Mid-December has become a celebratory time around these parts the last couple of years. Two years ago, Snowmass commemorated its 50th anniversary with $6.50 lift tickets (like in 1967), a mountain-wide scavenger hunt, and retro party. Last year, the new Snowmass Base Village opened with a bang—fireworks, a Karl Denson concert, and an ice-skating show.
Now the merrymaking extends to all four ski areas with new-for-this-year Passapalooza, December 13–15. Bring a 2019–20 ski pass from any other resort (international counts, too), and you’ll be able to purchase daily lift tickets for $59 each, good for the three days of the event.
Though the lift ticket discount is valid at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk, too, Snowmass will once again claim a chunk of the action, with another ice-skating show in Base Village, plus the debut of restaurant Mix6 and the MoxiBar, and the new art-enhanced Game Lounge, all in the Collective (kids will love the huge ball pit formed in the shape of nearby Zeigler Reservoir).
The other partying will go down at the base of Aspen Mountain, as the venerable Little Nell hotel kicks off its 30th anniversary season. On Saturday, the Nell will host “Party Like It’s 1989” at both Chair 9, the hotel’s après-ski bar (3–9 p.m.), and in the lower-level Grand Salon (from 6 p.m.), where an ’80s cover band will play a dance party and costume contest, with complimentary apps and cash bar. Vintage ski apparel—and may we add, big hair—strongly encouraged.
Rounding out the weekend, both Limelight Hotels, in Aspen and Snowmass, are offering Passapalooza guests 25 percent off (two-night minimum).
The only thing left to do? Pray for snow as good as we had last season in mid-December.