This upcoming 2017/2018 ski season holds a special place in the hearts of Aspen locals and visitors alike. It was on December 17, 1967 that Aspen Snowmass, then Snowmass-at-Aspen, celebrated its opening day with only fifty miles of skiable trails and five chairlifts. This year marks the resort’s 50-year anniversary, and the town will not be lacking in celebration of this pivotal moment in Aspen ski history.
The anniversary weekend will begin on Friday, December 15th with single-day lift tickets on sale for only $6.50, the same price charged on the mountain’s first opening day fifty years ago. The tickets went on sale September 15th and can only be used on December 15th at Snowmass. To wrap up the festivities on Friday, there will be a retro party at Elk Camp with a Cocktails Through the Decades theme and fireworks shot over Fanny Hill later in the evening.
The next day brings the Banana Days scavenger hunt, complete with 1,967 bananas scattered around the mountain, each with a prize donated by a generous local business. Later in the evening, the Viceroy hotel will be hosting the 50th Anniversary Golden Gala, with tickets nearly sold out already. There will also be a premier of Snowmass’ special Anniversary film, Snowmass: 50 Years of Mountain Spirit.
Sunday will host a blast-from-the-past for all those who remember the historic cabin jump and rail jam, made infamous by the first director of the Snowmass Ski School, Stein Eriksen. It is not yet announced who will be jumping. The day’s events will be accompanied by a picnic at the Spider Sabich Picnic and Race Area.
The celebration continues throughout the season as well, with specials at local bars and restaurants going for either $19.67 or $50, to be announced throughout the season. Aspen Ski Company has also hung golden signs delineating the original twenty-five runs, to be left up all season. There will be a plethora of 50th Anniversary gear for sale at retail stores in Snowmass Village as well as special branding and events to be announced throughout this ‘17/’18 season.
Anyone and everyone is invited to come back and celebrate, especially those who have graciously had a part in the mountain’s history: long-time locals, past and present employees, yearly visitors, generous donors, and anyone who wants to come to the Roaring Fork Valley to celebrate one of the reasons it holds such high esteem in the ski industry.
Visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com/snowmass50 for more information.