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Colorado’s Vape Crisis ‘Can Hit Any Family,’ Even The Lawmaker Who Has To Pass Laws To Fight It

Kevin Priola wants to talk about the challenges of dealing with a teen with a heavy vaping habit. The Republican state senator knows first-hand that “it can hit any family.”

“Tell your kids everything you want them to know before they’re 13, ‘cause after 13 they won’t listen to you,” he said.

Sitting at the kitchen table of his Henderson home alongside his wife Michelle, he has a cylindrical vape device in his hand. The dad of four took it from his 17-year-old son a couple of years ago. His view of the larger, often spirited, vaping debate is shaped by his experience at home.

“We’re of the age and demographics of we’re in the belly of the beast. We have children that are at the age, or they’re experimenting,” Priola said. The Priolas’ trouble started when their son was 14.




-John Daley, CPR

Colorado family travel: 10 winter ideas for non-skiers

 I feel at home in the mountain towns of Colorado. I like to snowboard. But skiing/snowboarding is not the ONLY reason to head up to the mountains this time of year. There are a ton of events that you don’t need equipment to enjoy.

Aspen. The four-day festival called Winterskol will take place January 9-12, 2020. It includes on-mountain activities, film screenings, broomball and fat-bike competitions and a whole lot more! Then come again January 23-26 for the Winter X Games – the biggest non-Olympics snowsports competition anywhere! Not only can you see amazing athletes (Shaun While has been there before – but there are usually well-known artists in concert and most of it is FREE! 

Breckenridge. Art and snow go hand in hand at the International Snow Sculpture Championships January 24-29 (different sets of dates for carving and viewing). For the 30th year, artists from around the world will compete to make a giant block of snow look like the most intricate piece of sculptured art.

Copper Mountain. The Dew Tour comes to Copper February 6-9, 2020. The innovative contest series that showcases athletes’ creativity and style in the disciplines of modified superpipe, slopestyle, and street-style, as well as a team challenge competition. You can enjoy a free front-row seat to all the action as well as free concerts, sponsor village, autograph signings, and more!

DurangoSnowdown, the biggest party of the winter in southwest Colorado has been going on each year since 1979 in Durango. Advertised as “the cure for cabin fever,” January 29 through Feb 1 will be a weekend of music, parties and skiing at nearby Purgatory and Hesperus ski areas. This year’s theme is rock ‘n roll, so dress up as your favorite rock star for the occasion.  

Kidtopia. This is Keystone’s ultimate kid party with the Ripperoo’s Village Parade, bingo and face-painting, Super Snowy Science, tubing, winter movie matinees and the World’s LARGEST snow fort atop Dercum Mountain! 

 Steamboat Springs.  All things celebrating western winter can be experienced at Winter Carnival Feb. 5-9!! Celebrating 107 years of winter with events like ski jumping and skijoring (skiers pulled by horses), as well as a parade (it was such a thrill for the 6-year-old me to get to be in the parade), fireworks and plenty of frivolity, including adults pulled through snow on shovels and skiers racing through flaming hoops. It’s the longest continuously-celebrated winter festival west of the Mississippi River. Also, for something truly unique (and adrenaline-charged), check-out the Bridgestone Winter Driving School or Bumper Cars on Ice at the Howelsen Ice Complex. 

Vail. Free guided snowshoe tour. Meet at the Nature Discovery Center, at the top of Lionshead gondola. Travel by snowshoes on an educational tour through the forests atop Vail Mountain. Learn about winter ecology and animal adaptations as you gaze at majestic alpine views. Please come prepared to spend an hour outside in the winter environment with snow pants, hats, gloves, sunglasses and waterproof boots. Snowshoes are provided. Participants sign up online. Ages 10 and up, FREE. (featured image). Also, the Burton U.S. Open is back at Vail February 24-29. The event is FREE to view and you will be able to see Olympians truly catch some air!

Winter Park. On January 18, enjoy spectacular slopeside fireworks at the free Winter Park Family Fest. Gather around the bonfire at the base for front-row views of the firework display following the sunset. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the s’mores bar, enter to win great giveaways, & dance to the music with their DJ.

*We will have more details on Spring Break concerts and last day festivities later this spring. 

This Colorado Middle School Banned Phones 7 Years Ago. They Say Students Are Happier, Less Stressed And More Focused

Teachers at Mountain Middle School in Durango knew they had to do something. La Plata County had one of the highest teen suicide rates in Colorado and the school wanted to be a truly safe space.

One of the first things that came to mind — a cell phone ban. So, seven years ago, that’s what they did. 

Shane Voss, who was the new head of school at the public charter school back then, cites 24-hour cyberbullying, loss of sleep, round-the-clock social pressure to respond to Snapchats, Instagram posts and texts, and constant comparing oneself to other students. Voss and other school staff say cell phones play an underestimated role in the current teen mental health crisis. 

Eighth graders Grace and Henry don’t know what school is like with phones. Henry is on his phone about 10 minutes before he walks into Mountain Middle School and then it’s off. 

