Gear and trips popular in Vail Valley over holiday weekend |

Gear and trips popular in Vail Valley over holiday weekend

NWS Labor day weekend 1 KA 9-3-11

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – On a drippy Tuesday, Adam Hart looked out the window of the Double Diamond ski shop in Lionshead and saw a “rainy ghost town.” But the days before had been something special.

Hart, who works at the Double Diamond, said the sport shop in Lionshead had been bustling throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“We had all our rental bikes out on Saturday and Sunday,” Hart said. “The hill (Vail Mountain) was really busy over the weekend.

In Edwards, Jim Gabriel of Ptarmigan Sports said his shop had a busy weekend, too. The store held its annual summer clearance sale over the weekend, but Gabriel said this year’s event was bigger than the one last year.

“We had people standing in line down past (a restaurant down the street)” Gabriel said. “The checkout lines were longer this year, too.”

At Alpine River Outfitters, guide Joe Montoya said that shop had a bustling weekend, too, both for guided trips and for visitors who needed to rent gear for an afternoon on local streams.

Overall, Montoya said the summer’s been a good one. “We started a little slower because the streams were so high, but it’s evolved into a great season,” he said.

Summer overall has been busy, and people seem a bit more willing to spend than they have the last couple of years.

Nikki Heiden, co-owner of the Main Street Grill in Edwards, said she’s noticed that customers are back to ordering full meals instead of appetizers, and people are starting to buy wine and drinks, too.

Gabriel said he’s noticed that trend, too.

“The higher-ticket items are moving again,” Gabriel said. “Shoes have been huge this year. The running craze seems to have picked up a lot of momentum.”

While Ptarmigan is located outside the valley’s resorts, Gabriel said the store has seen plenty of visitors this summer, particularly thanks to events and tournaments that have come to the valley this year.

Heiden said she’s noticed the additional business, too.

“We were just packed for the Tough Mudder races earlier this summer,” she said. “And we saw people from the bike events, too.”

In Lionshead, Hart said the Double Diamond’s sales had picked up over the last couple of years. But, he said the biggest boost this summer was bike rentals.

“It’s just great to see people out enjoying the mountain,” he said.

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