Powder Playbook: Opening Day

Fresh Morning Snow During the Change of Season in Vail, CO

Welcome back to Vail Mountain for the winter season! With more than 30 inches of snow so far and one of the best snowmaking teams in the business, we're thrilled to kick off the winter season with an unforgettable Opening Day.


In our "Powder Playbook," we'll provide you with the essential tips and tricks to make the most of your day with us. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-time visitor, we've got you covered.


1. Your Pass, Now on Your Phone:

Download the new My Epic App to use the Mobile Pass feature. Using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, your phone will scan at the lift hands-free, straight from your pocket. Enable GPS tracking for stats, use the upgraded map feature for navigation, and plan where you want to eat, all from this new app.


2. Parking & Arrival:

For Opening Day, we recommend planning your arrival and parking based on your skiing ability. If you’re a beginner and heading to Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19), we recommend parking in the Lionshead Parking Structure.


If you’re a more advanced beginner or intermediate rider, head to Gondola One by parking in the Vail Village Parking Structure. If you end up in the wrong place, have no fear! Vail offers a convenient and free shuttle bus between villages.


The Town of Vail operates all parking structures, and they now offer live parking counts! Visit the link, here, for more.


3. The early carver gets the corduroy:

Opening Day at Vail is all about being an early bird. Arrive at the base area before opening, and you'll have the chance to experience the exhilaration of being one of the first to carve through the fresh corduroy.


If you arrive early, we’ll have some complimentary beverages and sweet treats, giveaways, and of course - a live DJ.


4. Plan Your Runs:

Get ready for breathtaking vistas and memorable descents.


Gondolas will be spinning in both Lionshead and Vail Village, and all true beginner skiers and riders should head to Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) for a beginner experience. If you have your skis under you, more advanced terrain will be available via Gondola One in Vail Village.


Our Opening Day terrain package will include our signature runs, Swingsville and Ramshorn, at Mid Vail. We will also have beginner terrain available at Eagle’s Nest. As always, we’ll make more snow to open terrain as quickly as Mother Nature allows.


5. Grab a Bite and Warm Up:

After a morning of epic skiing, head to one of our slopeside restaurants to recharge and warm up with a hearty meal and hot cocoa. On Opening Day, we’ll be offering dining at Buffalos (top of Mountaintop Express #4), the Look Ma Level of Mid Vail (accessed by Gondola One), and Eagle’s Nest Market Place (via Eagle Bahn Gondola #19).


When you head off the mountain, Express Lift will be open for Après cocktails and food!


6. Capture the Moment:

Don't forget to capture your Opening Day adventures and share with us by tagging @VailMtn! Make your friends and co-workers jealous that you spent the day with us. Bragging rights – authorized.


7. Après-Ski Celebrations:

As the sun sets on another unforgettable Opening Day, Vail offers a lively après-ski scene. Join fellow skiers and snowboarders for some well-deserved celebrations.

Here are some of our favorite spots!


Vail Village

  • Express Lift: 10th Mountain Whiskey Tastings, signature Après cocktails, bites

  • Vendetta’s: Legendary slices of pizza and plenty of beer on tap.


Lionshead Village

  • Garfinkel’s: Lively sports bar vibes with can’t-miss nachos

  • Alpine Pizza: Local’s spot for Detroit style slices with a crispy cheese edge


Stay tuned for the next Powder Playbook where we’ll dish up more tips and tricks to make your trip to Vail unforgettable!