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A Little Sun, A Big Splash, and a Mighty Polka

A Little Sun, A Big Splash, and a Mighty Polka-We knew it was coming, but yet it always seems like a surprise. This weekend, nine resorts are open for skiing and riding but for five of them this will be their last weekend of the 2009/10 season. But talk about going out in style; take a gander below at what is happening in Ski Country this weekend. (photo courtesy of Coppery Mountain)Copper Mountain

Winter Park closes on Sunday but has two days of events lined up before lifts shut off. Saturday brings a continuation of Spring Blast presented by Snickers with a mechanical bull on West Portal Plaza and the sounds of Home, a well known Denver based band.

Saturday, April 17
Spring Blast presented by Snickers includes celebrations with well known Colorado bands. The party continues for the last weekend of the season at the base of Winter Park. Saturday features Home, a diverse collection of musical styles and sounds from Brazilian choro to So cal punk. They have been nominated by The Westword magazine as one of the top 5 jam bands in CO for two years in a row, won the judges vote in a battle of the bands with over 100 groups, and won two more battles earning them spots at both Summer Camp and Wakarusa music festivals.

12:00pm 4:00pm: Mechanical bull on Derailer Deck/West Portal Plaza (FREE to everyone).
2:00pm 5:00pm: Live Music in the West Portal Plaza on the Coors Light Stage by the band Home

On Sunday Winter Park will wrap up their 70th season with the grand finale of the 42nd Spring Splash. Brave participants will be vying for a 2010/11 season pass and cash prizes, finishing with aprs pond skimming music by Lotus on the Coors Light Stage at the base of Winter Park Resort.

Winter Park

Winter Park

Sunday, April 18
Bust out the bikinis and board shorts for the last day of the 2009/2010 season at Winter Park Resort’s Coca-ColaSpring Splash, the oldest tradition of its kind in Colorado and in its 42nd year.

Winter Park will host Lotus, a five-piece ensemble with sophisticated yet accessible dance music with the ability to react instantaneously to the crowd and atmosphere with sounds that appeal to fans of live music, funk and jazz.

Starting at noon, costumed skiers and riders start out backwards before making their way through the Coca-Cola Spring Splash challenge course, featuring obstacles like the Bamboo Jungle and the infamous Mushroom Patch. The course concludes with contestants trying to skim across a chilly pond of water with the hopes of making it to the other side and prizes.

8:00am 10:30am: Spring Splash registration, across from Guest Services in Balcony House. $20 entry fee, $39 lift ticket and entry fee. Limited to 100 competitors, must be 18 and over to participate.Day of registration only.
10:00am 11:00am: Spring Splash course is open for inspection.
11:00am 5:00pm: Mechanical bull, West Portal Plaza (FREE to everyone).
12:00pm: Coca-Cola Spring Splash begins!! Racers will be sent down the course in bib order (1, 2, 3, etc).
Immediately after Splash: Coca-Cola Spring Splash awards ceremony and swag toss, West Portal Plaza.
2:00pm 5:00pm (or when awards are finished): Live Music in West Portal Plaza on the Coors Light Stage by the band Lotus.

Copper closes on Sunday but not before they throw their 10th Sunsation celebration. Coppers Sunsation closes the season during its 10th year with free, live music this weekend by headliners Steel Pulse, Perpetual Groove and Los Lonely Boys, in addition to BC/DC, Pato Banton & The Now Generation, and The White Buffalo all set to appear April 16 – 18.

Also happening at Copper this weekend, the Red Bull 1976 Games are set for April 16-17. Teams of outrageous skiers channeling their inner 70s groove and retro ski skills will unite at Copper for the Red Bull 1976 Games, April 16 and 17. The Red Bull 1976 Games brings the games back to Colorado and finally “give the year 1976 its day”or two. Competitions include Snowbladecross & Old School Air, plus an award for most outrageous costume and team mojo! So grow (or stick on) those mustaches, squeeze into your stretch pants and get ready to party like its 1976!

Sunsation Closing Weekend Schedule of Events, April 16-18
Friday, April 16 Schedule of Events*
5 7 p.m. Red Bull 1976 Games Registration at the Woodward at Copper Cage
7 10 p.m. Red Bull 1976 Games Opening Ceremonies at Jacks Bar, with a DJ and Fashion Show
8:30 p.m. BC/DC Concert, an AC/DC Tribute Band, at Jacks Bar – Free and open to the public

Saturday, April 17 Schedule of Events*
9 10 a.m. Red Bull 1976 Games Registration at the Woodward at Copper Cage
11 a.m. Noon Red Bull 76 Games Snowblade Cross Qualifiers
Noon 1 p.m. Red Bull 76 Games Snowblade Cross Finals
1 p.m. BC / DC AC/DC Tribute Band Sunsation Stage
2:30 3:30 p.m. Red Bull 76 Games Old School Air
3:30 p.m. Perpetual Groove Sunsation Stage
5:30 p.m. Steel Pulse Sunsation Stage

Sunday, April 18 Schedule of Events*
1:30 p.m. The White Buffalo Sunsation Stage
3:30 p.m. Pato Banton & The Now Generation Sunsation Stage
5:30 p.m. Los Lonely Boys Sunsation Stage

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort will flip the switches on lifts for the last time on Sunday. They let us know that Mother Nature has spoken, and its now official due to spring weather conditions, this Sunday, April 18, will mark the end of winter at Purgatory. They invite folks to come ski or ride Friday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, during their final weekend of the 2009-2010 season. Ticket prices for this weekend are $39 for adults, $20 for kids and the 70+ crowd, $28 for students and $30 for seniors.

