Romance in the Rockies

Valentine's Week in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Chairlift speed dating, yurt & sleigh ride dinners, dancing, amazing vacation deals & more

"Romance in the Rockies," Gunnison-Crested Butte's annual Valentine's celebration of love, returns Feb. 13 - 17. With Valentine's Day falling on a Thursday and adjacent to President's Day Weekend, there is plenty of opportunity to treat the one you love with a getaway that will warm hearts but won't break the bank.

Romance in the Rockies

    Valentine's Week Events
  • 13 - 17 : "The Wind in the Willows" presented by Crested Butte Mountain Theatre, Mallardi Cabaret Theatre
  • 14 : Valentine's Dinner at the Yurt (on Nordic skis/snowshoes), Crested Butte Nordic Center's Magic Meadows Yurt
  • 14 : Theatrical Celebration of Food, Gunnison Arts Center
  • 14 : Valentine's Swing Night Class & Dancing, Crested Butte Center for the Arts
  • 15 : ArtTalk (free), Art Studio of the Center for the Arts, Crested Butte
  • 16 : Twister of Love Chairlift Speed Dating, Crested Butte Mountain Resort
  • 17 - 80's : Party with the Six Million Dollar Band, Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Romantic Happenings
After dining at one of downtown Crested Butte's outstanding locally-owned eateries, stroll to Crested Butte Mountain Theatre's production of The Wind in the Willows, an enchanting tale for all ages being presented Feb. 13 - 17. This celebrated work of classic literature by Kenneth Grahame is a musical mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality and camaraderie involving epic adventures in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, prison and the Wild Woods. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. and costs $16 for adults and $10 for students. Call (970) 349-0366 or visit www.cbmountaintheatre.org.

Snowshoe or Nordic ski under the stars and moon to reach the Crested Butte Nordic Center's Valentine's Day Yurt Dinner on Feb. 14. The easy one-mile journey (one way) along a tiki torch-lit path is followed by a five-course, gourmet dinner prepared by local chef Josephine Kellett of Creative Catering. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. Guests chose between chicken cordon bleu, steak au poivre, encrusted filet of salmon and vegetarian strudel for the entrée. The cost is $70 for adults, which includes a trail pass and equipment rental but not gratuity or alcohol. For reservations, call (970) 349-1707 or visit www.cbnordic.org. Seating is limited.

Impress your sweetheart and dance the night away at Valentine's Swing Night offered on Feb. 14 by the Crested Butte Dance Collective. This introductory class is for anyone ages 18 and up, with instruction taking place from 8 - 9 p.m. at Crested Butte Center for the Arts with open dancing available until 11 p.m. Early-bird registration is $20 couple/$15 individual and goes up to $30 couple/ $20 individual the week of the class. For the details, visit www.crestedbuttearts.org or (970) 349-7487.

Combine theatre and a taste of local cuisine at the Gunnison Arts Center's Theatrical Celebration of Food on Feb. 14. The Valentines' Day event will feature local playwrights, chefs and restaurants, with festivities beginning at 6 p.m. and tickets costing $20 for individuals and $35 for couples. Call (970) 641-4029 or visit www.gunnisonartscenter.org.

Enjoy a casual lecture and slideshow presented by two local and/or regional artists at the Art Studio of the Center of the Arts' free monthly ArtTalk on Feb. 15 from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Through this intimate view, learn about the artistic processes, ruminations and inspirations of working artists. Call (970) 349-7044 or visit www.crestedbuttearts.org.

For those needing to add some romance to their lives, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is offering a unique and quick solution: Twister of Love Chairlift Speed Dating on Feb. 16. Beginning at 11 a.m., numbers will be drawn randomly to establish the speed dating lineup for the Twister chairlift, loading every two minutes. A raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes will be given to participants each time they load the lift with a speed date. After speed dating, on the deck of the Ice Bar at Uley's Cabin, there will be a "Singled Out"-style elimination game. Women and men will be randomly selected to participate and answer multiple-choice questions. The first male and female to reach the end zone wins. There also will be prizes for Best Pick-up Line, Best Dressed, Prince Charming and Miss Congeniality.

Maybe you met in the 1980s, simply like the music or want a night out with your favorite speed date. Head to the second annual '80s Party with the Six Million Dollar Band on Feb. 17, presented by the Mt. Crested Butte Town Center Community Association at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square Ballroom. Six Million Dollar Band delivers high energy '80s New Wave music, and prizes will be dished out for things like best costumer, hair and dancing. There is a $5 cover charge, and the party lasts from 8 p.m. to midnight. Go to www.skicb.com.

Kindle the Flames
There's good reason why Crested Butte has been identified as one of the most romantic ski resorts by several publications. Here's some special ways to surprise your loved one.
  1. A sleigh ride, Crested Butte style, is being pulled by a snowcat at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and dining at cozy Uley's Cabin mid-mountain. Call (800) 810-7669 for reservations and prices or visit www.skicb.com.

