It's time to bid 2014 buh-bye, but don't just have a post- snow sesh Tallboy and call it. Whether you're looking for a family affair, full-on fête, fireworks, funk show, or fancy dinner, Curbed Ski has got the intel for you. From Mammoth to Sugarloaf, here's how to say sayanora. Psst, be sure to check out our ski town hangover cure guide. Not that we're implying anything.
Note that listings are ordered West to East, not best to worst.
Whistler: Got the kids in tow? There's no shortage of family events, including the always-popular Fire & Ice Show (featuring the Whistler Blackcomb Ski School instructors catching big air through the flames) at the Olympic Plaza. You'll need to purchase tickets, which will get you wristbands and access (kids 2 and under are free), to live music, art, crafts, food, dancing, and ice skating before the midnight fireworks display. Money tight? Watch for free from Skier's Plaza, which is also the best place for viewing. There are loads of events for the 21-and-up set at bars and restaurants around town; check 'em out here.
South Lake Tahoe: If getting sardined amongst thousands of drunken college students in Stateline isn't your idea of good time, perhaps you should check out The Landing Resort & Spa- Tahoe's only five-star boutique lakeside hotel. On Dec. 30, there's an artisanal cheese and wine pairing from the Landing's cellar for just $35; New Year's eve features a prix fixe dinner and dancing (just $89/adult, $45/child) at signature restaurant Jimmy's, with option for a Champagne pairing.
Squaw Valley: Through the 31st, you can hit the slopes with hometown hero Jonny Mosely for free (lift ticket required), two-hour mountain tours at Alpine Meadows and Squaw. New Year's Eve at Squaw's tony High Camp on-mountain facility features a family buffet and East Coast toast at 9pm; reservations required. The 21-and-up crowd will want to check out the New Year's Eve Bash at Olympic House, which includes live music, a DJ, and a mere ten-spot at the door. Huzzah! Click here for deets.
Mammoth Mountain: There are parties aplenty, at seemingly every joint in town- from Campo and Dry Creek Bar to Lakanuki, Red Lantern and Mammoth Rock n Bowl, but kick things off in the Village with free music including a concert by Bump City from 6-9pm. Want to go big? Check out the base at Canyon Lodge, featuring live tunes, Olympic bronze medalist Scotty Lago, and other pretty people. The Gatsby NYE at Underground Lounge- the newest night spot in town- will be hopping, if you've got the $200 to pony up. Looking for something more mellow (and affordable?) The Special Kid's Kickoff at The Village will feature a primo view for the 9pm fireworks, as well as face painting, art, party favors, hot chocolate and snacks, and a bar for big people. Tickets $10/adult, $5/ kids 5-12.
Jackson Hole: All three of the Jackson area's ski resorts- Jackson Hole, Snow King, and Grand Targhee- ring in the New Year with torchlight parades and fireworks (the latter is open to participants, starting at 4pm with the Kid's Glowstick Parade; you can register at the ski school that day). If you want to kick up your cowboy boots, there's several great options, including the Gondi-Gala at Couloir Restaurant (one of our best on-mountain dining spots), at the top of the Bridger Gondola; Whisky Mornin will be playing until 1am at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The world-famous Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort Hotel will have live music by Quenby & The West of Wayland Band. In Grand Targhee, the New Year's Eve Bash at the Trap Bar & Grill, will feature the Thrift Store Funk Party and the Kris Lager Band.
Sun Valley: Affordable and family-friendly fun are the calling card here- surprising for such a high-end resort. The Kid's New Year's Party for ages 1-7 includes dancing on ice (good thing they don't have far to fall) and dinner (additional fee), and other activities; reservations required. There's also Family Skate Night at the Outdoor Rink, which includes free hot chocolate, apple cider, and cookies, or you can reserve a sleigh ride and prix fixe dinner at gorgeous Trail Creek Cabin. Adult events include a special tasting menu at Roundhouse (another one of our best on-mountain dining picks), and the Bubbly Bash at River Run (fyi, home of one of Curbed Ski's fave Bloody Mary's) which will set you back just $65 for advance purchase tickets and a night grooving to the the tunes of DJ Shark.
