Vail, Colorado

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Vail, Colorado

Introduction to Vail, Colorado

Vale is a popular ski resort town situated in Eagle County in the Rocky Mountains. It's surrounded by the White River National Forest and features one of the top ski mountains in the entire world. It's a popular summertime destination for hiking, bicycle riding, fishing and other outdoor activities. Tourism is the primary factor for the economy. Most places are accessible by walking. The city offers majestic scenery, quality restaurants and nightlife.


The Ute Indians were the original inhabitants. During the late 1800's ranchers and miners seeking gold and silver arrived in the region. It was named in tribute to Charlie Vail, a state highway engineer. The population significantly increased due to the construction of a highway connecting the city with Denver. During World War II Vail was utilized for mountain survival training by the 10th Mountain Division. In 1962 the U.S. Forest Service granted a permit to Peter Seibert and Earl Eaton and Vail Mountain was officially available for skiing.


  • Vail Film Festival.
  • Bravo Vail Valley Music Festival offers the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Colorado Ski Museum includes extensive information regarding the history of skiers and snow boarders.
  • Numerous luxurious spas.
  • Piney Lake is known for its beautiful views.
  • Lazy J Ranch.

Outdoor Activities

Vail is one of the top ski destinations in the world. Vail Mountain has a vast amount of acreage for skiing. Snow boarding, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are popular activities. The well known Vail Ski Resort includes seven bowls and is the biggest single mountain ski resort in the country. A gondola provides transportation to the mountain top for non-skiers who want to enjoy the magnificent view. The nearby Beaver Creek Resort is a prominent United States ski resort and often hosts Alpine Skiing World Cup competitions.

The ski trails are utilized for mountain biking during the summer months. Bicycle riders can take lifts to the mountain top and enjoy the thrilling ride down the mountain. The trails have been rated for difficulty. The Berry Picker Trail provides hikers access to the top of the mountain. The Eagle River flows through the valley and provides excellent opportunities for rafting. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the numerous quality golf courses.

Nightlife and Accommodations

Quality accommodations including hotels, condominiums, resorts and lodges are available. The Roost Lodge, the Sitzmark Lodge, Wren at Vail, the Vail Racquet Club Town Homes and Condominiums, Bighorn Vail Marriott Resort and Spa and the Lion Square Lodge are some of the top locations to stay at.

There are more than 100 restaurants and nightclubs. Vail Village is popular for dining and nightlife. Visitors enjoy the piano and sports bars, the romantic restaurants and the active nightspots. There are a large number of shops and quality art galleries.


The city is served by the Vail/Eagle County Airport. An extensive free shuttle bus system is available.

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High Points

Vail strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Colorado):

Category Trophy
Public Transportation Use
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Vail Public Transportation Use
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Vail Well-Paid Single Men
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Vail College Educated Adults
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 6% Vail Well-Paid Single Women
Median Family Income
(vs. Peers)
Top 8% Vail Median Family Income
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 9% Vail Walking and Biking to Work
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 10% Vail Short Commute Times
People in Middle Class or Better
(vs. Peers)
Top 15% Vail People in Middle Class or Better
Low Violent Crime
(vs. State)
Top 18% Vail Low Violent Crime

Comparative Profile of Vail, Colorado

Comparing Vail to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Colorado (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Male Share of the Population 10 10
Well-Paid Single Women 10 10
Racial Diversity 8 7
Age of the Population 2 4
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1
Female Share of the Population 1 1
Senior Citizens 1 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 1 1
Portion of People Married 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 10
Median Family Income 10 9
People in Middle Class or Better 9 9
People Above Poverty 8 8

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Public Transportation Use 10 10
Walking and Biking to Work 10 8
Short Commute Times 10 8
Working at Home 9 7


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 9
Housing Recently Built 9 7
People Living Alone 8 8
Affordability of Property Taxes 2 1
Affordability of Rents 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 7 9
Low Property Crime 1 1

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Vail Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 64 miles SW of Boulder, Colorado (center to center)
Nearest Large City 74 miles W of Denver, Colorado
County Eagle
Standard Zip Codes 81657
P.O. Box Zip Codes 81658
Phone Area Codes 970
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 39.64
Longitude -106.373

Vail Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Station VAIL
Distance 1.9 miles
Jan Temp 2 to 26 F
Apr Temp 22 to 47 F
Jul Temp 40 to 75 F
Oct Temp 23 to 53 F
Annual Precip 20.4 inches
Distance 27 miles
Jan Temp 4 to 28 F
Apr Temp 17 to 43 F
Jul Temp 39 to 71 F
Oct Temp 23 to 50 F
Annual Precip 16.6 inches
Distance 28.3 miles
Jan Temp -2 to 26 F
Apr Temp 24 to 52 F
Jul Temp 44 to 80 F
Oct Temp 23 to 59 F
Annual Precip 11.4 inches
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Vail Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 4,531 100%
Male 2,644 58.4%
Female 1,887 41.6%
Under 18 449 9.9%
18+ 4,082 90.1%
65+ 214 4.7%
Median Age 31.9
Average Family Size 2.62
White 4,265 94.1%
African-American 13 0.3%
Asian 75 1.7%
American Indian & Alaskan 22 0.5%
Other 65 1.4%
Mixed Race 87 1.9%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 281 6.2%

Estimated Vail Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 4,589
Growth 58
Growth % 1.3%

Vail Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
German 18%
Irish 12.7%
English 11.3%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 11.2%
US/American 5%
Italian 4.7%
Scottish 4.3%
Swedish 3.7%
Norwegian 3.5%
Polish 2.6%
European 2.4%
Scotch-Irish 2.1%
French (except Basque) 2%
Czech 1.6%
British 1.5%
Welsh 1.4%
Dutch 1.3%
Australian 1.3%
Austrian 1.1%
Russian 0.9%
Scandinavian 0.8%
South African 0.6%
Danish 0.6%
Swiss 0.6%
Hungarian 0.6%
Finnish 0.4%
French Canadian 0.4%
Slovak 0.4%
Greek 0.4%
Alsatian 0.3%
Czechoslovakian 0.3%
Portuguese 0.3%
New Zealander 0.3%
Serbian 0.2%
Croatian 0.2%
Yugoslavian 0.2%
Northern European 0.2%
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Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Vail, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

East Vail (81657)
West Vail (81657)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Vail 4,531 $66,389
Avon 5,561 $52,339
Dillon 802 $59,107
Frisco 2,443 $70,556
Minturn 1,068 $53,750
Red Cliff 289 $44,219
Silverthorne 3,196 $61,715

Vail Public Libraries

Vail Public Library
Vail, Colorado
(970) 479-2184
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Vail Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(970) 476-2451
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Vail

(As of 2005)
2131 N Frontage Rd W
Vail Village
242 East Meadow Drive
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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Telluride, Colorado 91.9   30.8% 1.9% 58.5% 14 $66,136 3.2% 7.4% 2,221 11.5% 57.2 37.5% 1.4
2. Ketchum, Idaho 91.4   42% 9.4% 51.9% 13 $73,750 2.6% 5.3% 3,003 8.9% 52.6 37.6% 1.3
3. Breckenridge, Colorado 90.6   28.3% 2.1% 55.5% 11 $52,212 3% 4.4% 2,408 8.8% 41.5 68.1% 0.8
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