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Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013



Why uphill access at Colorado ski resorts is changing and what it means for skinning, hiking and snowshoeing in Eagle County

World Cup, round two

Eagle County by air

Keeping it in the family

An international field of top male ski racers takes to Birds of Prey this weekend

How the EGE Air Alliance plans to fuel economic growth through the ECO airport

Nashville-based duo You Knew Me When brings eclectic, soulful tunes to Eagle

Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013





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8 | Living History in Vail 9 | Howies jacket review 16 | 3 Itineraries 17 | Vail Valley Food Tours 18 | Crazy Mountain party 19 | SneakSPORTS 20 | Calendar of events 21 | 52 Weeks

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SneakPEAK Vail is a locally owned arts, entertainment and lifestyle magazine, published weekly throughout the year for the Colorado mountain communities of Eagle County.

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West of Solaris • Vail Village Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013




You Knew Me When at Bonfire 12.6.2013

TUNES Power couple

The husband and wife team of You Knew Me When return to Colorado for a free show. By Elizabeth Escobar. Filling a gap in the modern music scene is the sound of You Knew Me When – one that blends soulful lyrics with the rhythms of indie and folk rock.

Acoustic husband-wife duo You Knew Me When. Photos special to SneakPEAK.

The result is uniquely their own – full of an authenticity, heart, and ukulele that just isn’t heard often enough. Since leaving their Nashville home in 2012 to set off on the unpredictable road that is touring, the husband and wife duo have built a steady fan base. Playing across the country and back again, Cie and Karisa Hoover have shown that there is indeed a desire – even a need – for the kind of profound yet playful music they offer. On Friday the pair will return to Bonfire Brewing to treat the crowd to a night of free music. If you’ve ever wanted to see an artist before they “made it big”, this is one show that will pay off. Prior to their twelve years now so we’ve obviously grown and changed a lot in that time welcomed return to the mountains, SneakPEAK spoke with Cie Hoover to frame, but outside of our personal relationship, it’s kind of one of those great discuss the duo’s musical evolution. things where people can reflect back about how SneakPEAK: Let’s start at the beginning – I know that your muthings change--how people grow and progress sical partnership didn’t form until after you were already married. and evolve. How did it finally came about? Cie Hoover: We met our freshman year of college at Belmont SP: Your musical roots are in Nashville. With Who: Cie and Karisa Hoover University in Nashville and we eventually got married after graduso many other artists trying to get their start there, of the Nashville-based duo ating. Karisa was focusing on music education and I still had a little did it ever feel like you might not get the notice You Knew Me When will play voice in the back of my head that wanted to have a creative outyou were looking for? a show at Bonfire Brewing When: Friday, Dec. 6 at 8 let. So we got to our one year anniversary and took a trip down to CH: Nashville is a fickle beast when it comes p.m. Puerto Rico. Karisa brought her ukulele along and we were sitting to music. It can be one of the greatest benefits as Where: Bonfire Brewing with it around by the beach one night when we made up a song, and a musician because you have a lot of resources at taproom, Eagle it was like one of those “aha moments.” That was the genesis. your fingertips. But it can obviously pose some Cost: Free challenges at the same time because there’s just SP: What came next? a lot of people doing the same thing. Part of the To find out about Bonfire’s CH: It was more of a hobby initially and then a few years went point of us getting out and touring around is beupcoming shows, visit by and things got a little more serious. We started playing more cause we kind of felt like we needed to get out shows and then eventually it got to the point where we were like, of Nashville to let ourselves expand beyond that events. You can listen to the music of You Knew Me “Hey, do we want to do this as a full-time thing?” So it was a promarket. When before Friday at their gression. website: SP: What’s one song that represents your SP: You bring a range of genres and elements to your music. est album, “You, Me, and the Rest of the World” What’s your songwriting process like? best? CH: We both take leads on different songs and with our writing. CH: That’s a good question. I think the first My songs tend to be a little more introspective and singer-songwriter style while track, a song called “Slow Down.” The sentiment of the song is really about livKarisa plays the ukulele a lot and has more of a happy, peppy vibe to her songs. ing each moment as it comes and not getting caught up in all the craziness that’s It creates a good mixture. A lot of the sentiments that are written about harken going on around you. The whole album is about taking a step back to embrace back to the phrase “you knew me when.” and appreciate what you’ve got. SneakPEAK writer Elizabeth Escobar can be reached at SP: Speaking of that phrase, you say that you feel like your name [You Knew Me When] is something everyone can relate to. Can you elaborate? CH: It kind of harkens back to our relationship. We’ve been a couple for





Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013

The simple joys of homemade hot cocoa


The artisan’s hot chocolate Nothing warms one on a cold winter night quite like an artisan cup of hot chocolate.

Felicia Kalaluhi Lifelong baker Felicia Kalaluhi is the owner of Cornerstone Chocolates and Confections in Minturn, where she creates custom wedding cakes, handmade artisan chocolates and dessert bars. She also teaches a pastry course at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. Contact her at felicia@ cornerstonechocolates. com.

Can anything compare to that warm mug in your cold hands? I get chills merely thinking about the nostalgic taste of this silky-smooth beverage on my lips. There are many ways to prepare classic hot chocolate. I prefer to make mine with milk, heavy cream or half and half, and real chocolate. The consistency will be creamier and richer in flavor. Keep in mind that a smaller portion size is acceptable for this indulgent treat – watching how much you drink will keep your caloric intake in check, especially since the fun has only just begun! There is a plethora of ways to add variety to this conventional beverage: marshmallows, liquor, zest, extract, peppermint sticks, homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings, just some to name a few. I really enjoy a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream in mine!



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cream and two tablespoons of powdered sugar. Agitate the heavy cream using a wire whisk. The cold bowl will encourage the heavy cream to whip faster. Your arm may get tired from whisking, but be patient and switch arms if necessary until you notice the cream begin to thicken. Whip the cream to a soft peak, being careful not to over-whip the mixture to a primitive form of butter. For faster, hands-free preparation, you can also use a stand mixer, if one is available. If marshmallows are more your style, then try a scratch-made variety in your own kitchen. They add a personal touch to each cup you bestow upon friends and family. They’re also an approachable confection to make – preparation requires just a little more time and finesse! [See SWEET TOOTH, page 21]

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ATHLETICS Water yogis

This winter, Julie Circo of Paddle Yoga Colorado brings unorthodox SUP classes to the Avon Recreation Center pool. By Phil Lindeman.

During a water-bound yoga class at the Avon Recreation Center, a small group of local boys unknowingly gave the funky pastime three big, utterly honest thumbs up.

THIS PAGE Top: Students find balance during a recent SUP yoga class at the Avon Recreation Center. Bottom: A child presses his nose to the lobby glass to get a better look. OPPOSITE PAGE Julie Circo (near) moves through a simple flow on the deck as students follow. Photos: Anthony Thornton.

During a water-bound yoga class at the Avon Recreation Center, a small group of local boys unknowingly gave the funky pastime three big, utterly honest thumbs up. Last Saturday marked the first time yoga on standup paddleboards has been at the Avon pool, and unlike classes held in the semi-private studios upstairs, everyone walking through the rec center on the snowy November morning could watch the curious scene. After all, the entire pool can’t shut down for a few yogis on paddleboards, and shortly after 10 women with instructor Julie Circo launched belly-first into the lap pool, the group of three boys stopped what they were doing. They huddled behind the nearby diving board, momentarily distracted from front flips and Superman dives. “What are they doing?” one of the boys wondered as Circo explained the basics of paddling the large, surprisingly stable boards. She usually supplies paddles for summertime classes on local lakes and rivers, but the indoor pool was warm enough for the ladies to lie

down and stroke around like surfers. Everyone splashed and chuckled for a few minutes before anchoring their boards to a nearby lane rope. The pool is much tamer than open water, but for active movements like body twists and leg lifts, a bit of stability is needed. From her perch on the pool deck, Circo began giving instructions over the din of gurgling pumps and curious onlookers. “That looks intense,” the next boy said as the class slowly, somewhat shakily stood up and rocked their boards back and forth. Only two of the women have worked with Circo in the past, but all were avid yogis. A handful had even played around on SUP boards before, and it was easy to tell: While the others wobbled and swayed, the experienced ladies stood confidently before dropping to Buddha pose for breathing exercises. Although SUP is a decades-old part of beach-bum culture, it’s become wildly popular in mountain communities over the past two or three years. Vail locals now take boards down Class III rapids, on fly fishing excursions and, in Circo’s case, on yoga getaways. With an unbeatable mixture of natural beauty and relative tranquility, Rocky Mountain waterways are perfect settings for yoga. It’s a noticeably different vibe than the ordered insanity of a busy pool on the weekend, and several people in the class made small talk about the distractions. But Circo doesn’t find the indoor environment unsettling – if anything, she says it can make learning easier, or at least more comfortable. Most newbies are a bit tentative to fall in the water, particularly at Circo’s usual training venue at the EagleVail pond. The pool stays at a steady 84 degrees – much kinder than 60 degrees on the Colorado River – and the water is clear, calm and free of sharp rocks. “A lot of people can have fun and push their limits if they don’t have to worry about falling,” said Circo, who has also hosted SUP yoga at the WECMRD pool in Eagle. “It’s really no fun to play it safe. When you’re out on the ocean, it actually feels great to drop in and cool off for a bit after you’re done with yoga. We miss that in the mountains, and the pool almost recreates it.” The boys continued to watch as the ladies moved from Buddha to tabletop, a relatively easy transition when low and relaxed. They made a few more comments about the strange hobby, but they could’ve stopped there. While the yoga group began a relatively