  2. Head out with Fantasy Ranch Horseback Adventures for a one-hour ride in the Almont area. Halfway through the journey, warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. Go to www.fantasyranchoutfitters.com or call (888)-OUTFITT.

  3. Snuggle up under blankets and get pulled by a team of dogs in the thick of mountain terrain capped with snow. Dog sledding with Lucky Cat Dog Farm is one of those lifetime experiences not to be missed. Visit www.luckycatdogfarm.com or call (970) 641-1636.

Pre-Valentine's Fun for Families
There also are hands-on opportunities for kids and families to get ready for Valentine's Day in late January and early February. The Art Studio of the Center for the Arts in Crested Butte, www.crestedbuttearts.org, is holding a Glittery Valentine Workshop: Cards and Decorations workshop for families on Jan. 26 from 9 - 11 a.m. The cost is $25 plus a $10 supply fee for a child age 8 and up and a parent or grandparent. The Trailhead Children's Museum in Mt. Crested Butte is hosting a Handmade Valentine's Gift Making Workshop on Feb. 2 and 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go to www.trailheadkids.org.

Valentine's Week Vacation Deals
Fresh rose petals in the shape of a heart, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, an hour-long aromatherapy massage for two, and a gourmet breakfast in bed before venturing out for a day in the mountains are highlights of the Romance at the Ruby package. A two-night stay at The Ruby of Crested Butte bed and breakfast with all these extra starts at $510 per couple and is available Feb. 4 - 15. Call (800) 390-1338 and visit www.therubyofcrestedbutte.com.

Stay at Three Rivers Resort in Almont and enjoy Valentine's Weekend for $110, including two nights in a romantic setting along the Taylor River plus dinner for two at Garlic Mike's ($50 gift certificate), consistently voted as the "Best Date Place" in Gunnison. For the budget-minded couple, choose a lodge room with kitchenette for just $110 or indulge in a premium cabin with a private hot tub, fireplace and all the comforts of home for $300. This offer is valid for Feb. 14 - 18, 2013, and is available for new reservations only. For additional lodging options, discounted lift tickets for Crested Butte Mountain Resort (guests only) and reservations, call (888) 761-3474 and visit www.3riversresort.com.

The newly remodeled Nordic Inn in Mt. Crested Butte and Creekside Spa have teamed up to offer a Valentine's Day Getaway Package featuring 20 percent off lodging and a $5 discount on any spa or massage treatment. Book this deal by Feb. 14 either online at www.crestedbuttespa.com or by calling (970) 325-3860. View lodging options at www.nordicinncb.com or call (800) 542-SNOW.

Stay three nights or more with Peak Property Management and get 20% Off Valentine's Day Lodging. Call (888) 909-7325 and visit www.peakcb.com to take advantage of this offer, valid Feb. 11 - 17, 2013, and to see what properties are available for this deal.

Enjoy deluxe side-by-side massages at Escape Bodywork Boutique in Crested Butte. Begin the treatments with a relaxing foot soak followed by either a Swedish or deep tissue massage and an AromaTouch essential oil package, a relaxing and rejuvenating series of eight essential oils known for their therapeutic benefits. This $200 Escape Couples Massage Package is available by calling (970) 765-8065; also visit www.escapebodyworkboutique.com.

Visitor Information & Personalized Vacation Packages
To find out more about Gunnison County or to book other personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association's toll-free line, (800) 814-8893, or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com/packages. Also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow us on www.twitter.com/gcbta.

About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Nestled in a valley with nearly two million acres of pristine, mountainous wilderness, Gunnison-Crested Butte has a prime location in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and more. Fair-weather activities include mountain biking, hiking, wildflower and wildlife viewing, climbing, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, locally-owned shops, stimulating cultural opportunities and festivals galore ranging from the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival and Gunnison Cattlemen's Days to Crested Butte Bike Week and Gunnison Car Show weekend.

Along a 31-mile stretch of wide-open vistas and stunning scenery, visitors can explore Gunnison, Almont, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte and connect with the quaint and historic burgs of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn and Crystal, also located in Gunnison County. Gunnison and Crested Butte, both founded in 1880, are known for their Victorian-era charm, friendly Western hospitality and free-spirited nature. Almont is a fishing, rafting and rock climbing mecca, and the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte is home to renowned Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Visitors also can explore Curecanti National Recreation Area, home to Colorado's largest body of water, and the nearby Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

Air service to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) for the 2012-2013 winter season is provided by American Airlines and United Airlines with direct flights from Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH) and Denver (DEN). Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) is another option that offers additional nonstop jet service to the area, with direct flights on Allegiant Air from Phoenix, Ariz. (IWA) and Oakland, Calif. (OAK).
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