Labor Day weekend brings high traffic to Summit County businesses
Good weather, full capacities led to near-record sales for some
Labor Day weekend often serves as the last hurrah of summer for many, bringing in a high volume of business for Summit County.
Susan Wentworth, owner of the Frisco Lodge, said her business as well as most others along Frisco Main Street were busy throughout the weekend. She said since the Log Cabin Cafe closed, she has had lots of folks coming to her business asking if they serve breakfast.
“I think it has put a huge stress and strain on the Butterhorn and Bread + Salt, because over the weekend I did have a lot of people asking me if there was someplace else for breakfast,” Wentworth said.
Wentworth said her business’s operations are mostly consistent with last year’s and that the lodge has been busy throughout the summer.
Judy Jordan, co-owner of Pug Ryan’s Brewery and Tiki Bar in Dillon, said this Labor Day weekend has been one of the busiest on their books.
“It was huge,” Jordan said. “It was a really, really busy weekend for us.”
Jordan said the brewery also did well last year on Labor Day weekend since they had so much outdoor seating. At that time, all indoor tables had to be spaced 6 feet apart.
Jordan said this has been the business’s most successful summer yet, which she said could be attributed to the brewery and Tiki Bar’s close proximity to Dillon Amphitheater considering concerts returned this summer.
“This summer has been up over all previous summers that I have record of,” Jordan said. “… We’re doing really well.”
Charissa Mantal, manager at Diamond Tees in Breckenridge, said the store is usually busy due to its close proximity to hotels but that this weekend was one of the shop’s busiest. Mantal said the store is also short staffed.
“We’re just right across the road from where hotels and restaurants are in this area, so we always get busy, and we always get traffic,” Mantal said.
Mantal said Saturday morning wasn’t quite as busy as the rest of the weekend, though, since The Summit Foundation’s Great Rubber Duck Race was going on across the street.
Mike Spry, owner of the Sunshine Cafe in Silverthorne, said the business climate is better this year since there are no capacity restrictions in place, but he thinks there were similar amounts of people in town this weekend as there were this time last year.
“Business for us was kind of just consistent with what we’ve seen all summer,” Spry said. “We’ve got a very solid summer, and this weekend was no different.”
TJ Messerschmitt, owner of Fatty’s Pizzeria in Breckenridge, said while he hasn’t compared the numbers to last year, he thinks business was either on par or better than last Labor Day.
Messerschmitt said Fatty’s has always been known for its to-go business, and while that increased during the height of the pandemic, he said it is more balanced now that seating is back to normal.
“It’s more balanced between inside dining, outside dining and to-go’s,” Messerschmitt said. “It was a great weekend. This summer was — was just massive. I mean it was a busy, busy summer with lack of staffing, all the people that were in town.”
Messerschmitt also said his business picks up with wedding season, and the month of September is always a busy one at Fatty’s. He said he thinks the good weekend weather helped business, as well.
Erin Young, owner of Red Buffalo Coffee and Tea in Silverthorne, said Labor Day is usually her third or fourth busiest weekend of the year behind Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. She agreed that good weather means good business.
Young said all of her business’s numbers, both sales and visitors, are higher this year from March on than they were from March 2020 on. She said most of her customers are understanding of lines and wait times since it is such a popular area to visit.
While for visitors, Labor Day means a long holiday weekend, Young said for her and others in the service industry, it means a long workweek, something she thinks people forget. She said her staff has been able to relax a bit more now that they don’t have to remind people to wear masks and sit 6 feet apart as they did at this time last year.
“We had patient customers who were kind and friendly, and I think that means we’re also patient staff who are kind and friendly,” Young said. “And I’m glad that we were all able to have a successful weekend and not have to fight people on COVID restrictions.”
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