Just another snow day in Vail | VailDaily.com

Just another snow day in Vail

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailySnowboarder Mark McDonald makes some waist-deep powder turns down Prima Cornice Thursday on Vail Mountain in Vail, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Talking about the weather has a whole different meaning when you live in Vail, Colorado.

“Are you skiing today?” and “It’s really coming down,” were the typical comments heard from local residents at the start of Thursday morning, after an overnight storm that brought 12 inches to Vail and 11 inches to Beaver Creek. The snow came after weeks of warm weather, and even more white stuff was predicted for Friday.

The snow continued into the day on Thursday, hitting as far as Denver, where many schools and businesses shut down due to weather. For Vail, however, it was just another snow day. Here’s a look at what was happening around town as winter made a comeback:

Christian Schoning and his daughter Gebina, of Germany, were thrilled to get some powder days during their week-long vacation to Vail.

“It was good,” Christian Schoning said of the snow. “It was wonderful, champagne powder.”

“It’s weird,” Gebina Schoning said. “It’s such a warm day (on Sunday), and a day later, everything is covered in snow. I didn’t expect that.”

At Lionshead Village, Eagle-Vail residents Nick Adler and Julie Kelly each enjoyed a beer before heading up the slopes around one in the afternoon.

“We’d been planning on this happening for the last three days,” said Adler of the powder day. “The snow is exciting. We both had spring fever (the last couple weeks). This caught us off guard.”

At Beaver Creek, ski patrollers were kept busy in the early morning skiing the slopes and doing avalanche prevention.

Potentially hazardous areas such as Royal Elk Glade and the Stone Creek Chutes needed special attention with all the new snow, said patroller Tyler Chapman.

Looking at the snow, Chapman said he felt like a “kid at Christmas again.”

“The morale on patrol definitely goes up when it snows,” he said. “It gets tough being in your gear day in and day out, skiing that melt freeze (in spring conditions.) It was a nice treat for us. These are the days we live for. We all go to the Coyote (Cafe) afterwards and talk about how great the skiing was.”

Others were not so lucky, watching the snow pile up from inside their workplaces.

Randy Zaccardo, manager at Haagen Dazs in Lionshead, battled the icy roads to get into the shop on Thursday morning.

“I got stuck in a parking lot for 10 minutes, then I drove into town at no faster than 30 mph,” he said. “Winter’s back.”

The ice cream shop was a bit quieter than it had been in the past couple weeks, when there was a “line out the door” on some of the warmer days, he said.

The weather came as no surprise to Arrabelle concierge Chip Kamber ” but it did mean a busy morning helping out excited guests and keeping on top of flight schedules.

Most flights continued leaving from the Eagle County Airport Tuesday, although many Denver flights had trouble. Denver International Airport remained open, but most flights out of the airport were canceled due to the weather.

The new snow has brought a new energy to the hotel and its staff, Kamber said.

“I’ve seen the biggest smiles from the guests at apres,” she said. “People were just beaming.”

For others, the new snow was just too tempting to stay in the office all day.

Avon resident Andrea Theriot said the staff at TV8 took a collective ski day, taking turns making some turns at Beaver Creek.

“I had already planned to go today because I knew there was all that snow,” she said. “When I came into work and heard how many inches there were, I thought, “I’m definitely going.'”

Meanwhile, snowplows and the Vail Police were out en masse keeping the roads clear.

While many roads closer to the Front Range were closed, the Vail area was largely without incident except for an accident by Glenwood Springs and temporary closure of the pass for avalanche work.

For town of Vail Transportation Manager Mike Rose, it was business as usual. The snow and rough roads didn’t stop all the bus routes from running on schedule, he said.

“I’ve been here 30 years ,and we’ve only shut down once. It takes a lot more than this to stop us , Rose said. “Twelve years ago we had a blizzard come through here. For about an hour you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. We had to shut down East Vail for about an hour.”

At the mouth of Vail Pass, trucker Joe Jenkins of Schneider National trucking company was chaining up his tires on the side of the road.

“I’ve been getting hit on and off with the weather since Utah,” said Jenkins, who was on the way to Denver. “It hasn’t been too bad so far.”

Things weren’t running quite as smoothly on the Front Range.

Vail Resort’s Broomfield-based corporate offices were shut down as well, citing “blizzard conditions,” said Vail Resorts spokeswoman Amy Kemp.

“While we want everyone who is traveling to be safe and hope they aren’t delayed or inconvenienced too much by Mother Nature, we’re also celebrating this truly epic spring snowstorm that’s being measured in feet, not inches and that it is arriving at a key time,” she said.

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

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