Holidays in Colorado Ski Country Bring Good Cheer and Festive Events

Colorado Ski resorts are preparing to help guests ring in the holidays with promotions and events designed to give travelers more options and cheaper deals when visiting the slopes this ski season. From visits with Santa to great deals on ski packages, travelers are sure to find merriment that will suit them. Below is a snapshot of upcoming holiday activities and deals being offered at some Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts this holiday season.

Arapahoe Basin

This season, Arapahoe Basin will be hosting its first New Year’s Eve dinner at Black Mountain Lodge. Diners can take the new Black Mountain Express up to the Lodge. They can enjoy cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres followed by a tasteful surf and turf dinner, big band sounds, dancing and party favors. New Year’s revelers can toast the New Year with Champagne whilst basking in the views of the Continental Divide. After dinner, guests may chose to snowshoe down the mountain or ride the chairlift back to the base area.

The New Year’s Eve dinner will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is $89 per person including gratuity and a cash bar. For details please contact Arapahoe Basin at 888-ARAPAHOE (272-7246).

There will be other dinners held during the ski season that will encompass cuisine from regions such as the Andes, the Pyrenees and the Dolomites. Currently, dinners are scheduled for January 19, February 19, March 19 and April 16, 2011 during the full moon cycle. Information about these dinners can be found online at www.arapahoebasin.com, details will be added as they are known.
Copper Mountain

Around the holiday time, Copper offers several chances for kids to meet Santa and let him know whether they’ve been naughty or nice. On December 18, 24, and 25, the resort offers its High Alpine Holidays, an opportunity for visitors to celebrate the magic and joy of the season. The holidays come to the Village at Copper, with its tree lighting at dusk, carolers, s’mores, photos with Santa and free gift wrap for Village purchases. Santa and his reindeer will make their appearance from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on December 18, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on December 24 and 10 a.m. to Noon on December 25.

On Christmas Eve Copper will offer its annual Torchlight Parade and En Fuego, a long-standing holiday tradition, with a spectacular torchlight parade weaving its way down the mountain as The Village at Copper sparkles with holiday cheer. En Fuego includes street entertainers, bonfires, fire performers and fireworks to complete the evening. The festivities close with New Year’s Eve En Fuego, on December 31. For more information please visit www.CopperColorado.com.
Crested Butte

Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s (CBMR) Grandest Christmas package returns for another season featuring four nights of lodging at The Grand Lodge Hotel, and three days of skiing or riding at CBMR for a family of four, for under $1,000. Dazzling twinkle lights line Elk Avenue and crowds gather for the Torchlight Parade as skiers wind down the mountain on Christmas Eve. The Grand Lodge is located just 200 yards from the chairlift making access to first tracks on Christmas morning a definite possibility. CBMR’s Grandest Christmas package must be booked by December 17, 2010 for travel from December 17 through December 25, 2010 (check-out on December 26, 2010). Price is subject to availability and has been quoted prior to all fees, taxes and optional travel protection. The Grandest Christmas package is available exclusively through Crested Butte Vacations: 800-600-2803.

Holiday Events at CBMR are as plentiful as the snow. December 18 through 21 CBMR will host Rock on Ice, a professional ice carving competition with chainsaws and sculptures on display around the base area. On December 31 guests can enjoy moonlight snowshoe tours on the mountain beginning just after dusk. A gingerbread house building competition with cash prizes will happen December 21 through January 1 and a brilliant torchlight parade will wind down the front side of the mountain from Silver Queen lift at dusk on December 24 and 31. More information can be found on www.skicb.com.


Eldora

This holiday season, Eldora Mountain is offering the Boulder Ski Escape program. The program includes lodging in Boulder coupled with a lift ticket to Eldora Mountain Resort for $67.50. From Boulder, it is a 30 minute drive to Eldora Mountain Resort, which offers skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. For more information visit www.boulderskiescape.com.


Loveland Ski Area

Santa will be skiing at Loveland on December 24 and 25. Everyone will have the opportunity to make a few turns with Old St. Nick and put in any last minute gift requests. For more information please visit www.SkiLoveland.com.


Powderhorn

Powderhorn’s signature holiday deal, the Stay & Play Package, is being extended to guests for another season. For $209, the Stay & Play Package includes a night stay for two, lift tickets for two, and dinner for two, and is valid throughout the season. For details and reservations please call 970-268-5170.

For the kids, Santa will visit Powderhorn on December 18. Children have the opportunity to have breakfast with him at the Sunset Grill and can ski with him throughout the day.