He said for the first half-hour of school his phone might be in the back of his mind, “but once class starts then it’s just ‘kinda out the window and I’m not really thinking about it. So it’s not a big distraction for me during school.”

When school’s out, he doesn’t really think about it either because he hasn’t seen in for the past six or seven hours. Grace doesn’t think about her phone at all during the day except towards the end of the day, “thinking about like, did my mom send me a text to say where I’m going after school and or something like that.”

Click to keep reading

Photo: Chris Neal/Shooter Imaging. Story: Jenny Brundin, CPR

Skip the I-70 ski traffic nightmares and travel by train or bus

Winter Sports enthusiasts can enjoy new travel options to Colorado’s ski areas this winter by bus or train. New bus services and added train service make it easier than ever. Residents may also consider air service into Colorado’s eight regional airports for their ski and ride travel. These options provide expert and first-time skiers and riders alike a stress-free journey to the slopes.

And if you still want to brave the crowds? Don’t miss these I-70 Pitstops When You’re Stuck in Traffic. 


 For a fourth consecutive season, the Amtrak Winter Park Express will transport passengers from downtown Denver’s Union Station to the slopes of Winter Park Resort. New this year, the Amtrak train will run every Friday through Sunday every weekend from Jan. 10 through March 29. Fares start at $29 each way for adults and are available at

 The daily Amtrak California Zephyr has 6 stops in Colorado including stops in Glenwood Springs, where visitors can catch a shuttle to Sunlight Mountain, Granby where guests can access Granby Ranch or passengers can unload at the Fraser station to access Winter Park Resort.


 Snowstang Bus Service – New this winter, the Snowstang bus service will provide direct access to ski areas from Denver’s Union Station and RTD’s Federal Station in Lakewood to Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Steamboat Resort. Roundtrip fares for Loveland and Arapahoe Basin will be $25 for adults and Steamboat will be $40, with 50 percent discounts for children 2-11 and 25 percent for seniors and those with disabilities. There will be 40 days of service to each resort, running weekends from Dec.14 through April 19, plus the Martin Luther King holiday, Jan. 20, and President’s Day, Feb. 17. For more information, click here.

Bustang Bus Service– The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has expanded its statewide Bustang bus service to include Salida as well as daily service to Monarch Ski Area from Dec. 14, 2019 to April 5, 2019. With this expansion, Bustang now serves mountain towns near several Colorado ski areas including Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Copper Mountain, Echo Mountain, Monarch Mountain, Purgatory Resort, Sunlight Mountain Resort and Telluride Ski Resort. For more information, click here.

Vail Resorts

It’s easy to get to Vail, Beaver Creek, Eagle, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Aspen or Snowmass whether you’re flying into Denver International, Vail/Eagle County Airport or Aspen’s Sardy Field. Colorado Mountain Express (CME) offers numerous daily departures to and from resort towns. In winter months, there are hourly departures to/from Denver International Airport

And, you don’t need a rental car once you arrive. Ski towns including Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Aspen and Snowmass are pedestrian-friendly and so much is within walking distance. Many outlying properties offer complimentary van service.

Avoid parking fees and take a break from driving on your holiday and ride CME.

Vail – Vail Village has the largest free public transportation system throughout town, making it convenient and practical to leave your car at home. For full information, including schedule details, click here. Most Vail lodging properties offer a van to the ski slopes if they are not within walking distance or are not ski-in or ski-out properties.

Beaver Creek – Offers complimentary on-call transportation as well as scheduled routes from Village Transportation – read more here.

Breckenridge – Take either the Free Ride transit system operated by the Town of Breckenridge or the free Summit Stage. Breckenridge, Copper Mountain & Keystone are serviced by the Summit Stage, a free county-wide bus service to resorts and surrounding communities. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain provide additional service in town and to the slopes Both transit systems are convenient and free.

Go-I-70 is an organization of 34 political jurisdictions and 5 private sector members proposing Colorado’s Solution for a Better I-70.
Learn More about I-70 Coalition

 Colorado Ski Country Resorts

Arapahoe Basin – The free Summit Stage bus service runs from the park-and-ride lot in Keystone to and from A-Basin. Front Range skiers and riders can also enjoy direct access with the new Snowstang bus service. For more information, click here.

 Aspen Snowmass – RFTA, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s bus system, provides transportation to all four Aspen Snowmass mountains. For more information, click here.

 Copper – Summit County visitors can take advantage of the free Summit Stage bus service. For more information, click here.

 Eldora – The Ski-N-Ride provides bus service from multiple locations along the Front Range straight to Eldora every day of the week during ski season. For more information, click here.

 Loveland – Running on weekends from December to April, the Snowstang bus service offers riders pick up locations at Union Station in Denver or the Denver Federal Center RTD station. For more information, click here.

 Monarch – The Salida Ski Bus provides access from Salida to Monarch. Visitors can also access Monarch with daily Bustang service from Dec. 14, 2019- April 5, 2020. For more information, click here.

