Beloved Vail Valley bartender dies suddenly
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Mike Gotch, a longtime Vail Valley, Colorado bartender, died unexpectedly Saturday.
He was 42.
Gotch worked at Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail for almost a decade and had lived in the Vail Valley for about 20 years, friends said.
“He was always upbeat,” said friend Charlie Peet. “A lot of people knew him, and he knew a lot of people. He brought people together. People who normally wouldn’t meet. He introduced people and brought people together. He was amazing.”
Gotch, a Florida native who lived in Eagle-Vail, loved to kayak, mountain bike, snowboard, dirt bike, and ride Go-Karts, Peet said.
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“He had a way of bringing a smile out of everybody,” Peet said.
Friend James Wine said Gotch was like a brother to him.
“He had a heart of gold,” Wine said. “He was the type of person who would share whatever he had. If you were hungry, he’d make you a plate of food. … Just a great guy with a big heart who knew a lot of people.”
Gotch always had a kind thing to say to customers when they sat down at the Paddy’s bar, Wine said.
“Bottom line is the only reason a lot of people came in there was to see him,” Wine said.
Nate Winship, who bartended alongside Gotch at Paddy’s for two years, said Gotch was always in a good mood.
“Just one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. Just overly nice, would go out of his way for anybody, for strangers, just super-friendly,” Winship said.
Before Gotch worked at Paddy’s, he worked at the Dusty Boot, where he knew even more people, Winship said.
“He was one of the best bartenders,” Winship said. “He literally taught me everything I know about bartending.”
A memorial service is planned for May 18 at Beaver Creek.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or email@example.com.