Businesses expecting fans out in full force today
February 1, 2014
EAGLE COUNTY — A combination of a giant snowstorm and a late-afternoon kickoff has local businesses planning for a busy Super Bowl Sunday.
While pregame shows seem like they go on the entire week before the game — which can lead to serious "just start the game already" syndrome — kickoff isn't until just after 4:30 p.m. That means people could get in a full day on the slopes, then settle in somewhere — just about any place with a TV and a cable or satellite connection — for the game.
At the Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek, general manager Buzz Busby said it's going to be an "all hands on deck" kind of day. And, he said, he expects people to stake out their spots early. Even on a Super Bowl game day when the Denver Broncos aren't playing, Busby said people tend to arrive early to stake out prime tables for watching the game on Coyote's 16-foot projection-screen TV.
"It's going to be fun," Busby said. "We've got our best snow in a decade on Super Bowl weekend.
Big Day for Slopes, Too
That snowfall has another Buzz — Buzz Schleper of Buzz's Boards in Vail Village — expecting a big day.
"I would say Sunday morning we're gonna kill it," Schleper said. "It's been a couple of weeks since we've had great powder, so I'd guess people will probably ski until noon, then the exodus will start."
Depending on the weather and traffic, leaving for Denver at noon might get a fan home before kickoff. Might.
For those who don't want to miss a single snap, just about every bar and restaurant in the valley will have TVs tuned to the game.
"I think we'll have a great day," Vendetta's co-owner Dave Chapin said "You can ski all day, watch the game, then get a room and spend the night."
And it seems at least some people are doing that.
According to Vail Valley Partnership President Chris Romer, Vail on Sale, the last-minute booking website run by the Partnership, saw a "huge uptick" in weekend reservations through Sunday night.
In an email, Romer attributed that to great snow. But, he wrote, Vail on Sale was also seeing greater-than-usual demand for Sunday night, something he also attributed to snow, rather than the Super Bowl.
At The Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon, general manager Jeff Burrell said that hotel, similar to most in the valley, usually has plenty of rooms available on Sunday night.
"We're not seeing as big a dip this Sunday," Burrell said. While the hotel was sold out Friday and Saturday, "it's a little firmer than normal Sunday," he added.
Such as many places, The Westin is celebrating the Broncos' appearance in the championship game. Burrell said a big projection TV will be set up in the lobby, and TVs elsewhere will have the game.
But there are some fans uncomfortable being out in public, or even at a party, when their team is playing in the big game. We can chit-chat anytime, but a championship game is serious stuff.
At the Vail Ale House in West Vail, Eric Stephenson said he understands that attitude, and kind of expects not to see some of the bar's regulars who he knows to be Broncos fans.
"But it's going to be standing room only in here," Stephenson said. "Everybody's working. We've ordered food; we've ordered drinks. … I'm looking forward to it."