Vail Chamber column: Vail has become a much sought-after summer destination |

Vail Chamber column: Vail has become a much sought-after summer destination

Stephanie Pulkrabek
Vail Chamber
Stephanie Pulkrabek

This is truly one of the best times of the year, especially now as the summer season continues to flourish; Vail has become a much sought-after summer destination resort. Family vacations — that’s what brought me to Colorado.

My first impressions: It was a snowy day in December 1994, vacationing from Minnesota with my family, when I first drove over Vail Pass. The streets were covered with more snow than you can imagine, with people skiing down Bridge Street, and who could forget the horse-drawn carriages with happy people everywhere. There was not one place I went where the service workers were not eager to assist. That was it; I was hooked. I fell in love with Vail Village that very first visit.

As the years have passed, I have witnessed the development and growth in Vail, watching this amazing village thrive and become Vail Village. I am in awe every day I look up and see the Gore Range out my door.

Long gone are the snow-packed streets with horse-drawn sleighs. What we see today is a well-thought-out design with outstanding architecture that embellishes every little nook and cranny of this village.

Recently, I met a family whose father said he had a life-altering experience that came over him while exploring the village. It was like he was seeing what I saw when I first came to Vail 23 years ago. He was hooked.

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That same week, I found myself sitting at a fundraiser table with some of the most wonderful longtime locals. The token male at a table full of women had spent his time marketing Vail for years. We joked that he did too good of a job. These women and men who built the foundation of this town have always amazed and inspired me.

This summer, there is a celebration that will bring together the people behind the launch of Vail. It is called Pioneer Weekend and happens every five years. This year, it falls on Sept. 22-24. Anyone who lived or worked in Vail prior to 1983 is welcome to attend.

Many attendees still live here, but many travel back just for this weekend every five years. I know they will be impressed with how much has changed but how the spirit of Vail remains the same. I look forward to hearing their stories and being able to support the ever-growing and changing Vail community.

If you want more information about Pioneer weekend as a participant or community partner, then visit under the “Signature Events” tab, or call 970-477-0075. Rumor has it that some old film reels have been unearthed from the iconic bar, The Slope (who remembers?), and are being converted into a digital format for a special screening on Pioneer Weekend.

Stephanie Pulkrabek is the general manager of Nina McLemore Vail located on Gore Creek Drive. She is a member of the Vail Chamber and Business Association Board. The Vail Chamber and Business Association is a business advocacy group in Vail and a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. For more information, call 970-477-0075 or email

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