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Holiday weekend ‘huge’ for Vail

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Parking garages were full and lift lines were long for the holiday weekend, meaning that many local businesses got a mid-January push.

Both Vail and Beaver Creek mountains had cars overflowing onto the Frontage Road and U.S. Highway 6, respectively, and some lodges, restaurants and ski shops reported busy weekends comparable to the New Year’s week rush.

Last-minute bookings ended up filling many Vail lodges to full occupancy.

Sitzmark Lodge General Manager Jeannie Fritch said the Vail hotel was completely booked over the weekend, although, in general, business is down compared to last year.

“We had a fair amount of last-minute reservations. We’re kind of seeing a lot of that,” she said.

Rams-Horn Condominiums across from Golden Peak, which was nearly full, had a mix of visitors from across the country and the world.

“Guests said that the weather was perfect and the snow was good,” said manager Diane Milligan. “It was a good weekend from an occupancy standpoint.”

There are a good number of advance bookings for President’s Day weekend in February and spring break in mid-March, she said ” but there might be the typical, dreaded lull before then.

“The end of January does not look special,” Milligan said.

The Austria Haus Hotel in the village is seeing a similar dropoff in the coming week, but also reported a “huge weekend.”

“We were completely booked up for the whole weekend,” said reservations agent Ruthie Henly. “There were a lot of last-minute people calling in. Usually people make reservations about a month in advance. It was about as busy as New Year’s and Christmas.”

It wasn’t quite Christmas and New Year’s week, but it was still a busy weekend, said Werner Schadl, owner of Lancelot Restaurant in Vail Village.

“Business was really good on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “It was hurting a little on Sunday because of the football game, but it was busy.”

Tap Room general manager Dave Root said that when it wasn’t “sunny and beautiful” and people weren’t out skiing, it was pretty busy.

It was the expected crowd for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, he said.

“I remember a couple of years ago it was really slow,” he said. “This was normal.”

Ski Base in Lionshead was “extremely busy,” said owner Jay Lucas, adding that many people seemed to be looking for good deals and lower rental rates.

“Overall, I think it was busier for us than last year,” he said. “There were lift lines all over the mountain, and we had a lot of last-minute bookings.

Venture Sports in Avon saw a similar scene ” the ski shop had many reservations from people visiting from across the country.

“It was a good chance for people to get away for a few days,” said Lee Poole of Venture Sports. “A lot of people who come out a lot or have a house up here seemed to take advantage of that. It wasn’t quite Christmas, but it was almost as busy as New Year’s for us.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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