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EST.1962

LF A H

E C A

Y R U NT

WE LOOK TO THE PAST FOR KNOWLEDGE.

Five decades working in the Vail Valley have given us unique knowledge and perspective. We know this market like no one else because back in 1962, Rod Slifer was the ďŹ rst full-time, local real estate broker here. We continue to lead with nearly half of the area’s total sales volume annually attributed to our brokers. Let us use our vision and pioneering spirit to help you discover the possibilities for your future in the Vail Valley.

WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH VISION.

Peace, Back by popular demand

I L n! S N VA Fu O F p T I O sto L A T Y on U NI N AT U and R G M ng N M kii O O S C E C s of T H ear TO 5 0 Y r Fo

M E ET

SEBASTIAN ...AN D YOU WI LL OWN TH E MOU NTAI N.

Ownership at The Sebastian - Vail is fun, affordable and absolutely effortless. It begins with a lavish spa, lively dining and nightlife, spacious mountain-view residences and your own slopeside base camp, so you can step into your ski boots and onto the lift. The Private Residence Club is the perfect way to have it all, yet without the worries of traditional second-home ownership. In addition, Owners also enjoy reciprocity throughout the worldwide properties in the Timbers Resorts portfolio. Come visit us at 16 Vail Road today.

970.331.0733 | 866.507.8012 www.residencesatthesebastian.com MODEL RESIDENCE OPEN DAILY

Dancing Bear Esperanza Doonbeg The Orchard The Rocks Timbers Club Mayacama Villas at Rancho Valencia One Steamboat Place Castello di Casole Botany Bay The Sebastian Aspen Cabo San Lucas Ireland Napa Scottsdale Snowmass Sonoma Southern California Steamboat Springs Tuscany U.S. Virgin Islands Vail

IRRESISTIBLE

INSPIRED

ICONIC

APPLE BURBERRY ELWAY’S FAÇONNABLE HYDE PARK JUICY COUTURE KIEHL’S SINCE 1851 LACOSTE LOUIS VUITTON MONTBLANC RALPH LAUREN RESTORATION HARDWARE TIFFANY & CO. TUMI

MACY’S

U

NEIMAN MARCUS

U

NORDSTROM

16 0 A M A ZIN G ST O R ES , O V ER 4 0 EX C L US I V E T O D ENV ER 3 0 0 0 E A ST F IR ST AVE N U E U D ENV ER , C O U S H O P C H ER RY C R EEK . C O M

ADVENTURE RIDGE

Tubing and more at the top of Vail Mountain. vail.com | (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245)

CELEBRATING OUR FIRST 50 YEARS –TOASTING TO MANY MORE!

VAIL.COM

Welcome

UST A BUNCH OF STORIES. That’s the epiphany we came to, again and again, while putting this book together. There’s no official, carvedin-stone account of Vail’s birth and growth. There’s no single viewpoint of the town’s life and times. Vail’s history, like all histories, is simply a bunch of stories. Reams of stories. Piles of stories. Funny and sad and quixotic and personal and random and exciting and wonderful stories. Tall tales. Tense dramas. Euphoric experiences. Sad accounts. History. ¶ Randy Wyrick spent the past several months digging through box after box supplied by the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame, courtesy of its executive director Susie Tjossem. He also had access to the town of Vail’s video histories, compiled by Suzanne Silverthorn, the town’s communications director. Silverthorn

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

and others sat down with several Vail Pioneers and videotaped their stories of triumph and tragedy. Lauren Glendenning spent a fair bit of time at the Ski Museum, too, studying up on the 10th Mountain Division’s history and connection with Vail. And Scott Miller sifted through 50 years of archives to make a coherent account of the resort’s chain of ownership. ¶ But the stories? They came from everywhere. For years people have been sending in photos and anecdotes, adding them to the mix. And that’s what we wanted to publish. Yes, a lot of stories. But not really just a bunch of stories. These are our stories about how the greatest ski resort came to life these past 50 years. Whether or not they’re true, this is how they happened.

EST.1962

HA

LF A

CEN

TUR

Y

VA IL’S 50TH BIRTHDAY

The winning design in the Vail Resorts and Vail Daily poster contest showcases the 10th Mountain Division, skiing and snowboarding.

Poster Design by Greg Montgomery

Cheers, Wren Wertin editor

P H OTO C O U R T E S Y M O U N T- N - F R A M E

Our

PolarizedPlus2

lenses are

®

made with rare

earth elements to bring you closer to all the

colors of nature.

Available in prescription.

Maui Jim is the official sunglass of Vail Resorts. Available at: Vail Village Across from Solaris 970-476-1947

Beaver Creek Park Plaza 970-748-1947

Vail Village Next to Gondola One 970-476-5775

Lionshead Arrabelle Square 970-476-0226

Edwards Riverwalk 970-926-1947

Edwards Edwards Corner 970-926-1789

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

9

Ocean wears Palms. Bryan wears Waimea Canyon. ©2013 Maui Jim, Inc.

gibsingletongallery.com 1 Willow Bridge Road CS5 Vail Colorado 970-476-4851 art@gibsingletongallery.com 10

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

11

the relics

21 GOLDEN TICK ETS all-access passes

22 STUCK ON VAIL local ski pins

24 COVERED national media looks at vail

26 OFF THE WALL classic posters

28 POP CULTURE a collection of vintage vail novelties

36 THE LIFESTY LE skiing isn’t just a sport

46 GREETINGS FROM VAIL

decades of postcards

50 DECLASSIFIED a presidential day of play

the places

55 AN OFFER THEY COULD REFUSE

the antholz ranch before the golf course

62 TRIUMPH A MID THE TR AGEDY

life and death high on the cables

64 THEN AND NOW photos of the way it was

the people

81 10TH MOUNTAIN

12

84 W HO RUNS

THIS PLACE?

the resort ’s founders and owners

92 EARL EATON finder and cofounder

96 PETE SEIBERT dreamer and cofounder

100 BILL “SARGE” BROWN

mountain manager

102 DICK HAUSER M AN vail’s cheerleader

104 BILL W HITEFOR D good -times man

106 GEORGE CAULKINS the money man

108 BOB PARK ER marketing magician

114 FITZHUGH S cott town architect

116 PAUL TEST W UIDE trail crewman

118 ROD SLIFER the first realtor

128 PARTING SHOT throughout the book VAIL’S TALES a collection of words and photos depicting the mountain, the town and the people who loved — and built — it

DI VISION

THE TIMES

ski troopers and the vail connection

timeline of vail

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

P H OTO C O U R T E S Y M O U N T- N - F R A M E

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

13

WO R L D - C L A S S J E W E L RY D E S I G N E R S The Vail Coin Sold Exclusively at

LIONSHEAD JEWELERS What Happens in Vail Should Be Told www.tellyourvailstory.com 555 East Lionshead Circle • 970.476.0499 The Vail/Beaver Creek Catalogue™ • Jeff Jansen™ • VRI™

LAMINA JEWELRY 1 Willow Bridge Drive, Vail CO 81657 • 970.476.7799 14

VAIL 50

TH

ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

SOOTHE

A retreat unlike any other...

massage | facials manicures | pedicures

909 UTE FOREST LANE A N E S TAT E F O R G E N E R AT I O N S

Elk Ridge Ranch is one of the most sophisticated and imaginative estates in the Vail Valley, welcoming you with stunning architecture, extraordinary views and a wealth of exceptional touches throughout. Private, serene and secure, the 8,100+/- square foot home is situated on 35 magnificent acres which serve as a treasured spiritual retreat from the everyday world. Elk Ridge Ranch receives passionate accolades from all who visit, and will impress the most discerning connoisseur of fine real estate. $8,995,000

RESERVE YOUR www.909uteforest.com SPA EXPERIENCE TODAY 970-479-5404 | www.sonnenalpspa.com 20 Vail Road Vail, CO 81657

BREATHE at our

OXYGEN BAR

come to our indoor/outdoor heated tranquility pool and

ESCAPE

Carroll Tyler Led Gardner 970.390.0934 970.376.0223 massage & skin treatments | manicures & pedicures | heated indoor/outdoor tranquility pools & whirlpools | Turkish steam rooms & Finnish sauna with cold plunge ctyler@slifer.net led@ledgardner.com grand fireplace with relaxation cove & spa cafĂŠ | fitness room with floor-to-ceiling windows | gift certificates & spa memberships available 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

15

          

Executive Publisher

DON ROGERS Publisher

CATHY ETHINGTON cethington@vaildaily.com Editor

WREN WERTIN wren@vaildaily.com Creative & Design Direction

ALI & AARON CREATIVE aliandaaron.com Photo Editor

DOMINIQUE TAYLOR dtaylor@vaildaily.com Marketing Director

MARK BRICKLIN mbricklin@vaildaily.com Contributing Writers

RANDY WYRICK LAUREN GLENDENNING SCOTT MILLER Contributing Photographer

JUSTIN MCCARTY Special Thanks

SUSIE TJOSSEM SUZANNE SILVERTHORN TOWN OF VAIL VAIL RESORTS Contributing Graphic Artists

LOUIE ATENCIO CARRIE CALVIN ANDREA GOODLIN AFTON GROEPPER CARLY HOOVER MALISA SAMSEL Account Managers

CAROLE BUKOVICH cbukovich@vaildaily.com

PATRICK CONNOLLY pconnolly@vaildaily.com

CHRIS JACOBSON cjacobson@vaildaily.com

BETH MCKENZIE bmckenzie@vaildaily.com

Â?Â?Â?Â?  ­€‚ƒ„Â… Â…†‡†‚ˆƒ‰‰ˆ Â?„‚ ƒ‰‰ˆ

HEIDI SCHMITT hschmitt@vaildaily.com

TINA SCHWAB tschwab@vaildaily.com Cat Herder

KIP TINGLE

Š‹ ŠÂ?ŒŽ ‘„Â’‰‰„’‰“ ”ˆÂ?‰‚ˆƒ  Â’•‚Â’„Â’‰

Circulation Manager

JARED STABER Printing & Prepress American Web, INC. | Denver, Colorado USA 303.321.2422 Colorado Mountain News Media sets high standards to ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable manner. Printed in Denver, Colorado by American Web on recycled fibers containing 10% post consumer waste, with inks containing a blend of soy base. Our printer is a certified member of the Forestry Stewardship Council, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and additionally meets or exceeds all federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act standards. When you are finished with this issue, please pass it on to a friend or recycle it. We can have a better world if we choose it together. The Vail Daily is a wholly owned subsidiary of Colorado Mountain News Media 200 Lindbergh Drive | P.O. Box 1500 | Gypsum, Colorado 81637 p. 970.328.6333 f. 970.328.6409

  

   Â

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Copyright Š2013 Colorado Mountain News Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

17

George Lundeen XXXLOPYHBMMFSJFTDPN

Ernest Hemingway shown in progress. Clay maquette to be cast in Bronze. Life-size also available. Other available Lundeen historic bronzes: Ben Franklin Thomas Jefferson George Washington John Kennedy Ronald Reagan Robert Frost Winston Churchill

"WPOEBMF-BOFt#FBWFS$SFFL $0t #FBWFS$SFFL $0t%FOWFS $0t)BSCPS4QSJOHT .* 18

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Hooked on art since 1980

Discover Cascade Village One of Vail’s true gems.

Short and long-term rentals

Aria Spa & Club

1415 Westhaven Circle

With its rare combination of tranquility, amenities and services, this unique enclave offers uncrowded ski access provided by the Cascade lift; walking, biking and hiking trails; and Vail’s only Gold Medal trout stream just outside your door. The short walk to Vail Village follows a picturesque paved route along Gore Creek. What distinguishes Cascade Village from other residential areas, however, are the amenities, anchored by the Cascade Resort, consistently one of North America’s top-rated hotel experiences. The luxurious Aria Spa offers every imaginable treatment, plus a complete health club. Dial-a-ride service makes transportation a breeze for area residents and their guests.

From a short-term rental to the purchase of a ski-in luxury home, I’ll help find what you’re looking for in this extraordinary Vail location.

1225 Westhaven Circle • $5,495,000

Ellyn Courtois (970) 331-8232 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50 ecourtois@slifer.net

TH

ANNIVERSARY

19

a n u r b l a V Est. 1998 ver Vail . Bea

Creek

om nastore.c u r lb a .v www

All the people of Valbruna, I taly, gathered in 1998 to salute the opening of the Valbruna store in Vail Parajumpers P Napapijri P Alp-n-Rock P Hell is for Heroes P Montura Victorinox P Joules P Dolomite P Zero rh+ P Mountain Force P SCARPA VAIL - 100 E. Meadow Dr. - 970.476.3444 . BEAVER CREEK - 26 Avondale Ln., Beaver Creek Lodge - 970.688.5942

STUCK ON VAIL, 22 // OFF THE WALL, 26 // POP CULTURE, 28 // THE LIFESTYLE, 36 // DECLASSIFIED, 50

R A R E

T R E A S U R E S ,

T R O P H I E S

&

T R I N K E T S

GOLDEN TICKETS

Vail lift tickets were $5 for adults during the resort’s inaugural ski season. Only six tickets were sold on opening day, but that doesn’t include the lifetime passes that each original investor received.

I M AG I N G BY A L I & A A R O N C R E AT I V E

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

21

by WREN WERTIN

COLLECTIBLES

STUCK ON VAIL

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Like passport stamps and trunk stickers, pins declare where you’ve been and what you did. Hot commodities during the Olympics and other races, they’ll always be linked to ski culture.

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R | P I N S C O U R T E S Y M A R K B R I C K L I N & J O H N K A E M M E R

Kail Mountain View Residence '%)

Vail Mountain View Residences on Gore Creek offer a premiere location and commanding views of Vail’s ski slopes. Developed by Ron Byrne & Associates and now offered for resale, is Residence #204, a spacious three bedroom condominium. Onsite amenities including ski locker, storage locker, outdoor pool, hot tub, and heated garage. This property is a rare Vail commodity. Just a quick walk to the ski lifts and renowned shopping and dining of Vail Village. $2,780,000

Barb Murray 970.331.7070 barb@barbmurray.com

IN THE MEDIA

COVERED 24

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Vail made a big splash in the nation’s most notable publications, such as Sports Illustrated and the New York Times.

I M AG I N G BY W R E N W E R T I N | M AG A Z I N E C O U R T E S Y O F C O LO R A D O S K I & S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

s e m i t the gend • e on of a l i t a e r c •

1854

Lord Gore is the first white man known to ascend the craggy peaks northeast of Vail which now bear his name: the Gore Range.

1939

Highway 6 is built, connecting Denver to the mountain towns to the west of it. Charlie Vail, chief engineer for the Colorado Departd... ment of Highways, continue inspires the name Vail Pass.

es the tim

1954

1942

Camp Hale is established 20 miles southwest of Vail, where the 10th Mountain Division train for ski combat to fight in World War II. Among the ski troopers at Camp Hale are Pete Seibert (Vail founder), Bill “Sarge” Brown (responsible for cutting and grooming Vail’s slopes) and Bob Parker (Vail’s first marketing director).

1959

Earl Eaton, Pete Seibert and a small group of investors create the Trans Montane Rod and Gun Club, which will later be renamed as Vail Associates. The group begins buying land in the valley.

Valley native Earl Eaton is prospecting for uranium and discovers the skiable parts of Vail Mountain. He invites his buddy, Pete Seibert, to take a hike with him. Together they decide to develop the mountain as a ski resort.

