The conference kicked off in style with the “Taste of Vail Resorts TBEX 2012 Welcome Party.” To get to the party at The Outpost (on top of Dercum Mountain which is at 11,444 feet above sea level) required not one but two gondola rides. I wasn’t too excited about this since I’m afraid of heights. The first ride was in the resort’s new 8-passenger gondola that left from River Run Village.

View from gondola #2

It was really smooth and lasted about 15 minutes. Then we walked to the next one where they had beautiful women waiting with trays of cookies and champagne. This was an older gondola that lasted maybe 10 minutes. All in all it was no big deal and the ride home was even easier since it was pitch black and you couldn’t see anything below.

Hamburger cupcakes

Vail Resorts, which manages Keystone Resort, did an amazing job with everything… the food, drink, music, and logistics (shuttles ran continuously). Ned Archibald, the Executive Pastry Chef, stole the show with his fairytale dessert tent. There were chocolate fountains for fondue, chocolate animal carvings and best of all, dessert creations you could never even imagine like hamburger cupcakes, chocolate tacos and spaghetti and meatballs made of chocolate. Okay so the last one we could’ve done without! My favorite was his S’mores bars. Wow!

RELATED: Denver | Idaho Springs | Keystone Lodge | TBEX 2012 in Keystone | Expedia’s Party | United Airlines at Denver Airport

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