Vail and Beaver Creek Culture and Nightlife

Colorado Ski Towns Face Off in Energy Challenge

imagesAspen, Crested Butte and Vail compete for skier days every winter. But this March, the towns and the counties they’re located in will go head-to-head for energy assessments in the Energy Smart Challenge.  In 2010, Eagle, Pitkin and Gunnison Counties all received Department of Energy grant funding to offer the Energy Smart Program. Now, in the third year of the program, it’s time for a little friendly competition.

The Energy Smart Challenge kicked off on Friday and will end on Earth Day, April 20. Every homeowner who signs up for an energy assessment during the Energy Smart Challenge will be entered into a raffle for a free pair of custom, locally-made skis. One lucky participant from the Aspen/Snowmass area, including Basalt, Redstone, Marble and unincorporated Pitkin and Eagle Counties within the Roaring Fork Valley, will win a pair of custom-made Double Barrel Meier skis from beetle-kill pine.

Besides good karma and bragging rights, the winning county will also receive recognition on the Energy Smart and Protect Our Winters websites and an Energy Smart Pizza Party for the community.

“Since the program began, we’ve facilitated 3,111 home energy assessments and 1,439 home energy improvements,” said Amelia Potvin, the Energy Smart Program Manager in Pitkin County. “The Energy Smart Challenge is a way to encourage more homeowners to take advantage of the program.”

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Review: Beano’s Cabin, Beaver Creek

IMG_9711In the hot heat of summer guests to Beano’s Cabin arrive at the Beaver Creek stables, hop on a horse and enjoy a one hour trot to dinner. The trip offers breathtaking views of the mountains, aspen forest, wild raspberries bushes, friendly deer and the rush of a raging river. Never have I journeyed this way to a feast, Colorado cowboy style. It makes you feel as though you’ve earned the 5-course meal waiting for you upon arrival.

After walking through the entrance of Beano’s luxurious alpine lodge my jaw dropped. I was greeted by a smiling host who stood in front of a cozy lounge featuring rock adorned fireplace. The decor here is classic Rocky Mountain lore featuring bear skin hide, antique ski and snow shoes, deer bust, framed cowboy loving landscapes and elk antler chandeliers. The property is located a significant hike from the resort at the top of a mountain thus offering stunning views via the dining rooms floor to ceiling windows. Throughout the meal a local musician strummed his guitar crooning moody Gorden Lightfoot vocals which sent chills down my spine.

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10 Reasons to Visit Vail with Kids….in the Summertime!

vailWhen most people think of Vail, they think of fantastic winter sports – skiing, snowshoeing, snow boarding. Not many people think of it as a summer destination. There’s a saying in Vail that “people come for the winter but stay for the summer,” and there are actually a lot of tangible reasons for it.

Surprisingly (to some of us who weren’t already in the know), Vail has a lot to offer families in the summertime. For those who already knew this, they may not even want others to get in on the scoop. Vail isn’t an over-crowded place to visit, mainly because it’s very large and spread out. The climate is always mild. Vail natives say that they have “great sleeping weather,” meaning you can always open your window for a cool breeze. It makes for great weather for biking, hiking, exploring and playing outdoors. A trip to Vail is quite affordable, too. There is a variety of accommodation options to match every budget and a lot of free activities.

So here we have our top 10 reasons to visit Vail with the kids in the summertime. Start your end of summer or next summer planning now!

Click here to read the top 10 reasons why you should Visit Vail in the Summer!

Colorado’s Top 13 Family Vacation Ideas for Summer 2013

indexSummer is just around the corner and you don’t need to look far to have a world-class vacation with your family. From theater hikes to Outhouse Races to free events galore, we have the inside scoop on All Things Colorado.


It may be summertime but Snowmass has returned to the Ice Age with the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center that features the most significant Ice Age ecosystem find in Colorado history (and it’s free). Touch a mastodon tooth, marvel at a half-sized 6-foot Wooden Mammoth Skeleton, do a dig of your own or a daily Ice Age Discovery Hike by  Environment Studies.  Visit the Snowmass Rodeo on Wednesday nights (June 12- August 28) and sign up your kids for the Calf Scramble and Mutton Busting. Ride the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain where the Elk Camp Restaurant will open for activities including downhill biking, dinner, campfires, live music, movies, Stryder Park and Kid’s Playground on Friday evenings. Try your hand at some slopeside bowling at the new bowling alley below Venga Venga Cantina featuring eight full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, wood-fired oven pizzas, upscale bar food and more. Then, get inspired at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a stellar place for kids of all ages to take workshops that include sculpture, photography, painting, beading, and mask-making.

Click here to read about all the other fun Colorado towns.

Triumph Winterfest, An Outdoor Art Installation, Honors Vail’s 50th Anniversary

The town of Vail’s Art in Public Places announced the dates for the sixth annual Triumph Winterfest AlpenGLOW with The Logan Ice Theater this week. The exhibit will open Dec. 21. This celebration and examination of the effects of ice, light, color and imagery is an interactive outdoor art installation along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail Village. It begins amidst the festivities of Vail’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Transforming the idyllic Gore Creek Promenade into an outdoor cinematic experience, The Logan Ice Theater will be a gathering venue for all ages to enjoy. When the sun sets, images and videos will be projected upon a 10-foot-tall screen created from blocks of ice. This first-of-its-kind outdoor ice screen in Vail will display an array of images and videos that capture the spirit of Vail’s 50th anniversary celebrations, winter sports, and recreation.

