It’s synchronicity in action.

Immediately following a phone call with Scott Barretto, co-founder, StraightOut Media & Marketing, about the upcoming Telluride Gay Ski Week, I picked up The New York Times: two of the four stories on Tuesday’s Op Ed page focused on gay rights, specifically gay marriage.

In his  “Value Our Families,” Frank Bruni said: “In the intensifying debate over same-sex marriage, what I sometimes find hardest to understand is why so many opponents don’t see gay people’s longing to be wedded as the fundamentally conservative, lavishly complimentary desire it is. It says marriage is worth aspiring to and fighting for…”

Joe Nocera’s “Gay Marriage Halo Effect”  talked about governors Cuomo’s (New York) and Christie’s (New Jersey) polar opposite stances on the subject, concluding: “It is not inconceivable that same-sex marriage will be a widely accepted part of American life by 2016.” (Which means Christie’s regressive tactics could backfire.)

Impressive considering the fact that until 2004, same-sex couples could not wed anywhere in the country. Now gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and according to Nocera, Maryland and Washington state are next in line. (Particularly impressive given the fact that women in this country did not get the right to vote until August 1920 and throughout history, the fairer sex was little more than chattel and often confined to home and hearth.)

Yes, America is still a nation divided over whether to redefine marriage, but the strides are historic and the pace is quickening.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: (DADT) was the official policy of the United States on gays in the military from December 1993 until fairly recently,  September 2011.  Now members of the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities can serve openly.

Same sex marriage and the repeal of DADT roll up into one big celebration: the 9th annual Telluride Gay Ski Week, Saturday, February 25 – Saturday, March 3.

Telluride Gay Ski Week is an annual gay-targeted ski event hosted in Mountain Village (originally by the Town of Mountain Village and more recently by the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association). StraightOut Media & Marketing was involved from the get-go, having created GLAAD Gay Ski Week, predecessor to the TGSW.

Telluride Gay Ski Week has evolved into one of the most popular gay ski gatherings in the country. And what was once among the lowest attendance weeks during Telluride’s winter season now tops the regional charts, just behind Christmas and Presidents Day Weekend. (Telski skier days analysis.) And based on the wide-ranging experience of StraightOut’s founders and principals, Scott and John McGill, 50 (combined) years of agency and client side experience, there is no place to grow but up and, well, out.

To learn more about what’s in store for Gay Ski Week, see schedule below, and click the “play” button to listen to my chat with Scott and John.

(And look for an upcoming interview with Reichen Lehmkuhl, Air Force captain turned gay activist, who is hosting a party at Hotel Madeline on Tuesday, February 28.)



T-Week Schedule of Events


ALL NEW T-12 Hospitality Center  (9:00am to 3:00pm)
Heritage Plaza adjacent to Tomboy Tavern – Mountain Village
Got Heat?  We have a new indoor home this year for all things hospitable and warm.  Stop by our new storefront Hospitality Center right off the Beach.  We are located next door to the new Tomboy Tavern.  In fact,  we are so close that you can grab a brew at the bar and walk right into the T-12 Center!   Let us set you up with event tickets, and answer all (almost all) of your ski week and Telluride questions. We want to meet you – so come on by, grab some swag or an energy bar and become our new best friend!

Après Ski at The Peaks! (3:00-6:00pm)
The Great Room and Palmyra Bar at The Peaks – Mountain Village
Just wait till you see the view!  Every ski week should have a big deck and our home for Après Ski this  week does not disappoint.  With a new massive outdoor deck, Apres Ski at Official Host Hotel The Peaks is the place to be when you are ready to choke down a cold one. It’s Ski In / Ski Out so slide on by!

(FREE for ALL)  Cash Bar

Don’t forget we’ll have a Ski Week Concierge in the Great Room at The Peaks daily during Après Ski for info, tickets and great gossip.

T Shack at Gorrono’s  (10:30am – 3:00pm)
Gorrono Ranch under Village Express (Lift 4) – On Mountain
The Shack is Back!  One of the best places to meet up on-mountain is the T Shack, Meet your friends, grab a beer, eat some lunch or kick-up your feet at the wood burning stove..  Our own little private cabin (rumored to be the secret hideaway of many of Telluride’s regular celebs), the T Shack is all-gay, all-day so don’t forgot to swing by on your way down the mountain.

(FREE for ALL)  Cash Bar / Dining


Eat Out!  Nightly Dining Picks (7:00 – 9:00pm)
Different location each night
Hungry???  Check out the official schedule (center spread in the program) for each day’s nightlys dining recommendation.  Our selections are not only the best places to break bread in Telluride but also great local supporters of Ski Week.  Show‘em some love – as only “The Gays” can!

