Memorial Day Heralds Official Start to Summer in Ski Country

on May 23 | in General, Summer | by | with Comments Off

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are preparing for a full summer of biking, hiking, grilling, golfing and of course, a healthy dose of Colorado sunshine. Memorial Day weekend typically marks the beginning of the summer season, and Colorado’s mountain communities are ready with a bevy of activities for guests to experience.

Scenic Durango_James Bunten

Scenic Durango_James Bunten

Resorts around the state are enticing guests with a menu of fun family activities and a number of events that boast just the right balance between active and relaxing. Below are some of the holiday highlights happening from Memorial Day through the beginning months of summer in Colorado Ski Country USA.

Aspen/Snowmass

Aspen/Snowmass is offering summer daily activities and events on both Snowmass and Aspen Mountain.

The Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain opens May 26 and offers a scenic 14 minute ride to the top of the mountain where guests can enjoy lunch at 11,212 feet and experience various family activities, from a climbing wall to disc golf and more. The Silver Queen Gondola is open on weekends starting May 26 and will feature daily service from June 16 – September 3. The gondola will return to weekends only September 8 – October 7.

On Bluegrass Sundays, free bluegrass concerts will take place at the top of Aspen Mountain, beginning on June 17 and running through September 2 from 12 – 3 p.m.

Snowmass is set to unveil Bike Snowmass, a new series of downhill mountain biking trails including the long-awaited Valhalla trail, built by Gravity Logic. This new terrain features everything from family-friendly beginner trails to challenging intermediate and advanced downhill trails. The Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp chairlift, accessing Bike Snowmass terrain, open on June 22.

Camp Aspen/Snowmass, a daily summer camp for kids ages 1 and over, begins June 4 and offers many activities in Snowmass including fishing, hiking, biking, paintball, mountainboarding and more.

For more information on summer activities in the Aspen/Snowmass area visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call 1-800-525-6200.

Copper Mountain

Copper’s Summer Day Activities Pass ($39) or Summer Season Activities Pass ($69) grants unlimited access to the quad bungee jump, climbing wall, mini golf, scenic chairlift rides, bumper boats, paddle boats, and bike haul, plus restricted access to Summit County’s only go-kart course. The resort is also introducing a new zip line over West Lake for the summer months.

Nearly every weekend throughout the summer Copper will host events catering to athletes, yogis, music lovers and families. A sampling of events include the new Wanderlust Yoga & Music Festival, plus returning favorites like Warrior Dash, Courage Classic, Copper Triangle, and the Guitar Town and Copper Country music festivals. Many events, notably 3Ring Weekend, are free to enjoy and provide kid-oriented activities and music. Visit Copper’s Summer 2012 Events Calendar for more information.

Warrior Dash_Copper

Warrior Dash_Copper

FAC (Fridays at Copper) again returns for the summer of 2012, offering families a full day of entertainment for an exceptional value. Guests will receive a free FAC Activities Pass with every $30 spent at Copper retail stores and restaurants. In the evening guests can relax with free live music from 5 – 7 p.m., followed by a movie in Copper’s Burning Stones Outdoor Theater beginning at dusk. This kicks off June 29 and continues most Fridays throughout the summer. A FAC Activities Pass is valid for one of each of the following activities: bungee, climbing wall, go-kart, bumper boat, paddle boat and mini golf.

Crested Butte

Opening the weekend of June 9 – 10, and then June 16 for the summer, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) offers plenty of outdoors mountain activities. The Evolution Bike Park, now in its third full summer of operation, offers lift-served mountain biking to all ability levels with more than 25 miles on 16 trails and two new trails this summer. In partnership with Specialized®, the Evolution Bike Park is an official Specialized Demo Center where guests can rent Specialized® mountain bikes, from a child’s pedal-less bike to a full downhill mountain bike. The resort also offers bike lessons for those looking to get on a mountain bike for the first time, brush up on their bike skills or simply get a tour of the trails on the mountain.

