Vail retailers banking on Solaris
August 5, 2010
VAIL, Colorado – Solaris in Vail might be the new place in town, but many businesses are already counting on the development to be the biggest hotspot in town.
Retail tenants have been opening for business at Solaris over the last month, many of which already have a Vail location or have decided to close another location in order to relocate to Solaris.
“I think it will be the new center of town,” said Rob Shay, manager at Betteridge jewelers. “It’s a beautiful new building and there will be a lot of people there.”
Shay said the Betteridge location in Vail Village, just across from Sweet Basil, will remain open for now, but probably not in the long run. Betteridge is also closing its Beaver Creek location this September.
Solaris is opening at a time when business owners will try just about anything to increase business. Monthly sales tax revenues in the town have been up and down this year, and were significantly down last year compared to the previous year. Many stores have closed down for good.
Other stores are simply trying something new, and owners think Solaris could be the answer to better business. Business owners in stores and restaurants near Solaris have also said in recent months they’re excited for more foot traffic through the neighborhood because of the new development.
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Brian Nestor, of Alpine Bank, said the bank closed its location in the Gateway building because it was too far off the beaten path. The bank opened in Solaris last week.
“Hopefully this (new location) will start up newer relationships and new business, being that we’re in the center of town,” Nestor said. “We’re always looking for new business and looking to grow.”
Worth Homes, an interior design retail store, recently closed its Vail Plaza location just down the street to reopen in Solaris.
Vickie Vertel, Worth’s retail manager, said owner Eddy Doumas felt there was no other place in town for his shop to be located than Solaris.
“It’s new, dynamic, different,” Vertel said. “It’s the new face of Vail and we wanted to be right in the middle of it.”
Solaris represents a rejuvenation for Vail and a new center for activity, Vertel said.
The Masters Gallery, located west of Solaris on Meadow Drive, is opening a second location at Solaris. The new gallery, Galerie Zuger, will feature different types of artwork from the other gallery.
“With the two locations, people should be able to find something to add to the collection,” said Stacy Thibedeau, director of Galerie Zuger. “Right now, there isn’t a better venue for us to be opening a new gallery.”
Thibedeau said the attention Solaris has been getting just with the few businesses that have already opened there is “just amazing.”
“It’s a new focal point (in Vail),” Thibedeau said. “With new life, new energy.”
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.