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2008: Not so bad after all for Vail Valley locals, visitors

Dustin Racioppi
dracioppi@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” The ingredients for one of the worst years in recent memory were all in the mix in 2008.

The economy, of course, led the charge of doom through each turn of the calendar, but there were other contributing factors in such a morose 12 months: unemployment rates soared, oil prices reached all-time highs, the American auto industry tanked and the Denver Broncos collapsed in historic fashion.

Last year was bad, very bad, but was it the worst year ever? Ask Bernard Madoff or O.J. Simpson and you might get an emphatic “Yes!” But as it turns out, 2008 wasn’t as bad as it seemed ” at least not to people here.



“I bet a lot of people would say it was really bad,” said Daysi Sweaney, a part-time Vail resident. “For me, it wasn’t that bad.”

She had no reason to complain. She runs a steady business and she just got married. 2009 should shape up to be pretty good, too, she said, as she’s expecting a baby boy in March.



Family trumps all in Dan Brewster’s life. As long as they’re happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, he said.

“It was a good year. I have healthy kids. It was decent business,” said Brewster, a manager at a Vail liquor store.

Even though his stocks took a hit in Wall Street’s tumblings, he remained optimistic throughout the year and will do so this year.



“You only lose money when you sell it. I haven’t sold yet,” he said. “Granted, it’s not worth as much. Things were all right.”

But looking at the bigger picture, Texas resident Jarred Corbell, who’s spent the last week on vacation in Vail, said in his 28 years, he hasn’t seen a year so wrought with disaster.

“Economy-wise and politically, it was definitely one of the worst, at least for our generation,” he said. “You still have the wars, seeing violence pick up “-that adds to everything.”

But like all those smiling faces living in the valley, Corbell’s 2008 was just fine. After all, he and his sister spent the last week of it vacationing. It couldn’t have been that bad.

“Work was good. Family’s good. Nobody got in trouble “-that we know of,” he said. “We live in Austin. It’s always happy there.”

That’s what Brian Yochim will be saying from now on. He moved from Pennsylvania to Vail in July and it’s a move that made his year great, he said.

“’08 was really, really good to me,” Yochim said. “I got out of a job I hated and got a job I really like.”

When you live a simple life in a resort area, it’s hard to be fazed by the turmoil plastered to TV screens and popping from headlines, according to Eagle resident Nate Vanatta. Last year wasn’t just good for him, it was great, he said.

Why?

“Good snow. Good weather. Good concerts,” Vanatta said, citing the Kottonmouth Kings and The Wailers concerts as highlights of the year.

It’s not as if he’s unaffected by everything going on, though. It’s just that he escapes it.

“It’s in the back of my head,” he said. “I just ski, man.”

Even in a bad year, Vanatta said it doesn’t help to focus on the negativity of the past.

“If you could find the silver lining, it’s all good,” he said.

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or dracioppi@vaildaily.com.


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