The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality located in Eagle County, Colorado. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 4,589. The town was established in 1966 at the base of Vail Ski Resort, which opened in December 1962. The town is famous for its skiing and other winter sports in addition to being a year round destination for outdoor activities.
Vail Mountain has a maximum elevation of 12,250 feet (3526 m) and low of 8,120' (2475 m), a vertical drop of 3450' (1051 m). 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.
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 through out the summer. Vail also has a developed culinary center with a diverse variety of restaurants.
Annual cultural events:
Vail Film Festival world-class annual film festival taking place in March or early April Bravo!
Vail Valley Music Festival featuring the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra & the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Museums and other points of interest:
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
Steadman-Hawkins clinic world renowned clinic for knee injuries
Colorado Ski Museum
Vail Ski Resort
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. Interstate 70 runs east-west through the middle of Vail and is the only road to Vail. East of Vail along the highway is Vail Pass and 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.