When should Vail unplug its guitars? | VailDaily.com

When should Vail unplug its guitars?

Preston Utley/Daily file photoRod Powell, singer at Pepi's, should be able to perform a little past 10 p.m. on some nights, says his boss, Sheika Gramshammer, owner of Pepi's and the Gasthof Gramshammer. Some Vail Village homeowners oppose an extension of the nightly deadline for amplified sound.

VAIL ” People come to Vail to get away and have a good time, Sheika Gramshammer said.

“The good times sometimes go a little longer than 10 o’clock,” she said.

That’s what happened last August, when Gramshammer got a ticket for making too much noise. Her singer, Rod Powell, was performing on her deck a few minutes past 10 p.m., after which “amplified noise” in Vail is prohibited.

It was her fifth or sixth noise-ordinance ticket for Gramshammer, who owns the Gasthof Gramshammer hotel and Pepi’s restaurant with her husband, ski-racing legend Pepi. The hotel and restaurant have been in the village for 40 years.

The noise law is designed for outdated “elevator music,” Sheika Gramshammer said.

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So Gramshammer decided to fight the ticket, campaigning for a 15- or 20-minute grace period for the noise ban.

“I just don’t want to be intimidated any more,” she said.

She unsuccessfully fought the ticket in court, but now, Gramshammer has gotten some attention from the Vail Town Council.

The town is drafting a proposal to extend the amplified noise cutoff time to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Gramshammer calls it a fair proposal. But several Vail Village homeowners oppose the extension. Arthur Cox, a resident of Bridge Street Lodge, calls the noise “extremely disruptive.”

“A vibrant core area is important but should not be achieved by driving out the local residents who support that economy,” he wrote in a letter to the Town Council.

Cox could not be reached by phone Thursday.

Douglas T. Tansill, a resident of Bishop Park, said events at the nearby Sonnenalp Resort are already a “real nuisance,” even ones shutting down at 10 p.m.

Tansill also could not be reached by phone Thursday.

Mayor Rod Slifer, who lives in the village, said he doesn’t think the time should be extended.

“I really think that 10 o’clock is late enough,” he said.

Gramshammer said homeowners should have understood that they were choosing to live near bars in the center of town.

“If you hate trains going by your house, would you buy a home next to a train station?” she said.

Apres-ski singer and Red Lion owner Phil Long said he favors the extended cutoff time. The bar is still “very, very busy” around 10 p.m., Long said.

In the summer, the Red Lion closes its windows at 10 p.m. to comply with the law, he said.

An 11 p.m. deadline on weekends would offer a little more “latitude” and would cut down on the amount of enforcement police officers have to do, Long said.

Long said he empathizes with homeowners, but some longtime residents who now oppose the extension made their share of noise at one time, he said.

“Many, many of the people who complain now are the people who were whupping it up 30 years ago,” he said. “They were the people who were riding horses into Cyrano’s bar.”

They made their share of good memories too, he said.

“We want to make some of our own, for sure,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

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