Fifty years ago this December, Snowmass opened with much fanfare, including legendary ski celebrity Stein Eriksen jumping through a paper-covered hoop on Fanny Hill that said “Welcome to Snowmass.”

To celebrate the resort’s 50th anniversary, Snowmass is pulling out all stops to match the excitement and anticipation of that memorable opening season. Here are ten ways you can be part of marking that milestone.

1. $6.50 Lift Tickets

Yes, you read that right: Lift tickets will cost just $6.50on Friday, December 15 — reflecting the price charged during opening season of 1967–68 — at Snowmass only. But here’s the thing: 12,000 people have already purchased $6.50 lift tickets, so be prepared for a big party on the hill that day.

2. Red Bull Air Force Team

At noon on December 15, members of the Red Bull Air Force team will jump out of planes 5,000 feet above Snowmass and perform air stunts as they approach the landing zone on Fanny Hill. Now that’s something in the spirit of Stein Eriksen’s opening day stunt!

3. Retro Costume Party at Elk Camp

Snowmass 50th Anniversary Celebration - Retro Party
Snowmass 50th Anniversary Celebration - Retro Party

From 5–9pm on December 15, get into the anniversary spirit by dressing up in your favorite decade’s ski gear and riding the gondola to Elk Camp. There, the Retro Costume Party features dinner, live music, and anniversary entertainment, including local favorite Bo Hale Band. SOLD OUT.

4. Banana Days Scavenger Hunt

On Saturday, December 16, Snowmass is reviving one of its favorite past events, with modern twists and four ways to participate. Go bananas hunting for 1,967 plastic bananas hidden around the mountain, Base Village, and the Snowmass Mall, following clues on the radio and social media for chances to win prizes big and small, including the Grand Banana Prize of an Antigua beach vacation.

5. Ride the NEW Breathtaker Alpine Coaster

Be amongst the first to experience the brand new Breathtaker Alpine Coaster at Elk Camp! Enjoy soaring through the forest for just $19/ride. The coaster will be open on Friday from 10am - 3pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am - 3pm. Learn more.

6. Community Picnic

The Golden Anniversary Gala may be sold out, but the Community Picnic on December 17 — from 11:30am to 1:30pm — is another opportunity to gather with the Snowmass community, to enjoy a $19.67 menu special at Ullrhof.

7. Anniversary Dine Around

During anniversary weekend and throughout the season, participating Snowmass restaurants offer $19.67 and/or $50 dining specials. These include a $19.67 bar menu inspired by Snowmass’s first year at The Artisan, a $50 fondue meal for two (including drink and dessert) at The Edge, a $50 family meal for four at the Stew Pot, and a $19.67 shot ski at Slow Groovin’ BBQ. Learn more about these dine around specials.

8. Gold Trail Signs

Snowmass 50th Anniversary Celebration - Signs
Snowmass 50th Anniversary Celebration - Signs

All season long, go on a treasure hunt on the mountain. Look for the gold trail signs with the 50th anniversary logo, which designate the original runs cut on Snowmass for the 1967–68 opening season.

9. History Tour

Want to know more about Snowmass’ past? Learn the fascinating details of Snowmass history, from Ice Age mastodons to Ute Indians to ranching families to the modern-day resort, during twice-daily, on-mountain tours all season long. Meet at 10:30am at the top of Sam’s Knob and 1:30pm at Elk Camp, by the trail map.

10. Fireworks Over Fanny Hill

Watch the night sky light up with fireworks as we salute 50 years of skiing and Snowmass! The show starts at 9:00pm and can be seen from Snowmass Village Mall and Snowmass Base Village!

Published December 2017

About the Author

Catherine Lutz
Catherine Lutz


Catherine Lutz is an Aspen-based freelance writer and editor who helps craft stories and content for the Aspen Institute, Aspen Sojourner magazine, Powder magazine, and many others. An avid skier, paddleboarder, and mountain biker, she’s now vicariously experiencing a second childhood through her two young children in one of the best places on the planet to raise a family.