This Colorado Resort Is Bringing Back Its Vintage Ice Bar for the Upcoming Ski Season

And it opens on Nov. 11.

An archival image a man having a drink at the Vail Ice Bar

Courtesy of Vail Resorts

The après-ski scene is getting an upgrade at Vail Mountain this winter. 

A representative for the famed Colorado ski resort told Travel + Leisure the mountain is bringing back a vintage favorite in honor of the ski area's 60th anniversary. The team, the rep shared, plans to build not one but two on-mountain bars made of ice and snow this winter season. And, like any other après spot, you'll find a fully stocked bar, plenty of seating, and that lively, post-ski vibe — but here, your drink comes with 360-degree views that you can enjoy on any of Vail's more than 300 bluebird days a year.

The vintage ice bars will be erected at Wildwood, at an elevation of 10,981 feet, and Eagle's Nest, at 10,350 feet. The former is only accessible to skiers and snowboarders, while pedestrians can reach the bar at Eagle's Nest via the Eagle Bahn Gondola, which picks up guests at Lionshead Vail Square and whisks them up the mountain in eight scenic minutes.

The ice bars are a throwback to Vail Mountain's early days. And while their exact origin is up for debate, everyone seems to agree that local ski pioneer Bill Whiteford built the original Vail ice bar in 1965 during the mountain's third ski season. Back then, skiers could drop by the on-mountain bar mid-ski, put up their ski-boot-clad feet, and enjoy a drink under the sunny skies. 

An archival image of men at the Vail Ice Bar

Courtesy of Vail Resorts

Almost 60 years later, not much has changed. Bartenders will dole out drinks, and there will be a small food menu on hand — although we're betting the offerings are a step up from what was on tap in the '60s. The ice bar will also be stocked with two limited-edition bourbons created specifically for Vail Mountain's anniversary by the local distillery, 10th Mountain Whiskey.

In addition to food, signature drinks, and views, there will be music and plenty of on-the-snow seating, providing the perfect place to rest midday or meet friends for a post-ski drink. Those looking for a bit more privacy can reserve one of Vail Mountains' four snow bungalows, which will be located near the Eagle's Nest ice bar in the Igloo Village. 

Vail's ice bars and snow bungalows will open during the winter ski season, which is expected to run from November 11, 2022, to April 24, 2023. Just make sure to get in your runs across Vail's 5,300 acres of terrain, including the resort's seven iconic Back Bowls, before visiting the bar.

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