Holiday weekend busy at Beaver Creek, ‘pretty good’ at Vail |

Holiday weekend busy at Beaver Creek, ‘pretty good’ at Vail

Scott N. MillerVail, CO, Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyRain didn't ruin Memorial Day weekend for Vail Valley businesses

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado Despite the drippy skies, Brian Nolan and Matt Morgan had pretty good holiday weekends.Morgan and Nolan are Vail Valley restaurant owners. Morgan is the boss at Sweet Basil in Vail Village. Nolan owns the Chophouse restaurants in Vail and Beaver Creek, among others. Both reported seeing quite a few people both inside and outside their restaurants over the Memorial Day weekend.Beaver Creek seemed to be the busier place, thanks to the Blues Brews & Barbecue events over the weekend.It seemed to be really well-attended Saturday, Nolan said. Sunday there were less people, but I was still surprised at the people who came out.Chris Romer, sales and marketing director for the Vail Valley Partnership, went to Beaver Creek Saturday for the beer tasting, and said he was pleasantly surprised at what he saw.There were a lot of people there, and the kids area was packed, Romer said. I was really encouraged to see people up there.The weather, of course, played a big part in keeping down crowds at Beaver Creek on Sunday, but in addition to crowds on the plaza for food and music, several hundred people were at Gerald R. Ford Hall for the annual Colorado microbrew tasting event.Scott Gubrud, the sales and marketing director at the Park Hyatt at Beaver Creek, said about 600 people not counting brewery representatives were on hand for the event. Thats a little down from last year, Gubrud said, but not by much.A lot of those people took advantage of lodging specials the Hyatt was running. Gubrud didnt have any firm occupancy numbers, but said anecdotal evidence indicated that a lot of guests stayed just one or two nights this year instead of two or three.Friday didnt seem quite a strong, he said.And, if the numbers from the valleys Web site for last-minute lodging are any indication, people are making their travel decisions later than ever this year.Romer said numbers from the Vail on Sale Web site for May are actually up more than 30 percent from May of last year. But Romer was quick to add that those numbers reflect only people who are using the site. While hotel occupancy for the first quarter of this year is off, Romer said Vail on Sales numbers have been up.That may be especially true with summer traffic. Romer said summer tourists traditionally book rooms closer to their travel dates than skiers, but said that trend is becoming more pronounced this year. People this summer may literally be booking rooms Wednesday for a weekend stay, he said. Even the improvement in last-minute reservations for May might not be worth much in the way of bragging rights.May was awful last year, Morgan said. A combination of Easter falling in March of last year, the ski hills closing a bit earlier than normal and snowfall that lingered into June combined to make last spring a dud, Morgan said. This Memorial Day, though, Morgan said both the restaurant and Vail Village seemed to have plenty of people around.People are still being conservative with their spending, though, Morgan said. Still, after talking to his neighbors in the village, Morgan said the weekend was pretty good in Vail.And this year, pretty good is all right, he said.Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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