“We are excited to explore the effects of the moving image when cast through ice on a large scale,” said Nathan Cox from Pink Monkey Solutions. Pink Monkey is an event design and production boutique with an emphasis on lighting, décor and sound in the Vail Valley since 2005. They have produced the lighting for the Triumph Winterfest exhibitions since its inception in 2008.

Inspired from the optical phenomenon of sunlight and mountain horizons, AlpenGLOW will be a creation of direct lighting in ice throughout the Gore Creek Promenade. Paul Wertin of Alpine Ice, will create lantern inspired ice sculptures that will radiate a variety of hues throughout this location. People can walk amongst the ice sculptures that will illuminate the creek and its surroundings with a unique atmospheric experience.

Triumph Winterfest begins during the festivities of Vail Family Holidaze and Vail’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The Logan Ice Theater opens the evening of Dec. 21 and the official lighting of AlpenGLOW will take place during the evening of Jan. 18. The exhibitions will continue through February, weather permitting.

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Pot Votes in CO Raise Specter of Weed Tourism

Hit the slopes — and then a bong?

Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don’t just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug laws for residents. The measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

Both marijuana measures make marijuana possession in small amounts OK for all adults over 21 — not just state residents but visitors, too. Tourists may not be able to pack their bowls along with their bags, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they wouldn’t violate the marijuana measures.

Of course, that’s assuming the recreational marijuana measures take effect at all. That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy. But that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation, especially in Colorado, where tourism is the No. 2 industry thanks to the Rocky Mountains and a vibrant ski industry.

The day after Colorado approved recreational marijuana by a wide margin, the headline in the Aspen Times asked, “Aspendam?” referring to Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom. “It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said. Maybe not. But many are asking about marijuana tourism.

Ski resorts are “certainly watching it closely,” said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 Colorado resorts.

The Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located seem to have made up their minds. The marijuana measure passed by overwhelming margins, with more support than in less visited areas.

The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.

“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.

Marijuana backers downplayed the impact on tourism. Aldworth pointed out that pot-smoking tourists wouldn’t exactly be new. Colorado ski slopes already are dotted with “smoke shacks,” old mining cabins that have been illicitly repurposed as places to smoke pot out of the cold. And the ski resort town of Breckenridge dropped criminal penalties for marijuana use two years ago.


Top Ski Resort for Thanksgiving: Beaver Creek Makes The Cut

Here’s a couple of secrets about Thanksgiving holiday skiing and riding. Turkey Day tends to be light on crowds at many U.S. resorts. November isn’t peak season, so resorts offer reduced lodging rates. Plus, you can avoid kitchen stress by dining out on traditional holiday meals of roast turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Sure, the fledgling snowpack may rely on heavy snowmaking for groomer skiing, but most skiers’ legs need to adjust to slope pounding. Barring fickle weather, six North American ski resorts are fairly safe bets for 2012 Thanksgiving ski holidays, and they throw in off-snow fun, too.

What are you waiting for? Time to make Thanksgiving reservations.

Beaver Creek Resort adds to warm holiday traditions by passing out cookies hot from the oven for their Thanksgiving Day opening. The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition features the top five finalists baking up 1,000 cookies each. You can vote on the tastiest and work off the calories skiing on the slopes.

The day following Thanksgiving, a Colorado blue spruce takes center stage at the outdoor ice rink for the annual Beaver Creek Tree Lighting Ceremony to launch the Christmas season. Music, fireworks, live performances, Santa, a free kid-friendly film, hot chocolate and the Gingerbread Competition round out the family entertainment.

Click here to see the other resorts that made the cut.

50 Ways To Enjoy Vail

The US resort is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and has drawn up a list of 50 must-see events, activities, sights and more during the resorts 50th anniversary season. So, which one would you like to do most?

It was in 1962 than the early pioneers started skiing in Vail. It is now one of the largest ski resorts in the USA with more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain.

There are seven back bowls that cover seven miles. It claims to have more groomed terrain than anywhere else in North America.

As its 50th birthday celebrations get underway there is a brand new state of the art gondola and a whole host of activities to get people in the mood.

And 50 experiences to enjoy…

Vail Mountain to Host World’s Largest Ski Day to Conquer Cancer: Pink Vail 2013

On March 9, 2013, Vail Mountain welcomes hundreds of skiers and riders decked out in their finest pink apparel. These everyday athletes will gather in Vail for a one-day on-mountain event to raise awareness and funds in support of Shaw Regional Cancer Center’s new survivorship program. One of the country’s premiere boutique cancer treatment facilities, Shaw’s physicians and cancer specialists provide an innovative, holistic approach that empowers cancer patients to become cancer survivors. Pink Vail returns to Vail Mountain on Saturday, March 9, as the world’s largest ski day to conquer cancer.

Pink Vail is a participation-based fundraising event similar to a run or walk to support a cause – in this case, the cause is cancer. Participants receive pledges, or sponsorships, to ski Vail Mountain during the one-day event. Skiers and riders may participate as individuals or as members of a team, and registration and fundraising efforts are tracked through the event website at

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