 Purgatory – The skier shuttle runs from Durango to Purgatory on weekends and select holidays for $10. For more information, click here

 Steamboat– Guests can enjoy the free town bus system running from town to the resort and other locations. For more information, click here.

 Telluride – The Galloping Goose bus service provides free transportation in and around the town of Telluride, Mountain Village and Lawson Hill. For more information, click here.

 Wolf Creek – Shuttle service is available from Pagosa Springs via the Wilderness Journey Shuttle for $20 one way or $30 roundtrip. For more information, click here.


Colorado Family Building 3D-Printed Lamborghini Hopes To Spark Interest In STEM

These days 3D printing has advanced so far, it’s even being used to make a custom heart valve, so why not a supercar, like a Lamborghini? An Erie family now hopes they’ll be the first in the country to build a Lamborghini using this technology.

“What we would do is jump into a Lamborghini Aventador and drive it around,” Xander Backus said.

Backus isn’t old enough to drive yet — he’s 11 — but he and his dad have driven the Aventador numerous times in an Xbox game.

“One day I said to him, hey can we build one of those?” Backus recalled.

Xander’s dad, Sterling Backus accepted the challenge. He happens to be a physicist whose line of work involves a lot of lasers, but that hasn’t really given him much of an advantage when it comes to building a car. CLICK TO KEEP READING

Across borders, through detention, and into Colorado classrooms: The journey of solo children

At 15, he made the long, frightening trek across Central America and the U.S.-Mexico border with a smuggler. Then he continued on an even longer journey, in search of his father in Colorado.

But what sent William into despair, and depression that pushed him to cut himself, happened in a U.S. holding center for migrant children: a long detention, a bout with tuberculosis, and the fear of never seeing his family again.

Every year hundreds of children are arriving in Colorado schools with uniquely challenging stories after crossing the border into the U.S. without their parents. William — who asked that we withhold his real name, out of fear of jeopardizing his quest for citizenship — was one of the earlier unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States after fleeing life-threatening conditions at home.






The Colorado Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” Invites You to be Part of the Magic

Duct tape. Hot glue. Gallons of paint, emergency patches, and even vodka. As you watch ballet dancers perform in The Colorado Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, most of the costumes and sets are being held together with items you might see in a hardware store. With skillful lighting and the view from the audience, you are probably unaware that the gorgeous flouncy and dreamy costumes are more than thirty years old. 

Not only are they thirty years old, they came to Denver via the San Francisco Ballet in 2005. Imagine the athletic demands of leaping around in delicate, hand-sewn thirty-year-old clothes every day in December. Principal dancers, Chandra Kuykendall, Francisco Estevez, and Asuka Sasaki shared stories of how costume mishaps affect performances. While they are seasoned professionals who know how to handle pressure, they tell tales of fingers getting trapped in fraying threads and the Nutcracker doll breaking at inopportune moments. When you watch scenes with masked dancers, know they have to wear goggles underneath because of little bits of foam that flake off into their eyes. Mother Ginger is literally held together with painted duct tape. Kuykendall, who recently announced her retirement after this season, expressed there are sentimental attachments to the costumes and sets, but it’s time for a change. 

The Colorado Ballet has launched a campaign to raise funds for brand new costumes and sets called Go Fund the Magic. 2020 will mark the 60th-anniversary production of The Nutcracker. The hope, according to Artistic Director Gil Boggs, is that new costumes and sets will last another thirty years. With proper storage in a new climate-controlled facility, the $2.5 million investment will ensure a new generation of The Nutcracker fans will be able to enjoy high quality, deeply artistic production that remains part of a beloved holiday tradition. 

Why do tulle and sequins cost so much? Again, quality. The Colorado Ballet needs 300 hand-sewn costumes. They are to be created in five shops around the United States, including a shop here in Colorado. The current Sugarplum Fairy costume, for example, cost $7,000. Seeing it close, the detail and care in construction is stunning. Likewise, the enormous set, with backdrops, props, and whimsical touches are to be handmade in the US. 

If you and your family are among the 60,000 audience members who attend a performance of The Nutcracker each year, you might be attached to the current costumes and sets. They become familiar friends. The quirky owl clock, the magic gift boxes, the growing Christmas tree, the old-fashioned glow of candlelight — you don’t want to imagine the experience without these elements. Boggs assures ballet-goers that they are keeping the Victorian style alive. It’s exciting to anticipate what the renowned designers, partnered with The Colorado Ballet will dream up for next year’s production. 

There are still tickets available to watch The Nutcracker’s final season using the current costumes and sets. They have served Colorado well for so many years. 

You can partner with The Colorado Ballet as they crowdfund a small portion of what they need to complete this project. Most of the $2.5 million will come from ticket sales and donations. Through Go Fund the Magic you can be a part of the historic effort to bring The Nutcracker into the 2020s and beyond. Click to learn more about the effort. There’s a great video that explains the campaign with dancer testimonies and close-up shots of the deteriorating costumes. Imagine sitting in the audience a year from now when the curtain rises on a new era for the production — and your generosity is forever a part of the magical holiday scene that unfolds. 

