronx Tale” and more.  So, while it’s not technically a Broadway production, it has the talent and caliber of a hit Broadway show,” Hamrick said.

“The Doo Wop Project will cover a range of eras during the evening, not solely doo wop-style of tunes. “There will be music in there for a wide range of audiences to enjoy, including songs by Michael Jackson, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson all the way to Jason Mraz,” Hamrick said.

Get ready to sing along to The Doo Wop Project when they croon their way into the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $45.The show is also part of the ticket package Pick 3 Shows for $90; Pick 5 shows for $175, or Pick 8 Shows for $240. The performance is also part of the Pay Your Age ticket program (for ages 18-30 years old; purchase in person at the box office with a valid ID). Tickets are available at the box office at 970-845-8497or www.vilarpac.org.

Comedy in the Valley

Also performing at the Vilar Performing Arts Center is comedian Brian Regan on Sunday night. Vanity Fair called Regan, “The funniest stand-up alive,” and Entertainment Weekly dubbed him, “Your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.”

“Brian Regan has been here 3 times before 2012, 2013, 2014 – so we are pumped to have him back! He’s definitely a house favorite when it comes to stand-up. He’s also just been named by Westword as a ‘10 best comedy shows of February’, so we are looking forward to a great turn out on Sunday,” said Ruthie Hamrick of the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Over his 30-plus year career, Regan has built his reputation on the strength of his material alone. He’s proof you can be funny without being crude or vulgar.  He visits close to 100 cities each year and has performed in some storied venues like Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall Over the years, Regan has released numerous comedy specials on Netflix, including 2017’s “Brian Regan: Nunchucks and Flamethrowers.”

Tickets to the show are $88, check the information above in how to reach the Vilar Performing Arts Center to get your tickets.

Speaking of comedy, the Vail Comedy Show provides an opportunity to laugh monthly by bringing in some of the best comedians in the region. The Vail Brewing Company in Eagle-Vail plays host to this free offering with the next installment happening on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

Since last year, the Vail Comedy Show has drawn crowds and the word has gotten out about this local offering. Mark Masters is a Denver-based comedian who hosts and produces the show. He has a podcast and web series, creatively named “Mark Masters”, and a book about the story of his comedy journey “Not Good Yet” is available, too. Here’s a quick look at the performers slated to appear on Saturday:


ShaNae Ross: ShaNae Ross is a comedian based out of Denver and is a 2017 and 2019 finalist at Comedy Works’ New Faces Competition. Her engaging charm, a snazzy fashion sense, and personable storytelling ability have earned her the honor of performing at festivals such as High Plains Comedy Festival (2018, 2019) and 50 First Jokes (2018).

Mo Vida: Mo Vida tours the country bringing her brand of cougar comedy and truth-telling to stages all over. She began her comedy career in NYC before returning home to Colorado. She can be seen on Comics Watching Comics (Amazon Prime) and heard on 103.1 Denver’s Comedy Station.

Salma Zaky: Salma Zaky started stand-up at UCLA where she was lucky enough to perform alongside stellar comedians including Maria Bamford, Ali Wong, Nikki Glaser, and Nicole Byer. Salma has been featured in Wisconsin’s Lady Laughs Comedy Festival in 2016, Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival in 2017, and SF Sketchfest in 2019.

BK Sharad: BK Sharad is a stand-up comedian based in Denver and Boulder Colorado. Born Sharad Ravichandran, he changed his name to BK Sharad after realizing no one could say or spell the name he was born with. Originally from Dallas, BK moved to Colorado and began his journey in comedy. BK Sharad is the president of and runs the CU Comedy Club at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Arrive early to the Vail Brewing Company for good seats to this free show (tips given to the performers are welcomed) For more information, go to wwwvailcomedyshow.com.

Free women’s ski demo day

It doesn’t get any easier to try to new skis than demoing equipment at the Second Saturday Women’s Ski Demo Day at the base of Lionshead. Next to the Eagle Bahn Gondola and the Born Free Express lift you’ll find tents featuring skis from Atomic, Black Crows, Blizzard, Elan, Head, K2, Kastle, Legend, Line, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Stockli and Volkl.

Ladies, if it’s been a while since you’ve stepped into a new pair of skis, take advantage of the latest technology at this free event in Vail this Saturday from 9 a.m until 2:30 p.m.

Take the skis out for a lap on Born Free and then grab another pair. Need a bit longer to see what the ski has to offer? Go up the Eagle Bahn Gondola and hop back into Game Creek Bowl or even into Sun Down Bowl. The best way to see if a ski feels right is to try before you buy.

Outdoor Divas, a women’s specific sports shop in Lionshead, has teamed up with Vail Resorts to offer hand-selected skis designed for women. For more information, please visit www.outdoordivas.com.

Harry Potter Book Day

Please note: The Vail Daily received an update from the Vail Public Library at 11:30 a.m. on Friday that they have postponed tonight’s Harry Potter Book Day party due to the inclement weather. Please contact the Vail Public Library for updates as to when they will reschedule the event by visiting www.vaillibrary.com or by calling 970-479-2184.

The Harry Potter books have been around for over two decades and to celebrate, the Vail Public Library is hosting a party from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday including an evening of wizardry, themed arts and crafts and a little Harry Potter trivia.

“We’re excited to be hosting another party celebrating Harry Potter Book Day 2020,” said Cricket Pylman, head of children’s programming at the Vail Public Library.

Wizards are invited to wander down Diagon Alley to make a wand at Ollivanders before heading to Hogwarts for a potions class and on to Honeydukes to brave the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean guessing game. 

The Vail Public Library will be showing the first Harry Potter movie as the backdrop of the party. Partygoers will enjoy pizza generously provided by Blue Moose of Lionshead and butterbeer made in-house will round out this after-hours library party. 