This Saturday is a Purgatory Polka Party, as they celebrate Octoberfest in April, with bratwurst, fondue, and live polka music by the Alpiners from 1-5 pm. Beer discounts, (yes, thats right!) and if you wear your lederhosen and do your best chicken dance you can win fun prizes-like maybe more beer.

Wolf Creek “officially” closed on Easter weekend but then reopened for the last two weekends. But this time I think they mean it. This last weekend is another Local Appreciation weekend as well as Family Days. Local appreciation rates are $31.00 for Adults and $18.00 for Seniors and Children – no ID is required for these rates. Children who participated in the Wolf Creek local school program are invited to bring their immediate families for $12.00 per family member. This includes a two hour lesson plus ski rentals. Boarders may rent for $5.00.

Six lifts will be operating from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Lessons from the ski and snowboard school will be available. The ski and snowboard rentals will be operating, the Wolf Creek Lodge will be open with a limited menu. There will be a sale in Treasure Sports with 40% off all jackets and fashion wear.

Season passes are welcome including weekday only, employee passes are also valid.

While Silverton only has one lift to shut off, it too will stop running for the season on Sunday. This weekend will be unguided skiing with the option for guided. Unguided skiers got a taste of the Grande for the second time ever this past weekend. With the Billboard open at the same time it was a first for Silverton Mtn. proper equipment is required so be sure to educate yourself on what you need before you go.

Theyre not closing yet-but you know how Loveland is, they cant let a weekend go by without throwing some sort of party or event. As the United States Ski Association(USSA) winds down the 2009-2010 ski racing season, competitors from across the United States are preparing for the last amateur slalom event of the season.The Loveland Derby, the oldest and largest amateur alpine race in North America, returns to Loveland Ski Area on April 17 & 18.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic event, Loveland Ski Area and the Loveland Racing Club have put together a fun filled weekend for all the competitors and spectators.The event starts with a Loveland Racing Club Alumni Race on Friday, April 16 followed by an awards party at The Valley lodge. The Loveland Derby starts at 9:30am on Saturday, April 17 at Loveland Valley with a BBQ lunch on the patio and live music in the afternoon. Saturdays festivities are concluded with an awards party at The Backcountry Brewery in Frisco, CO with live music, food and drink. Racing resumes Sunday morning and will be followed by the award ceremony on The Loveland Valley patio at 3:30pm

The Loveland Derby has offered amateur racers a fun way to end the season for the past 49 years with many participantssportingzany costumes to celebrate the end of the season. New this year, The Loveland Racing Club has added an obstacle course and a pond skim to the weekends festivities. The obstacle course will be held on All Smiles on Saturday from noon until 3:00pm and the pond skim will be on Sunday from 1:00-4:00pm at the base of Loveland Valley. Everyone is invited to enjoy these new events at no cost.

The Loveland Racing Club expects more than 600 racers from 25 states to participate in this years event along with a few international racers.

I can personally attest that Aspen/Snowmass closed last weekend. But they also keep reopening and reclosing, maybe so that they can have as more closing day parties. Aspen will be open this weekend with extended spring skiing/riding on Aspen Mountain April 17-18 and April 24-25. With it comes plenty of entertainment as well as major savings on lodging, ski school and rental and retail items.

This weekend, April 17-18, the Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Express and F.I.S. lifts will be running from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. accessing as much terrain as conditions permit. Patrol will be monitoring conditions throughout the day and may close terrain as needed.

There will be plenty of entertainment with bands/DJs each day at both the Sundeck and Ajax Tavern. The schedule is below:

Saturday, April 17
12-3 p.m. DJ Naka G at the Sundeck
Starting at 2:30 p.m. DJ Dylan at Ajax Tavern

Sunday, April 18
1-3 p.m. An acoustic performance by Jes Grew at the Sundeck
Starting at 2:30 p.m. The Redtones at Ajax Tavern

The Sundeck will fire up the grill and will offer food and drink specials. Ajax Tavern will offer aprs specials from 3 6 p.m. including $15 for a burger & pint of beer as well as $1.50 Oysters on the half shell and more.

Echo plans to close on May 2 but they have a unique gig going with evening skiing. In response to Daylight Savings and springtime conditions, Echo Mountain adjusted its operating hours as follows:

The operating schedule is:
Monday 10am to 7pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10am to 7pm
Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday 10am to 7pm
Saturday 9am to 7pm
Sunday 9am to 5pm

Three unrestricted season pass products will remain on sale throughout the season. They include the Unlimited Season Pass for $149, the Dual Season Pass (good for the remainder of this season and all of next year) for $199, and the Spring Season Pass (good from purchase date through May 2, 2010) for $85. All three passes can be purchased at Echo Lodge or online at <> .

Perennial late closer Arapahoe Basin will have lifts running and terrain open this weekend too.