Vail businesses see boost from Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships |

Vail businesses see boost from Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships

Scotty James, of Australia, gets inverted above the crowd during the halfpipe finals at the Burton US Open on Saturday at Golden Peak in Vail.
Chris Dillmann |
Four facts:
  • What: The Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships.
  • Events end on March 2.
  • The town of Vail this year contributed $490,000 to the event.
  • For more information, go to

VAIL — It was a busy week at the Manor Vail Lodge, and General Manager Bob McCleary couldn’t be happier.

The Manor Vail is across the street from Golden Peak, the site of the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, which wrapped Saturday. Therefore, it was home base for company officials, media, athletes and others.

“Burton is a good, strong bump in our business,” McCleary said, adding that bump goes from rooms to the bar to the restaurant to catering at the lodge.

Those guests are more than welcome.

“They’re good people; they bring good energy to the property,” McCleary said. “The (other) guests that are here love it.”

Just to the west of Vail Village, the Evergreen Lodge also welcomed a number of people associated with the event.

Evergreen General Manager Brian Butts said about half of that lodge’s rooms had been reserved by Burton employees, sales representatives and others. Between those guests and others coming into town, Butts said the Evergreen had one room available for Thursday, one for Friday and none for Saturday, the last day of the event.

Looking at his own reservations and the action already in Vail, Butts proclaimed it a big visitor weekend. And people who stay in Vail dine and shop in town, too.

Snowboarding royalty in town

The big crowds weren’t limited to the hotels and the halfpipe. The Colorado Snowsports Museum on Wednesday hosted the Chill fundraiser party hosted by Jake and Donna Burton.

Museum director Jen Mason said the party packed the museum. And, she added, she’s seen some younger people taking daytime strolls around the facility.

Mason said the US Open event has continued a busy winter for the museum. But, she added, “it feels like it’s busy” in Vail Village.

Across Meadow Drive from the museum, Buzz Schleper, of Buzz’s Boards, said this year’s US Open crowds seemed more substantial than the past couple of years, adding that a good snow year has put a lot of people into Vail throughout the winter.

“People are in town, people are shopping, and it’s great,” Schleper said.

The US Open is a big venture, and the town of Vail supports it financially. For the 2019 event, the town put $490,000 into the event.

Mason, who’s also a member of the Vail Town Council, said the town gets a good return on its money.

“(The US Open) isn’t just an event,” Mason said, adding that some of the industry’s top buyers and salespeople are in town this week. That helps Vail’s international reputation as a snowboarding destination, she said. She added, people in the next generation of snowsports enthusiasts often ride. The US Open is a good way to introduce those people to Vail.

While the US Open is good for business, not everyone sees a direct benefit.

At the Claggett/Rey Gallery in Vail Village, Maggie Rey said that business doesn’t see an uptick from the snowboard crowd.

While the US Open tends to bring more people to Vail, not many of those people are shopping for fine art while they’re here.

“In general, it’s really kind of status quo,” Rey said. “But we enjoy it, we like to participate … it’s very fun to have here.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at and 970-748-2930.

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