North America's Premier International Resort Community

Winter Season Preview

  • 18 November 2015

Getting Ready for Opening Day

Following some well-timed help from Mother Nature, the new ski and snowboard season officially gets underway this Friday on Vail Mountain. The morning will include a limited supply of complimentary hot cocoa, breakfast burritos, giveaways and prizes for those who come out to celebrate. The season includes the return of Vail’s favorite happenings, including Snow Daze, Holidaze, Carnivail, Burton US Open Championships and Spring Back to Vail. An addition to the activities this year is SKADI Fest (pronounced ‘Scotty’), a women’s ski event, Jan. 20-22. For opening day activities, lift status and all the festivities, visit,


Ski the World with One Epic Pass

Be sure you’re ready to hit the slopes by securing your Epic Pass for the season. Enjoy unlimited, unrestricted access to 11 U.S. resorts, including Vail and other iconic resorts like Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Park City and more. New this year, Epic Pass holders also get unlimited access to Australia’s largest ski resort and newest member of the Vail Resorts family, Perisher, for the 2016 season. The Epic Pass is currently on sale for $809 for adults and $419 for kids 12 and under. Passes are only available for purchase through Sunday, Nov. 22. Visit for details.


What’s New on the Mountain

Continuing its long tradition of mountain investments by Vail Resorts, the new, six-passenger Avanti Express Lift (#2) will debut this season. Similar to the Mountain Top Express Lift (#4), the new lift will include a loading conveyor and gates to improve efficiency and increase capacity, while reducing wait times and improving skier and snowboarder circulation. For summer 2016, Epic Discovery will offer guests the opportunity to try new outdoor activities, challenge themselves physically and discover an appreciation for nature through the incorporation of learn-through-play elements. For details, visit


What’s New in Town

Several construction cranes are flying high in town, signifying continued improvement in the local economy. Vail Valley Medical Center’s Master Facility Plan is underway with plans to renovate and expand the nonprofit community hospital. Also under construction is The Lion, a seven-story, mixed use building with 69 residential dwelling units and street level retail space, scheduled for a fall 2016 completion. At the Vail Golf Club, a new community clubhouse is under construction with bookings available for functions beginning next fall. Visit for booking details.


December Events in Vail

The holiday season is fast approaching. Save the dates for Snow Daze and Vail Holidaze. Snow Daze returns for its ninth consecutive year Dec. 11-13. Activities include a sponsor expo village, après parties and free live concerts featuring Big Head Todd and the Monsters and JJ Grey & Mofro. Visit for more information. Vail Holidaze events take place on Dec. 19-20 and 31, featuring the traditional tree lighting ceremony, plus a lantern parade and New Year’s Eve fireworks. Learn more about this holiday celebration here


EGE Winter Air Service

Winter air service from Eagle County Airport (EGE) includes the return of Air Canada’s non-stop flight from Toronto on Saturdays. In addition to the Air Canada flight, non-stop service will be provided by American, Delta and United from 10 major markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and New York/Kennedy. The majority of winter service begins in mid-December and continues through early April. Look for increased service by American at peak times this winter from both Dallas/Ft. Worth and Miami. For Dec. 19 through Jan. 4, American will add a third daily flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth and a second daily flight from Miami. The Miami service will also be augmented on Saturday and Sunday from Jan. 9 through April 3. In addition, United will be offering Saturday and Sunday non-stop service from Chicago to EGE in peak season. Dates for this new service are Dec. 19 through Jan. 3 and Feb. 13 through April 3, 2016. Visit


I-70 Winter Operations Plan Aims to Keep Traffic Moving

Having adequate snow tires or chains on Interstate 70 is no longer a message solely for truckers. Drivers of passenger vehicles are also being alerted to check their tires before hitting the road. New this year, the Colorado Department of Transportation will be enforcing “Code 15” and “Code 16” on mountain roads. Code 15 is a traction law that requires all tires to have a minimum one-eighth tread. A Code 16 will be implemented during severe winter driving conditions in which every vehicle on the roadway will be required to have chains or an alternate traction device, such as an AutoSock. CDOT’s Operation Tire Safe is being implemented to improve safety conditions and to keep traffic moving along the I-70 mountain corridor, especially at Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel. For details, visit

New Express Lane Ready for Launch

The I-70 Mountain Express Lane will begin operations in mid-December. The Express Lane runs 13 miles along EB I-70 from Empire through the Veterans Memorial Tunnel in Idaho Springs. It will be used only during periods of peak travel such as weekends and holidays. It will be a shoulder when not open and will likely not open during heavy snow. For those that opt to use this new lane, tolls will be collected by the same transponder used on all other Colorado toll roads. The transponder can be ordered at 303-537-3470 or  At set up, $30 is loaded onto the device, and tolls are then deducted from that balance as the express lane is utilized. Toll lane users without the transponder will be billed through License Plate Tolling, but at a higher price. Tolls will vary between $3 and $30, depending on demand in that lane. The toll amount will be used to manage that demand so that the lane flows at a target 45 mph. Travelers that take advantage of the lane could shave 30 minutes off a Sunday afternoon trip, and those in the existing free lanes should also benefit as cars shift to that option.


Get Your Free or Discounted Perks from the Town

If you own property in Vail, you’re eligible to participate in numerous services offered by the town. The most popular benefit is a 50 percent discount on the cost of parking compared to the drive-up rate. Simply bring your property ownership verification to the parking sales office in the Municipal Building and obtain a value card for discount parking all season long. In addition to discounts and occasional rebates, a variety of free services are available. These include wildfire assessments; weed management assistance; mulch, tree and reusable bag giveaways; curbside pick up of Christmas trees and cinder pick up; plus chipping services and an abundance of programs and materials offered by the Vail Public Library. Additionally, discounted rates are available for property owners and residents within the Vail Recreation District, including Nordic, golf and tennis passes, as well as discounted rates for adult leagues, youth camps and many other programs and activities. Visit for information. Property owners are encouraged to contact the town for more information about these services and to inquire about any municipal regulations that might apply. The most frequent question from residential property owners is about short-term rentals. Click here for details.


Introducing Vail’s New Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem

Dave “Bone” Chapin is Vail’s new mayor. He’ll be leading the Town Council for the next two years while fellow Council Member Jenn Bruno will serve as mayor pro tem. The two were elected unanimously during the Council’s organizational meeting this week. Chapin says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to play a larger role in the town that he loves and to help make Vail the greatest place it can be. Chapin is currently serving the last two years of a four-year term after winning election to the Town Council in 2013. Mayor Pro Tem Bruno is also serving the last two years of a four-year term. Also this week, newly-elected members Dick Cleveland, Kevin Foley, Kim Langmaid and Jen Mason were sworn into office. They were joined by current member Greg Moffet. The Town Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Follow on Twitter @VailTownCouncil.  

New ISO Rating May Mean Lower Insurance Rates

Be sure to check with your insurance agent to see if an updated townwide insurance classification will result in lower premiums for your home or business. A new rating, 2/2X, from the Insurance Services Offices became effective Nov. 1 and is an improvement from the last inspection, due in part, to construction of the West Vail fire station. The rating is based on an evaluation of the town’s fire suppression system, the 911 dispatch system as well as the water supply available for firefighting. The ISO rating is used by many insurance companies as part of their underwriting process to determine availability of insurance, coverage levels and premiums. Contact Fire Chief Mark Novak for more information.

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Vail-Mail is a project of the Town of Vail Community Information Office. For comments and suggestions, contact Suzanne Silverthorn.



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