It’s that time of year again…one day it’s fall, and the next day you’re in the middle of a winter snow storm. Just like that, ski season is upon us. Vail Mountain’s opening day is November 21 which is just one month away. Sitting here on this beautiful fall day, it’s hard to believe how quickly we’ll be in season! Vail has already had two substantial winter storms and snow is back in the forecast this week. Snowmaking will follow – that usually starts around Halloween - and before you know it Vail is going to look like a winter wonderland.

Once we get over the shock of the seasons changing so quickly, we start getting our preparations for the winter season into high gear. Ski and snowboard conditioning classes pop up at every health club in the area. You can tell you live in the mountains when the fitness crunch time is not the typical post-New Year’s rush or for spring beach vacations, but in October and November to prep for long days of skiing or riding Vail Mountain. If you don’t have ski and snowboarding specific fitness classes in your area, TRX, Crossfit and boot camp style classes are great alternatives. The more you can do to get in shape, the more fun you will have on the mountain during your vacation. Good fitness also help to prevent injury.

Ski and snowboard gear is brought out and dusted off, and new gear is purchased. It is a rite of passage – especially for new locals - to stand in line for opening night of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s Annual Ski and Snowboard Swap to get the best deals in town. It’s how most of us get our first set of equipment from boots to skis to snowboards to parkas, goggles, gloves and all of the necessary clothing. The swap is also open to non-locals if you feel like making a quick trip to Vail. This year, the SSCV Swap takes place October 24-25 and is celebrating its 45th year.


Vail Epic PassIf we haven’t purchased our passes already, we do it now. You should, too. The Epic Pass is by far the best deal around if you plan on skiing or riding 7+ days or visiting more than one resort covered by the pass during the 2014-15 season. Currently the Epic Pass is accepted at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Canyons, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton and includes 5 days at resorts in Japan, Switzerland and France. An adult Epic Pass is just $769 and children’s pass is $399, and there are no blackout dates. There are also other pass options like the Epic Local, Epic 7-day and Epic 4-day, which do include blackout dates (usually holiday dates), but cost less and can be a good option if you are not visiting during a holiday time period. You can find more information about all of the Epic Pass options here.

Pre-purchase Vail lift tickets are also available online if for some reason the Epic Pass is not a good fit for your dates or length of stay. In either case, it is best to make your pass or lift ticket purchase as soon as you’ve booked your trip. Prices are at their lowest now and will only go up as the season progresses. Price increases are never announced, so the only way to guarantee the lowest pricing is to purchase early. If you have any questions about the passes or lift tickets, don’t hesitate to contact our concierge staff.

The countdown is on to opening day in Vail. Think snow!

Lodging in Vail

There are 10 days left to take advantage of Lodge at Lionshead’s Book Early special for the 2014-15 winter season. The Lodge is also offering 25% off of a 3-night stay (or more) in early December and again in April. You can check rates and availability here.