Newest manhole cover gear is sweet, edible |

Newest manhole cover gear is sweet, edible

Scott N. Miller
Special to the Daily The town of Vail, until Valentine's Day, is giving out manhole cover chocolates to people who buy ... manhole cover jewelry.

VAIL – Is there no end to Vail’s manhole mania? The answer, at least for now, is no.The latest product to cash in on the cachet of Vail’s manhole covers is smaller, lighter, and far less durable than the original product. It’s also sweeter. And edible.Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the town has unveiled chocolates embossed with the Vail manhole cover emblem. The chocolate treats are also the most affordable way yet to indulge in what’s turned from a way to stop vandalism to something of a craze.Replicas of Vail’s manhole covers were first produced to keep people from stealing the ones being used on the town’s streets.That project was a hit, with more than 600 covers sold since 2002. Sales of the 24-inch and eight-inch manhole covers led to last summer’s debut of a line of jewelry that includes bracelets, earrings and cufflinks.

Prices for those trinkets range from $60 to $295, with profits going to the town’s Art in Public Places program.The chocolates go for $5 a box, but they’re also a bonus for people who buy jewelry until Valentines Day. And on Feb. 14, people using the town’s parking garages will get a piece of manhole cover chocolate on their way out.The success of the manhole products – more than $100,000 worth of items have been sold since 2002 – amuses and amazes some in town.”Could I have ever imagined this would be the wild success it’s been? No,” said Nancy Sweeny, chairwoman of the town’s Art in Public Places board. “It’s kind of funny, but it’s cool they’re doing it,” said Munsey Knox of the Moose’s Caboose in Vail Village, a shop known for selling items both valuable and offbeat. “It’s surprised me that manhole covers have sold the way they did.”Sunland Silver owner Marty Stewart is among those who’s been impressed with the way manhole cover items have taken off. Stewart said he’s working to become an outlet for the items.

“It’s a nice, unique thing,” Stewart said. “It helps the town, and helps the businesses. It’s hard to get those things in and out, though.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 613, or Daily, Vail Colorado

Support Local Journalism