It's snow time! Beverage sales in ski towns continue to heat up.You'd think, with the economic doldrums, the threat of terrorism and less-than-ideal weather patterns of the past few years, that the ski industry would be suffering.
You'd be wrong.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the annual Kottke End-of-Season Survey done by the National Ski Areas Association, American ski resorts have experienced record breaking business for the last three years. Last year, the industry experienced an all-time high attendance level: 57.6 million skier/snowboarder visits.
And local restaurant and bar operations, both resort-owned and independent, are going along for the ride.
In many ways, beverage sales in ski area restaurants and bars are reflective of the on-premise market nationwide. Depending on the venue, classic cocktails A Classic cocktail is defined here as a cocktail which appeared after the publication of Jerry Thomas' 1887 Bartender's Guide but before the end of Prohibition in the United States in 1934. , including Cosmopolitans and other Martini style recipes, are popular, as are Margaritas.
In fact, Keyhole Junction & Cantina can·ti·na
n. Southwestern U.S.
A bar that serves liquor.
[Spanish, canteen, from Italian, wine cellar.] at the Snowbird snowbird: see junco. Ski & Summer Resort in Snowbird, Utah Snowbird is a locale based in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains in Utah. It is perhaps most famous for the Snowbird ski resort, an alpine skiing and snowboarding area, which opened in December 1971. , won the Cheers 2002 Award for Beverage Excellence for its tequila and Margarita program. "Everyone orders Margaritas; It's a Southwestern restaurant," says Pete Jacob, manager. With all the care Keyhole puts into its Margaritas--guests are presented with a list of tequilas matched with a list of orange liqueurs--the restaurant's beverage program would be successful wherever it was located.
Like other operators of Rill-service restaurants located in ski areas, Jacob finds that people order what they are used to. "If Martini drinkers go skiing, they're probably going to order Martinis," he says. "If they go to a Mexican/Southwestern restaurant while skiing, they're probably going to order Margaritas."
Natalie Leslie at Faces Nightclub in Stateline, Nevada Stateline is a census-designated place ("unincorporated town") on the east shore of Lake Tahoe in Douglas County, Nevada, United States. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 1,215. , near Lake Tahoe, sees similar behavior. "A beer drinker's a beer drinker, even when it's 20 below," she says.
Thomas Turner Thomas Turner can refer to several people:
Mountain Village is located at , agrees. "The majority of people order what they are comfortable with," he says.
Their orders also depend upon the type of establishment they are in. A fine-dining restaurant, such as the Inn's 9545 Restaurant, does much of its beverage business in wines. Before dinner, many guests have a cocktail, leaning toward Martinis, such as the restaurant's popular Blood Orange Martini, made with Campari, Stoli Ohranj, orange juice and club soda, garnished with a blood-orange wheel.
Fine-dining restaurants not only report healthy cocktail and wine sales for dinner but find brunch, featuring either Mimosas or Bloody Mary' to be very popular. At La Tour in Vail. Colorado, the Bloody Maws are made with vodka the restaurant infuses with heirloom tomatoes, assorted peppers, including jalapenos, garlic, celery, carrots, lime and lemon. The infusion container, which is on display, "is so pretty you want to take a picture," says Paul Ferzacca, chef/owner.
Some suppliers, like Mott's and their Mr. & Mrs. T's Premium Bloody Mary' Mix, have focussed on the category to take advantage of the trend.
Also a popular infusion cocktail at La Tour is the Very Berry Martini, made of vodka infused with dried cranbcrics, dried blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. A tequila infused with mango, pineapple, papaya papaya (pəpī`ə), soft-stemmed tree (Carica papaya) of tropical America resembling a palm with a crown of palmately lobed leaves. , orange and vanilla bean is also a popular choice.
Game Creek Game Creek may refer to:
Vail, Colorado is a town in Eagle County, Colorado, USA. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,589. , is one of those ultimate destination restaurants often found on ski mountains. To get to Game Creek for" dinner (it is a private ski-in/ski-out club at lunch), guests first travel by gondola and then by She-Cat. Much of the restaurant's beverage business is the wine paired to its prix-fixe chef's menu. The most popular pre-dinner cocktail at Game Creek is the Cosmopolitan.
