Gay Ski Week in Vail brings crowds
VAIL, Colorado – Vail Gay Ski Week promoters and volunteers are predicting Vail’s event will become Colorado’s gay ski week.
It’s the first year for Vail Gay Ski Week, while Aspen and Telluride have held successful gay ski weeks for years. Vail’s proximity to Denver, though, gives it that extra local’s touch, said volunteer Sean Ragsdale, who works for Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals, which created the event.
“We tried to make it affordable – there’re more locals, more Coloradans,” Ragsdale said Thursday.
Aspen’s Gay Ski Week costs an average of $6,000 per person and typically attracts people from all over, while Vail’s is more in the $1,000 range, and the majority of participants are coming from the Denver area, said Janyce Brandon, Vail Gay Ski Week spokeswoman.
As of Thursday morning, the second official day of Vail Gay Ski Week, about 360 people were registered and signed in for the event. Organizers are expecting a lot more Front Rangers to show up today for the weekend of events that includes a beer bust party at the Donovan Pavilion and a silent auction and dinner benefiting the Denver-based Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado.
One Avon man, who calls himself Big Dirt, is volunteering for Gay Ski Week and is looking forward to networking. He said the Vail Valley lacks a decent gay and lesbian scene, other than the Bully Ranch on Thursday nights.
Gay Ski Week is also a great opportunity for people to come out of the closet, Big Dirt said.
Ragsdale and Big Dirt set up an information tent in front of the Marketplace on Meadow Drive Thursday, passing out information, condoms, stickers and other promotional items. Big Dirt said a construction worker walked over from Solaris and inquired with them – a perfect example of the event allowing people who might otherwise keep their sexuality to themselves to open up.
Ragsdale said the event gained momentum when a couple wrote a letter to the Vail Daily a few months ago chastising the event. The response to that letter showed how much the overall community, gay and straight, supported the event, he said.
“For me, it just made me want to prove something to the community – that it could be successful in the first year,” Ragsdale said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
“Turn off the lights! Turn off the lights!” the crowd yelled as Joseph Thompson stood behind his music mixing board and flashing strobe lights inside the school gym during Thursday night’s special halftime performance on…