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Winter Getaway Guide


Va Va Vail
Make a wish and join the celebration of Vail’s 50th anniversary this season. As an early birthday present, the resort unwrapped a state-of-the-art Leitner-Poma of America gondola, the first and fastest of its kind in North America, increasing uphill capacity by 40 percent and providing skiers and snowboarders a cozy 7.5-minute ride from the base of Vail Village to Mid-Vail with heated, cushioned seats and Wi-Fi access.


Where To Nosh
The 10th: Enjoy on-mountain lunch, après, and dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays with spectacular views of the Gore Range while the south-facing deck captures the afternoon sun and views of the Look Ma and Challenge trails. The 10th offers modern alpine cuisine in an upscale setting with an emphasis on quality and efficiency of service. Reservations are encouraged. (www.vail.com/the10th)


Mountain Standard: The creators of Vail’s legendary Sweet Basil just opened a new restaurant that features a cooking method that has been around for tens of thousands of years — cooking over an open fire. A wood burning grill and rotisserie are the centerpieces, and the menu features rustic and bold flavors using the purest ingredients in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. Located in the heart of Vail Village, Mountain Standard’s decor mirrors the menu with rustic reclaimed woods, oak floors mixed with contemporary rusted steel. (www.mtnstandard.com)


Get Geared Up
Skip the lines in the ski rental shop and get fitted in the convenience of your condo, hotel room or private residence. Black Tie Ski Rentals offers a time-saving, convenient service for skiers and snowboarders who want to maximize their winter vacation. Simply make a reservation complete with contact info and sizing, and Black Tie will bring rentals directly to you. Ski techs will custom you  in the comfort of your accommodations. They can also act as a personal concierge, providing insight into things to do and see while visiting the resort. Want to try different equipment for the varying snow conditions? Call Black Tie and they’ll change out equipment slopeside at a time and location that’s convenient for you. (www.blacktieskis.com)


Save The Date
The Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships will take place at Vail Mountain February 25 through March 2. Created in 1982, the Burton US Open is now the longest-running snowboarding competition in the world, attracting the globe’s top competitors. (www.opensnowboarding.com) 

Host to two previous World Alpine Ski Championships in 1989 and 1999, Vail will serve as the official hub of the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships’ ceremonies and festival events in February 2015, while Beaver Creek will host the races. The streets and slopes of Vail will come alive as Golden Peak will play host to Opening Ceremonies, all official medal ceremonies, the Festival Stadium with nightly functions and snowboard and freestyle exhibition events, along with the men’s Qualification Races for Giant Slalom and Slalom, and national team training. Vail Village will further dazzle with concerts, parties, and a big screen stadium. (www.vailbeavercreek2015.com)


The Mammoth Memo

With daily flights from San Diego to Mammoth, a snowy getaway is now more accessible than ever. This season, Mammoth Mountain beginners can get a taste of what it’s like to catch some air with the introduction of the new Unbound Playground Progression Park. The gradual progression allows snowboarders and skiers to learn at their own pace and move up to the next level of difficulty. Instructional boards positioned throughout the park provide self-guided pointers and the parks secluded location lessens the intimidation factor. Also new this winter, two of the top-rated terrain parks in the country — Mammoth’s Main Park and South Park — are even better with new high-end, urban-inspired features called the Downtown Collection.


Perhaps the most anticipated culinary happening in the Eastern Sierra this winter is the opening of Campo Mammoth. Celebrated chef Mark Estee has brought his popular restaurant to the Village at Mammoth with the addition of a vibrant après ski offering. Inspired by his travels through the rural villages of Italy, Estee’s cooking ethic delivers authentic flavors with hand-made authentic Neapolitan style pizza, catch-of-the-day seafood, hand-pressed pasta, and pig dishes served in an establishment that is as much a gathering-place as a restaurant.


At Main Lodge, the new Green V (formerly Broadway Bakery) is Mammoth’s first and only wellness concept featuring vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free fare, along with free trade and organic coffees and teas, fresh-squeezed juices, whole grain salads and pastas, and hearty soups. (www.mammothmountain.com)


Tahoe’s Real Estate Radar

Lake Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl Resort (California owned and operated since 1939) has released 25 new homesites for sale at Summit Crossing in the ski resort’s ski-in/ski-out base area. The homes are centrally located in a snowbound village where residents are brought to their home by snowcat and walk out their door to a front yard of lift-served skiing and endless cross-country ski trails. Homeowners gain access to a number of exclusive benefits including 24-hour VIP concierge service, private Express Line privileges at the chairlifts, and access to the world-class Sugar Bowl Ski Team. The quarter-acre, forested homesites range in price from $475,000 to $700,000 and feature creekside sites along the headwaters of the Yuba River, filtered views of the surrounding peaks of Donner Summit and a central location in a ski area renowned for its family friendly vibe, world-class ski team and tight-knit community. (530.426.6780, homes@sugarbowl.com. www.villageatsugarbowl.com)     JANE SHIOMI


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