Monthly Archives: November 2012

Action-packed itinerary for every crowd in the classic ski town of the Rockies

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Once known as purely a ski destination, Vail and the surrounding area now offers something for everyone, from kid-friendly fun to spa-and-yoga retreats. Check out the following itineraries for a perfect Rocky Mountain weekend – and that’s whether you’re on vacation or a local looking for something out of the ordinary. The family vacation – Beaver Creek WinterFest: If any resort caters to families, it’s Beaver Creek. Wind down a day of skiing with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, served slope-side daily at 3 p.m. After the lifts close, go for kid-friendly après fun in the village. Friday afternoons bring visits from the ski patrol dogs, tours of snowcats and marshmallow roasting slope-side. From Dec. 22 through Jan. 5 (with a break for Christmas Day), Beaver Creek’s WinterFest includes ice skating shows, visits from Santa, nightly winter parades through the village and appearances from winter characters. Teens will find disco parties at the ice rink, along with a park-riding skills and trick session. Events are free. See www.beavercreek.com for more info. – The ultimate ski lesson: Of course, you’ve got to hit the slopes. Vail Mountain has the perfect ski lesson package for kids ages 5 to 15. The Ultimate…

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Teva Games to be Renamed

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The Teva Mountain Games in Vail have lost their title sponsor for the winter and appear to be moving forward without the shoe brand for their popular summer event. Born in Vail Valley in 2002, the summer Teva Mountain Games have grown into an international showcase of adventure sports such as kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking, drawing 3,000 athletes and more than 40,000 spectators. Last February, the event branched into winter sports, with ice climbing, ski mountaineering and snow biking. The Vail Valley Foundation, which acquired the Teva Mountain Games from founder and now Teva president Joel Heath in 2008, announced Monday that the Winter Mountain Games are returning in February with a dozen winter sports and concerts. Absent from the announcement was the name “Teva.” The new website address for the summer and winter events — mountaingames.com — is suddenly Teva-free too. “The approach for us was to put more effort in supporting our athletes on our brand in 2013,” said Teva spokeswoman Jaime Eschette, discussing only Teva’s athlete-focused decision to remove itself from title sponsorship of the Winter Games. While not openly discussed, Teva is out for summer, too, according to sources familiar with the Games. Vail…

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Down-home, Louisiana-style fare arrives in the mountains

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Raymond Griffin is far from home, but “the lost Cajun” now has newfound mountain roots. The Louisiana native and his wife, Belinda, decided to call it quits in their beloved home state after being battered by four hurricanes and the BP oil spill that decimated the area. A fisherman by trade, Griffin – better known as “Griff” – packed up the RV and began exploring the mountains. The Griffin’s made an unexpected stop in Colorado when Belinda hurt her back and ended up having surgery in Frisco. She did her rehabilitation there, and Griff would walk her up and down Main Street during her recovery. “That’s when we just fell in love with Frisco,” he says. “The thing I like about living up here are the people. I love being around people, and people you meet up here are so appreciative of good service and good food. They’re so nice.” The couple opened a restaurant on Main Street, bringing their love of Cajun food to the mountains. Specializing in all manner of fried seafood, tasty gumbos, beans and rice, and other recipes Griff says he learned from “nice Cajun ladies who taught me how to cook back in Louisiana,” the…

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Take a look at the making of Vail Mountain’s brand-new gondola

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As of the first day of Vail’s 2012-13 season, skiers and riders will get up the mountain faster than ever – 1.5 minutes faster, to be exact – and in warmer fashion.Vail’s new gondola, which replaces the Vista Bahn Express (Chair 16) chairlift that ran from Vail Village to Mid-Vail, covers the 1.9-mile route in a record 7.5 minutes, compared to the nine minutes it took via the Vista Bahn. The new gondola is one of several milestones for the mountain this winter. Construction on the gondola will finished in time for the Nov. 16 opening day of Vail’s 50th season, with crews working hard since the end of last ski season to finish the project. Construction started this summer, as the old Vista Bahn chairlift was dismantled. While a few chairs were kept as souvenirs, most of the lift was recycled or kept for spare parts. The route was then prepared for the gondola’s towers, which follow a similar route to the old chairlift. The towers were dropped into the ground by helicopter in early October, and mountain crews set to work connecting the cables and setting up the terminals. The 111 cabins began going up in November, attached…

