In 1962, Vail was discovered as a ski resort, incorporated as a statutory town in 1966 and adopted a Home Rule Charter in 1972. A seven-member council operates in the city and runs under a $30 million annual budget to provide such services as police and fire protection and a free transit system. Former President Gerald R. Ford, the most famous Vail Valley resident, made such an impression on the town that they named an outdoor amphitheater after him.
Residents enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine and 300 inches of snowfall each year. Snowfall is experienced from mid-October through mid-May. Rainfall comes during the months of May and June, while July and August tend to be warm and dry. September endures sunny days and cool nights with occasional rainfall or light snow.
Communities of Vail Valley
Vail Valley is made up of a cluster of small communities, each within a short distance of one another. Avon, Eagle, Edwards, Minturn, Beaver Creek, Arrowhead, Cordillera, Bachelor Gulch, Singletree, Vail Village, Lionshead, Mountain Star, Wildridge, Potato Patch, Sandstone, Spraddle Creek, Gypsum, East Vail and West Vail all form the year-round resort of communities in the Vail Valley.
On the east side of the valley lies East Vail, a thick forested area full of hiking trails and plenty of options for snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing and ice climbing in the winter. Vail Village is located in the center of the valley and features shops, restaurants, lodges and the Vail Valley's gondola. The gondola is open year-round to provide the quickest and most comfortable passage up Vail Mountain. Minturn is the historical gem of the Valley, offering a peek at the past in its quaint galleries and antique shops.
Take a stroll through Beaver Creek and experience the qualities of an enchanting European ski village. A combination of chair lifts, skiing and hiking trails create a village-to-village connection linking Beaver Creek Village to nearby Bachelor Gulch Village and Arrowhead resort. At the foot of Beaver Creek Mountain lies the town of Avon, a commercial and recreational hub that hosts Colorado's best fireworks on July 4th.
To the west of Beaver Creek sits Edwards, a business oriented town with boutiques, lodging, restaurants, movie theaters, galleries and other professional services from pet groomers to dry cleaners. Cordillera Resort is just up the mountain from Edwards and grants visitors with pristine terrain for Nordic skiing in the winter and first-class golf in the summer. At the end of the line is Gypsum, a destination that gives visitors a taste of the down-home hospitality of the local ranches.
Recreational Activities & Events in Vail, Colorado
No matter what time of year, there's always something special happening in the Vail Valley. Visitors can soar on the open slopes, snowshoe through the backcountry, unwind at one of the many spas, or stay overnight in a secluded Yurt. And even if you don't ski, there are plenty of reasons to head to the Rocky Mountains for a memorable Vail Valley experience. Sleigh rides, ice skating, snow mobile tours, horseback riding, jeep tours, fly fishing, golfing, rafting, kayaking, mountain bike tours, hiking, bird watching, hunting, street concerts and wildlife viewing are just a few of the many activities offered.
Nestled among the beauty and splendor of the Colorado Rockies, the annual Vail International Dance Festival promises to be special in many ways. If a more lively setting is your style than let the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival send you on a musical odyssey amidst the glorious mountain setting.
The Vail Mountain School District represents a population of students with a wide variety of interests and talents. Students possess an enthusiasm for learning and a desire to develop their interests in academics, the arts and athletics. Two pre-schools, nine elementary schools, two high schools, four middle schools, two academies and one college serve the education needs of the Vail Valley.
Economy & Job Market
A vast array of job opportunities can be found throughout the year in Vail, especially during the ski season. The valley's largest employer, Vail Resorts, hires about 3,000 employees during peak season, while the Town of Vail hires about 100 seasonal employees. Other major companies include Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Ecomshare, Fox Hot Tubs and Billiards, Hearth Exchange Inc., Kidsport Inc., Kwal Paint and Mountain Comfort Furnishings, Costco just to name a few.
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