VAIL, Colo., Nov. 16, 2004 – Vail’s new skier bridge takes center stage on Friday, Nov. 19 when Vail Mountain opens for the 2004-2005 season. In honor of Vail’s past, present and future, a special skier bridge dedication ceremony is planned starting at 8:30 a.m. with officials from the town of Vail, Vail Resorts and U.S. Forest Service as well as local Olympians. At 8:40 a.m. Olympic skiers Dave and Renie Gorsuch, Cindy Nelson, Toby Dawson, Sarah Will and others will cut the ribbon, signaling the start of Vail’s season. The new skier bridge is the first of many projects to launch Vail’s New Dawn, the $500 million redevelopment of the LionsHead and Vail Village base areas.
At 9 a.m. on Friday the Born Free Express Lift (Chair 8) will open and provide access to skiing and riding on 15 inches of manmade snow on the Born Free Trail. The Vail Ski & Snowboard School is offering a special one-on-one, one-hour private lesson for $79 as well as a three-hour workshop for adult group lessons. The LionsHead Children’s Ski School and the children’s carpet at the base also will be open. Small World Playschool Nursery at Golden Peak opens their doors for the season at 8:30 a.m.
Vail’s opening day festivities get underway at 8 a.m. and include complimentary Starbucks coffee and muffins provided by Vail Mountain Dining and commemorative opening day bracelets and lanyards will be given away. Local radio stations will be on hand hosting live remotes and KVBA-TV8 will be broadcasting the skier bridge dedication from the LionsHead base area.
Vail’s new bridge spans 266 feet across Gore Creek and is twice as wide as the original skier bridge, which was built in 1969. It also features a new five-foot wide separate pedestrian path for winter and summer use. Mezzaluna Restaurant in the Lion Square Lodge also will be celebrating the addition of their new outdoor deck beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19. The deck is a great place to see the new bridge. Skiers and riders are encouraged to stop by for apres ski or dinner.
On Saturday, Nov. 20, two lifts will be added for skiing and riding when resort officials open the Giant Steps Lift (Chair 1) in Vail Village, providing access to the Born Free Trail. Beginner level skiers and snowboarders can take advantage of lessons and beginner skiing or riding at the top of Eagle’s Nest, serviced by Chair 15. The Eagle Bahn Gondola only will provide access to the Chair 15 beginner area. The Eagle’s Nest Marketplace will open for the season and serve snacks and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Additional terrain and lift openings will be announced as conditions permit and a winter storm is expected to move into the area over the weekend with snow predicted and temperatures expected to drop into the teens, providing excellent conditions for snowmaking.
Over the weekend, single day lift tickets for Vail can be purchased at the LionsHead ticket office for $49 for adults, $39 for seniors ages 65 and above and $29 for children ages five to 12.
For more information on Vail’s opening day activities please call the Activities Desk at 970-476-9090.