Vail Mountain opening of Dawg Haus returns Blue Sky Basin to full service for the first time since 2019-20
Vail Mountain on Tuesday opened Earl’s Express (No. 38) and The Dawg Haus restaurant, returning Blue Sky Basin to full service levels for the first time since the 2019-20 season.
The Dawg Haus restaurant is located adjacent to the base of Pete’s Express (No. 39) in Blue Sky Basin and has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the lifts in March 2020.
The Dawg Haus reopened on Tuesday, serving hot dogs, bratwursts and chili, along with grab-and-go items like chips and candy bars. The restaurant is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
With Earl’s Express running, the grills at Belle’s Camp available for public use and the Dawg Haus open for business, Blue Sky Basin is now seeing full-service levels for the 2022-23 season.
Last season, as staffing issues abridged the guest experience on the mountain, Earl’s Express and the public grills at Belle’s Camp in Blue Sky Basin did not open until Feb. 12.
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A month later, Vail Resorts CEO Kirstin Lynch announced the company would be raising its minimum wage to $20 per hour in an effort to return operations to normal staffing levels.
The move appears to be having a positive effect thus far on Vail Mountain, with the opening of the Dawg Haus representing the first taste of a full-service experience in Blue Sky Basin in years.
But not everything is back to full operation just yet. Guests are still waiting for lift service in Inner and Outer Mongolia Bowls, served by the Mongolia Poma (No. 22), and earlier this year, weekend lessons were difficult to get for some families.
The tubing hill is not yet operational in the Eagle’s Next area, meaning there’s no lift-served tubing in Eagle County with Beaver Creek no longer offering tubing, as well. The nearest lift-served tubing hill can be found at the Frisco Adventure Park.
Elsewhere on the mountain, the dedicated surface lift (Black Forest No. 27) for the Avanti Skills Zone is not yet operational, but The Coop restaurant near the Black Forest area got up and running last week, offering chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches cooked on site along with indoor and outdoor seating and bathrooms.
Connectivity between on-mountain portals was completed on Thursday with the opening of Cascade Way, so skiers can now connect to Cascade Village on-snow without a download. On the other side of the mountain, the Highline Express lift (No. 10) can be reached via Golden Peak using the Brick Walk trail at the Riva Bahn Express (No. 6) mid-stop. The Golden Peak access point is the route most recommended by the Vail Mountain staffers themselves.
“We love heading up the hill from Golden Peak!” Vail Mountain posted in a blog post published Friday. “It’s only a few minutes’ walk from the heart of Vail Village or one more bus stop, and offers a much quieter way up via Riva Bahn Express.”