Monthly Archives: September 2012

August looking to set another sales tax record for Town of Vail

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Could 2012 be the year to beat out 2008? VAIL—If sales tax collection is a true barometer of money coming into town, the summer of 2012 was Herculean for the Town of Vail. June, July and August set collection records. With 2008 as the jumping-off point and the high mark in which the town collected $19.61 million, 2012 is tracking closely YTD at $14.55 million. In 2008 that figure was $14.76 million. Last year showed a significant comeback at $14.09 million YTD. “I estimate Vail will collect another $75,000 in August sales tax to bring August collections to $1,363,785,” reported TOV sales tax administrator Sally Lorton in her monthly memo to the town on Tuesday. “If so, we will be up 17.6 percent or $204,216 from the amended budget and up 4.1 percent or $53,314 from August 2011. Year to date would be up 3.5 percent or $487,581 from 2011.” The town amended its budget by $1.1 million to reflect additional collections earlier in the year. YTD revenue would be up 12.3 percent or $1.593 million from the original budget, and 3.5 percent or $493,781 from the amended version. With the exception of April, when thin snow significantly curtailed skier…

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Vail Resorts receive environmental recognition

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Travel + Leisure announced last week that Vail Resorts is a recipient of a 2012 Global Vision Award in leadership for its efforts in social responsibility and environmental stewardship. The Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations working to preserve the world’s natural and man-made treasures. Travel + Leisure has recognized Vail Resorts for leadership with the company’s social responsibility and environmental stewardship program, Vail Resorts Echo. “We are humbled to be named a recipient of a Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award and accept the honor on behalf of our employees and guests who have helped us raise millions of dollars for forest health, build incredible conservation programs at all of our resorts and give countless volunteer hours in our local communities,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Our resorts operate in some of the greatest and most iconic natural environments in the world, and we are compelled to preserve them and inspire our communities and guests to be a part of this effort. We know this award will help further that cause.” Vail Resorts focuses on preserving the environment through a focus on forest health and…

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“Local Pioneers” Vail’s First Ski Instructor

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Ron Byrne & Associates loves to hear about Vail History.  We thought you might enjoy as original ski school director Morrie Shepard talks about Vail’s early days. Interviewed by Phil Lindeman Fifty years seems like a long time to anyone but Morrie Shepard. In 1962, the Massachusetts native was wooed away from Aspen by Vail founder Pete Seibert, a childhood friend who made Shepard the fledgling resort’s first ski school director. With a crew of just 10 instructors, he set the standard for teaching at Vail, and his staff nearly quadrupled by the time he left in 1965 to design ski boots with another good friend, Bob Lange. At 87 years old, Shepard still hits the slopes a handful of times every winter – nowhere near the 120 days he clocked each season for three decades, but more than enough to keep him satiated. On blue bird mornings, he rides to the top of Chair 4 and drops into his favorite run, Riva Ridge, a trail he and Seibert marked the summer before lifts started spinning. “I’m amazed at how fast it has grown. Although it has taken 50 years, it has passed so quickly for me that it feels…

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First snow teases Vail Mountain

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VAIL, Colorado — Vail Mountain got a little snow Monday morning — just a dusting, and it was mostly gone by noon. But in Vail, snow equals excitement. “There was a real buzz — people were passing around pictures this morning,” said Alex Hutson at Yeti’s Grind in Vail Village. “People are really talking, saying, ‘it’s coming.’” The story was the same at the Double Diamond in Lionshead. “Everybody’s itching (for winter) a little bit,” said Matt Carroll at the Double Diamond ski shop in Lionshead. “Locals come in, and they’re psyched for a good snow year.” But Monday’s dusting was little more than a tease, and a bit of surprise at that. Meteorologist Joel Gratz, one of the founders of OpenSnow.com, a website dedicated to mountain weather, said Monday’s storm may have provided a taste of winter, but that’s all it was. “There’s little correlation between early season snow and how the season turns out,” Gratz said. And, while many people were surprised by Monday’s storm, Gratz said it actually gave forecasters a little warning. But only a little. “Even a day or two ago the models didn’t show this,” Gratz said, adding that the jet stream dipped quickly,…

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July report: Upward sales trend continues in RE market

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  Eagle County real estate transactions continued an upward trend in July compared to last year’s activity, with the largest sale for the month occurring at the Arrabelle in Lionshead, where a unit sold for $5.75 million. VAIL—July real estate transactions in Eagle County were up 25 percent over last July, with sales for the first seven months of the year up 13 percent over 2011, according to Land Title and Guarantee Company Trevor Theelke’s monthly market report. Dollar volume for the month was up more than 50 percent compared to 2011, but July represents the lowest volume month of the year. A majority of the properties, 82 percent, were sold for less than $1 million; 62 percent had a sales price of less than $500,000. Eagle had the most transactions with 25, which accounted for more than 20 percent of the transactions and 9 percent of sales volume. The transactions in Eagle, along with 16 transactions in Gypsum, helped to create a lower-than-average sale price for July of $641,967. The largest sale occurred at the Arrabelle for $5.75 million. Average price-per-square-foot (PPSF) in Lionshead is up 4 percent this year, to $1,302. Beaver Creek’s five sales carried the most…