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SUP THIS WINTER Julie Circo of Paddle Yoga Colorado plans to hold regular indoor SUP yoga throughout the winter. The hour-long courses will run every Thursday at 8:45 a.m., beginning Jan. 2. (Pricing TBD). She also teaches summer classes on rivers and lakes throughout Summit and Eagle counties. For more info, call Circo at 970.393.3328 or find the Paddle Yoga Colorado Facebook page.



simple flow – first tabletop, then downward-facing dog, then warrior – the boys tried to guess who would fall first. Even at 10 years old, they understood how wildly difficult an otherwise easy pose can be on a SUP board. (It doesn’t hurt that the boards are cool playthings.) Circo gets similar comments wherever she goes, from Rancho del Rio on the Colorado River to Dillon Reservoir in Summit County. She hopes to eventually lead a regular outdoor class at Nottingham Lake this summer, and before the indoor session began, she had to turn away a last-minute attendee because she didn’t have enough boards.

For the first few minutes, the third boy had quietly watched, only chiming in occasionally when his buddies pointed out something new or odd about the scene in the lap pool. Shortly before returning to dives and flips, he ended the distraction with the sort of comment Circo hears often. “I want to try next time,” he said, then turned and dove as the first SUP yogi fell into the pool with a laugh.

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Living History with Fritz Benedict 12.10.2013

HAPPENINGS Aspen’s architect

Living History presentation brings visionary Aspen resident Fritz Benedict back to life. By Laura Lieff.

Bringing history back to life is no easy feat, but the Town of Vail Public Library has figured out how to do it. Through the Evenings of Engagement program, the library hosts living history presentations that feature performers known as Chautauquans, who bring important historical figures back to life. On Dec. 10, lawyer and businessman Al Dietsch is the Chautauquan who will portray deceased architect Fritz Benedict (1914-1995) who designed the master plans for Vail in 1962. Dietsch knew Benedict both What: Living History personally and professionally. presentation featuring “It’s important to keep history alive,” Fritz Benedict, a renowned says town librarian Lori A. Barnes. architect and founder of the “Fritz Benedict’s story ties in with the 10th Mountain Division hut system Town of Vail and makes people aware Where: Vail Public Library of our roots. Vail is young but we are (across from Dobson Arena) proud of the history we’ve got and it’s When: Tuesday, Dec. 10 at important to learn about it.” 5:30 p.m. Kicking off the presentation will be Cost: Free and open to Dietsch in character as Benedict which, the public according to Barnes, “will allow the audience to ‘meet,’ so to speak, Fritz Light refreshments will be first.” At the end of Dietsch’s preserved. For more informasentation as Benedict, Dietsch he will tion, call the library at go back to being himself and answer 970.479.2187. questions from the audience. Following the question and answer portion of the program, light refreshments will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with Dietsch.


Benedict’s history With his wife Fabi, Benedict also designed the master plans for Snowmass in 1967 and Breckenridge in 1971 and assisted with design work for ski resorts in Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Winter Park. Benedict first fell in love with Aspen

Far left: Fritz Benedict, 1968. Near left: Benedict outside of his Aspen offices (date unknown). Photos: Aspen Historical Society.

in 1941 when he ventured there to race in the National Skiing Championships. He ended up spending 40 years there, leaving a legacy of community involvement that guided the development and growth of Aspen. He designed more than 200 buildings in the Aspen area throughout his career. Benedict also founded the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association, which was created to encourage appreciation and use of Colorado’s mountains for recreational purposes. Inspired by European trails and his own experience skiing between Vail and Aspen, Benedict lead the development of a system of 10 huts and 300 miles of trail between Aspen and Vail. Designed to provide a safe and comfortable shelter overnight on the back country trails, today the Association manages 30 backcountry huts connected by 350 miles of trails. Career achievements In addition to his architectural achievements and founding the Hut Association, Benedict was the first chairman of Aspen’s Planning and Zoning Commission and was instrumental in open space preservation, establishment of the city park system, the development of code banning billboards and neon signs and the creation of a pedestrian mall. He was also directly involved in the Aspen Music Festival, serving on the Board of Music Associates of Aspen from 1958 to 1992. Both Benedict and Dietsch were Chairmen of the Aspen Music Festival and School. As one of the leading architects in Aspen’s development, Benedict received numerous award and honors throughout his lifetime and is often referred to as a pioneer in the growth of Aspen from a former mining town to a renowned ski resort. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1995 for his contributions to both Aspen and the Colorado ski industry. SneakPEAK writer Laura Lieff can be reached at

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A mid-weight shell for cycling, hiking and snowshoeing


Howies Brecon jacket

The battle between form and function wages on with a mid-weight, wool-insulated shell from the UK. By Phil Lindeman. Photo by Anthony Thornton.

In Colorado, the jacket makes the man – tailored cut and Italian fabric be damned. In Colorado, the jacket makes the man – tailored cut and Italian fabric be damned. As a Colorado native, I’ve learned a warm, functional jacket does more for your image and legitimacy than anything with an Armani or Brooks Brothers label. Sure, certain spots in downtown Denver and even along Bridge Street in Vail demand visual panache, but by and large, this state is known for ignoring the status quo. It’s one of the few places on Earth where you’ll see more parkas than pea coats at a wedding. Geography aside, nearly all fashion debates boil down to a tug-of-war between form and function, particularly with outerwear. The best manufacturers find a way to meld the two – North Face and Patagonia boast two of the most attractive and reliable clothing lines, with the outrageous price point to match – and the rest fall along the Outerwear Spectrum. (Yep, just another vaguely technical term this industry doesn’t need.) One end has tall tees and cotton long johns, while the other has fully taped seams and polypropyl-

ene everything. More often than not, age and activity determine where your loyalties lie. Howies, a UK manufacturer looking to break into the U.S. outerwear market, is tough to place on this spectrum. The company’s products are sleek, simple and somewhat timeless, with few of the extraneous touches teenage ski bums drool over. Then again, that same timelessness feels a bit boring and underwhelming, like forgetting to pair cufflinks and suspenders with a tux. My indecision on Howies isn’t the side-effect of brand-name snobbery. Take the men’s Brecon jacket, a mid-weight shell with a touch of insulation and minimalistic features. It’s made for running, cycling, mountaineering and other outdoorsy diversions – in other words, it feels right at home in Eagle County. The technical specs are all there: 5K waterproofing (just enough for light snow), polyester outer and inner lining (both of which are far from flimsy) and, most importantly, natural wool insulation. I’ve honestly never worn a jacket with wool insulation – at least not one made in the past 15 years – but it won me over. Unlike goose down, it doesn’t pile or clump, and it breathed remarkably well on a cross-town bike ride and snowshoe hike up Meadow Mountain. The Brecon was just a bit too thin for a windy, after-dark trek on the east end of Minturn, but with enough base layers the jacket would truly shine. It’s just an added bonus that Howies wool (along with all its cotton) is organic and sustainably sourced. Although the jacket performed well on the road and trail, I struggled to enjoy the overall cut. The men’s large was a bit too roomy in the stomach, even as the shoulders, chest and arms fit flawlessly. A 6-foot-tall friend of mine who’s tackled the Leadville Trail 100 Run said it was the first jacket to accommodate his long, gangly wingspan, but if temperatures are above 0 degrees, he’d likely overheat on a run longer than several miles. Then came the mirror test. No matter how hard I

tried, I didn’t quite like the look. Maybe it was a bad hair day or a crooked mirror or something else on my end, but the jacket looked blocky and stiff. The neck also fit a bit tight when fully zipped, even though I appreciated the adjustable hood. (If you go with Howies this Christmas, don’t wonder why the zipper is on the left-hand side. It’s still a men’s jacket because, after all, you’re wearing it and have XY chromosomes.) Truth be told, I fall a bit more on the form side of the Outerwear Spectrum. I like my gear to fit well, move well and look good doing both, even if the waterproofing wears off after a single season, or the cotton-blend fill flattens to nearly nothing. I’m not sure I can justify North Face prices for an untested brand – both manufacture in Asia, making arguments about labor moot – but Howies is worth Jacket: Howies Brecon jacket (men’s large) keeping my eye Cost: $279 on. With a full Outer: 100-percent line of shells, polyester mid-weights, Insulation: 100-percent thermals and wool sport-specific Waterproof rating: gear for men 5,000 milliliters and women, Pockets: 5 (two the brand could fleece-lined hand pockets, one chest carve a niche pocket, two interior in the U.S. outstorage pockets) erwear market. You’d better beAt the moment, lieve Colorado Howies products are only will be the testavailable for online sale ing grounds. through

