Winter Park: New restaurant, new technology and world-wide recognition | SkyHiNews.com

Winter Park: New restaurant, new technology and world-wide recognition

Janet Day
Talk of the Valley
Winter Park, Colorado

Feeling A Bit Cheeky? I liked the new Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe at Winter Park Resort the minute I walked into it. Big comfortable bar, reasonably sized room, gorgeous blood-red walls, elaborate chandeliers and Old World Art. Kind of a cross between a European pub and the remnants of an old church.

The oversized patio with views of Parry’s Peak has the potential to be THE after-biking spot in the summer and, if current weather patterns continue, apres-ski spot in the sun.

The Monk focuses on beer – lots of it in a wide variety. These aren’t your $1-per-bottle happy hour specials; some pours go for as much as $9. But the wide selection of draught and bottled beers comes primarily from small European craft brewers with a heritage and taste to justify the prices. Many require their own specially shaped glasses and careful pours. Sample four of them in beer tasting flights.

Food, like the beer, is heavily influenced by Belgium, with cheese plates, a Croque Monsieur sandwich, steak frites and a half-dozen styles of mussels.

Memo to management at another resort restaurant: if patrons are waiting for water and beverage glasses to be refilled while staff stays at the bar texting messages into a phone, you have some serious re-training to do. And if food that should be hot is served lukewarm, you better have a talk with your kitchen.

I love getting the monthly email newsletter from Gasthaus Eichler. It always makes me hungry since it always includes a recipe. This month’s is for Veal Saltimbocca. But it also reminds me about some of the nicer thing about some tourists, especially those who return year after year.

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And it usually includes some screaming deals. For example, check out the March spa special at Gasthaus: a full-body exfoliation with therapeutic sea salts for just $35. It’s great on its own or added to a massage package. Whose skin isn’t dried out and crustacean-like at this point in the winter? A good scrub can make it soft again. Go to http://www.gasthauseichler.com or call 531.5898 to get the details.

Tweet, Tweet. I was surprised by the response to last week’s Sky Hi Daily News online poll asking readers if they’d follow the paper’s news or sports coverage on Twitter. Far too many seem to not know what Twitter is.

What it has become is a great business communications and marketing tool that grew from a quick-bite social networking site. It limits postings to 140 characters, but that’s enough for a lot of businesses and governments to get their messages out.

Winter Park Resort has more than 700 followers on Twitter, meaning more than 700 people get the resort’s updates about weather, trail conditions, promotions, specials and great deals. That’s more followers than any other ski resort. Vail has a measly 40-some followers. The National Sports Center for the Disabled has more than 100 Twitter followers keeping up to date on programs and activities.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter twitters. So does President Obama and the Dali Lama. And so do quite a few people around Grand County who’ve figured out that immediate and easily digested postings, known as “tweets,” are a great way to disseminate news about lodging properties, restaurants, concierge services, artists and public relations initiatives. Go to http://www.twitter.com to get yourself or your company started.

The Secret’s Out. Brace yourself, Granby, you’ve been discovered. Friday’s New York Times’ Escape section featured Granby as “Old Mountain West in Ski Resort Alley.” Pros: year-round recreation in all directions. Cons: lack of restaurant variety and the pine beetle scourge.

Spotted: Climber, author, speaker and one-time back country surgeon Aron Ralston enjoying a sunny day on the slopes of Winter Park Resort after offering a riveting program at Middle Park High School last week.

Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.

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