Behind the Scenes

Vail Mountain Cleanup 2014

Jun. 18, 2014

Vail summer cleanupIt’s probably happened to all of us at some point: that moment when you watch your ski pole/glove/car keys/ski pass/cell phone/credit card drop headlong into a snow bank as you ride up the chairlift, never to be seen again.

…or will it? 

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#VailBen Dispatch 2: GoPro Mountain Games, Vail’s Best Kept Secret

Jun. 15, 2014

GoPro Mountain Games Adventure Film SchoolBenjamin interviewing pro skier and avid stand up paddler, Steven Nyman, during the GoPro Mountain Games. Credit: Michael Brown. Courtesy: Adventure Film School.

I’m convinced. The GoPro Mountain Games has got to be Vail’s best kept secret. I’m not exactly sure how or why I didn’t know about this epic weekend of emerging sports, gear giveaways, and rock and roll, but I’m sure glad I know about it now.

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#VAILBEN DISPATCH 1: Back In Colorado

Jun. 5, 2014


My welcome party at Denver International Airport.

My welcome party at Denver International Airport.

As we drove up I-70 on Monday afternoon, it all came flooding back. There was the unreal green; the crisp, dry air; those fairy tale waterfalls. I was going to be spending the summer in Colorado for the first time in almost a decade. I couldn’t stop from grinning.

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Blue Sky Basin in Summer

Apr. 27, 2014

One of the best loved areas in Vail, Blue Sky Basin is known for its beautiful views and endless glade skiing. We were lucky enough to get back there in August 2013 and experience this beautiful spot in all its summer glory. See any spots you recognize from winter?

Vail Back Bowls Summer

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Video: Behind the Scenes of Vail Grooming

Feb. 17, 2014


Jump inside the cat and learn about the operation that grooms over 1000 acres nightly. This video combines info about Vail’s grooming machines (called snow cats), the operators, and new technology with beautiful time lapse photography. 

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Nighttime Cat Operations

Feb. 12, 2014


Cat operators, Brett and Mike, work through the night preparing the mountain for blissful skiing.

Do you ever wonder what happens after the last lift stops and the sun sets on another great day of skiing? Does the mountain turn silent and still as the day comes to a close? As we found out today, that is hardly the case.

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The Perfect 4 Days in Vail

Feb. 4, 2014

Vail_blog_imageVail truly is like nothing on earth. Discover what makes this the perfect place for making memories by experiencing the perfect 4 days in Vail. There are a myriad of lodging options, such as the iconic Lodge at Vail, the first hotel and cornerstone of Vail Village. Plus, the Lodge is just steps from Gondola One, the fastest and most advanced gondola of its kind, complete with free Wi-Fi and heated seats. You could also choose to make your home base The Arrabelle at Vail Square, located at the bottom of Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead. The stunning Arrabelle offers a luxurious, old-world charm and countless amenities to make you feel right at home. Whether you are on the mountain or in the village, you are mere steps away from all Vail has to offer.
Book your hotel at Vail

Day 1

Priority #1 after you check in – get on the mountain! Start the day off with one of our ski guides to get familiar with our 5,289 skiable acres. Our world-class pros offer beginner, intermediate, expert and private instruction, so you can choose what fits you best to learn the ropes.
Reserve your ski guide now

You’ve tracked thousands of vertical feet, so now it’s time to wind down over a well-deserved drink. Make your way to Tavern on the Square to revel in Vail’s après scene and reflect on an epic day. Imbibe one of Tavern’s signature drinks, like the Berrypicker Mojito or Bacon-infused Bloody Mary.
Start dreaming about your après aperitif

Stay at the Tavern for dinner or explore one of the many world-class dining options nearby. Sweet Basil has been a Vail favorite for more than 35 years, serving contemporary American cuisine with Mediterranean and Asian influences. You’ll also find plenty of guests returning to Lancelot, craving a slice of their slow-roasted Prime Rib. From authentic pizza to five-star dining, Vail Village has something fit for every appetite.
Explore dining options in Vail Village

