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Vail and Beaver Creek opened for the 2016-17 ski season on Friday, just in time to capture more than a foot of fresh snow forecast to fall Saturday night through Tuesday.
Beaver Creek and Vail both saw new snow earlier in the week, with Beaver Creek topping out at 8 inches new on Wednesday after a winter storm got things started late last week. Despite seeing its World Cup races cancelled due to a warm, dry fall, Beaver Creek has now received nearly 2 feet of new snow in the last week, with more on the way.
“The weather has shifted in our favor this last week, and our snowmaking and mountain operations teams have been taking advantage of every moment of cold temperatures, as well as the almost two feet of snowfall, to prepare a great skiing and snowboarding experience for our guests,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer Beaver Creek Resort.
“The forecast is calling for more snow heading our way Sunday through Tuesday, so we are hoping to open additional terrain as soon as conditions allow.”
Beaver Creek is currently limited to skiing on just two runs — Haymeadow and Gold Dust — while Vail is serving up turns on Born Free. Both mountains are looking to offer more runs with the fresh snow and colder temperatures expected this coming week.
“Significant snow will fall on all of Colorado from Saturday night through Tuesday, with most locations measuring double-digit amounts and experiencing multiple powder days,” reports Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz. “Following the storm, we’ll see drier weather from about Wednesday, Nov 30 through Tuesday, Dec 6. The next storm will likely bring snow between Wednesday, Dec 7 to Saturday, Dec 10.”
While the annual Birds of Prey World Cup races have been cancelled (and picked up by Val d’Isere, France), many of the festivities scheduled to bolster the races will still go on this coming weekend.
“Snow has blanketed our valley and we are looking forward to a great winter season,” said Vail Valley Foundation spokesman Tom Boyd. “To celebrate, we will be hosting the second annual EverBank America’s Winter Opening in Beaver Creek Dec. 1-3 with concerts, kettle curling, fireworks, and a lot more.
“My favorite, of course, will be the return of the Raptor Education Foundation and their beautiful birds of prey, who confirmed they are bringing their golden eagle to Beaver Creek for the event. She is an amazing 35 years old!”
Here’s the full press release from the Vail Valley Foundation:
Beaver Creek set for entertaining, exciting weekend at the second-annual EverBank America’s Winter Opening December 1-3
Beaver Creek, Colo., Nov. 24, 2016 — Winter has arrived, and Beaver Creek will be celebrating its arrival at the second-annual EverBank America’s Winter Opening on December 1-3.
The event features a soaring lineup starting Thursday, Dec. 1 and continuing through the weekend with concerts, kettle curling, sponsor expos, on-site giveaways, restaurant deals, fireworks, and the all-new Beers of Prey beer tasting event at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
“This time of year there’s a lot of excitement for the winter ahead. Locals and visitors are ready to break out their skis and snowboards and jump into the season,” said Duncan Horner, Executive Director of the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “EverBank America’s Winter Opening is a great way to enjoy the winter conditions in the daytime, and activities in Beaver Creek Village in the afternoon and evening.”
Tickets are on sale now for a series of events, including the ‘Beers of Prey’ winter seasonal beer tastings, performances from Strange Americans, Bonfire dub and friends, and a showing of The Fourth Phase, the new movie from Red Bull Media House (see below for full schedule of events). Visit AmericasWinterOpening.com to buy tickets and learn more.
The ‘Beers of Prey’ craft beer tasting session will take place at the Vilar Performing Arts Center Friday, Dec. 1. The event will bring ten craft breweries to the VPAC for a sampling of their finest products and featuring their winter seasonals. The event will also offer special passes to three special-release tasting sessions in the VPAC’s May Gallery.
Patrons can pair the tasting with the Bonfire dub concert (which also takes place at the VPAC on Friday night), or purchase tickets solely for the tasting. Friday night tickets are available at AmericasWinterOpening.com for $35, and the special tasting sessions are $10 each. Combine the concert and the tasting for $40.
As part of the EverBank America’s Winter Opening, Birds of Prey Way festivities are also set to take place in Beaver Creek village Friday and Saturday. The Pumphouse Bar will open at 3 p.m. on Friday and 12 p.m. on Saturday with specials on Lagunitas beer, Korbel California Champaign, and other winter libations.
The Winter Wondergrass All-Stars play live music Friday afternoon in the Village, and Town Cavalry, followed by the Williams Brothers Band, play Saturday afternoon in the Village, alongside the popular kettle curling tournament, demos and sponsor booths, prizes and giveaways.
The unique “raptor experience” will also be on hand. This perennial favorite is provided by the Raptor Education Foundation, which brings real birds of prey to Beaver Creek each year. This year the Raptor Education Foundation is expecting to bring its golden eagle, screech owl, and other birds of prey to Beaver Creek Village Friday from 3 – 6 p.m., Saturday from noon-to-6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m.-to noon.
Sponsor expos will bring games, prizes and giveaways to the Village on Friday and Saturday, with activations from Cirque Mountain Apparel, EverBank, HiDow, BevPaw, Tipsy Elves, Noosa Yoghurt, and more.
“We’ll be having a good time, celebrating the season, and giving away some great prizes, including GoPro cameras and more,” said Dave Dressman, Vice President of Sponsorship for the Vail Valley Foundation. “It’s going to be a fun and very entertaining weekend in Beaver Creek.”
The EverBank America’s Winter Opening and FIS Audi Birds of Prey are brought to you by the Vail Valley Foundation, Beaver Creek Resort Company, Vail Resorts, Town of Avon, U.S. Forest Service, EverBank, Audi, USSA, FIS, Longines, Putnam Investments, the Vail Daily, The Steadman Clinic, Korbel California Champagne, GoPro, and NexGen Hyperbaric.
For more information about the EverBank America’s Winter Opening visit AmericasWinterOpening.com or call the Vail Valley Foundation at (970) 777-2015.
Schedule of events*
Thursday, Dec. 1
12 – 8 p.m.: Free ice skating, Beaver Creek ice rink
5 – 8 p.m. Disco Skate Night
8 p.m.: Strange Americans concert, Vilar Performing Arts Center, $15
Friday, Dec. 2
12 – 2 p.m.: Free ice skating, Beaver Creek ice rink
3 – 6 p.m. Birds of Prey Way: Pumphouse Bar, live music from Winter Wondergrass All-Stars, kettle
curling, expo area, on-site giveaways and more
3-6 p.m.: Raptor Education Foundation birds-of-prey educational display
3 p.m.: Beers of Prey + Bonfire Dub and Friends combo pack, VPAC, Tickets $40
3 p.m.: Beers of Prey Tasting event ticket only, VPAC, Tickets $35
3:30 p.m.: Beers of Prey Special Tasting Session, VPAC’s May Gallery, Tickets $10
4:30 p.m.: Beers of Prey Special Tasting Session, VPAC’s May Gallery, Tickets $10
5:30 p.m.: Beers of Prey Special Tasting Session, VPAC’s May Gallery, Tickets $10
6 p.m.: Fireworks in Beaver Creek Village
8 p.m.: Bonfire Dub and Friends concert ticket only, VPAC, Tickets $10
Saturday, Dec. 3
12 – 6 p.m.: Birds of Prey Way: Pumphouse Bar, live music from Town Cavalry & the Williams Brothers
Band, kettle curling, expo area, on-site giveaways and more
12 – 6 p.m.: Raptor Education Foundation birds-of-prey educational display
7:30 p.m.: Film: The Fourth Phase, Red Bull Media House, VPAC, Tickets $10
Sunday, Dec. 4
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Raptor Education Foundation birds-of-prey educational display
* Schedule subject to change