Participants are encouraged (but not required) to dress up as their favorite characters from the Harry Potter series. For more information on this free event, contact Pylman at 970-479-2179 or email cpylman@vailgov.com. Free parking is available after 3 p.m. The Vail Public Library is a short walk from the Lionshead parking garage and is also on the town of Vail bus route, across from Dobson Arena.

Full Moon Tours

This Saturday, enjoy a full moon backcountry experience with the guides from Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon for a snowshoe hike and some forest bathing.

What is forest bathing? In Japan, they practice something called forest bathing, where they “bathe” in the forest atmosphere, or take in the forest through the senses. This is not exercise, hiking or jogging, but rather slowing down and getting yourself into a quiet, mindful headspace to make it easier to connect with the forest, mountains and sky and in this case, a night sky with a full moon.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, February’s full moon is called the Snow Moon due to more snowfall typically in February than in January.

When you get to the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, which has a beautiful campus just off of Buck Creek Road, you’ll be welcomed with hot cocoa, cider and tea (alcohol will not be provided but you are welcome to bring your own). After a half an hour of meeting your fellow snowshoers and guide, you will head about one mile up the Buck Creek Trail next to the Walking Mountains campus.

Once you get to an open meadow, gather around the fire that will be lit and ready for you to soak in the sights and sounds of the night and you’ll be lead through a 30-minute forest bathing experience.

To connect with our mountain environment in a whole new way in a guided forest bathing experience sign up at http://www.walkingmountains.org. Space is limited, but if you miss this tour, there will be another one on March 8. The event goes from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Circus tricks, comedy, hockey, BBQ and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 1/17/20

Circus acts and comedy at the Vilar

This week brings thrilling acrobatics and comedy to the stage of the Vilar Performing Arts Center with Cirque Mechanics and Tom Papa.

Cirque Mechanics returns to the Vilar on Saturday at 7 p.m. with its newest production, “42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels.” The number 42 signifies the size of the ring in this one-ring circus filled with amazing acrobats, aerialists and strongmen. Chris Lashua created Cirque Mechanics in 2004 after collaborating with the Circus Center of San Francisco on the show “Birdhouse Factory.” After its success, Lashua created this company that has since produced shows like “Boomtown” and “Pedal Punk.”

The Vilar Performing Arts Center provides the perfect venue to see the aerials and acrobatic feats up close. Tickets are $68 for adults and $48 for children. The show is part of the Pay Your Age ticket program (18-30 years old) and also included in the ticket package Pick 3 Shows for $90, Pick 5 Shows for $175 or Pick 8 Shows for $240. Tickets are available now at the Vilar box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or by going online to the website: www.vilarpac.org.

On Sunday at 7 p.m., enjoy the comedy of Tom Papa. Based out of Los Angeles, Papa travels to perform stand up comedy across the nation when he’s not busy on the airwaves. Papa contributes to NPR’s “Live from Here” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and also hosts podcasts including SiriusXM’s “Come to Papa,” featuring guests like Mel Brooks, Ray Romano and Jerry Seinfeld.

“If you don’t know Tom Papa, he’s got an awesome, smart and clean sense of humor, a lot like Jim Gaffigan,” said Ruthie Hamrick, senior marketing manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “I’m super excited about this show.”

Tickets are $48 and can be purchased at the box office, website or by calling the box office.

Vail Yeti Hockey

Semi-pro hockey returns to Vail with the Vail Yeti hockey team hitting the ice once again this weekend. Dobson Ice Arena plays host to the home team as well as many top teams across the nation.

Last weekend, the Yeti were matched up against the New York Fire Department hockey team and squeezed out a win on Friday during an exciting third period and lost to FDNY on Saturday. This weekend is rivalry weekend, with the Yeti taking on the Breckenridge Vipers.

In their seventh season, the Yeti has grown in popularity among loyal fans and as a destination for quality hockey teams from out of town. Regionally, the Yeti not only compete against Breckenridge but also teams from Aspen, Boulder and Denver.

“The games are usually high intensity, high hitting and high scoring affairs. At $10 for a general admission ticket, its cheap entertainment in an expensive valley,” said Bill Foster, who is the Yeti coach and also a player on the team. Coach Foster gives us some info on the roster:

Players to look out for:

Justin Elmore (leading goal scorer all 7 seasons) 

Kirk Golden (Vail local, 7 seasons professional in Europe) 

Brent Sands (professional Europe/SPHL) 

Andy Canzanello (11 years professional AHL/DEL) 

Derrick Gerhardt (Vail local, 7th season with the Yeti) 

Matt Merritt (Vail local, Gustavus Adolphus Division 3 college hockey)

Spencer Gold (starting goalie)

Newcomers: 

Dom Panetta (Ferris State Division 1 college hockey)

Casey Kleisinger (Vail local, Air Force Academy Division 1 college hockey) 

Dave Ramsay (Williams College Division 3 college hockey)

The Yeti’s success has attracted talented players from the American Hockey League, which is the direct feeder league to the NHL, professional leagues in Europe and Australia as well as top college teams.

“W“We are taking this upcoming weekend to get prepared and really dialed in. We have a challenging five-week stretch approaching with teams from Texas, New England, New Jersey, Denver and Minnesota,” said six-year veteran of the Yeti team, Brent Sands. “These teams are stacked with hockey players, not just guys that play hockey. We need to be ready and we can’t take any team lightly.” 

The puck drops at 7:45 p.m. at Dobson Arena in Vail Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 years of age and younger. For more information, visit www.vailyetihockey.com.

First Tracks at Beaver Creek

You may have heard about people getting first tracks, which can either mean you were fortunate enough to get in line before everyone else to get some unforgettable turns, or first tracks is also an offering on Vail And Beaver Creek that is reserved for members of Vail Resorts Signature Clubs or donors to a particular group like the Vail Valley Foundation. Now, you can be a part of First Tracks at Beaver Creek on select dates throughout the season.

