Vail Valley restaurants roll out deals |

Vail Valley restaurants roll out deals

Melanie Wong
Vail, Co Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyOwner Nikki Heiden, left, takes diners Peter Lord's, center, and Lon Masters', right, lunch order Thursday at Main St Grill in Edwards, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” These days, Vail, Colorado resident Eric Myers dines out less, and when he does, he keeps a sharp lookout for deal

“Before we went out three or four times a week, and now it’s one or two,” he said. “And when we do, we try to take advantage of the specials.”

Myers said at a recent visit to Rick and Kelly’s American Bistro in Edwards, he and his girlfriend got 35 percent off their meal ” thanks to a 20 percent-off coupon and a local’s frequent diner card that gave the couple 15 percent off the bill.

The diner’s card is one of the restaurant’s new promotions advertised as a way to “beat this recession!”

During happy hour, the bistro is also offering discount drinks and two-for-one appetizers and pizza, which have been very popular, said Sarah John, the restaurant’s development coordinator.

Similar deals ” previously unheard of in past ski seasons ” are becoming increasingly common as restaurants look for ways to keep diners coming through their doors.

While Vail resident Caroline Hollis hasn’t changed her dining habits too much ” she still goes out for lunch a few times a week ” she said she’s noticed more advertisements for food and drink specials in the paper.

Hollis said she usually sticks to more casual restaurants, but added that she always takes advantage of the summer specials, when many higher end restaurants roll out meal deals.

But this year, some of those deals are coming before the ski season is even over. Splendido at Beaver Creek is offering 30 percent off the menu, and Mirabelle at Beaver Creek is offering a 50 percent off entrees.

Mirabelle owner and executive chef Daniel Joly said that he doesn’t usually run specials so early, but he is taking a bit of a different marketing approach this year. The specials are a way to get local residents in the restaurant and build goodwill with the community, he said.

For the first time in 10 years, the restaurant has had a slower season, and Joly said he’s had fewer large corporate bookings than he has seen in previous years.

“We’ve always depended on loyal customers who come every year, so we usually don’t spend too much in advertising,” he said. “Now, capturing new customers is a little harder, and we’ll be doing more advertising and specials in the summer and promoting the restaurant more.”

Diners are definitely paying attention to the deals that are out there, restaurants said.

Main Street Grill owner Nikki Heiden said that she gets calls from people every day asking about the restaurant’s $6 daily lunch special.

“We’ve dropped the price a little bit, from $8, then to $7, to $6,” she said. “We’d rather get people in and sell the product than not have people coming in and wasting our product.”

The restaurant also offers two-for-one entrees on Tuesdays, a deal that will extend to the entire week once ski season is over.

“That’s our busiest night right now,” Heiden said. “We’ve seen a definite drop (in diners), but the most substantial drop is our late night business. The people who are out making tips and then going out aren’t going out as much.”

Zacca Za! general manager Cody Kennedy said he’s notice more diners asking about specials, too.

The Avon restaurant has put out better deals than usual for lunch and happy hour, he said. A half-price deal for wine, beer and pizza at the bar now applies to the entire dining room, and the restaurant also started a $6.95 lunch special.

“Generally lunch business dips a bit when the mountain opens, and it’s a bit slower,” Kennedy said. “But we’ve done a couple promotions for lunch that’s a little more aggressive, and lunch has started to pick up.”

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

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