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Access across the state

: s s e c c a l l Uphi debate

ot a a courtxeplosdyin,gnpopularity of on-mounWith the e ok at ways to lo ts r so re l ca lo tain touring , . for skier safety reform access ill. By John O’Ne

Rumors swirl as in a middle school special use permit, its influence on the resorts’ lunchroom. decisions on uphill access and the public’s misconception of it. Some think and have been very vocal about “First, people think it is a lease. It isn’t a a deluded belief that they have unrestricted lease. It’s a permit,” says Doak. “It is a nonuphill, on-piste touring access because the ski exclusive permit meaning that other legitimate mountains operate on U.S. Forest Service – i.e. uses can still take place on that land.” public - land. Those people are wrong. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Doak continues, The on-mountain touring industry has bal- “That non-exclusive title does not mean comlooned in recent years for many reasons. The pletely unrestricted access to legitimate uses. equipment is now much lighter and more com- Especially if those uses interfere with the perfortable making the recreational experience of mit.” skinning up a mountain more enjoyable. Also, An example of an acceptable “unrestricted leonce available to only telemark skiers, now al- gitimate use” would be the snowshoe trails that pine touring and splitboard equipment allows criss-cross the mountain’s operations but cross all facets of downhill movement to head uphill. out of the resorts’ boundaries. “Of course it’s gotten much popular,” says There have been a number of “legitimate Lisa Glaser of Alpine Quest Sports, one the few uses” that the ski resorts and the USFS have reshops selling all necessary equipment to get up stricted over time. For instance – on-mountain the mountain. “Even alpine skiers are now get- snowmobiling and sledding during mountain ting alpine touring setups just to have the op- operating hours and non-operating hours is protion.” hibited. With the onslaught of uphillers flocking to “For years, we haven’t allowed public snowthe mountains, the ski resorts have begun crack- mobiling, even after the mountains had shut ing down. Vail, Beaver Creek and Arrowhead down for the season,” Doak says. “It is for obvihaven’t given the no-go to uphill access - which ous reasons we don’t allow it during the season. they can - but have instead left it alone asking It is a blatant safety issue.” only that folks understand the risks and call in Additionally, the special use permit that the to their uphill helplines about where they should local resorts maintain comes with the clause and should not go. that the resorts must operate with safe recre“I think there is a lot of misinformation out ational conditions. there,” says Jen Brown, Beaver Creek’s spokes“We require the resorts to safely operate their woman. “Our helplines are there all for the safe- mountains,” Doak says. “In a practical sense, ty of the skiers.” that’s understandable from a business standpoint and the mountains want to do that anyway.” “Ski resorts could charge for uphill access if they wanted to. Back to skinning up the mountain. PreIt’s a courtesy that they don’t.” - Rich Doak, U.S. Forest Service viously, it was seen as a non-issue. There weren’t many people heading uphill. Now that there are, it could be seen as a hazard Permitted land creating unsafe conditions on the mountain. Both Vail and Beaver Creek sit on U.S. Forest These probable unsafe conditions are what Service land. Of the millions of acres the USFS the resorts want to – but also have to – cut down controls, Vail Resorts rents the land that Vail on. and Beaver Creek operate upon. The resorts operate on this land with a “SpeAuthority cial Use Permit” from the USFS. The Forest Whether you decide to follow the suggestService’s Recreation and Land Staff Officer ed routes or not, know that the resort, not the Rich Doak explained the intricacies of this USFS, maintains authority over their runs.




Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013

Vail and Beaver Creek are asking only that people familiarize themselves with the dangers associated with uphill travel, call the helplines and follow the guidelines. Other resorts have different policies. Steamboat Resort requests that those who want to ski uphill first download an Uphill Access Pass Policy, read it and bring a signed copy into the their information center. The resort will then hand over a reflective band uphillers should wear while heading up the mountain. Breckenridge Ski Resort does not allow any uphill access during their daytime mountain operating hours. Users must be off the hill until 5 p.m. and before 8:30 a.m. A proposed rule change is Aspen could allow the resort to charge uphillers for access. Other resorts have explored similar options. Doak of the Forest Service says this is mostly to recoup the money they have spent making uphill travel safe. “Most of them lose money on their uphill permit programs,” Doak says. “Like Vail and Beaver Creek, they are required to have safe operations and some of these programs are just to recoup costs of making uphill travel safe.” Their investments created something that otherwise wouldn’t exist: the very ski runs on which uphillers travel. “The ski areas have made a significant investment in the property and that is why they are allowed to charge for lift tickets on these public lands,” Doak says. Doak added that the ski runs are not different than the ski lifts in this regard. Without the investment from the ski resorts, the runs that were cleared for on-mountain skinning wouldn’t exist. So resorts can restrict access as they please to those runs. Like the lifts, the runs are the property of the resorts. “The ski resorts could charge for uphill access if they wanted to,” says Doak. “Really, it’s courtesy that they don’t.” The penalties enforced by the resort could include pulling a pass or completely shutting down uphill access. It’s the call made by the ski resorts, not the USFS, on how to enforce regulations that make their ski runs a safe place to recreate. “Our position would be, if there is an unsafe situation on the mountain, and it is caused by their operations in some manner, they have a responsibility to deal with it,” says Doak. “Again, from a business perspective this makes sense, but it is also their responsibility.” The dangers The reason for the helplines is to make sure skiers steer clear of danger during daytime and nighttime operating hours. During the day, the patrol asks that uphillers call into the helpline and stay to one side of the run. The dangers of b-lining up Born Free during peak hours speak for themselves. The helpline is still recommended for nighttime operating hours. The primary reason is for mountain maintenance. Snowcats use winch lines to hoist themselves around steep slopes popular with uphill nighttime traffic. The winch lines shift from slack to stiff, can be ankle or

OPPOSITE PAGE Sam DeChant skins up Primrose with Beaver Creek and Grouse mountains in the background during a post-season powder day this past April. THIS PAGE Logan Jauernigg and Rebecca Selig take cover behind krumholtz during an intense storm in the Gore Range early this November. Photos: Björn Bauer.

knee high and are difficult to spot in the dark, says Brown. Additionally, snowmakers zip around on snowmobiles without the expectation of encountering a skier.

logged a handful of days going up the mountain. “It’s a nice in between of pulling access and allowing access.”