Night Caps Lounge at The Peaks (Monday – Friday; 10:30pm to Midnight)
Palmyra Bar at The Peaks – Mountain Village
Not yet ready for bed and need to unwind a bit?  We’re pleased to bring you (for the second year in a row) the talented duo of pianist Gary Lynn Floyd and vocalist Joe Lupariello for late-night lounge entertainment nightly at The Peaks.  From Jazz to Pop to Broadway (obviously), Gary and Joe will be sharing some of their favorite tunes before you call it a night.

(FREE for ALL) Cash Bar


Oscar Night Bar Watching Party (6:00 – 10:00pm)
Appaloosa Bar at The Peaks – Mountain Village
Well it is that time of year when Hollywood honors its own at the Academy Awards®.  It’s become a tradition to kick off Ski Week with the real Gay Super Bowl (not the Madonna concert that was one a few weeks ago). It’s the first of our night-time events for the week and although guestsare still unpacking and getting settled, this is the perfect opportunity to meet new people over great drinks in a quaint private bar space. Kick-back on one of the comfy sofas, watch the Oscars® on the flat screens and re-connect with familiar faces and check out new ones!

($25.00 cover or T-Pass) Cash Bar


The Get Wasted Party with Nuclia Waste (9:00pm – Midnight)
Honga’s Lotus Petal Restaurant – Telluride
She’s BAACCKKKKK!  It would not be Ski Week without our official snow queen holding court!  Nuclia Waste once again hits the towns and the slopes with her own edgy, and just plain wrong, opinions on all things sacred and cherished. Join us in one of our favorite lounge’s in Telluride – Honga’s We’ll be taking over the bar and letting Nuclia take over the show.  Holding it all together is LA’s own Casey Alva spinning music all night.  One thing’s for sure, after tonight, everyone knows we are in town and we are here to party.

($35.00 cover or T-Pass – includes complimentary TY KU Sake bomb) Cash Bar


The Fashion Stroll & Strut (5:30 – 7:00pm)
Heritage Plaza – Mountain Village
Mountain Village got bigger since last year!  Three new stores have opened and have created a new “Fashion Alley” on the Plaza. Take a stroll with us, check out each store, get cozy with the models, and quench your thirsty with complimentary bubbly from Barefoot.  From a men’s/women’s clothing boutique to skin care to watches and sunglasses, this is the Village’s miniature version of Rodeo Drive.  And of course, you can’t do Ski Week without visiting Penelope at Boot Doctors…always good for what ails you.

(FREE for ALL! / Complimentary Barefoot Bubbly)

Do Ask. Do Tell.  – The Basic Training Bash (9:00pm – Til)
M Bar at Hotel Madeline – Mountain Village
Sir! Yes Sir!! – We definitely have something to celebrate this Ski Week.  The right to serve this country openly has been a long time coming and so has this party! Join host, LGBT activist and former USAF Captain Reichen Lehmkuhl (Don’t you love a man in uniform?), as we toast the end of the military’s closet – the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Grab your fatigues and camo tee’s and come ready to party to the music of  of Dallas’ own DJ Brandon Moses.  Plan to stay until you’re dismissed!

($35.00 or T-Pass) Cash Bar

SPECIAL NOTE: The Gondola will be operating til 1:00am


Wig Run Wednesday (All Day)
On Mountain – Telluride Ski Resort
Give us your head with Hair!!!!  It is our inaugural Wig Run as we all grab our best diva doo’s and hit the slopes.  From locals to Ski Week regulars to newbies, everyone can be a part of the follicle fest on the slopes.  Stop by the T-12 Hospitality Center all day to register yourself and your wig with just a $5.00 donation to our beneficiary TAB (Telluride AIDS Benefit). We’ll just snap your pic (plus tweet-it and Facebook-it) and you’re all set for your chance to great prizes to be awarded later that day at Après Ski.  Don’t have a wig? No worries, TAB will have some to choose from for just a small donation.  Ski all day but at 2:30pm join us for a Party at Gorrono Ranch with music on the deck from Casey Alva..  At  3:30pm we’ll head downhill lead by Nuclia Waste for the last and proudest wig run of the day!  Check in your skis and convene at Après Ski at the Peaks where our judges (we love to judge) will award prizes for Wildest Wig, Local Wig, Drama Wig and a host of other honors that only the biggest hair can ever receive..
•    Registration at Hospitality Center: 9:00am  – 2:00pm
•    Party at Gorrono Ranch: 2:30 – 3:30pm
•    Wig Run Awards at Apres Ski: 4:00pm

($5.00 donation to TAB to participate) Cash Bar

NEVE Night! – aT-Pass Exclusive (5:30 – 7:00pm)
NEVE Sports at Hotel Madeline  – Mountain Village
Come by NEVE located adjacent to the Ice Rink at Hotel Madeline for special shopping event at one of the premiere ski boutiques in Mountain Village and operated by Telluride Sports. We’ll have complimentary cocktails from KRU 82 Vodka.  Telluride Sports has been a partner of Ski Week since Day One so thrilled to be able to showcase this incredible boutique with exclusive reception for our T-Pass holders and their guests!

