Vail holiday curfew has become routine
After three years, Vail’s town curfew appears to be no big deal.Enacted amid some controversy in 2001, the town’s “event district” and teen curfew ordinances are aimed specifically at cutting underage drinking and mischief, as well as reducing crowd sizes in Vail Village on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.The measures seem to have worked on both counts.Fewer extra officers will be brought in to help control the crowds in the village this year, Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger said. Only about 25 extra officers are set to aid town police Sunday, down from more than 100 hired a few years ago. There are actually two ordinances in place. The first prohibits those under 21 from entering the Bridge Street, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Adults will receive wristbands at checkpoints entering the center of the village. The other ordinance is a town-wide curfew for teens 17 and younger. “There was a lot of back and forth about it the first year,” Vail Business and Chamber Association President Steve Rosenthal said. “There was a lot less the second year, and I think there will be a lot less this year.”Rosenthal’s guess seemed to be on the money. Henninger said except for queries from this newspaper and a Denver TV station, he hadn’t heard anything about the curfew so far this summer.”(The rules) make it easier on our business,” Red Lion co-owner Jennifer Long said. “We’ve supported it.”One of the main concerns that led to the curfew was the sheer mass of people on that have mobbed Bridge Street on past holidays. “I had an escape route planned out. Really,” Vendetta’s manager Dave Chapin said.”My main concern was injuries,” he added, “and the potential for someone to get seriously hurt, or, God forbid, killed.”The now-familiar rules have had their intended effect, Chapin said, making the village a far more civilized place on the two biggest holidays of the year. “All in all it’s benefited everybody,” Chapin said. “People can come to the Village with their families and kids seem to show a little more respect.”Chapin said he hopes someday a curfew isn’t needed. Until then, though, he and other village business owners seem pleased to have a good crowd, not an unruly throng.==============The rules:A four-block area of Vail Village will be off-limits to anyone younger than 21, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, from 10:30 p.m. Sunday, July 4 through 5 a.m. on Monday, July 5.A town-wide curfew for teens age 17 and younger will be in effect during the same period.For adults, no open containers of alcoholic beverages are allowed on the street.For more information, call 479-2200.=================
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