EAGLE COUNTY — This fall, the idea was to shorten Vail’s annual Restaurant Month promotion to a week.
But it turned out to be so successful, some of the participating restaurants and hotels have decided to extend it out, bringing the promotion back towards the one-month period from which it began.
“We want people to come in and try the discounted entrees that maybe they didn’t try during restaurant week,” said La Tour owner Paul Ferzacca. “So we’re extending it out at least another week, maybe more.”
On Monday, the Westside Cafe also announced they’re extending out their restaurant week special, as well, for as long as they remain open during the offseason.
“Restaurant Week was awesome,” said Westside Cafe co-owner Mike Dennis. “We actually sold out of our special a few nights ... so we’re going to extend our special through our last night of dinner service on Sunday.”
Dennis described the previous Restaurant Month efforts as “half-hearted” compared to this year’s Restaurant Week.
“This year was really the initial voyage, and it was definitely a success,” he said.
Scarcity principleThe idea behind the original Restaurant Month was to get Vail restaurants together to collaborate on specials and promotions, and offer deals their patrons won’t be able to find at other times of the year. This year, it was extended to Beaver Creek and shortened to a 10-day affair. The name was changed to Restaurant Week, employing an old marketing tool — the scarcity principle.
By the end of the Restaurant Week promotion, the effectiveness of that principle — which concludes that by limiting the supply of a something people want, the demand will be increased — could be seen by just walking through Vail Village.
If you took a stroll down Meadow Drive on Sunday night, the final night of the promotion, you would have seen Terra Bistro and La Tour packed full of people, all taking advantage of the final moments of the Restaurant Week special.
“We’re slammed,” said Terra Bistro’s manager, Tony McNally, from his post at the front door on Sunday evening. “It’s been a great offseason.”
McNally said Terra Bistro plans to stay open throughout the offseason, offering a similar special as they did during restaurant week — half off entrees.
“The restaurant week deal was entrees for $20.13, and with our half off special, many will end up cheaper than that,” he said.
‘Couldn’t believe it’Riley Romanin, owner of Hooked in Beaver Creek, said he couldn’t believe the specials offered at his neighboring restaurants during restaurant week.
“The Beaver Creek Chophouse was offering a 1.5-pound lobster for $20!” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Romanin said he was happy to be a part of such a great opportunity.
“With us specializing in seafood, they may have stepped on our toes a little with that deal,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s all good, I was really happy to see all the people up here at Beaver Creek Village; I’m really glad we could be a part of it.”
In an effort to keep it going, Hooked plans to continue with a similar deal in the offseason, a half pound of king crab legs and a 7X brand steak for $25 every Thursday until the start of the ski season.
“We’ll be closed Oct. 20 through Nov. 1, but aside from those two Thursdays, it’s on,” he said. “I want to keep the Restaurant Week vibe alive for sure.”
In nearby Avon, Vin48 wasn’t an official member of the restaurant week, but co-owner Collin Baugh said he really enjoyed the promotion.
“I think it was a great idea,” said Baugh. “I think it’s going to just keep growing and growing. I know locals really enjoyed it, and now with some of the hotels getting on board, people can come in from out of town and find discounts across the board, not just at the restaurants.”
For some of the participating hotels, the promotion may not have been as effective, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to keep the momentum going nonetheless.
“We were offering $79 rooms during restaurant week, which I think anyone would agree is a pretty great deal for Vail,” said Coco Melin, director of sales and marketing at the Evergreen Lodge in Vail. “We didn’t see many people taking advantage of it, but we went ahead and extended it out for the rest of the month anyway.”