Blue Sky Basin marks 15 years at Vail Mountain

Since its opening 15 years ago on Jan. 6, 2000, Blue Sky Basin has become a legendary area on Vail Mountain and a favorite amongst locals and guests from around the world.

This outer-most area of the resort offers a distinct backcountry feel, complete with glades, cliffs, steeps, and often plenty of powder and fresh tracks within 645 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain!

In honor and celebration of Blue Sky Basin’s 15th anniversary at Vail Mountain, following is a list of the 15 things we love about this legendary area of Vail Mountain!

  1. A Powder Day!

It goes without saying that Blue Sky Basin powder days are the best days! An abundance of powder, fresh tracks and secret stashes await skiers and snowboarders here after recent snowfalls.

  1. The Backcountry-Like Feel

Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy all the ambience of the backcountry, including barn-like structures, gladed terrain, cliffs and steeps, all within the safety of the ski resort boundaries. The NSAA even awarded Vail with the Silver Eagle award in 2000 for excellence in visual impact.

  1. Its Size

With 645 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain, Blue Sky Basin alone is bigger than many individual ski resorts around the United States! That’s a lot of terrain to explore in addition to the rest of Vail’s more than 5,000 acres of terrain.

  1. Gladed Terrain

Known for its amazing natural gladed terrain, Blue Sky Basin, offers fantastic tree skiing in places like Champagne Glade, Steep and Deep, and Resolution.

  1. Groomers, too!

Intermediate skiers and snowboarders don’t be shy, Vail Mountain’s snowcats still make the seven-plus mile journey out to Blue Sky Basin each day to groom trails like Big Rock Park, Grand Review and The Star.

  1. Grilling at Belle’s Camp

Pack up the burgers and brats, and head out to Blue Sky Basin’s Belle’s Camp for the ultimate on-mountain barbeque complete with expansive views of the Sawatch Mountains and Ten-Mile range.

  1. The Views

Blue Sky Basin’s terrain isn’t the only thing that takes your breath away in this outer-most area on Vail Mountain. Panoramic views of surrounding mountain peaks and of Vail’s legendary Back Bowls are just as impressive as the sheer variety of terrain.

  1. Lover’s Leap

Whether you take the plunge solo, or with a partner, Blue Sky Basin’s Lover’s Leap is sure to get your heart pounding as you slide up to the edge of the cornice and take a leap of faith onto the steep snow surface below.

  1. Choose Your Own Adventure through Big Rock Park

No two runs are ever the same when skiing and snowboarding down Big Rock Park. Stick to the main-groomed trail, weave in and out of tree islands, pop into the trees for fresh powder, and make this run all your own!

  1. Dawg Haus

Break for a brew and a brat at this trail-side hot dog stand in between laps on Pete’s Express Lift (#39). It’s the perfect quick lunch stop for hungry skiers and snowboarders who don’t want to break from their powder laps for too long.

  1. The Name and Historical Connection

The name of the area honors the Ute Indians, the original settlers of the Vail Valley, who were referred to as the “Blue Sky People.” The tribute, combined with Colorado’s brilliant blue skies inspired the name Blue Sky Basin. The area also pays tribute to Vail’s founders in the names of two of the three Blue Sky Basin chairlifts – Earl’s Express Lift (#38) and Pete’s Express Lift (#39).

  1. While the Snow’s Away, the Wildlife Can Play!

As part of the approval for Blue Sky Basin, the U.S. Forest Service implemented a Supervisor’s Closure on the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin to protect elk calving habitat from early-May to the end of June and no organized summer activities are allowed.

  1. The Fireplace at Belle’s Camp

Head inside Belle’s Camp to warm up by the fire on a snowy winter’s day.

  1. The Snow Stake Cam

Your best source for live, up-to-the-minute snowfall totals in Blue Sky Basin. Check out the online camera at Vail.com to see for yourself how much snow fell in the past 24 hours.

  1. Last, but certainly not least, that one particular line in that one particular place on an epic powder day – you know the one!

What do you love about Blue Sky Basin? Share your favorites with Vail throughout the month of January by tagging @VailMtn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using the hashtag #BlueSkyBasin.

For more information visit www.vail.com, stop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

Vail plans nightclub experience on mountain

High elevation energy, world-class DJ entertainment and the ultimate mountaintop nightclub experience returns to Vail Mountain, one of the largest ski resortsin the world, as the resort welcomes back Décimo for six exclusive nights during the 2014-2015 winter season.

Last winter, Vail Mountain re-imagined the nightclub experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Décimo when it debuted in March to a sold-out crowd. Located at 10,250 feet above sea level on Vail Mountain, Décimo featured three-time Grammy nominee, DJ, producer and artist Paul Oakenfold in an event that matched the legendary reputation of the mountain and resort.

