2018 Durango Snowdown

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The theme for the 2018 Durango Snowdown is “A Black Tie Affair” — as it should be, considering this year mark’s the 40th anniversary of Colorado’s favorite winter celebration.

Durango Snowdown will be Jan. 31-Feb. 4 and, per usual, will be jam-packed with Snowdown-a-licious activities, nearly all of which are silly, quirky, wacky, crazy and freaky. Just like we like it.

The Snowdown schedule of events is long and varied with activities such as keg cap frisbee golf, cricket darts, snowflake paper art, bicycle roller races, pantyhose bowling, a scavenger hunt, beard competition and more. The list is so long and so cuckoo bananas, we can’t possibly go through it all here, but we can give you some highlights:

Snowdown Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

Wednesday, Jan. 31, Noon-1:45 p.m.

New this year, Snowdown Fashion Do’s and Don’ts is an adults-only (but not X-rated) costume fashion show that  showcase why USA Today named Durango the “Worst Dressed Community!” Doors open at 11:15 a.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to start, and the meal will be served at noon. The fashion show begins at 12:30 and ends at 1:40 at which point everyone returns (mostly sober) to their day jobs. Models won’t be the only one in costume; guests should wear their wackiest finest for a chance to win a prize.

Snowdown Parade, Dinner and Firework

Friday, Feb. 2

4 -10 p.m. The Snowdown Parade Dinner will be dished up at the Durango Elks Lodge at 901 E. Second Ave. (entrance is on Ninth Street). Stop by before, during or after the Snowdown parade to fill up on vittles, er, “fine dining” for this black-tie affair. Dinner includes spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, drinks and a cash bar as well as prizes for the best costume.

6 p.m. — It’s time for the famous Snowdown firework — noteht lack of an “s” because it’s singualar. The solo Snowdown firework will explode around dusk and mark the start of the Snowdown light parade.

6 p.m. — The Snowdown Light Parade marches along Main Avenue from College Drive to 12th Street. Black Tie Affair-themed lighted floats dazzle as they drive down the Main drag, competing for trophies in 10 divisions with special emphasis on the theme and use of lights.

7:30 p.m. — Snowdown Follies is a classic Snowdown staple that will return for the 35th year. This Vaudevillian variety show is always irreverent and eternally funny with local characters performing and providing commentary. The Follies will take the stage simulatenously at two theaters: the Henry Strater Theatre , 699 Main in the Strater Hotel, and at the Durango Arts Center Theatre , 802 E. Second Ave. There will be a cash bar to help ensure the audience likes the show!

Snowdown is a great time to visit Durango. The entire town is buzzing with fun and funny stuff; every which way you turn is another wack-a-doo thing to do. Stay with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites while you’re taking in all that Durango Snowdown has to offer! We’re fun and wacky, too, but in only in all the good ways.

Free wine with our “Share the Love” deal!

Valentines Package Durango Colorado
Free wine package in Durango Colorado with Four Leaves Winery

We know you don’t want to hear it, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Have you started thinking about your plans yet? How about now? Now?

If you haven’t started, you should — and we can help with our “Share the Love” package. Stay at the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango any night in February and get a free bottle of local wine from Durango’s own Four Leaves Winery.

Four Leaves Winery is a boutique winery in downtown Durango just across the street from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train depot. Four Leaves imports only the highest-quality grapes, which their team of experienced winemakers and wine lovers use to craft, blend and ferment into their own varietals.

You can stop in on Valentine’s Day or any date night to enjoy a glass, to share a bottle or to sample a full tasting, or you can take it to another level by making your own wine. Four Leaves offers a custom winemaking class using their state-of-the-art facility and with the guidance of their winemakers.

Then you can come back to your updated room at the Econo Lodge — one of the top-rated Durango hotels — and enjoy more Four Leaves! Book your room today because, as we mentioned and as you already know, Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, and it’s better to just avoid all that stress and pressure. Stressure? Sure.

Guests must book directly at Choicehotels.com or by calling (970) 247-4242. Book today and mention LV18 to get your “Share the Love” package. Valid for any stay in February 2018. Not valid with any other discounts or deals.

Pay to Stay, Ski for FREE

Durango Ski Free

Skiing-slash-snowboarding is the best. But let’s face it: Shredding can be an investment. Not that it’s not worth it — it is — but any time you can save some money and get on the slopes, well, DO THAT.

That’s where we come in! The Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango is offering a sweet ski deal, brah: “Pay to Stay, Ski for Free.”

If you book a room with us for $95 or more, you get a free adult lift ticket to Purgatory Resort (the artist formerly known as Durango Mountain Resort). You’ll receive one free adult pass for every night booked. We partnered with Purgatory to offer this deal, which is good for the remainder of the season, so don’t miss out!

Purgatory is nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains and delivers some of the best skiing in Southwest Colorado — nope, scratch that — in the entire state. Stay up to date on snow accumulations and trail openings by checking Purgatory’s snow report.

