Monthly Archives: August 2012

Gourmet on Gore in Vail Village

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Don’t miss this exciting event! Just as summer events come to a close, fall festivities are just getting started. The Vail culinary scene starts off September three full days of the Gourmet on Gore festival, which spans Labor Day weekend. The annual festival features open-air food and wine tasting along Vail’s Gore Creek Drive and Bridge Street, showcasing the Vail Valley’s premier restaurants along with wines, spirits and beers from around the world. There is no cost for admission to Gourmet on Gore’s tasting area and the event is open to the public, although food and drinks require cash. New this year, the Cadillac Culinary Series will showcase free, live demonstrations during the tasting event from some of the valley’s best chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. In addition to the free outdoor tasting, a number of new events have been added to the schedule for Gourmet on Gore. The weekend kicks off with the Gourmet on Gore Tasting Tour on Friday, Aug. 31, which benefits the local Habitat for Humanity. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., guests will enjoy a progressive tour around town, stopping at Vail Village restaurants and galleries to enjoy signature beverages and savory hors d’oeuvres at each…

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Spend Labor Day Weekend in Vail at the Vail Labor Day Jazz Festival

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Though the summer in Vail has already been phenomenal for the great performances by Jazz musicians at Vail Farmers’ Market on Sundays and at the Jazz at Vail Square concerts on Thursdays, the end to a summer of jazz in Vail is celebrated in grand style at the Vail Labor Day Jazz Festival. This festival that attracts international jazz musicians and lovers of jazz music to Vail for the first weekend in September is often referred to as the Vail Jazz Party because the weekend is just that – so event-filled with jazz concerts and performances being staged at nearly every hour of the day, even into the wee hours of the morning in true old school jazz musician style. The party kicks off on Thursday, August 30 with performances by the Vail Jazz All-Stars and the Clayton Brothers Sextet. On Friday, August 31, jazz music lovers in Vail can take pleasure in outstanding, toe-tapping performances by Cyrille Aimée & Diego Figueiredo, Bill Cunliffe, John Clayton, Lewis Nash, Jeff Clayton, and the Jeff Hamilton Trio. Friday marks the first night of the ever popular and exhilarating Late Night Jam Sessions at the Vail Jazz Party, with performances by Justin Kauflin,…

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Labor Day Travel Looking Promising

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The economy is still shaky, and gas prices are on the way up (again). But AAA Colorado is estimating more than 550,000 state residents are gearing up for a Labor Day road trip.  If the auto club’s estimates pan out, Labor Day traffic would be up by 3.2 percent over last year and would set a new high since the recession of 2008.  People in the travel business have long said that Americans tend to view travel as a right nearly on par with those guaranteed in the Constitution. Those same experts have also said Americans, at some point, would just say, in essence, “We’re going anyway.”  Those attitudes seem to have held true across the mountain-resort business throughout this summer. “We’re watching summer mature in mountain resorts, and we’ve actually passed 2008 numbers this year,” said Ralf Garrison, co-founder of the Mountain Travel Research Program, a Denver-based tourism consulting firm. Garrison said he expects Labor Day to continue that trend toward increased business. And when business — and, thus, demand — increases, room rates tend to go up, as well. The AAA Colorado report indicates that prices for lodging have gone up an average of 4 percent at lodges…

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Vail Restaurant Month is only 4 weeks away!

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The summer is nearly over, and we are beginning to feel that tingling excitement as the spectacular fall season approaches in Vail. Best news of all, Vail Restaurant Month is just a month away! Vail Restaurant Month just gets better each year… and this fall’s four themed weeks will be the most inspiring, entertaining, adventurous – and delicious – yet. The top chefs of Vail will be working their magic, with thrilling themed dining, cooking classes, parties, happy hours, wine & beer & bubbly tastings, and many more delectable special events.  Vail’s legendary restaurants will be joined by new culinary hotspots, and our calendar of events is already filling up with one-of-a-kind events. See you in Vail!

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Race Crowd Expected to be a Record Breaker!

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Minturn is gearing up for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and perhaps the biggest crowds in town since, well, maybe ever. The pro cycling tour hits Eagle County Aug. 23, with the riders zipping down Tennessee Pass, over Battle Mountain, then down into Minturn before the stage-ending climb into Beaver Creek Village. The event’s debut last year brought thousands of spectators to spots as remote as Cottonwood Pass between Gunnison and Buena Vista, and as many as 30,000 people were in Vail for last year’s time trial up Vail Pass. That has people in Minturn and Beaver Creek excited for big crowds, but not quite certain what the day will bring.  Since the race will close down U.S. Highway 24 for a few hours, people are being encouraged to come early and stay late, or ride their bikes into town. Local Minturn Restaurant Owners have all said town officials have been very helpful in getting ready for the party. While Minturn is new to thronging crowds, Beaver Creek hosts plenty of events, winter and summer. Still, there’s some questions about just what to expect.  John Dakin of the Vail Valley Foundation said last year’s cycle race was instructive, and the…

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Premier Cyclists invade Beaver Creek

