It was a great season in the Vail Valley |

It was a great season in the Vail Valley

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

We get a lot of information through our office. With nearly 800 members from Denver to Glenwood, we get a wide range of opinions, from “We did well this year” to “It was a terrible year,” and everything in between.

But, as the snow melts and the temperature climbs and the traffic gets lighter, I’d like to forget all that for a moment and just reflect on what it was like to live here this winter.

It was wonderful. The snow brought us more than our usual quota of houseguests and though, like I’m sure most of you have encountered, some of them were high maintenance, we partied hard and laughed our butts off and were very glad to see them head back down the hill.

The skiing was, once again, awesome. There were some dark and foggy days to be sure, but there were plenty of days when the Gore Range was resplendent in sunshine and crowned with wisps of drifting snow and light so bright even goggles weren’t quite enough to mediate the squint factor.

The food and drink were exceptional as always and I discovered a new grappa that stuck to my soul… thanks, Liz. I grew up in Chicago where the neighborhood restaurants present cuisine from around the world in a family atmosphere and where the end of the night meant getting toasted with the chef (usually Papa) and the maitre de (usually Mama) and closing the joint down with strong coffee and some of their favorite under-the-counter hooch, usually something deep and exotic and unforgettable. Same here and it always makes the frosty walk to the transportation center effortless.

We did some shopping, too, and never have the folks in the stores been more accommodating.

To finish the season, when the shuttle bus from East Vail was so crowded it didn’t seem there was any hope for riders at the last two stops to board, our wonderful driver, Theresa, urged the folks to “pack to the back” and got everyone on. She then told us we were “the best riders of the year.” That got a big cheer from everyone and we happily put toe to toe and butts to boards and made it work.

All in all, with all the gnarly business stuff we had to worry about all year, it was still a great season to live and play in Vail and, when it got a little nuts around the resort, the great shops and restaurants in Avon, Edwards and Eagle gave us plenty of great fun, great service and new experiences to keep it fresh. Juan at French Press is so friendly, in fact, I almost didn’t get to eat the last time we saw him. But that’s OK ” sandwiches come and go, but his stories about fly-fishing in Argentina are solid gold.

So, good job, folks. It’s no wonder that a record number of business made our “Destination Experience ” Platinum Service Program” 90 percent list this year. I’ll have more on that later. For now, enjoy the lull. We all know it’s going to be a great big summer. Big business or a little less, we’re on it.

Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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