Vail Terrain Conditions for Opening Day!

As everyone in the valley knows that Vail Mountain opens tomorrow and everyone is excited! This morning we got a couple inches of fresh powder for everyone to enjoy! The mountain’s operation crew was proud to announce today that both Vail Village and Lionshead Village base areas will be opened thanks to the cold temperatures and the most recent snow fall.

This is what Vail had to say regarding the terrain for tomorrow:

The majority of skiing and riding will be available on Born Free with connecting routes from the top of Gondola One and the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola. Beginner terrain will be available at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola around Little Eagle Lift (#15). We are very close to opening much more terrain on natural snow, we just need a little more snow and, more importantly, cold temperatures for our snowmakers and groomers to fill in the few gaps and ditches to connect everything together safely. Ski Patrol is evaluating trails every day and once a run is safe and skiable, we will drop ropes immediately. 

Here’s what Vail’s COO, Chris Jarnot, had to say about openings: “We are very close to being able to open up much more additional terrain on mostly natural snow, and just need a bit more snow and, most importantly, cold temperatures to allow our snowmakers and groomers to fill in a few ditches, holes and gaps to connect everything together safely.  Ski Patrol will be evaluating trails every day, and we will open up as much additional terrain as we can, as soon as we can open it safely for all of our guests.  Keep your fingers crossed for continued snow and for cold temperatures, and we’ll get there soon.” 

Skiing and riding will be offered from Gondola One, Born Free Express Lift (#8), the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Little Eagle Lift (#15) beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, November 22nd. Until more terrain opens, all of Vail Mountain is considered a slow zone. Please me in control and considerate of others.

Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series

Bud Light Street Beat

Come visit Vail over a Street Beat free concert weekend! The Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series presented by the Vail Valley Foundation has already kicked off for the season. The lineup for this winter is incredible. Concerts are on various Thursday nights throughout the season, so be sure to plan your Vail vacation to include one of these great free concerts!

Thursday, January 19th at 6:30pm- WhiteWater Ramble @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, February 16th at 6:30pm- Leroy Justice @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, March 8th at 6:30pm- Less Than Jake @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thurday, March 15th at 6:30pm- Lez Zeppelin @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, March 22nd at 6:30pm TBA @ Golden Peak, Vail Mountain

Thursday, March 29th at 6:30pm- Rootz Underground @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, April 5th at 6:30pm- Kinky @ The Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead Village

Thursday, April 12th at 6:30- Funkiphino followed by the Volvo Giveaway @ Solaris in Vail Village

Take a look at all the great events Vail Valley Foundation has to offer at www.vvf.og to help plan your winter vacation!

Travelling to Vail this summer? Check out the latest travel tips from NY Times, Colorado.com, and others!

David Pogue talks smart phone apps, flight search engines, best check-in practices, and lap-top friendly flights on his NYTimes.com blog, Pogue’s Posts. See the lastest in travel technology here.

Colorado.com, the official site of Colorado Tourism, has all the basic travel tips for coming to the High Rockies. Here are a couple of helpful ones for the summertime:

  1. Colorado is the highest-altitude state in the U.S. Drink more water than usual, moderate alcohol and tobacco intake, and, if possible, spend a night in the intermediate-elevation Front Range (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, or Colorado Springs) or Western Slope (Grand Junction, Fruita, or the Four Corners region) before coming up to Vail. Also, always wear sunscreen and reapply diligently!
  2. Weather changes rapidly here. Dress in layers! It will be cool in the mornings and evenings (mid 40s to high 50s) and then warm during the day (anywhere from low 70s to high 80s). Also, it is currently monsoon season, which means afternoon thunderstorms roll an hour or two after lunchtime. They rarely last very long, but raingear is recommended.

*Staff suggestion: Please know that most properties in the High Rockies do not have air conditioning! Due to the dry climate and high altitude, it is rarely necessary. We recommend leaving your windows open throughout the day and evening (with exception to the afternoon thunderstorms). It will circulate air through your condo and keep it cool.

Lonely Planet, the world-renown travel guidebook publisher, lists Colorado’s top scenic drives as:

  1. Top of the Rockies (115 miles) takes you from Leadville, the highest incorporated town in America at 10,430 feet, down Fremont Pass. Follow Hwy 24 down Tennessee Pass to Minturn. Then bear right on Hwy 92 toward Twin Likes before going over Independence Pass and into Aspen.
  2. Independence Pass (27 miles) is an abbreviated version of the drive explained above, but classic nonetheless. It’s full of old mining ruins, alpine tundra, and glaciers.
  3. Trail Ridge Road (47 miles) goes over the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is one of the best places to see moose and elk. Highlights include Milner Pass and the tiny town of Grand Lake at the west entrance.
  4. Peak to Peak Hwy (55 miles) runs south to north from I-70 outside of Denver up to Estes Park, at the east entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the way it passes small mining and bohemian towns alike and showcases extraordinary high country scenery, including views of 14,255-foot Longs Peak.
  5. Highway of Legends (110 miles) starts in the southern Colorado town of Trinidad and takes Hwy 12 through Cokedale, passing 300 coke ovens en route over Cucharas Pass as well as the extinct volcanoes, Spanish Peaks.
  6. Santa Fe Trail (188 miles each way) is a long, historic route through southeastern Colorado (again leaving from the Trinidad area) that cross into Kansas. Take Hwy 350 to La Junta, driving through expansive grasslands and ranches. The out-and-back’s highlights include Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, Iron Spring and Picketwire Dinosaur Tracksite.