The curious case of Arrowhead The future Of all the popular uphill routes, the most popular For now, as stated by Doaks, the resorts are offeramongst Vail locals is Arrowhead, says Glaser of ing uphill access as a courtesy. They implemented Alpine Quest Sports. Of all the mountains, Arrowtheir uphill helplines as a means of lessening the head does not sit on public land. When in doubt, call the dangers uphill traffic presents during day and night Arrowhead was bought privately and developed helplines before you go privately before being bought out and becoming a operating hours. skinning. part of Vail Resorts. Operations still occur on priShould they decide to pull the access, some skivate land. This means that, like the other ski reers are saying “so what, we’ll go without our passes Vail: 970.754.3049 sorts, they can pull uphill access at anytime. Yet anyway.” Beaver Creek: their punishment can be swift and quick as violat“Ultimately, I’ve never heard of a case coming to 970.754.5907 ing their terms would be considered trespassing. that,” says Doak. “But, reasonably, it could.” Currently, Arrowhead is available for uphill acLocal skiers hope it never comes to that and are cess and is scheduled to continue as such. appreciative that Vail Resorts has found a balance between complete unadulterated uphill access and full prohibition. “It might sound like a little bit of a hassle to call in every time you SneakPEAK writer John O’Neill can be reached at want to go skin but ultimately it’s to keep people out of areas where they could get in trouble,” said local Andy McNeill who has already

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Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013




Athletes to watch

A look at the men’s field for this weekend’s World Cup downhill, Super G and giant slalom at Beaver Creek. By Phil Lindeman.

promising alpine skier looking ahead to Sochi, at least based on World Cup standings. Thanks to strong early-season showings, he sits at From Dec. 6 to Dec. 8, the best male ski racers on the World Cup third overall behind Aksel Lund Svindal and Hirscher. Expect Ligety roster take to Beaver Creek for heated competition on the Birds of to rack up even more points during Sunday’s GS. Prey course. The season is young, but with the Winter Olympics just two short months away this weekend promises to be a preview of the Bode Miller, USA showdown in Sochi. Bode Miller isn’t one to accept half measures. When the wild, Like its sister course Raptor – home the ladies’ circuit last week- slightly unhinged downhiller takes to the snow, he either wows with end – Birds of Prey is one of the toughest on the circuit. The downhill daredevil antics or fails in spectacular fashion. Either way, the East drops skiers nearly 2,500 vertical feet as it weaves between shadowy Coast native is one of the sport’s most recognizable names, and at 33 trees and over long, sustained jumps with brutal compression zones. In years old with 33 World Cup wins, he’s cemented his place as one of short, it’s a spectator’s dream – and potentially an athlete’s nightmare. the greatest. The racer lineup also makes for a world-class weekend. Superstars And his career could be coming to an end shortly. Miller still notchlike Bode Miller, Ted Ligety, Aksel Lund Svindal and Marcel Hirscher es impressive wins – his 2011 come-from-behind finish was his fourth go head-to-head in downhill, Super G and giant slalom. Again, the fi- downhill title at Beaver Creek – but he’s off to a slow start this season. nal podium comes down to who best handles Birds of Prey. Unlike last He took 16th at Lake Louise last weekend and currently is tied for weekend’s round of racing at Lake Louise in Canada, the Colorado 30th in the overall World Cup standings. He’ll likely race in all three course is long, fast and unrelenting. It requires more stamina than just disciplines, but be sure to watch him during Friday’s downhill. about any World Cup venue, and depending on the weather, course conditions can change by the minute. Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway While the World Cup skiers were delayed by weather in Canada, Heading into the Sochi Olympics, Aksel Lund Svindal is the hottest SneakPEAK crafted a cheat sheet on how the biggest names stack up name in skiing. The 30-year-old Norwegian’s list of accomplishments against the most promising unknowns on the circuit. is miles long: two overall World Cup titles, eight World Alpine Championships medals, 21 World Cup wins, three Winter Olympics medals Ted Ligety, USA and a dating history that includes Julia Mancuso. What’s more, he’s At 29 years old, Ted “Shred” Ligety has earned a place as one of topped the podium in every discipline except for slalom, making him the World Cup circuit’s most dominant technical skiers. His peers and one of skiing’s true all-around talents. the press have labeled him “the surgeon” for flawless slalom and giant For all his accolades, Svindal has struggled at Birds of Prey. He slalom lines, most recently leading to his fourth overall World Cup GS and Miller regularly trade podium positions – he robbed the American title last season. Not of gold in Super G at the Vancouver Olympics – but Beaver Creek’s a bad addition to a steep, tree-lined turns seem to throw him off. His last win came in trophy shelf filled 2008, just a year after a brutal, season-ending crash halfway through with 18 World Cup the course. That rebound season simply proves Svindal is a consumwins and a 2006 mate pro, and he enters the weekend ranked first overall following a For the first time since Bode Miller’s 1998 Nagano debut, the American men may struggle Winter Olympics Super G win at Lake Louise. Momentum is on his side. to find alpine gold at the Winter Olympics. gold. This isn’t to say the team has no chance – Ted Ligety has fared Kjetil Jansrud, Norway Ligety continues to dominate in slalom and incredibly well at Although he’s overshadowed by Svindal, Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud giant slalom – but it doesn’t boast a young, Beaver Creek. He’s is hardly a pushover. The 28-year-old competes in all five disciplines unstoppable breakout star like Mikaela Shifmade the GS podi- but specializes in giant slalom. Since joining the World Cup circuit frin on the female side. Although World Cup um four of the past he’s been on the podium 11 times and took silver in GS during the standings mean little this early in the seafive years, including Vancouver Olympics. son, Ligety is the only team member with a three wins. His most Jansrud is poised to be one of Ligety’s primary foes this weekend. podium. recent victory came The Norwegian hasn’t annihilated the competition at Beaver Creek – Despite stark odds, Beaver Creek could be a last year when he his best finish came in 2010 with second in GS – but he’s placed contrial run for Sochi. Miller tends to thrive in blew away second- sistently better over the years. Case in point: For downhill, he’d never high-pressure situations, while racers like place finisher Mar- placed in the top 20 until taking third in 2012. Although his season is Marco Sullivan and Andrew Weibrecht (who cel Hirscher by 1.76 off to a relatively slow start, he’s expected to compete all three days. won Super G bronze in Vancouver) have seconds. Ligety is He currently sits at 32nd in overall World Cup standings. the experience to patiently wait for other also the USA’s most teams to stumble. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher

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Eye on the Olympics

and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal should never be written off, but neither should the Americans. Olympic seasons have a way of bringing out the unexpected.




Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013

Men’s World Cup schedule All races take place on the Birds of Prey course at Beaver Creek. Spectator viewing is free from the base of Red Tail Camp, with shuttles running daily from 6:30 a.m. until racing ends (usually around 4 p.m.). Expect a muddy/snowy walk from the drop-off area to the race venue. For a complete schedule, including the full start list, see

From left: USA’s Bode Miller, Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud, Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, USA’s Ted Ligety and Austria’s Klaus Kroell. Photos: Keith Ruebsam.

Friday, Dec. 6 10:45 a.m. Downhill, Red Tail Finish Stadium Saturday, Dec. 7 11 a.m. Super G, Red Tail Finish Stadium Sunday, Dec. 8 9:45 a.m. Giant slalom (first run) Red Tail Finish Stadium

Klaus Kroell, Austria Along with fellow Austrians Marcel Hirscher and Matthias Mayer, the 33-year-old Klaus Kroell is the cream of the crop in a nation known for legendary skiers. He’s tied for 8th overall in the World Cup standings after to a second-place performance at the Lake Louise downhill. He didn’t fare nearly as well in Super G, but Kroell is known for speed, and on Birds of Prey the fastest, most fearless skiers tend to take the podium. And Kroell hopes to reverse his fortunes this year. He’s historically hit-or-miss at Beaver Creek, taking third in the 2011 downhill before barely making the top 10 in 2012. Along with USA’s Miller, he’s one of the oldest skiers in the field – be ready for poised, near-perfect runs on Friday and Saturday.

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Airborne: The Alliance

Passengers on the inaugural flight from Houston to the Eagle County Regional Airport this summer are greeted with cookies on the runway. Phot special to SneakPEAK.

When the EGE Air Alliance noticed flights at the ECO airport didn’t return after the 2008 recession, powerful stakeholders looked to the community for creative – and longlasting – solutions. By Phil Lindeman.

Editor’s note: With winter service on the horizon, SneakPEAK will extend its special report on the Eagle County Regional Airport. This is now third in a four-part series. Over the past five years, the airport has had an overall impact of $635 million per year, down from $982 million in 2008. While the airline industry as a whole undergoes seismic shifts, the airport and its various partners remain an invaluable economic engine for the entire county, from small businesses and second-home owners to Vail and Beaver Creek.

At first glance, terminal five at the Eagle County Regional Airport is remarkably ordinary. On a quiet Friday morning a few weeks before the manic, wall-to-wall winter schedule took effect, a group of 20 or so travelers was waiting for a delayed American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth. During the final days of the off-season – a term airport officials and stakeholders want to slowly faze out – it’s one of just two daily flights in and out of the airport, along with the occasional layover from private and business jets at the nearby Vail Valley Jet Center. The majority of the 40,000-plus annual flights arrive during the heart of winter and summer, making EGE one of the nation’s busiest single-runway airports. On that slow, sleepy Friday, nearly everything seemed to be in a holding pattern – everything except the terminal walls. They were slathered in postersized ads for Argentinean ski resorts and residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Vail, a testament to the airport’s globetrotting clientele. Nearly 25 percent of all Eagle County visitors pass through its gates before heading to second homes, business conferences and, soon enough, the slopes at Vail and Beaver Creek.