Ihe Ultimate Luxury in Beaver Creek Located directly on Beaver Creek Mountain offering exclusive skiin access right to your deck, this prestigious home is completely new, sophisticated and timeless. Over 5,000 square feet with exceptional finishes and impeccable attention to detail. Picturesque windows, cathedral ceilings, stunning grounds, pool, hot tub, 2 car garage and walking distance to Beaver Creek Village. Exceptional Quality / Irreplaceable Value

1962

Work begins on Vail Mountain in January, and becomes frenetic that summer. ..... Vail Country Day School (later renamed Vail Mountain School) opens with four students. ..... Vail Mountain opens for skiing on December 15 with 876 acres of slopes and 6 square miles of terrain, one gondola, two chairlifts, one telephone and four houses. A doctor is contracted for the winter months to provide medical care to skiers, setting up an office in what is now the kitchen at the Red Lion restaurant.

ALITZA 970.471.5505 alitza@ronbyrne.com Experience. Knowledge. Trust.

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

25

by R A N DY W Y R ICK

ARTWORK

OFF THE WALL

A good snowstorm turns the world black and white, but the artwork surrounding Vail has always been bright and colorful

In 1960, two years before Vail opened, Bob Parker waltzed into into Salesvertising Art studio in Denver. Parker, Vail’s first marketing guru, needed some kind of artwork to illustrate the ski-area-to-be. All he had was a logo and some ideas. “There’s a gondola,” Parker said. “As far as I knew, Vail was just a wide spot in the road and the name of a mountain pass,” said Gary Kaemmer, an illustrator. Gary had never seen a gondola before, but that didn’t stop him from jumping into the project. Within a week he’d turned around the original art for that first poster.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

I M AG I N G BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R | P O S T E R S C O U R T E S Y J O H N K A E M M E R & M A R K B R I C K L I N

++ Killage Walk 7 eaver Creek’s

Crown Jewel

Discover the true meaning of ski-in/ski-out, luxury, and the finest design and finishes in this four-bedroom, five-bath residence. Truly a masterpiece, the creation of 66 Village Walk entailed the highest attention to detail and perfection. Tucked above Beaver Creek Village and located directly on Dally ski run, we invite you to tour the best that Village Walk and Beaver Creek have to offer.

Barbara Scrivens 970.471.1223 barbara@ronbyrne.com

from the BR ICK L IN A RCHI V ES

COLLECTIBLES

POP CULTURE

28

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Vail is a place for movers and shakers. From pennants to Monopoly boards to soda cans, catch the Vail wave— it makes for an amazing time.

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R

es the tim d... continue

1964

Giant Steps lift (No. 1) is installed in Vail Village. ..... Vail Airways begins service from the Eagle Airport to Denver.

1963

Ski Club Vail is formally organized and the first Vail Cup race is held in January. ..... Vail Mountain hosts its official opening ceremony January 19.

1965

Dr. Tom Steinberg is hired as Vail’s first full-time doctor and opens a small clinic in the Mill Creek Court Building. ..... The Vail Trail publishes its first issue in September. ..... The Clock Tower in Lionshead and the Covered Bridge in Vail Village are constructed.

1968

The first snowmaking systems are installed at Golden Peak. ..... Gerald and Betty Ford enjoy their first family vacation in Vail.

1970

Denver is awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics. ..... The 1970 Census lists Vail with a population of 484.

Kail Penthouse

1966

Vail voters approve incorporation of the Town of Vail. ..... The Vail Golf Course opens.

Magnificent Vail Mountain views from this spacious four-bedroom, sixbathroom home featuring a large loft / media room and beautiful finishes throughout. Enjoy the sunshine and listen to the tranquil sounds of Gore Creek while watching ski races and fireworks from your private balcony. Relish in the convenience of an onsite restaurant and lounge, two swimming pools, spa and 24 hour concierge. This exceptionally well located penthouse is just steps from Vail’s world class skiing, shopping and restaurants. $7,295,000

1967

Golden Peak opens for skiing with a double chairlift. ..... The medical clinic moves to West Meadow Drive, its present location.

1969

The Lionshead base area opens, as do the Lionshead Gondola and Game Creek Bowl. ..... The Vail Interfaith Chapel is dedicated. ..... Construction of Interstate 70 begins.

1971

The Vail Symposium is conceived as a once-a-year, weekend “think tank” by Vail Town Manager Terry Minger, and supported by Mayor John Dobson.

Mike Spiers 970.390.7280 mspiersy@msn.com

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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from the BR ICK L IN A RCHI V ES

COLLECTIBLES

VINTAGE VAIL

Over the years, Vail has gone from rustic, homespun resort to classy, flashy paradise. It’s attracted families, ski bums, adrenaline junkies and presidents.

Shake your empty Red Lion mug and the nested bell rings, signaling servers of your need for refreshment!

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R

SOOTHE massage | facials manicures | pedicures

RESERVE YOUR SPA EXPERIENCE TODAY 970-479-5404 | www.sonnenalpspa.com 20 Vail Road Vail, CO 81657

BREATHE at our

OXYGEN BAR

come to our indoor/outdoor heated tranquility pool and

ESCAPE

massage & skin treatments | manicures & pedicures | heated indoor/outdoor tranquility pools & whirlpools | Turkish steam rooms & Finnish sauna with cold plunge grand fireplace with relaxation cove & spa cafĂŠ | fitness room with floor-to-ceiling windows | gift certificates & spa memberships available

The Most Savvy Clientele. The Most Sought After Properties. The Most Skillful Brokers.

GOLDEN PEAK PENTHOUSE

100 VAIL ROAD

| 6 BEDROOMS, 12 BATHS | PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

1892 CROSS CREEK LANE

| $9,750,000

| $1,195,000

When buying or selling real estate in Vail, work with the brokers that get you results! 1220 WESTHAVEN LANE SO

LD

SALES PRICE: $3,015,000 | 6 BEDS, 4 BATHS

SO

LD

SO

LD

ARRABELLE AT VAIL SQUARE 430

SUMMERS LODGE RESIDENCE 3

SALES PRICE: $3,900,000 | 4 BEDS, 5 BATHS

SALES PRICE: $4,700,000 | 3 BEDS, 4 BATHS

George Lamb

Chris Atencio

glamb@slifer.net 1.970.479.2002

230 Bridge Street

catencio@slifer.net 1.970.376.6570

Vail Village

AtencioRE.com

december

15, 1962 –

december

15, 2012 TH E STORI E S / / TH E S EC RETS / / TH E LEG E N D S

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN Vail’s western-most ski terrain takes its name from Lionshead Rock in Minturn, and a handful of runs are lion themed, such as Born Free and Simba. At the grand opening, a real lion was brought in. He and Pete Seibert were to ride the new gondola together, but at the last minute Seibert decided against being trapped in the small car with the big kitty.

P H OTO C O U R T E S Y O F C O LO R A D O S K I & S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

33

compiled by R A N DY W Y R ICK

CHARLIE VAIL’S BIG IDEA

THE FIRST UTE SNOW DANCE There was so little snow that the Vail Associates board of directors met on Dec. 13, 1962 to discuss their options. Perhaps they believed it could help or perhaps it was a publicity stunt, but they brought in members of the Southern Ute tribe to do a snow dance. That night, they were hammered with 15 inches of snow and opened Dec. 15, 1962.

Vail Pass and Vail got its name from Charles Vail, Colorado’s chief highway engineer who paved more than 3,500 of roads around the state. When he took office in 1930 Colorado had only 500 miles of paved roads. But it’s his headstrong nature that made him memorable. Instead of a route preferred by locals in that area, Vail arbitrarily chose the road over Monarch Pass for a new highway over the Continental Divide between Salida and Gunnison. Then he named it for himself. He ordered signs erected that read “Vail Pass.” His detractors and enemies among the locals of that area — and there were many — blacked out his name with paint and replaced it with “Monarch.” Where they left Vail’s name on the signs, they blacked out the P in pass. About that time, a spectacular pass through the Gore Range was being completed. Workers jokingly erected a sign beside the road reading, “Vail Pass.” The area was sparsely populated, no one said a word about it and the name stuck.

FUN, FUN, FUN!

In the early 1970s Vi Brown was volunteering in the Vail information center when a young man came in with a question. “Do you have any gay hotels?” he asked. “Oh, they’re all fun!” Vi said excitedly. It wasn’t until later that she realized he may have been asking about something else. “We could be a little isolated up here,” Vi said.

IN THE BEGINNING According to a story in a Denver newspaper that ran December 19, 1963: A new boom town has sprung up in Colorado — born of the national upsurge in skiing and tourism. It’s Vail Village, located in a narrow valley on the west side of Vail Pass on U. S. 6, the Denver-Salt Lake City highway which is being developed as one of America’s main arterial interstate routes. Two years ago, Vail Village was a snow-covered sheep pasture. Now it boasts more than $8 million in new construction and the names of many of its homeowners are in the Who’s Who of U. S. industry.

SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

IMAGES COURTESY OF COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM AND THE BRICKLIN ARCHIVES

TRIVIA ANSWER = PINEY LAKE

TRIVIA

WHAT SCENIC LAKE IS ARRIVED AT BY DRIVING UP RED SANDSTONE ROAD?

from the BR ICK L IN A RCHI V ES

IN THE MEDIA

THE LIFESTYLE

36

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

When the Army launched the 10th Mountain Division, it was a call many found impossible to ignore.

I M AG I N G BY A L I & A A R O N C R E AT I V E

es the tim d... continue

CUSTOM CABINETRY ARCHITECTURAL MILLWORK

Denver withdraws as the host of the 1976 Winter Olympics. ..... Vail Mountain School hosts its first annual Kitchen Tour. Now the Home Tour is an annual tradition.

Vail police begin using patrol cars made by Saab as part of a vehicle-testing program that will last for many years. ..... The Gopher Hill Lift (No. 12) is installed in Golden Peak to provide a dedicated lift for beginner learning area.

Red Sandstone Elementary opens in its current location. ..... The first Jerry Ford Invitational Golf Tournament is held at the Vail Golf Course. Jack Nicklaus wins the event and the $10,000 prize, which he returns to help with future tournaments. ..... Vail Rugby Club is organized. The club is still in existence.

197 3 P H OTO C O U R T E S Y VA I L R E S O R T S

CUSTOM MOLDING HARDWOOD FLOORING The Town of Vail free bus system is established. This will become the largest free in-town bus system in the country. ..... The first Vail Lacrosse Shootout is held during the summer. 40-years later it is one of the most prestigious club lacrosse tournaments held. ..... The first “King of the Mountain Open� volleyball tournament is held in Golden Peak during the Fourth of July weekend.

On March 26, two Lionshead Gondola cars fall to the ground killing four people. ..... Vail Associates is sold to Harry Bass for $13 million. ..... The Colorado Ski Museum & Hall of Fame is founded in Vail Village. ..... The inaugural Vail Invitational Soccer Tournament is hosted. ..... Skating Club of Vail forms.

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2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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from the BR ICK L IN A RCHI V ES

IN THE MEDIA

GOLDEN AGE

38

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Even before Vail’s first marketing guru, Bob Parker, got in on things, skiing and the lifestyle associated with it was a hot commodity. It symbolized health, happiness and freedom of spirit. From cars to beverages, any product marketed with skiing got to enjoy the sport’s reputation. That was the world Vail entered when it opened its lifts for the first time.

I M AG I N G BY A L I & A A R O N C R E AT I V E

THE PIROG - TYLER TEAM es the tim d... continue

Interstate 70 is completed over Vail Pass.

Dobson Ice Arena opens in February.

The Vail Daily begins as a fiveday-a-week free newspaper. In 1992 it becomes a daily free newspaper. ..... Vail Associates Foundation is created (it will change its name to the Vail Valley Foundation in 1983). It hosts the inaugural Jerry Ford Celebrity Ski Cup. ..... Vail expands its snowmaking capabilities with the construction of Snow Central, a main control facility for snowmaking operations along with the first major on-mountain water storage pond.

The Vail Valley Medical Center is established as a full-service center with 25 full-time physicians on staff. ..... The Vail Invitational Figure Skating Challenge premieres. ..... The 1980 Census lists Vail with a population of 3,555.

The first Davos Dash mountain bike race is held. ..... The first Vail Hill Climb trail running race is held.

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Awarded Best Doctor in America 12 Years Running

Jimmie Heuga founds the Vail Valley-based Jimmie Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis.

The Town of Vail Public Library opens in its current location on July 4th. ..... The Vail Valley Foundation returns World Cup skiing to Vail following a 16-year hiatus. The organization creates the inaugural American Ski Classic ..... The Vail Mountain Bike Race Series begins. population of 3,555.

Put old fashioned hard-work and new innovative thinking to work for you. With 44 combined years of successful real estate experience in the Vail Valley, we get the job done.

Gillett Holdings, Inc. acquires Vail Associates for $130 million. ..... The Vista Bahn (No. 16) is added as a high-speed quad chairlift out of Vail Village. ..... Vail wins the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

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41

december

15, 1962 –

december

15, 2012 TH E STORI E S / / TH E S EC RETS / / TH E LEG E N D S

Somewhere between Svelte Elvis and Fat Elvis, there was Vail Elvis. Elvis Presley spent his 41st birthday, Jan. 8, in Vail doing what he usually did – sleeping all day and staying up all night. It seems The King of Rock ’n’ Roll stayed in a house on Mill Creek Circle and never ventured out during the day. He spent his nights doing what many Great Americans do, worshipping at the altar of the internal combustion engine. The King rode snowmobiles all night, all over Golden Peak and the Forest Service land around it. Relax, he had permission. We couldn’t quite find out from whom, but someone told the King it was perfectly fine to crank up those snow machines all night long. Perfectly… fine. You won’t be surprised to learn that Elvis brought at least three Cadillacs to Vail and gave them away to a couple of Denver policemen who were working as part of his security force. A Denver television reporter named McKinney got the other one. McKinney was reporting on Elvis’ Vail escapades and made a wisecrack on the air while reporting the story. It seems he said something like “... and Elvis, if you’re watching, I would like one too.” Not much later a man began calling McKinley’s TV station insisting he was Elvis. No one

42

LIGHTS OUT Elvis Presley, at right in the ski mask, spent his 41st birthday riding snowmobiles over Vail’s terrain after dark.

believed him and hung up the phone. You don’t get to be The King by giving up easily. Elvis called several times and each time no one believed him and hung up the phone. Finally McKinley took the call and became convinced it was Elvis, who offered him

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

that third Cadillac. McKinley talked it over with his boss, a wonderful and understanding man, and accepted the Cadillac. He drove it for several years and donated it to the Forney Museum in Denver. Pam Conklin worked for Vail Associates in those days and when cranky callers complained

about the Presley Posse snowmobiling on Golden Peak after dark, it was her phone that rang. Then, as now, Vail police are a curious lot and decided to check it out. When the Vail police arrived, Officer Roy Romero, one of Vail’s finest, became one of the few to have an actual Vail Elvis Sighting. Romero said the reclusive king was wearing a ski mask and a Denver police badge. At first Romero didn’t believe it was him, but there’s just something convincing when the King says, “Thank you, thank you very much!” Elvis was being escorted by Capt. Jerry Kennedy of the Denver Police Department, whom The King had hired to work security.