Ultimate Denver Holiday Giveaway: $1,500+ in hotel stays and adventures!

I’ve been creating this list for over a decade, and I tell you, this has to be one of the best collections of give-a-ways for mamas we have ever brought to Colorado! Here’s to all you Mile High Mamas and your incredible efforts. Enter here for a chance to win a mom-daughter workout package, two different resort giveaways and a free hotel night and Frisco Adventure Passes.

Also, don’t miss our Holiday Gift Guide for Denver Moms.


Mother-Daughter package at AKT for a three-month membership

AKT, the popular boutique fitness studio developed by Celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, recently opened their first Colorado location in Denver at 2445 E. 3rd Street in Cherry Creek North. Rooted in functional training that allows the body to move in a dynamic way, each AKT studio class is between 45-60 minutes in duration and incorporates a full spectrum of fitness elements from dance to strength training and plyometrics. With four unique class modalities – dance, bands, tone and circuit, AKT is a workout for all body types and fitness levels. Visit  

Value: $777 *Daughter must be 16 of age. 

Hotel / Experience Package #1

A Dairy Block Experience—Hotel, Shopping and more!

This is certainly one of the most fun and clever packages we have offered for a holiday package, and it’s a true treat for mom courtesy of the incredible development in downtown Denver. Included is an overnight stay at the independent Maven Hotel, a $100 gift card to Denver Milk Market and a $100 gift card to shop at women’s lifestyle boutique HEYDAY. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Can you say, literally, the loveliest of holiday gifts is a special treat for a mom! Visit

Value: $310+

(Dairy Block Alley)

Hotel / Experience Package #2

Two nights at YMCA of the Rockies or Snow Mountain Ranch

 We at Mile High Mamas LOVE the YMCA resorts—YMCA of the Rockies and Snow Mountain Ranch. There are over 50+ things to do at each location from roller skating, hiking, swimming, archery, horseback riding, disc golf, etc.; it’s endless adventure. This winter we are giving away two nights in a lodge room for either center or it will have a 1-year expiration date.

Each year, families enjoy active, unplugged vacations at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park and Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby. Both properties feature unique activities for all ages located on-site, such as arts and crafts, miniature golf, roller skating, swimming, guided hikes through Rocky Mountain National Park, and more, and meals are served daily in a buffet-style dining hall (no meal planning for mom and dad!). The lucky winner will receive two nights in a lodge room. Learn more at 

Value $280

(Snow Mountain Ranch)

Hotel Package

Night at the Brand New Hyatt Place Pena Station / Denver

WOOHOO. Don’t worry about missing any early morning flights or making the drive to the mountains after a late night flight, stay at the New Hyatt Place located at the A train @ 61st and Pena station. The 226-room hotel is both dog and family-friendly (“Denver” is the hotel’s K9 ambassador – golden retriever puppy), has a full-service Starbucks, local art program, indoor heated pool + fitness center with Peloton Bike and an entertainment area. Location is key—Hyatt Place Peña Station is the only hotel directly on the RTD A-line, making it just an eight-minute train ride to DIA and less than 30 minutes to Denver Union Station.  There are top-floor suites with balconies and unobstructed mountain views, free Wi-Fi throughout hotel and guestrooms, breakfast bar and The Market serving freshly prepared meals anytime, day or night and perfectly packaged sandwiches and salads. Visit Hyatt Place Peña Station/Denver Airport, for more hotel information.

Value: $179

Frisco Adventure Park 

Gift certificate for a family of four for two hours on the tubing hill

Located in the heart of Colorado’s Summit County, Frisco is known as The Main Street of the Rockies. Ideally positioned within 30 minutes of six renowned ski resorts, and bordered on three sides by public land, Frisco is the ideal base camp for a variety of winter activities. Race through the Frisco Adventure Park on a tube; with 1,200 ft. lanes, and surface lift service up the hill, tubing in Frisco is an extremely popular – and giggle-inducing – activity. While you’re there, tackle the beginner ski & ride hill and visit the Frisco Nordic Center with cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Or, take a break from your day of activity in the 4,000 square foot Frisco Day Lodge, serving all Adventure Park customers.

Value: $224, not valid on holidays


We have FIVE fabulous contests with one winner per giveaway. You may enter as many as once for each giveaway, once per day. For additional entries, follow us on Facebook (@milehighmamas) for five additional entries and on Instagram (@TheMileHighMamas) for an additional five entries and note it on the entry form. Enter daily through December 23, 2019. 

