Why Visit the Vail Valley This Month?

A young bear eats his fill in a tree in Eagle.  You never know what animals you might encounter as the local wildlife prepares for winter in the Vail Valley!

A young bear eats his fill in a tree in Eagle. You never know what animals you might encounter as the local wildlife prepares for winter in the Vail Valley!

It is always a great time to visit the Vail Valley, and the exciting weeks leading up to ski season are no exception.  Here’s what you’ll find in the Vail Valley this month:

Animal Encounters:  The critters are busy this time of year! As we prepare for ski season, many other valley residents are preparing for hibernation or migration – and that means they are looking for food!  Whether it is herds of deer and gangs of elk on the move or skunks, bears and porcupines fattening up before the cold, you never know what you may run into this time of year in the Vail Valley.

Remember that wild animals are still wild, no matter how tame and friendly they might look.  Give animals some space and, if an animal is becoming disruptive, leave the area or contact the appropriate authorities.

The Walking Mountains Science Center is a great place to find out more about the wildlife and environment of the Vail Valley.  The Science Center hosts a free hour-long nature walk every week day at 2 p.m.  Check their regularly-updated events calendar for other nature-related activities.

Ski Season Head Start:  O.K., so it is not technically part of Eagle County, but Arapahoe Basin is just over Vail Pass and still a frequent stop for slope-seeking locals.  A-Basin’s popularity is due in part to the fact that it historically opens earlier and closes later than pretty much every other ski area.  On Friday, Oct. 17, opening day at A-Basin officially starts Colorado’s 2014-15 ski season.

Meanwhile, while you’re waiting the 34 days for Vail to open (or 39 days for Beaver Creek), there is still time to enjoy off-season pricing for food, lodging, entertainment and retail shopping.  Lunch specials and two-for-one pricing abound this time of year.  Don’t worry if you’re just visiting – if you’re in the Vail Valley in October, you’re just as welcome to “locals’ appreciation sale” as the actual locals.

Performing Arts:  The Vail Valley Theater Company will perform “Chicago” at Battle Mountain High School on Oct. 24 and 25.  Set in the windy city of the 1920’s, this famous musical was based on the writings of a crime reporter.  It was made into a movie in 2002 starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, and now the Vail Theater Company is bringing it to life in the Vail Valley.  After Saturday’s performance, head to the Main Street Grill for an after-party with the cast.

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