Howard: Summer on the horizon |

Howard: Summer on the horizon

It seems like we flipped a switch from celebrating our 60th winter season right into peak spring! I continue to be grateful to our Vail Mountain team and the entire community for executing such an excellent ski and ride season. This will be a season I will never forget, with many fond memories.

With spring already in full force, summer is on the horizon. Although we still have the last bit of world-class race training occurring on snow with our partners at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, the mountain operations team has quickly been buttoning up winter, preparing for spring runoff and wildlife closures, and putting the foundation in place for an enjoyable summer season.

In just a few short weeks, we’ll be spinning Gondola One during the official kickoff to summer — the GoPro Mountain Games from June 8-11. Our partners at the Vail Valley Foundation always put on a great event, and we’re proud to partner with them during this celebratory week of adventure sports, arts and music. Gondola One will be running on Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Then the following week, Vail Mountain will officially open for summer operations on June 16 with both Gondola One and Eagle Bahn Gondola ferrying guests to our beautiful vistas and summer activities.

The Vail Mountain Senior Leadership Team has been working hard to program a fun summer on the mountain. Bike haul will return with our signature freestyle trails, as will scenic gondola rides, hiking, dining at Mid-Vail and Eagle’s Nest, and a full-service bar at Bistro 14.

We will be operating Epic Discovery activities focused on our most engaged audience — kids. Summer activities will include the Forest Flyer, Summer Tubing, Paramount Peak Rock Climbing Wall, Bungee Trampoline, Little Eagle Zipline, Gore Creek Mini Golf and our Interactive Trail System. By focusing on the Kid’s Summer Adventure Pass and activities that engage our family visitors, we can better serve our most engaged guests in our summer mountaintop activity experience.

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Since many of you are Epic Pass holders, I want to make sure you get the most value this summer. 2023-24 passholders receive summer benefits including summer scenic gondola rides, and 20 percent off summer food, lodging, bike rentals and golf. On top of that, I’m very excited by the amazing lineup of events our community is putting on, from the legendary Vail Farmer’s Market to Hot Summer Nights, there is so much summer fun on the horizon.

Before you know it, summer will be here, and I can’t wait to welcome you back to the mountain. Until then, enjoy some solitude and beautiful spring weather.

Beth Howard is the vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.

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