Vail businesses have reason to celebrate spring |

Vail businesses have reason to celebrate spring

Rich tenBraak
Vail, CO, Colorado

Spring is finally here, and besides the good weather, evidence of the end of winter is everywhere.

Ski deals abound at retail shops unloading their winter inventory before displaying summer merchandise. Trying to get a seat outside at a restaurant in the late afternoon is an exercise in futility. A general feeling of merriment is in the air, and though the close of Vail Mountain is looming, Vail business owners still have many reasons to welcome the change of seasons.

The past two weeks of festivities were a fantastic introduction to spring. The World Pond Skimming Championships were, as always, an enjoyable event that hundreds of people came to watch. The much-anticipated Kid Rock concert brought thousands more visitors to town, and local merchants benefited from the boom of people during the day and on into late night. And for those critics of bringing big-name acts to town, Vail police reported a smooth event that yielded a typical number of petty arrests, but caused no serious problems with unruly attendees. These late-season events are great for the town’s economy and reputation, and if anything, Vail needs to focus on bringing more events such as this that increase visibility, press, and visitors in town.

Another traditional mark of the changing season is the annual spring cleanup, which will take place April 28 this year. This popular event is not only important for to spruce up the town and highway, but it’s a fun community event to be involved in, and each year more volunteers participate. Sign-in will begin at 8 a.m. on April 28 at the Donovan Pavilion. Anyone is welcome, and there will be a picnic for all volunteers at 4-Eagle Ranch in Wolcott following the cleanup. All volunteers will also receive a commemorative T-shirt. For more information, call Bill Carlson, town of Vail Environmental Health Officer, at 479-2333.

Don’t forget that your own home may benefit from a bit of spring cleaning as well; curbside pickup of non-hazardous items will occur on April 27. Sign up by Thursday, April 26 with the Vail Public Works Department at 479-2158 by 5:00 p.m. that day.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

If nothing else, locals who work out of the villages can be thankful for the end of paid parking on Monday, April 23, a perk that coincides with the beginning of more sporadic town bus schedules. Although we encourage you to use the bus system as often as possible, soon begins the luxury of easily found parking spots.

Most exciting to the chamber this upcoming season are the number of businesses remaining open for the spring and summer seasons. Despite construction, through the initial research the chamber has compiled on business hours of operation, we are pleased to report that more retail and restaurants will be open than in previous years during this time.

This trend is encouraging for a number of reasons, primarily because business owners are anticipating better numbers this year in terms of visitors. Second, to keep visitor interest in Vail a priority, we must continue to provide them with a sense of community cohesiveness. The chamber has had much interest in a discounted advertising opportunity offered by us, the town of Vail, and the Vail Daily; if your business is staying open during the spring season, contact the chamber at 477-0075 regarding a great advertising opportunity.

All in all, these changes of season provide a sense of melancholy as we put our winter toys away and prepare for what some believe is the main reason for staying in Vail, summer. Soon we’ll see just what it means to spend summer in the Rockies, which for the most part is a little more laid back than the winter. So dust off those bikes, golf clubs and tennis rackets, put on your shorts, sandals and sun screen, and prepare for another season in paradise.

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