Vail Valley business owners have plenty to be thankful for |

Vail Valley business owners have plenty to be thankful for

Scott N. Miller

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – On a quiet Wednesday afternoon at Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail, bartender Aaron Martinson pauses for a moment when asked what he’s thankful for this year.

“I’m grateful to be back in the Vail Valley, and for the great early-season weather,” Martinson said. “And I’m really grateful to the Swimms for buying this place – it’s one of the reasons I came back.”

Martinson swears he’d have said that even if his boss, Rob Swimm, hadn’t been two steps behind him at the bar.

For Swimm and his wife, Susan, thankfulness this season is directed toward the people who have come there to eat and drink since they bought the Eagle-Vail landmark earlier this year.

That local support has Crazy Mountain Brewing boss Kevin Selvy grateful.

“I’m grateful for the success that support has brought us in our first year,” Selvy said.

Just up the street from Paddy’s, local veterinarian Charles Meynier said, given the times, he’s just happy to still be working.

“I’m also really thankful to have all our staff intact,” Meynier said. “We haven’t let anybody go in some hard times.”

In Vail, Mountain Haus general manager Steve Hawkins said his lodge hasn’t laid off anyone, either, for which he’s most thankful.

“We’ve been able to protect our employees first,” Hawkins said. “We’ve been very careful with our revenue.”

Steve Moore’s gratitude starts at home. His whole family is healthy this year, something that’s been a challenge since his ski-racing daughter has had to go through four straight operations to get her back on the hill.

But Moore, owner of Novus Auto Glass Repair and Replacement, is also grateful that his business has stayed strong through the economic slump.

“I’m grateful for the snow, too,” Moore said. “This early snow really helps the mood of the whole valley.”

While Moore’s been in business for decades now, Shawn McKeown of Minturn Music is still relatively new to the valley. He’s managed to keep the doors open at his shop through both the economic downturn and moving the store from Avon to Minturn.

“At this point, I’m thankful just to be here,” he said.

In Gypsum, Columbine Market owner Howard Tuthill said he’s thankful for the community support the store enjoys, but the first thing he mentioned was gratitude for his family, friends and good health.

Nickie’s Quickie owner Stephen Porter’s gratitude was even more basic.

“I’m grateful and thankful my needs are provided for, and for God’s love,” he said.

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

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