We’re a short drive to Purgatory and because we’re located on Main Avenue (aka US Highway 550), getting there is as simple as turning north out of our parking lot, staying on the road for 30 minutes (26.1 miles exactly) then turning into Purgatory. Easy.

We’re also among the top-rated Durango hotels, so you get a great night of sleep in one of our updated rooms and a free day of skiing at Purgatory. Get on this deal and get on the slopes before spring arrives!

Our “Pay to Stay, Ski for Free” package is based on availability, so book your room ASAP to take advantage of this screaming deal. Guests must book directly at Choicehotels.com, or by calling us at (970) 247-4242. Blackout dates are Feb. 17, Feb. 18 and March 10-16.

Craft Breweries in Durango

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Photo: SteamworksBrewing.com

Everywhere you look, a new craft brewery is popping up. But Durango has been a haven for hop-heads since the late 1980s, so it was doing it before it was cool. Durango is now home to six craft breweries, which pair perfectly with its mountain-town vibe. Whether you’re looking for a patio pint, a full-blown flight or a sit-down dinner, these Durango breweries offer all the options.

Carver Brewing Co.

Carver Brewing Co. was the O.G. craft brewer in Durango, but it actually got its start in another business that uses yeast: baking. Caver Brothers Bakery opened in 1983 in Winter Park, Colorado, followed by Carver’s Bakery and Cafe in Durango in 1986. Two years later, the Carvers opened the brewery, making it the Four Corners’ first brewery since the end of Prohibition, according to the company. Carver Brewing Co. may be Durango’s original and oldest brewery, but it’s never outdated. The brewery has a full farm-to-table menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a cocktail menu (for those who — blasphemy! — don’t drink beer). In addition to its slate of flagship brews, including Old Oak Amber Ale and Lightning Creek Lager, the brewery always has something new on tap with special brews and seasonal beers making the rounds.

Ska Brewing Co.

Two guys who shall be known simply as “Bill” and “Dave” started Ska Brewing Co. when they started brewing their own beer in 1995. Today, Durango is world headquarters of Ska (so named because they listened to a lot of it back in the early beer-brewing days). Ska is known for its canned brews, including flagship beers such as Modus Hoperandi IPA and Buster Nut Brown Ale, which you know you want to order just to say the name. Food options abound at The Container of Food: Think stationary food truck housed in a shipping container parked in Ska’s beer garden. The menu is chock full of brick-oven pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, snacks, salads and sweets. The brewery also does fun stuff like Happy Hour Yoga every Monday and live music on Thursday nights.

Durango Brewing Co.

Durango Brewing Co. is another legacy brewer in our mountain town. Durango started brewing in 1990, and the brewery’s original taproom had only enough space for 11 people. That room is now the brewery’s grain-handling room. The company grew and expanded over the years, eventually buying the entire building to house the taproom and kitchen, and in 2016 completed renovations that included a new parking lot, a refresh of the taproom and expanding the patio. Durango Brewing today is a full-service restaurant with tasty brewpub fare such as burgers, beer-battered onion rings and chips and queso. With several year-round beers, such as Derail Ale and and Colorado Wheat, and a lineup of seasonal rotators with brews like a Blueberry Wheat and Saison on the roster, Durango Brewing has something for everyone.

Steamworks Brewing Co.

Steamworks Brewing Co. has been serving up its brews since 1996 and in that time has brought home 16 Great American Beer Fest awards, including two 2016 Silver Medals for Slam Dunkel and Backside Stout, and four World Beer Cup awards, most recently for the 2016 Gold for Steam Engine Lager. Not too shabby for something that the founders started for fun — and as a way to keep their home kegerators filled. Steamworks is a standby for locals and a favorite for visitors. In addition to a menu that features staples like burgers and pizza and surprises like Indonesian peanut salad, one of Steamworks’ staples is its Cajun boil.

 

Brew Pub & Kitchen

Longtime locals Erik and Lainie Maxson opened Brew Pub & Kitchen in March 2013, marrying two of their loves: Durango and beer. Note that both “brew” and “kitchen” are in the name for a reason. The couple focuses on making from-scratch food in the brewpub’s kitchen to complement the handcrafted beers. Brew doesn’t label beers by their color: red, brown, amber, blah, blah, blah. Instead, they focus on ingredients and categorize their beers that way: malt, yeast, hops, etc.

Animas Brewing Co.

You can’t go wrong with a pint and pasty. Animas Brewing Co. is the newest addition to the lineup of Durango breweries. Owner Scott Bickert opened the doors in December 2014 after spending plenty of time working for other Durango brewers, so he knows both the scene and what he’s doing as evidenced by his beers, such as What’s Up Wit, Hogsback Black and Boxcar Red. The menu gives a twist on comfort food, but ABC-goers won’t find pizza or fries. Instead, they’ll find things they probably won’t make at home, like pasties: a traditional handheld pastry stuffed with hearty goodness that miners could take with them into the tunnels for lunch.