Searching for Singles |

Searching for Singles

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO, Colorado
Illustration by Amanda Swanson

Ask local singles about the dating scene in the valley, and some respond with a shudder.

“I would describe it as scary,” 27-year-old Cordillera resident Mariah Loud said. “Boys in this town need to man up and treat women with respect.”

Her gripe?

Rather than charming ladies with conversation, guys simply “expect to go to the club and get some,” she said.

In a town fabled for its dude-heavy population, some ladies say they still struggle to unearth dating prospects.

There’s no denying that the guys are out there; Even the online encyclopedia “Wikipedia” picked up on the fact that Vail, as a ski town, attracts more men than women. The town “is rumored to have an 8-to-1 male-to-female ratio among the young ‘ski bums’ working at the resorts,” the Web site notes.

The 2000 census suggests a less drastic gap in Eagle County or 126 men for every 100 women over age 18. Whatever the figures, local mythology claims an influx of goofballs spoils the man selection. Women here have adopted the mantra: “The odds are good but the goods are odd.”

Meanwhile, guys complain of a chick shortage.

“There are great girls up here but it’s hard to find good single ones,” 24-year-old Vail Bachelor Rieff Anawalt said.

That may be true, but we at the Vail Daily think we can find them. We’re looking up valley, down valley and everywhere in between for the most intriguing bachelors and bachelorettes in our thriving singles scene.

Are you one of them?

Swing by Loaded Joe’s in Avon on Friday, Nov. 2, to nominate yourself or a friend. We’ll ask you some questions and snap your photo. Over the next few weeks, a panel of Vail Daily staffers and former contest winners will narrow the field to the top five men and top five women.

If you win, you’ll play a role in helping a local charity. We’ll auction off a date with you and give the proceeds to an honorable cause. In exchange for your good deed, you and your date will receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Plus, we’ll splash your adorable face in the paper and write a feature on you.

But wait a second ” how will we know you’re a winner?

Loud, who has been single since June and agreed to participate in our contest, says we shouldn’t put too much stock in looks. Well, except for the hair. “The hair should be a factor,” she said. “How it looks: Is it cut? Is it clean? Did they brush it today?” she said.

If their locks pass the test, we should judge guys on their hygiene and definition of a good date, she suggested.

Anawalt says manners should count for both sexes.

“Making sure etiquette is there, that both of them know how to present themselves in public, act at the dinner table,” he said.

Hmm, you’re thinking. I always place my napkin on my lap, my hair is combed and I’m prime beef. The contest sounds appealing but I’m not sure whether I want to take the plunge.

If you decide to participate, know you’ll be in good company. We received more than 80 nominees for the Vail Trail’s similar contest last fall and the candidates were so compelling, we struggled to whittle them down. Readers eventually picked Mason Miller, then 25 and a manager at Loaded Joe’s, along with Kate McAtavey, then 29 and a Beaver Creek ski patroller.

Former nominee Monica McCafferty, a 28-year-old West Vail resident, said she had just moved to town when she participated in the contest last year, and it helped her to build connections.

“I was putting myself out there, which is something I typically don’t do, and I was admitting to myself that I was willing to open up a little bit more,” she said.

A year after earning a spot in our top five bachelorettes, she remains “single and hopeful.”

Although the contest didn’t generate tons of dates, she enjoyed recognition around town and even fielded the occasional catcall at Starbucks. Her advice to bachelorette hopefuls:

“I would say, there’s nothing to lose. If anything, I think you’ll find something out about yourself,” she said. “In a town as small as this, I think that the locals year-round, we do tend to embrace each other and it’s a fun thing. As long as you take things with a humbleness and can laugh anything off, it’s a great experience.”

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