Last summer, CBMR added a zip line tour to its on-mountain amenities. The guided tour includes five zip lines, and a series of suspension bridges. The Crested Butte zip line tour is available during the summer, fall and winter seasons. Guests are invited to scream their loudest, hoot like a monkey and showcase their best “superman dive” as they zip through the trees on a two hour expedition.

The Adventure Park at CBMR is an ideal family event. The activities in the Adventure Park include an 18-hole miniature golf course, bungee trampolines, a 28 foot climbing wall and lift-accessed disc golf. This summer, the resort, along with the Trailhead Children’s Museum (www.trailheadkids.org), is adding a tree house playground, which will be free for guests to use and located at the base area near the Adventure Park. The custom playhouse is made from an old fallen tree that is hollowed out by a chainsaw. The tree house is a unique creation, thoughtfully designed to reflect Crested Butte’s mountain heritage.

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort (DMR) kicks off the summer season on Saturday, May 26 by hosting the finish line of the Quarter Horse Bicycle Tour, an event that is part of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. The Quarter Horse starts in downtown Durango and cyclists ride 25 miles, climbing 2,300 vertical feet to the finish line at DMR. New this year is the “team event” of the Quarter Horse Tour. Riders form teams of two to four in three different divisions: families with kids 12 and under; families with kids 12 and over; and businesses. Winners of the team divisions will receive trophies during a presentation ceremony. Guests can enjoy live music at the resort by Champagne with Friends, an Austin-based acoustic/funk/Reggae band, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Mountain activities, such as hiking and mountain bike trails, alpine slide, zip line, bungee trampolines, climbing walls and more are open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Taking place on June 9, DMR invites guests to bring their four-legged friends to Durango Mountain Resort for a day of fun for the entire family at the Dog Day of Summer. The activities take place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and include dog costume contests, pet pictures, hikes, demonstrations and more. La Plata County Humane Society and other local organizations that provide pet services and products will be on hand featuring lovable and adoptable four-legged creatures and the latest products for pooches. All friendly dogs and their owners are welcome. Visit www.durangomountainresort.com/events for more information.

Ski Granby Ranch

Activities at Granby Ranch feature something for everyone in the family. On Saturdays, the resort features free bike clinics from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. where guests can receive professional instruction focused on skills and techniques to help master mountain biking. Learn the right way to negotiate obstacles, stay safe, and make the most of riding opportunities. Call 888.850.4615 or visit www.GranbyRanch.com/Bike for more information.

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch

During Ride the Rockies, on Wednesday, June 13, Granby Ranch Grill invites race participants and spectators alike to take advantage of dinner specials. Granby Ranch will offer a free shuttle to Granby Ranch Grill casual dining restaurant from the check-in point in Granby for race participants to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal.

On June 15 and 16 the Grand Classic will take place, a two-day tournament hosted by Golf Granby Ranch and Pole Creek Golf Club to benefit the Grand Foundation. Call 970.887.3111 or visit www.GrandFoundation.com for more information.

Enjoy a day of family fun at Granby Ranch filled with activities including a fly-fishing casting clinic, face-painting, putting contests, live music, free chair lift rides, games and more at the Granby Ranch Summer Fling on Saturday, June 30 from 2 – 8 p.m. The games and activities will be held from 2 – 4:30 p.m., followed by a summer BBQ and dance party from 5 – 8 p.m.  Call 888.850.4615 or visit www.GranbyRanch.com for more information.

Steamboat

The summer season kicks off in Steamboat on June 15, with the opening of the Gondola and Coca Cola Adventure Zone. Summer activities are open daily from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the regular summer season and on weekends during the late summer and fall. To celebrate the beginning of the summer season, the resort hosts the Free Family Fun Fest in conjunction with local radio station KFMU on Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Families and children of all ages are invited to enjoy the Adventure Zone activities including the Slingshot Trampoline Bungee Jump, East Face Climbing Wall, Kids Bounce Castle, Ropes Course, Human Gyro and the Mechanical Bull, all for free. Also, children ages 12 and under can ride the Gondola for free while adult gondola rides are half price during the festival.