And guests definitely tend toward classic cocktails, such as Old-Fashioneds, Manhattans and Martinis. "We've tried some creative drink menus, we still have a drink menu, but they didn't make sales improve. We're predominantly wine-driven," explains Pete Woodward, manager.
In operations that are not fine-dining, wine tends to be less popular. When the Tap Room in Vail first opended in 1999, it offered 40 wines by the glass. "We tried," says Steven Kaufman, one of the owners, "but the busier we got, the less wine we sold."
At Whiskey Elk at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek Beaver Creek may refer to numerous places, mainly stream and towns. The USGS database records 658 waterways and 19 populated places using the name in the United States and numerous others using related forms like Beaver Creek Ditch, Beaver Creek Swamp, Beaver Creek Lake, Beaver , just 14 miles from Vail, however, the situation is different. Whiskey Elk offers 50 wines by the glass, ranging in price from $8 to $90, as well as wine flights, priced at $30. "The wines by the glass are, by far, our biggest seller [in beverages,]" says Chris Draper: the Hyatt's executive assistant manager and senior food & beverage director. He speculates that the by-the-glass and especially the flight offerings give people the chance to try out high-end wines they've heard about.
Above all, however, it should be remembered: skiing is the sport that coined its own term for happy hour-apresski. For most bars and restaurants, being in a ski area has a major impact on their beverage sales.
First, skiers are on vacation. "People on vacation are willing to try anything and do anything," says Stefanie Warsnip, beverage manager for the Boston Concessions Group, which handles the food & beverage operations at Sugarloaf/USA in Carrabassett Valley, Maine Carrabassett Valley is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The population was 399 at the 2000 census. Geography
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 200.8 km² (77.5 mi²). 200.4 km² (77.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0. . "They want to have tim and they want to do things they can tell people about when they get home."
Chris Goss Chris Goss might be:
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 188.4 km² (72.7 mi²). 188.2 km² (72. , agrees. "People drink more than you'd expect," he says. "If the conditions aren't what they like, they might decide they'd have more fun in the bar than on the slopes. And then there's apres-ski, from 4 to 6, which is an integral part of the ski day."
Vacationers, especially those going to such chic locales as Vail, often have money to burn. So much so that Kaufman of the Tap Room, a nightclub/restaurant in Vail, is working on a "Billionaire's Page" for next season's beverage menu. Every drink will be made with the highest quality ingredients and priced at $30 and above.
PRICE NO OBJECT
Kaufman takes care, however, to offer a range of prices. "In a resort town, you're busy three months out of the year," he says. "If you just cater to visitors who want the most exclusive and highest-priced place, you're dead in the water."
Like most vacationers, most skiers want to try local products when somewhere new and it is just s0 happens that many of the country's ski areas are also prime microbrewery mi·cro·brew·er·y
n. pl. mi·cro·brew·er·ies
A small brewery, generally producing fewer than 10,000 barrels of beer and ale a year and frequently selling its products on the premises. Also called boutique brewery, brewpub. country. "Colorado has some 80-plus breweries," says Steve Kurowski, director of marketing for Breckenridge Brewery, a company with three brewery-restaurants, the original located in its namesake town and well-known ski destination, Breckenridge. "Colorado is the Napa Valley of beers.
There are more breweries per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. than any other state." Other ski locations are also famous for their microbreweries. Vermont, for example, is home to Long Trail, Otter Creek, Magic Hat and Kross, to name a few.
The outlets at Stowe Mountain Resort carry as many as they can. "There are a ton of Vermont microbreweries and we see a lot of interest, get a lot of inquiries about them," says Goss. He reports that, at Stowe Mountain Resort's casual fine-dining restaurant, Cliff House, many of the guests choose beers to match their dinners the same way others choose wines.
