Vail Valley Black Friday shoppers a mixed bag |

Vail Valley Black Friday shoppers a mixed bag

NWS Thanksgiving Business DT 11-25-11

AVON, Colorado – Korby Fleischer needed a couple of pairs of gloves for his kids Friday, but walked out of Sports Authority with a big bag of stuff.

Fleischer, who used to manage the Sitzmark in Vail before moving to Omaha to open a small ski area, was in the valley for the Thanksgiving holiday – it’s still too warm to make snow near the wide Missouri River. And he hadn’t planned on doing any Black Friday shopping.

“It was just pure chance we ended up here,” Fleischer said Friday. “We kind of got sucked in – we saw some deals and ended up buying some of it.”

Black Friday, of course, is one of the biggest days in American retailing – the day many businesses show a profit for the year – and the country’s bigger stores have been touting their deals for some time. Wal-Mart has even used the old AC/DC hit, “Back in Black” as its theme music for its TV ads.

Sitting in his pickup outside Sports Authority, Chuck Davis of Gypsum, was waiting for a friend to buy a new basketball hoop set. Davis was helping his friend haul the hoop home, but said he and his wife would probably venture out later in the day for some Black Friday shopping of their own, and hoped some of the heavily discounted items in the sale flyer would be available by the time they hit the stores.

“In this economy, you’ve got to take every opportunity to save a dime,” Davis said.

Christine Thurston, of Gypsum, decided to check the deals on skis Friday.

Although she had daughters Aeslyn and Nia in tow, Thurston said “I’m doing a little Christmas shopping for myself. We’ll see what the deals are.”

But not everyone walking into Sports Authority Friday was in a Black Friday mood.

Jorge Cerrato said he was mostly shopping for shoes for his son, and wasn’t yet ready to start Christmas shopping. And Alexis Rodarte, 11, said he and his dad were “just looking” so far.

“We didn’t really find anything,” Rodarte said.

At Wal-Mart, it looked like business as usual, although a combination of a chilly wind and daily bustle kept most moving to and from their cars. But Jackie Anthony was bundled up and watching the people go by while taking a shift bell-ringing for the local Salvation Army.

Anthony said business at the red kettle had been fairly brisk – “We’re getting donations from people you wouldn’t expect,” she said.

But Anthony said she’d also had a chance to watch as folks pushed shopping carts out to their cars.

“I’ve seen a lot of TVs come out of here,” she said. “There have been a lot of small appliances, too.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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