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Please note what contest you are entering. 1) AKT, the popular boutique fitness studio 2) Dairy Block's Maven Hotel, 3) YMCA of the Rockies or Snow Mountain Ranch, 4) Night at the Brand New Hyatt Place Pena Station, 5) Frisco Adventure Park or 6) All

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Winter Family Vacation in Colorado: 50+ New Events, Attractions, Lodging Deals & More

 Coming off of one of the snowiest winters on record, Colorado is buzzing with new developments, lodging offerings, unique adventures and special events for the season ahead. With newsworthy offerings including new lift service and terrain on the state’s storied slopes, the Sopris Splash Zone adventure river, the full immersion dog sled experience, the opening of the highly anticipated U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, the world premiere of Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature at the Denver Art Museum and an exciting line-up of events and anniversaries, Colorado is the place to be this winter.

Following is a sampling of what’s new in Colorado. 

Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:

The Science Behind Pixar Exhibit Debuts at The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Oct. 11, 2019: This exhibit will provide a unique look into the Pixar process and explore the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters.

Old West Fest, Ridgway, Oct. 11-13, 2019: 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie True Grit that was filmed in Ridgway and Ouray County. The first annual Ridgway Old West Fest will celebrate Ridgway’s brief transformation into Fort Smith, Arkansas half a century ago. Festivities will highlight Ridgway’s film, ranching and railroad heritage and celebrate Western arts and culture.

Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature Makes World Premiere in Denver, Oct. 21, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020: The Denver Art Museum will host the most comprehensive U.S. exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition will feature more than 120 paintings that span Monet’s entire career and will highlight the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked.

Ouray Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Ouray Ice Festival, Jan. 23-26, 2020This annual ice festival transforms the southwestern town of Ouray into an absolute ice climbing mecca. The Ouray Ice Festival celebrates the growing sport of ice climbing with daily vendor exhibitions, climbing clinics, demo opportunities and the chance to watch some of the world’s best ice and mixed climbing talent compete.

Winter Folk: Music & Photography Showcase Premieres in Longmont, Feb. 7 – March 1, 2020: Winter Folk will take place Friday-Sunday for four consecutive weekends featuring 40 bands such as Brett Dennen, Adam & Ben of Yonder Mountain String Band, Josiah Johnson formerly of the Head & The Heart, Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival and more. The event will also feature multiple photographers in a showcase. Proceeds from the event provide Colorado schools with instruments and allow the Future Arts Foundation to host free youth arts workshops.

The Westin Riverfront’s 10th Mountain Division Ski Trooper Experience, Feb. 18-21, 2020The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon in the Vail Valley will host an exclusive ski weekend with professional skier Chris Anthony to celebrate and explore the incredible history of Colorado’s legendary 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers. The experience includes guided ski and snowboard days on both Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains, a snowmobile tour of Camp Hale, a visit to Vail’s Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame, a private whiskey dinner featuring 10th Mountain Distillery and much more.

Leadville Chosen to Host the 2020 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships, Feb. 28 – March 1, 2020: The highest-elevation city in North America, Leadville, Colo., will host the 2020 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships and will be the highest-elevation competition in the U.S. Nationals’ history. The course passes through lush lodgepole pine forests with unparalleled views of Colorado’s two highest peaks, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive.

Barstool Racing Returns to Minturn March 2020: Each winter “athletes” affix a pair of skis to the base of a barstool and come out to “race” down a snow-covered course in Minturn, just west of Vail. The rules are simple: If it supports a tush, and rolls downhill then it’s “street” legal.

Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures:

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Opens Water’s Edge: Africa Exhibit: Opening in the fall of 2019, this new exhibit will allow guests to waddle alongside penguins, teeter over a hippo yard on a suspension bridge and view an island of lemurs. Other onsite animal interactions include feeding the largest reticulated giraffe herd in captivity, the resident elephants and even a black rhino. 

Colorado Mountain School Offers New Backcountry Programming: Estes Park’s Colorado Mountain School is expanding its winter programming to include a new multi-day development series combining multiple courses into a structured progression and includes mountaineering and rock climbing and, new for winter 2019, will expand to include ice climbing, backcountry and avalanche training.

Estes Park Rock Climbing to Offer New Elkins Snowshoe Tours: Estes Park Rock Climbing has partnered with the award-winning Elkins Distillery to provide a new exclusive package that includes a four-hour morning snowshoe tour in the picturesque backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park. After the snowshoe tour, a catered lunch will be provided alongside some of Colorado’s finest whisky.

Glenwood Springs’ Hotel Colorado Offers New Historic Tours: The Hotel Colorado now offers Walk Back in Time Historic Tours guided by the “ghosts” of colorful characters from Glenwood Springs’ past in partnership with The Glenwood Springs Historical Society and Frontier Museum. Each character portrayer will share unique and haunting stories of The Hotel Colorado’s history during a one-hour tour.

Sopris Splash Zone Open at Glenwood Hot Springs: Opened in August 2019, the highly-anticipated Sopris Splash Zone is the family-friendly resort’s newest addition to the hot springs, spa and lodge property in Glenwood Springs. It features a fast-moving adventure river for older kids and adults, and a wade-pool with waterfalls for younger children as well as fountain designed for both play and show. 