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Peyton Manning, Vail’s Waiting…

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While we residents of the Vail Valley hail from all over the world and may retain some loyalty to our home teams, Colorado has given us something new to be proud of with the Denver Broncos’ signing of quarterback Peyton Manning in March!  Yes Broncos, we have always enjoyed our crisp fall afternoons and cozy winter nights of viewing, but you have really scored with this one as Peyton has just become the third player in NFL history to throw 400 career touchdown passes! Colorado has always been known for its athletes and health-driven culture, and Peyton has joined some of the best athletes in the country by making his move to Colorado.  However, we in Vail know better than anyone that athletes, like custom cars, sometimes need a little tune up (not you Peyton, you’ve had your share).  When that happens, no matter where in the state, or the country, they are, they make their way to Vail to consult with the likes of Doctors Steadman, Viola and Corenman, or the amazing team at the Vail Integrated Medical Group led by Dr. Dekanich. And while we may have made fun of the hospital for the way the slogan sounds,…

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Two Weekends of Bavarian Fun in Vail at Vail Oktoberfest 2012

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The Vail Oktoberfest celebration of the autumn season in the beautiful Rocky Mountains begins at Lionshead Mall, and spans two weekends packed with a schedule of events including the brat eating contest, Beck’s keg bowling, traditional Bavarian music played by Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders Band, and alcoholic beverages supplied by event sponsor, Beck’s. If not one for dressing up in traditional Bavarian accoutrement, enjoy costume scouting throughout the day to determine the most authentic look. A costume contest will be held each day, and is open to anyone who can pull off a polished, goofy, outrageous, or creative Bavarian-inspired get-up. Whether getting into Bavarian character or not, both weekends of the Vail Oktoberfest will be a blast. Each Oktoberfest weekend-long celebration is filled with ridiculously fun competitions in which most everyone can participate. Not quite like the admirable feats of heavy lifting performed at this year’s London Olympics, the stein lifting competition pits stein holder against stein holder, and competitors sweat it out under the September Vail sun while holding a full stein of Beck’s beer. The champion of the stein lifting competition is the individual whose forearm and hand muscles can most successfully support a full stein of…

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The roll continues: July hits another high note in sales-tax collection

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VAIL—Not much seems to knock Vail off its course these days, despite dismal snow conditions for the 2011-2012 season and statewide drought and fires that had summer travelers thinking twice. The Town of Vail’s sales tax collection – perhaps the most solid barometer of business activity – sits 3.4 percent higher year-to-date over 2011. With record snows in the 2010-2011 season, onlookers wondered if collections would hit the high-water mark, then settle at a slower pace. But the month of July scored another record for collections, outpacing the record-setting July of 2011. “I estimate Vail will collect another $100,000 in July sales tax to bring July collections to $1,559,274,” wrote TOV sales tax administrator Sally Lorton in her monthly report. “If so, we will be up 22.5 percent or $286,493 from the amended budget and up 5.3 percent or $77,945 from July 2011.  Year to date would be up 3.4 percent or $431,195 from 2011.” Lorton noted that the year to date and full budgets have been amended by $1.1 million to reflect additional collections early in 2012. Looking at the original budget, she said, revenue would be up 11.7 percent, or $1,386,493 year to date. As it stands, collections…

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Vail looks for iconic Memorial Day weekend event

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VAIL, Colorado — The town of Vail’s Commission on Special Events is looking for that iconic event that will kick off summer a week earlier than summers in Vail typically get going. Memorial Day weekend is a weekend when many families celebrate the beginning of summer. It’s the weekend when public pools and theme parks open, and coincidentally, a weekend when families have an extra day off to spend out of town in places like Vail. For years the town has hoped for an event producer to propose something great that isn’t dependent on the weather. The town thought it had found it last year with Mojo Man, an outdoor adventure event similar to Tough Mudder, but the event producers realized there wasn’t enough time to get permits in place and market the event, said Sybill Navas, the town of Vail’s special events coordinator. Whether a Mojo Man proposal is submitted again this year, nobody knows, but town officials are hopeful they can get a good event to come to town in 2013. “It just seems like people come here and there’s nothing to do,” said Commission on Special Events member Rayla Kundolf, referring to Memorial Day weekend. “Beaver Creek…

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