Snow helped bring guests to Vail, Beaver Creek over Thanksgiving weekend
On the calendar
Thanksgiving isn’t usually a valley-filler, but a handful of holiday weekends do bring throngs of people.
Dec. 19: Winter flights begin at the Eagle County Regional Airport.
Dec. 25: Christmas Day. Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Tuesdays this year.
Jan. 19-21: Martin Luther King birthday holiday weekend.
Feb. 16-18: Presidents Day weekend.
EAGLE COUNTY — Marketing campaigns work a lot better when nature provides some snow.
Local businesses report a good-to-decent weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday, driven in large part by good early-season snow.
That snow helped fill the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek for the holiday. There, General Manager Mark Herron said the hotel was sold out for much of the weekend. The entire week starting Monday, Nov. 19, was a good one, Herron said.
“It’s the best it’s been in the past couple of years,” Herron said.
Beaver Creek opening early — on Saturday, Nov. 17 — helped drive business to the hotel.
Herron said Thanksgiving at the Hyatt generally sees a good number of families coming regardless of snow conditions.
“Where we pick up the difference is if we have good snow and lots of (ski) terrain,” he added.
At Beaver Creek’s Coyote Cafe, owner Jeff Forbes said the weekend was “quite a bit better than last year,” adding that the resort’s early opening was helpful.
“Everybody was happy with the snow, especially on Sunday (Nov. 25),” Forbes said.
In Vail, the Four Seasons hotel reported being about 80 percent filled. Resort manager Ekrem Koroglu said a number of guests made last-minute bookings, thanks to a combination of good early snow and better rates than the Christmas holiday season.
Aside from a lot of people in the hotel, Koroglu noted that the Four Seasons’ restaurants had their highest-ever number of reservations for holiday dinners. The hotel also hosted a dinner for first responders in Vail.
“We’re very excited about the snow,” Koroglu said. “We’re off to a good start.”
‘Everyone’s excited for skiing’
While lodging reservations were good at two of the valley’s largest hotels, it was more like business as usual at Troy’s Ski Shop in Vail Village.
There, store employee Kyle St. Charles said business was “OK” over the holiday weekend.
“We weren’t slammed, but we’re a much smaller store,” St. Charles said.
Still, that store is doing a “decent” business in board tuning work. The store is also seeing steady ski equipment sales.
“Everyone’s excited for skiing,” St. Charles said, adding that people buying gear and tuning their old boards is a good indicator of the season to come.
At Vail’s parking structures, though, business was about on par for a normal Thanksgiving — fairly slow. But Vail parking and transit manager Mike Rose said even the relatively light business in the town’s parking structure was still a lot better than Thanksgiving weekend in 2017. Vail Mountain hadn’t yet opened for the season yet last year.
Told that 2017 set a low bar for parking revenue, Rose replied, “Last year the bar was so low it was buried in the dirt.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 970-748-2930.
The graduates of Vail Mountain School’s class of 2019 will be off to far-flung destinations next fall, set to enter college in one of 16 different states or explore the world on a gap year. One grad is even attending college in Canada.