North America's Premier International Resort Community

Winter Season Preview 2018

  • 30 August 2018

Welcoming the New Season 
It’s here! Vail’s new ski and snowboard season has officially begun with the best top-to-bottom skiing and riding you’ll experience in years! Not since 2002 has Vail Mountain opened early – and with more than 600 acres of skiable terrain. The new season includes the return of Vail’s favorite happenings, including Snow Days, Vail Holidays, Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships and Spring Back to Vail. Plus, new this season is the Vail Legacy Days, Feb. 15-18 celebrating the rich history of Vail and the legacy left by the founders, former members of the 10th Mountain Division and the community that made Vail what it is today. For updates on additional terrain openings, upcoming events and all the festivities, visit www.vail.com. Epic Pass Pricing Available through Sunday, Nov. 18.


Epic Pass Pricing Available through Sunday, Nov. 18

The last chance to purchase the 2018-19 Epic Pass and the entire lineup of Epic Season Pass options – including the Epic Local, Epic 7-Day, Epic 4-Day and Epic Military Pass – is Sunday, Nov. 18. The Epic Pass offers access to more than 65 resorts in eight countries for $949. New for this winter season, the Epic Pass will feature unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at 19 mountain resorts including Crested Butte, plus seven days at Telluride, in addition to unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. The entire lineup of passes is available for purchase at www.epicpass.com. 


Snow Days is Bigger and Better than Ever

An expanded four-day lineup of events and activities is getting the season started in a big way with Vail Snow Days, Dec. 13-16. The concert line up at Ford Park includes Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats on Dec. 14 with opening act Wildermiss. On Dec. 15, Shakey Graves takes the stage for the headliner concert with opening act The Devon Allman Project with special guest Duane Betts. All shows at Ford Park are free with optional Private Reserve VIP tickets available for purchase. Visit www.vail.com/snowdays for details on the concerts, Pray for Snow Bonfire, pub crawls and more. 

What’s New on the Mountain

Five Star Grooming   For many guests, it’s all about the grooming. Vail Mountain’s Five Star Grooming program will bring additional accessibility to the legendary Back Bowls this season with a 30% increase in groomed terrain. These trails will include: The Slot, Poppyfields, Chopstix, Cloud 9, Grand Review, Big Rock Park, Red Zinger, Inner Mongolia, Morning Thunder, Ricky’s Ridge, Jade Glade, Genghis Khan, Yonder Gully, China Spur, Emperor’s Choice, The Star, Headwall, In the Wuides, Bolshoi Ballroom and more. In additional, guests can enjoy regular grooming on some of Vail’s signature runs like Blue Ox, Lindsey’s and Riva Ridge.

Vail Mountain Snowmaking Receives Upgrade    Vail Mountain installed 10 large-capacity, low-energy fan guns on Born Free Trail for the new season. The snowmaking system on Vail Mountain will also receive upgrades to pumps and pump controls. Both upgrades will increase snowmaking productivity and set the mountain up for additional upgrades in the future.


What’s New in Town

Vail’s entertainment and restaurant scene welcomes some exciting additions this winter. 

The Vail Valley Escape Room comes to town with three themed escape rooms in the Gateway Building, a great activity for families and teens. Also, SoulCycle, the spin-class fitness experience that’s sweeping the nation with its high-intensity workouts, will debut in Vail Village with a pop-up location beneath La Bottega on East Meadow Drive. On Wall Street, check out Two Arrows Coffee inside Root and Flower wine bar and their new CoWorking space. For foodies, longtime Meadow Drive culinary favorites Alpenrose and Campo de Fiori are being transformed as the owners of Almresi, located at the top of Bridge Street, will occupy the Alpenrose location and former Campo employees Simone Reatti and Mira Hozzova are transforming the former space with the debut of La Nonna Ristorante. In Lionshead, enjoy Asian cuisine at Shan Go across from the Little Diner. Or, shop at the Market, a full-service grocery on the south side of the Lionshead parking structure. At Golden Peak, Wildwood will begin offering their signature BBQ items in what was formerly Golden Peak Grill. In East Vail, the Vail Racquet Club welcomes a new restaurant, Heirloom. Retail additions include La Vallee Bridal on Bridge Street, and two new stores opening in Solaris are Lolëathletic apparel and Lik Fine Art. 

