Vail Daily editorial: Memorial Day is a quiet-ish holiday in Vail
May 23, 2017
For some time now, holidays in the Vail Valley have been jam-packed with events. It's hard to imagine the Fourth of July, Labor Day, or even the Christmas and New Year holidays without more stuff to do than there is time to do it all. But there are exceptions.
The Memorial Day weekend is one of those exceptions.
While much of the rest of the tourism industry views Memorial Day as the unofficial kickoff to summer, the coming three-day weekend here in the Vail Valley only has a bit of activity, much of it in Beaver Creek. There, the weekend marks the return of the popular Blues, Brews & BBQ. That event, now in its 14th year, has expanded from just a beer tasting to include food and music, and always draws a good crowd, seemingly split between locals and visitors.
Vail is a different story. The Valor Races, a series of running events to honor the nation's war dead, will be held Monday. Otherwise, the town will remain pretty quiet until the GoPro Mountain Games, set for June 8-11.
Vail continues to looks for a Memorial Day event to rival its other holiday happenings. So far, though, a successful formula has been hard to find. The last big effort, Feast Vail, in 2013 and 2014, didn't really catch on.
Struggling with Memorial Day events is unusual for Vail, given the effort — and seed money — put into other events that have become quite successful throughout time.
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It's hard to pin down the reasons for the lack of Memorial Day hit in Vail. Yes, the weather can be iffy, but Beaver Creek has about the same weather, and yet good-sized crowds come to the plaza every year for good food and good music.
While the reasons Vail stays so quiet are complicated, there could be a simple explanation: Visitors may not be ready to risk the weather for a weekend in the mountains. In addition, there may not be enough people out and about to feed more than one or two events in the Vail Valley.
Another big, successful event in Vail would be welcome news. Businesses that still close between ski season and summer might welcome an opportunity for an additional busy weekend on their calendars.
On the other hand, a weekend of fine weather — which could happen — and relative quiet isn't a bad thing, either.
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