Sure, Vail will be a popular destination for opening weekend -- but do they have sharks?
One brave alternative to the festivities at 8,150 feet: snorkel or dive at the Downtown Aquarium. The sharks aren't aggressive; some of them are downright snuggly, despite having skin like sandpaper. You need to be certified to dive, but snorkeling is open to anyone who can swim.
And you can save the slog up I-70 for a weekend when more terrain is open.