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Winter is here in Vail, be prepared and enjoy

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Prep for snow and cold with simple, budget-friendly tips from local experts. At Buzz’s Boards in Vail Village, early November is one of the busiest times of the season. The weeks leading up to opening day are hectic, with ski shop manager Neil Conroy’s team of technicians tuning nearly 40 boards and pairs of skis per day. If the bustle at Buzz’s Boards didn’t signal the beginning of ski season, last weekend’s snowfall and cold temperatures truly erased any thoughts of a mild end to autumn. Whether or not the tuning crew (or anyone else) is ready, winter is here. Along with prepping ski gear, the transition to several months of snow and cold is much smoother with a little forethought. From protecting your car to caring for pets, winterizing is relatively simple, and the majority of work can be done in an afternoon for little cost. Speaking of money, pre-season prep work can also cut expenses in the long-term. Look at tuning: Conroy says he rarely charges more than $80 for extensive base or edge repairs – an admittedly small price to pay in comparison to a totally new deck. Beyond the slopes, at-home changes like programmable thermostats, compact…

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Come to Vail to Celebrate 50 Great Years of Skiing on Vail Mountain

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Opening day for Vail Mountain is just around the bend, and this year’s opening day celebrations are particularly special in light of this being Vail Mountain’s 50th anniversary. Come join in all of the fun and high spirits as Vail celebrates the opening of what will be another unforgettable and spectacular ski season. The celebratory weekend begins on Thursday, November 15 with a US Ski Team event at Arrabelle Square in Lionshead. The event is being held to announce the 2013 US Alpine Ski Team athletes. Expect to see the likes of such talented ski athletes as Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Julia Mancuso, and Ted Ligety. The US Ski Team announcement is followed by the third annual First Tracks event and an autograph signing with select US Ski Team athletes. Show support for team USA as they begin what is certain to be a successful ski season for all members. While the US Ski Team prepares for their upcoming ski season, so is everyone else in Vail, professional and amateurs alike. Get those skis tuned and ready, as the lifts start running at 9:00 am on Friday, November 16. To mark this special year in Vail Mountain’s history, there will…

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Is real estate rebounding in the valley?

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By the numbers 18 percent: Increase in year-to-date real estate transactions from 2011 to 2012. 24 percent: Increase in year-to-date real estate sales volume. 241: Bank sales of real estate through Sept. 30. 100: Decrease in year-to-date county foreclosure filings. 118: Decrease from 2011 to 2012 in county tax liens sold to investors. EAGLE COUNTY — This doesn’t compare to the flood of political campaign signs this fall, but there are plenty of indications the county’s real estate market is recovering from a years-long slump. One of those signs is the number of tax liens sold at auction this year. Those liens are a way for the county to recover unpaid real estate bills and are popular because of the high interest rates paid — as well as the supermodel-slim chance that an investor may be able to pick up a piece of property for the price of a few unpaid tax bills. Scott Prince has gone to the tax lien sale for the past five years. He said this year was the smallest sale he’s seen, both in liens available and the number of people who attended. In fact, this year’s tax lien sale had the fewest liens available…

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Mountain’s 50th, in Art

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Designer Greg Montgomery’s travels land him in Vail Graphic designer Greg Montgomery’s work has taken him from dairy farms to Disney World, from the canals of Venice and literally around the world. This time, his work has landed him in Vail. Montgomery is the artist behind the image representing Vail’s 50th year. Vail Resorts held a contest to choose an anniversary poster, and Montgomery’s image of the mountain’s iconic skiing and snowboarding (plus the area’s 10th Mountain Division history) was chosen as the winner. Ironically, Montgomery, who resides in Saratoga Springs, NY, has never been to Vail, and will visit the area for the first time at the end of November. That’s not to say he isn’t familiar with Vail – he has been skiing for 25 years, including on Colorado’s mountains. Montgomery, a veteran graphic designer best known for his posters of the Travers Stakes horse race at Saratoga Springs, heard about the contest from a friend who lives in Vail. Curious to try his hand at a skiing-themed image, he grilled his friend about Vail’s iconic places and learned about the history of the area. “I tried to make the poster speak to the past, future and present…

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