Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – A pub crawl doesn’t mean that one has to “crawl” from bar to bar. Save that for the trek home at the end of the night.
After 22 years, the Bridge Street Pub Crawl is still popular among local residents. On Tuesdays in October and November, bars along Bridge Street in Vail (The Club, The George, The Red Lion, Samana Lounge, The Tap Room and Vendetta’s) participate in the pub crawl and offer drink specials, with one bar being the official host each week. Punch cards are given out at every bar. When someone fills up a punch card by going to all six bars, he or she can enter to win the drawing held at midnight at the host bar. Every week, an Epic Pass ski pass is given out, along with other prizes, such as tickets to the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Avalanche, skis and snow gear and swag from sponsors: Budweiser, Jagermeister, Red Bull, American Heritage Vodka and the Vail Daily.
Dave “Bone” Chapin, partial owner of Vendetta’s, initially started the pub crawl along with two others in the hopes of creating more interest in the local establishments.
“Me, Tim Goff and Dave Wilson were sitting around one day in early October, this was back when Vail really had no business in the offseason,” Chapin said. “We said, ‘What can we do to generate some business?’ We wanted to get the people who were coming into town, get them familiar with our bar scene. That’s kind of how it started.”
Since then, the pub crawl has become a Tuesday night staple for the Bridge Street clubs and bars. A 2007 Vail Daily article reported that the pub crawl had slowed down in the past few years, but Chapin said that due to the Epic Pass prize, the event is now just as popular as ever. Chapin also said the pub crawl is not about drinking, and one does not need to have a drink at each bar to get a card punch for the prizes. Chapin thinks that the pub crawl helps new people get familiar with the local scene.
“It’s really not about sales,” Chapin said. “For us, it’s more about getting people used to coming into the village, (giving) people the opportunity to see each bar.”
That way, as Chapin sees it, they can recommend one of the bars they visited to tourists in town this winter season.
Eagle-Vail resident Cassi MacUmber has attended the pub crawl a few times and likes that there’s a little night life still going on during the offseason.
“After the summer ends, the town is dead,” MacUmber said. “It’s always nice when the pub crawl starts up; it’s a great kickoff to winter. It gets everyone excited for the season again.”
For both owners and bar hoppers, the pub crawl is yet another opportunity to mingle and reconnect with friends, with the added bonus of a possible prize at the end of the night.
“I think the (best) part is just meeting the new people in town,” Chapin said. “I really enjoy watching the elation when people win a ski pass; I like seeing people get excited about winning anything. When they come out to the pub crawl, they have a chance to win something.”
Rosanna Turner is a freelance writer based in Vail. Email comments about this story to email@example.com.