Bet on this year’s Vail Derby Party to be the best yet | VailDaily.com

Bet on this year’s Vail Derby Party to be the best yet

This year's Vail Derby party is set to be the best yet.

An annual event benefiting Children's Garden of Learning, the Vail Derby Party has found a new home for 2018 at The Remedy Bar in the Four Seasons.

Steven Teaver is the beverage manager at the Four Seasons, his wife Nicky is the director of Children's Garden of Learning, so the connection is obvious.

But I was surprised to learn it was actually Steven who brought the idea to Nicky to host the Kentucky Derby Party at The Remedy Bar in the Four Seasons.

"I've always been a whiskey guy," Steven told me. "I've been collecting it … well, legally I've been collecting it since I was 21."

Now collecting whiskey professionally for the Four Seasons, Teaver says there isn't a better event to showcase their unique offerings.

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"We'll have some whiskeys here that you just won't find other places," he said. "Kentucky is the center of the bourbon world, so leveraging the bourbon collection at the Four Seasons as a great draw for this event was a big piece of us approaching Children's Garden."

EASY ON THE BAC

The Teavers' 4-year-old son attends Children's Garden of Learning, as does my 3-year-old daughter.

Both Steven and I well know how useless we can become after an afternoon event where quality whiskey is one of the attractions.

Embracing the obvious pun, Steven has come up with a remedy to this potential problem.

"A lot of people don't realize exactly what a mint julep is," he said. "It's 2 ounces of whiskey, a little bit of Demerara syrup and mint. It's a very spirit-forward drink, very strong, but it's got a great balance to it so you can throw them back pretty quickly."

Before you know it, you drank 6 ounces of whiskey in 90 minutes.

"Things can get out of hand pretty quickly, so what I've done for this year is taken the mint julep as an inspiration and dialed it back a bit using our slushy machine. We'll have a frozen mint julep that's still a whiskey drink, it still has mint, it still has all the elements there, it will just be a little easier on the blood-alcohol level."

But let's say you are able to get away for a bit and have a few full strength juleps; this is a good time of year to try the fabled "staycation" at the Four Seasons, as the hotel is partnering with the party to offer discounted rooms.

"At $155 for the night, you might spend near that on a cab getting back and forth from downvalley," Teaver said. "Plus it comes with $50 food/beverage/spa credit. You can bring the kids up, check out all the amenities at the Four Seasons, get dressed up for the event and then get back to playing in the pool."

Good cause

With most local institutions, I can usually offer a criticism or two if prompted.

But in thinking about it, I don't really have anything critical to say about Children's Garden of Learning.

Pretty much immediately upon enrolling, my daughter started showing impressive growth in language and — more importantly — understanding, which made things way easier for her (and me) when she wasn't at school.

They've embraced the fact that we're in the mountains, getting kids out for hikes and teaching them to stay on the trail.

My daughter also picked up some manners along the way, surprisingly; she started sharing with her brother, and as a bonus the educators taught her a few cute one liners which have not gone unappreciated.

When I pick her up from school, my first question to her is obvious, so she already has a canned phrase which will suit her well for years.

"What did you do at school today?" I ask.

"I just played and messed around," she says, every time.

Driving home, as my mind drifts to where we're headed and what's next on the day's agenda, those thoughts must be going through my daughter's head, as well. Just as I'm thinking about where we're headed next, I hear from the back seat, in a sad voice, "I want to go back to school."

Day care is expensive everywhere but Children's Garden of Learning doesn't gouge us with a location premium like you might expect in Vail. They're right on pace with everyone else.

For all of these reasons I am hoping the fundraiser turns out well, as the profits will go toward educator training and keeping the prices affordable at Children's Garden, two things that I think will benefit the whole community, not just the parents there.

The cost is $50, find tickets by searching "Vail Derby Party" at eventbrite.com.

One of the main fundraising efforts from the event itself will come in the form of a silent auction, where you'll have a chance to purchase some of that rare bourbon Teaver is touting. Check out hard to find offerings like Thomas H Handy's Sazerac Rye whiskey of the year, bottled in 2011, and the William Larue Weller from 2013.

Even if you just show up and have a club soda, then you'll be supporting the pre school. The Remedy Bar's 165-inch television will be a great place to watch the race itself, as well.

And as a final advantage of the new venue for this party, the event is scheduled to take place May 5 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., but all are welcome to come early and stay late.

"We don't have to try to turn it over for dinner afterward, so we'll be on a relaxed schedule," Teaver said.

But the main reason I think this year's Derby Party at the Four Seasons is going to be the best yet was actually my first thought about the whole situation, given the relationship between Steven and Nicky.

"If you bungle this one, you're going to be sleeping on the couch," I told him.

"Yeah I'd better not screw this one up," he said with a laugh. "Honestly, though, community is a core focus with the Four Seasons, they want to be involved with the communities that support them and this is a perfect event for that effort, being off season and supporting so many working families. So I want to use the Derby Party as a showpiece of community focus at the Four Seasons."

VAIL DERBY PARTY

Where: Remedy at Four Seasons in Vail

When: Saturday, May 5, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets available at Children’s Garden of Learning, or online at eventbrite.com.

Cost: $50

Dress Code: Finest attire and derby hats