Vail Mountain opened November 21 for the 2014-15 winter season and conditions are incredible! Mother Nature has blessed us with abundant snowfall and it shows. I skied on Monday (4th day of the season) and every run was a powder run. 17 more inches have fallen since then! This definitely ranks up there as one of Vail’s best openings since I’ve been here (19 years). You can check out the Vail snow report yourself online right here.
Not only is it ski season once again, it is also the beginning of the holiday season. Being in Vail for the holidays is magical! The mountains are snow-capped, the town is blanketed in white, trees are lighted and everything looks shiny and bright. The phrase “winter wonderland” describes it perfectly. Skiing and snowboarding are definitely favorite pastimes, but so are sleigh rides and hot cocoa by the fire.
Vail offers plenty of events the first 6 weeks of the season, both holiday and otherwise. The first of these is Vail Snow Daze – a perennial early season favorite which includes an Expo Village and free concerts. In the past, Vail Snow Daze has taken place over one weekend in early December, but this year the event producers are shaking things up a bit. Vail Snow Daze will take place over two weekends – December 12-14 and December 19-21. The Expo Village will be at the base of Gondola 1 in Vail Village each of those Saturdays featuring brand expos, organizational information and product samples from Vail Snow Daze sponsors. It will be a great place to pick up some free swag! Concerts will also take place on both of the Saturday evenings. On Saturday December 13, Lukas Nelson and P.O.T.R (Promise of the Real) will open for headliner The Wallflowers. Both bands are fronted by singers with famous musical fathers – Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan respectively. On Saturday December 20, 10,000 Maniacs will open for Rusted Root. Opening acts start at 5:30pm and headliners perform at 7pm. All concerts take place nearby at Solaris Plaza and are FREE, so there’s no excuse not to join in the revelry!
Vail Holidaze is a more family-oriented festival taking place in late December to celebrate the holiday season. On December 21, the annual Vail Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in Slifer Square by the Covered Bridge in Vail Village. This year, there will also be a Lantern Walk up Bridge Street immediately following the Tree Lighting festivities. Guests can even take part in a paper lantern making workshop prior to the actual Lantern Walk. Sounds beautiful!
The second Vail Holidaze event takes place on New Year’s Eve. It is the annual Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Display at Golden Peak. We all know that fireworks are fun to watch, but the Torchlight Parade may surprise you. Skiers are given red “torches” to ski down Golden Peak and the result is a glowing red train meandering down the mountain. It’s pretty spectacular! Fireworks will follow immediately after the skiers. Everything starts at 6:15pm making it very accessible to families with young kiddos, and you can easily go to dinner afterwards. Reservations for dinner that evening are highly recommended. Actually, dinner reservations are highly recommended the entire holiday season. If you are staying at Lodge at Lionshead, you should contact our concierge staff for assistance.
There will also be a variety of Vail New Year’s Eve celebrations available for the grown-ups. Several of the restaurants around town will have special dinner menus and seatings. Some will include dining and dancing. The first of six exclusive Decimo nights also takes place on New Year’s Eve. Decimo is an ultra-hip experience at the top of Vail Mountain. Guests will travel via Gondola 1 to on-mountain restaurant, The 10th, which is billed as a “re-imagined nightclub experience” with world-class DJ entertainment. The EC Twins will be spinning the tunes on December 31 and VIP packages are available. It sold out last year, so get your tickets in advance right here at decimovail.com.
Come celebrate the holiday season with us in Vail. If you can’t get away this year, there is always next season…Happy Holidays!
Lodge at Lionshead has condo availability for both Vail Snow Daze weekends. There are even a few units available through Christmas. You can check out rates and availability right here on our website.