This Sunday, meet other early risers in your group at the Centennial Express lift at 7:15 a.m. Beaver Creek will have its top ski and snowboard professionals greeting you and letting you in on their top terrain recommendations for the morning excursion.

If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll time your First Tracks experience on a powder day, but even if there’s no fresh snow, the feeling of being the only one out there, even on the corduroy, is an experience all its own.

After you’ve taken a few runs with your guides and have worked up an appetite, you’ll be led down to Allie’s Cabin. This on-mountain restaurant is on the eastern hillside, just off of the Gold Dust trail and above the Haymeadow Express Gondola. The Allie’s Cabin culinary team will welcome your group with an amazing breakfast spread.  

Adult tickets are priced at $160 per person with children 12 and under priced at $80 per person. You will still need a pass or a day lift ticket to access the mountain. Advanced reservations are required, please call 970-754-5310 or visit www.beavercreek.com. If you miss First Tracks this Sunday, you can still aim to get out there at the crack of dawn on Jan. 26 or Feb. 16 and 23.

Beaver Creek Uphill and Skimo race

New for 2020, the Vail Recreation District brings their winter race series to Beaver Creek for the first time this season with an uphill and skimo competition at Arrowhead.

The Beaver Creek Uphill and Skimo is the first event in the Vail Grail Winter Race Series. The Vail Grail is a championship series consisting of three winter events: the new Beaver Creek Uphill and Skimo, an uphill at Vail Mountain and a snowshoe shuffle. Participants can sign up for one, two or all three races. Racers who complete all three races have a shot at winning the coveted Vail Grail, a permanent trophy that will bear the male and female division winners’ names for years to come. Athletes wishing to participate in all events and compete for the Vail Grail can sign up for the full series for a discounted rate of $85.

Competitors can choose the uphill or skimo (ascent and descent) option and can use any means to get up the mountain (snowshoes, skis, splitboards or winter running devices). Skis or a snowboard are required to compete in the skimo competition.

Participants will ascend approximately 1,700 vertical feet and just under two miles from the base of Arrowhead Village to the top of Arrow Bahn Express Lift. The event will conclude with breakfast and awards at Broken Arrow Restaurant at the base of Arrowhead. 

Online registration is available prior to race day at vailrec.com/register. Day-of registration and bib pick up will be available at Broken Arrow in Arrowhead Village prior to the race starting at 6 a.m. Race entry fees are $35 through Saturday and $45 on the day of the race. 

BBQ at the Westin’s Gondola Plaza

If you’re riding the Riverfront Express gondola toward the end of the day on Saturday and smell barbecue instead of the flavors of Mexican food from Maya, it’s because The Westin Riverfront is hosting a special après-ski barbecue next to the gondola on Saturday.

Held on The Westin Riverfront’s Gondola Plaza, the party will feature a delicious array of barbecue favorites including smoked pork, brisket and chicken all cooked up in a big smoker that will be outside for the event.

“We wanted to create a fun new event where both locals and Vail Valley guests can enjoy our delicious food and drinks after a great day on the mountain,” said Kevin Delonay, director of food and beverage at The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa.

“While we are known for our delicious Mexican food, it is always nice to change things up and serve different dishes, and of course we all like to be outside to bask in our gorgeous Beaver Creek views,” Delonay said.

Wash down all the barbecue flavors with drink specials like $3 Colorado draft beers and $5 margaritas. Guests can enjoy live music by The Evolution, who play a wide variety of modern tunes, including rock & roll and Caribbean sounds. This weekend celebration will happen between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Don’t forget to Seize the Summit at Maya this ski season. Simply show that you reached 15,000 vertical feet during your day on the mountain and receive a free house margarita in Maya or a draft beer or house glass of wine in The Lift from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

There will be tables and chairs outside and seating near the fire pits, but if you do get cold, hop into Maya, where they pour more than 150 agave-based spirits and house-infused tequilas. Maya offers complimentary valet parking for restaurant patrons. For more information, please visit www.westinriverfront.

Ice bumper cars, Oakley goggle week, forest bathing and more: Tricia’s weekend picks

New Ice Bumper Cars

Just when you thought there were enough activities to do in Eagle County, the Vail Recreation District has added one more: ice bumper cars.

The Vail Recreation District debuted the ice bumper cars at the Dobson Ice Arena over the holidays to rave reviews.

“It’s important for a world-class resort like Vail to constantly be innovating and bringing fresh new activities to the resort to keep guests coming back,” said Jessie Klehfoth, marketing and communications director at the Vail Recreation District. “It’s also important to offer new activities that are approachable and economical for locals to enjoy as well, to sustain a vibrant community.”

These bumper cars are fun for all ages and abilities. There is little skill involved, as long as the guest is tall enough to reach both steering handles. Typically, kids should be 5 years old or older and be at least 42 inches tall. It’s an easy and affordable option to enhance a day in Vail, and a great activity during après-ski hours in the winter. The Vail Rec District also plans to offer the ice bumper cars year-round, providing a fun activity for people who want to come in out of the sun and cool off in the summer.

Have an event, office party or birthday celebration coming up? The Vail Recreation District can customize an outing for you complete with treats and eats from their food and beverage department and a conference room you can use as a party space. With 12 cars available, the time needed for a party will depend on how many people attend and how long of a ride each person gets. “We think 15-30 minutes per guest is just right, they get a nice long ride, but it’s not too long,” Klehfoth said.

The cost is $10 for a 15-minute ride. Schedule varies by day, so check www.vailrec.com for the weekly schedule and to reserve a time slot online.

