Vail Valley businesses take mud season breaks |

Vail Valley businesses take mud season breaks

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” The patio of E-Town in Edwards would normally be a little busier on a fair-weather spring day, but today, it’s empty. The sign posted on the door reads, “We’re on the trails. Closed until Monday.”

Mud season vacation note ” they’re the equivalent of “Gone fishin'” notes, and they are quite a few of them around the Vail Valley as businesses take the slow business time to take a break and get ready for the summer season.

Avon’s Venture Sports staff recently returned from a three-day trip. Fittingly, the group of about a dozen employees went mountain biking, camping and rock climbing in Moab.

The trip is a yearly event at the end of the ski season.

“It felt good to have some days off and enjoy co-workers outside of work,” said store manager Eric Benson.

Vendetta’s staff takes an annual May house boat trip, or, as owner John “Popeye” Brennen calls it, the “big Lake Powell bonanza.”

The getaway, which involves two houseboats and a nearly-weeklong party, is a yearly tradition and a great incentive for his staff throughout the winter season, Brennan said.

He’s had up to 43 employees go ” this year the trip will be a bit smaller, with 16 attending.

“They look forward, and it’s a way to keep staff around for the winter,” he said. “Also, it’s a nice getaway. It’s a lot of fun ” I still do it and try to keep up with the 20-year-olds.”

For almost 10 years, La Bottega owner Steve Virion has treated his staff to a three-day Las Vegas trip two weeks after the mountain closes.

The trip is no small event ” Virion buys the hotel rooms for the 20-or-so staff, holds a big pool party and takes everyone out to dinner.

However, he finds the cost a worthy reward for his staff after a ski season, he said.

“It’s a really fun time,” Virion said. “I have guys who come back years later and still remember how much fun they had on the trip. They work hard over the season, and it’s not something some of the staff gets to do all the time.”

This year, the scheduling didn’t work out for the staff, so the restaurant might take a shorter day trip.

“It just didn’t work out this year. We had a lot of people out of town and stuff. We might go down to Denver for a game or something,” he said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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