Party Like It's 1967

Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate Snowmass's 50th Anniversary

The past and present come together as one of the country’s premier ski resorts hosts three days of throwback festivities, December 15–17

By Catherine Lutz November 18, 2017 Published in the Holiday 2017 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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The Snowmass 50th anniversary commemorative ski pass. 

Snowmass 50th Anniversary Weekend Celebration
December 15–17, 2017

All weekend:
Snowmass restaurants offer dining deals for $19.67 or tasting menus for $50 and Historical Mountain Tours.

Friday, December 15

All day: No, it’s not a typo. Today, lift tickets cost $6.50, the price charged on opening day in 1967. The special ticket is valid just this day and only at Snowmass.* 

*Updated since press time via the Aspen Times: After selling more than 12,000 lift tickets for Snowmass' 50th birthday party, Aspen Skiing Co. on Monday decided it will no longer offer its $6.50 ticket — a nod to the resort's opening day price in 1967 — in advance or without a lodging package.]

12 p.m. Red Bull Air Force Team: Watch for jumpers out of planes from 5,000 feet above Snowmass and land on Fanny Hill, performing stunts as they approach the landing zone.

2:30-4:30 p.m. Après Ski Party: Head down to Base Village 11:00am-4:00pm for some après fun featuring DJ GeoDecibel. Kids can get in on the fun, with face painting and balloon animals in the Kids Zone. 

3 p.m. Champagne Toast: Join East West Partners for a complimentary champagne toast to our 50th anniversary at 3:00pm on the balcony at Base Camp Bar & Grill in Base Village.

5–9 p.m. Retro Party: Head up the gondola (buy your $10 pass in advance, as this event will sell out) to Elk Camp restaurant. Boogie down to live music from the Bo Hale Band in your best vintage skiwear (yours truly, Aspen Sojourner, will hold a costume contest with some big prizes), snap selfies in the photo booth, dine on à la carte food, and order up drinks that reflect the past five decades (Harvey Wallbanger, anyone?).

9 p.m. Fireworks: Find a spot on Fanny Hill for an all-out sky show.

Saturday, December 16

All day: Banana Days returns! An on-mountain scavenger hunt was held annually from 1985 through the early 2000s. Keep an eye out for some of the 1,967 plastic bananas hidden around the slopes, each containing a prize certificate. Scroll down for the complete rundown of how to partake in Banana Days. 

6:30 p.m. Golden Gala: Alas, it’s already sold out.

Sunday, December 17

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Community Picnic: One last weekend celebration at Spider Sabich Race Arena.

12 –1 p.m. Rail Jam: Watch local athletes and a recreation of the 1970s-era cabin jump in Low Down Park (on lower Blue Grouse trail)

For the full weekend schedule, visit
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Jeff Featherstone & Terri Caine in 1986.

4 Ways to Partake in Banana Days

Banana Days is a series of four scavenger hunts on the mountain, in Base Village, and on the Snowmass Mall, that takes guests on a wacky and wild adventure in search of 1,967 plastic bananas containing prizes such as gift certificates, adventure packages, ski demos, etc., and, for the truly dedicated, a Grand Banana Scavenger Hunt for three grand prizes. 

1. For the casual participant, several hundred bananas can be found strewn across open terrain and Snowmass Mall and Base Village, no clues needed, starting at 8:30 a.m. when the lifts open.
Prizes include t-shirts, hats, logo’ d merchandise, cash, dining certificates, and more.

2. The Grand Banana Scavenger Hunt kicks off at 10:00 a.m. in Base Village with the first clue broadcast on KSPN, a nod to the 1980’s Banana Days, where clues were broadcast only via the radio. The Grand Banana Scavenger Hunt leads anyone with an affinity for riddles, puns, and Snowmass history all over Snowmass Ski Area, Snowmass Mall, and Base Village for a chance to win the Grand Banana Prizes.

  • A three night, all-inclusive stay at the Galley Bay Resort & Spa in Antigua. The trip is based on double occupancy and some restrictions do apply. Airfare is not included.
  • A $2,500 gift card to Gorsuch. 
  • Two weekend passes to JAS Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience 2018. 

3. Follow on social for more top prizes. Guests can win other valuable prizes by following clues on local radio station KSPN 103.1, and by following #BananaDays on @AspenSojourner and @Snowmass’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Clues will be announced starting at 10:00 a.m., first on KSPN followed by social media. All clues will also be posted online at

  • Prizes include: ski demos and lessons, gift certificates for food & drinks at Snowmass restaurants, outdoor adventures and clothing, and more.

4. A smaller scavenger hunt for kids 12 and under will also take place at 10:00 a.m. and last throughout the day. Children can pick up a kid’s trail map and clue guide at the Lift Ticket Pavilion on the Snowmass Mall and Base Village, as well as at the Treehouse Adventure Center. All children will receive a prize upon completion of the scavenger hunt.

All bananas will contain a certificate number and information on how to redeem. Guests can redeem their bananas for prizes at the Lift Ticket Pavilion on the Snowmass Mall between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on December 16. Culminate Banana Days at Gwyn’s High Alpine with a party worthy of the Banana Days of old, starting at 1:30 p.m. Celebrate with Carmen Miranda style costumes, banana drinks, tropical foods, and live music by the Damien Smith Duo.

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