SNOWMASS VILLAGE — Residents and visitors who showed up for Snowmass closing-day festivities had a lot to celebrate.
Not only were they marking the end of the ski area's 45th season, but they got to revel in the 10 inches of fresh powder, as reported by Aspen Skiing Co., that graced the slopes on April 14.
Aspen Mountain also closed that day. Aspen Highlands will remain open daily through April 21 and will reopen the weekend of April 27 and 28.
The celebration at Snowmass kicked off at 1 p.m. at the Spider Sabich Picnic Palace with Schneetag, the annual competition in which teams of four build a float and try to pilot it across a 75-by-20-foot pond. Eleven teams competed for first choice of prizes that included a set of GoPro cameras, concert tickets and Smith goggles.
Team Schneetag's Greatest Failures returned to fight another day after four years of aiming for first place and not reaching it.
“We had four years of really involved things that we did,” said team member Cole Thornton, of Aspen. “We put so much time, money and effort into these, and we got screwed every single year. And we were really jaded about it.”
So the theme of this year's float: elements from each of the past four years.
“(It was) kind of a parody but not like a throw-it-in-their-face,” Thornton said. “And that's what we did, and we did really well.”
Though the team garnered two perfect “10” scores from the judges, it wasn't enough to get them on the podium. The top three teams were Silver Boom Bobsled Team, the Ice Fishermen, and Dope Strong.
The festivities continued in Base Village with a closing-day party on the plaza. Sneaky's Tavern, Slice, Burger Bar and Fish, and Base Camp Bar and Grill participated in a common-consumption area once again so that patrons could take their beverages with them onto the plaza.
A dunk tank operated by the Snowmass Village Rotary Club featured recognizable faces such as Dwayne Romero, president of Related Colorado, and the Rev. Robert deWetter, of Snowmass Chapel.
Many employees of Skico and other local businesses got one more day on April 15 to enjoy the slopes, which received another fresh coat of powder from a storm that lasted most of the day.
Skico announced on April 15 that Highlands would open for the extra weekend thanks to consistent snowfall over the past week. Highlands closing-day festivities will remain on April 21.