Vail Valley businesses report strong Labor Day holiday
Vail, CO, Colorado
Monday was Labor Day, so Jen and Luca Bruno were working, and happy to be wrapping up a successful holiday weekend.
“It was a good weekend,” said Jen Bruno, co-owner of the Luca Bruno and Luca Bruno Due clothing stores in Vail Village. “The town had great energy, there were lots of people. It was a nice way to end the summer season.”
A weekend packed with events including the annual Vail Jazz Party, Gourmet on Gore and the Beaver Creek Oktoberfest was a welcome break from a lackluster August. And business owners and managers were feeling pretty good. Some were still working in packed stores at mid-day Monday.
Fletcher Harrison at Sweet Basil wasn’t able to break free until well past 2 p.m. Monday, and had good news.
“People were just out in force,” Harrison said. “We’re up probably 20 percent over last year.”
Sunday was an especially good day, Harrison added.
“It seemed like Saturday everybody walked around for Gourmet on Gore,” he said. “On Sunday, it seemed like people wanted to sit down and have a meal. And there were plenty of people carrying shopping bags.”
A lot of those people were staying in the valley for the weekend, too.
Manor Vail Director of Operations Theresa Zoller said that lodge was booked up to 75 percent full, depending on the night.
“It was really crowded in town, and people were happy,” Zoller said.
Beaver Creek Lodge Manager Jim Lay said his place was well-booked for the weekend, with many of those people attending Oktoberfest.
“We got some groups in for the weekend,” Lay said. “Oktoberfest was a great success.”
The lodge was one of the food vendors on the plaza, and Lay said the food prepared for the plaza stand was all sold.
Buzz Busby at the Coyote Cafe said his place sold plenty of hot dogs at Oktoberfest. The restaurant was busy, too, he said.
“All the restaurants doing (Oktoberfest) food were doing well,” Busby said. “It was just a fantastic weekend.”
On the roads, Green Limousine owner Seth Bounds said his company was busier than usual over the weekend, even in a traditionally slow season.
“It wasn’t too crazy,” Bounds said. “But a lot of people came – we had a few weddings over the weekend.”
Labor Day was a successful cap to a mostly successful summer. The people interviewed for this story all said business this summer has been better than last summer. And better is, well, better.
“It gives me hope for the winter,” Bounds said, although he acknowledged that feeling’s based mostly on an entrepreneur’s innate optimism.
Lay said Labor Day may mark summer’s end on the tourism calendar, but added the Beaver Creek Lodge’s September reservations are looking “pretty good.” at the moment. And, he said, the next several weeks are just about his favorite time of year.
Jen Bruno said until the August doldrums hit – fueled, perhaps, but ever-earlier start dates on school calendars – her business had been having a decent summer, and will end up a bit better than last year.
And, while many small business owners usually work holidays, she said she and her husband were actually able to get out and enjoy some of Vail’s Labor Day festivities.
“It’s really one of the most fun weekends to be in Vail,” Bruno said. “We saw a lot of people having fun.”
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.