Films and live blues at the Vilar

The Vilar Performing Arts Center shows its diverse schedule by hosting ski movies and a blues legend this weekend. On Friday, view two epic Teton Gravity Research films in one night and on Sunday, see Chris Smither play blues-based folk tunes during two shows at the recently remodeled May Gallery adjacent to the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Teton Gravity Research is an action sports media company whose films have amazed and inspired us since it began in Jackson Hole, WY in 1996. Teton Gravity Research will show two of its 2019 releases, “Winterland” and “Fire on the Mountain,” which was a collaboration with the Grateful Dead.

Earlier this year, I interviewed professional skier Chris Benchetler about the collaboration between the Grateful Dead, Atomic Skis and the artwork of Benchetler and fellow artist Skye Walker on the Bent Chetler powder ski. 

“With the Grateful Dead, no show was ever the same and that’s how I approach the mountain, it’s never the same line, it’s all improvisation,” Benchetler said.

The short film features the music of the Grateful Dead and is narrated by Hall of Fame basketball player and television sportscaster Bill Walton. Athletes in the film include skiers Benchetler and Michelle Parker and snowboarders Jeremy Jones, Danny Davis and Kimmy Fasani.

“Nothing beats watching these amazing athletes ski and ride to the perfect soundtrack. Add in the sound system and acoustics of our theatre and the audience is in for a real treat,” said Kim Hannold, programming director at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Sunday’s performance features Chris Smither, who was born in Miami, FL, but raised in New Orleans, LA where he was surrounded by music and was inspired by Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins. He started releasing albums in the ‘70s and released his 18th album in 2018. He has toured with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and more.

“This will be a truly up close and intimate listening experience, unlike any concert we’ve had before. It’s a chance to get to know the artist on a much more personal level, hear their stories and provides more of a lounge-style experience,” said Ruthie Hamrick, marketing manager at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. There will be two shows at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Sunday to accommodate the audiences who take advantage of the opportunity to see this blues legend in a cozy venue.

For more information on the Teton Gravity Research films and the Chris Smither concert, visit www.vilarpac.org.

Oakley Week coming to Vail

Oakley Week is coming to Vail this weekend for the first time since the traveling event started back in 2016. The Oakley team has traveled to ski areas like Mammoth, Whistler Blackcomb and iconic locations in Europe. Oakley Week offers a goggle demo where you can try out Oakley’s latest offerings and test Oakley Prizm lenses at the Oakley Village, located at Golden Peak. The demo is first come, first served and guests just need to provide a driver’s license.

One of the most frustrating things about being on the hill is not being able to see properly out of your goggles. The Prizm goggle line is engineered to dramatically enhance detail and help improve performance by providing ultra-precise color tuning for specific environments.

The goal of Prizm Technology is to provide increased contrast and boosted color in your environment. Take advantage of this free opportunity to try the Prizm goggles and see if you notice the difference out on the mountain.

Come ride with Oakley team athletes, Sammy Carlson and Logan Pehota. They will be riding the mountain throughout the event and will lead the Oakley Prizm Run at 2 p.m. on Friday. Meet at the bottom of Golden Peak at 2 p.m. and each participant gets a drink coupon to use at the après-ski party at Larkspur. Larkspur will host après-ski parties on Friday and Saturday. There will be plenty of prizes given away throughout the weekend as well.

For the kids, there will be a s’mores and a popcorn station. Kids can showcase their creative side at the coloring station where they can draw on a goggle strap that Oakley will plan to share with their development team for product inspiration for the following year. How cool would it be if your kid’s art ended up as a part of next year’s goggle line?

For more information, go to www.vail.com and check out the events calendar.

Full moon snowshoe and forest bathing

This Friday, enjoy a full moon backcountry experience and some forest bathing. What is forest bathing? In Japan, they practice something called forest bathing, where they “bathe” in the forest atmosphere, or take in the forest through the senses. This is not exercise hiking or jogging, but rather slowing down and getting yourself into a quiet, mindful headspace to make it easier to connect to the forest, mountains and sky and in this case, a night sky with a full moon. The first full moon of 2020 is also called the wolf moon.

First, a little socializing. When you get to the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, which has a beautiful campus just off of Buck Creek Road, you’ll be welcomed by hot drinks like cocoa, cider and tea (alcohol will not be provided but you are welcome to bring your own). After a half an hour of meeting your fellow snowshoers and guide, you will head about one mile up the Buck Creek Trail next to the Walking Mountains campus.

Once you get to an open meadow, gather around the fire that will be lit and ready for you to soak in the sights and sounds of the night. Forest therapy guide Kayla Weber will lead the group through a 30-minute forest bathing experience.

To connect with our mountain environment in a whole new way in a guided forest bathing experience sign up at www.walkingmountains.org. Space is limited, but if you miss this tour, there will be another one on February 8 and March 8.

Post-holiday recycling event

Walking Mountains, Vail Honeywagon, the town of Avon and the Climate Action Collaborative are working hard to clean up Eagle County’s dirty recycling habits in 2020. To help you jump on this bandwagon, there will be a post-holiday recycling event happening on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The type of materials they will be collecting on Saturday include many of the things that people need to get rid of after the holidays but these items cannot go in the recycling bin. These items include textiles, Styrofoam, plastic packaging, electronics, old Christmas lights, even Hasbro toys and games.

There is a charge for electronics, batteries and paper shredding but everything else is free. There will also be an LED light bulb swap during the event. Bring two non-LED light bulbs and swap them for energy-efficient LEDs.

“This is our third year offering this event and it’s really important that we offer this outlet for recycling these items responsibly because when people put these things in the curbside bin it contaminates our recycling stream and has the potential to negate all of the efforts we put into recycling correctly,” Shawn Bruckman, compost operations manager at Vail Honeywagon.

This recycling event will be held at the Old Town Hall parking lot at 1 Lake Street in Avon. For large loads, give them a call: 970-476-3511. A portion of the proceeds of this event will benefit Climate Action Collaborative.

Are you ready for the 40 day challenge?