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For Chris Romer of the Vail Valley Partnership (VVP), the experience of visiting a world-class resort begins and ends at the tiny airstrip between Eagle and Gypsum. As the alluring ads suggest, it’s also the first point of sale. “The airport is a huge economic driver,” Romer says. “It’s a major part of who were are at the partnership – that ties to our tourism efforts – and it’s a major part of the community. Any airport anywhere is a large driving force in the community.” For all the exotic photos and enticements, the backend of the terminal is a bit outdated. It underwent a major expansion in 1996, bringing the total size to 86,000 square feet with room for enough support staff to handle four major carriers. The entrance is spacious and inviting, but once beyond the TSA checkpoint, row after row of chairs sit inside a cramped space with windows looking toward the runway. All gates exit directly to the concrete outside. On that cloudy yet mild November morning, ground boarding seemed a touch romantic. But in the middle of winter, when temperatures are brutally cold and everything except the main runway is slick with ice, it’s hardly as charming. The airport’s recently completed master plan calls for $20 million in renovations at all five gates, including a second-floor addition with the sort of long, fully enclosed jet bridges found at major international airports. While those renovations are still several years and a county bond issue in the future, the VVP and the EGE Air Alliance have taken steps to attract the traffic needed to justify an expansion. The alliance, a nonprofit with the sole purpose of expanding the airport’s service schedule, played a major roll in luring American Airlines’ summertime Dallas-Fort Worth flight to Vail. And those year-round efforts have begun to pay off. After nearly 10 years on the schedule, the Dallas flight is self-sustaining. Service has waxed and

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waned slightly with changes to the airline industry, but it led directly to the introduction of another summertime flight from Houston. That non-stop flight, which debuted this summer with weekend-only service through United Airlines, managed to reach a 62-percent load factor. When paired with the American flight, it brought thousands of people to the area during a season that has slowly extended from 60 days to nearly 100. Eagle County ski resorts bolstered their September event rosters in turn, adding multiple Oktoberfests, food festivals and other enticements. “Our role is to be an advocate of the airport and the flight program,” says Romer, who’s also n alliance member. “I believe there’s no business in Eagle County that’s more than two degrees removed from the airport. If you aren’t a beneficiary, your customers are.” The growing alliance When the alliance was founded a decade back, it had one purpose: Attract a daily summer flight from Dallas. It was founded by a small collection of stakeholders – mostly municipalities and a few businesses, like Alpine Bank and Vail Resorts – and slowly grew as people recognized the airport’s potential, particularly through public-private partnerships. But the process wasn’t simple. Mike Brown, president of Alpine Bank in Avon and board president for the alliance, says many were hesitant to invest in new air service following 9/11 and the 2008 economic depression. Airlines began consolidating and travelers spent less on luxurious vacations. Yet even when the national and local economies began to rebound, he and others in the alliance noticed the flights didn’t return in kind. “We just didn’t see the local service return, even as the economy began to recover. It’s like anything else – you have to recognize there’s a problem before you can do anything about it,” Brown says. “The airlines weren’t going back to business as usual. They’re looking at ways to save money, be sustainable, be more effective with what they have. That’s why we have to approach our airline partners and ask them what we can do to make a service work.” Creative solutions were needed to save the county’s economic driver. For this summer’s inaugural Houston flight, that meant a revenue guarantee of $400,000 provided by alliance members to protect United from any major losses. The flight’s 62-percent load factor didn’t save money – the alliance still paid United the full sum – but Brown points out the flight man-

aged to attract those passengers with very little marketing. “The important difference between the first year and now is time,” Brown says. “In 2013, we arranged the flight very quickly, which didn’t give us or United much time to promote. No we have a head start on reaching new markets.” Although nothing is set in stone, Brown says United and the alliance would like to see a load factor of 70 to 80 percent this coming summer. If Houston fares as well as Dallas, the goal seems attainable. Other alliance members are equally optimistic. Tim Baker, executive director for Beaver Creek Resort Company, says nearly 35 percent of the resort’s visitors pass through the EGE airport, and Texas traffic accounts for more than half of all visitors at Beaver Creek. After a single summer of the Houston flight, he believes his company’s financial contributions to the alliance made a noticeable impact, even if any concrete effect is difficult to gauge at the moment. “We already think the flight has been successful,” Baker says. “It’s difficult to judge exactly how many of those people came directly to Beaver Creek, but a large portion did. Our guests desire convenience and convenience is what the airport provides.” The convenience factor is vital on every level, particularly in a community branded as world-class. East West Resorts, which operates the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon and several other lodges, is a regular alliance contributor, donating nearly $20,000 every year since 2008. East West executive vice president Peter Dann says the Texas market is equally invaluable to his business, but convenience alone isn’t enough. When a room at the Westin averages $550, service from the airport to the hotel and back again needs to be seamless. “We want the symmetry,” Dann says. “That means the flights are in on time and the carriers are high-quality. It’s not enough just to have flights – you need to provide the quality people expect. This isn’t flying into some rural area. You’re flying into a world-class resort.”

year. This financial backing will help the alliance reach its next goal: long-term funding. “When you look at what other resorts are doing – Gunnison, Crested Butte, Montrose, Telluride – and how they interact with the towns, they all have long-term funding in place,” Brown says. “We’re making it an important goal to research those long-term solutions. The public and private donations will still occur, but a funding source can help us take advantage of those funds far into the future.” Tax increases are the quick and dirty way to support new flights, and all-important voter support is often a stumbling block. Yet as Brown points out, those peer communities have enjoyed massive success: Each collects an average of $2 million per year, rounded out by other private and public donations. Based on current spending, this could provide revenue guarantees for five summer flights. This winter, an alliance subcommittee will look at various options for funding, from new partnerships to increased lodging and sales taxes. Brown expects the subcommittee to identify the best funding source by January. The alliance will spend the following months promoting and marketing the plan, with an eye on pushing for approval by 2015 – right in time for the World Alpine Ski Championships. Stakeholders like Dann believe the alliance is moving in the right direction, not only for the airport, but for the county-wide economy. Those exotic ads may only remind visitors what they’re missing when they leave Colorado. “I think long-term funding is the answer for the airport and sustained economic growth across the Vail Valley,” Dann says. “We need those kinds of resources to make sure we’re not going backwards. We’re always looking at the angles – it takes a group of people with a vision to make this work, and we’re all part of that.”

A new model For the alliance and its board president, world-class means constant evolution. The Houston flight still calls for a $400,000 revenue guarantee, but Brown expects the alliance to raise more than $600,000 in 2014 through pledges and direct donations. On the municipal side, the county and nearly every town is expected to give $50,000, up from $30,000 last

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New Year’s Eve, semi-pro hockey and Tennessee Pass

3 ITINERARIES Three itineraries for December

The midnight balloon drop at last year’s NYE Vail at Dobson Arena. Zach Mahone photo.

Embrace the unorthodox this holiday with New Year’s Eve bashes, a romantic Tennessee Pass getaway and Vail’s semi-pro hockey team. By Phil Lindeman. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Colorado high country. For thousands of folks – maybe you’re one of them – making an annual holiday trip to Vail or Beaver Creek is the highlight of the year. And why wouldn’t it be? With acre after acre opening every day, there’s little reason to skimp on the skiing and snowboarding. This season already promises to be the best in more than two years, with both resorts boasting more total snowfall on Dec. 1 than on Jan. 1 of last season. Merry Christmas, indeed. But after so many years, it might be time for a change of pace. Dozens of diversions lie just beyond ski-area boundaries, from pristine Nordic trails to New Year’s Eve parties featuring Mix Master Mike. There’s even a new gang of hard-hitting Yetis in town. If holiday insanity has taught Americans one thing, it’s that procrastination never pays, even for Arnold Schwarzenegger on Christmas Eve. SneakPEAK poured over the December lineup to find three outings perfect for the season, keeping in mind this is time for family and friends. Plan ahead – time with loved ones also has a way of speeding by. Editor’s note: For the third itnerary on a romantic Tennessee Pass getaway, see Vail semi-pro hockey Just for: Second dates, affordable family time, boy’s (or girl’s) night out The gist: After what seems like decades of rumors and prayers, Vail has a semipro hockey team: the Vail Yeti Hockey Club. The all-male crew of local ski techs, small business owners and former NCAA Division I players debuted on Nov. 29 at Dobson Arena. In powerhouse fashion, the team annihilated Aspen over two days of play, winning 13-1 on Friday and 7-4 on Saturday. The Vail Yeti (or Yetis, as both are grammatically correct) next face the Park City Pioneers on Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. Both games are held at Dobson, with tickets running $9 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors. Local’s tip: Not only are Yeti games ridiculously cheap, they deliver all the rowdiness and hard hits semi-pro hockey is known for. Organizer Chris Huntington says he’s slowly building support for the brand-new team, but he says just about anyone who stops by the game will know a player or two. Refuel: Before long, a Yeti game may be the cheapest place to grab a drink in

