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Girls-only event takes pressure off

Nicole Frey
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VAIL- Women, young and old, crowded into Vail Sports sipping wine and nibbling on cheese and crackers. On one side of the room, one woman received a chair message. Others tried on ski clothes and gear and traded stories as they unwound from a day of fun in the snow. About 100 woman took advantage of the first annual Ladies’ Day, hosted by Specialty Sports, which treated women to guided snowshoe hikes, skiing and snowboarding clinics, demos and a bit of pampering. But more than anything else, Ladies’ Day gave women a chance simply to hang out with other women, sans the men folk.”Having a ladies’ day makes it less intimidating,” said Danielle Venturi, who tried snowshoeing for the first time.Rachel Newton, who joined Venturi and 27 other women on the hike that wound up Golden Peak, said the presence of men would have made the hike a competitive sport.”Guys are always pushing themselves to be at the front,” Newton said. “With just women, you could go at your own pace.”

But there was one male allowed on the hike Cosmo Kramer, Michelle Williams’ golden retriever, who hung out with his mistress in Vail Sports as women enjoyed a breakfast of pastries, coffee and juice after the early morning trek. The early risers were also rewarded with goodie bags overflowing with hats, coffee mugs, lip balm, Lara bars, socks and other gifts. Already established as an event in Aspen, Lee Steele, the marketing director of the Vail, Beaver Creek and Copper Mountain branches of Specialty Sports, said it was high time for Ladies’ Day to come to Vail.”There’s the perception of snow sports being male-dominated sports, so we wanted to have a day just for the ladies,” Steele said. Steele and other male employees were just about the only men in Vail Sports during Ladies’ Day”I’ve never seen that many women in the store at one time before,” said Joe Walker, who works in Vail Sports. “They’ve all been very appreciative of the day. It seems like they’re having fun.”With the snowshoeing over, the day was still just getting started at 9:30 in the morning. While some women headed off, still more came to take advantage of the free demos on skis and snowboards and pick up a few pointers during the ski and snowboard clinics.

On their annual ski trip from Warren, Ohio, about 10 women from the Warren Ski Club abandoned their men to take advantage of Ladies’ Day. Ski club member Jana Guerino jumped at the chance to experiment with some K2 Phat Luv powder skis.”It’s a great opportunity to experience a different ski before you go out and buy them,” said Guerino with a glass of wine in hand waiting for her turn in the massage chair. “We were so lucky to have this going on just when we were here. Hopefully, we’ll be here when they do it again next year.”Guerino’s attention snapped from the Heaven Spa message chair to a lady at the front of the room it was time for another one of the hourly raffles, and Guerino ravenously coveted the Spyder ski jacket up for grabs. But although she campaigned loudly for her name to be pulled from the basket, another woman won the jacket. The jacket was among the Solomon skies, gloves, helmets and goggles raffled away that day. Local Wendy Erb had spent the day in a ski clinic, but she wasn’t ready to call it a day yet. Her goodie bag contained a day pass to the Vail Athletic Club, and Erb was rearing for more. “I think this was just fantastic,” Erb said. “Anyone who didn’t come out for this today was really missing out. You didn’t even have to feed yourself. They took care of everything.”Erb said she would have come to the event if it were co-ed, but having a girls only day “created a sense of community that was very nice.”



She said she even made a couple new friends that she’ll ski with again.”The whole objective was the keep women skiing, and it was just phenomenal,” she said. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14621, or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado


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