Does all this talk about moving forward in the new decade intimidate you? Leap into the new year by joining the supportive team at Revolution Power Yoga for the 40 Days of Personal Revolution program, which begins on Jan. 7.

Over the course of 40 days, you will practice daily yoga, meditation, mindful eating and self-reflection. There are also group discussions, weekly themes and journaling.

It may sound like quite the commitment, especially if you’ve never done yoga, but the team at Revolution Power Yoga at Traer Creek near Avon is ready to help empower you.

“The reason why this program works is that you get to discover things about yourself that you didn’t already know and you’ll have people who will support you,” said Revolution Power Yoga owner Julie Kiddoo. “It’s really empowering, I can’t recommend it enough.”

After 40 days of committing to this program, the possibilities open up. That’s what happened to Chuck Toms, 50, of Eagle-Vail, who participated in the program in January of 2019 and is now a yoga instructor after never having done a yoga class.

“I just wanted to do yoga to increase my flexibility and improve my golf game and I wanted the accountability of the 40 days to commit to,” Toms said. “At first, my preconception was that there would be all these younger people here that could do it and that I wasn’t going to fit in. The first moment I stepped through the door, there was a sense of community and that’s what I needed.”

The biggest takeaway for Toms wasn’t the physical transformation but the mental transformation. “I learned self-care, self-compassion and self-discovery,” Toms said.

“If everybody did this program there’d be so much healing and peace in the world and peace within us,” Kiddoo said. 

It’s time to get out of your own way and discover a clearer vision for yourself for 2020. For more information about the 40 Days of Personal Revolution, visit www.revolutionpoweryoga.com.

Halloween parties, ski movies, live music and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/01/19

Underground Sound concert series

It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the Underground Sound concert series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Friday night’s installment will get you moving with a lively show by Las Cafeteras at 7:30 p.m.

Las Cafeteras is comprised of six bandmates from East Lost Angeles who grew up with many different influences of music including Mexican music and especially Afro-Mexican music. Las Cafeteras uses traditional Son Jarocho instruments like the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform). It may sound traditional but don’t be surprised if they infuse their performance with a little rock, punk, hip-hop, beat music and cumbia.

Since forming Las Cafeteras in 2005, the band has shared the stage with Ozomatli, Edwards Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Columbian superstar Juanes, Mexican icons Caifanes and many more.

This show also coincides with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors loved ones who have passed away. “We speak in five different languages: English, Spanish, Spanglish, justice, and love,” said Las Cafeteras founder, Hector Flores in a press release. “I think everybody understands at least one of those languages.”

Tickets for Friday’s show are $32 or use your Underground Sound pass. For more information, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Halloween parties continue

Speaking of dancing and great music, the Halloween theme didn’t stop on Thursday night. There are a few more opportunities to wear your costumes at these area fetes:

Scary-oke Karaoke – Loaded Joe’s

  • Karaoke all night
  • Costumes are encouraged
  • Free entry
  • Prize giveaways
  • Friday, 9:30 p.m. until close
  • www.loadedjoes.com

Boo Bash – Frost Bar at the Sebastian Vail

  • $20 tickets – includes two free drink tickets for wine and beer, also a cash bar
  • Music by DJ Krusher Jones
  • Costume contest with a chance to win $350 cash, a $100 Sebastian gift card plus other prizes
  • Halloween games
  • Friday, 8 p.m. until midnight
  • For tickets visit www.alwaysmountaintime.com
  • The Sebastian is offering an overnight package on Friday night: pay $175 for a one-night stay and get two tickets to the Boo Bash, waived resort fee and waived parking fee. Call the Sebastian to book your stay.  

Kids Night Out

Parents, treat yourself to a date night while your kids are having fun and being active at Mountain Recreation in Edwards and Gypsum. On select Friday nights throughout the year, parents can drop the kids off at either location at 5:30 p.m. and pick them up at 8 p.m. Please note; there is no Kids Night Out at the Edwards location this Friday. Check the website for dates at both locations. During that time, the kids will have plenty of things to do including use of the trampolines in the anti-gravity center, the rock climbing wall, swimming pool (Gypsum only) along with themed activities, games and crafts.

Mountain Recreation brings the fun activities, your kids just need to bring a costume if they wish (themes change weekly, so call ahead for more information) closed-toe shoes, activewear and a swimsuit and towel (Gypsum only).

Kids Night Out is for kids ages 5-12. The registration fee is $20 per child and that includes dinner. To learn more and register, go to www.mountainrecreation.com.

Ski Movie Night at the Riverwalk Theater

Nothing gets you quite into the winter snowsports season like an adrenaline-packed film filled with powder, big air and amazing scenery. You’ll find all that and more in “The Book of Pow”, a film by local freeskier John Spriggs and filmmaker Edward Clem.

Clem and Spriggs live in Frisco and filmed the movie all last winter on their days off from work, so all of their scenes are in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Last year’s snowstorms created some amazing pillow lines and champagne powder shots that rival runs anywhere else in the world. The film debuted in Annecy, France in early October at the High Five Film Festival and received rave reviews.

Joining Spriggs on the slopes was U.S. Ski Team member, Taylor Seaton, who competes in ski halfpipe. Seaton and Spriggs are both Battle Mountain High School graduates. Clem, Spriggs and Seaton are traveling around to show their movie at various film festivals.

“The Book of Pow” also has another local tie-in. Local backcountry snowboarder Bindu Sky Pomeroy died while performing an inverted maneuver off a set of cliffs in East Vail. In an article written by John LaConte earlier this week, Spriggs said that this film is dedicated “in honor of Bindu and everyone else we’ve lost doing this.”

The Riverwalk Theater will host “The Book of Pow” followed by “In the Meantime,” the third installment in the Tanner Hall short-film trilogy. Along with the films, there will be autograph signings with Spriggs and Seaton, a raffle and plenty of swag giveaways.

