New restaurant coming to Mid-Vail |

New restaurant coming to Mid-Vail

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyThe restaurant that will be built at Mid-Vail will be situated just below the Look Ma run. It is expected to open for the 2011-12 season.

VAIL, Colorado – A national economic slump isn’t stopping Vail Resorts from investing in its mountain resorts, and Vail Mountain is getting a lot of that love this year.

Vail Mountain’s brand new High Noon Express Lift is being constructed this summer and will be open for business as soon as the Back Bowls open this winter, but Vail Resorts is also working on another new addition – a brand new upscale-casual, full service restaurant at Mid-Vail.

Vail Resorts is finishing the underground utilities work this summer, as well as laying the foundation for the restaurant. It’s scheduled to open for the 2011-12 season.

The only table-service public restaurant at Vail now is Bistro 14, which isn’t necessarily in the right location, said Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Chris Jarnot.

People tend to start their ski days on the western side of the mountain and work their way east, leaving many people who want to sit down at a full-service restaurant without any options.

“We don’t have much of that at all, and that’s where the need and demand is,” Jarnot said. “Guests have been telling us for years they need this.”

The public restaurant will operate during the ski season only, and could potentially open up for summer wedding or group business someday, Jarnot said.

Reservations will be accepted, and Jarnot expects the restaurant to sell out with reservations probably about 10 to 12 times per season.

Part of the reason Vail’s Two Elk restaurant, a self-service restaurant at the top of Vail’s China Bowl, is so popular is because a vast majority of Vail skiers and snowboarders are far too east of Eagle’s Nest by lunchtime, Jarnot said.

The new Mid-Vail restaurant was part of a larger Forest Service approval that came late last year, which also included approval of Vail’s new High Noon Express chairlift, approval of a new maintenance facility on the mountain and expanded snowmaking on the Simba trail.

Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz said Wednesday that the company has to remain a leader in the effort to constantly improve because it’s a way to build loyalty with its guests. The company spent $75 million to $85 million this summer alone on improvements at its five resorts.

“You have to continue to show you’ll improve the experience,” Katz said.

The new Mid-Vail restaurant should do exactly that, Jarnot said.

The atmosphere will be warm and cozy, and dining room floor-to-ceiling windows will feature views of the Gore Range. There will also be a bar and lounge area, as well as the full-service dining room.

Decor will be mountain modern, with natural, yet contemporary finishes.

“It’s unlike anything else we’ve got on the mountain,” Jarnot said. “I think it’s going to be amazing.”

The new restaurant will be located in the flat area to the northeast of the current Mid-Vail restaurant, and northwest of the Chairs 3 and 4 entrances.

Jarnot said the location is perfect because it’s an area that doesn’t get skied much – it’s east of the slow-down gates and off the beaten path from nearby ski runs. The Look Ma run is directly behind the site, Jarnot said.

“We went up there in the winter and there were no tracks through where the footprint of the building will be,” Jarnot said.

The work done this summer will be covered by snow in the winter and invisible to guests, he said. As soon as the mountain closes next spring, work will quickly begin in order to complete the building by the start of the 2011-12 ski season.

There’s no word yet on what the menu will look like or the price range of the food and beverages – that information should come next fall, Jarnot said.

“This year is just the first step,” he said.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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