Buttermilk closing day used to be a hard sell.
First off, well, it’s Buttermilk. Which meant that unless you were a diehard park rat or particularly enjoyed slushy, sparsely covered beginner groomed runs on Aspen’s smallest mountain, then Buttermilk closing day was barely a faint bleep on your radar. Secondly, it used to occur the same day as Highlands closing, the holiest of all holy closing days where you and thousands of your closest costume-clad friends danced and drank ‘til dusk after a day of pond-skimming and maybe, just maybe, a final bowl lap of the year.
Then a few years ago, Aspen Skiing Co. apparently had a bit of an a-ha moment. Recognizing that Highlands, being the local’s favorite that it is, played host to the mother of all closing days, they shifted its closing day to the end of the lineup (and also smartly shifted much of the party to mid-mountain where they could better take advantage of the Bud Light- and Red Bull-swilling crowd).
This move left Buttermilk closing day all alone at the beginning of April. Their solution to draw in the crowds? Make it BAD. That’s Bacon Appreciation Day, for the uninitiated.
Now in its third year, Bacon Appreciation Day features bacon snacks all day long, including bacon waffles, bacon samples, sundaes with bacon sprinkles and a bacon-and-beer happy hour. More than 200 pounds of bacon will be dished out over the course of the day. It culminates, appropriately, with a rail jam (open to skiers and boarders, registration is $30) at the base of the Winter X Games host mountain, followed by the Bacon Bartender’s Brawl, which features five SkiCo bartenders battling it out to see who can make the best bacon cocktail.
DJ Ronnie will also add to the party atmosphere at the base.
Bacon Appreciation Day is just the beginning of the end of the ski season in Aspen/Snowmass. Both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Ski Area are both set to close on Sunday, April 14.
Aspen closing day typically involves a day of skiing followed by music, dancing and general revelry at Ajax Tavern and at 39 Degrees Bar at the Sky Hotel. Snowmass closing will feature the 6th annual Schneetag (the German word for “snow day,” which, in SKiCo parlance roughly translates to “daredevils willing to propel themselves down a hill, over a jump and across a pond on a craft they built themselves”) followed by more music, dancing and revelry at Base Village and on the Snowmass Village Mall.
Aspen Highlands Closing Day is currently scheduled for Sunday, April 21, weather dependent, and will feature the aforementioned pond skim, both live music and DJs, and a party at the base that rivals that of any closing day around the country.
To register for the Buttermilk closing day rail jam or for more information on all closing day festivities, visit www.aspensnowmass.com .
Bacon Appreciation Day Schedule of Events
Sunday, April 7
Bacon Waffles at the Summit (top of Summit Express)
11:30 a.m. Bacon samplers around the mountain at Bottom of West, Main, Tiehack lifts, No Problem Cabin and Patrol Headquarters
Lunch hour Bacon specials at Cliffhouse and Bumps restaurants
2- 4:00 p.m. Rail Jam at the base of the mountain
2:30 p.m. Ice Cream Sundaes with bacon sprinkles at the Beach at Bumps; Bacon-and-Beer Happy hour at Bumps featuring DJ Ronnie
4 p.m. Bartender’s Brawl - Aspen Skiing Company bartenders duke it out to make the best bacon-inspired cocktail.
Purchase 5 tickets to sample each drink (5 bartenders) for $15 and vote for your favorite. Participants pay for lunches, adult beverages and Bartenders Brawl. All other bacon items are free, while supplies last.