Vail, CO Feb 24, 2004 -- Perhaps nowhere else in the world can you do and see so much in so little time than at the Taste of Vail, held this year April 7-10, 2004. This perennially sold-out event will draw more than 5,000 people from 50 states and three continents, many of whom religiously make the annual pilgrimage to "taste the Vail Valley lifestyle" which showcases Vail's world-famous resort village set against dramatic mountain vistas and cobalt blue skies.
Along with the magnificent scenery, the undisputed champion of ski resorts offers up what most have come to expect from Vail: unparalleled snowboarding/skiing, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, ski biking and snowshoeing for starters. And while this posh resort just celebrated its 41st birthday, Vail has quickly grown into one of the hottest upscale shopping experiences between Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue. In addition, visitors will find 110 fine dining restaurants to choose from (20 of which are Wine Spectator award-winners) and most are within walking distance in this European-style pedestrian village.
But one of the best-kept secrets occurs in April, when prices for lift tickets drop 40%-50% and lodging costs are cut in half. For smart travelers, this can be Vail's "sweet spot" for not only bargain prices, but also for some of the best weather and snow conditions. This is the time of year where snow dumps of several feet can occur, giving new meaning to powder days. It is also that halfway point between winter and summer. Can you say, "Ski in shirt sleeves?"
To crown this Alpine Nirvana experience and as a celebration to close the ski/boarding season, Vail annually holds what is arguably the country's most incredible spring wine and food festival, as demonstrated by the popular, bring-your-camera Mountain Top Picnic at 11,000 feet above sea level where you are surrounded by snow-capped mountains visible for 100 miles in every direction. More than 55 by-invitation-only winery owners and winemakers will fly in from as far away as New Zealand, France and Chile as well as Napa Valley to personally pour their award-winning wine at the Taste of Vail this year.
In addition, the Taste of Vail will feature wine and cheese tasting, seminars, dances and auctions, bourbon and cigar tasting, winemaker dinners and a Margarita-Mix off contest between the Vail Valley bartenders. (see article below)
If you aren't skiing or eating, you'll find just about anything else coveted by the rich and famous right here, from art galleries and boutiques to fur shops and even customized manhole covers (you know this is a hot place when the Town of Vail can sell more than 700 of its souvenir "chic" manhole covers to people wanting to "own a piece of Vail.
Two of Vail's newest celebrities, Ryan Sutter and Trista Rehn, of Bachelorette fame, now call Vail home. In fact, they have become a major draw for tourists coming to town hoping to spot a celebrity. When he's not out romantically dining with Trista in the Vail Valley, tourists can oftentimes see Ryan working his shift as a Vail firefighter at the Vail Firestation just a snowball's throw from the famous Vail Gondola.