This winter, let Gondola One in Vail Village take you to new heights for Décimo’s one-of-a-kind mountaintop dance party on Vail Mountain. Currently scheduled Décimo dates for the upcoming winter season include:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014
  • Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015
  • Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
  • Friday, Feb. 13, 2015
  • Friday, March 6, 2015
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015

“The hugely successful debut of Décimo last March confirmed our belief that this is what our discerning guests from around the world are looking for to complete their experience in Vail,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We’re thrilled to be sharing Décimo this season and giving our guests even more reason to return to Vail.”
 
Décimo will continue to blend exceptional service and renowned entertainment with the excitement of a world-class nightspot set amongst the iconic backdrop of Vail Mountain. Each unique event will begin at the base of Gondola One in Vail Village.

From there, guests will be carried to mid-mountain in the gondola’s state-of-the-art cabins, complete with heated seats and Wi-Fi access. Just steps away from the top of the gondola, guests will enter a space that has undergone a carefully orchestrated transformation into the chic, dynamic nightspot that is Décimo, an exclusive nightclub experience complete with VIP tables and bottle service.
 
For information on Décimo events for the 2014-2015 winter season, FAQs and ticketing or VIP package details, visit www.DecimoVail.com or call (970) 754-CIMO (2466).
 
The Décimo experience is designed by Vail Resorts in conjunction with Las Vegas-based hospitality consulting firm Macro Management Group, known for providing a variety of expertise and services to events and ventures in Las Vegas, Nev. and Los Angeles, Calif.

Promo Video: http://vimeo.com/88457180

Vail Resorts offer Epic Pass discounts this Labor Day

Labor Day weekend in Colorado marks the official start of school and the unofficial start of ski season. Vail Resorts is celebrating this milestone with the last chance to purchase a 2014-15 season pass – including the Epic Local Pass – before prices go up on September 2, 2014.

“With unlimited, unrestricted access to Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, three of Colorado’s most iconic mountains, and with 10 holiday-restricted days at Vail and Beaver Creek, there is no better value in Colorado skiing or snowboarding,” said Kirsten Lynch, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

  • The Epic Local Pass™: Enjoy unlimited, unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, Afton Alps in Minnesota, and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Access also includes Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe, with limited restrictions. The Epic Local Pass also includes ten days at Vail and Beaver Creek, with holiday restrictions. At $549 for adults and $279 for children, the Epic Local Pass pays for itself in just under four days.
  • The Summit Value Pass™Unlimited skiing or riding at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin all winter for $469 for adults. This pass also includes limited restrictions at Breckenridge. The Summit Value Pass pays for itself in just under four days.
  • Keystone A-Basin Pass™: Unlimited skiing at Keystone and A-basin with limited holiday restrictions. This is the best deal for unlimited skiing in Colorado and, at just $289 for adults, pays for itself in just under three days.
  • The Epic Pass™: Unlimited skiing all winter for $729. Enjoy unlimited skiing or riding at 11 resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.  No blackout days or restrictions apply.  Pass holders can also enjoy up to five consecutive free days each at Les 3 Vallées, France (Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle) and Verbier, Switzerland when booking in-resort lodging. New for winter 2014-15, Epic Pass purchasers will have access to five complimentary consecutive days at Niseko, Japan–known as one of the snowiest and most celebrated powder skiing resorts in the world.  The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over five days.

Vail Resorts wants to expand race course at Golden Peak

Vail Resorts, announced today that it has submitted a proposal to expand Vail Mountain’s race and training terrain at Golden Peak.

The proposal, which is subject to U.S. Forest Service approval, includes increasing the size of Vail Mountain’s operational boundary by 68 acres to allow for approximately 41 acres of additional trails, three surface lifts and new snowmaking infrastructure.

With these improvements, 760 vertical feet would be added to the venue, providing 1,570 vertical feet of racing and training terrain across approximately 68 acres.

“Since Vail’s inception in 1962, ski racing has been a part of its heritage, and our partnership with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail in the development of future generations of athletes dates to the beginning of the resort as well,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.

“With the Club’s incredible recent performance, including athletes participating at the Sochi Olympics and being recognized as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’soverallClub of the Year this season along with four of the five individual program Club of the Year honors for alpine, snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing amongst other awards, there has never been a better time to expand our partnership by requesting approval from the USFS for the expansion and donating our land to allow the clubhouse upgrade to move forward.”

