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A sweetheart of a Presidents Day weekend

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A direct overlap of Valentine’s Day and the three-day Presidents Day holiday weekend led to packed restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.

Restaurant and hotel owners reported a strong double-holiday weekend, bringing hope that the city’s tourism economy is on an upswing.

Sunlight Mountain Resort general manager Tom Jankovsky, however, reported a 10 percent slide in skier numbers compared to last year’s Presidents Day weekend.



Corrie Gentry, front-of-house manager of the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company, said the weekend was a rousing success at her restaurant.

“We had some record numbers,” she said. “We had an hour wait for dinner on Friday and Saturday. This is definitely the busiest Presidents Day weekend ever.”



Linda L’Estrange, co-owner of Sake on Cooper Avenue in Glenwood Springs, said her restaurant had its busiest weekend in its short history.

“We were so slammed for Valentine’s Day night,” she said. “The people who couldn’t get in Friday came in Saturday.”

Valentine’s Day evening, she said, was even busier than New Year’s Eve.

“Everybody wanted to bring their date to Sake,” she said.

Taipei Tokyo 2, located near True Value Hardware on Grand Avenue, also reported a busy weekend.

“We did pretty good. We were busy at lunch,” owner Jenny Wang said. “There were lots of people, and Carbondale was busier than last year,” she said of her original Taipei Tokyo restaurant in Carbondale.

Numbers were not available for the Hot Springs Pool, but the pool remained busy and crowded throughout the weekend.

Local hotels generally reported high occupancy rates during the Valentine’s and Presidents Day weekend.

Best Western Antlers was completely full on Saturday and more than 75 percent full on Friday, a manager there said. Overall, the occupancy rate was better than Presidents Day weekend last year, a front desk clerk reported.

At Best Value Inn and Suites, Friday and Saturday were sold out and Sunday also would have been sold out if not for late cancellations last Wednesday due to weather concerns, co-owner Linda Stoltzfus said. But the number of “vacancy” signs on other hotels, she said, was disturbing.

“I drove through town Saturday night, out to the Sopris (Restaurant) and back, and there were a lot of vacancy signs. It’s sad,” she said.

The Hotel Colorado had no such problem, front desk clerk Brenda Wallace said. “We were sold out,” she said. “It was a busy weekend for us.”

At Sunlight Mountain Resort, icy conditions prevailed for two-thirds of the weekend, but a much needed seven-inch dump Sunday night and into Monday brought the resort back up to its normal midseason form, Jankovsky said.

“We were off a little bit, maybe 10 percent from last year,” he said. “I don’t know the exact reason why.”

Despite the slower-than-average holiday weekend, Jankovsky was happy to report that he’s expecting this season to be the biggest since 1996-1997.

Surprisingly, Jankovsky said the mostly-snowless January might help break records for the season’s skier-day total.

“This will be the first year we’ll be above 90,000 skiers in six years,” he said, predicting a strong finish for the 2002-03 season.


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