(T-Pass only with complimentary drinks)

T-Boy Party (9:00pm – Til)
Tomboy Tavern – Mountain Village
Well it’s hump night and maybe it’s time to take a breather…NOT A CHANCE!!  Tonight, you’ll hit the hottest new bar venue on either side of the Mountain for a “Wicked Wednesday” party with Casey Alva Is that the T-12 Hospitality Center connected to the Tavern?? Yes and that’s no accident! This is casual night, so come in, kick back and enjoy drink specials all night.  Now is not the time to rest, we’re nly halfway done!

($25.00 or T-Pass) Cash Bar

SPECIAL NOTE: The Gondola will be operating til 1:00am


Barbie Que & Brew (12:00 – 1:00pm)
Gorrono Ranch under Village Express (Lift 4) – On Mountain
We are not different but we are special!  Today we have our very own VIP lunch buffet at Gorrono Ranch for 50 of our closest Ski Week friends.  Get to the smokehouse on the deck for this Ski Week private buffet.  Barbie is making her best BBQ and fixin’s and sending Ken into town to bring a keg.  Make sure to come by the Hospitality Center as soon as you arrive to purchase your ticket because once they are gone…so is your luck.

$25.00 includes buffet and beer (Not included in T-Pass)

White Night Party (9:00pm – 2:00am)
Appaloosa Bar, Crystal Room and Legends Restaurant at The Peaks – Mountain Village
It’s a White Out!  The most popular dance party of the year in Telluride happens at Ski Week and you’d be crazy to miss it!  It’s 5 hours of non-stop music and dancing with double the DJs.  DJ Brandon Moses will kick-off the party and Casey Alva will close it out.    The evening will feature all our wine, spirit and beer sponsors.  And no need to mess with a wallet or credit card all night – just purchase a pocket full of drink tokens when you enter the party.

($65.00 or T-Pass includes one complimentary* drink from our sponsor brands)
* with purchased ticket or T-Pass

SPECIAL NOTE: The Gondola will be operating til 1:00am; Private Shuttle Service will be available to T-Pass holders and guests at Conference Center bus stop at 2:00am


TAB Art Auction (6:00 – 10:00pm)
Sheridan Opera House – Telluride
TAB is our beneficiary and partner in the fight against AIDS.  Join us at this ski week tradition and make a great deal on original art and a real difference in someone’s life!

(FREE to All) Cash Bar

Simply Red Party – “A Party at the Palace” (9:00pm – Til)
Shanghai Palace – Telluride
Ski Week officially ends with the Telluride AIDS Benefit Gala– but tonight is the de-facto Closing Party.  Grab the Gondola or stroll down from the TAB Art Auction for red-est party in town at Shanghai Palace.  Step thru the doors for a that is “aaaaah”simply great red party (you’ll see). Brandon Moses will be manning the DJ booth as master of music for the night.  We’re excited to treat to this new night spot that become one of Telluride’s most popular places to mix and mingle the night away.

($35.00 or T-Pass) Cash Bar

SPECIAL NOTE: Private Shuttle Service will be available to T-Pass holders and guests from 1:00 – 2:00am


Telluride AIDS Benefit Gala Fashion Show (Doors at 7:00pm; Show at 8:00pm)
Telluride Conference Center – Mountain Village
It’s Telluride’s own Project Runway!  More than a million dollars has been raised at this Gala during the past 18 years for charities from Colorado to Africa at this cutting edge runway show and auction.  It has been sold out for months but stop by the Hospitality Center to see if we have have scored a few last minute tickets that are available for purchase!

(Sold Out) Cash Bar

TAB After Party (10:30pm – 2:00am)
The Llama – Telluride

It ain’t over till it’s over!  After the Gala, jump on the Gondola and head back over the hill to Telluride for the Official After Party for TAB.  DJ Cato from New York is flying in to make the final event of one great week one great party!

(Cover charge) Cash Bar

SPECIAL NOTE: The Gondola will be operating til 1:00am; Private Shuttle Service will be available to T-Pass holders and guests at Conference Center bus stop at 2:00am


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