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Vail Mountain Opens Friday November 16

Vail Mountain will  open for the season Friday, Nov. 16, marking opening day for its 50th Anniversary season. A dedication of One, Vail’s new gondola, will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Vail Village, and guests will have access to terrain in the Lionshead area during opening weekend. Here’s more:

VAIL, Colo. – Nov. 13, 2012 – Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States, will open for its 50th anniversary season on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. The resort will host a dedication of One (#1), Vail’s new, state-of-the-art gondola in Vail Village, at 8:30 a.m., including complimentary hot cocoa and cookies as well as limited edition commemorative pins. 

A cabin from Vail’s original gondola will be stationed in Mountain Plaza throughout the 50th anniversary season; EpicMix photographers will be on hand on opening day for guests who wish to capture an historic image in the cabin with friends or family. Immediately following the ceremony, the gondola will open to the public for foot-passenger access only until 3:30 p.m. Guests are invited to ride the gondola to Mid-Vail for complimentary cocoa, coffee and pastries until 10 a.m. or while supplies last. EpicMix photographers will be on hand for photos at the top of the gondola. After Friday, the gondola will be closed until it reopens for regular operations, which is expected to be at the end of next week.

“We’re excited to kick off Vail’s 50th anniversary season on Friday morning with the grand opening of One, our new gondola in Vail Village and with skiing and snowboarding out of the Lionshead base,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “This would be our typical Lionshead opening except this year we’re also christening our great new gondola in Vail Village and allowing foot passengers to come out for a first ride.”

Beginning at 9 a.m. in Lionshead, skiers and snowboarders will have access to the Born Free Express Lift (#8) and terrain on the Born Free trail – including a terrain park experience – as well as an egress back to Vail Village. The Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) will also be open to allow skiers and snowboarders access to the Little Eagle Lift (#15) and beginner terrain in the Eagle’s Nest area. Guests will download the gondola from Eagle’s Nest to return to Lionshead.

The Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest will be open for on-mountain dining for the season beginning Friday, Nov. 16.

The Lionshead Adults and Children’s Ski & Snowboard School offices will be open for all ability levels. The Small World Nursery at the Golden Peak Children’s Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted and guests can also register online at www.vail.com.

First Tracks with the U.S. Ski Team

On Thursday, Nov. 15, the evening before opening day, Alpine ski racing fans are invited to the third annual First Tracks with the U.S. Ski Team, a live, public celebration of the 2013 U.S. Alpine Ski Team, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Lionshead. Members of the 1962 U.S. Alpine Ski Team who trained in Vail 50 years ago during the resort’s inaugural season, will join current Olympic gold medalists like Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso and cheer them in advance of their upcoming World Cup races. A special presentation of the state-champion, Battle Mountain High School soccer team will occur prior to the US Ski Team introduction.

 Last Chance! EpicPass Available Through Sunday, Nov. 18

The Epic Pass™, the best season pass deal in the ski industry offering unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Arapahoe Basin is available for $699 only through Sunday, Nov. 18. The pass pays for itself in just over six days! For those who can navigate a few restrictions or don’t plan to ski more than seven days, the Epic Local Pass™ or the Epic 7-Day™ are available for $549 each. For details, visit www.epicpass.com.

Vail Mountain lifts will open at 9 a.m. throughout the early season to accommodate early-morning operations. Skiers and snowboarders are asked to observe all posted signs and closures, especially during the early season. 

For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.com, or stop by the Mountain Information Center, open daily from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. beginning Friday, or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

 About Vail Mountain

Quickly approaching its 50th anniversary on Dec. 15, 2012 and coveted as the largest ski resort in the United States with more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain and seven legendary Back Bowls spanning seven miles, Vail is an extraordinary winter vacation destination. Under blue skies more than 300 days each year and with more groomed terrain than anywhere on the planet, families reconnect and celebrate here from year to year and generation to generation. The vacation experience is world class, from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School to the events, activities and festivals, the shops and spas, abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail can still credibly lay claim to being a resort like nothing on earth. www.Vail.com.