There’s still another month’s worth of summer fun to be had at Colorado’s mountain resorts before the colors begin to change, the night air becomes crisp, and the minds of alpine enthusiasts begin to wander towards tune-ups, new gear, pass purchases, and early snowstorms. Many resorts are offering great summer activities and lodging specials through the end of September.
The Labor Day weekend is the last holiday weekend as resorts begin their preparations for the winter. Whether washing down an afternoon’s worth of competition chili with renowned microbrewed beer, attending music festivals featuring award-winning musicians, taking a ride in a vintage aircraft, or enjoying the many summer sporting and recreational opportunities at Colorado’s resorts, the Labor Day weekend festivities offer something for everyone. Below are some of the events and activities taking place during the long holiday weekend around Colorado Ski Country.
Labor Day weekend festivities at Aspen/Snowmass are headlined by the Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, featuring three days of world-class concerts on multiple stages, eclectic food, beverage vendors, and more. This year’s acts include Jason Mraz, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Keith Urban, Train, Little Big Town, Journey, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Colorado’s own Paper Bird. Additionally, the final Bluegrass Sunday atop Aspen Mountain at the Sundeck will take place on Sunday, September 1, featuring the Roaring Fork Valley’s own Smuggler Mountain Boys. Visit jazzaspensnowmass.org for more information and to purchase tickets.
On Labor Day, Monday September 2, the most adventurous eaters in Colorado will convene at the foot of Aspen Mountain for the second annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival and Barbecue, hosted by the Ajax Tavern at the Little Nell Hotel. This all-you-can-eat/drink event will feature conventional oysters on the half shell, Rockefeller oysters and other creative oyster hors d’oeuvres, and the famed Rocky Mountain Oyster. Tickets are $75 and are available at https://ajaxtavern.ticketbud.com/oysterfest. For more information and reservations, please call 970-920-4600 or 888-843-6355. Or visit www.thelittlenell.com.
Copper Mountain’s Labor Day tradition, Copper Country, is a free Labor Day festival tradition celebrating the best of the American spirit. Incredible live music, an arts festival, and Copper Kids Arts & Crafts come together to make this Labor Day weekend event ideal for the entire family. This year’s lineup includes Savannah Jack, The Long Players, Michael McDonald, Texaco Country Showdown and headliner Kenny Rogers. More information can be found at CopperCountryFest.com.
On Sunday, September 8, Crested Butte Mountain Resort will host the annual Gravity Slave Downhill Mountain Bike Race, now a pure downhill format with a $2,000 cash purse for the winners of the Open Pro Class. Racing begins on Sunday morning, with course training from 8:30 – 10 a.m. and a 10:30 a.m. race start time. Registration is available online at www.skicb.com/mygroup with the package code: gravityslave2013. The $50 registration fee includes a race day ticket for Sunday, September 8.
Special racer lodging rates start at $99 per night, plus a resort fee and taxes, which can be reserved by calling 800-810-7669. For more information, visit www.ridecb.com/gravityslave or call Patti Hensley at 970-349-2217 and visit www.vimeo.com/71995088 to preview the challenging downhill course on the Avery trail.
The bike race coincides with Mt. Crested Butte’s annual Chili and Beer Festival on the weekend of September 7 and 8, 2013. Breweries from throughout the southwest will be on hand with their finest brews to take the heat off the chili prepared by Crested Butte locals. In addition to beer & chili tasting, attendees will be able to enjoy live music while taking in the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Crested Butte. Hosted by the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce, this festival will bring together more than 1,000 enthusiasts to celebrate great beer and Mt. Crested Butte’s finest chili. For more information, visit http://www.cbchamber.com/chili–beer-festival.html.
During the entire month of September you can save 20 percent off all CBMR lodging. Stay in Crested Butte and enjoy the brilliant changing of the aspen groves and cottonwood trees into golden yellows, radiant oranges and dazzling reds. During the month of September, the Red Lady Express lift is open from 10am – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Plan your stay over a weekend and receive a free scenic lift ride for each person on the reservation. To make reservations, call Crested Butte Vacations at (800) 600-2803.