In addition to pursuing the terrain expansion, Vail Resorts is donating a more than 11,000-square-foot parcel of land to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. Pending Town of Vail approvals, the club plans to redevelop its clubhouse, office and training facility to better serve its 600 athletes.

The donated land, which surrounds three sides of the existing club building, will allow the club to upgrade, enlarge and modernize its existing facility and will also improve traffic circulation. If Town approvals are received reasonably soon, construction could potentially commence as early as this fall.

“Our current facility is severely lacking in parking and other operational space. An expanded facility will help us better serve and develop our existing club members as many of them continue to walk onto the global ski and snowboard stage,” said Aldo Radamus, executive director of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. “The success of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is just as dependent on the support of Vail Resorts and contributions of Vail Mountain as it is of our community and key stakeholders, and we could not be more grateful for this contribution to the future of the club.”

For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.comstop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

American Airlines announces flights to Vail for next ski season

American Airlines has just released a new flight schedule between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Vail/Eagle County Airport (EGE) for the 2014-2015 ski season, making it easier than ever  to ski or ride Vail and Beaver Creek with seamless connections.

Vail/Eagle County Airport is located only 45km from Beaver Creek and 56km from Vail, with door-to-door transfers to your lodging in Vail or Beaver Creek available in private, chauffeured four-wheel drive vehicles and shuttles with Colorado Mountain Express.

Daily non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Vail/Eagle County Airport will operate from Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 through Sunday, April 5, 2015, maximizing accessibility to Vail and Beaver Creek over the Christmas/New Year break, January school holiday period  as well as the March Easter break.

The new flight will depart Los Angeles International Airport at 8:45 a.m. With a 12:05 p.m. arrival to Vail/Eagle County Airport, skiers can now ski on the same day they arrive. On the day of departure, snowboarders can maximize their holiday with a full ski day, departing Vail/Eagle County Airport at 6:45 p.m., arriving in Los Angeles at 8 p.m.

For those choosing to complement their ski holiday with a visit to other U.S. destinations, American Airlines also offers daily, non-stop flights from Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 through Sunday, April 5, 2015 between Vail/Eagle County Airport and New York Kennedy, Miami, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Chicago Airports.

Vail Mountain offers lots of skiing through April 20 with 24 feet of snow

Thanks to more than 24 feet of snow so far this season, Vail Mountain, one of the largest ski resorts in the world, will continue to offer more than 4,800 acres of terrain through closing day, Sunday, April 20.

Terrain for all ability levels will remain open, including Blue Sky Basin as well as China, Tea Cup, Sun Down, Sun Up and Game Creek bowls, and virtually the entire front-side of Vail Mountain including the Golden Peak terrain park.

“Consistent snowfall has provided incredible conditions at Vail throughout the winter and will allow us to keep a large majority of terrain open through closing day,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Guests can look forward to great spring skiing and snowboarding to close out the 2013-2014 season.”

The majority of lifts on Vail’s front side will continue to operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Back Bowls will close at 3:30 p.m.

Lift operating hours are posted at the base of all open lifts and guests are advised to check mountain terrain and lift status reports on www.vail.com or the mobile site,http://m.vail.com for most up-to-date information.

Vail heats up with special events for spring break

With 20 inches of new snow in the past week, Vail is a spring break skier’s dream. Add that fresh powder to late-season specials – including a 30-percent discount on April lodging at Antlers at Vail that brings its studio suite rate below $200 and a free Jimmy Cliff concert on closing day April 14.

1) Taste of Vail – the iconic spring food and wine festival turns 22 this year, showcasing the area’s finest chefs and nation’s top vintners plus a new Nordic Wine Tour kick-off. April 3 – 6. Event tickets start from $50.

2) Spring Back to Vail Celebration – the April 8-14 end-of-season bash in honor of Vail’s 50th features free live concerts including reggae legend and Grammy-winner Jimmy Cliff on April 14 at the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village.

3) 50th Anniversary Film Night – a look back at Vail’s 50 years in film from Roger Cotton Brown, who created the first ever Vail promotional film in the 60s. April 4 and 11 screenings are free with ticket available at Lionshead Vail Welcome Center from 9 a.m. on day of the show only. Film starts at 5:30 p.m.

4) Skiing Heritage Week – a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction ceremony April 13 is a highlight in a week that includes classic ski films and more. April 8 – 14. $350 for All-Access Pass.

5) Vail World Pond Skimming Championships – costumed skiers try to clear a 100-foot, ice cold pond in this wacky annual event. April 14 at Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak Base Area. Free to watch; $75 to participate.

Antlers at Vail’s April discount includes 30 percent off regular rates for the month, with a $285/night studio suite for $199. Check the Antlers at Vail website.