Snowmass gears up for birthday gala |

Snowmass gears up for birthday gala

Planning a milestone birthday bash suited to accommodate an entire community has been a part-time job for Randy Woods.

Woods, who’s spearheading Snowmass’ 50th anniversary gala with the help of three other volunteers, estimated he has spent about four hours each day since June working on the gala in some fashion.

“He isn’t throwing a party. He wants to make this a memorable event with a lot of hosted care,” said Britta Gustafson, one of the three core volunteers.

“This has definitely been something that if it weren’t for him, it wouldn’t happen the way it will, which I’m sure will be moving for the attendees.”

Two other main volunteers to note, Woods said, are Barb Wickes of Sundance Liquor & Gifts and Katie de Besche of the Viceroy Hotel.

Tickets to the Dec. 16 gala at the Viceroy Hotel, priced at $100, went on sale July 14. By July 16, before most invitations reached mailboxes, tickets had sold out.

In an effort to accommodate the overwhelming demand, the event organizers created an online waiting list and increased the seating from 300 to 400 attendees.

Gustafson said volunteers are still scrambling to create space for everyone who wishes to attend. To date, 40 people are still on the waitlist, Woods said.

“It’s definitely moved me seeing that many people that feel such a connection to Snowmass,” the Snowmass native said. “This has really expanded my understanding of how many people have a really deep foundation of who they became in life based on their time spent here.”

The gala, part of the 50th anniversary of Snowmass ski area, will kick off with a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m., Woods said. He hopes the three bars — two in the dining room and one set up inside the spa area of the hotel — will entertain guests until a three-course dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.

Also on the agenda for the evening is the premiere of “Snowmass: 50 Years of Mountain Spirit,” a 30-minute commemorative film by local producer and Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman.

While the invitation reads “gala” and the event will take place inside the ballroom, attire is “Snowmass casual” and ski sweaters, Woods said.

“The 50th anniversary gala is a great opportunity for the Snowmass community to celebrate our past and pay tribute to the many men and women who helped make Snowmass what it is today,” Snowmass Tourism director Rose Abello said. “The evening should be a great combination of storytelling, seeing old friends and entertainment that celebrates the spirit of Snowmass.”

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