Vail gets a Snow Daze boost |

Vail gets a Snow Daze boost

Scott N. Millersmiller@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Were last weekend’s crowds due to Snow Daze, or just great snow? Whatever the answer, Vail businesses are pretty happy heading toward Christmas.”It was a very busy weekend – we were at full capacity and there were lines at the door,” said James Frese of the Red Lion.Some of the town’s shops were busy, too. At Valbruna on Meadow Drive, Mike Moore said the store was “quite busy” all weekend. Like others, he wasn’t sure if the crowds were on hand for the concerts, the snow or some of both. But that’s not important.”If (people) are here, it’s good,” Moore said.But, Moore added, a friend of his came to town just for Friday’s Dwight Yoakam show, and knew other people who came in for a weekend of music and skiing.Highline Sports & Entertainment, which booked and promoted the shows, was still nailing down crowd counts Monday, but company public relations director Kelly Paton said the Ford Park concert site was full to capacity for Saturday and Sunday’s shows. The Friday show wasn’t quite full, due to heavy snow in Vail and the closure of parts of Interstate 70 between Denver and Vail for several hours.West Vail Liquor Mart co-owner Tom Mullen flew into Denver Friday night, checked the road reports and immediately checked into a hotel for the night. He hit the road early Saturday and was back in Vail by about 9 a.m.Mullen said he very rarely is westbound on the interstate at that time on a weekend, and was surprised by what he saw:”There was a lot of skier traffic coming up,” Mullen said. “When I came through town, there was a line of traffic about a half-mile long getting off at the main Vail exit.”At West Vail Liquor Mart, Mullen said the customer numbers for the past week were up slightly from the same period last year.”It seems to have been a nice draw,” Mullen said. In Lionshead, Double Diamond Ski Shop general manager Matt Carroll said the store had a busy weekend, too.”We’re definitely doing a bigger volume than we did last year,” Carroll said. Of course, there’s a lot more snow on the mountain than there was this time last year.”Between the Snow Daze hype and the snow, there are a lot of people coming to town,” he said.And the early-season buzz has local businesses looking forward to Christmas. With Christmas day falling on Saturday, people seem to be booking either the week before or after the holiday.Mountain Haus General Manager Steve Hawkins said the weekend just past was booked solid, and so is the Christmas holiday. While Mountain Haus customers usually book a little more in advance, Hawkins said the few cancellations last weekend were snapped up immediately.The snow has other businesses looking forward to an old-fashioned Vail Christmas, with snow on the ground and people in town.”I think it’s going to be a good Christmas,” Carroll said. Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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