Town’s teeming with lacrosse tourney athletes |

Town’s teeming with lacrosse tourney athletes

Veronica Whitney
Dominique Taylor/Vail Daily Cherry Creek lacrosse players watch as they are narrowly defeated in overtime by Baltimore, 7-6, Wednesday in Edwards.

EAGLE COUNTY – If you tried to get a latte at Starbucks in Avon Thursday, you most likely had to wait for a parking spot first. The coffee shop was mobbed by dozens of girls wearing their lacrosse shirts.”We’ve had a pretty busy morning,” said Myra Gonzalez, one of the “baristas” who prepares the coffee drinks. “We had lots of people from the lacrosse tournament here, but I heard there are even more in Vail.”In the next days, about 2,000 athletes from across the country – some 100 teams – will visit the Vail Valley to participate in the Vail Lacrosse Shootout, a national lacrosse tournament that started this week and ends July 5.The tournament, which has been going on for more than two decades, is now spreading from Vail downvalley. This means other towns are reaping the profits of this event, happening just as the summer season begins.”The last two nights have been pretty big,” said Brad Dippy, manager of the Gore Range Brewery in Edwards. “Huge groups and families have been coming in.”

On Thursday night, Dippy said the restaurant served 300 dinners, about 100 more than what they would usually do at this time of the year.”It’s great that the tournament has spread out and now everybody can benefit from it,” Dippy added.Michelle Secor, who runs the women’s tournament, said athletes are staying across the valley in hotels, condos and time shares. The tournament has grown from a six-man team tournament to a 100-team competition, she added.The Inn at Riverwalk, for example, was full Friday morning.”About 50 percent of our guests are related to the lacrosse tournament,” said Nathan Hall, who works at the Edwards hotel. “The tournament is definitely good for business.”

In Avon, the Comfort Inn was also full Friday.”About 30 percent of our occupants are related to the lacrosse tournament,” said Andre Santos, who works at the hotel.”We have about 60 people participating in the tournament,” he said. “They get groups rates.”Those competing in the supermasters competition also bring their families, making it a week-long vacation, Secor said.”A lot of them set rafting trips, go golfing, rent bikes, go up the mountain. They play one or two games a day and then they do other stuff,” she said. “It’s a real vacation.”

Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or Vail, Colorado

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