First and only U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame To Open in Colorado Springs: The $90M project will be the most accessible museum in the world with an array of tailored, high-tech exhibits opening spring 2020. Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Olympic Committee and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center.  

Vista Verde Dude & Guest Ranch to Offer New Snoga & Ice Fishing Experiences: New for winter 2020, Vista Verde will debut Snoga in which the ranch’s yoga instructor guides guests on snowshoes for a short hike out to the rustic Homestead cabin, where a cozy fire and yoga mats are ready to go for yoga class. The ranch will also offer guided ice fishing in a heated shelter where guests can either drill their own fishing hole or observe the professionals.

Major Ski Resort News and On-Mountain Improvements:

The winter 2019/20 season welcomes major upgrades to improve the guest experience at ski areas and resorts across Colorado. 

In Breckenridge, the Peak 8 Base Area is being transformed with new escalators, skier services, and amenities including an outdoor ice skating rink.

Both Crested Butte and Mary Jane ski areas are adding new lifts while Steamboat Resort will unveil a new gondola that will increase capacities and decrease ride times. 

Copper Mountain’s new Tucker Mountain lift will unlock access to 273 acres of expert terrain previously serviced by the Tucker snowcat and backcountry hiking. 

Cooper is significantly expanding terrain and will install a new surface lift. The expansion gives guests access to nearly 100 acres of intermediate and, for the first time in its history, truly expert terrain will be available.

Vail Ski Resort will unveil the first phase of an ambitious snowmaking expansion that will create more reliable early- and late-season conditions with high-quality snow. 

Beaver Creek Resort is expanding its snowmaking system at Red Buffalo Park while showcasing a newly renovated Children’s Ski School and a remodeled Village.

Monarch Mountain celebrates its 80th anniversary with more gladed tree skiing and a new kid-friendly, interpretive ski run. 

Guests to Telluride Ski Resort can experience 40 new acres of north-facing gladed terrain around Lift 9 this upcoming winter. This new tree skiing will be for advanced and expert skiers and will also include new natural features like steep chutes and rock drops.

A $4 million expansion has begun at Sunlight Mountain Resort that will expand gladed tree skiing, add five new hike back runs and an additional 500 vertical feet of skiing in the expert only area. When completed, the entire project will feature a new lift and 100 acres of new terrain. 

Powderhorn Resort will welcome a new food and beverage location in its base area, an Umbrella Bar for visitors to sit back and enjoy. Guests will also have the option of staying slope-side in the new tiny home village year-round.

Purgatory Resort will offer free ski and snowboard lessons to all first-time skiers and riders of all ages.

New Lodging Properties and Major Renovations: 

Grand Hyatt Vail Opens: The Grand Hyatt Vail recently opened marking the first in a U.S. mountain resort destination. The 285-room, ski-in/ski-out resort sits at the base of the iconic Vail Mountain on the banks of Gore Creek and offers guests their own ski lift for convenient access to world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Gravity Haus Debuts in Breckenridge: Gravity Haus will debut in December 2019 and is a ski-in/ski-out boutique property in Breckenridge. Designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round, Gravity Haus will offer ongoing insider experiences ranging from outdoor excursions to social programming and will feature 60 distinctly curated rooms. Onsite amenities at Gravity Haus will include Dryland fitness and a sports recovery center, expert-led backcountry experiences, a super trampoline, farm-to-cup Unravel coffee, nourishing dining at Cabin Juice, Japanese-inspired onsen and more.

The Hotel Colorado Unveils Major Renovations in 2019: The Hotel Colorado is finishing up major renovations to be completed by winter 2020. Under its new ownership, the hotel is remodeling its meeting rooms, guest rooms and common spaces staying true to its history while implementing state-of-the-art improvements. In the process, there have been some significant historic discoveries.

Kinship Landing to Open in Downtown Colorado Springs: Opening in 2020, Kinship Landing is a new hotel concept that will offer what today’s travelers demand: authentic and engaging travel experiences that connect them to the local community. The boutique hotel will feature a community space to talk about the day’s adventures along with lockers equipped with charging stations and available for gear storage, an inviting bar area and more.

New LOGE Breckenridge Hotel Inspires Exploration and Community: Fully opening in fall 2019 and inspired by the surfing, climbing and camping culture of the ‘70s and the relaxed energy of road tripping with friends, LOGE encourages guests to get out and explore together. LOGE Breckenridge features 38 rooms and a 20-bed hostel, meeting space for 48, bar/café, mountain bike and ski demo center, outdoor stage and common area and fire pits, all next door to some of Breckenridge’s best trails.

W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen Now Open: Opened September 2019, the new W Hotel and Residences in Aspen offers 88 guestrooms and 11 W-branded fractional residences. Conveniently located at the base of Aspen Mountain, the development features a 12,000-square-foot rooftop bar and pool with expansive views of Aspen Mountain as well as unbeatable ski-in/ski-out access. 