Day 2

Thanks to your ski guide, you now know the mountain a little better so it’s time to explore on your own. Our all-encompassing trail guide highlights Vail’s preeminent beginner, intermediate and expert trails, crafting a game plan for you to explore as much of the mountain as possible. Open up your free EpicMix App to take advantage of EpicMix Time, a great new feature that gives you estimated line times at Vail’s many chairlifts. With less waiting, you’ll be able to enjoy even more of the mountain’s 5,289 skiable acres.
Check out the Vail trail guide

Discovering different parts of the mountain can certainly work up an appetite. Take a break for lunch at Two Elk Lodge, Vail’s flagship restaurant located right near China Bowl and Blue Sky Basin. Two Elk sits at 11,240 feet with stunning views of the mountain. Be sure to try their famous Buffalo chili – it’ll warm you right up before getting back on the slopes.

An après drink (or two) is hard-earned after conquering the mountain today. Garfinkel’s – a perennial local favorite – has a massive deck primed for people-watching at the base of the mountain. Enjoy one of their 12+ beers on draft or a signature cocktail, such as their White Crushin, as you swap stories with your friends and family.

For dinner, venture into the heart of Vail to experience our world-class dining options. La Tour is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Vail Village, serving contemporary French cuisine that is second to none. Chef Paul has mastered inventive takes on classic dishes, such as his Truffle French Onion Soup and Buffalo Petite Tender Medallions.
Reserve a table at La Tour

Day 3

After two full days on the slopes, take a break and stroll around Vail Village for a wide range of top-notch retail and dining options. Vail’s heated cobblestone streets and alpine-inspired architecture will welcome you with open arms. Gorsuch is a favorite of locals and visitors alike, selling everything from European ski gear to chalet-inspired gifts for your home. Vail also boasts numerous galleries with one-of-a-kind art and jewelry. The Golden Bear designs fine jewelry and accessories, and its exclusive bear design is known as The Symbol of Vail Valley.
Explore the shopping at Vail Village

Stay in Vail Village for lunch at Larkspur Restaurant, located at the base of Golden Peak. Larkspur is a great après and dining spot, and you may be lucky enough to see a celebrity or two while you’re there. Pro tip: if they have it, order the tomato soup. Larkspur creates one delicious, massive batch from Colorado tomatoes early in the season, serving that same batch until it runs out (usually in March or April).
Book your next meal at Larkspur

Take relaxation to the next level by visiting the RockResorts Spa at The Arrabelle. The 10,000 square foot spa provides stunning views of the mountains while you relax and rejuvenate with alpine-inspired treatments that incorporate natural ingredients and aromas indigenous to the area, like mountain juniper and white pine. RockResorts Spa offers facials, massages, hand and foot pampering, and endless therapies to fit your needs.
Book your spa treatment at RockResorts Spa at The Arrabelle

Waltz over to Mountain Standard for dinner. Coming from the same creators of the legendary Sweet Basil Restaurant, Mountain Standard prepares most of its menu over an open wood fire – the only restaurant in the valley to celebrate this age-old way of cooking. The creek-side restaurant’s innovative pub-style fare includes a raw bar with oysters, local draft beer and aptly named “creative sauce” cocktails.
Make a reservation for Mountain Standard

Day 4

Now that your legs have had a bit of a rest, it’s time to get back on the mountain. Bring an EpicMix photographer with you for the day to capture all your memories! Or if you’re looking for another way to enjoy our winter wonderland, head to Adventure Ridge. Accessible via the Eagle Bahn Gondola, it offers a variety of winter activities, from tubing to ski biking and more.
Explore Adventure Ridge

On your last night in Vail, make your way to Game Creek Restaurant. Accessible only by snowcat in the winter, Game Creek is a true gem of Vail. The European chalet-style restaurant is nestled just below Eagle’s Nest and above the Game Creek chair lift, with magnificent views of the Game Creek Bowl – it’s the perfect way to celebrate your last day in Vail. It serves up five-star American cuisine and offers a prix fixe menu for the whole family, including a 3-course children’s menu. Delight in a variety of mouth-watering dishes, from Lamb to Hamachi and King Crab Chowder. Top off your enchanting dinner with a Pot de Crème or Beignets.
Make your reservations for Game Creek Restaurant

We would love for you to spend these perfect 4 days with us soon! If you do, it is bound to be one of the most memorable trips you’ve ever experienced. Come see for yourself why Vail is like nothing on earth.

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