Favorite stories of 2019: A new tattoo shop makes its mark | VailDaily.com
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Favorite stories of 2019: A new tattoo shop makes its mark

A new reporter finds out what this valley is all about

Avanti hopes to add a piercer or a barber in the near future, as well as create an art space for locals to enjoy.
Casey Russell | crussell@vaildaiily.com

Editor’s note: For the Vail Daily’s year in review, reporters were tasked with telling the story behind their favorite story of the year. This is the fifth in a series.

One day at work, I was trolling Facebook looking for events and story ideas when I saw something I hadn’t seen before: a tattoo shop. This new place called Avanti Tattoo was opening on Highway 6 in EagleVail and I knew it had the potential to be a great story. After all, there’s a lack of places to get inked in the Vail Valley and most people who want tattoos have to drive to Denver.

When I went into the shop days before it opened, owners Melissa and Aman Pall were still finishing up renovations. After about 15 minutes of talking to them, I realized I had met them before. We all sat at the bar one night at Route 6 Café, bonding over how all three of us had recently moved to the Vail Valley.

I went back to take pictures on their opening day, Oct. 31, and took photos of a girl with long blond hair having something done on her arm. A few weeks ago, when I started hosting trivia on Wednesday nights at Vail Brewing Co. — we get started at 7 p.m. for anyone who’d like to join — I knew I recognized her. The girl getting the tattoo, Brooklyn, is the regular bartender on Wednesday nights.

Juan Feria, one of the resident artists in the shop, inks local customer and Vail Brewing Co. bartender Brooklyn on Avanti’s first day in business.
Casey Russell | crussell@vaildaily.com

Not that numbers define quality of work, but that story had more than 1,000 page views. Typical entertainment stories don’t even come close to that mark: the things that do are usually big announcements or celebrity sightings. I am proud to share the Pall’s story and am so glad our readers found something in it that resonated with them.

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Even more than that, reporting on this story showed me exactly what our community is like. We are small, we are friendly and we don’t lie about knowing each other. When you go to big cities and places with a lot of people, sometimes acquaintances — people you know you’ve met before but can’t pin where or when or why — pretend they haven’t met you for whatever reason. They may avoid eye contact, position themselves behind others or do other petty things explicitly to avoid being friendly.

People don’t really do that here. People say “hello, remind me how I’ve met you,” or “I know your face but remind me of your name.” It’s refreshing and emblematic of what the Vail Valley is at its core: a small-town place with big-time dreams.

Opening one of the only tattoo shops in the Vail Valley is a big-time dream. There’s everything that goes into creating a business plus everything that goes into the artistry of tattooing. The Palls were able to source artists, figure out schedules and design a space that matched their vision all within several months of moving to the valley. They should be proud of what they accomplished. We should be proud of our community for giving them the opportunity.


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