Ending bittersweet, but not unexpected
VAIL ” Ruth Moran sat at her sewing machine, stitching intently, just as she has for the last 35 years in the Crossroads building.
But her shop, The Stitchery, wasn’t taking any more clothes for alterations on Wednesday. She’s getting ready to clear it out. Some firemen were coming Saturday to help remove her heavy machines.
The Crossroads building will be coming down in a few weeks, and its tenants are moving out.
“We knew it was a matter of time,” Moran said. “I had a lot of time for my head to get adjusted to this.”
Crossroads will be replaced by Solaris, a once-controversial proposal that was ultimately approved by Vail residents in a landslide vote. It will have condos, stores, restaurants, a bowling alley, a movie theater and an ice rink.
For Moran, 75, Crossroads’ demolition is a good reason to retire.
“It was the only way I was going to quit,” she said, though she’s still going to keep busy doing alterations at her Gypsum home.
Other Crossroads businesses have found new locations. The Eagle Valley Music Co. will move to the West Vail mall. The music store has been in Crossroads since the 1970s.
Jeannie Robbins, an owner, said she’s sad to leave Crossroads, but that the West Vail location will have advantages, including convenient parking. And the Crossroads building was getting run-down, she said.
“You can see through the floor in some places,” she said.
On Wednesday, Kristin Kenney Williams was in her Crossroads office trying to decide where to move her business ” public relations firm Commfluent. She wanted to stay in Vail, but had found few options for office space here, she said.
Williams first worked in the Crossroads building in 1987 as a proofreader for the Vail Daily. That’s where she met her husband, David O. Williams.
They joked about the cramped office where reporters huddled in an attic-like corner.
“We had one reporter call OSHA,” Kristin Kenney Williams said.
The office smelled like dirty ski socks, darkroom chemicals and beer hops ” the Hubcap Brewery was downstairs ” she said.
But they were at the center of activity in the village, David O. Williams said.
“It was kind of like back when Vail was really a village,” he said.
Crossroads’ demise will be bittersweet, Kristin Kenney Williams said.
“Definitely, but more sweet than bitter,” she said, adding that Solaris will be a good addition for Vail.
Other Crossroads businesses couldn’t find another location.
“Art’s Bar as we know it is done,” said owner Barry Davis.
The bar, which has garnered a strong local following and renown for its corn dogs over the last three winters, will close later this month.
“It’s Cheers for a lot of lifties,” Davis said.
Sentimental patrons have been sharing memories with him, Davis said.
One customer has an Art’s Bar tattoo. A couple got engaged on the dance floor. Davis is giving away neon signs and pieces of the walls.
Davis and his employees will be out of work after the bar closes later this month, he said.
“It’s going to be really bittersweet,” he said. “It’s hard to explain it. This place has been my life for three years.”
One of Brad Ketelhut’s employees was packing up merchandise on Wednesday at the Englishman, which sells arts and antiques. The Englishman has been in Crossroads for 10 years, and in Vail for 14 years
“We want to stay in Vail,” Ketelhut said. “Vail’s been good to us for 14 years straight.”
And this year has been the best ever for the store, he said.
But there’s aren’t many places to move, Ketelhut said. Rent on Bridge Street is as high as it is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, he said.
Ketelhut is still sorting through the possibilities for the store, but he was confident that the store would find space in Vail eventually.
“The future is kind of full of options right now,” he said.
Solaris will be good for Vail, and Crossroads needed to come down, Ketelhut said.
“This has been an eyesore for two or three years,” he said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.