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Vail. Beer is sold at the arena by the pint or pitcher – pricing may change throughout the season, but it’s affordable for the bummiest of ski bums – along with food and Yeti apparel. Get there: Dobson Arena is found east of Lionshead in Vail, just across the street from the Vail Public Library. More info: New Year’s Eve in Vail Just for: 20 and 30-somethings, Beastie Boys fans The gist: For the past few years, the folks at Highline (the Vail-based planners behind GoPro Mountain Games and the like) have thrown one of the town’s largest New Year’s Eve bashes. The Vail NYE celebration at Dobson is easily the biggest and baddest party in town. This year promises to be wilder than ever, with past headliner Thievery Corporation giving way to Mix Master Mike of Beastie Boys fame. A $75 general ticket (before Dec. 25) is good for entry and music only, but VIP passes ($199 to $325 per person) buy everything from finger food to a champagne toast to private backstage lounges. The party lasts from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and entry is 21 and older. Local’s tip: Once inside, everything – food, drinks, even the coat check – is cashonly. There are a few ATMs on-site, but the lines tend to be long and ornery. Be sure to bring plenty of cash directly to the venue – thinking ahead may not quite save you money, but at least it makes the most of your $75 ticket. That said, discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Email for rates. Refuel: A handful of food vendors will be at the venue to slake midnight munchies. Get there: Dobson Arena is found east of Lionshead in Vail, just across the street from the Vail Public Library. Phone: 970.476.6797 (ext. 725)

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The ground floor of Vail cuisine Vail Valley Food Tours offers walking history and food tasting tour of Vail’s most iconic establishments. By John O’Neill. On a walk down Bridge Street, you’ll pass a number of renowned restaurants owned and operated by awardwinning chefs from the world over. Each of these restaurants provides an plethora of unbelievable eats to local and visiting foodies. Pair the menus hanging on the walls with the very walls themselves and a history of Vail’s quick beginnings from small-town ski resort to a tourism industry leader and an interesting history almost plates itself. Matt Timmerman marries both the history and culinary perks of Vail with his Vail Valley Food Tours: a walking history lesson of the town with food tastings at various restaurants around town. “It’s a walking tour of Vail,” says Timmerman. “We talk about Vail and how it came to be - how it started and some of the changes we’ve seen. Along the way we stop into six or seven different restaurants.” At the restaurants, tour-takers have the opportunity to sample food and to learn about the chefs who came to town to create the food as well as the reasons those chefs decided to stay and call Vail home. The tours have two standing tastings along with stops into restaurants like La Tour, Terra Bistro, The Alpenrose, La Bottega and Fuzziwig’s chocolate shop. Timmerman is also working on adding an alcohol pairing to the tours. Timmerman has it worked out with the restaurants to have the samples available as they arrive. This gives those just coming to town the opportunity to try a number of restaurants during their short stay or allow locals to find a new favorite spot to eat without having to try them all on their own. “I think this is a really good thing,” Timmerman says. “I get to bring people into the restaurants on a regular basis and people get to see a handful of restaurants on one ticket.”

Timmerman began the Vail Valley Food Tours late in the 2013 summer. He ran tours throughout the fall and is expecting the tours to grow as the season continues. So far, he says the groups he leads have been eclectic ranging from couples to families and all-out foodies. “It’s a lot of couples and a lot of foodies,” says Timmerman. “This is something people can do who are taking a day off skiing. The families like it. The younger kids might not see the value in it but some of the older kids that into eating different foods enjoy it.” Food tours are not a brand new concept. There are food tours in Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Even the little towns of Telluride and Manitou Springs run tours. For Timmerman, he saw Vail’s world-class dining as an opportunity to fill a blatant absence of a Vail walking history and food tour. “A lot of major cities have food tours,” says Timmerman. “That’s the thing. We have more award-winning chefs per capita than any other city. We have popular food events like Taste of Vail. I’m trying to showcase our chefs on a daily basis.” The tours start on location at one of the tastings and move along from there. Tickets are $79 and can be bought on the tour’s website, SneakPEAK writer John O’Neill can be reached at

Vail Valley Food Tours What: A leisurely, on-foot tasting and history tour of Vail led by local Matt Timmerman When: Offered daily (call to arrange a time) Where: Vail Cost: $79 per person To schedule a tour or find out more about the restaurant selection, see

Vail Valley Business Women Vail Valley Business Women Holiday Silent Auction and Toy Drive Wednesday, December 11 | 5:30-8pm | Park Hyatt Beaver Creek • Complimentary valet parking • • Cash bar, heavy appetizers and great networking • • All proceeds from the auction will be donated to our Scholarship Fund, which supports amazing local young women in our high schools • • Bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to the Bright Future Foundation for our toy drive! •

Reservations Required via EventBrite Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013




Crazy Mountain hosts Bridge Street festival 12.6-12.8.2013

HAPPENINGS Cheers to education

Head to Bridge Street in Vail for Crazy Mountain Brewery’s three-day holiday celebration to support local education nonprofit EFEC. By Michael Suleiman. Ugly sweaters, beer, Santa, live music‌all for a good 100-percent of proceeds of the Bridge Street Holiday Ale go to EFEC,â€? Plunkett cause. What else could you ask for, your two front teeth? says. Local turntable maestro DJ Koncept will dish out free beats for the cause from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. If you decide to stick around Samana afterwards, fellow local DJ Can’t help you there. adamROSS will be celebrating his birthday in a big way by playing EDM late into the night with Kirby K. The first ever Crazy Mountain Brewery Bridge Street Holiday Ale Celebration If you are looking to dance the weekend away, head to Shakedown on Saturday for hits Vail starting Friday, Dec. 6. With all proceeds from pints and pitchers of Crazy love rock ‘n’ roll by house band My Brother’s Keeper from 10 p.m. until midnight. Mountain’s new Bridge Street Holiday Ale benefiting the Education Foundation of Make sure you stick to Crazy Mountain’s Eagle County (EFEC), it’s time to get into the holiday spirit. Bridge Street Holiday Ale to support EFEC. On Friday, a tap takeover at Tavern on Gore in Vail Village kicks off the event, The festivities culminate on Sunday with with Crazy Mountain Brewery supplying all the draft beer. Santa and his carolers from 4 to 6 p.m. at Tav“We have been working on this event for several months,â€? says Claire Plunern on the Gore. Come raise your voice and kett, Director of Events for Crazy Mountain Brewery. “We have been working your mug to ring in the holidays. with EFEC and Ski Country to make everything happen. Ski Country and Bighorn SneakPEAK writer Michael Suleiman can Toyota are presenting the celebration.â€? be reached at Everybody benefits from this event, from those who can drink to those who can’t. The bottom line for nonprofit EFEC is improved opportunities in the Eagle County School District. EFEC pledges to make sure the district hires the most qualified teachers, maintains small class sizes and maintains important curricula, all through IF YOU GO creative fundraising efforts like the Crazy Mountain partnership and several events, What: Crazy Mountain Brewery Bridge Street Holiday Ale Celebration like the Evening of the Stars gala. When: Dec. 6 to Dec. 8 Where: Bridge Street and Tavern on the Gore, Vail Village “This is the first year of the Holiday Bridge Street celebration and we are really Cost: Free to attend excited to get them on board as beneficiaries,â€? Plunkett says. For more info, see And trying tasty new brews isn’t the only thing on the agenda for the weekend. Friday, Dec. 6 “On Sunday, families can visit with Santa and there will also be carolers,â€? Plun4 to 6 p.m. – Après ski and Crazy Mountain Tap Takeover at Tavern on the Gore 4 to 6 p.m. – Live music by Johnny Schleper, Rob Eaton Jr. and Mark Levy at Tavern kett says. “We really have so much going on. We have an ugly sweater contest on the Gore taking place on Saturday at Tavern on the Gore starting at 5 p.m., as well as a raffle 9 to 11 p.m. – Samana Lounge Late Night Party with DJ Koncept from 4 to 6 p.m.,â€? Saturday, Dec. 7 The ugly sweater contest could be the most entertaining part of the weekend. It’s 4 to 6 p.m. – Après ski & Crazy Mountain Tap Takeover at Tavern on the Gore sure to bring a smile to any Grinch. 5 p.m. – Ugly Sweater Contest at Tavern on the Gore (categories include: best family sweaters, most festive sweater and all-around ugliest sweater) “It will be judged by local celebrities and well-known community members,â€? 4 to 6 p.m. – Live music by Ski Country All Stars at Tavern on the Gore Plunkett says. Dig through your closet – or maybe your grandpa’s – and enter into 4 to 6 p.m. – Raffle at Tavern on the Gore 10 p.m. to midnight – Shakedown Bar Late Night Party with music by My Brothone of the three categories: best family sweaters, most festive sweater and allers Keeper around ugliest sweater. Each is sure to entertain, and prizes will be awarded to the Sunday, Dec. 8 winners of all three categories. You finally get to wear last year’s Christmas present. 4 to 6 p.m. – Après ski and Crazy Mountain Tap Takeover at Tavern on the Gore If late-night celebration is more up your alley, Crazy Mountain has you covered. 4 to 6 p.m. – Visit from Santa and caroling at Tavern on the Gore “On Friday we have a late night event that is going on at Samana, where again,

