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Got Skis & No Plans for New Year’s Eve 2017? Head to Colorado!

Written by Sandy Bornstein

This blog post was updated on April 30, 2020.

Even though there’s less than a month left to go until 2018, there’s still time to plan a last-minute New Year’s Eve trip to the Colorado Rockies. It’s the perfect trip for anyone who loves to ski and is looking for a unique way to ring in the new year. Not only is the region rife with festive opportunities, but the chance to ski with minimal distractions on New Year’s Day is a special treat. Resorts in the high country are still putting finishing touches on their special events,  but we were able to put together a rundown of a few of Colorado’s New Year’s Eve festivities.



Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – mcclave

A world-famous complex with four different mountains and more than 5,000 skiable acres, Aspen/Snowmass is the biggest name in Colorado skiing. If you’re traveling on a budget, then this elite destination surrounded by luxurious accommodations and extravagant local real estate will probably not be for you.

If cost isn’t a concern and you’re in Aspen, consider splurging at the Velvet Buck in the St. Regis. Guests can enjoy a bountiful feast that includes seafood towers, carving stations, and innovative holiday specialties. The St. Regis offers a less pricey option in the Mountain Social. Here you can sip cocktails (no cover and complimentary champagne toast at midnight) while listening to a DJ perform. This is an ideal spot to watch the 8 pm and midnight fireworks over Aspen Mountain.

Another dinner option is at the Hotel Jerome. Those seeking an outdoor venue can head to Wagner Park for a free bonfire with DJ music. At the Wheeler Opera House, the Stringdusters will be performing. A complimentary champagne toast will follow the concert. For an exclusive celebration at The Little Nell, join the Dom Perignon Party that features musical acts, an open bar, and food stations.

Copper Mountain

A post shared by Copper Mountain (@coppermtn) on

Just 2 hours west of Denver, Copper Mountain Resort offers an easy-going ski and snowboarding experience for all levels over 140 trails spread out on almost 2,500 acres. It’s popular with skiers and boarders for its pedestrian and family-friendly village area, world-class skiing terrain, and easy access from I-70.

To welcome the New Year, Copper Mountain visitors can enjoy a New Year’s Eve Dine & Ski event by taking the American Eagle chairlift up to Solitude Station and taste a variety of foods at the buffet dinner. After dinner, participants can ski down the mountain under starlit skies. Youngsters and the young at heart can check out the glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade, and a mountainside fireworks display.

Crested Butte Mountain

Image via Flickr - CC BY 2.0 - TRAILSOURCE.COM

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – TRAILSOURCE.COM

A smaller and less well-known resort, Crested Butte has a reputation for extreme skiing (although beginners can find plenty of safe areas to ride in its 1,547-acre terrain). The resort is located just outside the former coal-mining town (also named Crested Butte) in southwest Colorado, which is home to plenty stores and restaurants.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour to the top of Ten Peaks and return to room temperature at the Umbrella Bar. Here skiers, boarders, and snowshoers can gaze at the fireworks display and munch on appetizers, drink champagne, and indulge in dessert. At Butte 66 there will be music and drink specials.

From the upstairs deck, patrons can watch Crested Butte’s finest ski and snowboard instructors wind their way down the mountain during a torchlight parade. The fireworks show will start as the first instructors make their way into the base area.



Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Murray Foubister

Found in a remote area northwest of Denver, the ski resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado that mixes western charm with a family-friendly environment. It’s home to one of the best snowboarding/skiing pipes in North America and the majority of the runs on its almost 3,000 acres are designated for intermediate and advanced levels.

With its emphasis on family, Steamboat will make sure that parents and their children bring the New Year in on a high note. At the Steamboat Grand, there’s a buffet dinner in the Grand Ballroom that includes entertainment— face painting, magic, juggling, and comedy shows.

The Steamboat SnowSports School ushers in the New Year with a memorable on-snow parade down the mountain lit by torches. A fireworks display rounds out the evening. Others can brave the elements at the top of the gondola in Thunderhead Lodge. Enjoy dancing, a desert bar, a chocolate fondue station, small bite appetizers, and a midnight Korbel champagne toast.


A post shared by Vail Mountain (@vailmtn) on

The 3rd largest single mountain ski resort in the United States, Vail in Colorado’s northwest Eagle County is often a one-word synonym for skiing. The resort is designed in an open terrain style with a variety of different trails, while the town of the same name (which was built after the resort) is modeled after a Bavarian village with pedestrian streets.

At approximately 6:15 p.m, Vail’s Torchlight Parade will begin. For topnotch viewing head to Golden Peak to watch the radiance of the glow sticks shimmer down the slope. Plan on staying put for a while or else you’ll miss Vail’s fireworks.

It’s always wise to check availability and pricing. Some places may require an advance reservation or be sold out. If you’ve attended one of these New Year’s Eve events, can you share your favorite?

About the author

Sandy Bornstein

Sandy Bornstein lived as an expat in India. Her award-winning memoir, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life, highlights what she learned as the only American teacher at an international Bangalore school. After living abroad, Sandy continues to explore the world and write about her travels. You can follow Sandy's adventures at

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