The highlight of Steamboat Ski Resort’s summer activities is the eight person Gondola, which takes riders up to 9,000 feet for incredible views of the Yampa Valley. The Gondola operates from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily during the summer season and on weekends during the late summer and early fall.  From Thunderhead Lodge (located at the top of the gondola), guests can enjoy on-mountain dining at the Oasis Sundeck, and utilize more than 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. Biking trails will open as on-mountain conditions permit. Guests are encouraged to check the Information Center in Gondola Square for a complete list of open trails, activities and current events at the resort. Steamboat also offers guided bike tours, gourmet hikes, Sunday brunches and Special Friday Sunset Happy Hours.

Summer long events in Steamboat include the Pro-Rodeo Series every Friday and Saturday night, the Downtown Farmers Market every Saturday morning, String in the Mountains and the Free Music Concert Series. A complete calendar of summer events can be found at www.steamboat.com/calendar.

Sunlight

Horseback tours begin at Sunlight Mountain on June 15, along with mountain biking. Bikes can be rented from the Sunlight Mountain Inn or guests can bring their own. Horseback tours are for ages 7 and over, and the resort offers a 30 minute pony ride for children ages 3 – 6. There are three tours throughout each day. Guests can book online at www.sunlightmtn.com or by calling 970-945-7491 to make a reservation (required). The resort serves lunch and will BBQ at Sunlight Mountain Inn once the horseback riding and biking begins.

Telluride

Telluride’s summer festival season kicks off on Memorial Day weekend with Mountainfilm, May 25 – 28. Mountainfilm, one of America’s longest-running film festivals, is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures that are worth exploring, environments that are worth preserving and conversations that are worth sustaining. Notable names participating in this year’s festival include Emmy-winning news correspondent Christiane Amanpour, preeminent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and renowned public radio correspondent Alex Chadwick.

While live music is woven into the fabric of Telluride year-round, the town is most widely known for the long running Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which takes place from June 21 – 24. Passes sold out in record time for this year’s 39th annual gathering, but those in attendance will be treated to performances from the likes of Alison Krauss and Union Station, John Fogerty, Béla Fleck, k.d. Lang, Bruce Hornsby and more.

Telluride Ski & Golf’s Eco Adventures is ready to get the family excited about outdoor summer fun. With Kid’s Camp exploration of hikes and river play, team building, games, cooking and science experiments, kids ages 5 and older are invited to take advantage of this unique camp. EcoXploration is designed for 8 – 14 year olds and includes more advanced hiking, bouldering and mountaineering, as well as great activities like disc golf, learning to slackline and Capture the Flag. Eco Adventures also offers summer enrichment and Nature Center programs that include activities such as gold panning, beaver habitat exploration, bridge building and the Art of Flight (how planes and animals fly). For more information visit the Eco Adventure web page or call 970.728.7300.

The Telluride Golf Course opens just in time for Memorial Day, on Friday, May 25. With the excellent spring weather, the course is boasting some of the best conditions ever to start the season.

In addition to the films, music, kid’s activities and golf, Telluride boasts world class events and festivals throughout the entire summer. New to this year’s calendar, Rockfest will accompany Telluride’s Bluegrass, Jazz and Blues & Brews among other music events. With world premieres, celebrity sightings and outdoor movies in the park, it’s a film lover’s paradise with festivals bookending the summer season. Still more weekends will feature the Telluride Wine Festival, Fourth of July, the Telluride Festival of the Arts and the Stage 1 finish of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Winter Park

On Saturday, June 23, Winter Park will host the Third Annual Winter Park Chocolate Festival, an event that is perfect for chocoholics. Fine chocolates from more than twenty vendors will be sold and sampled from 10 a.m.  – 5 p.m. throughout the Village at Winter park. This unique event will feature live music, entertainment, special guests, and demonstrations. The event is free and open to the public, and promises to be a delectable treat in more than one way. For more information about Winter Park’s summer events, visit www.winterparkresort.com/events-and-activities/.

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