*Staff pick for driving tour (not on list above): Shrine Pass. From Vail, take I-70 east towards Denver. Get off at exit 190. Merge onto the dirt road south of the highway, following signs for Shrine Pass. There is a 4.6-mile round-trip hike that tours wildflowers on the way up to Shrine Mountain Crags. The scenery at the top is similar to Vail Mountain’s back bowls, but significantly untouched. Hike or not, continue on the 4WD road as it winds through White River National Forest with views of Mount of the Holy Cross. The dirt road brings you into the small town of Red Cliff. Head through town, then turn right on Hwy 24 and drive through Minturn. Merge onto I-70 east to come back to Vail.

–Vail Spa concierges, 8/6/11

Upcoming Events in the Vail Valley: July 14 to 21

This Friday Bluzilla plays Friday Afternoon Club from 5 to 9pm at Eagles Nest on the top of Vail Mountain. The gondola is free to season pass holders and children four and under. Five to 12-year-olds also ride free when accompanied by an adult with a paid ticket. Lift tickets are $15, including a $10 voucher for the purchase of on-mountain food and beverages at Talon’s Deck Grill and Bistro Fourteen or Adventure Ridge activities. Complimentary shuttles will also be running to Game Creek.

The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival continues as well, with the Philadelphia Orchestra visiting. The schedule for the upcoming week is as follows:

Friday, July 15: Dawn of a New Century, Strauss’ Ein Heidenleben and Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, 6pm, Ford Amphitheater

Saturday, July 16:  Carmina Burana featuring the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Colorado Children’s Chorale

Monday, July 18: Joie de Vivre: The Artistry of a New Generation, Calder Quartet & Mana Saxophone Quartet, 6pm Vail Mountain School

Tuesday, July 19: Soiree II, An Evening with Gabriel Kahane Music for the Ear, Intellect and Soul, 6pm, Home of Jeanne and Jim Gustafson

Wednesday, July 20: Big Music for Little Bands, The Artistry of Gabriel Kahane, 6pm, Vilar Performing Arts Center

Thursday, July 21: Let Music Swell the Breeze: Sounds of America, Mana Saxophone Quartet, 12pm, Vail Interfaith Chapel

The New York Philharmonic arrives next Friday for a week-long stint.

Beaver Creek hosts the XTERRA Mountain Championship with the triathlon on Saturday and the trail run on Sunday. The triathlon includes a one-mile swim, a 15.5-mile mountain bike ride, and a 5.75-mile run beginning at Nottingham Lake. Sunday’s half-marathon and 10K will be a lung-busting out-and-back from Beaver Creek to Bachelor Gulch. Patagonia is offering 30% off retail during the XTERRA weekend. The Coyote Café is offering 15% off entrees as well as drink specials on PBR during the showing of “180 South,” the documentary about adventurer Jeff Johnson and his recount of Patagonia founders’ 1968 excursion through Argentina.

Festival-goers head to Green Mountain Reservoir for Gish’s Getaway Music and Arts Festival this Friday through Sunday. Admission is only $10, but limited to the first 150 people who show. State Bridge hosts Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Yamn, and Ultraviolet Hippopotamus on Saturday at 1pm. Admission is $15 in advance, $18 day of the show.

DJ Epidemix and DJ Koncept play Sandbar at 9pm Friday; DJ Sonic plays the same time at Samana.

Welcome to the Vail Spa blog!

Finally, after the biggest winter in record, it's summertime in Vail!

 Welcome to the Vail Spa blog, which provides you with booking specials and up-to-date concierge information!

This weekend, June 24 to 26, brings an extraordinary mixture of cultural and athletic events to the Vail Valley. 

Today the Colorado-Eagle River Ride opened registration for its 10th Anniversary. Interested parties can visit SOS Outreach and register under the “River Ride” tab.  You can call SOS Outreach directly (970) 926-9292. Cost is $90 with a jersey, $65 without. After today, the price goes up to $100. Same-day registration is $130. The River Ride raises almost $50,000 to SOS Outreach every year. The bicycle ride goes from Beaver Creek to Wolcott up CO Highway 131 to Colorado River Road down to Dotsero and back to Beaver Creek. There are options to do a century, 68-mile, or 42-mile ride.

Here in Lionshead the Vail Arts Festival will showcase everything from glass to jewelry to bronze sculpture to photography. Admission is free all three days: Friday and Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Vail Mountain is now open every day, meaning Friday Afternoon Club kicks off at Adventure Ridge today! Andrew McConathy & Friends will give the first concert of the year at 4pm.

Those willing to travel a bit should hit up the new-and-improved State Bridge riverside amphitheather for the three-day Roots River Reggae Festival. Stephen Marley & the Toots & the Maytals are headlining. State Bridge is located on the Upper Colorado River along the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway between Bond and Kremmling. It’s about 40 minutes from Vail.

The Vail Lacrosse Shootout will take place at Ford Park, Donovan Park, the Athletic Field just past Golden Peak, Avon Fields 1 and 2, Edwards Fields, and the Berry Creek Middle School Fields.

Beaver Creek hosts the Tough Mudder, a nine-mile-long obstacle course, this Saturday and Sunday. Estimated time of completion is 2 hours and 30 minutes, with more than 4,000 feet of elevation change all the way. The obstacles range from mud pits to mounds of snow to wooden walls. Tough Mudder’s has events across the globe, with the top 5 percent qualifying for the World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour race held in Englishtown, NJ this December.

Weekend staples such as the Minturn Market (Saturday), Edwards Farmers Market (Saturday) and Vail Farmer’s Market (Sunday) return, though in better weather than last week!

The Minturn Market is open every Saturday.

CineBistro in Solaris is offering Cars 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Green Lantern in 3D.

Zach Heckendorf plays at the Club tonight and Saturday night at 9:30pm–admission is free! He may only be 18 years old, but he did play the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheater, and KBCO’s Studio C.  

Enjoy the weekend!