Vail to celebrate closing day Sunday |

Vail to celebrate closing day Sunday

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Closing day for the 2010-2011 ski and snowboard season on Vail Mountain is Sunday. Vail Resorts is inviting skiers and snowboarders to celebrate both on and off the mountain.

“With one of the best snow seasons is recent memory nearing a close, we have a lot to be thankful for this season and reason to reminisce with friends and family,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “It’s a privilege to celebrate Vail’s closing day and we ask that all who choose to join in the festivities both on and off the mountain respect the opportunity as well as our natural surroundings so that we can continue to celebrate together for years to come.”

On the mountain, Blue Sky Basin will begin closing at 1:30 p.m.; China Bowl gates and the Sun Up Lift (No. 17) will close at 2:30 and Sun Up Bowl and Sun Down Bowl gates will close at 3:30 p.m. All remaining lifts on the front side will shut down for the season at 4 p.m. As is customary on closing day, Vail Ski Patrol will detonate a series of avalanche explosives at about 4:30 p.m. to signal the end of the season.

For those picnicking on the mountain, trash and recycling containers will be provided. Skiers and riders are also reminded that late spring conditions exist and are encouraged to descend or download early, Vail Resorts said. Once Vail Ski Patrol sweeps the mountain, it will remain closed until summer operations resume in early June.

Also beginning at 4 p.m. the U.S. Forest Service will be implementing a “Special Order Closure” on Vail Mountain, which prohibits unauthorized access to closed areas within Vail’s Special Use Permit to help facilitate a safe end to the ski and snowboard season, Vail Resorts said in a press release. Police and Forest Service staff will be present on Vail Mountain to enforce laws and rules.

“We are happy to see people of all ages enjoying the end of a spectacular snow season. However, the safety of Vail Mountain’s guests and employees as well as the public servicemen and women remains a top priority, particularly during closing day celebrations,” said Don Dressler, snow ranger for the White River National Forest. “Individuals who choose to abuse the day by engaging in unsafe or disrespectful behavior risk removal from the mountain by law enforcement and loss of future skiing and riding privileges.”

Vail Resorts is reminding skiers and snowboarders that using any ski lift or trail while impaired by alcohol or controlled substances is prohibited under the Colorado Ski Safety Act. Guests are also not permitted to ride lifts, ski or snowboard on Vail Mountain with open containers or exposed quantities of alcohol, coolers, suitcase-like carriers, barbecues or similar items, the ski company said. One daypack per person will be permitted on closing day, provided the bag fits in a five-gallon container. Bags that do not meet the requirement will only be allowed if they contain no alcohol or controlled substances, Vail Resorts said.

As in recent years, violators who are ticketed or arrested or caught throwing snowballs will lose skiing and snowboarding privileges for the 2011-2012 season, VR said. Those who disobey posted signs and closures or engage in other inappropriate behavior will lose skiing and snowboarding privileges for the first month and last week of the 2011-2012 season, according to the ski company.

In Golden Peak, the World Pond Skimming Championships will get under way at 3 p.m. The competition will run until about 4:30 p.m., followed by a free outdoor concert from Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars at Checkpoint Charlie in Vail Village as part of Spring Back to Vail.

For more information on Spring Back to Vail and closing day, visit

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