Midnight madness creeps into mountains | VailDaily.com

Midnight madness creeps into mountains

Kimberly Nicoletti
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit DailyHundreds of people showed up at midnight at the Outlets at Silverthorne Friday morning for a chance at a free lift ticket to Loveland and the early opening of the stores for Black Friday.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” Summit County got its first taste of midnight madness at 12 a.m. Friday, with the opening of The Outlets at Silverthorne.

Approximately 200 people lined up hoping to get one of the 100 free Loveland Ski Area passes the Outlets gave out at midnight. Paul Olson, from Houston, Texas, and his daughter – self-proclaimed “Outletaholics” – were the first in line for the passes. They arrived in the Green Village parking lot at 10:45, along with about seven others.

“A bunch of us stood around, and circled in the parking lot, and gradually more people came every 15 minutes,” Olson said. The Outlets didn’t open one of the vacant spaces to let people in until about 11:40 p.m. By then, the last of the 100 lucky ones had just arrived.

Olson summed up the atmosphere by saying, “It’s cold. It’s exciting.” And that it was. At 10 seconds to midnight, everyone counted down to the raffle and lift ticket giveaways, and let out a collective holler at midnight.

Jim Jackson, of Denver, had lined up after the Olsons for the free lift ticket, and he was surprised, like others, that so many people showed up in the wee hours of the night.

Unlike the Olsons, who planned on getting their free tote bag at Samsonite, then shopping stores like Eddie Bauer and Columbia, Jackson was mostly in it for the lift ticket.

“I usually like shopping during the daylight,” he said.

Midnight madness came to Summit County after trial runs in other outlet stores that had shown success. Last year, The Outlets at Silverthorne opened at 5 a.m. to about 100 people, said Jayne Esser, marketing director.

By 1 a.m. Friday, parking spaces in the Red and Green villages were sparse, and people milled about, the majority of whom carried at least one purchase with them. Sporting stores such as Great Outdoor Clothing Co. and Columbia seemed to be some of the most popular places, while some other stores stood empty.

The shopping spree lasted throughout the night, and some people went so far as to return before 7 a.m. Friday morning after catching some shut eye, to see if they had won a $25 gift certificate or anything else in the raffle.

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