The Little Nell Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Remodel: To mark the 30th anniversary of Aspen’s famed Little Nell hotel, the property underwent an interior renovation of the living room, lobby and the après-ski bar called Chair 9. The hotel will celebrate with commemorative events and happenings that will take place throughout the 2019/20 winter season.

New Hostel Style Lodging Now Available at YMCA of The Rockies: New for fall 2019, the YMCA of The Rockies will offer an additional lodging option to their traditional cabins and lodge rooms. The Hostel at Ranch House will allow guests 18+ to book single-beds in shared rooms. Housed in one of the property’s traditional mountain lodges, guests at the Hostel at Ranch House will have access to a full kitchen, shared living areas and bathrooms. Guests also receive a day pass to participate in all of the YMCA’s activities and facilities.

Enticing Lodging Packages & Amenities:

YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Full Immersion Dog Sled Experience: New for winter 2020, Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby is offering a full immersion dog sled experience that will provide guests instruction and will allow them to work up to a solo sled ride with a team of dogs on the expansive resort property.

First Tracks/Last Tracks at The Limelight Hotels in Aspen & Snowmass: Offering guests the chance to ski/ride freshly groomed corduroy or powder before Snowmass Mountain opens to the public, The Limelight Hotel’s First Tracks program will take place every Friday beginning January 2020. This service is complimentary and available to the first six guests who register. Additionally, the hotel’s Last Tracks program allows guests to join the ski patrol at both Aspen and Snowmass Mountains to be a part of the Patrol’s safety measures that includes a final “sweep” of the mountain.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Celebrates 30 Years with $30K Package: In celebration of Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s 30th Anniversary, the property is offering an exclusive $30,000 package for two that will include accommodations in the property’s luxurious 1,760 square foot Rial Oxford Suite, lift tickets for Beaver Creek Mountain, rental equipment and a $3K shopping spree with personal shopper at Gorsuch, cat skiing with Vail Powder Guides, a private butler, a sleigh ride dinner to Beano’s Cabin, spa experiences and much more.

Interesting Food and Beverage Offerings:

Double Barrel Club and Rose & Thorn Open in Denver’s LoDo Neighborhood: Opened in September 2019, Rose & Thorn serves upscale international street food with a Latin emphasis and Agave bar. Guests enjoy flavored artisan ice enhanced cocktails from the world’s first Ice Laboratory and explore mouthwatering culinary delites. Located below Rose & Thorn is a 1950’s rum speakeasy where visitors experience the feel and taste of old Havana.

The Collective Opens in Snowmass: The winter 2019/2020 season brings the completion of a build out of the interior of The Collective Snowmass – the Base Village’s new community center. The project includes the construction on mixsix, a new restaurant, bar and outdoor patio by acclaimed Aspen chef Martin Oswald.

.La Nonna Opens in Vail: Executive Chef Simone Reatti serves up authentic Italian fare in his recently opened restaurant La Nonna Ristorante. Nonna, which means grandma in Italian, is both a name and inspiration for Chef Reatti as his own grandmother introduced him to cooking.

Maine Shack Now Open in Denver’s LoHi Neighborhood: Opened in July 2019, Maine Shack is a coastal seafood joint inspired by chef and owner Max Mackissock’s New England roots. The menu offers lobster rolls, New England specialties and more, showcasing a variety of ingredients sourced from the Gulf of Maine. 

Pikes Peak Brewing Company to expand to Colorado Springs: Pikes Peak Brewing Company will expand into downtown Colorado Springs with the establishment of its Lager House, anchoring a new market concept. Lager House will produce small batch, hand crafted lagers and will also offer signature beers from the original brewery established in Monument in 2011. The market will be a community of independent Colorado businesses collectively offering a place to eat, drink, shop and connect.

Sam’s Debuts at the Top of Snowmass Mountain: New for the winter season, Aspen Snowmass introduces a new Italian restaurant located at 10,620 feet at the top of Sam’s Knob on Snowmass. The new restaurant, aptly named Sam’s, is a modern Italian concept that will offer diners sweeping views of the Elk Mountains and a sophisticated, lively dining experience.

Sunday Vinyl to Open Fall 2019: From James Beard Foundation Award-winning team of Frasca Inc., including Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson, Sunday Vinyl will open fall 2019 in Denver. Inspired by Europe’s vibrant wine bar culture and by Stuckey’s tradition of drinking great wines and listening to an eclectic soundtrack of vinyl albums on Sunday, his day off, Sunday Vinyl will offer a large by-the-glass wine program, a streamlined menu of European classics, and a boisterous vinyl-only playlist curated by Stuckey in partnership with Vinyl Me Please.

Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery Opens in Golden: Opened in August 2019, Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery brings eight carefully curated food and beverage artisans to the heart of downtown Golden. A new concept from celebrated chef Daniel Asher and restaurateur Josh Dinar, Tributary is the town’s first food hall and offers inspired cuisine for diners to sit and savor in a cool, hip environment.

