Aspen Mountain closes season with three parties Sunday | PostIndependent.com

Aspen Mountain closes season with three parties Sunday

Staff Report

Snowmass closing weekend activities

Send off Snowmass’ 50th season with a bang Saturday and Sunday as the ski area celebrates its closing weekend with beach-themed parties on and off the hill, the return of Schneetag and the pond skim, a pig roast, live music, drink specials and more.

SATURDAY

11:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.: “Surf + Snow” party

The party begins at Elk Camp with DJ Naka G and DJ Hex, leis, hot tubs, drink specials, a taco bar, margarita bike blenders and a raffle with free giveaways. Swim attire is encouraged for the swimsuit ski parade, which will start at Elk Camp at 3:45 p.m.

1-4 p.m.: Gwyn’s beach party

Gwyn’s High Alpine Restaurant, located mid-mountain, will host a beach-themed dance party with food and drink specials. DJ Berkel Beats will provide the tunes.

2-8 p.m.: Spring fling party and pig roast

The second annual party and pig roast — complete with a sand dance floor, DJs, hot tubs, wine and sake tastings, food and drink specials and a bounce house for the children — will take place in Base Village. Proceeds benefit Challenge Aspen.

3-6 p.m.: Venga Venga apres party

The cantina and tequila bar on the Snowmass Mall will host an apres-ski party with live music and Milagro Tequila.

3:45 p.m.: Swimsuit ski down

For the second annual year, Snowmass will seek to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest swimsuit ski down. The ski down will start at Elk Camp and end at Base Village.

SUNDAY

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Schneetag and pond skim

The 10th annual Schneetag, which will return to Spider Sabich race arena, invites teams of four to create a craft that they will pilot down a slope and attempt to float across a pond. Each team has a theme and will perform a skit before they descend. New this year, individual skiers and snowboarders will be allowed to skim the pond in addition to the teams with crafts. Register at gosnowmass.com.

2-4 p.m.: Smith Optics Grudge Match Rail Jam

Post-Schneetag, 30 of the best riders around will compete for the best trick in a rail jam format in the same location as Schneetag. Registration began April 1 at Radio Board Shop in Aspen.

3 p.m.: Banana Hunt

A time-honored Snowmass tradition, Banana Days will culminate the 2017-18 ski season and 50th year. Search for bananas across Fanny Hill between Spider Sabich and Base Village. The banana hunt will feature more than 100 prizes.

For updates on Snowmass’ spring fling celebration this weekend as well as end-of-season restaurant and retail specials, visit gosnowmass.com/events.

Skiers and snowboarders could have heard a pin drop at the base of Aspen Mountain on closing day a few years ago. Both restaurants and bars on gondola plaza were closed for the season and the party raged over at the now defunct 39 Degrees at the Sky Hotel.

What a difference three years makes. The Aspen Skiing Co. has stepped up its closing day game and is having two parties Sunday — one at the top and another at the bottom of Ajax.

The festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Sundeck with an ’80s prom party. Prom dresses are the preferred attire, and a king and queen will be crowned. The popular Colorado ’80s band The Goonies will play on the outdoor deck from noon until 3 p.m. Regardless of whether there’s sunshine, it will be dark and stormy up there as Goslings Rum will be the drink special.

In the afternoon, the party moves to the bottom at Ajax Tavern, where another live band will ratchet things up even further for Skico’s La Ultima Fiesta. Just like two years ago, the closing party will take on the life of a Mexican fiesta.

Cabo San Lucas’ Mala Rumba band — who apparently sound similar to the Gypsy Kings — will play from 2-5:30 p.m. There will be food stations set up on the patio, including a taco shack.

May Selby, senior public relations and social media manager, said the menu will be “Mexican with a taste of the Middle East.”

There will be $4 draft beers and $8 glasses of wine and margaritas.

Those prices are far from the menu of a couple of weeks ago during Skico’s Veuve Clicquot in the Snow event at Ajax Tavern.

From Friday through Sunday during the spring break weeks, there was a minimum order of 12 bottles of Veuve Champagne per table. That was set against a backdrop of a DJ, dancing and security personnel in suits, sunglasses and ear pieces watching the party on the patio unfold.

Selby said it was short-lived, and was meant as an alternative to guarantee a table for those who were willing to spend big bucks. Because the tavern doesn’t take reservations, a minimum of $175 per person was instituted during that time to keep some tables open. Even though it was successful, the program likely won’t be coming back.

Across gondola plaza is local spot Shlomo’s. They are having a closing day party as well, with a DJ, dancing and drink specials like buckets of rose, white wine and prosecco for $100, along with shots and margaritas.

And in true Aspen fashion, be prepared to get sprayed with Champagne, because that seems to be all the rage in the world of patio partying these days.