Happy 50th Snowmass!
Snowmass’ 50th Celebration (1967 – 2017)
There might have been little snow – but there was BIG Celebration. The celebration of Snowmass’ 50th was not about snow it was about Nostalgia, Fun, Parties, Remembrance, the Future and Bananas – a lot of Bananas!
While over 12,000 tickets had been sold for Friday the 15th at 1967’s price of $6.50, only about 6,500 people made it through the lift line ticket corrals – yet, it is possible the other 6,000 were at Venga Venga, stuck in rotation on Skittles, looking for trail maps at the Ranger Station (finding Fat Tires instead) – or Christmas shopping at the Snowmass Mall. It’s hard to say, but only 6,500 is still a lot for only 150+ acres open. Everyone knew what mother nature had brought - or in this case NOT. Expectations were not high, but consistent with Aspen Snowmass / Snowmass Village caliber – absolutely exceeded in the GOOD TIMES category!!! It was certainly more about the birthday party than the ski experience itself on this particular day. A day to go down in history.
Ski Patrol did an outstanding job on the hill and all went smoothly and a good time was had by all leading into the Retro Party that night where vintage costumes prevailed, stories were told and old and new friends caught up. The crowds then spilled into all the local watering holes and the celebrations continued into the night and the weekend.
Saturday was all about bananas, 1,967 bananas to be exact commemorating the year that Snowmass began. Bananas were carefully placed around the mountain - some to be found randomly others by a series of clues. The trick was to get out there early as bananas became scarce as the day wore on. Just a note - the bananas were not real bananas but plastic ones, each containing a certificate for a prize. The prizes were great and ranged from Destination trips, tickets to JAS Aspen, books, dinner certificates, and equipment rentals to a beer or Wine at Gwynn’s.
After a great day on the slopes in search of bananas the parties continued from Base Camp to Ranger Station to Zane’s - and everywhere else in between.
The final day brought out some (simulated) “Cabin Jumping” - as it was back in the day. However, back to mother nature - due to limited snow conditions, the obstacle was altered somewhat – to a vintage Gondola (which until that day in the jumping spotlight - had been just a tool shed tucked in the trees next to the terrain park).
As the weekend wrapped up there is no doubt that when the birthday plan evolved no one considered such limited snow. But as a testament to Snowmass, the mountain, the staff, the businesses and the community, Snowmass continues to stand alone and shine! We look forward to the next 50 - and as is evident by the new plans, ongoing construction and excitement for growth to this wonderful village –the next party is going to be even BIGGER!