Vail won’t require outdoor masks in the resort villages
Breckenridge and Aspen require masks outdoors in visitor-dense areas
The town of Vail won’t require face masks outdoors in the resort villages — at least for now.
The Vail Town Council split 4-3 on Tuesday for imposing an outdoor mask mandate. Councilmembers Brian Stockmar, Kim Langmaid and Jen Mason favor a mandate. Jenn Bruno, Travis Coggin, Kevin Foley and Mayor Dave Chapin don’t think it’s needed right now.
Town Manager Scott Robson told councilmembers there’s been a recent drop in new COVID-19 virus cases. But, he added, he and other town officials have heard of “additional mandates” in densely-peopled outdoor areas. Aspen has imposed such a mandate on its pedestrian mall, while Breckenridge has imposed an outdoor mask mandate on Main Street and a few other areas.
Robson said he’s heard “some support” for an outdoor mandate from some business owners.
Stockmar said he’s “always been in favor” of the outdoor mandate for the resort villages.
Bruno replied that enforcement would be a problem. A mandate would also be hard for employees, she said. Those employees have to wear masks indoors for their work shifts, and their only reprieve is to go outside for a few moments.
Bruno, co-owner of the two Luca Bruno clothing stores in town, noted that she’s in Vail Village every day, and “people are wearing masks” where they’re supposed to.
Stockmar noted that peer resorts are mandating masks. And, he added, while he’s sympathetic to employees, he added that he believes an outdoor mandate would be “beneficial.”
Langmaid said she’s received “a few critical emails” about the lack of a mask mandate in the resort villages, adding that some visitors have said they won’t return to Vail until an outdoor mandate is in place.
Bruno replied there’s likely an equal number of visitors “who appreciate being able to breathe our air.”
Foley said he doesn’t believe an outdoor mandate would be enforceable.
“We’re doing a good job now,” Chapin said, referring to the number of new cases in the valley. Chapin added that personal responsibility, more than mandates, is the key to people staying safe.
“Right now we’re doing a good job … I don’t see this as necessary,” Chapin said.
Coggin said he’ll follow the lead of public health officials. Coggin said when Vail Health and other officials ask for a mandate, he’ll support it.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org