There's a nice balance in knowledge when it comes to microbrews. People know about them--a lot of the time, the beers brewed in the mountains are distributed in the areas the resorts' clientele hail from--yet at the same time, they ate definitely the local products.
It helps, too, that many breweries give their products ski-inspired names. Breckenridge's biggest seller, for example, is Avalanche Ale. Breckenridge Brewery distributes its products in 11 states and also runs two brewery restaurants in Denver.
TAKE A CHANCE
Nor do people always order what you'd expect. "We do beers stands at the base of some of the mountains, offering three styles of beer and we'll have women drinking stout and men drinking the light lager," he says. "There are people who drink stouts in the summer and there are others who drink Coors Light in the winter."
At Keyhole Junction & Cantina, Jacob also finds that people order the style of beer they usually like. Therefore, Jacob uses his six taps to offer a range of styles. "And when people ask for a suggestion, the first thing I ask them is what style they normally like--and then suggest something similar," he explains.
Mainstream beer brands also have a following on the slopes. "Beer, of course, is popular and, at apres-ski, it's huge," says Julie Wilson, food & beverage director at Deer valley Resort Deer Valley Resort is a luxury ski resort located near the historic mining town of Park City, Utah approximately 36 miles (58 km) east of Salt Lake City. It has 22 chairlifts, 99 runs, and three day lodges. Deer Valley has 2,026 acres of mostly North-facing ski slopes. in Utah. "It's funny: it seems like beer drinkers either drink micros and can't stand the idea of a [mainstream beer] or they don't like the heavier microbrew mi·cro·brew
1. A beer or ale brewed in a microbrewery.
2. See craft beer. styles and want a Bud Light."
At Killington Resort in Vermont, "we sell an amazing number of packaged [beer] products," says Cheryl Owens, vice president and director of mountain food & beverage. Especially popular are the large (24-ounce) packages. The most popular brands are Heineken, Bud Light and Bud. Killington sets the price range for these products at $6.75 to $7.75. For the resort, Owens explains, "The packaged beer costs more than draft, but the profit is more, too."
With a name like "The Tap Room," you'd figure that one of the largest food & beverage operations in Vail, Colorado, would sell mostly beer.
Not so. A full 60% of the Tap Room's total sales is liquor. "Liquor's huge for us," says Steven Kaufman, one of the owners. "We can sell 1,000 shots on a busy night." The top lout Lout - Lout is a batch text formatting system and an embedded language by Jeffrey H. Kingston <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The language is procedural, with Scribe-like syntax. shot brands at the Tap Room are Jagermeister, Rumpleminz, Grand Marnier and Tuaca.
Sugarloaf came up with its own signature shot, one that looks like the resort's logo, a blue and white triangle. The Sugarloaf Kamikaze kamikaze (kä'məkä`zē) [Jap.,=divine wind], the typhoon that destroyed Kublai Khan's fleet, foiling his invasion of Japan in 1281. is blue curacao and vodka, chilled and strained, with a sugar rim.
Both Killington, in Vermont, and Sugarloaf, in Maine, are seeing the popularity of energy drinks served with a shot rise. The two resorts both serve a drink they call the 360. At Killington, it is the customer's choice of vodka with Anheuser-Busch's energy drink, 180 Energy. At Sugarbush, it's 180 Energy with a shot of Jose Cuervo. Both resorts sell it for $8 a pop.
HOT GETS HOTTER
In general, hot drinks are also--well--hot. Operators report that with warm liquor drinks, people tend to order what they know. The Hot Apple Pie Hot Apple Pie is an American country musicband formed in 2002.
The band was named by lead singer and former Little Texas member Brady Seals and his wife Lisa Stewart. is one of the most popular. "Nothing beats a Hot Apple Pie," says Chris Draper, executive assistant manager and senior food & beverage director at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colorado Beaver Creek is an unincorporated community located in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. Beaver Creek is located immediately south of the Town of Avon and encompasses the Beaver Creek Resort and adjacent business, lodging, and residential areas. The U.S. .
