Gay & Away: Denver & Aspen, ColoradoJanuary 2011
Baby, it's cold outside, but that doesn't stop the fun from happening in Colorado. This month, our eyes on the street, Jim Guttau, has picked out places to unwind with a drink, relax with a massage, and to have an insanely fun time at Aspen Gay Ski Week.
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DRINKS & EATS
Denver's GLBT community has another new bar to add to its roster: X Bar. Owners Steven and Jorge have remodeled the former Her Bar and unveiled the building’s original interior brick walls. Adding to the fun, drag queens from the now-defunct Bump & Grind are back and serving a brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Word has spread quickly about the $10 bottles of Champagne with mixers and $3 Bloody Marys at brunch.
In addition to an extensive happy hour that runs from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., the chefs have created full lunch and dinner menus.
The Spa at Four Seasons
When residents of Denver set their sights on relaxation, they look to the new Four Seasons Hotel Denver. On a brisk December day, I stepped into the 9,000-square-foot Spa at Four Seasons and was greeted by exuberant staffers ready to make me feel at home.
Luxury is everywhere, from the reception area’s opulent Peruvian travertine floor to the immense men’s locker room, which immediately set the stage for serenity— especially when pulling on one of their ultra luxurious robe. Within moments, I was whisked away to a treatment room, which was actually a couple’s suite. My massage seemed to last for hours, as my expert therapist utilized many unique products and procedures on me, including a periodic spritz of a tingling mist.
However, the best was yet to come as I then entered the men’s whirlpool area, champagne glass in hand. The whirlpool is the glimmering centerpiece of the room and looks like a modern day twist on a hammam, or Turkish bath. From there it was onto the caldarium, which hovers at around 130 degrees; a caldarium in Roman days was a hot, steamy room heated by an under-floor heating system. Here eucalyptus is piped into the room, adding an aromatic experience as your pores open to the intense humidity. Afterward, iced cucumber slices on the plush lounge chairs were a needed follow-up to the steam room, as was a rinse in a multi-jet rain shower.
Guests who experience a minimum 60-minute treatment are granted access to the fitness center and outdoor rooftop terrace, with its pool and whirlpool that are open year-round. Although the new pool has not seen a Colorado summer yet, it surely will be the site of “the scene,” as the well-heeled will flock to this glamorous terrace for blended cocktails come June.
Aspen Gay Ski Week
Aspen Gay Ski Week, the nation’s largest and oldest gay ski event, is celebrating its 34th anniversary this year. Proceeds from the event will benefit TEACH (Teachers Empowering Agents of Change), GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), Trevor Project, Western Colorado AIDS Project, and local schools of the Roaring Fork Valley.
Aspen Gay Ski Week will host exciting nightly events, including:
•Sunday: Opening Party at T Lazy 7 Ranch, a working ranch turned dance hall, which will offer line dancing lessons, free drinks, and free shuttle service from Hotel Jerome and Limelight Lodge.
•Monday: Beth Malone performing her “full frontal lesbian cabaret So Far, at the Wheeler Opera House.
•Tuesday: 2010 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Audience Award winning film, Undertow, by director, Javier Fuentes-Léon at the Wheeler Opera House.
•Wednesday: Aspen is home to world-class shopping and for the annual Boutique Night Stroll, participating boutiques will be open late from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
•Thursday: Comedy Night at the Wheeler Opera House will feature Jim David, seen on Comedy Central, Michele Balan from Last Comic Standing, and Chuck Sweeney as “Miss Peggy Lee.” After the show, attendees can continue the party at Belly Up with a show by Almost Queen, a musical group that creates an authentic Queen experience through elaborate lighting, special effects, and costumes.
•Friday: The historic Hotel Jerome will host the “Wild West Bordello Party.”
•Saturday: Aspen Recreation Center will once again play host to the infamous pool party, featuring DJs, dancing, hot tubs, water slides, a lazy river, and open bars.
International Snow Sculpture Championships
January 25 - February 6
For the 21st year, artists converge on Breckenridge to carve enormous, 12-foot blocks of snow into dimensional art pieces. Thousands of spectators are wowed over the course of five days at the city’s Riverwalk Center. The awards ceremony is at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, and sculptures remain standing (weather permitting) until the eve of Sunday, February 6.
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SAVE THE DATE
Great Chefs of the West
February 8, 2011
The National Kidney Foundation Serving Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming announces the 28th Annual Great Chefs of the West. The foundation’s largest fundraiser, Great Chefs of the West will be held at the EXDO Events Center. Here Denver’s finest restaurants and catering companies will provide hors d’oeuvres, entrees, and desserts in a dine-around atmosphere for the expected crowd of over 500. Confirmed restaurants thus far are the following: The Corner Office, Second Home, Rialto Café, Oceanaire Seafood Room, The Lobby, The Palm, Biscuits and Berries, and Lovely Confections.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and a cocktail reception and silent auction at begin at 6:30 p.m.
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