The Riverwalk Theater will also have traditional movie theater snacks along with pizza from Village Bagel and hot dogs from Colorado Meat Company. The theater also serves a large selection of microbrews, wines and canned cocktails, so come early and grab a bite to eat and drink before the event starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the Riverwalk Theater box office. For more information about the Riverwalk Theater, go to www.riverwalktheater.com.

America Recycles Day

Take advantage of these weekends before Vail and Beaver Creek open up their ski slopes for the season and clean up things around the house. In honor of America Recycles Day on Friday, the town of Vail is offering a free collection for residents and employees in Vail of the following items:

  • Electronic waste
  • Paper for shredding
  • Old vinyl banners
  • Used bike tubes

If you aren’t quite sure what type of items can be recycled, get the Eagle County Waste Wizard app. Download it to your phone and you can easily look items up and dispose of them in the proper way.  Bring the items you wish to recycle to the oversize vehicle lot at the Lionshead Parking Structure between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Charges may apply for excessive volumes of things you are trying to get rid of. No commercial collection accepted at this event. To learn more go to www.lovevail.org.

The haunted history of Eagle County

Murders, monsters and mining misadventures…those topics will all be discussed in haunting detail this Wednesday at the Avon Public Library. Learn about how our Happy Valley has a dark side with Eagle County historian, Kathy Heicher.

To learn more about Eagle County’s haunted past, I met Heicher at, of all places, the Sunset View Cemetery in Eagle (it was daylight, thank goodness) and we walked through tombstones dating back to the early to mid-1900s. We’d stop every once in a while and Heicher would give me a brief story about whose tombstone was whose and what they did in Eagle County. It was really quite fascinating to think about the pioneering days and just what it was like to live here back then.  

In the spirit of Halloween, Heicher will speak about Eagle County’s haunted history and how it involves more than adventurous miners and hard-toiling farmers. There are also stories to be told about murder, tragedy, and perhaps the ghosts of a pioneer or two who just don’t seem to be at rest.

“Local history is always intriguing. And even back in the late 1800s, people could not resist a scary story with gory details. We find a surprising amount of that stuff in our archives. Some of the more captivating stories are just as fascinating today as they were back then,” Heicher said.

And what about that shadowy monster that was blamed in early decades for the mysterious disappearances of miners and soldiers?

“In the 1880s, Eagle County was often a wild place, characterized by rowdy mining camps and risk-taking pioneers. While there are many stories of courage and fortitude, there are also tales of murder and monsters. Some of it is absolutely true, and some of it is more of what we now call ‘urban legend.’ It all factors in to what we are today.”

Peppered throughout Heicher’s talk will be all sorts of pictures from the Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle Valley Library District’s photo archive.

Heicher didn’t tell me all the tales and stories from Eagle County’s past in the cemetery that day because she wanted to save those details for the event at the Avon Public Library on Wednesday at 6 p.m. For more information, go to www.evld.org.

Skiing, spa deals, free champagne and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/18/19

Skiing and snowboarding available in Colorado

It’s always been a race to see which resort can be the first to usher in the ski and snowboard season each fall. This year, Keystone thought they would be the first resort in North America to spin its lifts and welcome back skiers and riders on Oct. 12, but in a sneaky move, Arapahoe Basin opened to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 on Oct. 11.

Regardless of who was first, there were plenty of happy skiers and snowboarders enjoying some early season conditions with the help of some snowmaking equipment and cooler temperatures provided by Mother Nature.

With Keystone’s new state-of-the-art, automated snowmaking system, the resort was well-positioned to offer guests one of its earliest openings in more than 20 years. Keystone will continue to make snow at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and looks to expand terrain as soon as possible.

Keystone will be celebrating the start to the season with a Halloween costume contest, pancake breakfasts, live music, a bags tournament and more in upcoming weeks.

After closing this past Fourth of July, Arapahoe Basin didn’t have much of an off-season. In a surprise announcement at 1:45 p.m. last Friday, The Legend stated that it would be open less than two hours later, at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Excited skiers and riders scrambled to find their gear, get off work or drive the distance to the base area to get in line and hold bragging rights for being present during opening day, well, maybe not a full day, but opening “afternoon.”

A-Basin will also have a few events to kick off the season including a Halloween concert and costume contest, so dress up your friends, family and even the dog in order to win prizes.

Before you go to either resort, check www.keystoneresorts.com and www.arapahoebasin.com for current conditions and terrain updates.

Underground Sound concert series

Save the best for last this weekend with a Sunday night show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The Small Glories take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and will treat the listeners to some bluegrass and folk music. This marks the third concert out of the seven-concert series dubbed “love for the locals” and the Underground Sound pass is still available.

The Small Glories consists of JD Edwards and Cara Luft (Luft was also part of the Wailin’ Jennys). This folk singer-songwriter duo met by accident on the Canadian prairie when they played an anniversary show together at Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre.

The wit and banter between Luft and Edwards are all part of the show, and sometimes the duo spends more time setting up the song than it takes to actually play the song. But the crowd loves it and the intimate setting of the Vilar will be a perfect place for the audience to feel like they are a part of the show.

Tickets are available for $28. You can still take advantage of the savings offered in the Underground Sound pass. For $125, the pass gives you entry to Sunday’s show and four more concerts in this series, which goes through Nov. 11. With the pass, you also get a drink at each show and it is transferable. I did the math and you still come out ahead financially if you purchase this pass. For more information, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Spa Deals

The change of seasons is upon us and your body may be craving a change as well. Spas are offering specials this time of year on all sorts of treatments. Take a look at these deals below. If you don’t see your spa of choice, give them a call and see if they are running any specials.