Killington's hot-cider drink is called the Broken Leg (hot apple cider, ginger brandy, garnished with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick). Deer Valley Resort makes its version with Tuaca. Stowe Mountain Resort uses a locally made cider called Cold Hollow, combines it with Captain Morgan's and garnishes it with a cinnamon stick. "I've been told that Vermont consumes more spiced rum per capita than any other state." says Stowe's Goss, "because of mixing it with hot cider."
With coffee drinks, well-known favorites--such as Irish coffee and Mexican coffee--rule. Sugarloaf gave one of its best-loved coffee drinks a signature name and slogan. The Irish Slalom (coffee with Baileys and Jameson): "One drink and it's all downhill." Meanwhile, the best selling coffee drink in the Royal Street Cafe at Utah's Deer Valley Resort is the Legal Tender (coffee with Grand Marnier and Kahlua topped with whipped cream and white chocolate shavings).
When it comes to hot chocolate, another old favorite tops the list, the Peppermint Patty (hot chocolate with peppermint peppermint: see mint.
Strongly aromatic perennial herb (Mentha piperita, mint family), source of a widely used flavouring. Native to Europe and Asia, it has been naturalized in North America. schnapps schnapps
n. pl. schnapps
Any of various strong dry liquors, such as a strong Dutch gin.
[German Schnaps, mouthful, schnapps, from Low German snaps, from ). Killington has a list of hot-chocolate drinks, including the Ultimate Mudslide (hot chocolate with Kahlua, vodka and Baileys), the Perfect Turn, named after the resort's ski school, which combines Malibu with hot chocolate, and the Black Forest (hot chocolate and Black haus blackberry schnapps). These 12-ounce drinks are topped with whipped cream and my priced at $5.50.
One of the hottest hot drinks at the Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride is the Chamomile chamomile or camomile (both: kăm`əmīl', –mēl') [Gr.,=ground apple], name for various related plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family), especially the perennial Anthemis nobilis, Cure: chamomile tea, lemon and Berenjager, a honey liqueur liqueur (lĭkûr`), strong alcoholic beverage made of almost neutral spirits, flavored with herb mixtures, fruits, or other materials, and usually sweetened. The name derives from the Latin word to melt. .
And Stowe Mountain Resort does a big business with a mulled wine. Based on an old Austrian recipe called Gluhwein, the concoction is made with a medium-bodied red wine, sugar, lemon, orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. "It is like a hot, spicy sangria san·gri·a
A cold drink made of red or white wine mixed with brandy, sugar, fruit juice, and soda water. Also called sangaree.
[Probably from Spanish sangría, ," says Stowe's director of food & beverage, Chris Goss.
"We probably don't tell the story [of Gl0hwein] as well as we could or should. It sells because people can smell it."
Surprisingly, many ski-area operations do not find brandies, cognacs and other snifter-type drinks to be that popular. "Here at least, they're just not as big as they used to be," says Cheryl Owens, vice president and director of mountain t0od & beverage for Killington Resort in Vermont.
Operators speculate that those drinks just don't fir the ambiance am·bi·ance also am·bi·ence
The special atmosphere or mood created by a particular environment: "The noir ambience is dominated by low-key lighting . . . of apres-ski. "And when it comes to after dinner, people seem to decide against them, even though they had cocktails before dinner and wine during, just because they know they are going to want to get up in the morning and ski," says Deer Valley's Wilson. "It's like, that's where they draw the line."
Chris Draper of the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, however, found the situation at his hotel's bar, called Whiskey Elk, to be different. "We have two different business segments: there's apresski, when everyone wants a drink, usually something hot, before changing out of their" ski clothes and going on to their dinner plans, and then there's late night, when people are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. a place to go for an after-dinner drink," he says.
By outfitting Whiskey Elk with a collection of single malts, single-batch bourbons, brandies and cognacs, the Park Hyatt positioned itself to fill a gap in its market. "There were no other after-hour locations in Beaver Creek," says Draper. "It was the perfect niche."
And that, say operators, is what's key. Whether it's fine wines or croft beers, classic cocktails or fun drinks for apres-ski, the key to success is to find what the public wants and giving it to them.