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Vail welcomes the return of tournaments, events

Lacrosse Shootout in past years has drawn as many as 10,000

The annual Vail Lacrosse Shootout returns June 26 through July 4 after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clark Bell/Vail Lacrosse Shootout

Vail over the years has built its summer brand with events and tournaments. After the mass cancellations of 2020, events and tournaments are being welcomed back to Vail with open arms.

Venture Sports owner Mike Brumbaugh said he won’t see much in the way of incremental business due to the coming week’s Vail Lacrosse Shootout. But asked about the return of tournaments and other events, he let out a quick “yay!”

Brumbaugh said he’s happy to see life in Vail’s resort villages return to something close to normal.



“It’s good for the valley,” Brumbaugh said. “A lot of people will come back, and they’ll feel safe.”

Cameron Douglas owns the Montauk and El Segundo restaurants in Lionshead and Vail Village. Douglas agreed that events in town further a sense of normalcy.



“It’s just the vibe of things going on,” Douglas said. “It’s all good.”

Creating future guests

Beyond the boost to local businesses, events can also draw repeat guests.

Vail Chamber & Business Association Director Alison Wadey said she was talking to a father and son from Virginia who were in town for the recently concluded Vail Lacrosse Tournament for youth teams.

Wadey said the father told her he wished he’d brought the entire family this time, and would do just that in the future.

“They were hooked (on Vail) and that’s exactly what we’re looking for,” Wadey said.

Vail Village bustles with activity Friday. According to Nikki Soran of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout, the coming week’s tournament will bring roughly 100 teams in eight divisions to town.
Nate Peterson/npeterson@vaildaily.com

Tournaments and other event are a prime source for repeat guests.

According to Nikki Soran of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout, the coming week’s tournament will bring roughly 100 teams in eight divisions to town. In years past, those teams, along with coaches, families and others, have brought as many as 10,000 people to Vail.

Many of the teams are well acquainted with Vail and the valley, but there are always newcomers.

That was the plan as Vail leapt wholeheartedly into summer events several years ago.

“Vail has really worked (events) into its brand very effectively,” Wadey said. That’s true for events from athletics to culture and everything in between, Wadey added.

And Brumbaugh is one of several people contacted for this story who like events for more than just a boost to business.

‘People out living life’

“We just love seeing people out living life,” Yeti’s Grind owner Larry Leith said. “We’re happy for the business, but we’re happy for other people’s businesses. “

Drew Riley, owner of the Russell’s and Los Amigos restaurants in Vail Village, said events of all kinds bring people to town, and that’s a good thing.

“The more events we can have in Vail the better,” Riley said, quickly adding that his restaurants are still hampered by a staffing crunch. Los Amigos is closed on Tuesdays because there aren’t enough people for seven-day service.

Beyond the business, a more vibrant resort is also good for the guest experience, Vail Valley Partnership President and CEO Chris Romer said.

Romer called the added vitality an “underappreciated aspect” of having events in town.

Kids wandering through town with lacrosse sticks, GoPro Mountain Games competitors practicing and socializing and people associated with other events brings an energy “that doesn’t happen without those programs,” Romer said. “That impacts everybody else who came to town, and they have a better experience.”

People, eating, shopping and staying in Vail is great for the economy, Douglas said. “But it’s a better social impact.”

Four facts

What: Vail Lacrosse Shootout.

When: June 26 — July 4.

Teams: About 100.

Total attendance: Past events have drawn up to 10,000 who come to play, coach, watch and work the event.

More information: Go to VailLacrosse.com.


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