ELVIS SKI MASK IMAGE COURTESY OF COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM

Bates Wilson stingray reclaimed mixed media sculpture 86” H x 23” W x 16” d

(970) 476 2525 www.vailgallery.com info@vailgallery.com

compiled by R A N DY W Y R ICK

ROCK’N’ROLL PATROL One of Joel Fritz’s first ski patrol duties was removing rocks from Pickeroon. “You’d start at the top, roll them to the bottom and hope they didn’t hit anything when they went down. The idea was to make it as easy as possible for the snow to cover the runs,” Fritz said. “It’s common sense, but it didn’t seem common at the time.”

TRIVIA

SNOW-GO Earl Eaton credits the bright, red Kristi Kat with “selling Vail.” An early version of a snowcat, the engine wasn’t just powerful — it was loud. That was no accident. Earl didn’t mind cruising over the mountain with visitors, but he didn’t want to have to talk to them. So he made sure it was too loud to talk as he transported skiiers up and down the slopes.

Chris Jouflas and the Jouflas clan ran one of the largest sheep-ranching operations in the country right in Eagle County. The Jouflas crew was herding sheep on Vail Mountain for decades before it was named Vail Mountain. One summer day not so very long ago, Chris was about the business of herding sheep at the top of what is now Lionshead. He came across a couple of pleasant young guys wandering around the area, taking notes and pointing at things. That was 1960, when it was still impolite to point. Those guys were Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton. “I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were going to build a ski area,” said Chris, whose family ranched the area for most of the 20th century, even after the ski area was built. As construction continued, the mountaintop encounters became more frequent, and the groups he met were growing larger. Eventually, they started talking to Chris about buying some land for things like ski

44

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

WHAT CURRENT VAIL VILLAGE RESTAURANT USED TO BE KNOWN AS PISTACHIO’S? SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

runs and ski lifts. Those discussions included some pretty serious numbers by 1960 standards, and Chris began to split his focus between ranching and real estate. Those real estate discussions worked their way deep into the winter, when they finally reached a handshake agreement for 80 acres for a lift near what is now Lost Boy. “They wanted to buy them and build a chairlift,” said Chris. “We started talking, and it finally came to fruition one winter evening. As was my tradition in those days, I brought a bottle of ouzo.” And that, history buffs, is how the ski run of the same name earned its moniker. When the Vail developers bought another 135 acres, that deal was also consummated with a couple more rounds of ouzo. “They created the legend. I just brought the bottle,” said Jouflas. “As I recall, it’s a black diamond run, which works out pretty well because ouzo is a black diamond drink.”

The spring and summer of 1962 were dry, and that’s how Rod Slifer missed his chance to meet Walt Disney. He went to work for Vail Associates in May, 1962, the same day as Morrie Shepard. Slifer was the Clerk of All Things, which meant he did everything all the time. One day he was headed into Minturn to get the mail and he noticed the hillside above Minturn was on fire. He walked into the post office and was pressed into service when someone handed him a metal backpack filled with water and sent up the hill to help fight the fire. Later that day when the fire was out and Slifer returned to the office, the place was buzzing. “You won’t believe it!” he was told. “We had a guy come by who wanted to see what we were doing. Walt Disney!” Disney had acquired a huge chunk of land in California and wanted to build a ski area on it. He didn’t get too far. He didn’t manage to get the permits he needed, so the area was never built. “There went my one and only chance to meet Walt Disney.”

KRISTI KAT IMAGE COURTESY OF MOUNT-N-FRAME

TRIVIA ANSWER = VENDETTA’S

DISNEY’S DAY

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from the BR ICK L IN A RCHI V ES

COLLECTIBLES

ON THE FLIP SIDE: Residential area in the alpine Vail Village resort area 110 miles west of Denver on U.S. Hwy. 6. Rugged, 13,000 ft. peaks of the Gore Range above Vail Pass are seen in the background. On the right is one of the aerial cablecars which transports skiers to the Mid-Vail area 2000 ft. up Vail Mountain.

GREETINGS FROM VAIL 01

03

(01) Powder snow skiing at Vail, Colorado located 14 miles west of Vail Pass summit on U.S. Hwy. 6. (02) Mid-Vail View of North Bowl, Vail, Colorado. Skiers ascend to Mid-Vail in 4-passenger gondolas then ride a double chairlift to the top of 11,250 ft. Vail Mtn. for start of runs through 6 square miles of open slopes. Postmarked 1964. (03) Skiers racing down Golden Peak race course with Vail’s picturesque village at the base of the mountain. 02

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

I M AG I N G BY A L I & A A R O N C R E AT I V E

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from the BR ICK L IN A RCHI V ES

COLLECTIBLES 04

ON THE FLIP SIDE: (04) Championship golf course at Vail, Colorado and snow-capped, 13,000 ft. peaks of Gore Range. (05) Vail, Colorado and the Gore Range. This internationally famous ski and year ‘round resort is located in the Range 100 miles west of Denver and is accessible via Interstate 70. (06) Bridge Street near the Covered Bridge, Vail, Colorado. Postmarked 1976. (07) The Plaza in beautiful Vail, Colorado, with views of the 13,000 foot Gore Range. These luxurious accommodations are located just a few feet from the Gondola Terminal (orange building at right) and in the very center of things in America’s foremost winter resort. Postmarked 1968. 06

05

WISH YOU WERE HERE 07

(08) Valhalla at Vail. A uniquely refreshing and charming lodge located “front door close” to all of Vail’s fun facilities. Design and decor suggestive of Valhalla in early Viking tradition. Offering a variety of accomodations at thoughtful prices. (09) Morning, Bridge Street, Vail, Colorado.

09 08

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

I M AG I N G BY A L I & A A R O N C R E AT I V E

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DOCUMENTS

DECLASSIFIED Scanned from the President's Daily Diary Collection (Box 83) at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

Before he bought a home in Beaver Creek, President Gerald R. Ford and his family vacationed frequently in Vail, making the most of the mountain’s giant playground

DAY IN THE LIFE According to the diary entry dated Aug. 22, 1976 in Vail, Gerald Ford went to church at 9:01, played golf with local residents and business owners until 2:50 and then hosted a cocktail party until 10:15.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

D I A R Y E N T R Y C O U R T E S Y O F T H E G E R A L D R . F O R D P R E S I D E N T I A L L I B R A R Y | G O L F I M AG E C O U R T E S Y O F M O U N T- N - F R A M E

Independent investment advice for sophisticated investors

Mark A. Ballenger II Ballenger Asset Management & Research 110 East Beaver Creek Boulevard, Suite 201 Avon, Colorado 81620 | 970-471-9962 www.ballengerassetmgmt.com Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA & SIPC Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Ballenger Asset Management & Research are not affiliated. 52

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

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In the Heart of Vail

ON THE CABLES 62 // TRAIL NAME HISTORY 64 // THEN & NOW 67

U N C U T T E R R I T O R Y, W I L D F R O N T I E R S A N D P E A C E F U L VA L L E Y S

AN OFFER THEY COULD REFUSE HENRY AND LEONA ANTHOLZ HAD A RANCH THAT EVENTUALLY BECAME THE VAIL GOLF COURSE, FORD PARK AND PART OF VAIL VILLAGE.

P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y D I C K H AU S E R M A N A R C H I V E S

E A R LY V I S TA S

Ray Merz, Grandma Leona Antholz and Gilbert Antholz with their catch from Gore Creek. These boys are the grandson and great nephew of Leona and Henry Antholz.

H

ENRY AND LEONA ANTHOLZ got an offer they

managed to refuse, at least for a while. They owned the ranch where Golden Peak is now, and when Dick Hauserman and Fitzhugh Scott sat down with them, their price

bar had been set pretty high. Negotiations are like a pastoral stroll, and that stroll sometimes wanders pretty far afield. In that initial meeting, the four sat sown to discuss the Antholz ranch as Henry and Leona talked about how much they loved

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

55

by R A N DY W Y R ICK

VALLE Y R AN C H L AN D

it. They also mentioned how much the Vail investors had already paid for other property in the Gore Creek Valley. Henry explained with great enthusiasm that he’d never sell for $250,000 times the price Hauserman and Scott were offering. Then the conversation meandered again. “He spent a great deal of time telling us about his gizzard stones,” Hauserman wrote. When they asked the Antholzes to join Vail, Leona replied that she didn’t know what she’d wear if they joined Vail. She said wouldn’t mind a part-time job on the mountain as a cook. Cooking was her hobby. She was a school teacher and registered nurse in the wintertime, but she’d be retiring in a year or so, she told Hauserman and Scott. Hauserman sweetened the deal when she said they’d had all sorts of trouble with

their telephone. It was a party line and there were so many people on their line it was hard to get a call through. Hauserman, sensing an opportunity, offered to get them a private line.

It almost sealed the deal on the spot, but not quite. As for the money, on June 29, 1962, Vail’s Powers That Be offered $1,000 an acre, $160,000, information from a

needle in the haystack of documents about early Vail. On July 13, 1962, Pete Seibert received a short letter from Leona. “Dear Mr. Seibert: We are not interested in selling or leasing our property at this time, If we should change our minds we will get in touch with you. Yours very truly, Mrs. Henry Antholz.” Considering that the parcel is now the Vail Golf Course and Ford Park, they eventually came to terms. FROM TOP: Henry and Leona Antholz. Their ranch stretched over what is now Ford Park and part of Golden Peak. Henry Antholz draws water from a pump outside the ranchhouse. Leona and Henry Antholz owned the ranch where Ford Park and part of Golden Peak are now. One of the houses on the Antholz ranch is now the solar-powered Vail Nature Center.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y D I C K H AU S E R M A N A R C H I V E S

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Joni@tayloranddill.com 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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december

15, 1962 –

december

15, 2012 TH E STORI E S / / TH E S EC RETS / / TH E LEG E N D S

POSTER BOY Hotshot skier Pepi Gramshammer was imported to Vail’s steep runs from Sun Valley, Idaho.

Flirting with boundaries, circa 1970s

58

the May D&F department store’s ice skating rink in downtown Denver. Their task was to promote the new Vail ski area. Sometimes promotions can be death-defying. All these newly minted Vail ski instructors had to do to win glory and honor was ski down a four-story, carpet-covered ramp.They looked down, they looked at each other, and they looked down again. The chosen Vail ski instructors were from the East or from Europe and were supposed to be able to ski hard pack and difficult conditions. They had no training runs and falling was not an option, especially in front of a large skeptical Denver audience, ready to poke fun at that upstart ski area. They careened from their fourth-story perch to the skating rink, impressed the crowd, put on a good show and no one died. Pepi Gramshammer even jumped out a fourth floor window,

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

onto the ramp and down to the ice rink. Marketing named them “Vail’s First Ski Team.” Later that year Morrie and Pete Seibert took the new instructors into the Back Bowls for the first time. They skied down Milt’s Face in six inches of sugary powder with grass and weeds up to their knees. There was whispering among the instructors who they didn’t think the average tourist would be able to ski the back side of Vail mountain, but they didn’t complain to Morrie or Pete Seibert. They didn’t want to go back to that ramp.

TRIVIA

WHICH FORMER 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION TROOPER JOINED PETE SEIBERT IN CARING FOR AND GROOMING VAIL MOUNTAIN?

THAT WASN’T A QUESTION John Donovan wanted to get married, which was news to Diana at the time. John and Diana were at a ski patrol gathering when John made his intentions known to Diana and everyone else in the room. “Paul Testwuide announced he was getting married so I got up and said we were getting married, too. I didn’t ask her. I just announced it,” John said. “I’m still waiting for him to ask me to marry him,” Diana said. They were married in August 1967. John ran a fullpage ad in the paper inviting everyone in the county to the wedding reception at Manor Vail. About 1,000 people showed up, some on horseback.

SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

IMAGES COURTESY OF MOUNT-N-FRAME ( LOWER LEFT ) & PEPI GRAMSHAMMER ( ABOVE )

TRIVIA ANSWER = BILL ‘SARGE’ BROWN

You work like a slave to build an entire ski area in six months and you’d think Mother Nature would drop a little snow on you. But in 1962 you would be wrong. There was so little snow on Vail Mountain as that first season loomed that some wise guy drove his car to Mid-Vail. You may have a ski sport with no snow, but you still have a promotion. That left Bob “The Marketing Magician” Parker and Morrie Shepard to promote the area as best they could. And that’s how, around Thanksgiving 1962, a bunch of Vail’s ski instructors came to be perched four stories above

compiled by R A N DY W Y R ICK

FIRST FLAMES

Warren Miller (center) wasn’t always behind the camera. He and his family starred in a White Stag clothing ad campaign circa 1963 that sold the alpine lifestyle in Vail.

VAIL OPENED DEC. 15, 1962 WITH A LITTLE SNOW BUT LOTS OF POTENTIAL. They called in the Ute Indians for a snow dance and suddenly they had plenty of snow. A few weeks later Pete Seibert announced they were going to open Sun Up Bowl for the first time. Everyone on the mountain was crouched behind the rope, ready to spring into Vail’s already famous Back Bowls. “It looked like the Oklahoma Land Rush. No one had ever seen anything like it,” said Morrie Shepard, Vail’s first ski school director. “We dropped the rope and we heard whoops and laughing and we knew it was going to be a success,” said Shepard. Fast forward to the late 1980s when China Bowl opened and thousands of skiers were waiting behind a rope, waiting to careen down. Vail Mountain President Mike Shannon made a brief speech about terrain expansion and how this would shorten lift lines and distribute skiers more evenly around the mountain. As the rope dropped, Shannon shouted into his microphone, “Lift lines are a thing of the past in Vail!” So many people skied down so fast, it took 45 minutes to ride out.

LUCKY times worship

Vail Interfaith Chapel groundbreaking, circa 1960s

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

Before the Vail Interfaith Chapel opened, Father Thomas Stone held Catholic services in The Casino. The Protestants and Rev. Don Simonton met at he bar in The Lodge at Vail. “You’d arrive and there were always two or three people there. You were never sure if they were there for the service or left over from the night before,” Simonton said.

In the summer of 1962 everyone did everything all the time. Vail’s first ski school director Morrie Shepard pulled triple duty as the building inspector and fire chief. The covenants Vail had in place were more like guidelines. As for being fire chief, when he was a kid Shepard worked with the volunteer fire department in Sharon, Mass., fighting forest fires. Pete Seibert, who grew up with Shepard, figured that was enough training to make Shepard Vail’s first fire chief. As fire chief, Shepard made everyone in town buy two fire extinguishers. That’s how they put out Vail’s first fire at architect Fitzhugh Scott’s house. Scott’s house was the first one built in Vail and the Vail Associates offices were on the first floor, because it had the only indoor plumbing and the phones worked most of the time. When gas leaked into his basement and ignited, Scott called Shepard. Shepard’s wife called a couple other fire fighters and they called a couple others and pretty soon the whole crew was there. Everyone brought their fire extinguishers and fought the fire. They quickly put out the flames.

