“I knew they had a great thing going as soon as I got there,” says filmmaker Roger Cotton Moore, who was hired in the early 1960s to film top ski racers in the backcountry playground that would become Vail’s famed back bowls as a way to woo investors to the nascent resort. “And, truth be told, it wasn’t all that hard to convince the investors once we had that footage in the can.” The world-premiere screenings of Moore’s new documentary, Vail: The Rise of America’s Iconic Ski Resort, will kick off the resort’s fiftieth-anniversary celebration today and includes some of that earliest footage. It plays at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.
On Saturday, head to Mountain Plaza at 5 p.m. for cake and fireworks at the official Vail 50th Anniversary Celebration. This weekend also marks the conclusion of the annual Snow Daze celebration (catch concerts by Michael Franti & Spearhead at Ford Park today at 6 p.m., and Wilco tomorrow at 6 p.m.; tickets to each are $39.50) and the launch of Family Holidaze, which begins on Sunday with a tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in Slifer Plaza in Vail Village and concludes with the much-anticipated torchlight parade and New Year’s Eve party on December 31.