Welcome to boomtown
Banking on Eagle’s continued growth, a variety of new enterprises have either opened up, or are in the works for the Broadway district, the Capitol Theater area and the Eagle Crossing Shopping Center.From 2002 to 2003, Eagle saw the number of business licenses fall from 196 to 182. In that same time span from 2003 to 2004, the number of business licenses issued increased 25% to its current total of 241. That number does not include several stores that have yet to open.At current count, there are more than 15 new businesses, ranging from restaurants to retail shops to recreational facilities opening in Eagle. It’s a trend that should continue if these new pursuits are successful and Eagle’s population continues to grow.”We’ve grown at a rate of 7 percent over the last seven years,” said Town Manager Willy Powell. “That is very rapid growth. Last year was a record year for single family building permits. There are definitely new people moving to town.”More people means the need for more retail opportunities and services, which, from the looks of things, are on their way.”We are seeing a number of new businesses,” said Powell. “We have some new restaurants, new recreational facilities, there is going to be a new hockey shop, we have two lingerie stores. “There are no large widespread retailers, but people are investing in some of the smaller-niche business opportunities,” he added.
Deciding where to go out to eat in Eagle just is getting more difficult. Of all the new business cropping up, it’s the food service sector area residents will see grow the most.Two prominent Avon restaurants, Pazzo’s Pizzeria and Fiesta Jalisco, have claimed locations in Eagle. Fiesta Jalisco is open and ready for business in the Eagle Commercial Park in the building that formerly housed the “Bleachers” sports bar. Pazzo’s Pizzeria has plans for a new store in the Eagle Crossing Shopping Center next to Strickland’s Ice Cream and the Back Bowl bowling alley.Family atmosphere and strong projections for growth were two of the reasons that Pazzo’s co-owner Tom Clinton gave as the motivation for moving further down valley.”Eagle is more affordable for family living,” said Clinton, who has plans to build a house in Eagle. “The numbers are there for growth and the homes down here are occupied year-round as opposed to some of the other areas in Eagle County. It’s a good place for families.”Pazzo’s owners are eyeing a late-September, early-October opening date.Fiesta Jalisco joins an already competitive Mexican restaurant market in Eagle, hoping the formula of good food, big portions and reasonable prices, which brought success in Avon and Summit County, will stand up in Eagle, too. La Scala Ristorante, an Italian restaurant across from the movie theater in the Eagle Ranch business district opened for business a little less than a month ago. Owners Raoul Mejia and Jennifer Rizza, both long time valley residents, said the decision to open in Eagle was an easy one.”Between Edwards and Glenwood Springs there was really nowhere to go for a good Italian dinner,” said Mejia, who has been cooking in Eagle County for years at places like the Wildflower, Balata and Zino’s. “When we saw this location on Capitol, we knew right away, this is where we wanted to be.”La Scala will offer simple, classic, Italian comfort food. “It’s nothing complicated and it’s at a great price,” said Mejia.Another option for Eagle diners is the Broadway Cafe, formerly the Broadway Bar and Grill. Former Mezzaluna chef Bill Howard opened the new look eatery on Eagle’s main street and says the cuisine there is Italian influenced, but is also the product of his culinary experiences and southern up-bringing.
“I saw a need for good, affordable food for folks in Eagle,” said Howard, an Eagle resident himself, who says he’s tired of commuting to Vail. “We offer a variety of dishes. Among other things, we have a shepherd’s pie, beef stew, risotto and catfish. I would call it eclectic-comfort food.”Waistline watchers beware. There are also two new places in town to satisfy the sweet tooth. Alpenrose West bakery is open on Capitol Street, offering pastries, Danishes and morning coffee; Strickland’s Ice Cream is open at Eagle Crossing for anyone looking to cool off Eagle’s hot summer nights.Retail, service sectorEagle is also home to a new hair salon and two new stores for women – and a hockey shop on the way.Prizm’s Hair Salon opened on Third Street on Flight Day’s weekend. Store owner Terri Edwards said she had a variety of reasons for coming to Eagle to start something new. “The picking is ripe right now,” said Edwards. “This was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. It was a prior salon, the rent was affordable, and my clientele has been asking me to come this direction for three years.”Edwards said she saw a need for more services in Eagle and was attracted by the family feel and the broader age range of residents in western Eagle County.”I like the fact that there are families here, and people of all ages,” said Edwards, who did hair at upscale salons in Cordillera and Beaver Creek for years. “People here are so friendly, too, it just feels like a more normal place.”Bare Comfort Lingerie, Tanning and Waxing is another new addition to Eagle Crossing. The new store is located next to the bowling alley, giving area moms the opportunity to drop the kids off for 10 frames, while they tan, or shop for a little something likely to get dad’s heart rate up. The store also has feminine body care products and swimwear.
“I thought it was time for women to have a place to shop in Eagle,” said Summer Scrivens, the four-year Eagle resident who owns Bare Comfort. “We have a little something for every woman in here. Hopefully, the dads can bowl while the moms shop.”The Rain Drop on Capitol gives further ‘oomph’ to burgeoning theater district shopping options. The new store for women specializes in lingerie, evening wear, linens and other products to help keep women feeling beautiful.Boys: don’t worry. Not all the new shopping in Eagle is geared fro the fairer sex. A new hockey store is scheduled to open on Second and Broadway later this summer. Sharpedge Skating Professionals will offer area skaters a local retail outlet for in-line and ice hockey equipment.
There’s nothing to do in Eagle? It’s a common complaint that local parents may be hearing a little less of these days thanks to the opening of the Back Bowl Family Entertainment Center.The alley’s expansive video game room and 20 lanes for bowling have been a big hit.The new Community Care Co-Op opening in the offices of chiropractor Eric Eckdahl includes Anam Cara Pilates, The Herb Gatherer, herbal pharmacy, as well as on-site massage therapy and acupuncture.”I felt the need for a pilates studio down here because I was tired of commuting up valley to have access to pilates equipment,” said Darce O’Connor, who helped create the Eagle studio to benefit herself and the residents of Western Eagle County.Other Eagle County merchants will be closely monitoring the success of these new businesses. If the numbers pan out and Eagle continues its growth pattern, it’s probable that this is only the beginning for the Eagle business boom.”Business grows with the population,” said Powell. “We certainly support our citizen’s right to have quality retail opportunities in Eagle.”
Ferreira is a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail alum who is from Aspen. In accepting his gold medal, he shouted out boot fitter and ski tuner Dano Bruno of Gorsuch in Vail.