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Local stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge boasts crowds, competition and cruel elevations.   The USA Pro Cycling Challenge, thought to be one of the most challenging and competitive road-cycling races in the world, returns to Colorado for a second year from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26. The race has one scheduled stop in the Vail Valley, with an uphill finish at Beaver Creek on Aug. 23. There is no place to hide and no time off in the seven-day, seven-stage race, says race director Shawn Hunter. Riders will face 40,000 feet of combined climbing, three uphill finishes and three points of elevation 12,000 feet or higher – twice as high as the tallest point in the Tour de France. “The race is extremely difficult, certainly one of the hardest in the country,” Hunter says. “The elevation (and) the climbing make it a different kind of race, a very hard kind of race – there is almost never an easy moment.” The challenge, in addition to boasting a grueling course, will also see stacked competition. The field is touted as one of the strongest for any cycling event in the country, save the Tour of California. “We will have…

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Getting Outdoors with the Family

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For mountain lovers with children, there’s no need to stop camping, hiking and exploring. When Helen Olsson and her husband had their first child, they were determined that it wouldn’t mean the end of their outdoor lifestyles. In fact, the Olssons, who were avid backpackers and campers, wanted their children to love being outdoors and active as much as they did. The couple did just that, and today, their three children – ages 12, 9 and 6 – have literally grown up hiking, camping and backpacking in the mountains of Colorado. “It’s an endeavor, camping with younger kids. It’s no small task,” Olsson admits. “But I’m passionate about camping with the kids, and it’s worth the effort. Once we are out and away with the family, it’s so rewarding, and we do our best bonding.” Do you balk at the thought of toting your screaming toddler on a camping trip, or dragging your six-year-old along on a hike? You don’t have to. With a little know-how, preemptive planning and some creativity, the task isn’t as daunting as it seems, and according to those who have figured it out, it’s well worth the effort. Camping Olsson, author of the book “The…

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A Day on Vail Mountain

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Check out these hiking and biking itineraries made for all levels this summer.  Of all the national forest land that surrounds the town of Vail, none may be better traveled than Vail Mountain itself. The sprawling resort and its famous Back Bowls are obviously wintertime playgrounds, but the mountain offers plenty of outdoor adventure during the summer months. Eagle’s Nest – a popular stop for hikers, mountain bikers and afternoon gondola trips – affords spectacular views of the surrounding ranges. The top of the gondola, which sits at 10,350 feet and runs throughout the summer, is merely a gateway to even more trails. Whether it’s your first warm-weather trip to Vail Mountain or you’re a longtime local who has every back-woods path memorized, there’s fun to be had and new routes to discover. SneakPEAK compiled several itineraries for a day on the mountain, with choices ranging from mellow strolls to adrenaline-pumping bike rides. Even though you’re at a resort, still be prepared for a day outside – bring plenty of water, a rain jacket and energy-packed snacks. Keep in mind that rain showers are common in the summer, so it’s best to get out before late afternoon. Going mellow If…

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Vail Gets Classic

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The Vail Automotive Classic returns to Vail this September for its 3rd Annual “Wheels and Wings” Show, the most comprehensive auto, aircraft and motorcycle show in Western Colorado.  With over 180 cars, 30 airplanes and other aircraft, and 20 motorcycles, the 2012 show will amaze, entertain and blow you away.  The Wheels and Wings Show celebrates the Art of the Machine:  As transportation has become central to every aspect of our lives, cars and planes have gone far beyond their utilitarian origins, constantly redefining technology, style and shaping our culture. The skill, engineering and mechanical ability infused in these vehicles is nothing less than a triumph of the human spirit. Many represent some of the finest technology of their day, while others provide a touchstone to our past or a hint of where we might be heading. They remind us of what is possible when passion and craft take over and work becomes art.   The complete show includes a BBQ and car auction Friday night at the Vail Valley Jet Center, Wheels and Wings show Saturday at the Vail Valley Jet Center, Saturday night cocktails and concert at Beaver Creek and the Vail Automotive Classic Show in Vail Village Sunday including…

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Enjoying the vibe skiing in Vail, Colorado

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THERE’S a rule at the Red Lion bar in Vail: no ski pants after 9pm. Despite this, we somehow sneak our way in past the beanie-clad door staff and weave our way through the crowd to the bar and then to a spot just in front of the stage, where a singer with a haircut straight out of Dumb and Dumber is belting out Sweet Home Alabama. Perhaps it is the temporary tattoo of the Australian flag on our cheeks that has led to the leniency. “Happy Australia Day!” the singer cries when he notices them, and suddenly we are clinking beer glasses with several new American friends who look as if they have just stepped out of an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful. Behind the band we can see snowflakes falling heavily through the full-length window; a constant reminder not to stay out too late as it’s sure to be a powder day tomorrow. Australia Day celebrations had begun earlier that day at Two Elk Lodge on the mountain, which was decorated with yellow and green balloons and koala signs. Staff gave out stickers and served meat pies and burgers with the lot. From there we headed…

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