In the Long Run

The town of Vail recently began to explore becoming a sustainable destination. Our fragile mountain eco system depends on active preservation efforts from all members of the community.

Vail Spa and East West Destination Hospitality have established an Eco Care committee that takes great pride in active involvement and leadership in sustainable practices. As a member of the  Eco Care team I feel empowered by the opportunity to support the preservation of our high country heaven.   LoraxThrough programs such as Actively Green and the Environmental Leadership Program, we seek to create environmental awareness for guests and employees. Measurable results such as:

  • Common area lighting upgrades reduced electricity usage by 114,800 KWH (2013-2015)
  • Consistent measurement of waste diversion rate:  18% in 2015 with a new goal of 25% in 2016

spark recognition in the value of sustainable practices.

Our property is currently undergoing a major renovation that includes green initiatives to modernize inefficient systems. Pool heaters are changing from electric and boiler systems to solar heat, refurbishment of elevators, and replacement of windows and doors. The project will conclude this fall and we are excited to see measurable results in energy savings.

The idea of sustainability is an ever evolving creature and requires constant attention and encouragement. Here in the Vail Valley the seasons set the pace for life, nature is life.


Thank You Mother Nature

With another storm moving in and the current snowpack still looking good, it’s time to get out there and get after it for one last frozen adventure. Here are some tips to capitalize on the gifts of snow and sunshine that mother nature has graciously provided us this spring:

  1. Be sure to get a good spring tune on your skis or snowboard before you head up the hill. This will greatly improve speed and mobility in the sticky spring conditions. Head over to Charter Sports  to get on the fast track to smooth turns.
  2. Slather up with sunscreen! The sun is shining and that means sunburns! The reflection off the snow intensifies the suns rays so be sure to protect yourself with at least SPF 30
  3. BBQ on mountain! Bring your brats and dogs to the on mountain grills and you are sure to have a sizzling spring experience.
  4. Get decked out in the craziest costume you can find. From banana costumes to vintage onesies closing day dawns a sight to see!
  5. And of course be safe on your last run down. 


For me, my favorite part of closing day is the last run down. This usually occurs long after the lifts have stopped spinning.The mountain takes on the lawless persona of a ghost town, and those last few turns remind us all good things must come to an end. Fear not, the lifts will turn again and that frozen freedom we long for all summer will return.

Vail Spa Renovation



When Vail Spa was completed in 1980, it was considered to be of late-modernist architectural interest, unique in the Lionshead Village. Far from Ordinary… that’s our slogan. We are proud of our unique style, and plan to preserve it for years to come.

We are pleased to announce that the Vail Spa homeowners have approved major exterior and interior renovations to take place in the spring, summer and fall of 2016. Don’t worry, we’ll still be the Vail Spa that you know and love, with improvements you’re sure to enjoy for many years to come!

Whether you are a summer or a winter visitor, we look forward to inviting you back to your home-away-from-home in Vail. We hope you’ll be one of the first to experience the new and improved Vail Spa Condominiums.

To ensure your safety and satisfaction, we are closing our doors during construction, from April through November of 2016. We will miss you this summer! Please mark your calendars for our Grand Unveiling which will occur in early December 2016.



Hope on a Slope and How to Cope

The days are growing longer, and crystalline snow capped peaks give way to mountains of mud.  While some of us handle this transition with grace and hope for new adventures, others simply crumble like corn snow.

We focus on the renewed feelings of spring in an effort to embrace the grace of mother nature, yet our thirst for fresh powder turns, and the sense of freedom found on the slopes cannot be quenched.

Closing Day here in Vail brings about a slippery slope of  melancholy. Glorious pow stashes that free our souls all season long, endless blue skies, and the love of winter that brings us all together in this special place, these are my favorite things and thinking about them ending for a few months gets me choked up every time.

For the most part I cope with the end of the season with sheer hope. Hope that next year will bring more pow and endless adventure, as it always does. The same hope that I carry around all season and dedicate my snow dances to. Hope is a powerful feeling and a necessity on the path of life. Ernst Bloch proclaims that human hope is an “utopian hunger” in his work “Principle of Hope.”

Then there are all of the end of season festivities to get excited about!  Pond Skimming Championships, FREE Live Music  and silly costumes are highlights of the celebration. Don’t miss it!

Now get out there and embrace what time we have left in our winter wonderland, while holding hope that next season will be filled with endless adventures, blue skies, deep powder, and freedom found.



Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all. ~Emily Dickinson



With Labor Day approaching rapidly and all the kiddies going back to school it seems summer is winding down. But it isn’t over yet! The valley is still rockin’ with fun and festivities for all.

Gourmet on Gore is open to the public and features an array of culinary talent. The event runs Friday September 4th – gourmet on the goreMonday September 7th.  Featured events include the Open Air Tasting on Saturday and Sunday from 11-6 on Gore Creek Drive in Vail. The finale will be the Brunch on Bridge Street on Labor Day Monday, September 7th.

The annual Vail Jazz Party is not just about music, but about having fun! It is also the grand finale of the Vail Jazz Festival that has enchanted our valley all summvail jazzer. Vail Spa Condominiums and Vail Jazz have teamed up to offer our best summer rates and a complimentary bottle of wine when you stay two or more nights in a 2 or 3 bedroom residence, just be sure to mention the Vail Jazz Party when completing your reservation

Vail Jazz strives to promote jazz by reaching out to young musicians and young audiences in an effort to keep this American genre alive.  The Vail Jazz Party creates a unique ambiance with a fusion of multi-artist jam sessions and tributes to jazz legends. With over 35 hours of jazz music, The Vail Jazz Party is a shindig you don’t want to miss.

The Annual Vail Rotary Duck Race is also held in Vail Village on Sunday, September 6th. Rotary members sell “duck adoption Sunsetpapers” prior to the race. Adopt your duck online for a chance to win a million dollars! The yellow rubber ducks will race down Gore Creek to the finish line under International Bridge. Prizes are awarded for those holding the “adoption papers” for the winning ducks. The event funds local scholarships for young adults in the Vail Valley. You may also buy your ducks at the Vail Farmers Market  and Art show.

Don’t fret summer is still hanging on in the High Country.

Get your Hike on


The Walking Mountain Science Center offers many free activities that continue through the beginning of September. Listed below are some of these free events. Events are also offered at their Avon location. Enjoy these last few weeks of Summer with some fresh air and beautiful views.

013Nature Hikes

7 Days a Week, 11am-12pm & 2-3pm.  Most ages and abilities, FREE.

Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 7-8pm.  Most ages and abilities, FREE.

Nature Discovery Center

Top of Eagle Bahn Gondola. Vail, Co (970) 754.4675

Meadow Mountain Hikes

Mondays & Fridays, 10am-12pm.  Ages 10 and up, FREE.

Holy Cross Ranger Station

24747 US-24. Minturn, Co (970) 827.5715

Nature at Night: Campground Programs

Saturdays, 7-8pm.  All ages, FREE.

Gore Creek, Teoman Park & Sylvan Lake Campgrounds

Creekside Nature Tours

Sundays, 11am-12pm.  All ages, Donations accepted.

Meet at Walking Mountains Farmers Market Booth.

Vail Mountain Evening Hikes

Enjoy an evening hike on Vail Mountain as the sun starts to set and wildlife become more active. Learn about the habits of the crepuscular and nocturnal animals who make the mountains their home. Take in beautiful mountain views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges at dusk. Most ages and abilities, FREE. No reservation required, just show up!

Nature Discovery Center 

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountains

Schedule: Thursdays. Fridays & Saturdays | 7:00pm-8:00pm | June 25th through September 5th

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

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