Sea change at ski slopes |

Sea change at ski slopes

NWS Vail4 SM 4-24

VAIL – On Sunday, the lifts ran, and Vail was filled with skiing revelers dressed as such things as a giant banana, Snow White and mariachi singers.

On Monday, the lifts didn’t run, and Vail was filled with construction workers in orange vests and high-schoolers in business suits. “It’s kind of eerie,” said Scott Banjac, who works at Christy Sports, which has already closed for the spring and will reopen in June.He was getting the store ready Monday for its summer mountain-bike rental operation as a few other employees milled around the dismantled store.”All you want to do is go up for Chair 2 laps during lunchtime,” Banjac said.

The signs were already up in the windows of shuttered stores and restaurants: “Thanks for a great season” and “See you in June.” Construction workers did not waste any time getting started in Vail. Big holes were being dug on Gore Creek Drive and at Checkpoint Charlie and the din of drilling reverberated through town.

Businesses that stayed open were seeing a good stream of customers, both from construction workers and the Future Business Leaders of America conference, which brought hundreds of high-schoolers to town for a three-day stay.Zez Ready, 17, of Winter Park, in Vail for the conference, was wandering the village with some future businesswomen.

“The fact that everything’s closed is kind of a bummer,” he said.Tracy Long of Blizzard’s Mountain Deli said business was steady Monday. The business leader conference had brought 25 customers by mid-afternoon, she said.

“We expected to snooze all day long today and we have not,” she said.About a dozen professional-looking teenagers filled bus driver Cheryl Roberts’ in-town shuttle. She expected it to really quiet down after the business leaders group leaves today.”That’s when I commandeer people, and you have to do two or three loops and talk to me,” she said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or, Colorado

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