Vail community picnic draws hundreds |

Vail community picnic draws hundreds

Scott N. Miller

VAIL — It usually takes a powder day or great concert to force overflow parking at an event in Vail. Tuesday, burgers were the draw.

The town of Vail and City Market on Tuesday hosted the first of the town’s annual summer picnics, this one at the Donovan Pavilion. This is the 14th summer of the town picnics, and, like most town traditions, word has spread there’s a complimentary lunch available.

Standing in line, Vail resident Sue Dugan wondered if she had time to get in and out of the event and still get a room in her home painted today. But, expecting to run into people she knows, Dugan said she did put on a paint-free shirt before coming over.

Dugan said she follows the town government pretty closely, so she mostly came to the picnic for a meal.

Just behind Dugan in line were Jen and Adam Harrison, who also just came for a mid-day break.

“We just wanted to take a break from work, and enjoy a picnic,” Adam Harrison said. And, walking to their car after lunch, Jen Harrison said the couple did run into several people they know.

That’s what the picnics are for — a chance to take a break and chat with friends and neighbors. Town officials didn’t have any presentations to make, although a suggestion board was set up at the entrance. The board filled a couple of pages with suggestions both old and new.

Trying to cut interstate noise dates back to roughly the day Interstate 70 started running all four lanes through town. Slowing down traffic on Matterhorn Circle — or any other town street — is also an evergreen topic. Better Internet service in West Vail is, of course, a relatively recent suggestion.

Some of those suggestions were written down by council member Susie Tjossem, who jotted down notes on the large sheets of paper as she got them.

Most of the rest of the council was working the room, too. Mayor Andy Daly and council members Ludwig Kurz, Greg Moffet and Kerry Donovan were all spotted chatting with residents. Town employees were invited to the picnic, of course, and people from carpenters to department heads all helped themselves to lunch served up by co-workers.

Wandering from table to table, Donovan said she had heard some good suggestions from residents — “If you aren’t hearing new ideas then you aren’t doing your job,” she said.

The best one Donovan said she’d heard so far was from a resident who had recently been to Montreal.

“They have mobile information booths there,” Donovan said. “They just roll up to places people are and set up. We could do that.”

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2939 or at

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