The Best of The Party (2009)

The Best of The Party (2009)

This story originally ran in the October 2008 issue of Freeskier (V11.1).

Photo: Erik Seo

Thank God it’s cloudy in Whistler so much, because with the amount of partying that goes down every night, it’s a serious mission to make first chair on a sunny day.

Things get off to a quick start after a hard day of skiing at one of the endless après options. Just walk the village and look for full ski racks in front of bars and restaurants until you see one that calls to you. The patios at Amsterdam and Citta’s are our favorites.

Finding nighttime parties is even easier. At least one place goes off each night of the week: Longhorn on Sunday, Tommy’s on Monday, Savage Beagle on Tuesday, Fish and Bill’s on Wednesday, Garf’s on Thursday and just about anywhere on Friday and Saturday. It’s the easiest party scene in skiing: Keep your ears open and you’ll figure it out.



Heavenly’s après ski scene is straight-up dangerous. Roll the dice one too many times and 4 p.m. suddenly becomes 4 a.m., turning you into “that guy,” stumbling across the casino floor in ski gear. With Lady Luck herself tempting you into endless hours of debauchery, you should consider starting your après by filling your stomach with a $10 prime rib at Lakeside Inn and Casino. After a solid grub session, hit up Cabo Wabo inside Harveys Hotel/Casino for a margarita or three. Beware of the urban cougars though; Cabo Wabo is their main den in South Lake Tahoe.

With a smooth tequila buzz on, take the elevator at Harveys to the nineteenth floor for a little high-class lounge action at 19 Kitchen. Sharpen up your game with a martini or two, and then cross the street to Altitude nightclub inside Harrah’s Hotel/Casino. Pull out your wad of cash, get in the VIP line, and introduce yourself to the door guy with a $20 handshake. Tell him how important you are, and that you want to ball it up with VIP bottle/booth service. Then find yourself at the back of the club with your crew, sipping on whatever $300 bottle of booze you just bought.

At this point of the night, Lady Luck will let you know if your plans for tomorrow involve skiing, or going home early ‘cause you’re broke. Enjoy.



When Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) describes Aspen as a place, “where the beer flows like wine and women instinctively flock to it like the salmon of Capistrano,” he wasn’t far off. Epic terrain aside, Aspen is still legendary… for its partying and après scene. Whether you’re a crusty Highlands local grabbing a beer at Iguana’s or an uppity tourist sipping Armand De Brignac at the Sky Hotel’s 39 Degrees Bar, Aspen has a place for everyone to unwind after a hard day on the slopes.

As afternoon turns to evening, Aspen keeps the buzz going from après to late-night. Looking for a place to grab a drink and shoot pool? Try Eric’s Cigar Bar or the J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome. Cougar hunting? The Caribou Club has you covered. Live music? The Belly Up hosts world-class acts nightly. Like to lounge? Try the Whiskey Rocks at the St. Regis Hotel or just keep your poolside seat at the 39 Degrees Bar. Midnight munchies? Try the Popcorn
Wagon and New York Pizza. Whatever your fancy, Aspen has your drinking and late-night eating covered.



There’s a reason Park City is home to Sundance and frequented by the rich and famous. With more clubs than Tiger Woods, there are plenty of places to get your party on. Just ask Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Tara Reid and the Will Smith family, all frequent patrons of Park City. Places like Harry O’s, Tao and Marquee regularly host various launch parties and a smattering of A-listers headline the clubs’ musical lineups, including Nelly, Linkin Park, Pharrell and DJ AM.

If you’re more of a social partier and are looking for a crew to watch the game with, a mellower spot like O’Shucks may be your answer. But others, like No Name Saloon, Wasatch Brew Pub and the relatively new to Park City Squatters Roadhouse Grill, all offer micro-brews and some of the greatest bar food around.

Whatever your party flavor of choice, unless you hide out in your condo with the blinds drawn, it’s virtually impossible not to fi nd a party in the vibrant and energetic town of Park City.



Vail’s nightlife has evolved from intimate bars fi lled with wealthy visitors to a plethora of bars and clubs for every taste. Of course, those intimate bars still exist and if you’re looking for relaxing moments with your new soul mate, it’s hard to argue with the ambiance of Mickey’s Bar in The Lodge, a place where the armchairs are deep and the music is soft. Or go for a Vail institution at the opposite end of the spectrum: the Red Lion. Filled with raucous crowds of
locals and visitors alike, it’s the quintessential après ski scene.

The Red Lion can feel touristy, but there’s none of that across the street at Ven-
detta’s. The lower-level pizza bar hosts packs of grubby scenesters, but step upstairs and hang with long-time locals and patrollers, who, in keeping with Vendetta’s tradition, always get their first beer for free. Or try The George, a basement joint with pool and foosball on one side, and couches for lounging on the other.

With the demise of Vail’s legendary 8150, there’s no longer a venue that can handle major acts during the winter, but the Sandbar, located in West Vail, is making a strong effort to keep fans of live music happy. The out-of-the-way location means the clientele is locals and hardcore music fans, so you’ll be among friends.



St. Anton isn’t in North America, but it’s so epic that we just couldn’t leave it out. This is not your Deer Valley cup of hot cocoa in the lodge après, it’s a full-throttle music- and alcohol-fueled blowout that starts punctually at 3 p.m. every day. The prime warm up spots are The Krazy Kangaroo and Mooserwirt, located conveniently (some might argue inconveniently) 500 yards up the mountain on the side of an intermediate ski run. By 4 p.m., entire families — moms, dads, kids, grandparents — are dancing on the tables. By 6 p.m., you are new BFFs with a bunch of Swedish girls on holiday.

Around 7 p.m., they close and shoo everyone out to fend for themselves on the aforementioned ski run back to the village, which, after six beers, looks more like a double-diamond AK run. If you make it back to town, the options are nearly limitless, but inevitably the vast majority of people end up at Kandahar, a subterranean techno club that runs until the sun comes up. Good luck getting on the first chair after that.

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