Head: Halloweenies have lots of options
Vail embraces Halloween with open arms. He who ventures into a bar sans costume will be heckled more than any freak in full regalia. Transvestites, genies and fembots oozed over the valley last year, and this year looks to provide similar festivities. Only the living dead will pass the holiday trick free.
8150 is once again going for the long, late haul. Throwing their doors open at 8 p.m., they’ll keep the music going until 4 a.m. Charging a $40 cover at the door, it’s open bar once inside.
Local funksters Flux will be playing the first shift, followed by resident DJ Hal Coleman. DJ Dave Ralph headlines the night, spinning sleek, progressive house music.
Last year, costume winners received a ski pass; this year it’s $500 in cash.
“We’re looking for creativity,” said co-owner Steve Kovacik. “We’re not looking for something right off the shelf; and it’s got to have some thought put into it. The guys who won our first year were these giant cowboys, 12-feet tall with really long appendages. KISS won last year, and the year before was the shark-bite guy.”
The costume that really stands out for Kovacik is the man who wore a jock strap all night long.
“He took the cake as the bravest soul,” he said.
Kovacik describes DJ Ralph as a high-energy man who works the crowd.
“Good DJs are like good bands: they’ll change your world,” he said.
Half Moon Saloon
Local favorite Jonny Mogambo will bust out the party moves at Half Moon Saloon. The local modern funk singer-songwriter topped the list of most-requested acts.
Justin Hurley – one of the few bar owners who dresses up for the holiday – was a semi-frightening sight last year in a smorgasbord of Irish garments and accessories. He was spotted boogeying down on the dance floor with the rest of the costumed creatures, and will probably do the same tonight.
Last year, Austin Powers and his harem of fembots took top honors. This year, the winner will head west with a friend to that over-the-top city, Las Vegas, where it’s Halloween every night of the year. Other prizes include CDs, gift certificates and Half Moon bar tabs. The party gets going at 9 p.m.
Lionshead’s new bar, Powder Hounds, is celebrating their grand opening on Halloween. The old Gravity has undergone fairly intensive remodeling, including a new sound system and dance floor. Evil Doug still reins as party guru, and his Hell on Earth Halloween party is a recurring shindig.
“It’s easy to get loose on Halloween,” said bar manager Zach Lloyd.
They’ll have three large screens playing live concert footage, including AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Woodstock ’99, Billy Idol and Cypress Hill. The costume contest winners will be leaving with cash and Avalanche tickets.
The Harry Baxter Band and DJ Joe Davidson will be keeping the music going at Club Chelsea, now located in the Vail Village Inn.
“You never know what might move around the next corner,” said Debbie Reed, Club Chelsea employee. “It’s not really a haunted house, but sometimes it is, with all the costumes and wall hangings that we have.”
Reed’s favorite costume as a little girl was a bunny rabbit her grandmother made her. This year, she’s going as a grown-up bunny – a Playboy bunny.
“Well, I’m going to attempt it,” she said. “I’m not tall, and I know Hugh Hefner likes his babes tall.”
Costume prizes include cash and skis.
The Club has become legendary for its Halloween parties, and what it calls Vail’s naughtiest costume contest. More than one person has come up with an elaborate costume, only to be caught up in the festivities and unable to actually participate in the contest.
“Yeah, I think last year maybe the crowd partied a little too hard,” said owner Todd Milner. “Halloween is the wildest night of the year in the village.”
Mission 19 will be playing its modern acoustic rock beginning at 9:30 p.m. They give awards for creativity and sexiness. Awards include cash, snowboards, jackets and bar tabs.
The Tap Room/Sanctuary
The Tap Room has staked itself out as the meeting place for Halloween hoodlums. Upstairs, Sanctuary is having its second annual Heaven and Hell Party, which also tends toward the naughty. DJ Mike Magoun will spin house music.
“Last year, we had a full house,” said co-owner Steve Kaufman. “Everyone was in costume; it was pretty amazing.”
Kaufman’s past costumes include dressing up as a lovely lady – he was groped all night long.
Awards will be given for sexiest and scariest costumes, and prizes include snowboards and skis. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Bridge is hosting a Technics Chainsaw Massacre party, or a hip hop extravaganza, featuring local DJs. The night club will have several DJs over the course of the evening.
The best costume winner will walk away with a pair of Nuggets tickets. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the party goes late.
For those wanting to go out on Halloween, but not wanting to deal with a big scene, Garfinkel’s is offering a mellow night in the spooky lounge.
Brush Creek Saloon
For those down valley, The Brush Creek Saloon is combining their normal karoake night with Halloween. A $20 cover includes free food and drink specials. Winners in the costume contest will leave with cash.
“We only sell 80 tickets, then lock the door,” said manager Michael Feather. “So it’s like going to a private party.”
Vendetta’s is just finishing a remodel. They hope to be open for Halloween, but aren’t making any promises.
Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.