FIRST orgANIZATIONAL chart

IMAGES COURTESY OF DICK HAUSERMAN ARCHIVES ( ABOVE ) AND COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM ( LOWER LEFT )

by R A N DY W Y R ICK

VAIL’S SKI PATROLLERS WEREN’T SIMPLY GOOD AT THEIR JOBS — THEY WERE BRAVE ENOUGH TO RESCUE PEOPLE IN THE FACE OF CERTAIN DANGER

V

AIL’S WORST DAY BEGAN

with the best of skiing conditions, 8 inches of new snow, bright blue Colorado sky. A few minutes before 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 26, 1976, two gondola cars, each loaded with six skiers, plunged 125 feet. Three people were killed instantly, two teenage girls and a housewife. A young man died two days later in a hospital in Denver. Several other skiers were injured, some severely. High above the snow two more cars crashed together as 31 other cars, also loaded with 176 skiers, dangled

like beads from the cable, some 230 feet in the air. It was a tragedy and the worst ski-area accident in U.S. history up to that time, but it was also arguably the Vail ski patrol’s finest hour. Ski patrollers Paul Testwuide and Chupa Nelson used to have Friday afternoon “bicycle” races, riding down the gondola cable. They called it training and pretty soon many of the ski patrollers were trying it. As they trained for worstcase scenarios, they’d calculated it would take 4 1/2 hours to evacuate the gondola if it was full, Testwuide said.

“It took 4 hours and 17 minutes,” he said. Vail had three doctors by that time. Dr. Tom Steinberg sped to the scene on a snowmobile with his medical bag. As he was attending to the

TRIVIA

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY LOCATED IN WEST VAIL WHICH WAS NAMED AFTER A TOWN IN SWITZERLAND? SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

ABOVE: When the gondola crashed in 1976, Vail’s ski patrol evacuated 176 people from 31 gondola cars in 4 hours 17 minutes. This is Chupa Nelson riding down the gondola cable to secure another car and evacuate the six riders.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

injured, another gondola car was dangling right over their heads. They kept looking up wondering if it, too, would fall. It didn’t. Nelson rode down the cable and secured it and everyone inside was rescued. Four hours and 17 minutes later, everyone was safe. “It was so eerie. All those gondola cars were hanging up there with the doors open,” said John Donovan. The accident resulted in wide -ranging improvements in lift and cable inspections, better evacuation techniques and training. The Vail Town Council also tightened up its airspace. The Denver press hovered over the hospital in helicopters taking pictures. As a result the Town Council passed a regulation that prohibited helicopters from going lower than 1,000 feet unless it’s for evacuation during a medical emergency.

P H OTO C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

A N S W E R F R O M VA I L T R I V I A G A M E , C I R C A 19 8 5 : I N T E R L O C H E N

TRIUMPH AMID THE TRAGEDY

VA I L’ S D A R K E S T D AY

ON THE CABLES

CELEBRATE OUR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

ALL SEASON LONG ¡

US SKI Team 2012/2013 Team Announcement: November 15, 2012

¡

Sixth Annual Triumph Winterfest: January 18-March 1, 2013*

¡

Gondola One Dedication and Vail's Opening Day: November 16, 2012

¡

Winter Mountain Games: Presented by Eddie Bauer February 8-10, 2013

¡

Vail Snow Daze: December 10-16, 2012

¡

¡

Vail’s 50th Movie Premiere: December 14, 2012

Burton US Open: Presented by MINI February 27-March 2, 2013

¡

Vail’s 50th Birthday Party: December 15, 2012

Vail Film Festival: March 28-31, 2013

¡

Vail Holidaze: December 16-24, 2012

Spring Back to Vail: April 8-14, 2013

¡

Taste of Vail: April 4-6, 2013

¡ ¡ ¡

Logan Ice Theater at the Sixth Annual Triumph Winterfest: December 21-February 24, 2013*

GET ALL THE DETAILS AT VAIL.COM/50th

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

*Weather permitting

63

by WREN WERTIN

M O U N TA I N LO R E

VAIL KNOWLEDGE

HISTORY ON THE RUN VAIL’S TRAIL NAMES COME FROM THE VALLEY’S RANCHING HISTORY, LUMBERJACK CULTURE, LOCAL ANECDOTES AND MORE. TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE.

DESCRIPTIONS A) Based on a term for

D) Inspired by the ‘60s

B) Where visitors were

E)

likely to become ensconced in a difficult situation.

C) Dedicated to

Roger Staub, a Vail Ski School Director and world-famous competitive skier.

Lost Boy, Martin Koether Jr., found

64

slang for skiing.

F)

Paul Bunyon’s famous ox. From an overheard comment by a logger that the slope was steeper than a cow’s face.

G) After a series of land

negotiations between a Greek rancher and Vail Associates, the agreement was celebrated with a bottle of this liquor.

01 Swingsville

07 Whiskey Jack

13 Roger’s Run

02 Riva Ridge

08 Sourdough

14 Lost Boy

03 Tourist Trap

09 Tin Pants

15 Ouzo

04 Boomer

10 Snag Park

16 Minnie’s Mile

05 Pickeroon

11 Gandy Dancer

17 Cow’s Face

06 Blue Ox

12 Boo Boo

18 Forever

H) A reference to a his-

L)

I)

The long-handled tool used by loggers as a lever.

M) Chain tightening de-

J)

Tree stumps left by the Utes’ fires.

N) Hard liquor made

toric battleground for the 10th Mountain Division ski troopers.

K) Honors the “fa-

ther” of the 10th Mountain Division, Charles Minot Dole, who founded the National Ski Patrol.

Heavy britches “weatherproofed” with pine pitch, worn by lumberjacks. vice used during logloading operations. from sour mash that was a staple for many loggers.

O) Yeast dough used

by camp cooks for bread, biscuits and pancakes.

P)

A lift line that was cut to the top of Golden Peak, but never used.

Q ) A young boy who

was lost overnight in Game Creek Bowl (before it was Vail Mountain ski terrain).

R) Pre-lifts, Pepi Gram-

shammer insisted on skiing the entire mountain, then had to walk back up to the top where the rest of the group was. It took him this long.

[ ANSWER KEY // 1. D; 2. H; 3. B; 4. M; 5. I; 6. E; 7. N; 8. O; 9. L; 10. J; 11. A; 12. P; 13. C; 14. Q; 15. G; 16. K; 17. F; 18. R. ]

railroad-track layers.

VAIL TRAILS

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

T R A I L M A P C O U R T E S Y O F T H E F O R E S T S E R V I C E. P H OTO C O U R T E S Y M O U N T- N - F R A M E

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0275 Main Street • C108 • Garnet Building Riverwalk, Edwards, CO www.brushcreekdrygoods.com 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

65

50 Years Playing on Vail Mountain. 26 Years Playing Great Music. YOUR MOUNTAIN AND MUSIC TRADITION

BRAVO!

VAIL VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL

SEASON 26 | JUNE 28 – AUGUST 3, 2013 DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC NATIONAL REPERTORY ORCHESTRA BIG MUSIC FOR LITTLE BANDS SUMMERTIME CLASSICS, POPS & BROADWAY

66

Congratulations to Vail on 50 successful years. Bravo! is proud to be a part of Vail’s colorful and rich history, and thanks Vail Resorts and the Town of Vail for their continued support of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

BUY TICKETS IN APRIL | 970.827.5700 | VAILMUSIC.ORG

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

THE COVERED BRIDGE BACK IN THE DAY, SKIERS DROVE STRAIGHT TO BRIDGE STREET TO HEAD FOR THE HILL.

THE LOOKING GL ASS

THEN AND NOW

H I S TO R I C A L P H OTO C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M; C U R R E N T P H OTO BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

67

INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE, VAIL NOW A GATHERING PLACE WITH PRIME WHITEWATER PARK VIEWS, IT USED TO BE SIMPLY THE EASIEST WAY TO WALK ACROSS GORE CREEK.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

THE LOOKING GL ASS

THEN AND NOW

H I S TO R I C A L P H OTO C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M; C U R R E N T P H OTO BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R

Celebrating 43 years The Left Bank Restaurant was started in 1970 when Liz and Luc Meyer arrived in Vail. Liz, who is British, and Luc, who is French, opened the Left Bank on Thanksgiving. Luc didn't even speak English at the time. They had discovered the opportunity - the bankrupt Red Ram restaurant - while vacationing. Luc cooked for the building's owner, Kaiser Morcus, and they were in business. Morcus was thrilled to have a French chef own and operate a local restaurant. "We never dreamed Vail would be what it is today," Luc said, but we believed in Vail, and our philosophy was to invest in Vail." Since then Luc and Liz helped open nine different restaurants in the area, including Lord Gore, Racquet Club and Mirabelle. Luc attributes their enduring success with the Left Bank to hard work and dedication. Throughout the years The Left Bank has quietly become the place to wine and dine for discerning locals and visitors. The Left Bank menu had changed little in the first 35 years, largely because of the potential outcry from regular customers, Luc said. He could never stop serving his peppercorn steak, rack of lamb and chocolate souffle. In May of 2006, Kimberly & Jean-Michel Chelain proudly accepted the mission of continuing The Left Bank traditions, such as cultivating relationships with the finest vintners in France and California, in order to bring you selections of the rarest wines available at reasonable prices, impeccably stored and aged for your drinking pleasure. In the kitchen, our team, led by Jean-Michel is committed to creating the highest quality food available by using only the freshest and best ingredients available, making everything from scratch. Yes, even the bread is made here! Jean-Michel’s mother knew he was destined for the kitchen ever since the day that she couldn’t find her pots, pans and utensils. After an exhaustive search of their home, she found her pans, full of mud in the barn, with her 8 year old son…. “cooking!” Jean-Michel began his apprenticeship at the age of fifteen at a small restaurant called Les Trois Biches in the Chartreuse region of the French Alps. In 1996, after working at The Noga Hilton in Cannes and spending three years as the Chef of Chez Le Per Gras in Grenoble, he moved to Carmel Valley, California to be the Executive Chef of Stonepine Estate Resort, a Relais and Chateaux Purple Shield award winner. There he met his wife Kimberly, who was managing Los Laureles Lodge, the sister property to Stonepine. The two fell in love. They bought a 20 foot travel trailer to see the country and ended up in Key West, Florida where they eloped on a sailboat in front of forty strangers and the most beautiful sunset imaginable. Luc found them in Florida, luring them to Vail and The Left Bank Restaurant. In 1998, Jean-Michel Chelain joined The Left Bank as the Sous Chef and rapidly showed his incredible talent and dedication in the kitchen. Except for a two-year intermission as the Executive Chef of the Bleu Jacket Restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas, Jean-Michel has been leading The Left Bank Kitchen as its Chef. With Jean-Michel as your Chef and Kimberly as your hostess and Liz and Luc continuing as our mentors it is our pleasure to consistently use only the freshest ingredients of the finest quality and to prepare everything from scratch in our own kitchen. It is our pleasure to serve you, and we hope you enjoy Vail! Bon Appétit et à votre santé! Kimberly & Jean-Michel Chelain, your hostess and Chef

Top photo: President Ford, second from right, and his wife, Betty, third from right, helped to make Vail and the Left Bank restaurant famous. Background Top: Vintage wine menu cira 1970s. Middle photo: Owner of the Left Bank, Liz and Luc Meyer, during the early days of the restaurant, which opened in 1970 on Thanksgiving. Bottom photo: Liz and Luc Meyer, center, toast the new owners of the Left Bank, Chef Jean-Michel Chelain, left, and his wife, Kimberly, right.

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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THE LOOKING GL ASS

THEN AND NOW

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

LIONSHEAD VAIL’S FIRST GONDOLA WAS IN VAIL VILLAGE, SOUTH AND WEST OF BRIDGE STREET. WHEN THE SKI COMPANY EXPANDED TO LIONSHEAD, IT SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED ITS TERRAIN.

H I S TO R I C A L P H OTO C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M; C U R R E N T P H OTO BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R

IF FINDING THE PERFECT HOME IS IMPORTANT, SECURING THE PERFECT FINANCING IS IMPERATIVE.

es the tim d... continue

1986

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater opens with 1,260 outdoor covered seats and 1,300 hillside seats.

1988

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is established as the highest botanical garden in the United States. ..... China Bowl Opens. Vail welcomes snowboarders to the mountain. Born Free Express (No. 8) opens in Lionshead.

1990

Taste of Vail premieres in April, celebrating the Vail lifestyle of skiing, eating and drinking. ..... Good Morning Vail premieres on TV 8 in November. ..... Vail opens an in-bounds terrain park for the ski and snowboard season. ..... Vail Valley Foundation creates the Bolshoi Academy at Vail, a four-week summer dance study program for American students. ..... The 1990 Census lists Vail with a population of 3,659.

1991

Vail hosts “Ride of Your Life,” a made-for-television mountain bike race.

1987

Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival presents its first music festival. ..... Hot Summer Nights premieres with free Tuesday-night concerts during the summer.

1989

The World Alpine Ski Championships are held in Vail. ..... The Vail International Dance Festival begins with the Bolshoi Ballet Company. ..... The Vail Valley Soccer Club is organized.

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1992

Apollo Partners acquires Vail Associates. ..... The Trick-or-Treat Trot begins in Vail Village and Lionshead. ..... Vail Valley Foundation hosts Vail’s first international mountain bike event with World Cup Finals.

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2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

71

GOLDEN PEAK WHEN VAIL OPENED IN 1962, GOLDEN PEAK WAS UNCUT SCENERY. EVENTUALLY, IT BECAME THE LOCATION OF VAIL’S FIRST SNOWMAKING EQUIPMENT.

72

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

THE LOOKING GL ASS

THEN AND NOW

H I S TO R I C A L P H OTO C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M; C U R R E N T P H OTO BY D O M I N I Q U E TAY LO R

es the tim d... continue

1993

International Evenings of Dance (what eventually becomes a festival signature event) is added to Vail International Dance Festival. President and Mrs. Clinton attend the festival.

1994

UCI World Mountain Bike Championships are held in Vail. ..... Vail wins 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships

Vail/Beaver Creek’s Premier Ski Rental Delivery Service

1996

1995

Opening of Main Vail roundabouts are successful, despite naysayers such as filmmaker Warren Miller. The interchange roundabouts are the first of their kind in the U.S. ..... Picking up additional races due to cancellations, Vail Valley Foundation hosts World Cup competitions in both Vail and Beaver Creek in late November-early December.

1997

Roundabouts are added to the West Vail interchange following the success of roundabouts at Main Vail. ..... Vail Associates is renamed Vail Resorts, Inc. and the merger with Keystone and Breckenridge is approved. ..... The Vail Trail Running Series begins. ..... The Vail Valley Challenge Cup soccer tournament begins.

The Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19) opens, replacing the original Lionshead Gondola. ..... Adventure Ridge opens at the top of the new Eagle Bahn Gondola. ..... President Gerald R. Ford is the first recipient of Vail Valley Citizen of the Year Award.

KIDS RENTFREE!

1998

The Avenue of Flags is installed along South Frontage Road representing participating countries in the upcoming World Alpine Ski Champions as a lasting tribute. ..... Arson fires destroy Two Elk restaurant, Patrol Headquarters and Camp One, and damage four lift operator buildings on Vail Mountain causing more than $12 million in damage.

Your Black Tie Experience!

1999

Open late from 7am to 11pm everyday

Vail hosts the World Alpine Ski Championships. ..... Two Elk restaurant and Patrol Headquarters on Vail Mountain are rebuilt and open. the ski season. ..... continued...

