Vail lodging looks strong for Thanksgiving holiday |

Vail lodging looks strong for Thanksgiving holiday

But Beaver Creek is losing business due to delayed opening

Snowboarders and skiers ride Mountain Top Express Lift on Vail Mountain earlier this month.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

It looks like Thanksgiving weekend will be a busy one in Vail. Not Christmas and New Year’s busy, but pretty busy.

Lodging numbers at hotels in Vail are solid for Thanksgiving. Sitzmark Lodge General Manager Jeanne Fritch said that the hotel in the heart of Vail Village will be about 65% full for the holiday. That isn’t what it used to be, Fritch said, but it’s better than than recent years.

Fritch, whose family has owned the Sitzmark since the early 1970s, said the lodge used to be full or close to full years ago. Business dropped as early season snow was scarce more often than not.

But 2020 and this year have been solid, Fritch said.

At the Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Vail, the hotel will be “pretty full” over Thanksgiving, with occupancy declining into Saturday and Sunday of the weekend, said sales and marketing director Scott Gubrud. Occupancy for Thursday and Friday of this week is 80% or more depending on the night, Gubrud said. Business on Wednesday and Saturday is in the mid- to high 70s, he added.

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“It’s an uptick over (2020) for sure,” Gubrud said, adding that Thanksgiving “leisure” business at the hotel is up more than 60% from 2020.

Reports indicate that Vail Village has been pretty busy since Vail Mountain opened Nov. 12.

Fritch said that’s what she’s seen, adding that she’s seen people skiing to the bottom of the mountain along Gitalong Road.

At the American Ski Exchange on Wall Street, general manager Jackson Higgins said that store has been busy and looks to stay that way for the holiday weekend.

“It’s busy,” Higgins said. “We’ve got a lot of people coming in.”

Some holiday weekend clients are exchange students in this country for the fall semester.

“They don’t have anywhere to go but Vail for Thanksgiving,” Higgins said. Higgins added that he’s seen a few international visitors, including from Guam.

Like Fritch, Higgins said Vail Village has been busy this early season.

“It would be nice to get more of the mountain open,” he said. “But the skiing’s nice, and the snow’s been pretty good.”

Life is different in Beaver Creek. With that resort’s opening delayed from Wednesday to an unannounced date — “coming soon,” the resort’s website proclaims — there isn’t a lot of activity.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek General Manager Herb Rackliff said the lodge was headed toward what looked a few weeks ago to be a “fantastic” Thanksgiving.

Now, with no firm opening date, guests are canceling Thanksgiving reservations and forfeiting deposits.

“But that’s just par for the course,” Rackliff said, maintaining a positive attitude for the rest of the season.

“It’ll be a great season,” Rackliff said, adding that the delayed opening hasn’t affected reservations for the coming Christmas holiday season.

Fritch said the Sitzmark will be busy during the holiday season, particularly the weeks before and after New Year’s Day.

“New Year’s week is almost sold out,” Fritch said. “In fact, we’re almost full for Snow Days,” which hosts concerts Dec. 3 and 4.

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