Jonathan Levine may not be a household name, but if you’re the type of traveler who loves tech, music and fashion (I mean, who doesn’t), you may be familiar with the company he started and runs, Master & Dynamic. Levine started the trendy headphone company (which boasts Paul McCartney as a fan) in 2013 after he toured a World War II Museum and saw a pair of vintage headphones. That inspired him to create a modern pair that imbued a similar luxurious, yet subtle, aesthetic. The look has caught on big time. This adventurous CEO is an avid skier and frequently heads to Vail to hit the slopes. Here is his insiders’ Blackbook.
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WHAT ATTRACTS YOU TO VAIL ABOVE ALL OTHER SKI DESTINATIONS?
It has more acreage and varied terrain than any other ski mountain in the US. The walking village makes it relaxing and easy for après (ski) and the summers are filled with concerts, sports and festivals. You can even kayak and fish on Gore Creek, which runs through the town.
FAVORITE HOTELS TO RECOMMEND AND WHY:
The Lodge at Vail is the best located, by far. It’s at the base of the mountain, so I can pick up my skis next to the gondola and get right to it.
BEST HOTEL/CONDO OPTION FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN:
The Lodge also has a big pool and since it’s in the middle of town, the kids can come and go without having to be driven anywhere.
BEST LUNCH SPOT FOR PEOPLE WATCHING (AND FAVORITE ITEM ON THE MENU):
Los Amigos, which is at the base of the mountain, offers a great view of people coming down on one of my favorite slopes, Lindsay’s, which is named for Vail’s hometown girl, Lindsay Vonn. The nachos and margaritas are perfect fare for viewing.
BAR FOR APRÈS SKI:
Root & Flower, which opened last year, has a tremendous wine selection and the sommelier is fabulous. He always introduces me to something new and exciting and the charcuterie is delicious.
MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT (AND FAVORITE ITEM ON THE MENU):
There is nowhere I would rather take my honey than to a cozy booth at Sweet Basil. They change the menu every season and I love every variation of pork they come up with. The tapas style menu, the friendly staff and the warm and relaxing atmosphere make for a great time.
Gorsuch is the best for clothing on and off the slopes, and I can’t let a day pass without a visit to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some dark chocolate almond bark or an Oreo caramel apple.
The Vail Vitality Center has one of the best treatments I’ve ever had called Nature, Body and Spirit. The room you wait in prior to treatment has chaise lounges and a beautiful view of Gore Creek. The entire experience is soothing and restorative, which is perfect after a long day on the mountain.
PREFERRED SKI SHOP?
Gorsuch carries all of the top lines and the staff has been there for years and knows all about how the equipment will work best for me on the mountain.
WHAT THREE THINGS MUST YOU SEE, BUY OR TRY IF YOU’RE SPENDING A WEEKEND IN VAIL?
You MUST ski Blue Sky Basin, eat the Sticky Toffee Pudding at Sweet Basil and walk through the Village after dark with someone you love.
BEST KEPT “SECRET” OFF-PISTE SKI TRAIL?
I love the bottom of Lovers Leap. The snow gets deep and the winding path through the trees is beautiful.
There is a way to ski past Game Creek Bowl from Vail into Minturn, which is an old mining town. The Minturn Saloon, which was the original watering hole from 1901, still stands and there is nothing better than pulling in there for a stiff shot of 10th Mountain Division bourbon after skiing the “Minturn Mile”.
FAVORITE SPOT TO TAKE A SKI BREAK?
I love Wildwood Smokehouse. They smoke their own meat and the scent of the cedar burning creates the feeling of the outdoors.
LOVERS LEAP OR BIG ROCK PARK?
Lovers Leap – no contest.
WHAT’S ON YOUR VAIL PLAYLIST?
When skiing in Vail, I always defer to many of the iconic songs I used in tuning our first Master & Dynamic headphones including:
David Bowie – Life On Mars
Van Morrison – Bright Side of the Road
Philip Glass – The Photographer
David Byrne – Take Me To The River
Outkast – Ms. Jackson
Elton John – Tiny Dancer
The Lodge at Vail | 174 East Gore Creek Drive | 888 328 1005
Los Amigos | 400 Bridge St| 970 476 5847
Root & Flower | 225 Wall Street, 103A| 970.763.5101
Sweet Basil | 193 E. Gore Creek Drive| 970 476 0125
Gorsuch | 263 E Gore Creek Dr| 970 476 2294
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory | 158 Gore Creek Dr| 970 476 7623
The Vail Vitality Center | 352 E Meadow Dr #3| 970 476 7721
Minturn Saloon | 146 N Main Street PO Box 700| 970 827 5954
Wildwood Smokehouse | Top of Chair 3| 970 476-5601