History and Technology Converge at Colorado Snowsports Museum

Following two years of planning and over a year of design and construction, the Colorado Snowsports Museum will present a $2.5 million fresh face to both locals and guests this winter, following a complete transformation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The newly-remodeled facility features six primary exhibits, enhanced with interactive screens, showcasing and chronicling the rich history and heritage of the Colorado ski and snowboard industry. These exhibits include the 10thMountain Division, Skiing Through Time, the History of Colorado Snowsports Competition, the Evolution of Snowboarding in Colorado, Colorado’s Ski Resorts and 100 Years of Ski Fashion and Function, in addition to the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame. www.skimuseum.net


Holiday Events in Vail

The holiday season is fast approaching! Save the date for Vail’s annual tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16 in Slifer Square by the Covered Bridge. It’s all part of the Vail Holidays celebration which runs Dec. 11-31. Activities include a Holiday Sweater Run, Kris Kringle Market, Family Fireside Holiday Party with Santa, ice skating exhibitions, lantern-making workshops and Holiday Lantern Walk, plus the 12thAnnual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater and the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks on New Year’s Eve. www.vailholidays.com  


Early Opening for Nordic Center

The Vail Nordic Center is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanks to the early season snow, the Nordic track is partially open, with approximately 15K of packed and rolled track for skiing, snowshoeing and snow biking. Snowcat grooming will begin once the snowpack deepens. Season and day passes are on sale, and lessons and rental equipment are available. Expect early season conditions and be sure to check out the fully-stocked pro shop for your winter clothing and equipment needs. http://www.vailrec.com/vail-recreation/nordic  


EGE Winter Air Service

Expanded service from key markets and the return of non-stop service to New York/LaGuardia highlight this season’s changes at Eagle County Regional Airport. The San Francisco service will be daily this season, an increase over weekend only service last winter with United. Additionally there will be daily non-stop service from Washington Dulles at all the peak visitation periods with continued Saturday service in off-peak. Daily service from Washington Dulles on United will operate Dec. 19 through Jan. 6, Feb. 15-24 and March 8-30. Saturday service will operate Jan. 12-Feb. 9 and March 2. With the addition of Saturday non-stop flights from New York/LaGuardia on American, EGE now provides non-stop service to 14 markets across North America with convenient connections from over 250 cities world-wide. Eagle County Regional Airport is serviced by American, Delta and United with non-stop winter service from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York/LaGuardia, New York/Kennedy, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles. flyvail.com


Parking Discounts

There’s no need to pay full price for parking. Season parking passes for the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures are available for property owners, residents and employees of Vail and Eagle County with substantial discounts from the drive-up rate. The passes are available from the town’s parking pass sales office which is open 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the season; closed Thanksgiving and other holidays. vailgov.com/parking/winter


Traveling Safely 

I-70 West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes Open House   Help could be on the way to improve dangerous chokepoints on Interstate 70 at Vail Pass. The I-70 West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes Project, initiated by the Colorado Department of Transportation, is assessing the potential for installation of eastbound and westbound auxiliary lanes between the top of the pass to the East Vail exit. Learn more about the study at an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Donovan Pavilion. For details, visit https://www.codot.gov/projects/I-70-West-Vail-Auxiliary-Lanes

Subscribe to EC Alert   Receive emergency alerts from 911 dispatchers when you subscribe to EC Alert at www.ecalert.org. The sign up process includes a menu of location-based notifications within Eagle County. Pick areas of interest such as traffic and weather, and choose delivery options including email, text or phone. Subscriptions can be changed at any time.


In Your Neighborhood

Get Your East Vail Access Placard   If you live in East Vail or travel to the neighborhood regularly, stop by the Vail Police Department front counter and pick up a free East Vail Vehicle Access Permit or locate the yellow hangtag you were given in previous years. By displaying the placard on your vehicle during a closure of Interstate 70, you’ll be directed through a checkpoint for immediate access to neighborhoods east of Aspen Lane. All remaining traffic will be directed to park in the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures as well as Ford Park until I-70 is reopened. The police front counter is located in the Vail Municipal building, 75 S. Frontage Road. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. While you’re there, ask about discount tire coupons as part of the Tire Tread safety program.

Revisions Coming to Short-Term Rental Regulations   Vail’s short-term rental regulations, which have been effective since March 1 of this year, are undergoing modifications to help streamline the registration and sales tax remittance process for professionally managed units. The Town Council is reviewing a tiered fee schedule and other modifications that would replace the current regulations. Once approved, the modifications will become effective March 1, 2019. For details, visit www.vailgov.com/short-term-rentals. 


Nominations Accepted for Vail Trailblazer Award 

Nominations for the 2019 Vail Trailblazer Award are being accepted by the Vail Town Clerk’s Office through Dec. 15. The award is presented annually by the Vail Town Council to recognize an individual, couple or team that exemplifies the spirit and fortitude in making Vail a great community through one or more actions that make a lasting impact. Nomination forms are available online at www.vailgov.com/trailblazeraward. Past recipients include Dr. Thomas I. Steinberg, Vi and Byron Brown, and Sheika and Pepi Gramshammer.


Download the Vail App 

A great tool for locals and guests, the Vail App offers real time parking and road conditions, special events information, dining guide, interactive maps and more. Free download available for iPhone and Android.   



Vail-Mail is a project of the Town of Vail Community Information Office. To subscribe to other e-services from the town, click on the Update Subscription Preference link at the bottom of this page. For comments and suggestions, contact Suzanne Silverthorn at ssilverthorn@vailgov.com.

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