Crested Butte opened its 56th season on Thanksgiving, with a champagne toast during first chair at 9 a.m. But the party will continue all winter in the Gunnison Valley. Here are five things you need to know about Crested Butte this season:
1. You’re never too good for lessons, especially at a place like Crested Butte, home to some of the most extreme in-bounds terrain in Colorado. “Invest in yourself and take yourself to the next level,” suggests resort spokesman Zachary Pickett. “There are two quintessentially Crested Butte options for advanced skiers looking to push themselves this season. Join our CB Steep Guides and get an expert introduction to CBMR’s famed extreme terrain, or try Butte Camp, led by Professional Ski Instructors of America national team member and CBMR ski instructor Dustin Dyar, one of the top ski instructors in the U.S. This two-day camp starts with a First Tracks early lift load prior to opening at 8 a.m. and continues with technical and tactical coaching on the resort’s heralded double-black-diamond terrain found off CBMR’s T-Bars.”
2. Kids twelve and under ski free through December 15 and again April 1 through April 8. “No strings attached, no parent ticket required, no lodging stay required, no advance reservations, no purchase of a bottle of wine — though it’s not a bad idea,” Pickett says. “Just a good ol’ free ticket for the littlest rippers.” Crested Butte Vacations is offering 50 percent off CBMR-managed lodging for stays now through December 14 and April 1 through April 8, 2018. Learn more by visiting skicb.com/deals or by calling Crested Butte Vacations at 844-993-9545.
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3. Full Moon parties at the Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks (January 1 and 31, March 1 and 31) send skinners, snowshoers and splitboarders uphill to work up an appetite for a buffet dinner ($40 per person at the Adventure Center or online at skicb.com; for reservations within three days of the event, call 970-349-2211). Other dining adventures at the resort include the nightly snowcat-driven sleigh ride and prix fixe dinner at Uley’s Cabin ($110 per person, with additional charges on holidays) and the five-course dinners at the Crested Butte Nordic Center’s Magic Meadows Yurt, accessible by cross-country skis or snowshoes ($135 for adults or $85 for children, includes trail passes, equipment rentals, guides, a five-course dinner, live music and libations). Visit cbnordic.org for a list of available dates and to make a reservation.
4. Crested Butte — both the town and the resort — has grown a great music scene and attracted national artists in recent years. The CB Unplugged series brings national artists to the resort for intimate acoustic sets at the Butte 66 restaurant (January 20, February 10 and March 31, artists TBA). The Mountain High Music Festival, January 10-13, brings headliners Toby Keith and Jamey Johnson and artists including Kylie Sackley, Sundance Head, Steve Cropper, Kendell Marvel, Tracy Byrd, Kellie Pickler, Scotty Emerick, and event host Dean Dillon (mountainhigh-musicfest.com). The Eldo Brew Pub has become a premier venue for local, regional and national bands. And the Crested Butte Center for the Arts also hosts traveling bands and other events.
5. Plan to eat in town. Locals’ favorites include Bonez Tequila Bar & Grill (the DIY guacamole appetizer and fresh salsa flights are musts) and pizza at the Secret Stash. And drink in town, too. “Crested Butte is home to a world-class rum distillery, Montanya Distillers, located downtown on Elk Avenue,” Pickett says. “Montanya’s tasting room is a popular place to sample this award-winning rum, but also has enough non-alcoholic beverages and small plates to make it a fun, family-friendly environment. If beer is more your thing, Public House is the newest microbrewery in town, serving up delicious brews in a rustic yet elevated bar. Not only does Public House sling homemade beers and a delicious food menu, but they converted their basement into an intimate music venue.”
CRESTED BUTTE MOUNTAIN RESORT