Aspen Mountain closes season with three parties Sunday
Skiers and snowboarders could have heard a pin drop at the base of Aspen Mountain on closing day a few years ago. Both restaurants and bars on gondola plaza were closed for the season and the party raged over at the now defunct 39 Degrees at the Sky Hotel.
What a difference three years makes. The Aspen Skiing Co. has stepped up its closing day game and is having two parties Sunday — one at the top and another at the bottom of Ajax.
The festivities begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Sundeck with an ’80s prom party. Prom dresses are the preferred attire, and a king and queen will be crowned. The popular Colorado ’80s band The Goonies will play on the outdoor deck from noon until 3 p.m. Regardless of whether there’s sunshine, it will be dark and stormy up there as Goslings Rum will be the drink special.
In the afternoon, the party moves to the bottom at Ajax Tavern, where another live band will ratchet things up even further for Skico’s La Ultima Fiesta. Just like two years ago, the closing party will take on the life of a Mexican fiesta.
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Cabo San Lucas’ Mala Rumba band — who apparently sound similar to the Gypsy Kings — will play from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be food stations set up on the patio, including a taco shack.
May Selby, director of public relations and social media, said the menu will be “Mexican with a taste of the Middle East.”
There will be $4 draft beers and $8 glasses of wine and margaritas.
Those prices are far from the menu of a couple of weeks ago during Skico’s Veuve Clicquot in the Snow event at Ajax Tavern.
From Friday through Sunday during the spring break weeks, there was a minimum order of 12 bottles of Veuve Champagne per table. That was set against a backdrop of a DJ, dancing and security personnel in suits, sunglasses and ear pieces watching the party on the patio unfold.
Selby said it was short-lived, and was meant as an alternative to guarantee a table for those who were willing to spend big bucks. Because the tavern doesn’t take reservations, a minimum of $175 per person was instituted during that time to keep some tables open. Even though it was successful, the program likely won’t be coming back.
Across gondola plaza is local spot Shlomo’s. They are having a closing day party as well, with a DJ, dancing and drink specials like buckets of rose, white wine and prosecco for $100, along with shots and margaritas.
And in true Aspen fashion, be prepared to get sprayed with Champagne, because that seems to be all the rage in the world of patio partying these days.
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.