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Town of Vail, Colorado
—  Town  —
Gore Creek Drive, at the Heart of Vail Village

Location in Eagle County and the state of Colorado
Coordinates: 39°38′9″N 106°21′47″W / 39.63583°N 106.36306°W / 39.63583; -106.36306Coordinates: 39°38′9″N 106°21′47″W / 39.63583°N 106.36306°W / 39.63583; -106.36306
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County[1] Eagle County
Incorporated 1966[2]
 - Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 - Mayor Dick Cleveland[3]
 - Town Manager Stan Zemler
 - Total 4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
 - Land 4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 8,022 ft (2,445 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 4,531
 Density 1,006.9/sq mi (387.3/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 81657
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-80040
GNIS feature ID 0202339
Website Town of Vail

The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality located in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,589.[4] The town was established in 1966 at the base of Vail Ski Resort, which opened in December 1962. The town is famous for having the second largest single ski mountain in North America and other winter sports in addition to being a year round destination for outdoor activities.



The town of Vail was incorporated in 1966, four years after the opening of Vail Ski Resort. The ski area was founded by Pete Seibert and the local rancher Earl Eaton in 1962, between the town of Eagle and Vail Pass. The pass was named after Charles Vail, the highway engineer that routed U.S. Highway 6 through the valley in 1940.

Seibert, a New England native, served in the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division during World War II, which trained at Camp Hale, just southeast of Vail. He was seriously wounded in Italy and was told he should become a professional skier when he recovered. He was noticed as the best skier in the world for a short time.


Map pointer
Map of Eagle County
Vail is near the eastern border of Eagle County, on I-70, within White River National Forest.

Vail is located at 39°38′09″N 106°21′47″W / 39.635757°N 106.362984°W / 39.635757; -106.362984.[5] Its average elevation is 8150 feet (2484 m) above sea level.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.8 km²), with no lakes (there is, however, at least one pond). Gore Creek flows from east to west through the center of town.

Mount of the Holy Cross is visible from the top of Vail mountain near the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola.

Vail is located in the White River National Forest and is leased from the United States Forest Service.


Vail Mountain

Vail Mountain has a maximum elevation of 11,570 feet (3527 m) and a low of 8,120 feet (2476 m), giving a vertical drop of 3450 feet (1052 m).[6] It has 5,289 acres (21 km2) skiable, 33 lifts, 193 marked trails on three faces: the front side, the back bowls, and Blue Sky Basin. The seven back bowls are Sun Down Bowl, Sun Up Bowl, Teacup Bowl, China Bowl, Siberia Bowl, Inner Mongolia Bowl, and Outer Mongolia Bowl. Vail was ranked as the top ski resort in SKI Magazine's reader's poll for the 2006-07 season.[7]


Climate data for Vail
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °F (°C) 26
Average low °F (°C) 2
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.64
Source: The Weather Channel[8] 2009-08-16

Vail is high in the mountains, and therefore experiences pleasantly warm summers and cold winters. Depending on the classification used, it is either an alpine or subarctic climate. The temperature rarely rises above freezing from Thanksgiving to late February. The town of Vail receives an average of 200 inches of snowfall per season, with even more in the surrounding mountains. Roads may occasionally close. In summer, the thermometer can reach the 80s, but more often hovers around the low to mid-70s. Combined with brisk mountain breezes, this makes summers refreshing and cool.

Vail transportation

Part of the ski area at Vail.

Vail is served by Eagle County Airport, which is near Gypsum. Native Americans used to call the area near this airport the "hole in the sky" because storms seemed to avoid it. Vail is modeled after European ski towns, many of which are car-free, and the town is partially car-free. Vail hosts the largest zero-fare shuttle bus system in the USA and has one hybrid-electric bus (For schedules see Vail Transit, for estimated arrival times visit NextBus). At each of the several bus stops a sign tells you how long until the next two buses arrive.

Major highways

I-70.svg Interstate 70 runs east-west through the middle of Vail and is the only road to Vail. East of Vail the highway climbs Vail Pass and then travels to Denver, located 97 miles away. To the west, it passes through Avon, Eagle, Grand Junction and reaches the State of Utah, where it ends at the intersection with Interstate 15.


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 4,531 people, 2,165 households, and 762 families residing in the town. The population density was 999.0 people per square mile (385.3/km²). There were 5,389 housing units at an average density of 1,188.1/sq mi (458.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.13% White, 0.29% African American, 0.49% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.20% of the population.

There were 2,165 households out of which 11.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.0% were married couples living together, 3.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 64.8% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.62.