The Spa at the Vail Athletic Club

  • $99 for your choice of 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • $189 for your choice of two services: 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • 25% off all other services
  • www.vailathleticclub.com

The Sonnenalp Spa

  • 50-minute signature massage or facial for $99
  • 25% off all other treatments
  • Upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for an additional $85
  • www.sonnenalp.com/spa

The Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

  • Signature spa pedicure plus a glass of prosecco for $69
  • 50-minute custom massage or 45-minute rose quartz facial for $105
  • 80- minute custom massage for $149
  • 75-minute oxygen facial for $165
  • www.allegriaspa.com

Simply Massage

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

  • $99 for a 50-minute massage or facial
  • $149 for a 75-minute massage or facial
  • $179 for 100-minute massage or facial
  • www.spaanjali.com

The Spa at Four Seasons Vail

  • 20% off massages, facials and body treatments during the month of October
  • Bring your state-issued identification upon check-in for the discount to be valid
  • www.fourseasons.com/vail/spa

The Rock Resorts Spa at the Lodge at Vail

  • $99 for a choice of a 50-minute massage, facial or body treatment
  • $149 for a choice of an 80-minute body treatment (which includes a free gift)
  • Book two treatments in one day and get a glass of champagne
  • 20% off a full-price Float Tank session
  • 20% off of a spray tan
  • www.thevailcollections.com/spa

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many businesses are honoring that with events and deals through the end of the month. The Sonnenalp Breast Center in Edwards reminds you that this is also a good time to schedule your mammogram if you need one. They are even open on Saturdays throughout the month of October to help you fit an appointment into your schedule.

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is raffling off two spa prizes with 100% of the proceeds going to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. The prizes are:

  • One four-hour Alpen Rejuvenation package valued at $370
  • One spa gift basket valued at $500

The raffle is going on between now and the end of the month and raffle tickets are priced at one ticket for $10 and three tickets for $20. Visit Spa Anjali to purchase your tickets and they are asking for cash only. Two winners will randomly be selected on Nov. 1. For more information, go to Spa Anjali’s Facebook page.

Barre Forte in Edwards is also getting into the spirit of giving back and invites you to tuck, hold and burn your way through a day of barre classes to raise money for the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. This Saturday, take one class, two classes or as many as your muscles can handle during the Barre-A-Thon. Barre Forte is asking for a $10 donation for each class. Classes start at 9 a.m. and will continue each hour with 4 p.m. being the last class. Pink drinks will follow to celebrate the sweat and success of this fun fundraiser. Sign up in advance to secure your spot.

Barre Forte will also be donating a portion of all punch cards and pink merchandise sold during the month of October to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. For more information check out Barre Forte’s Facebook page.

The SKEA clothing line, led by Vail local Diane Boyer, is going to donate 5% of all sales during the month of October to the Shaw Cancer Center at Vail Health in Edwards. Proceeds will directly benefit patients at Shaw through the Spirit of Survival program where they receive free emotional and physical services to help them fight their battle. If you need a cute ski jacket, new snow pants or some of their great base layers or accessories buy them this month and help give back. Learn more at www.skealimited.com.

Celebrate International Champagne Day

Cheers to the off-season! If you need an excuse to make a toast, the new Grand Hyatt Vail is offering a complimentary glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne and specials at the hotel, restaurant and spa all weekend.

The Grand Hyatt Vail has partnered up with Moët & Chandon Champagne and is taking celebrations to a new level. At 6 p.m. on Friday, celebrate International Champagne Day by witnessing a Champagne sabering in the hotel’s Fireside Lounge. Complimentary glasses of Moët Impérial will be served and additional glasses available for $20.19 throughout the evening. Moët & Chandon specialists will be on hand for the event to discuss champagne and make pairing suggestions.

Grand Hyatt Vail will also offer $129 rooms on Friday night. The room rate includes tokens for the state’s only champagne vending machine, located in the lobby, that is filled with Moët & Chandon Champagne.

A Champagne brunch will be served on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Gessner, Grand Hyatt Vail’s signature restaurant for $20.19. The special bubbly brunch menu will include decadent champagne pancakes, live entertainment and $20.19 glasses of Moët Ice with a unique celebratory twist. The Spa at the Grand Hyatt Vail will offer seasonal specials including a choice of a 50-minute classic massage or signature facial for $119 or upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for $190.

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.

Restaurant deals, concert deals, gear deals and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/4/19

Underground Sound Concert Series

It’s deal season this time of year and the discounts aren’t just reserved for restaurants, spa treatments and hotel stays. Add concerts at the Vilar Performing Arts Center to that list of off-season specials.

The Underground Sound Concert Series returns to Beaver Creek this weekend and lasts until Nov. 11. This annual fall event has been dubbed “love for the locals” and is a way for the Vilar Performing Arts Center to provide some great acts at an affordable price this time of year.

For 10 years, the Vilar has been hosting a variety of musical genres ranging from bluegrass to funk, blues, indie folk rock, soul and country. Past performers have included Brandi Carlile, Jerry Douglas, Elephant Revival, Lukas Nelson, Gregory Alan Isakov and Chris Thile.

Concert tickets are affordably priced between $28 and $38 for individual shows, but the real deal is in the Underground Sound Pass. For $125 you get seven shows, a drink at each show and it’s transferable, so you can share it with co-workers, friends or neighbors. Maybe trade out baby-sitting with your neighbors and enjoy a few shows this autumn.

Dates of the concerts range from weekends to weeknights so you can enjoy a concert experience as a date night to celebrate the end of the week or take a break from the daily grind and squeeze in a show during the workweek.

Discover new music this weekend. Ranky Tanky will kick off the season on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Ranky Tanky hails out of Charleston, SC and is known for its jazz, funk, gospel and R&B sounds. For information on all of the artists, the Underground Sound Pass or individual tickets, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week continues through Sunday. Take advantage of the $20.19 specials at over 40 restaurants in Vail and Beaver Creek along with deals on hotels and spa treatments.

