Vail Mountain Opening Day with Lindsey Vonn“Opening Day” probably conjures up the first major league baseball game at your local ball park in April, but around these parts it’s all about the return of winter.  Coloradoans celebrate the first day of skiing and riding whenever and wherever it may be – usually A-Basin or Loveland sometime in October. Then, we eagerly watch the progression of other resort openings like Keystone and Breckenridge until it’s finally our turn. Vail Mountain opens for the 2017-18 winter season on Friday, November 17th! It is a day that has been wildly anticipated by locals, Colorado’s Front Range population, and destination guests watching from afar for weeks now. It means blissful days of skiing and snowboarding at one of the most iconic mountain resorts in the country are finally here again!

Here’s a look at what you can expect next weekend, along with information about some new features as Vail Mountain:

Opening Day Events & Terrain

Opening Day traditions vary from person to person.  Some people camp out for days to be first chair. Others are content to wait until the crowds disperse before heading up the mountain. Either way, it’s a good idea to hang out in the base areas early in the day to enjoy the festive atmosphere.  It is definitely a celebration everywhere you go, but the base area in Lionshead is one of the biggest parties.  Vail Mountain employees and execs will welcome and entertain opening day revelers with breakfast burritos, music, swag giveaways and more.  

Vail Mountain will announce Opening Day terrain a day or two before November 17th. There are always runs and lifts open out of Lionshead – terrain generally opens from west to east – which is great for our guests. There are sometimes runs, and Gondola 1, open out of Vail Village.  It all depends on snowfall.  Luckily, Mother Nature is taking extra good care of Vail this year, with a couple of really good pre-season storms and cold weather for snowmaking.  As I sit and write this blog, Vail Mountain is covered in white from top to bottom! 

On-mountain Services Vail/Lionshead

Lionshead Snowsports School will be up and running on Opening Day. The number of instructors may be limited, so we suggest booking your lesson in advance if you plan on taking one over that weekend. 

For on-mountain dining, expect Eagle’s Nest Marketplace at the top of the Gondola to be open. Mid-Vail restaurant should be open, as well, along with upscale dining at The 10th. New this year, The 10th will only be open for lunch service – not dinner.  They want to focus on making the lunch experience even better. Having eaten there a few times myself, I’m not sure how that is possible. The food is outstanding, service delightful and there are luxurious “locker” rooms where you can trade out ski boots for slippers. You may not want to leave! We highly recommend reservations for The 10th, as it frequently sells out.  Our concierge staff is always happy to assist our guests with those. 

As more terrain opens, again weather permitting, more on-mountain dining options will open.  Expect Adventure Ridge to be fully open around mid-December. 

New at Vail Mountain for 2017-2018

As Vail celebrates it's 55th Anniversary this season, new additions include a new chairlift increasing skier capacity to the back bowls, plus a new spot to enjoy après beverage after an unforgettable day on the slopes. 

Epic Pass

This is still the best pass or lift ticket deals if you plan on skiing or riding more than 7 days at Vail or any other Vail Resorts owned and operated resort.  The deadline to purchase is November 22.

There is also a new program that started last season called Epic Day lift ticket.  It allows you to order online and skip the lift ticket line.  It is available all season long.  For more details about this program, click here.

Vail Lodging Deals

Find lodging specials throughout the season at Lodge at Lionshead! Check rates and availability on our website or call us at 970-476-2700. 

Get up here and enjoy the world-renowned terrain of Vail. If you can’t be here for Vail’s Opening Day, we’ll be sure to save some snow for you!

*Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts, Inc.