December 26, 2011

The Latest and Greatest From Vail.

Vail Mountain Opens New Cross Country Track at Eagle’s Nest

VAIL, Colo. — Dec. 23, 2011 — Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States, opened the first ever cross country track at Eagle’s Nest today, Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. The 5K track is located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19), just west of the Pride Express Lift (#26) overlooking Mount of the Holy Cross.
“This is a great opportunity for us to introduce our guests to the basics of classic track skiing in a stunning environment that offers beautiful views and the Gore Range as a backdrop,” said Joe Schmitt, supervisor of the Vail Mountain Nordic School. “It also offers guests the opportunity to learn the art of cross-country skiing before venturing out on a wilderness tour with the Nordic School.”
The new track offers various cross country routes that include flats suited for beginners as well as rolling terrain for the more experienced skier. It is open to the public free of charge during gondola operating hours and a valid season pass or foot passenger ticket is required to ride the gondola.
The Vail Nordic School offers lessons daily from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and guests can register at the Golden Peak Nordic School desk at 9:30 a.m. to get outfitted for the lesson. Transportation is provided from Golden Peak to Lionshead and the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19). Lessons are $87 and include all rental equipment. Reservations are not required.
More Activities at Adventure Ridge
In addition to the new cross country track Adventure Ridge at Eagle’s Nest offers tubing, kids’ snowmobiling, bungee trampolines and ski biking Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the last tubing session beginning at 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. and into the evening. Ski biking is offered Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 4:45 p.m.
For more information about the cross country track or for lesson reservations, call (970) 754-3210. For more information about Vail Mountain including Adventure Ridge, visit or contact the Mountain Information Center at (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8425).
About Vail Mountain
Quickly approaching its 50th anniversary in December 2012 and coveted as the largest ski resort in the United States with more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain, Vail is an extraordinary winter vacation destination. Spanning seven miles are seven legendary Back Bowls, blanketed last season with more than 40 feet of powder snow. Under blue skies more than 300 days each year and with more groomed terrain than anywhere on the planet, families reconnect and celebrate here from year to year and generation to generation. The vacation experience is world class, from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School to the events, activities and festivals, the shops and spas, abundant culinary experiences and luxurious accommodations. Coupled with the vision inherent in the spirit of Vail’s founders, and a modern day commitment to excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail can still credibly lay claim to being a resort like nothing on earth. for all things real estate in Vail, Colorado.

December 21, 2011

Great Music comes to Beaver Creek

From the Vail Daily.
BEAVER CREEK — Somewhere Charlie Brown is smiling.

Virtuoso pianist George Winston takes music you know, like Vince Guaraldi's work with the Charlie Brown episodes and makes it his.

Let's say he Winstonized it.

It often does no good to fiddle with an original composition. Can anyone hear “A Fifth of Beethoven” without becoming physically ill?

But then, by George, Guaraldi's Charlie Brown music is Winstonized and it makes you say, “Yeah, that works.”

Winston plays Thursday night in Beaver Creek at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. It's a delightful way to spend an evening, and it's also a benefit for the local Salvation Army's food bank.

“There's always a local charity, people who get food to people,” Winston said in a telephone interview.

The local Salvation Army gets proceeds from the CD sales at the show.

Winston's voice
It's no small thing to find your voice, and Winston's is distinctive. It's identifiable but not overbearing on his latest album, “Love Will Come: The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol. 2.” It features Winston's version of compositions by the late jazz pianist, including pieces from the Peanuts television specials.

He repeatedly watched all 16 Peanuts episodes for which Guaraldi wrote the music, carefully dissected all his albums, and Guaraldi's wife loaned him the family tapes. He got to hear eight takes of some things.

When he found “Love Will Come No. 2” he knew he'd found a winner.

It doesn't always work that way.

He tried to Winstonize about 30 Frank Zappa songs. Two worked out.

Vince Guaraldi, Professor Longhair and The Doors all seem to lend themselves to Winstonization.

“I want to do everything they do because I love everything. It works, lives and breathes as a piano solo,” Winston said.

He's making more original music, he said.

“I never considered myself a composer by temperament,” he said.

He was in Ohio when he came across The Doors “Moonlight Drive.” He made his own version.

He has to do things differently than Jim Morrison and Ray Manzerek, the essence of Winstonization. There's no singing, no slide guitar.

TV free zone
Winston grew up in Montana without television. He started playing the organ in 1967 when he heard The Doors. He switched to piano a few years later and came up with a style he calls folk piano to go with the stride piano style popularized by New Orleans pianists.

Eventually, the road and years of practice led him to his voice, his particular sound.

“I think I'm still finding the voice. When I start to think all the pieces are there, something else pops up,” he said.

Forcing your voice can kill it, he said.

“You can nurture it, encourage it,” he said. “You have influences, but your main influence is yourself. You're still filtering everything. You take what you hear and filter it through your own experiences and what's available.

“If you are a painter and all you have is a cave, that's what you'll use,” Winston said.