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Vail@BlackTieSkis.com www.blacktieskis.com

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

73

december

15, 1962 –

december

15, 2012 TH E STORI E S / / TH E S EC RETS / / TH E LEG E N D S

Dr. Tom Steinberg, circa 2009

Vail started lucky with its doctors and has stayed that way. Dr. Tom Steinberg was the town’s first full-time doctor, brought to town by Vail investor John Murchison. A few years later, Dr. Jack Eck rolled into town, bringing with him his experience as a Vietnam combat doctor. Over the years hundreds of the world’s leading physicians have called Vail home. Thousands of people have rolled through their offices, some under their own power, some on stretchers.

sewn up. But 30 days after that he was killed in a car accident. “When your chips are up, your chips are up,” Steinberg said.

* A young woman and man

had skied off the top of a ridge and ran into each other in mid air. One suffered a lacerated liver and the other a ruptured spleen. Steinberg loaded them each into a separate ambulance and they rode in tandem to Denver. He had to get out of one ambulance and go to the other every 30 minutes or so to keep both patients alive.

NOTEWORTHY ANECDOTES

* A ski racer hit a bamboo

* A young man fired a nail gun

pole, broke it and drove it into his upper palate. Steinberg had to kneel down and sit the lad up to sew it shut. If he’d stood and had the lad lie down the blood would have run down his bronchial tubes.

at a brick wall and it ricocheted back and hit him in the heart. He came in with that nail sticking out of his heart. He had lost all blood pressure and had about three minutes to live. There’s a sack around the heart and this kid’s had filled with fluid so the pressure was keeping his heart from beating. Steinberg and Eck went in with a syringe, pulled some of the fluid out of the sack and re-established a heartbeat. The kid was flown by helicopter to Denver and his heart was

* In the years when Steinberg was still the only doctor in town, a flu epidemic hit. He saw 126 patients in one day. “That’s not very good medicine, but that’s what was necessary,” Steinberg said.

Vail’s original lift tickets cost $5 a day. Those 1964-65 lift ticket prices went up: A one-day ticket cost adults $6.50 and $12 for two days. Bring the kids and it’d set you back $4.50 a day, $8 for two. Don’t ski? Don’t worry. Morrie Shepard’s ski school studs would teach you for $6.50 for a full-day lesson. Private lessons were $10 an hour for one person. Don’t drive? Don’t worry about that either. Round-trip transportation on a Continental Trailways bus was $9 from Denver. No place to stay? They had you covered. The Night Latch was $4 per person. The Christiania was $12, the Wedel Inn was $12, Gastof Gramshammer was $14, and you could rent a home or apartment for around $25 a day.

74

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

AIRBORNE SKIER IMAGE BY ROGER COTTON BROWN | LIFT TICKETS & INGRID AD COURTESY THE BRICKLIN ARCHIVE

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compiled by R A N DY W Y R ICK

Hang gliding used to be a perfectly acceptable way to get off the mountain, said Dave Gorsuch. “I thought it would be a family sport,” Dave said. You have to understand that skiing tends to attract a certain sort of adrenaline-loving human being. Dave raced with the 1960 U.S. Olympic team in Squaw Valley, as did his soon-to-be wife, Renie. That 1960 U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets for the gold medal, which Dave calls the real Miracle on Ice. Dave, Renie and some others sat in Richard Nixon’s box to watch that game. Anyway, we were talking about hang gliding. Renie, his wife and the mother of his children, wasn’t so sure but she didn’t try to dissuade him about that or anything else he wanted to do. Dave, ski patroller Paul Testwuide and ski school director Roger Staub used to hang glide off the mountain many winter afternoons. They drove over to Meadow Mountain just west of town for more hang gliding. Dave used to take the family to Hawaii and stay aloft for hours, sailing on those consistent ocean breezes. “We used to fly off the rim rocks on Spraddle Creek,” Dave said. They’d fly high above Interstate 70 and land on the Vail golf course. One time he was landing and came in over a group of golfers. As he

came in over their heads he yelled, “FORE!” They thought it would never end, but then … Dave was hang gliding down Vail Mountain one winter afternoon when his glider stalled and he plummeted toward some trees. He crashed through a couple aspen trees and, miraculously, didn’t hurt much of anything except his pride. “Pete Seibert happened to be walking down Golden Peak and saw the whole thing. He thought I’d been killed,” Dave said. “From that day we could never hang glide on Vail Mountain.”

A familiar face, Gerald Ford (left) with family at Mid-Vail, circa 1970s

SORRY, FULL HOUSE

Rev. Don Simonton was conducting the Christmas eve service one year and decided he’d work his way up the aisle from the back of the Vail Chapel as the Christmas story progressed. In the crowd was President Gerald Ford’s family along with a full contingent of Secret Service. Simonton slipped out the side and circled around to the main doors. When he got there it was locked. The Secret Service apparently decided enough people were in the chapel and locked the door. Rev. Simonton, who was supposed to conduct the service, had to pound on the door to be let in.

SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

76

For years ski patrollers hang glided down the slopes after a day of keeping order on the runs. Former Vail Mountain glider Dave Gorsuch finally hung up his kite in 1976 when he and his wife bought a small ranch at the western end of the valley.

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

IMAGES COURTESY COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM

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www.steammaster.com 78

VAIL 50

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ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

35

years of excellence 1978 ~ 2013

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ZĂœGER

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PA I N T I N G S SCULPTURE art@galeriezugervail.com | galeriezugervail.com 970-476-5619 | SOLARIS | Vail, Colorado

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

79

Land Of No Fences - G. Harvey

NATIVE

24x36, oil

FINE ART OF THE AMERICAN WEST AMERICAN ANTIQUES - WESTERN AMERICANA 227 Bridge St. • Vail, Colorado 81657 (970) 476-0100 • www.sheltonsmith.com

LOCATED ON THE BANKS OF GORE CREEK AT THE COVERED BRIDGE IN VAIL VILLAGE

80

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

FOUNDERS & OWNERS 84 // EARL EATON 92 // PETE SEIBERT 96 // DICK HAUSERMAN 102 // ROD SLIFER 118

M OV E R S, S H A K E R S, D R E A M E R S A N D M O R E . A FE W T H AT B R O U G H T T H I S TOW N TO L I FE

The Saturday Evening Post on March 27, 1943, with a 10th Mountain Trooper featured. LIFE Magazine cover featuring a Mountain Trooper.

10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION The 10th Mountain Division troops are the men behind the success of the Colorado ski industry

P H OTO C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

E

DWARDS RESIDENT

Sandy Treat’s life-long love affair with skiing is so passionate that nothing — not even grueling training in the harsh winter conditions at Camp Hale — could have diminished his love for the sport.

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THE LIFEBLOOD

with recruiting 25,000 men in 60 days for the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Mountain Regiment — the beginning of the 10th Mountain Division. William Sarge Brown, a Vail pioneer, was on a skiing and football scholarship at the University of Idaho around that time. When the war came along, Brown joined the Army, he recalls in a video interview with Hayden Scott on file at the ski museum. Brown passed away in 2008. Brown ended up training recruits at Ft. Jackson, S.C., but what he really wanted to do was head west to train with the ski troops.

Treat was skiing on the team at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the early 1940s when he heard about a new group of ski troops the U.S. Army was putting together. Skiing was becoming popular in the United States, Treat remembers — colleges were forming teams all over the country, resorts were opening and movie stars were starting to get involved in the sport, too. “Things like that were happening, so we got into it at a time when it was young, fresh and exciting,” Treat said. “That’s where I think the passion came from.” That passion would eventually lead to the creation of the Vail ski resort, but first the ski troops, including Vail founder Pete Seibert, would endure

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strenuous alpine training and the bloodshed of war. RECRUITMENT

Treat saw a notice on a bulletin board at Dartmouth that advertised the ski troops and called for interested men to join. Treat, like other young American men who enjoyed skiing, was intrigued. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the U.S. entered World War II immediately after the attack. “We were particularly mad at the Japanese — we felt they overstepped by bombing our fleet like that,” Treat said. “The country was furious.” The idea of developing mountain troops in the United States first came up around 1940, when Charles “Minnie”

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Dole, the founder of the National Ski Patrol, thought American troops should follow the lead of the Finnish troops’ winter survival skills. He took the idea to the United States government, and the War Department later accepted the plan. According to the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, a written contract between the American Ski Association and the Army made the National Ski Patrol an official recruiting agency. Dole was reportedly tasked

He was too valuable at Ft. Jackson, though, he recalls. “So I had to use a little political influence — my dad knew some people,” Brown said. “My transfer came down to Camp Hale, Colorado, in 1943-44.” TRAINING AT CAMP HALE

Construction of Camp Hale, between Leadville and what would someday be Vail, began in April of 1942. When Brown arrived at Camp Hale, the small city that could house 14,000 men was already built, and the

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b y L AU R EN GL EN DEN N ING

85th, 86th and 97th mountain regiments became the 10th Mountain Division on July 15, 1943, becoming the only American regiment trained specifically for mountain warfare, according to the 1996 documentary film, “Fire on the Mountain.” That film can be viewed all day, every day, at the Colorado Ski Museum, and it’s also available for sale on DVD. Training for mountain warfare seemed harder than war itself, recalls Brown. “It was tough training. We thought combat was easier than this,” Brown said. “Our training was in that cold weather all the time. We’d go out all day long.” The men put in long days in extreme conditions. A “normal” In an article about the 10th day began with a rude awakenMountain Division by Lauren ing at 5:30 a.m., Brown said, Moran, for the Colorado Ski followed by roll call at 6 a.m. Museum, Parker recalls arriv“And you better be ing at Fort Lewis and seeing dressed,” Brown said. so many great From skiers. He said there, the day he thought he would include was in heaven. anything and IT WAS TOUGH By the time everything from TRAINING. the men got mule training WE THOUGHT to Camp Hale to dog trainCOMBAT and experiing to ski and WAS EASIER enced the harsh weapons trainTHAN THIS weather and ing. And the subsequently men carried 90 harsh trainpounds on their ing conditions, they still backs plus a machine gun for made the best of it. Actually, those in the weapons platoon. they even had some fun. Bob Parker remembers the “A lot of us younger, less difficulties of the training, but experienced skiers learned a also the good times. Parker, lot from some of the old pros,” who would later become Vail’s Parker said in an interview for first marketing director, first “Fire on the Mountain.” “My arrived at Fort Lewis, in Washmentor was Gordy Wren. He’d ington, before the troops were lead us off into the woods transferred to the permanent training grounds at Camp Hale. and we’d bushwhack down

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In April 1945, the 10th Mountain Division fought its way across Northern Italy, taking some of the heaviest casualties of the war. OPPOSITE: The Pando Valley where Camp Hale was built filled with coal smoke from coal stoves used for heat and the coal-fired steam locomotives that rolled through. Soldiers who breathed it got what they called the Pando hack.

the mountain, definitely in a non-military way. Although we did ski in formation and so forth, we also had a lot of fun in the woods. …” The fun would always end, though, as the training was not easy. During training called D-series, the men went up on Shrine Pass for several weeks in freezing temperatures and modest food rations. When they’d go to sleep in their tents, Brown said they had to put their boots inside their sleeping bags or they’d freeze.

“When we came on D-series the first time, anybody could leave that wanted to — and a lot of them left,” Brown said. The Rio Grande railroad also traveled directly through the Camp Hale valley and soot from the trains hovered over Camp Hale. “Fire on the Mountain” reported that many soldiers suffered a perpetual cough, known as the Pando hack. Hacking, cold weather, frostbite, hypothermia — it was all a part of the training for America’s first mountain regiment. RIVA RIDGE

The 10th Mountain Division men were never certain they’d go to war, but in the summer of 1944 their orders came in. By December of that year, they were on their way to Italy to fight the Germans out of the Apennine Mountains. The Germans had been atop Riva Ridge, holding off advances by the Americans, { continued on page 120 }

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by SCOTT MILLER

CHAIN OF COMMAND

Pete Seibert, Bob Parker and Sarge Brown.

WHO RUNS THIS PLACE? Over a half-century, those who run Vail have invested more than money W

HENEVER YOU TRAVEL

to a new vacation spot, eventually the question will come up, whether for kudos or brickbats: Who runs this place? In a way, the question is sort of like Bill Clinton’s definition of “is” — but for our purposes, we’re defining the question as “who has owned or controlled Vail over the years?” The long answer — and this, of course, is just the place for a

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long answer — dates back beyond the 50-year history of the ski area at the base of Vail Pass. Starting at the start are Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert. Eaton, the Eagle County native, was the one to see the potential of the mountains on the south side of Gore Creek. Seibert was the one with the connections to people in Denver and Aspen, the people who would provide the capital needed so

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SEIBERT SPENT PLENTY OF TIME ON THE SWEATY END OF A CHAIN SAW, THEN TRIED TO SWEAT THE DETAILS…

the fledgling ski resort could have the $1 million in the bank the U.S. Forest Service required of potential ski area operators. That group of investors were the first “owners” of Vail Associates, buying company stock in return for the promise of a homesite and a lifetime ski pass. According to Dick Hauserman’s book “The Inventors of Vail,” that first Vail Associates

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Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. The information presented herein is proposed and should not be relied upon as a basis for purchasing since all elements are

subject to change, refinement or elimination by the developer without notice. The Arrabelle Club social membership is subject to applicable terms and conditions. Verify before purchasing. Prices and availability are subject to change at any time without notice. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail are not owned, developed or sold by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC. RCR Vail, LLC uses The Ritz-Carlton marks under license from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Vail are being developed and sold by RCR Vail, LLC an affiliate of Vail Resorts Development Company. Designated trademarks are the property of Vail Trademarks, Inc. © 2012 Vail Resorts Development Company. Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY 85

CHAIN OF COMMAND

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George Gillett was perhaps the most popular owner of Vail. He owned Vail Associates from 1985 until 1992. OPPOSITE: George Gillett, left, played in the Jerry Ford Invitational golf tournament with Jack Nicklaus. Gillett bought Vail Associates in 1985, 18 days after a deal with a European shipping company fell through. Jerry Ford, second from right, at the at the groundbreaking of Beaver Creek with Harry Bass and others.

including Harry Bass. An oil and real estate man, Bass and his brother Dick first fell in love with skiing at Aspen. Both eventually invested there. In the 1960s, as Vail started growing, Bass started looking this way, but was wary. “… I didn’t invest in Vail until I saw it at least in

skeletal form, operating for a couple of years,” Bass says in a biography on the website of the Harry Bass Foundation. But Bass started buying shares in the resort, and bought a home in Vail in 1967. Bass kept buying shares of Vail Associates, and by 1976 had a controlling share. In early 1977, the board of directors elected Bass chairman, with Seibert as company vice-chairman. Which meant Seibert was still mostly the boss, with Bass as Big Boss. Under Bass’ control, Vail Associates continued to grow, and started work on the new Beaver Creek resort in 1979. At Vail, the Bass years saw the opening of China bowl. By 1983, the mountain had more than 60 miles of trails over 10 square miles of terrain.

