July 4 is Vail’s busiest day of the year | VailDaily.com

July 4 is Vail’s busiest day of the year

Lauren Glendenning
lglendenning@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

NWS 4th July Visitors DT 7-2-11

VAIL – The Fourth of July is the busiest day of the year in Vail – not bad for a ski town.

There were about 35,000 people in Vail for the 2010 Vail America Days parade. Cars filled the 2,500 parking spaces in the two village parking structures, and there were about 900 cars parked along South Frontage Road.

Based on the number of people in town Saturday and Sunday, this year’s numbers also will be big.

Vail Village and Lionshead were packed with visitors over the weekend, doing everything from scenic gondola rides to miniature golf to riding bikes along the Gore Creek recreation path.

And more importantly, visitors in Vail this weekend were spending money on bike rentals, rafting trips, meals in restaurants and souvenirs or other retail items. The weekend is a big economic boost for the town and local businesses.

With weather in the 70s and clear, blue skies and endless recreation opportunities, it’s obvious why people love coming here in July.

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Howard Braverman, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has a home in Eagle-Vail and said he’s here this time of year because of the weather – it’s sunny and not too hot. Fort Lauderdale was hovering around 90 degrees this weekend with high humidity.

License plates in the parking garages were from all over – California, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri – the list goes on.

Tricia Hemsky, of Littleton, is in Vail with her family for their third consecutive Fourth of July weekend. The Hemsky family loves the parade and spending time at the attractions on the top of the mountain.

“We like (Vail) because you don’t have to drive a car. You can just park and walk everywhere,” Hemsky said.

Hemsky was highly recommending the parade to Los Angeles visitor Eric Binder while they stood in line for gondola tickets in Lionshead on Saturday morning. She told Binder the parade is an “amazing” time.

Binder traveled to Vail to visit some close friends who live here and plans to spend the holiday weekend eating and watching fireworks.

Jason Nash, of Fort Worth, Texas, and his wife picked Vail “out of the blue,” he said. They were having a good time doing “kid stuff” on top of Vail Mountain and in town throughout the weekend.

Vail is heavily marketing the town and ski resort as popular summer destinations, and out-of-state visitors such as the Nashes, who are staying at The Antlers at Vail, are the ideal visitors.

They stay in hotels for longer periods of time, shop more and dine out more than day-trippers from the Front Range or other nearby regions.

During the Fourth of July holiday weekend in 2010, visitors stayed an average of more than five nights, spending about $656 on lodging, on average.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.