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Perspectives on the BCS from sports guru Patrick Whitehurst


the start of college football chaos

Patrick Whitehurst Minturn-based sports lover Patrick Whitehurst writes for www.fanrag. com. Tune in weekly for his musings on the wild and complicated love affair between American fans and their most cherished pastimes. He can be contacted through www.fanrag. com.

Nothing is ever perfect, but this weekend will provide college football fans and media types everywhere with conclusions to many of the issues left unresolved in the 2013 season.

watch every second. Will any moment or performance outshine last Saturday night, when Auburn knocked off undefeated Alabama by returning a missed field goal more than 100 yards? It’s doubtful, but that’s why several million people will tune in. Here’s what I am looking forward to this weekend on the college gridiron:

A simple glance at the football menu will result in eager anticipation and meticulous planning of your viewing day. Carefully constructed tailgate and early holiday parties will be scheduled around kickoff times. And final opinions (or opportunities to complain) about the BCS as we know it will form and take on lives of their own. Army plays Navy on Dec. 14, but the traditional conclusion to the NCAA regular season has absolutely no impact on the BCS, Heisman Trophy race, or the ever-evolving Bowl Week, which now includes 36 different games spread out over 23 days. The college football season has been a wild ride, but like any roller coaster worth the monster waiting line, the most exhilarating and terrifying turns are saved for last. Being the chaos theorist (or optimist) that I am, the idea that this round of games can top rivalry week is reason enough to

Conference championships On paper, Duke-Florida State sounds like a can’t-miss matchup of ACC powerhouse basketball programs. But this game takes place on the field at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, not on the hardwood. It’s simple for the top-ranked and undefeated Seminoles: Beat the upstart Blue Devils and earn a berth in the BCS title game. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis will host the Big Ten (home of 12 teams) Championship Game on Saturday evening. The undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 2 in the BCS) have faced their share of criticism nationally (and from this columnist) for playing a soft schedule and running a “dirty” program, but Urban Meyer’s team has yet to drop a game in two seasons. If the Buckeyes can find a way to penetrate a rugged Michigan State (No. 10) defense

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and pull out a victory, they too will get the opportunity to play for the crystal football in Pasadena on Jan. 6, 2014, barring a computer-ranking malfunction or SEC conspiracy theory. The Pac-12 doesn’t play its championship game on a neutral field, and I like that. The Stanford Cardinal (No. 7) travels to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe to face Arizona State (No. 11) in what is sure to be a battle of contrasting styles for the right to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Go figure, the Big 12 only has ten teams and therefore does not have a conference championship game. Nevertheless, two games this weekend (Oklahoma at Oklahoma State and Texas at Baylor) determine which team receives an automatic BCS bowl bid. By beating the Crimson Tide (now No. 4) last week, Auburn (No. 3) will face Missouri (No. 5) in not only a “Battle of Tigers,” but more importantly the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. The winner of this tilt is assured a BCS bowl game invitation, nothing more, which leads me to the next most important issue to keep an eye on... [See SNEAKSPORTS, page 21]

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Julia Mancuso of the U.S. Ski Team signs autographs after racing last weekend in Beaver Creek. The men’s team will visit Solari Plaza in Vail on Dec. 7 for free autographs and complimentary drinks. Photo: John O’Neill.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Have an event for the SneakPEAK calendar? Email your blurb to

Tricia’s Top 8

Thursday, Dec. 5 Après ski yoga in Vail

Every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of the year, unwind after a day on the slopes with après yoga. Hosted by the Vail Recreation District, these all-ages classes last from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on the second level of the Lionshead Welcome Center. Sessions are taught by a rotating group of local instructors and focus on slow, relaxing movements with plenty of breath work. For more info, see

Friday, Dec. 6 ‘80s Yoga Nite at Revolution Power Yoga

Get your neon, um, on for ‘80s Yoga Nite at Revolution Power Yoga this Friday, one of the studio’s regular theme events. The party begins at 7 p.m. with a 75-minute yoga session set to the tunes of Madonna, Motley Crue and the like, then ends with dance party until 9 p.m. Like gaper day on the slopes, the most ridiculous, frizzy, stone-washed outfits are welcome – just don’t spend too much time teasing out your hair. The class is a suggested donation of $10. For more info, see

Friday, Dec. 6 Frogs Gone Fishin at Agave

Tricia Swenson

1. Race action continues this weekend as the fastest men take to the slopes at Beaver Creek for Super G on Friday, downhill on Saturday and giant slalom on Sunday. Come out for this free event and cheer on Team USA! 2. After the races, set aside the ski clothes and see what’s in style on the slopes. Two events come after the downhill: Catch the Friday Fashion Night at 4 p.m. in Beaver Creek, or don your best dress or tux for the annual Black Diamond Ball at Vail Cascade at 6 p.m. 3. On Saturday afternoon, drop by Solaris Plaza in Vail and enjoy a drink on the Vail Valley Foundation as they host their “We’re Buying” party with the U.S. men’s ski team. 4. On Thursday, attend the fourth annual TEDxVailWomen event, which combines live speakers with a video stream from TEDx Women in San Francisco. See TEDxVailWomen. com for pricing and a speaker list. 5. Get into the holiday spirit with Christmas on Broadway in Eagle, held Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The beloved family event includes a parade, carolers, Santa and live music from local bluegrass group Hardscrabble at Eagle Town Park. 6. Keep up with the leader board for Epic Race to see who is getting close to winning an Epic Pass for Life! The chase is on as skiers and riders travel to 26 different resorts in four countries. Follow the action as it’s documented on 7. Calling all coats! Bring your gently used women’s and children’s winter clothing to The Tavern on the Square in Lionshead. Support the Bright Future Foundation while enjoying live music and complimentary appetizers, raffles prizes and more from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. 8. Have you heard the bell? The Salvation Army’s red kettle and bell ringers are out in full force! To volunteer, call the Vail Salvation Army at 970.343.0103.

person as it is on paper. This marks the band’s first visSaturday, Dec. 7 Holiday Gift and Craft Fail in EagleVail it to Shakedown Bar and it promises to be a must-see In need of gifts made with local love? Drop by the fifth annual Holiday Gift and Craft Fair, held at the EagleVail Pavilion this Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., dozens of Rocky Mountain artisans are on-hand selling leather bags, handmade jewelry, knitted clothing, handdipped candles and more. Entry is free for all ages, but be sure to bring cash. Very few vendors accept credit cards or personal checks.