Taos: As you'd expect, NYE in Taos is a mellow affair, kicked off by a daylight snowshoe tour on private land near the Ski Valley, via Northside. Ring in 2015 with the torchlight parade and fireworks display, followed by the countdown (and live music from Radio la Chusma) at Martini Tree Bar. Recover the next day with some hair of the dog (aka "La Cura") at the famed Alley Cantina.
Crested Butte: The 'Butte does New Year's right; despite the epic number of bars, it's a mellow affair that's more about community, celebrating the outdoors, and sinking some beers with friends old and new than carousing and amateur hour. Start things at Butte 66 for live music, drink specials, and a view of the torchlight parade winding down the face of the mountain, then catch the fireworks from the deck and stay for the after-party. There's also a Family Karaoke Party at The Sweet Spot on the mountain (tickets required, and darned cheap).
Aspen: It may be a notoriously spendy night, but Aspen does NYE in high style. Special dinners abound, from Element 47 at The Little Nell, Prospect at the Hotel Jerome, and Trecento Quindici Decano at the St. Regis (all Curbed Ski 38 Essential Ski Town Hotels), to Jimmy's, Acquolina, Casa Tua, and La Creperie du Village, you can celebrate tasting and pairings menus. There's also the annual St. Regis blow-out ($250 general admission, including open bar, apps, and dessert buffet, "sparkly attire encouraged"), with live music, DJ, and the serving of a specially-created barrel-aged Manhattan. The Nell is throwing a "Bottomless Cristal" event for high rollers, featuring live jazz by Steve Peer and electric violinist Katerina Visnevska, and a DJ. All you can eat and drink, $395. At the Belly-Up, nostalgic types can feel "The Power of Love" with Huey Lewis & the News for $350 GA, $870 reserved. On a budget? Check out the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Wheeler Opera House for $89 (includes open bar and food), or the free St. Regis Shadow Mountain Lounge pre-party with live DJ for no cover. Aspen's famed fireworks are gratis, and set off at 8pm and 11:59 over Ajax. The best things in life really are free.
Vail: You won't want to miss the newly revamped Sebastian Hotel's (one of our 38 Essential Ski Town Hotels) second annual Street Foods of the World party, in which the ballroom is transformed into an elegant lounge (DJ included). Mix Master Mike and DJ Logic will play at the Dobson Ice Arena, and a five-course Fireworks Dinner at Larkspur at Golden Peak (children welcome; DJ, dance floor, signature cocktail and champagne toast for adults, advance purchase required). The annual free torchlight parade and fireworks at Golden Peak will commence at 6:15pm; free buses will run until 2am.
Killington: Those who know "Killingtime" understand this place knows how to party, and won't leave your wallet empty. Start the festivities with free live music at the base lodges. The Foundry is hosting a special menu and party ($30!), including live music by Jamie's Junk Show, and fireworks, while the Wobbly Barn New Year's Eve Party featuring Monster Energy's DJ Prime is sure to kick ass; advance tickets are just $35. Sweet!
Sugarloaf: This little resort knows how to throw down; start things off with après live music at Widowmaker Lounge, then check out the Galumpha-Acrobatics Show at the King Pine Room (cost? Five bucks or two donated canned goods). The fireworks start at 9:15, followed by the Glitz and Glam Party (costumes "strongly encouraged") at the Widowmaker. Feeling divey? The Rack (one of our best dive ski country dive bars) is hosting a party headlined by The Mallet Brothers Band.
· The Ski Commuter's Guide to Urban Vice: Where to Sleep, Eat, Drink [Curbed Ski]
· The 38 Essential Ski Town Hotels [Curbed Ski]
· Favorite Ski Town Hangover Cures [Curbed Ski]
· Mapping Where to Drink Cocktails in Ski Country [Curbed Ski]
· Mapping the Best Dive Bars in Ski Country [Curbed Ski]