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Vail Mail Holiday Preview 2017

  • 17 December 2017
Vail Mail Holiday Preview 2017

Skiable Terrain Expanding on Vail Mountain

Vail Mountain has expanded open terrain this week thanks to a combination of state-of-the-art snowmaking and new snowfall. With cold temps and additional snow in the forecast, more skiable terrain is expected to open on Vail Mountain during the holidays. Also this holiday, enjoy the Forest Flyer™ Mountain Coaster, which is operating daily throughout the winter at Adventure Ridge. To check the snow and weather report and other mountain information, visit vail.com.

Celebrating the Holidays in Vail

One of Vail’s celebrated traditions, the annual holiday tree lighting will take place on Sunday, Dec. 17 in Vail Village as part of the Vail Holidays™ festivities. Hosted by Tricia Swenson and featuring Mayor Dave Chapin, Santa and other dignitaries, the event begins at 5 p.m. in Slifer Square by the Covered Bridge and will include live holiday music by the Children’s Chorale and Turntable Review, plus holiday cookie decorating and other festivities. Earlier in the day, from 2 to 4 p.m., enjoy pre-tree lighting activities at the Arrabelle in Vail Square in Lionshead with ice skating and cookie decorating. vailholidays.com

Vail Holidays™ Sweater Run

Get out your best holiday sweater and join the fun during the Vail Holidays™ Sweater Run on Saturday, Dec. 16. This festive and family-friendly race starts at 8 a.m. at Checkpoint Charlie/International Bridge in Vail Village. The course will take runners and walkers on a 2.7 mile loop around Vail Village and Lionshead, with a hot chocolate station along the route. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Salvation Army and canned goods will be collected at the race start for donations. Prizes will be awarded for Best Sweater, Best Team, Best Mustache and more. All participants will receive a gift to take home. To register online, visit vailrec.com/register. You can also fill out a registration form and email it to info@reneventproductions.com.

Holiday Lantern Walk & Winterfest Ice Theater

The Vail Holidays™ celebration continues on Dec. 20 and Dec. 22 with the Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places signature winter events. Programs include the Vail Paper Lantern Project and Holiday Lantern Walk on Friday, Dec. 22 presented by Doe Browning. The ever-popular Eleventh Annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater presented by Vicki & Kent Logan in memory of Lou Meskimen Vail’s Favorite Masked Man also opens Dec. 22 on the Gore Creek Promenade. Vail’s Paper Lantern Project invites residents and guests to come together as a community to share holiday spirit and goodwill during this magical time of year. Build your own paper lantern or participate in a workshop, so you can join the Holiday Lantern Walk on Dec. 22. This celebration of light is led by Santa and the world’s tallest elf, along with music and merriment. Enjoy hot cocoa at the end of the short walk in the Village at the grand opening of the Vail Winterfest Ice Theater on the Gore Creek Promenade at 5:15 p.m. Details at artinvail.com.

More Family-Friendly Activities

Other family-friendly offerings taking place during the holiday season include:

  • Vail Public Library Story Time, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings; also bilingual story time on Saturday mornings vaillibrary.com
  • Outdoor Ice Skating, afternoons until 9 p.m. Vail Village (Solaris) and Lionshead (Arrabelle); rentals available
  • Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Education Center  bettyfordaplinegardens.org
  • Nature Discovery Center, natural history exhibits and daily guided snowshoe tours, located at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola, Vail Mountain walkingmountains.org/sp
  • Adventure Ridge, ski bikes, kids snowmobile track and tubing, located at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola, Vail Mountain vail.com
  • Vail Recreation District, programs and activities for ages 2 and older. Drop-ins welcome. vailrec.com

Stop by the Welcome Centers in Vail Village and Lionshead for additional program and activity resources year-round. 

What's Happening in Vail - December

Things to do in Vail


Fat-Tire Biking at Vail Nordic Center

New this season, Vail Nordic Center has added approximately 13K of fat-tire bike trails and rentals. The Nordic Center pro shop is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be opening the ski, bike and snowshoe tracks as conditions allow. Look for upcoming announcements of special events, such as full moon guided ski nights, and dinner and snowshoe pairings. vailrec.com


New Year’s Eve Festivities

Ring in the New Year on Dec. 31 with the annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks at Golden Peak at 6:15 p.m. Watch as ski instructors and Vail locals form a glowing train as they ski down Golden Peak with glowing sticks followed by a fireworks display.
Make it a safe celebration with these friendly reminders from Vail Police.


Parking & Transit Options

From free buses to free parking – and most everything in between - transportation options are plentiful this time of year. Parking is free in the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures for the first 90 minutes and free upon entry after 3 p.m. Also, discount parking passes are available for qualifying residents, employees and property owners. Please check the website for discount qualifications. Vail also operates one of the largest free transit systems in the country and comes highly recommended for its convenience and efficiency. 

Fly Vail

Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) is offering non-stop flights from 14 major markets this winter, which makes getting to and from Vail a convenient option for busy travelers. One-stop connections are available from over 250 cities worldwide, making EGE the number-one choice for frequent visitors. This winter season, Eagle County Regional Airport is proud to partner with Air Canada, American, Delta and United providing non-stop service to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/JFK, Newark, Phoenix, San Francisco, Salt, Lake City, Toronto and Washington D.C.  flyvail.com


Holiday Resource Checklist

If you don’t find what you need below to help with your holiday questions, be sure to call the town offices at 970-479-2100 for assistance.

Curbside Christmas Tree Recycling

Temporary Parking Variances in Neighborhoods

Short-Term Rentals

Town of Vail Holiday Hours

Parking Structure Counts

Next Bus

I-70 Winter Travel Tips


Vail App

Be sure to download the official vacation guide app for Vail, sponsored by the Town of Vail and ResortApp. The VAIL App is free and available for iPhones and Android. With its GPS-based navigation system, the app includes listings of all businesses, an events calendar, activities directory, real-time parking availability, custom maps of the town and the mountain, plus a nightlife, shopping and lodging guide. In addition, the app features a popular “deals” section with value-added discounts and offers for locals and guests alike.


Friends of the Library Fundraiser

In time for holiday gift giving, the Friends of Vail Public Library are sponsoring a unique fundraiser – the sale of coffee and tea in collaboration with local partners. Stop by the library to take a peek at the unique gift-giving opportunities.


Subscribe to EC Alert

To help you make safe travel decisions, sign up to receive real-time, customized road and traffic alerts from the Vail Public Safety Communications Center at www.ecalert.org.  As a new subscriber you’ll be asked to select from a menu of location-based notifications; pick areas of interest such as traffic and weather; and choose delivery options including email, text or phone. Subscriptions can be changed at any time.


Vail-Mail is a project of the Town of Vail Community Information Office. For comments and suggestions, contact Suzanne Silverthorn.

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