P H OTO S S P E C I A L TO T H E DA I LY/ VA I L R E S O R T S

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board of directors was made up of Seibert, George Caulkins, Bob Fowler, Gerald Hart, Hauserman, Harley Higbie, Fitzhugh Scott and Jack Tweedy. Since Seibert was the only one of the group with any experience in ski resort development and operation, he was the de facto boss. But everyone on that board, and everyone who put up money in those first rounds of fund-raising, was responsible for the new resort. Hauserman’s book breaks down those early players into a handful of different roles: Seibert liked to say he was the “founder” of Vail and Eaton was the “finder,” with the rest of the investors known as “pioneers.” But those early investors were all proud GILLETT’S make the new of their roles in TENURE resort a viable getting Vail off BROUGHT THE business, too. the ground. One 1989 WORLD And Vail’s of those invesALPINE SKI success wasn’t tors, “perhaps CHAMPIONSHIPS a sure thing by two hundredth TO VAIL, any means. In on the list,” WHICH GAVE a Vail ResortsHauserman THE RESORT A produced video wrote, had FRESH BLAST OF celebrating the his obituINTERNATIONAL resort’s history, ary read “Vail EXPOSURE. Rod Slifer, who founder dies.” was one of the That first people here group of owners for that first season, described were the ones who got Vail the state of ownership in started, building the resort’s those early years simply: initial lifts, ski trails and first “Shaky is too good a lodge in just a summer. Back term for it,” he said. then, Seibert spent as much But the resort started time on the sweaty end of finding its legs, and as it did, a chainsaw as anyone, then more investors came aboard, tried to sweat the details to

Bass controlled the company until the spring of 1984, when George Gillett took over the company. Gillett was the epitome of the hands-on owner, and pointed the company in the direction it’s still on — with a focus on customer service that set, and still sets, industry standards. Gillett, who still lives in Vail, was often out skiing in the winters. In a way, Gillett was like former New York Mayor Ed Koch, who often asked voters, “How’m I doing?” Gillett put money, and lots of it, into Vail’s operations. The year after he took over, Vail installed four high-speed quad

chairlifts. Vail didn’t have the first quad chairs in Colorado — Breckenridge got there first — but it soon had the most. Gillett’s tenure brought the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships to Vail, which gave the resort a fresh blast of international exposure, and fueled a boom in the resort’s fortunes. While Vail and Beaver Creek were thriving, Gillett’s other business interests weren’t doing as well. In 1992, Gillett sold Vail Associates to Apollo Partners of New York. This was something different for Vail, and

the ski resort business. The guys from New York weren’t skiers, but hard-eyed businessmen interested in maximizing the return on their investment. Some in the Vail Valley were suspicious at first — especially when the company’s name

changed to Vail Resorts — but earning returns for investors turned out to be pretty good business for the community, too. The Apollo group oversaw what’s probably the final expansion of the resort, into Blue Sky Basin. That period also saw Vail cater to a more upscale visitor, with additions like the Game Creek Club and the purchase of the SaddleRidge lodge in Beaver Creek. Vail Resorts really started living up to its name in the past 15 years or so, after the company went public in 1997. Since then, the company has bought more ski resorts, started its Rock Resorts lodging brand and, in another move that raised hackles in the valley, moved

its corporate headquarters to Broomfield, which meant company officials had to make time to ski, just like everyone else not lucky enough to live within walking distance — or a quick bus ride — of a chairlift. Like much of what Vail Resorts has done, though, the company has flourished in good times and held up through bad, bringing another pair of World Alpine Skiing Championships to Vail and Beaver Creek, and helping fuel Vail’s decade-long renovation. And, despite the flatland zip code of corporate headquarters, the people who run this place now still have their eyes on the future of their namesake mountain. Summer fun on the mountain and, when the economy improves, Ever Vail, will be the next new things people see when they arrive. Those newcomers, too, will surely wonder, “Man, who runs this place?”

WHO REALLY OWNS VAIL? While Vail Associates and, later, Vail Resorts, has been owned and operated by various individuals and organizations, ownership of the ski area itself is simple: We all own it. Vail Resorts may own the lifts, buildings and other structures, but the land belongs to the people of the United States, through the stewardship of the U.S. Forest Service. The same is true of Beaver Creek, and virtually every other ski area in the mountain west.

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december

15, 1962 –

december

15, 2012 TH E STORI E S / / TH E S EC RETS / / TH E LEG E N D S

TOUGH BREAKS That first season the U.S. Ski Team was here to train and held a downhill. It was about 17 degrees below zero and all the gatekeepers froze and had to go home, which left ski school director Morrie Shepard and a few other frozen souls on the mountain. A racer came over the hill and fell and landed in a hole and broke his leg. This was back when skiers strapped their skis to their leg with a leather thong. If they fell it could flop around and break their leg or hit them in the head. Shepard always carried a knife and managed to cut one long thong off and someone else showed up to cut off the other thong. “About that time we got him out of the way another guy came over and did the same thing,” Shepard said. They took the injured racer into the Mid-Vail restaurant, put him into an open box and loaded him into the gondola and sent him down the mountain, with the ski patrol riding the car with him. Anyway, the U.S. Ski Team was here for a week that December and CBS was in town to film it. “They had miles of cables all over the mountain, but it was so cold the cameras didn’t work. They didn’t get one frame of anything,” Shepard said. “It was Vail’s first ski racing, we did all that preparation and all that work, and we got no pictures.”

HAPPY FUNERAL DAY

For Pepi Gramshammer’s 40th birthday, Sheika moved the party to the Vail golf course. She’d had a grave dug and bought a casket to put either presents or beer in. The casket ended up holding beer, which seemed only sensible. Before long the revelers took the beer out of the casket, put Pepi in it and carried him back to Gastof Gramshammer as the women in the group carried candles. Gastof Gramshammer guests didn’t know what to think, but eventually, most of them thought they’d have another beer. And most of them did.

In 1967, Vail’s Ski School instructors led the parade for the International Races, followed by Canada, France and several other nations. 88

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IMAGES COURTESY COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM ( BOTTOM ) & PEPI GRAMSHAMMER ( TOP RIGHT )

restaurant 5:30 till close

55 VILLAGE ROAD BEAVER CREEK, CO. 970 - 949-7728 | MIRABELLE1.COM

compiled by R A N DY W Y R ICK

The Hunter, circa 1960s

editor’s note: We’re not sure who this was, but we’re sure they did it.

ANYONE SEEN MY FEET?

The Gore Creek Valley has long been in the resort business. Dick Hauserman was Vail’s first permanent resident, but Joseph Brett of Leadville was the valley’s first settler. He learned it was a wonderful hunting and fishing area, so he started the first resort. Brett was guiding a hunt when he fell through the ice and his feet got frostbitten. He was taken to the big town in the area, Red Cliff, and the doctor amputated the front of his feet and threw them out the window. The last he saw was some dogs running off with his feet.

Vail’s Powers That Be gave the green light to produce a teenage movie called “Ski Party.” The Vail Corporation board voted on Jan. 6, 1965 to spend $8,085 to film it. We’re not sure if this was from the Ski Party production, but local characters made a low budget movie in the area and blew up a car, sending it flying over a cliff. The U.S. Forest Service and local law enforcement officials took a dim view of the whole thing. It was a little like Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” because they had to pay a fine and pick up the garbage — pulling the wrecked, charred car out of the ravine and cleaning it up. Show business is tough.

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We were living in the second house built in East Vail. This was about 1969 or 1970, before I-70 was built and when East Vail was in the middle of nowhere. It was a big snow year. There was no television and lots of times Vail Pass would be closed. So for fun we would go ski-joring behind our Toyota Land Cruiser. Then someone desecrated the pristine valley by placing an obnoxious billboard alongside the road, just about where the Vail Mountain School stands today. At the time it was in the middle of a pasture used by John Mahaney for his stables. This was the only billboard between Vail and Denver. It was huge. It advertised lodging and gas in orange reflector colors and certainly did not belong in our beautiful valley. So with nothing to do, my husband and I strapped on our crosscountry skis and backpacks. I carried a flashlight and he carried a chain saw. It was pitch black, with only the occasional headlight from a car along Highway 6 catching our movements. With each car that approached, I was sure it was the sheriff and we would be spending the night in jail. We skied through the snow to that billboard. It looked humongous when we looked at its height and the telephone-pole uprights that supported it. No problem, we decided. It had to come down. In the silence of the night, the only sound we heard was the blaring roar of the chain saw as it cut through those uprights. With cracks and splinters, that billboard listed to the east and then to the west, and then came crashing down in a mushroom cloud of snow. Ever notice that no other billboard has been erected? We’re pretty proud of that.

HUNTING IMAGE COURTESY OF MOUNT-N-FRAME

HAPPY 5O

TH

B I R T H D AY, VA I L !

C E L E B R AT I N G For 75 years, it’s been the perfect place to ski. For vacation reservations, go to alta.com or call 888.356.2582.

by R A N DY W Y R ICK

FINDER & COFOUNDER

This is one of the original architectural models of Vail Village. Earl Eaton (left) when he ski patrolled in Aspen about 1955.

EARL EATON Eaton was prospecting for uranium, but found white gold T

EN YEARS BEFORE

Vail even had a name, Earl Eaton knew the mountain west of Vail Pass would make a good ski area. He grew up near Squaw Creek in Edwards and found his way to the top of a nameless mountain because he could, and because there might be some fun to be had up there. Some stories have him prospecting for uranium. What

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he found was white gold. There are lots of versions of how Earl found the place and how Pete found out about it. We like this version. Earl and Pete met in 1947 in Aspen where they were working and skiing at the time. When they weren’t earning a living they searched for the perfect ski mountain. Over the next decade they checked out a dozen or so

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Here’s to Vail’s 50th & the Fine Art of skiing!

Claggett/Rey Gallery w w w.claggettrey.com

970.476.9350

Gail Folwel l, The Edge

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FINDER & COFOUNDER

mountains in almost as many states, but none had what they were looking for. In the winter of 1957 they were both working at Loveland Ski area, or “Hemp Hill” as the rope tow-served hill was known, Seibert as the ski area manager and Eaton in maintenance and ski patrol. One night around the potbelly stove in Buckley’s Store in Silver Plume, Earl whispered to Pete that he may have found their mountain. What Earl actually said was that it was the damndest ski mountain he’d ever seen. “I knew it would be a success when I told Pete about it,” Earl said. “He was a dreamer just like me.” Before dawn on Tuesday, March 19, 1957 they set out from the shoulder of Highway 6. The climb was long, the snow was deep and Pete began to wonder whether it would be worth it. What Pete actually said was, “I hope we’re not wasting our time.” What Earl actually answered was, “Hunting for a good ski mountain is never a waste of time.”

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Eaton didn’t talk much about the cast of characters from early Vail. What he remembered best is building the first gondola and the lifts. “It didn’t rain much that summer before we opened,” Earl said. “Good thing because it would have slowed us down.” He and others working on the mountain lived at the Hanson Ranch house at the base of the mountain.

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“We didn’t have too much time for entertainment. We were too busy,” he said. “Nothing like Vail had ever been done before. There was nothing there but a few hay meadows.” The wild and wooly days he recalled were the result of “everyone being themselves and doing what they wanted to do.” Earl was at his best when he was building and repairing things, making equip-

ABOVE: Golden Peak in the ‘60s, just before Golden Peak opened. BELOW: In the springof 1962, construction wasjust beginning in earnest.

ment work when no one thought it ever would again. Eaton developed and built a ski bob he called the Ee-Z Ski. It is ridden like a bicycle that has skis on it. The old prospector in him rescued a pair of shaped skis from a recycle bin. His best day ever on the snow happened, interestingly enough, the last day of a ski season about 10 years ago when he was skiing the back bowls in cruddy snow that made skiers run for the bar. “I went down the lift line in China Bowl,” he grinned. “Everyone on the lift was cheering and I was cheering back at them. I was having the most fun I’ve ever had on snow.” After that he went over and skied the bowl named after him — Earl’s.

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by R A N DY W Y R ICK

DREAMER & COFOUNDER

Pete Seibert and the model that helped him launch a ski resort. BELOW: Pete and Earl on Vail’s 40th Anniversary.

TRIVIA

WHAT PART OF A “FREESTYLE” COMPETITION WOULD YOU USE SHORT SKIS WITH ROUNDED-UP TAILS AND PERFORM A ROUTINE TO MUSIC? SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

PETE SEIBERT I

T REALLY WAS A DARK

and stormy night in the early winter of 1958 when young Pete Seibert stopped by Max Dercum’s Ski Tip Ranch, just down the mountain from Arapahoe Basin ski area. Dercum is the founder of Arapahoe Basin and Keystone ski areas, and Ski Tip Ranch. Dercum had carved A-Basin out of the mountainside about

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15 years earlier with a military surplus bulldozer and the spirit that won the West. Dercum’s Forest Service permit for Arapahoe Basin cost him $2. He picked it up in the Dillon office. He fired up his bulldozer. Pete had been running the Loveland ski area, which is how he came to know Dercum. Pete, as we now know,

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had an idea about building a ski area. Like all good ideas this one just wouldn’t leave him alone. Pete wanted to chat about it with his old friend, Max, and also find a little shelter from the storm he was

driving through on his way from Denver to Aspen. Pete parked his mother’s car that he had borrowed for the trip, knocked on Dercum’s door, and walked into the middle of a group from Wisconsin staying at Ski Tip Ranch.

C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

A N S W E R S F R O M VA I L T R I V I A G A M E , C I R C A 19 8 5 : B A L L E T

A well-fated stop near A-Basin helped Seibert launch Vail

970-477-0600 mastergalleryvail.com 100 East Meadow Drive • Vail Colorado 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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DREAMER & COFOUNDER

That guest list read like a Who’s Who of early Vail and included architect Fitzhugh Scott, who designed the original Lodge at Vail and many other Vail buildings. Original Vail stockholders and homeowners Pauline Armstrong and Wally Teipel were in the room. Pete never saw an opportunity he wouldn’t seize. He exchanged pleasantries with Dercum and asked if he could show them something he was carrying in the back seat of his car. Dercum agreed, and a few minutes later the entire group was looking at that now-famous scale model of Vail Mountain, the one that’s currently on display in the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail. “He was a little shy about bringing it in. He was trying to finance his dreams of Vail,” said Dercum. “He came in and

that model was about 3-foot square. They all had a chance to look at it, and as they did he explained what his dream was.” What happened next was straight from the story of Pete the Pied Piper. “The next day they all followed him to the site that would become Vail,” said Dercum. Seibert was willing to put his money where his

THEY ALL HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT IT, AND AS THEY DID HE EXPLAINED WHAT HIS DREAM WAS

THE RUCKSACK

BEFORE HEATED COBBLESTONES AND A FULLY BUILT TOWN, THERE WERE HORSES, DIRT ROADS AND THE RUCKSACK. A SHOPPING HOTSPOT AND TOWN FAVORITE, THE RUCKSACK WAS A STOPPING POINT FOR VISITORS ON OR OFF THEIR TRUSTY STEEDS.

dream was — he invested $5,000 in the venture. “You have to remember that $5,000 was a lot of money in those days,” said Dercum. “They were all promised a building site in Vail for their investment.”

And the rest, as they say, is history. “Early in Vail, during the construction of the original gondola, I was there with a guest from Ski Tip Ranch visiting with Pete,” recalled Dercum. “He invited us to take a ride up the gondola.” They took the ride up, wandered around the Mid-Vail site, then rode back down. “When we got down, Pete grinned at us and said, ‘Well, I guess now it’s road tested,’” said Dercum. “Apparently, we were the first people to ride that gondola.” A few months later Vail Mountain opened, Dec. 15, 1962, with just enough snow on the ground to make it white. Skiers queued up for $5 lift tickets that first ski season.

