Vail, CO

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Vail is a  is a small town of approximately 5,000 residents at the base of Vail Mountain, home of the massive Vail Ski Resort, located in Eagle County, CO. While prostitution and sex trafficking have not been demonstrated to be significant issues, reports of their occurrence have been documented, generating complaints to local law enforcement. Among the more serious issues associated with the area’s commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in 2018, a Colorado grand jury indicted two individuals, a man and woman, for allegedly transporting two juveniles in July 2017 to a hotel in Glenwood Springs and exploiting the children sexually for money. According to reports, the offenders posted ads of the juveniles on websites known for commercial sex, and provided hotel rooms where respondents would meet and sexually exploit the victims in exchange for money. The female offender was charged with 10 felony counts, including trafficking a minor for sexual servitude and procurement of a child, keeping a place of child prostitution, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The male offender was charged on eight counts.  Prostitution related violence has also occurred in Vail.  For example, in December 1979, a male sex buyer was beaten to death with a claw hammer, and his “roommate” whom the murder victim had solicited for sex, was found guilty of second-degree murder a year later.

The two had met when the Vail resident solicited a man for prostitution in Denver, and then invited the man (who needed a job and had a drug problem) to come live with him in Vail. The man said he was uncomfortable with the arrangement, but went to Vail out of desperation, according to police. They had been living together for two weeks when the man awoke from a nap to find the sex buyer making sexual advances toward him. After pushing and punching the offender, the prostituted man ran to the kitchen, grabbed a hammer and hit the Vail resident 10 to 20 times in the head, shoulders and chest with the hammer. The prostituted man turned himself in three days later in Denver. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and was granted parole in 1986.

In April, 2023, a former Vail Police officer was scheduled to appear in Eagle County court the following May for harassment, a class-1 misdemeanor, and soliciting prostitution. He had been arrested on March 29 on charges of harassment, at which time he was terminated from his position with the Vail Police Department, according to information provided by the town of Vail. District Attorney Heidi McCollum reportedly said that the man was also charged with soliciting prostitution as a result of an incident alleged to have occurred at a local a bar and restaurant in the Sandstone area of Vail. The man had arrived at the bar and was behaving erratically and harassing guests, and followed one of the female guests at the bar to her residence after she left, frightening the woman. A bartender shared the story with the Vail Police Department following the incident. The man was arrested on March 29 and posted a $2,000 bond on March 30. He had been with the Vail Police Department for less than a year before his termination.

State Colorado
Type City
Population 4735
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