After the Birds of Prey Super G on Friday, head to Agave near the Bear Lot at the base of Beaver Creek for a post-race shindig with Frogs Gone Fishin, the popular rock/blues band fronted by guitar virtuoso Andrew Portwood. Although the band was born in the Vail area, Portwood, Trevor Jones, Alex Scott and Jeff Jani have Saturday, Dec. 7 spent the past few years touring the country in support Minturn Winter Market in Minturn of several self-released albums. The Agave concert beSleepy Minturn is home base for goodies, hot cocoa gins at 9:30 p.m. and costs $10 at the door. Entry is 21 and Old St. Nick himself on Saturday, when the annual years and older. For more info, call the restaurant at Minturn Winter Market returns for a two-weekend stint. 970.748.8666 or see This Saturday marks the first event of the series and features carolers, live music, free hot chocolate and cider, Saturday, Dec. 7 freshly roasted marshmallows and, of course, an appearance by Santa for the kids. The market is open from 10 U.S. Ski Team autographs in Vail After the races in Beaver Creek, head to Solaris Plaza a.m. to 2 p.m. and is held again on Dec. 14. All activities in Vail for a public autograph session with Bode Miller, and vendors are located along Main Street. Parking is Ted Ligety and the rest of the men’s U.S. Ski Team. The found past the Minturn Saloon on the north end of town. free event begins at 5:30 p.m. and leads directly into the For more info, see “We’re Buying” bib presentation at 6 p.m. Along with race bibs, the post-autograph party includes a live DJ, Sunday, Dec. 8 World Cup giveaways and – most enticingly – compli- Mosey West at Shakedown Bar mentary Red Bull vodkas, Bud Light and Korbel chamFort Collins trio Mosey West ends the weekend right pagne. There’s no such thing as a free dinner, but an with an eclectic brand of psychedelic folk/country/rock. open bar on the ski team’s tab? Believe it. And yes, chances are it’ll be just as oddly alluring in




Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013

show. Cover charge is usually $5 at the door, and entry is 21 and older only. Shakedown is found on the south end of Bridge Street in Vail Village. To hear free music before the show, see

Monday, Dec. 9 Open gym at the Vail Gymnastics Center

The Vail Gymnastics Center is home to one of just two public foam pits in the valley, perfect for practicing the tricky triple corks and double underflips. Along with the pit, open gym time every Monday at 8 p.m. offers athletes of all levels (ages 13 years and older) an opportunity to practice on all equipment, including a trampoline, tumbling mat and more. Drop-in rate is $10 per session. The gymnastics center is located along the North Frontage Road next to the Vail post office. For more info, see Tuesday, Dec. 10 Renegade Sons at Agave Local favorites Cristian Basso (The Sessh) and Bob Masters (Laughing Bones, Boneless) join forces to form Renegade Sons. They come to Agave for a free show as part of the weekly Tacos ‘n’ Tunes series, featuring $1.50 beef or chicken tacos and drink specials once music begins at 10 p.m. Entry is 21 and up when music starts. For more info, see

52 Weeks Vail Valley

of the

CAPTION Vail’s new Mountain Top Express lift carries its first load of passengers to the top of Vail Mountain on Nov. 27. The lift, a high-speed six-chair, replaces an aging four-person lift and can now transport 3,600 people per hour - the same capacity as nearby Gondola One. PHOTO Kari Mohr. Have an eye for indelible images? Email your photos (with a short caption) to philip@sneakpeakvail. com


[From page 5]

HONEY-VANILLA MARSHMALLOWS Ingredients 3 cups sugar 2 cups corn syrup 1/2 cup honey 3/4 cup water 2 1/4 tsp. gelatin 3/4 water 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract Method 1. Combine first four ingredients in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. 2. Using a digital probe thermometer, cook mixture to 236 degrees Fahrenheit. 3. While the mixture cooks, combine the gelatin and second measurement of water in a Kitchenaid mixing bowl, allowing the mixture to “bloom” (or hydrate) for 5 minutes. You can also add the vanilla extract now. 4. When the cooking sugar has reached 236 degrees, remove from heat and immediately pour hot sugar mixture into the mixing bowl over the gelatin. Note: It’s a good idea to have the metal mixing bowl with the bloomed gelatin already attached to the stand mixer. This avoids moving the bowl with hot sugar in it. 5. Using the wire whisk attachment, whip the gelatin and sugar mixture on high speed for four minutes. 6. Spread onto a 9x13-inch pan lined with a nonstick baking mat or oiled parchment paper. 7. Allow the mixture to cool fully (approximately one to two hours) before cutting into desired shapes using an oiled knife or cookie cutter. 8. The cut marshmallows can be tossed in a mixture of equal parts powdered sugar and cornstarch to prevent them from sticking to each other and the storage container. 9. Remove marshmallows from the powdered coating using a sifter or sieve. Store in an airtight container or zip-close plastic bag. Recipe makes one 9x13-inch pan (1 inch deep).


Will an SEC team be left out of the BCS National Championship? How sweet it is? Say it ain’t so! Like it or not, the Southeastern Conference is the head of the class in college football by a wide margin. For seven consecutive seasons, the BCS national champion has come from the SEC. This season, the most dominant conference in modern-day college football history may inexplicably be on the outside of the title game. In the final year of the current BCS format (thank the football gods!) this just doesn’t seem right. The conference will need an Auburn win, along with a Seminoles or Buckeyes loss, in order to have a chance at hoisting eight straight crystal footballs. In my perfect BCS Chaos Universe, the Seminoles and Buckeyes both lose and college fans are treated to a second Iron Bowl for all the marbles.

[From page 19]

Heisman Hopefuls In theory, the Heisman is intended for the season’s best football player. For a number of reasons, Johnny Manziel is not going to win a second Heisman Trophy. When Alabama’s AJ McCarron lost to Auburn his chances dropped significantly. Florida State’s freshman QB Jameis Winston is the frontrunner, but voter apprehension and still-pending legal matters may delay the talented signal caller’s coronation. Voters should seriously consider quarterback Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois for the award. Lynch is putting up numbers on par with Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, both of whom are past Heisman winners. With voting up in the air, I’m still waiting for the BCS or NCAA to contact me. I can help.

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DINING GUIDE EDWARDS Balata 1265 Berry Creek Rd. 970.477.5353 American cuisine L | D | $$

Crazy Mountain Brewery 439 Edwards Access Rd. 970.926.3009 Brewery, gourmet food truck L|D|$

Gobi Mongolian BBQ 69 Edwards Access Rd. 970.926.6628 Chinese, Asian fusion L|D|$

Main St. Grill 97 Main St. 970.926.2729 American grill L | D | $$

Subway Edwards 439 Edwards Access Rd. 970.926.7010 Sandwiches B|L|D|$

Bonjour Bakery 97 Main St. 970.926.5539 Homemade bakery, soups B|L|$

Dish! 56 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.3433 High-end tapas D | $$

Gore Range Brewery 105 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.2739 Rustic pub L | D | $$

Marko’s Pizzeria 57 Edwards Access Rd. 970.926.7003 Pizza and pasta L|D|$

Vista at Arrowhead 676 Sawatch Dr. 970.926.2111 Tuscan grill D | $$

Bookworm 295 Main St. 970.926.7323 Coffee and crepes B|L|$

E-Town 295 Main St. 970.926.4080 Contemporary American L|D|$

Grouse on the Green 100 Kensington Dr. 970.926.5788 Pub, American D | $$

Mirador 2205 Cordillera Way 970.926.2200 Regional and seasonal fare B | L | D | $$

Wendy’s 436 Access Rd. 970.926.5850 Fast food B|L|D|$

Belmont Deli 105 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.1796 Sandwiches, East Coast deli B|L|$

Eat! Drink! 56 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.1393 Tasting/wine bar, paninis L|D|$

Henry’s Chinese Café 175 Main St. 970.926.3050 Chinese, Asian L|D|$

Old Forge Pizza Co. 56 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.2220 Pizza, paninis and salads L|D|$

Woody’s Bar and Grill 27 Main St. 970.926.2756 Bar, American L|D|$

Café 163 105 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.1163 Casual American B|L|D|$

Fiesta’s Cantina 57 Edwards Access Rd. 970.926.2121 Mexican B|L|D|$

Juniper Restaurant 97 Main St. 970.926.7001 Contemporary American D | $$$

Sato 105 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.7684 Sushi and Japanese cuisine L | D | $$

Zino Ristorante 27 Main St. 970.926.0777 Contemporary Italian D | $$

Café Milano 429 Edwards Access Rd. 970.926.4455 Contemporary Italian B | L | D | $$

The Gashouse 34185 US Highway #6 970.926.2896 Colorado wild game, steaks L | D | $$

Local Joe’s Pizza 280 Main St. 970.926.4444 Pizza L|D|$

Smiling Moose Deli 1170 Edwards Village Blvd. 970.926.2400 Deli B|L|D|$

$ = $10-$20 $$ = $20-$40 $$$ = $40+ B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

To view a complete guide for dining in the Vail Valley, see




Thursday, December 5 - December 11, 2013

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SneakPEAK - December 5, 2013  

A look at the changing rules for uphill travel at Vail and Beaver Creek, inside the Birds of Prey World Cup ski races, how the EGE Air Allia...

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