Forest Service, ski co. keeping BB&B dead |

Forest Service, ski co. keeping BB&B dead

Scott N. Miller

The on-mountain party known as BB&B is dead and, authorities warn, don’t forget it,

After successfully eliminating the end-of-ski-season party that for more than 20 years was held on the second Tuesday in April, U.S. Forest Service and Vail Resorts officials want to make sure BB&B stays dead. After too many years of cleaning up massive amounts of trash and human waste from Minnie’s Deck above Lionshead, Forest Service officials decided to kill the unsanctioned event following the 2002 party.

To put a stop to the party last year, Minnie’s deck was closed starting April 1 and open containers were banned in the area. On the traditional party date, law enforcement officers from the Forest Service, Vail and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office were on patrol in the town and on the mountain.

Vail Resorts put even more teeth in the closure when it announced anyone caught on Minnie’s Deck would have his or her ski privileges revoked for the next two years.

Minnie’s Deck will probably again be closed as of April 1 this year, said Holy Cross District Ranger Cal Wettstein, who supervises activity on the mountain. The harsh ski pass penalty will also probably be in play.

After starting as a small end-of-season birthday party in 1980, BB&B devolved into an orgy of drinking, snowball fights and raucous behavior. During the last several years, partiers spent days before BB&B building large snow forts, stashing various alcoholic beverages, and, too often, hauling up more illicit substances. In addition to fights, the cleanup of the area could last into May or June and wasn’t complete until the snow melted, uncovering even more garbage.

Citing health and safety concerns, the Forest Service used its powers as the ski area’s landlord to put a stop to the revelry.

Eliminating BB&B is fine with Vail Resorts, said company spokeswoman Jen Brown. “We’re going to continue to cooperate with the U.S. Forest Service and their desire to eliminate (BB&B),” she said.

Last year’s closure came with a good bit of grousing from the public, said Cal Wettstein, Holy Cross District Ranger. As April approached this year, though, Wettstein said he hasn’t heard much. “I don’t get any indication it’s a big deal this year,” he said.

In case anyone cares to try to revive the party, though, Wettstein said there will still be law enforcement around in the Minnie’s Deck area. “We’ll be staffed up to handle whatever comes up,” he said.

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