In the town the population was spread out with 9.9% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 47.9% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 4.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 140.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 143.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $56,680, and the median income for a family was $66,389. Males had a median income of $33,534 versus $32,065 for females. The per capita income for the town was $42,390. About 1.8% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.9% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.


The Vail economic community relies mostly upon tourism. Though the majority of the tourism industry revolves around seasonal winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, Vail has become increasingly popular as a summer vacation destination. Popular summer activities that take advantage of Vail's picturesque surroundings include guided hikes, mountain biking, horseback riding, carriage rides and fishing. Vail is also developing as a cultural center, with various art and music venues throughout the summer. Vail also has a developed culinary center with a diverse variety of restaurants.

District I-70 Exit Feature
East Vail East Vail Single-Family Residential
Golf Course Vail, East Vail Golf Course, Ford Park, Low Density Residential
Gold Peak Vail Mountain Portal, Multi-Family
Vail Village Vail Mountain Portal, Retail, Resort, Transportation Center & Public Parking, Colorado Ski Museum. Vista Baun access to the Mid Vail mountain complex
Business Vail City Government, Medical, Banks, Office, Inter-Faith Chapel, Low Density Residential
Lionshead Vail Mountain Portal, Retail, Resort, Library, Ice Arena, Public Parking. Gondola access to Eagle's Nest and Adventure Ridge mountain complexes (open year round)
Sandstone (North of I-70) Vail, West Vail Mixed-Use: Retail, Office, Grocery Stores, Post Office, Grade School; Residential
Proposed (EverVail) West Vail Mountain Portal, Resort
Cascade Village West Vail Mountain Portal, Resort
West Vail West Vail Single-Family Residential

The Town of Vail provides one of the country's largest free bus services, year-round. The "In-Town Shuttle" provides frequent service (5 minutes during peak winter times, 15 minutes non-peak) between Golden Peak, Vail Village, the Business District, and Lionshead, with real time schedule information provided at bus stops via GPS technology to track buses. Other routes centering on the Transportation Center service East and West Vail areas (and points in-between) on a scheduled, but less frequent basis. [10]

Eagle County provides modestly priced bus service from the Transportation Center with service to Vail, Leadville, Minturn, Eagle-Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum and Dotsero.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

Museums and other points of interest

Parks and recreation


Vail has a council-manager form of government and is led by a 7-member town council elected-at-large.


Vail's public schools are part of Eagle County School District RE-50 with high school students attending Battle Mountain High School. Eagle County Schools also offers the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, a joint program with area ski programs for students in grades 8-12 that are involved in competitive skiing and snowboarding.

Private schools in Vail include Vail Mountain School (K-12), Vail Christian High School (9-12), St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School (K-8) and The Vail Academy (PK-8).

Higher education is offered through the Vail Eagle Valley campus of Colorado Mountain College.


The Vail Daily is published by Colorado Mountain News Media. Alternative news and information sources are offered by and the Vail Mountaineer.

A broadcast translator for public radio station KUNC allows listeners in the Eagle Valley to listen at 99.7 FM.

Two specialty television networks have stations in Vail, Plum TV and Resort Sports Network. The latter, branded as TV-8, also broadcasts on the low-powered UHF station K45IE. The Ski Channel is available only on DirecTV on Channel 1860.

During the mid 70's Vail became known as the Western White House for President Gerald Ford, and he did a good bit of the nation’s business from The Lodge at Vail. Cabinet members and other high-ranking government officials were a common sight during this time. The national media followed Ford to Vail and almost daily they beamed television pictures of Vail’s slopes into living rooms all over the world. That media saturation, as much or more than anything else, put Vail on the map as an international destination ski resort.[11]

Famous Residents

Sister cities

See also


  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities" (HTML). State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations" (HTML). State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  3. ^ Town of Vail * Town Council
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Colorado" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. Retrieved November 17 2006. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Stats and facts". Vail Management Company. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  7. ^ SKINET :: The Ultimate Online Resource for Ski Gear, Ski Travel, Ski Photos and Ski Video - Powered by Ski, Skiing, and Warren Miller Entertainment
  8. ^ "Monthly Averages for Vail, CO". The Weather Channel. Retrieved August 16, 2009. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Vail Colorado-Todays information & news from Vail Daily - News

External links

Simple English

Vail is a town in the American state of Colorado. It is best known for being one of the best places to ski in North America. The Vail Ski Resort is the largest ski resort with only one mountain in North American. In 2006, it was believed that 4,859 people lived in Vail.[1]


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  1. "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Colorado" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-17. 


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