On New Year’s Eve, the Rail Jam/Torchlight Parade and Fireworks will take place. At this event, Powderhorn’s top 20 skiers and riders will compete on a special feature right next to the Base Lodge. Immediately following is the annual Torchlight Parade and Fireworks show. For more information please visit www.Powderhorn.com.
Silverton Mountain

Silverton Mountain will be open for Christmas Day for the first time in eight years. Since the ski area is not a large family destination, it is a great place to escape over the holidays. Silverton, which is normally open Thursday through Sunday, will be open on Monday, December 20 as well. For more information please visit www.SilvertonMountain.com.

 
SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch

Santa will visit SolVista on December 24, just in time for Christmas. He will take time to visit Granby Ranch on Christmas Eve, followed by holiday music and a non-denominational church service at Base Camp Lodge.

Celebrate the Christmas season with an evening of night skiing and tubing under holiday lights and decorations from December 26 through 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. Listen to local carolers sing holiday songs by the fire each night from 5 to 6 p.m. Enjoy s’mores with a cup of hot chocolate or a mug of warm wine mulled with brandy, cloves, and cinnamon. The grand finale to the weeklong celebration will be fireworks over Granby Ranch at dusk on New Year’s Eve. Cost for night skiing is $10/person; tubing is $11/person; or combo ticket is $18/person.

Come ring in the New Year as well with the grand finale to the weeklong
celebration of Winter Wonderland with a synchronized torchlight ski down and spectacular fireworks over Granby Ranch. For more information please visit www.SolVista.com.

Steamboat

Eddie Bauer thinks Steamboat is the place to be this holiday season, as the resort and town are featured in the outfitter’s 2010 Holiday Catalog. Join the excitement with a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at The Cabin, visits from Santa Claus, the Sprint New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks, and holiday s’mores and hot toddy-making classes in Gondola Square.

Christmas Eve and New Year’s celebrations include holiday feasts at Hazie’s, Western BBQ, and a sleigh ride to Ragnar’s. Kids can ring in the New Year with New Year’s Eve Kids Night Out, which includes games, movies, gondola rides, dinner, snacks and watching the torchlight parade and fireworks, all for $75. Make reservations by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. For more information please visit www.Steamboat.com.


Winter Park Resort

Winter Park Resort will offer traditional holiday activities and new events beginning on Thanksgiving and running through New Year’s Eve. Traditional Thanksgiving dinner takes place at Winter Park’s premier mountaintop restaurant, The Lodge at Sunspot, which is accessible via enclosed gondola beginning on November 25.

Also join Winter Park for the new Gobble Hobble race for charity on Saturday, November 27. The race’s registration is a non-perishable food drive for local food banks. Participants will ski, ride, or snowshoe up Turnpike and down Village Way, with prizes for the top finishers: first prize is a dinner for two at The Lodge at Sunspot, second prize is a frozen turkey, and third prize is a tofurkey.

Another new holiday event for the 2010-11 season is the screening of a classic family holiday movie on the outdoor ice skating pond to celebrate the seasonal pond opening (weather permitting). Date and time is still to be determined.

During the two weekends prior to Christmas, families can celebrate the holidays with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and live reindeer, posing with them for the idyllic mountain Christmas card photos. Mountaintop mistletoe pictures will be available atop Winter Park Mountain, with the picturesque Parry’s Peak in the background. Traditional carolers will be strolling and singing throughout The Village at Winter Park, while the dancing trees are certain to entertain. Santa will be available to take a few runs with children each day during the week of Christmas.

On December 11 and 12, Ski, Snowboard and Snowshoe Demo Fest will take place at the base area. This is a great opportunity for skiers, riders and snowshoers to try the newest in high quality demos for FREE from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More than 20 manufacturers will be on-site, showcasing their latest designs and equipment.  For more information, call the Winter Park Guest Services Information Hotline at (970) 726-1564 or visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Christmas Eve is the highlight of the season at Winter Park, as the traditional Torchlight Parade takes place. To begin the evening, T’was The Night Before Christmas will be read in The Village at Winter Park gazebo, and guests can make their way from the free parking areas to the free Christmas Eve festivities. Santa Claus and his reindeer will welcome and join guests at the Village Gazebo until 3 p.m. Guests can then make their way to the base of the resort, gathering around the bonfire near the Zephyr Express Chairlift to watch skiers descend Lower Hughes with flares in hand, followed by snowcats in a Christmas tree design and Santa skiing down and meeting the children at the bottom.

The celebrations come to an end with brilliant fireworks and Catholic or non-denominational church services. For details, dates, and times, please visit www.winterparkresort.com and click on the events tab. All activities are conditions dependent and subject to change.
Wolf Creek

Santa will be visiting the ski area December 24 and 25, giving kids the opportunity to see and chat with him about what they want for Christmas.

Wolf Creek Lodge will also be serving their annual Cornish Game Hen lunch with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and dessert for $7.50. This is a traditional Holiday lunch, which Wolf Creek visitors look forward to every Christmas. For more information please visit www.WolfCreekSki.com.

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Ryan Alford