Visitors flocking to the Vail Valley despite area’s canceled fireworks shows | VailDaily.com

Visitors flocking to the Vail Valley despite area’s canceled fireworks shows

The Vail Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team returns to the Fourth of July parade for Vail America Days in Vail. Despite cancelled fireworks shows and tight fire restrictions, there are plenty of visitors in the Vail Valley this week.

EAGLE COUNTY — While fireworks shows have been canceled both locally and throughout the mountains, the Vail Valley is still welcoming a throng of holiday visitors.

At the Four Seasons Resort in Vail, general manager Meredith Macfarlane said that the hotel is essentially full for the entire week. The hotel will also be "really busy" for the rest of July and August, Macfarlane said.

Macfarlane said the summer business is coming from both recreation and, perhaps, a desire for people to get out of hot weather elsewhere.

With the back of the hotel positioned strategically along West Meadow Drive, the Vail America Days parade route, Macfarlane said the hotel will have a pool party the morning of Independence Day. There will also be a hotel-organized lemonade stand, with proceeds going to Access Unbound, a nonprofit that helps disabled people experience outdoor adventure.

Staying cool

Getting out of the heat is driving a good bit of business to Lakota Guides in Avon.

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Company co-owner Karl Borski said he has a lot of reservations for raft trips on the Upper Colorado and Arkansas rivers. That business is coming both before and after the holiday, Borski said. That company is also taking guests on horseback rides, ATV tours and fishing trips.

But the low water in rivers is making fishing more complicated. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued a warm-water warning for people fishing in area rivers. With midday water temperatures reaching or exceeding 68 degrees, Borski said people who want to fish need to get out early in the day.

Rain would help — rain would help a lot — but low, warm water is something guide companies work around.

Mike Brumbaugh's Venture Sports shops are also busy with summer guests.

'Christmas in July'

"It's our equivalent of Christmas in July," Brumbaugh said, adding that his shops in Vail and Avon have run out of rental bikes more than once this season.

"We've been super busy so far," Brumbaugh said. He said he's curious to see if the shops have more business before or after the Fourth of July.

With the shops busy right now, Brumbaugh said he hopes the rest of the summer remains as busy as it has been so far.

But a busy shop in the summer is different from a busy shop in the winter. Brumbaugh noted that a family of four will often rent ski equipment for a week. With bicycles, that same family may only rent for a day or less.

But people in town mean there's business to be done.

At Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals in Eagle-Vail, co-owner Clay Bidwell said summer guests have been reserving on- and off-road machines, with bookings coming both before and after the holiday.

People seem particularly interested in Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals' Polaris Rzr off-road machines, as well as the street-legal Polaris Slingshot three-wheeled runabouts.

Bidwell said a popular Slingshot route is through Minturn, over Tennessee Pass to Leadville, over Fremont Pass back to Interstate 70 at Copper Mountain and then back to the valley.

Busy week

The number of people in Vail over the holiday is a boon to the Yeti's Grind coffee shop in the Solaris building.

Owner Larry Leith called the Solaris location "beachfront property," particularly for the Vail America Days Parade.

With Independence Day landing in the middle of the week, Leith said he expects "very consistent" business throughout the week.

"We're extra staffed," Leith said. "It's actually our heaviest staff for the year."

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at smiller@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2930.

What’s happening?

• The annual Vail America Days celebration has activities running all day. To learn more, go to http://www.vailamericadays.com.

• Beaver Creek Village will have two free outdoor family activity areas, including multiple slides, games and bounce houses, from noon to 5 p.m. and face painting, arts and crafts and carnival games at the Plaza Kid’s Zone from noon to 8 p.m.

• The town of Eagle has morning fun, with the annual bike parade and kids’ activities in Eagle Town Park.

• The town of Gypsum has an evening planned around town hall and the Lundgren Amphitheater. Activities include music, food and a laser light show instead of fireworks. For more information, go to the town’s website.