In the ‘50s, when Pete Seibert followed Earl Eaton up Vail Mountain in the snow, he wasn’t sure what he was getting into. But as soon as they were midway up the mountain he understood what he was seeing: a place to build his dream.

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P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y M O U N T- N - F R A M E ( A B O V E ) A N D C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M ( B E LO W )

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M O U N TA I N M A N A G E R

SARGE BROWN He built a mountain man’s mountain able,” said Joel Fritz, a ski patroller in Vail’s early years. was a mountain man “I think he was a genius in and Vail was his mountain. that way. The Army pounded When Sarge won Colointo him the things needed rado Ski USA’s lifetime to make this place go.” achievement award, there He demanded that workwasn’t enough room on the ers be on time, cut their award for a life that large. beards and dress neatly. As mountain manager for “I’m not running a populartwo decades, Brown expected ity contest,” he used to tell his excellence in everything on crew. “You are going to follow the mountain. He expected my example and do what I do, no less from himself. and we’re going It seemed like to have the best he worked seven ski area in the days a week, 365 world. If you days a year the I WAS can’t do that, 20 years he was SKIING there’s the door.” Vail’s mounEVERY TIME But there was tain manager I WASN’T much more to — probably an FIGHTING Brown than exaggeration, WARS. his bark. but maybe not. “He had the He ran Vail most wonderMountain fully beautiful soft side to him,” like a military operation. He said former Vail Associates was there at 5:30 a.m. every owner George Gillett. “He was day and when you needed a a real man, and, to me, a real leader, it was Sarge Brown. man isn’t just a tough guy. ” “He did change the culture Sarge grew up in McCall, and he changed it for the Idaho, where he went to and positive and made it respectILL “SARGE” BROWN

The annuals Bartenderce Ra

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Sarge Brown

from school on skis. He was a star guard on the football team at the University of Idaho. His country called and he answered, fighting in World War II and the Korean War, earning five Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars. Imagine a crew of ski bums, outdoor freaks and adrenaline junkies from all over the United States gathered

in one place in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Today, we call it the X Games. In 1942 it was the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale near Leadville. And Sarge was on the forefront. “I was skiing every time I wasn’t fighting wars,” he said. Brown installed the first snowmaking equipment on Vail Mountain and he favored cutting wide trails that could accommodate lots of skiers and a luxurious skiing surface. He started overnight grooming, making sure slopes were smooth first thing in the morning. And he helped secure the 1989 World Alpine Championships for Vail, then ensured the mountains were ready to host the landmark races.

P H OTO C O U R T E S Y VA I L T R A I L

A N S W E R S F R O M VA I L T R I V I A G A M E , C I R C A 19 8 5 : G R A N D J U N C T I O N C A T WA L K . P E P I G R A M S H A M M E R . F O O L’ S G O L D . B O N D . C R O S S A PA I R O F S K I S I N T H E S N OW. N O .

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V A I L’ S C H E E R L E A D E R

DICK HAUSERMAN The original Pioneer and Vail’s first permanent resident D

ICK HAUSERMAN WAS

the original Vail local. “I was the first permanent resident of Vail, Colorado. I designed the Vail logo. It’s on everything. It’s on the cover of my book,” Dick said in a video interview. “But I’m very upset,” Dick said with a grin. “They put that logo on every sewer cover in town and now people step on it all day long.” He shook your hand and made a friend for life. “Hi, I’m Dick Hauserman. Welcome to Vail,” he’d say. Dick Hauserman was one of nine children and has

50 nieces and nephews. He kept up with them all. Then he had the very good sense to marry Bobba Paul and embraced a bunch more. He worked at friendships. He was good at his work. Around 1960 Dick was sailing on Lake Erie when he told nephew Lee Howley all about Vail.

“I’m going to sell the boat and everything else, and build the biggest and best ski resort Before there wa s GoPro this. This brav the world has ever e young ma,nthere were rigs like and battery to str his helmet an apped a camera d hit the slope seen,” Dick told the s. young Howley. Howley was young. $5,000 each to help get things Hauserman was not. Hauserstarted. That was December, man was in his 40s when he 1959. By the next winter they sold everything and had a hut at the top of the gave himself to Vail. mountain, a snowcat Earl Vail gave itself to Eaton built and a dream. him. The love affair Billy Paul, from Bobba’s lasted a lifetime. side of the family, said what Before Vail, Peter everyone feels about Dick, that Seibert asked 20 he made everyone around him people to put up feel like the most important person in the world. “He was the most inclusive man I ever met,” Paul said. “His love was boundless.” In Dick’s waning days, he and Paul found themselves alone in Dick’s hospital room for a few moments. Dick turned to Paul and through his oxygen mask said, “Did I ever tell you about how we started Vail?” and started to tell the story the same way he always did ... like it was the first time. It’s a great story. It’s Dick’s story. In 1960, Dick Hauserman cross-country skied on the site that would eventually become the Vail Golf Course. Known as Vail’s first resident, Dick liked to personally welcome people to town.

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GOO D -TI M ES M AN

BILL WHITEFORD William the Good helped the good times roll B

ILL WHITEFORD

decided he wanted a drink, possibly two, and he was a self-sufficient man. So, at Mid-Vail, he set up his Ice Bar to serve drinks to skiers and his Ice Bar was born. “Somehow he got away with it,” said Harley Higbie. The Ice Bar was hardly his last libation location. In the ‘60s he built the Gondola Boutique Building, where the Tap Room is now.

In 1965 it was the Casino nightclub, the “plushest most way-out nightclub in the Rockies,” gushed the Denver Post. Whiteford opened it in style with 250 invited guests, including some of the top executives from American corporations. It doesn’t say what Whiteford spent to build it, but he spent $400,000 to furnish it. The sound system was one of the most elaborate in the nation at

that time and cost $20,000. The Casino Queen was Swedish beauty Bettan Olwaeus, who presided over the discotheque dancing from her raised platform. Whiteford’s nickname was “William the Good.” “Maybe because he wasn’t so good,” Higbie said. “He had a vivid imagination and was a very good writer and was very witty and

WHITEFORD WAS A LARGER-THANLIFE PERSONALITY WHOSE STORYTELLING AT TIMES BLURRED THE LINES BETWEEN FACT AND FICTION

Bill Whiteford created his Ice Bar to serve Vail Mountain. “Somehow he got away with it,” said a fellow original investor in Vail, Harley Higbie. It became one of the early après ski hot spots.

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loved to sort of get the better of people and entertain people,” said his son, Erik Whiteford. Whiteford was a largerthan-life personality whose storytelling at times blurred the lines between fact and fiction, as good stories sometimes do. The Casino got credit for all sorts of things. Whiteford would bring a variety of bands and entertainers — including Dizzy Gillespie — the upstart village wouldn’t have dreamed of having otherwise. There was a huge Christmas tree hung upside-down in the middle of the dance floor. They’d have Christmastree-climbing competitions. They had turtle races where they would put a circle on the floor and put little tiny turtles with numbers on their backs in the circle, and you’d buy a turtle. The first out of the circle was your winner. Whiteford was one of the original 20 investors in the Vail Corporation. He came to Vail in its first year and stayed until 1969, when he moved to Denver. He returned to the Vail Valley in 1987, living in Edwards until 2002.

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THE MONEY MAN

GEORGE CAULKINS Credit Caulkins with fueling Vail’s launch

little like putting together a band. You know a guy who knows a guy and before you know it, music happens. By now the story is familiar. In March 1957 Earl Eaton took Pete Seibert to the top of a nameless mountain. Later that year Pete got together with Jay Robert Fowler, an attorney in Denver. They got together with John Conway, who put together the deal to buy the 500-acre Hanson Ranch in the Gore Creek Valley. Jack Tweedy and George Caulkins got involved. Harley Higbie and Keith Brown were working with Caulkins in the oil industry and joined the fun. They calculated it would cost $1 million to put Vail together, and someone would have to raise it. Tweedy turned to Caulkins and said, “George, you’ve been { continued on page 120 }

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OTS OF PEOPLE GET

credit for Vail, but if it wasn’t for George Caulkins there might not be a Vail. “No one deserves more credit than George Caulkins,” said ski filmmaker Warren Miller. “Even on that one day the first winter when Vail only sold six lift tickets, George still believed in Vail.” Money makes things happen and if you’re trying to find money you look where it is. Caulkins needed to look no further that his circle of friends, which included an elite group of celebrities, socialites and businessmen. Sometimes he’d drop a name, just see what would happen. A close friend once whispered that mentioning

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so many famous people might create problems. Caulkins’ eyes sparkled and he answered, “You’re right. That’s what the Duke of Windsor told me.” WORLD’S BEST SALESMAN

“The world’s best salesman was George Caulkins. George persuaded the young and beautiful Ellie to marry him after only two dates,” said Stanley Rumbaugh, Jr., who bought into Vail in 1963. “I felt obligated as George’s best man to purchase one $10,000 unit. I only wish I had felt more obligated. Without George’s salesmanship and friends, Vail would not be in existence.” Putting together Vail’s original partners was a

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

ABOVE: The Caulkins clan in the 1960s.George was the driving force to raise the money that got Vail off the ground. George and Ellie Caulkins atop Vail Mountain, August 1962.

P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

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MARKETING MAGICIAN

BOB PARKER Parker put Vail on the map, before there was a map HE 50TH ANNIV-

ersary is easy — it’s the first one that’s tough. It was Sept. 18, 1962, three months before the resort opened, when Vail’s Marketing Magician Bob Parker announced tentative plans for Vail’s first anniversary celebration. The lofty goal was to “establish Vail as the finest winter resort in the Western Hemisphere.” Job descriptions did not exist in early Vail. Everyone worked together and they worked 14 hours a day. “We were working at something we enjoyed,” Parker said. “These were guys who had never worked on a ski resort, but had in common a belief in the project.” Here’s why Parker is a marketing magician. On February 18, 1962 the New York Times ran a full-page story about the new Vail Pass Ski Area. Bear in mind that February, 1962 was 10 months before the area would open and three to four months before the first shovel of dirt would be moved. Nine months later, the same amount it takes to give birth to most babies, the New York Times was back for another full-page story. The Nov. 18, 1962 edition gushed that the new ski center “emerged from the chaos,” and that “the

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mountain sits near the center of awesome topography.” On July 15, 1962, with Vail in complete construction/chaos mode, Parker managed to get Ski Magazine to do an extremely friendly photo session. Photographers spent four days in Vail amid that chaos shooting the magazine’s fashion edition. Ski Magazine used some of those photos for a feature about new resorts, led by Vail. Parker convinced Sports Illustrated editor Ezra Bowen to do a complete color photo story about Vail, and include Vail in his new ski book to be published in the fall of 1962. On November 7, 1963, the Denver Post reports

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

that “one of the West’s most fabulous resorts is developing here.” Which brings us back around to Vail’s first anniversary Parker was planning well before the ski area ever opened. He wanted to get Pete on the Today Show with Hugh Downs, invite movie stars to town, have stunt-skiing exhibitions by professional skiers, invite the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin), invite Bobby Kennedy to town, convince Lowell Thomas to do a broadcast from Vail,

develop a new gimmick like a torchlight parade to become a Vail tradition like divers in Acapulco, and get the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform. But no matter how good things are, they can always go wrong. Parker implored people to, “Remember the Squaw Valley debacle at the (1960) Olympics. Don’t allow them to say, 1. They caught cold in an open bus, 2. They lost their luggage.” Some information for this story came from “Tales from the 10th” by Lauren Moran, and John HoranKates’ upcoming book about Vail.

P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

A N S W E R S F R O M VA I L T R I V I A G A M E , C I R C A 19 8 5 : T H E B A C K B OW L S . T H E S L O P E . Y E S . B R E C K E N R I D G E . U N W E I G H T. 2 .

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It takes a pretty persuasive man to finagle a full-page story about a new ski resort in the New York Times 10 months before it’s set to open, but Bob Parker was up to the task.

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december

15, 1962 –

december

15, 2012 TH E STORI E S / / TH E S EC RETS / / TH E LEG E N D S

The plastic ski boot business started in Vail. Morrie Shepard had been a ski instructor for 18 years between Vail and Aspen when he went to work for Bob Lange in 1965. Before there was a Vail, Shepard and Lange were skiing in Aspen when Lange said, “You guys are having so much fun. I gotta figure out how to get out of insurance and get into the ski business so I can have fun too.” Bob showed up back in Aspen with what he considered good news. “I know what I’m going to do to get into Morrie Shepard, the ski business. circa 1970s I’m going to make plastic ski boots!” he proclaimed. Shepard laughed and laughed. Lange brought a prototype with him, one boot, and proudly

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handed over the shoe box in which he was carrying it. They were miserable, but Lange was a friend so Shepard tried them. He skied in those stiff boots for two weeks because his good friend Bob invented them. Finally Shepard decided he’d give his feet a break so he strapped on his old leather boots and headed up the Vail gondola. The leather boots were like noodles and he could barely stand up. He found a beginner class and snowplowed down Gitalong Road to the bottom of the mountain. He threw his leather boots into the trash can and called Bob to talk about the wonders and glories of his plastic boots. That was 1962-63 and it was the last time Shepard wore leather boots. He took no small amount of ribbing from others on the mountain. Bob kept making better prototypes and Shepard put them on

TRIVIA

WHAT WAS THE NAME OF ONE OF VAIL’S PREMIER NIGHT CLUBS, LOCATED UNDER GORSUCH IN THE VILLAGE? SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

his ski instructors. They were so comfortable that almost anyone could try one on – one – because Shepard was afraid if he let them try two they’d ski off and he’d never see them again. Shepard thought, “It’s hard to make money in the ski business, but boots just might do it.” He left Vail and worked with Bob Lange for eight years making boots in the Dubuque, Iowa factory. They offered Howard Head a piece of the company. Head, who was inventing things like laminated skis and oversize tennis rackets, scoffed and said plastic boots had no future. Two years later Head was talking with Shepard and Lange, lamenting his short-sighted decision to pass on plastic. “Morrie, I should have listened to you,” he said.

IMAGES COURTESY COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM

TRIVIA ANSWER = NU GNU

THE BOOT REVOLUTION

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compiled by R A N DY W Y R ICK

Once upon a time on Sundays, you couldn’t buy alcohol in Colorado liquor stores. But on one particular sunny autumn Sunday afternoon, a group of people hanging around Vail’s Sandstone ‘70s condos thought this was as good a reason as existed to get naked. And since they couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays, we can assume that they were also under the influence of no other controlled substances of any kind, and were in complete control of all their faculties. Which makes this sort of thing a fully conscious decision — on some level of consciousness. As they lolled away the afternoon, that day’s one and only on-duty Vail police officer wandered by, wondering what all the giggling was about, relatively certain it wasn’t the Jerry Lewis Telethon or a Broncos game.