Last week, I had an opportunity to try the four-course meal at Tavern on the Square at the Arrabelle. It was a delicious deal that started out with an Italian white bean soup, followed by a baked burrata with Pomodoro sauce. For the third course, I got to choose my entrée. It was hard to pick between seafood cacciatore, lamb T-bone or beef bourguignon, so the chef let me try all three. For dessert, I saved room for autumn spice churros and the sugary spice and texture were a great way to complete the meal.

The menu changes nightly, so see what they are cooking up at the Tavern. The chefs have been having a lot of fun trying out new dishes and some of them may remain on the menu for the winter.

I also stopped into La Nonna Ristorante, which is offering its house-made pasta dishes for $20.19. Chef-owner Simone Reatti and his staff have been busy cranking out the same wonderful menu at discount prices as a thank you to the locals and visitors who have supported them since they opened La Nonna last winter.

I tried a few dishes on the menu, including spaghettini crostacei, ravioli tre funghi, and malfatti di ricotta. They’re so tasty, you may want to order two.

I can’t eat at all the restaurants during Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week, so I enlisted the help of Casey Russell, our arts and entertainment editor at the Vail Daily. Casey dined at Gessner at the new Grand Hyatt Vail (formerly Hotel Talisa) and tried sourdough toast with charred peppers, local honeycomb and local goat cheese-which used milk taken in both the morning and the afternoon for two different flavor profiles.

Casey loved the vegan butternut squash soup and the tomato and foraged mushroom tagliatelle with basil cream sauce, which in the winter, becomes a truffle sauce.

For an indulgent dessert, Casey said to try the peaches and cream cake with pistachio crust and mousse at Gessner. Its sweet flavor and light texture pairs well with fresh Palisade peaches and meringue kisses that decorate the slice.

Wherever you decide to dine, call for reservations in advance. These deals are very popular and you don’t want to be turned away if the restaurants can’t fit you in. For a full list of specials, go to www.diningwithaltitude.com.

Gear sales and swaps

Did you lose your gloves last year? Are you due for a new snowboard? Have your kids outgrown their snow pants? If you answered affirmatively to any of those questions now is the time to buy while area sports stores are having gear sales and swaps. Here are a few going on this weekend:

Sun & Ski Sports

Get the best deals of the year during the 3rd annual First Tracks Ski and Snowboard Blowout Sale. Ski and snowboard equipment and apparel will be discounted up to 50% off throughout the store through this Sunday. Make sure you ask them about how you can win a pair of Liberty Skis this weekend, too.

The junior ski and snowboard seasonal lease program is going on as well. You can lease skis, boots and poles or a snowboard, bindings and boots for $99. That price goes up to $119 after Nov. 29. Visit www.sunandski.com/avon-co for more information.

Charter Sports

The Empty the Warehouse Sale will be held at Charter Sports at the Christie Lodge location in Avon. They will be selling a lot of gear and that additional merchandise will spill out of the store and into the parking lot of the Christie Lodge, so be prepared to shop around to find everything you need.

Discounts start at 50% off on winter gear, outerwear and accessories. The discounts will increase as the weekend goes on, but keep in mind that sizes and brands and models of gear may be picked over. The event kicks off on Friday and runs through Sunday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Alpine Quest Sports

Thinking about getting into a new sport or upgrading your equipment? Now is the time to buy and sell new and used AT, Tele and Splitboard skis, boots and bindings. 

The Alpine Touring, Telemark and Splitboard Swap is this weekend at Alpine Quest Sports in Edwards. Drop off gear on Friday before 6 p.m. Sell your gear and get 100% of the selling price in store credit or 70% of the selling price in cash.

The annual sale and swap runs until Sunday. Call 970-926-3867 for more details or stop by their store in Edwards.

Oktoberfest in Gypsum

If you are considering buying a dirndl or lederhosen, I am going to encourage you to do so because you’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear the traditional grab. In Eagle County, we have had five, count ‘em, five Oktoberfest celebrations in the last six weeks (and that is not even counting the Oktoberfest celebrations in other mountain towns or in Denver). Things move down valley to Gypsum for this weekend’s Oktoberfest.

The Gypsum Chamber of Commerce, the town of Gypsum and a host of other sponsors are bringing out the traditional Bavarian costumes, games, brats and pastries. There is even a Bonfire Brewing beer named especially for the event: Gyptoberfest.

The Lundgren Theater will play host to the festival, which is free and open to the public on Saturday from 1-5 p.m. There will be music by A Band Called Alexis. Free pumpkins will be available in the pumpkin patch. For more information, visit www.gypsumchamber.com.

If you want to bring a taste of Oktoberfest home with you, stop by West Vail Liquor Mart and take advantage of some seasonal brew sampling. West Vail Liquor Mart will have oompah music, tons of giveaways and plenty of Oktoberfest beers to try on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. German-style pretzels with beer cheese and mustard options will also be served. Learn more at www.westvail.com.

Fire Department Open House

In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Vail Fire and Emergency Services is inviting the community to visit the West Vail Station for an open house on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The West Vail Fire House has become quite the attraction for kids. During the open house, kids can view the fire engines and the station up close. There will also be a kid’s obstacle course. Free hot dogs and chips will be served as well.

In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, activities will center around fire safety information on smoke alarms, exit drills and carbon monoxide alarms presented by the Fire Prevention Division.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6 through 12 and this year’s theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape – Plan and Practice Your Escape.” This campaign encourages everyone to create a home escape plan and not only come up with the plan but also practice it.

Between the open house at the West Vail Fire Station and school visits, representatives from Vail Fire will educate students on the importance of drawing a map of their home and practicing fire drills with family members. During the sessions, firefighters will be teaching children about closing doors to slow the spread of smoke, flames and heat. Students will also learn about staying outside of a building and not going back inside to retrieve belongings.