Major News on the Horizon for Spring/Summer 2020 and Into 2021:

Denver Art Museum to Collaborate with Award-Winning Chef, Jen Jasinki on New Restaurant ConceptsOpening in June 2020 and coinciding with the first reopening phase of the DAM’s Martin Building, The Denver Art Museum will debut two new dining options in collaboration with  James Beard Award winner and celebrated Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski. The Ponti will combine art and dining, presenting a locally-sourced and inspired menu with high standards of sustainability. Cafe Gio will offer quick-service, casual dining.

Flying W Ranch to Reopen in Colorado Springs Memorial Day Weekend 2020: After a complete loss during the Waldo Canyon Fire, this western Chuckwagon supper and dinner theater returns to the Pikes Peak region. The brand-new venue will feature the area’s best BBQ and performances by the acclaimed Flying W Wranglers.

The Sheraton Denver Downtown to Undergo $80M Transformation: Slated to debut in April 2020, the Sheraton Denver Downtown has kicked off a transformation that will touch all aspects of the hotel including a new arrival experience, 133,000 square feet in renovated meeting space and 1,231 newly redesigned guest rooms as well as new, world-class culinary and beverage experiences.

Copper Mountain to Welcome Its First Hotel in 2020: Center Village at Copper Mountain will welcome a new hotel in 2020. The anticipated four-story hotel will have 127 guest rooms and offer a mix of two queen beds, king beds and suites. 

MeowWolf Comes to Denver in 2021: Santa Fe’s lauded arts and entertainment group, MeowWolf, will be opening a new immersive arts experience in Denver in 2021. Meow Wolf is comprised of over 300 employees creating and supporting art across a variety of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance.

New Pikes Peak Summit House Experience To Open in 2021: Pikes Peak is one of the nation’s most iconic mountains and inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen the words to “America the Beautiful.” The new 38,000-square-foot Pikes Peak Summit House complex will include a newly designed and constructed Summit Visitor Center, elevating the experience for visitors who summit the peak via car, bicycle or foot.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway To Reopen in 2021: The Pikes Peak Cog Railway will reopen after a multi-year hiatus for repairs in 2021. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of Colorado Springs’ top attractions and since 1891, has taken thousands of people to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak.

For more information and travel ideas, visit

​​​Celebrate Fresh Air Friday on Black Friday with FREE Colorado State Parks Pass

Colorado Parks & Wildlife encourages you to take some time this Thanksgiving weekend to explore the outdoors and make new memories with the people you love. Turn Black Friday into a blue skies Friday, a green trees Friday, a white snow Friday… a Fresh Air Friday!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is pleased to partner again this year with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to offer free access to all 41 Colorado state parks on Fresh Air Friday. Throughout the year, CPW offers family-friendly activities, fun-filled adventures and opportunities to learn and try new things at all of our state parks. 

 Every outdoor activity is the right way to celebrate Fresh Air Friday, whether exploring a state park, skiing in the high country, or playing a game of freeze tag in the backyard. Studies show that spending time outdoors – no matter the activity – can improve one’s ability to focus, decrease fatigue and even help improve short-term memory! So whatever activity you choose, get out and give thanks.​​​


Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park
Friday, November 29

Two hikes will be offered to get outside for Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park: Dallas Creek Nature Trail at 11 am- Meet at Confluence Parking Lot in Dallas Creek for a 1-mile hike in a great riparian ecosystem. Enchanted Mesa Hike at 1 pm- meet at Enchanted Mesa Trail Head in Pa Co Chu Puk. It will be a 2-mile hike, but you are free to go further on your own. There are great views in all directions from the top of Enchanted Mesa.

After Gobble Wobble on Fresh Air Friday at Chatfield State Park
Friday, November 29

Avoid the hazardous shopping centers after Thanksgiving and instead enjoy the fresh morning air at Chatfield State Park! Entrance into all Colorado State Parks is FREE on Fresh Air Friday! It’s time to walk off all that turkey you ate! Join a Ranger on a leisurely 2-mile walk through the Plum Creek Nature Area. Look for wildlife while breathing in the fresh, crisp morning air.

Fresh Air Friday Hike – Little Rainbow at AHRA State Park
Friday, November 29

Join us for Fresh Air Friday as we take a walk on the Little Rainbow Trail. Walk off that Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy a free day at State Parks!

Hike Outlook Ridge Loop at Mueller State Park
Friday, November 29

Want to avoid shopping centers today? Join us for Fresh Air Friday! Visit an overlook to view the valleys in the foreground and the Continental Divide in the distance, led by Naturalist Cindi. Loop back by Lost and Geer Ponds for a 3.5-mile moderate hike including a few steep hills. Dress in layers and bring lots of water.

The Great Waddle Walk-off at Barr Lake State Park
Friday, November 29

Thinking you might over-do-it at Thanksgiving? It’s all about family, friends and delicious food, but wouldn’t it be nice to add an adventure in the great outdoors, where you can stretch your legs and fill your lungs with wonderful fresh air?