Counting Crows headline inaugural Vail Snow Daze |

Counting Crows headline inaugural Vail Snow Daze

VAIL – If you had to convince a superstar band to come to your small town, there are certainly harder sells than Vail, which has a bit more natural luster than, say, Dubuque (no offense to any Iowans out there).In one of the highest-profile concerts in Vail’s history, San Francisco’s Counting Crows will headline Vail’s inaugural Snow Daze, a two-week long celebration to kick off the ski season. “They’re very excited to perform here in Vail,” said James Deighan, of festival organizers Highline Sports & Entertainment. “They’re going to be in Vail for a few days to enjoy the event just like all the attendees. They’re excited to check out all the skiing as well, since the Back Bowls will likely be open.””They’re not just going to play a gig to play a gig – they’re stoked to be doing it up on the mountains,” said Jeff Brausch, also of Highline.Vail Snow Daze runs from Dec. 4-17, with the Counting Crows concert happening Dec. 9. in Ford Park. While there will be 8,000 tickets for sale to the event, starting Friday Vail Valley residents will get first dibs on discounted tickets for $35 when purchased at the Bottle & Cork in Edwards, LaScala in Eagle, the Crossroads Market in Vail, or through the Counting Crows Web site. General ticket sales start Monday at, and Dec. 1, tickets will go up to $50. There will be no will-call or day-of ticket sales.”Counting Crows is probably the most sensational band we’ve brought to town; I think they have a fan base like no other,” said Amy Hornyak of Highline. “Everyone can pretty much sing a Counting Crows song, if put on the spot.”Chris Yaw, a former Vail resident who now lives in Battle Creek, Mich., plans to travel out for the show – his second cross-country jaunt to check out the band.”After I saw them in L.A. and got blown away, I started calling them ‘Counting Whoahs’,” Yaw said. “Seeing them live is so different from hearing what you’re used to – I’m looking forward to hearing the new twists, the different riffs out there in Vail.”Vail Resorts teamed with Highline Sports & Entertainment to create an early-season festival after the runaway success of Springback to Vail, their popular end-of-season festival that began in 2004. This past spring’s headliners included G. Love & Special Sauce, P.O.D., Cracker and Hoobastank.”We wanted to give the front side of the season that same energy,” Brausch said. “It’s time to celebrate the coming of winter; it’s a natural celebration for all of us in the valley, and we want other people coming to Vail to join us in that. With Counting Crows involved, it’s a smash hit right out of the gates.”In addition to the Crows, Snow Daze will feature two weeks of bar parties, an encore performance from Springback favorite and Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike and on-snow competitions like King of the Hill. Perhaps the most peculiar event is the Dummy Gelunde World Championships, which will take place Dec. 16, at Golden Peak.The “sport” of Dummy Gelunde involves contestants creating snowriding dummies, which they will send careening down a snow course off a giant kicker. The dummies will be judged on speed, best crash-and-burn, dummy décor, biggest air and overall dummy agility. Brausch said they got the idea from watching stunts in old Warren Miller movies.”We thought, ‘let’s get people out there having fun and not taking themselves too seriously,'” he said. “This isn’t the Birds of Prey – let’s watch normal people doing goofy things and enjoying themselves.”Just to cover their bases, Vail Resorts has invited representatives from the Ute tribe to perform a “snow dance” at the Eagle’s Nest lift just in time for the Snow Daze opening ceremonies.”I’m really excited for the early season,” Hornyak said. “So let’s cross our fingers for snow.”Arts & Entertainment Writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or

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