Durango Mountain Resort
Durango Mountain Resort is open weekends and Labor Day now through September 29. Visitors can enjoy a bevy of adventure activities including a new ropes obstacle course, new water runners, mountain biking, hiking, scenic chairlift rides, an alpine slide, climbing wall, bungee trampolines and more.
Guests can take advantage of lodging packages starting at $38 per person, per night, and enjoy two nights lodging and Total Adventure Tickets for the entire family, which include Alpine Slide rides, miniature golf and other activities like the bungee trampoline, the new ropes obstacle course, climbing wall, the new Water Runners, and more. To book the Summer Last Hurrah Package or for more information, call (800) 525-0892 www.DurangoMountainResort.com.
Labor Day weekend in Steamboat features a variety of events with something for everyone. On Friday, August 30, Colorado native musician Zach Heckendorf takes the stage at Gondola Square with his rich, hip-hop influenced acoustic-driven sound. On Saturday, August 31, the Steamboat Stage will host Skyfall, the latest installment in the James Bond film series featuring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Javier Bardem.
On Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1, the Wild West Air Fest will bring a vintage and warbird static aircraft display, classic cars, radio controlled airplane shows, the Wings Over the Rockies KidSpace and much more. Visitors may purchase flights in several aircraft, from helicopters to World War II Navy bombers and others.
On Sunday, the Professional Bull Riding circuit comes to Steamboat with the Rocky Mountain Bull Bash. This thrilling event pushes cowboys’ skills to their limit as they take on top-ranked bulls to compete for a big cash prize. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Steamboat.com/things-to-do.
For more information about Labor Day festivities at and around Steamboat, visit Steamboat.com/things-to-do.
This Labor Day weekend, the Telluride Film Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary August 29 – September 2. The festival, which does not announce its program in advance, has hosted the North American or global premieres of four of the past five winners of best picture at the Oscars, including this year’s winner, “Argo”. The Telluride Film Festival and the Town of Telluride have announced that a new venue, The Werner Herzog Theatre, is being created to host this year’s festival. The theater will be located in Telluride’s Town Park Pavilion and will be the festival’s most technologically advanced theater, accommodating 650 pass holders. Visit http://www.visittelluride.com/ for more information.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival. The Black Crowes, Jim James, and Melissa Etheridge will headline this year’s festival (September 13 – 15). Additional musicians booked to play include Gary Clark Jr., John Hiatt, Mickey Hart Band, Anders Osborne, the Otis Taylor Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Allen Stone, ZZ Ward, The New Mastersounds, The Bright Light Social Hour, The Relatives, and the 2013 International Blues Challege champion Selwyn Birchwood Band. There will also be a sampling of some of the best craft breweries in the country. Visit http://www.tellurideblues.com for more information.
As summer winds down, Telluride will welcome the ultimate health and wellness festival, the Telluride Work Out Weekend Festival (Sept. 19 – 22). The Telluride WOW festival will feature presenters, instructors and athletes to hold fitness classes and interactive sessions on the latest health, fitness, wellness, nutrition and medical trends. Visit http://telluridewow.com for more information.
The Zoppé Family Circus welcomes guests into the intimate 500 seat tent for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the Old-World Italian tradition. Starring Nino the clown, the circus is propelled by a central story (as opposed to individual acts) that feature acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, cainine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. Tickets are $20 for VIP chair seating or $15 for general admission, and children under 2 are free. There will be one performance on Friday, three performances on Saturday and Sunday and one performance on Sunday providing guests ample opportunities to see the show during their Labor Day weekend at Winter Park. For more information, visit WinterParkResort.com/events-and-activities.
On the following Saturday, September 7, The Village at Winter Park will host the Whiskey & Wings Festival, featuring some of the best whiskey and wings in Colorado. Local restaurants will be presenting their finest chicken wings in a variety of styles and flavors, with visitors determining which delectable wings are the best. Guests can wash down their wings with whiskey tasting while enjoying live music. Taste tickets are just $1 each (a buck per wing) while whiskey tasting is $10 for four tickets (good for two tastings) and a special commemorative Whiskey & Wings Festival glass. For more information, visit WinterParkResort.com/events-and-activities.