On the heels of the largest snowmaking expansion project in Vail Mountain’s history and in North America, Vail is set to open on Friday with a reimagined opening day terrain experience, offering skiers and riders approximately 70 acres of terrain accessed via Gondola One in Vail Village starting at 9 a.m.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to kick off the 2019-2020 winter season at Vail on Friday,” said Beth Howard, Vail Mountain’s new vice president and chief operating officer, in a company news release. “Thanks to our enormous snowmaking expansion project, we have an entirely new early-season terrain package available this year, and we can’t wait for our guests to experience the difference. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to our mountain operations teams for their hard work this summer and fall to make it all possible.”
New for this season, Vail will open skiing and riding out of Vail Village, with upload and download access to the Mid-Vail area via Gondola One. The resort will offer skiing and riding terrain for all ability levels on trails accessed by Mountaintop Express Lift (No. 4) out of Mid-Vail including Swingsville, Ramshorn, Slifer Express, Cappuccino, Upper Powerline, Lower Meadows, beginner terrain out of Golden Peak’s Gopher Hill Lift (No. 12) and Sherry’s Carpet (No. 33), and the connector trail between Golden Peak and Vail Village.
As part of the Opening Day festivities, Vail’s COO Beth Howard along with snowmaking project leaders will perform a celebratory ribbon cutting on one of Vail’s new state-of-the-art snow guns at the base of Gondola One at 8:30 a.m.
This year’s Opening Day will unveil Vail Mountain’s entirely new and enhanced early-season ski experience, made possible by this summer’s massive snowmaking expansion project — the largest in Vail Mountain’s history and the largest one-year snowmaking expansion in North America. Nearly 200 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking terrain this season, in addition to the previously existing 431 acres of snowmaking terrain, provides guests with access to higher elevation terrain, a broader variety of trails, and improved early season ski school terrain. Vail will continue to make snow across the mountain at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and look to expand open terrain as soon as possible.
Complimentary breakfast burritos and hot cocoa will be provided in Mountain Plaza at the base of Gondola One for early risers on opening day, while supplies last. Express Lift Bar will be open in Mountain Plaza as well. For dining on the mountain, Look Ma at Mid-Vail and Buffalo’s at the top of Mountaintop Express Lift (No. 4) will be fully operational starting at 9 a.m.
In support of its major snowmaking investments on the mountain, Vail will also be kicking off exciting new traditions in the early season this year:
Beginning on Opening Day and continuing every day throughout the season, bells will be rung at 3 p.m. throughout Vail Village, Lionshead Village and on the mountain, signifying the start to après-ski: a time to celebrate the day’s achievements on the mountain and come together with the community to enjoy the post-skiing experience. During Vail Après, guests will enjoy unique offerings such as champagne toasts, signature food and drink specials, and retail promotions. Vail Mountain and the Town of Vail have partnered to bring this experience to life, distributing bells to local merchants and community partners to ring each day at 3 p.m., in homage to Vail’s European Alpine heritage.
This Thanksgiving, Vail is debuting its new holiday tradition: Revely Vail, a week-long celebration to kick off the holiday season and the 2019-2020 winter ski season. From Nov. 23-30, Revely Vail will offer family-oriented activities throughout Vail Village, including cooking classes, ice skating, a Gingerbread Contest, Explosion of Lights and a Kris Kringle Market. A signature 10th Mountain Legacy Parade will also take place along the streets of Vail on Friday, Nov. 29, honoring veterans and commemorating the unique legacy of Vail’s founders.
Early season and uphill access
All guests are reminded that they must observe all posted signs, closures and slow zones, especially during the early season. Closed trails may contain hazards due to early snow coverage. Accessing closed terrain is a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and will result in the loss of skiing privileges and could involve prosecution and a fine.
During the early season, uphill access routes will be very limited and are subject to change and/or close on a daily basis. Uphill access is currently closed. For the safety of guests and employees, all uphill access users are required to call the Uphill Access Hotline before accessing the mountain at (970)-754-3049. For more information on the resort’s uphill access policy and guidelines, including designated routes during winter operations, visit our Safety Info page here.
The ticket and season pass offices located in Vail Village, Golden Peak and Lionshead will be open daily beginning on Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about Vail Mountain visit http://www.vail.com, stop by the Mountain Information Center, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).
Vail Ski & Snowboard School
Beginning Friday, the Vail Village and Golden Peak Ski & Snowboard School will be open. Walk-ins are accepted. For the best price guaranteed, guests are encouraged to book in advance online at http://www.vail.com or by calling (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).