Celebrating Vail’s 50th remains the name of the game for the 2013 Vail ski season, right through its April spring skiing finale, with plenty of special late-season festivities – many of them free. The fun ranges from a new Nordic twist on the venerable Taste of Vail’s 22nd year through a tricky closing day event featuring “floatable athletes” launching from snow to icy pond. To keep all those good times company, the Antlers at Vail hotel is offering a 30-percent discount on its lodging rates for the month of April, bringing the rate for a studio suite below $200. The insider Vail travel experts at the Antlers also recommend these five reasons to enjoy their home resort this April:
1) Taste of Vail – the iconic spring food and wine festival turns 22 this year, showcasing the area’s finest chefs and nation’s top vintners. A new Nordic Wine Tour kicks off the Taste with cross-country ski/snowshoe wine and cheese stations on the Vail Golf Course. April 3 – 6. Event tickets start from $50.
2) Spring Back to Vail Celebration – a week-long end-of-season bash in honor of Vail’s 50th, featuring free live concerts including reggae legend and Grammy-winner Jimmy Cliff, performing April 14 at the Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. April 8 – 14.
3) 50th Anniversary Film Night – a look back at Vail’s 50 years in film from Roger Cotton Brown, who created the first ever promotional film about Vail in the early 60s. April 4 and 11. Show is free with ticket, available at Lionshead Vail Welcome Center from 9 a.m. on the day of the show only. Film starts at 5:30 p.m.
4) Skiing Heritage Week – a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction ceremony April 13 is a highlight in a week of events that also includes the Ishpeming International Film Festival of classic ski movies. April 8 – 14. $350 for the All-Access Pass.
5) Vail World Pond Skimming Championships – thousands watch as costumed skiers and snowboarders vie for fame and glory as they attempt to clear a 100-foot, ice cold pond in this wacky annual close-of-season event. April 14. Lake Golden Peak at Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak Base Area. Free to watch; $75 to participate.
Antlers at Vail’s April discount includes 30 percent off regular rates for the month, with a $285/night studio suite available for $199. Check the Antlers at Vail website calendar or chat with Antlers staff for additional events – from family snowshoeing to a Segovian pig roast – to accompany an April Vail visit.