Vail’s Easter business was pretty good, some report |

Vail’s Easter business was pretty good, some report

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado “-Near the end of a sub-par ski season, it looks like Easter treated some Vail, Colorado businesses pretty well.

“The last two weeks were really good ” now it’s back to reality,” said Luca Bruno, owner of two Vail stores that bear his name.

Bruno said sales the last two weeks have been fueled by visitors from Mexico and other parts of Latin America, and those people have spent money.

At Sweet Basil in Vail Village, Matt Morgan said Spanish-speaking tourists boosted his business, too.

Even with a boost from Easter, though, this season won’t approach the success businesses had in the 2007-08 season.

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“We’re probably down 10 or 12 percent for the season,” Morgan said. “You never like to see that, but it’s not disastrous.”

Near Golden Peak, RamsHorn Condominiums manager Diane Milligan agreed that the two weeks leading up to Easter were busier than most of the winter. But, Milligan said, the last week of the season looks pretty empty.

Still, Milligan said the winter at the 14-unit condo complex was pretty good, all things considered.

“We’re a very small building, and it’s almost all repeat business,” Milligan said.

But, she added, more guests this season have booked shorter stays.

“We’ve usually stuck with seven-night stays, but we’re more flexible to have those shorter stays now,” she said.

In Lionshead, Jim Cooper, manager of the Double Diamond ski shop, said shorter stays has been one of the things he’s noticed about business this year. Cooper said a lot of his customers who usually stay two or three weeks cut back to just a week. Others who have in the past have come out two or three times have just come once.

Cooper, who said the Double Diamond is down to just managers working the floor for the last week of the season, said he’s ready, more than ready, to put this season into the books.

In fact, for the first time in 23 years, the Double Diamond will close in May.

“It’s just time for a deep breath, and to get ready for the opening of the gondola this summer and bike season,” he said.

The RamsHorn is closing for the spring, too, but for a different reason ” a major renovation project expected to keep the complex closed until November of 2010.

In the village, though, Morgan and Bruno said they’re going to stay open through the spring.

Sweet Basil’s going to be running all kinds of off-season specials, Morgan said. This week, a “Love our Locals” promotion is going to donate 30 percent of every customer’s meal tab to one of five up-valley schools, from the St. Clare school in Edwards to Battle Mountain High School.

Bruno, too, is going to rely on specials this spring, hopefully to draw a few more locals to his shop. One of those specials will be a ladies night with 70 percent off some items.

“Closing down doesn’t help anybody,” Bruno said. “My people all need to keep working.”

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

Morgan and Bruno also said they plan to stay open after Vail Mountain closes April 10.

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