Charity ’80s ski party to rock Denver in style |

Charity ’80s ski party to rock Denver in style

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – It’s a Friday night in mid-October – what are all these people doing dressed up like it’s the last day of the season?

It’s time for the ’80s Ski Party in Denver, a party that isn’t just about ridiculous costumes and silly behavior, despite its appearances.

Founders of the event – Brad Rettig, Steve Belligmeier and Michael Ledger – wanted to continue their late friend Adam Barron’s spirit when they created the E.P.I.C. Foundation in his honor about seven years ago. Barron had been to the ’80s Ski Party when it was still in its early years and loved it, so after he passed away, the founders decided to make the party a benefit for charity.

“We wanted to expand the party and figured that all the proceeds should go to a good cause,” Rettig said.

The E.P.I.C. Foundation is pairing up with First Descents – Vail Valley local Brad Ludden’s nonprofit dedicated to helping young adults with cancer via outdoor recreation – this year, meaning a night of hard partying really is for a good cause.

“The ’80s Ski Party really fits the culture of First Descents, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch,” Ludden said. “I’m really excited about it.”

The culture of First Descents is to celebrate life and let go of trivial troubles, Ludden said. The ’80s Ski Party helps celebrate that, as well as the nonprofit’s new Front Range location.

Also emceeing the event will be Vail Valley locals Chris Anthony, an extreme skier and Warren Miller movie star, and Vail firefighter Ryan Sutter.

“I tied into the ’80s Ski Party six years ago and was blown away by the energy of this event in Denver,” Anthony said.

Rettig said the founders really believe skiing took off in the 1980s. It’s that ’80s vibe that keeps Rettig skiing today.

“It was free-spirited, exciting and an awesome party scene,” Rettig said. “So we wanted the party to be a flashback to the roots of our skiing experiences.”

Rettig said no outfit is too crazy for the party, recalling that someone dressed as a Teletubby last year.

“Search your parents’ closets,” Rettig said. “Holy Toledo (in Minturn) has great stuff – you have to ask for the secret stash though.”

The party has evolved into a major event, with about 400 or so people attending each year. There are giveaways that include skis, ski passes, cameras and gear.

Organizers added a VIP section this year where party-goers get an open bar and food for $100.

“This is an event that you cannot miss,” Anthony said. “As well as it has brought back an entire generation of fashion and music that should never be forgotten.”

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at

When: Friday, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: Mile High Station, Denver.

Attire: ’80s ski gear (no entry for those not dressed in ’80s gear).

What: Proceeds go to First Descents and the E.P.I.C. Foundation.

Tickets can be purchased at for $40 or $100 for VIP. Tickets are $50 at the door.

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