The member of Vail’s Finest and guardian of the public safety decided they were having so much fun that he’d join them. So he took off his gun, along with everything else and joined them around the table. Those peace-loving people were enjoying themselves mightily, unaware that the police officer might be better served to be found in the active discharge of his duties — instead of in the nude. And while they were one with the universe, a couple bad guys were burglarizing Manor Vail Lodge. This was long before cell phones, pagers, radios that amounted to much or any of the other glories of modern technology that makes modern communication such a miracle. Besides, the police officer was operating in a parallel universe where there are no bad guys and no need for

GREENER PASTURES

FOR DECADES, MANY RESIDENTS OF VAIL AND ITS ENVIRONS WERE SHEEP. THEY LOVED THE MOUNTAIN, NOT ‘PROGRESS.’ UPON THE COMPLETION OF MANOR VAIL, ONE WAYWARD EWE BECAME SO DISTRAUGHT SHE JUMPED THROUGH A GROUND-FLOOR WINDOW.

radios that would summon you to deal with them. So the police chief at the time, whose name is being withheld to protect the innocent, which certainly does not include the bad guys burglarizing Manor Vail, was called to the scene. This is where the story gets a little sketchy, but the versions we were told said the police chief ended up handcuffed at the top of Vail Pass, persuaded

to make his way there at the business end of shotguns being pointed at him by the bad guys. The chief was handcuffed to a tree — and not voluntarily — and we’re told he didn’t like it. We’re pretty sure the bad guys got away. We’re also pretty sure Officer Moonbeam of the Vail Police Department was lectured about the head and shoulders severely enough to ensure he never did anything like that again.

Lodge at Vail pool, circa 1970s

( FLIRTING WITH ) CAMP KABOOM It was January 1963, there was no snow and it was minus 48 degrees. Vail Village was serviced by a giant propane tank and it was so cold they were afraid the propane would freeze, said Josef Staufer. “Enter Pete and Bill Burnett, who built a bonfire under it to keep it from freezing,” Staufer said. “They knew what to do, and luckily there were no leaks or the whole place would have gone up,” he said.

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SHEEP & BURNETT IMAGES COURTESY COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM | LODGE AT VAIL IMAGE COURTESY THE BRICKLIN ARCHIVES

by R A N DY W Y R ICK

TOWN ARCHITECT

FITZHUGH SCOTT Vail’s original architect envisioned ‘America’s Bavaria’ and then made sure it happened F

ITZHUGH SCOTT

loved Vail and Vail loved him back. Vail is American Bavaria because Scott designed it that way. Scott was an architect in Milwaukee with a thriving practice, many prominent corporate clients and a large residential business. He heard

about Vail through George Caulkins in 1958, and was one of the original 20 people who put down $5,000 to become part of the Vail Corporation. Fitzhugh and his wife, Eileen, built Vail’s first house long before there was a Vail. Their Bridge Chalet was a beauty contestant in a briar patch. “The Scotts constructed

Architect Fitzhugh Scott left an established life in Milwaukee and moved to Vail to pursue his dream.

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their house as a symbol of faith in the Vail idea,” wrote Pete Seibert in his book, “Vail: Triumph of a Dream.” Scott designed it on the back of an 8 1/2 x 11 envelope during a plane ride from Denver back to Milwaukee. He didn’t have a deed to the land, but he and Eileen built it anyway. Vail’s corporate offices were on the first floor and people slept anywhere they could find a flat spot. They had the only phone — a party line so busy that the Vail Associates staffers usually had to wait until after 10 p.m. to phone their vendors. It was also home to the upstart town’s only laundry, flush toilet and hot-water shower. It was never clear in those early days that Vail would make it, but Scott built a two-story chalet where Forest Road crosses Gore Creek. The risk paid off. He built several of Vail’s original residences, especially on Mill Creek Circle. He designed The Lodge at Vail, the Red Lion, the Mill Creek Building and many others. Scott drew up the town’s master plans, sketched Bridge Street’s curves on scrap paper, had plans for his Vail home drawn up before he owned the lot he’d build it on, and envisioned burying the highway more than a decade and a half before it was an interstate. “The prettiest line between two points is a curved line,” Scott was fond of saying.

P H OTO S S P E C I A L TO VA I L LU X U R Y

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TRAIL CREWMAN

Vail’s original crew worked hard, but played harder T

RUE SKI BUMS NEED

three jobs, says Paul Testwuide. One so you can eat for nothing, one so you can drink for nothing and one so you can ski for nothing. In 1962 he and a friend left Sheboygan, Wisc., in a $250 Ford they bought from a junkyard guy who built it from three other Fords, and headed West. They landed jobs building ski runs in Breckenridge, which had opened in 1961. Fifteen days after Vail opened he and Jim Clark ventured over to Vail where they dropped into the Back Bowls and skied and skied and skied all day. After they were done Testwuide wandered into the Red Lion and ordered a beer. An older guy — he seemed older at the time — wandered over and

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sat down to talk about skiing. “I just had the best day of skiing I’ve ever had on Milt’s Face,” Paul said. The guy was Larry Burdick, who had just opened the Red Lion. Burdick said, “Paul, as soon as I fire that guy behind the bar you can be my bar manager.” He was back in Vail the following Monday and landed his three jobs: one to eat, one to drink and one to ski. Most pay came in the form of scenery and skiing. His first check from Vail Associates paid him 64 cents an hour. He lived with John Donovan in the middle of the village, right in the middle of the action. “A lot of shenanigans went on. It was the nature of the

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

ary, some are just legends. “Things got a little rowdy at times and I was usually right in the middle of it. As the town and the company matured, it seemed I matured right along with it,” Testwuide said.

TRIVIA

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE PLAZA AND FOUNTAIN LOCATED ON GORE CREEK DRIVE IN VAIL VILLAGE? SEE GUTTER FOR ANSWER

ABOVE: For this group, the twodrink minmimum is obviously a dare. From left to right: Carl Wagman, Clay Freeman, Dave Gorsuch, Sarah Newsome and Paul Testwuide. AT LEFT: Lou Livingston in the flowered shirt, Paul Testwuide to his right, and Dave Rogers in front.

P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

T R I V I A A NSW ER S: CHIL DR EN’S

PAUL TESTWUIDE

people who came here. They wanted to have fun,” Testwuide said. “People would ride horses right into the bar. Ray Romer, Clare Elliott and other early Vail police officers kept a low profile, but kept a lid on things. They’d give people a ride home, or make sure their horse wasn’t tied up too tight.” Some stories are legend-

es the tim d... continue

1999

Vail Resorts, Inc. begins work on Category III, the third phase of Vail Mountain’s master plan. ..... Street Beat premieres with free Thursday-night concerts during the ski season.

2000

Vail Marriott Phase Three suffers $21 million fire. ..... Blue Sky Basin opens to skiers and snowboarders on Jan. 6. ..... The Jeep Whitewater Festival becomes the Teva Whitewater Festival. ..... The 2000 Census lists Vail with a population of 4,531.

2001

Vail’s new whitewater park debuts during the Teva Whitewater Festival, the precursor to the Mountain Games. ..... Vail and Beaver Creek host the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships. ..... Vail’s Lawn Chair Drill Team is invited to perform at the Presidential Inauguration. ..... Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater celebrates its $9 million renovation with the kick off of the 15th season of Hot Summer Nights. ..... The second phase of Blue Sky Basin – Pete’s Bowl — opens. ..... The Vail’s Farmers’ Market is created. ..... Spring Back to Vail premieres, initially known as Revolution Spring.

2003

2002

Retro manhole covers with Vail’s founding date, 1962, are introduced to add a decorative element to the pedestrian villages. To thwart thefts of the popular souvenirs, the town sells replicas and later adds jewelry to the manhole cover line. ..... The Teva Mountain Games begins with the addition of trail running, rock climbing and mountain biking.

John F. Donovan Park and Pavilion opens, joining Ford Park as Vail’s second large-scale community park. ..... The Vail Police Department trades in its Saab patrol cars for Ford Explorers. ..... The Session pro snowboarding competition premieres in Vail and continues a six-season run through 2008.

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2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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by R A N DY W Y R ICK

T H E F I R S T R E A LTO R

ROD SLIFER For Slifer, it’s still the best of times W

HEN ROD SLIFER ROLLED

into the valley, May 1, 1962, Vail Associates had already reduced his pay. It was supposed to be $600 a month, but they paid $500 and he earned every dime. “It was the most money I’d ever been paid in my life,” Slifer said. Everything and everyone was underfunded, but somehow they managed. “We had a party line with the four or five ranches in the area. If you picked it up and someone was talking, you had to wait until the line was clear. These ladies, ranch wives, spent all day talking to each other on the phone.” Vail’s crew called their

vendors at night. Slifer was Vail’s assistant ski school director in 1962. Ski lessons started with a simple question: “Can you ski?” “If they said yes the ski instructors sent them up what’s now Pepi’s Face. Sometimes it took a half hour to get them down,” Slifer said. Town government was allhands-on-deck. Slifer was Vail’s third mayor, after Ted Kindel and John Dobson. He served eight years, took a few years off

and served as mayor for another two terms — 16 years total. “Most of the issues were trying to manage growth,” he said. He got his real estate license

in the early 1960s and for the first four or five years he had no competition. He couldn’t hammer out a deal with Bishop and Perry, the Front Range firm he’d been working for, so he started his own firm. A few years later Harry Frampton and Mark Smith joined the firm instead of starting their own. Slifer had only one condition: His name would have to go first. “I was the oldest,” he said. He still marvels at Vail’s success. “A lot of those people who came here were just like me. They had no money,” he said. “Some have really prospered. Others haven’t prospered as much financially, but were the very guts of the place.” FROM TOP: Rod Slifer pins the St. Mortiz flag on Colorado Governor John Love. He also hangs the banner for Vail’s sister city, St. Moritz. LEFT: In December 1962, this was Vail’s original ski school, from left, Roy Parker, Jerry Coffey, Morrie Shepard, Fred Butler, Andy Arnold, Manfred Shober, George Nelson, Rod Slifer and Paul.

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y C O LO R A D O S K I A N D S N O W B OA R D M U S E U M

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es the tim d... continue

2004

Vail Memorial Park opens and serves to honor the lives of the many people who have helped to define Vail through the years. ..... The 30-year old Lionshead skier bridge is replaced.

2007

A Wildlife Protection Ordinance requiring bear-proof containers serves to reduce humanbear conflicts and is used as a model for other communities.

2005

Lionshead is redeveloped, beginning with groundbreaking for Arrabelle.

THE

2006

The first of 10 hybrid buses is added to Vail Transit fleet. ..... Three arsonists responsible for the Two Elk fires plead guilty. Investigation continues to apprehend 10 others. ..... Gourmet on Gore premieres in Vail Village.

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2008

2009

Pete Seibert, Jr., joins community leaders in celebrating the completion of the Seibert Circle Fountain in honor of his father, Vail founder Pete Seibert, Sr. More than two years in the making, the fountain features the only water-on-fire effect of its kind.

Vail Public Library celebrates its 25th anniversary. ..... Vail’s Front Door project is completed with Mountain Plaza offering new skier service amenities just steps from the Vista Bahn.

J. COTTER GALLERY Since 1970

2010

Sole Power, an annual green commuting challenge, begins. ..... The 2010 Census lists Vail with a population of 5,305.

2011

Vail hosts the premiere USA Pro Cycling Challenge. ..... The America Cup International Fly Fishing event is held in Vail. ..... The 10th, a new table service restaurant, opens at Mid-Vail. The Vail Community Garden opens.

2012

Gondola No. 1 premieres in Vail Village with a new stateof-the-art gondola, replacing the Vista Bahn chair lift which replaced Vail’s original gondola.

Vail 234 Wall Street 970.476.3131

Celebrating Vail’s 50th The Vail Hearts and Bracelets Same Owner Same Location for 43 Years Vail • 234 Wall St. • 970.476.3131 Beaver Creek • 5 Market Sq. • 970.949.8111 jcottergallery.com 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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CONTI NUED...

10TH MOUNTAIN: and only troops with the skills of the 10th Mountain Division were capable of scaling up the cliff and taking it. Lt. Col. Henry J. Hampton, commander of the 1st Battalion, 86th Mountain Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, recalls the rugged terrain the troops faced at Riva Ridge, in a written report: “There were no sharp breaks or passes. On the east side it is generally very steep, broken, with cliffs, steep ravines and shoulders. The west side is by comparison very mild, ranging from broken and steep through rolling to nearly a plateau west of Mt. Riva. … One of the important factors to be considered was the gradient of the east side of the escarpment which would have to be scaled to take this ridge held by the enemy.” Hampton attributed the success of the mission to the 10th Mountain Division’s training at Camp Hale — training that left the men in top physical condition and with high morale.

Saddle Up: Horses to be run out of Vail Village, right next toused the Lodge the town’s original buildinofgs.Vail, one of

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It took all night, but the troops miraculously reached the top without being heard or seen by the Germans. They reached the top around 5 a.m., and a dense fog on top of the ridge helped them get into position without being seen. Brown said it was truly a surprise attack and marked one of the turning points of the war. The troops then attacked Mount Belvedere and crossed the Poe Valley, but nearly 1,000 men died of about 13,000. “After my buddies were killed I can remember helping put their remains in body bags and carrying those back. … And after that I remember nothing for five days,” Parker said in his interview for “Fire on the Mountain.” “And after the fifth day, suddenly my mind clicked back into consciousness. The shock of the deaths and the shelling and so forth, just wiped out my conscious mind. That’s the mind’s way of protecting itself.”

The Cat Crew: Snowcats are a lot like farm equipment, and many of Vail’s have been driven by farmers. within 100 miles of Denver. Parker went up to the top of the mountain with Seibert and Eaton and they looked over into the back bowls. That was all Parker needed to see to convince him they had found their mountain.

After the war, Seibert had

gone to Europe to study resort development. He was chasing a dream he’d had since he was a young boy: He wanted to build a ski resort someday, and that someday was getting closer. Seibert was managing the Loveland Basin Ski Area, but he was always looking for the right place to develop his own resort. The area outside of Gore Valley was half the distance from Denver to Aspen, and Seibert and local resident Earl Eaton knew it was the perfect place, according to Colorado Ski Museum archives. Parker said he remembers Seibert telling him that he had found the perfect mountain

GEORGE CAULKINS: raising money for the oil business.” So Caulkins, Brown and Higbie created Caulkins Securities Company to raise the money. Seibert joined Caulkins on the road and armed with an 8-mm projector, a movie about Vail — which did not yet exist — and their powers of persuasion, off they went in Caulkins’ Porsche. Caulkins’ first stop was Wall Street where he hit some bumps in his road.

“In 1960, a ski area in the Rockies had no appeal, particularly on Wall Street,” Higbie said. “He went to his buddies in New York and was turned down flat. It looked pretty bleak, trying to raise money for this crazy idea.” Caulkins was a man with imagination imagination and could accept risk, traits he’d soon need. By March 1962, they’d raised 70 percent of their $1 million. Seibert was agitating to get bulldozers working right away.

Caulkins approached a few of the wealthy investors, such as John Murchison, Moose Taylor, Cort Dietler and Chris Chenery, and told them he would buy five extra units if each of them would buy additional units. They bought them. And that, young people, is how construction started on time. “It is very doubtful that Vail would be here today had it not been for George. He really did change our world,” Brown said.

VAIL AND THE POSTWAR COLORADO SKI INDUSTRY

VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

SOURCES: “THE INVENTORS OF VAIL,” BY DICK HAUSERMAN; RECORDED INTERVIEWS WITH WILLIAM “SARGE” BROWN, PETE SEIBERT AND BOB PARKER. COURTESY OF THE COLORADO SKI MUSEUM; “THE RIVA RIDGE OPERATION 13,” LT. COL. HENRY J. HAMPTON, 86TH MOUNTAIN INFANTRY; DAVID LEACH’S 2005 SENIOR THESIS FOR MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, “THE IMPACT OF THE TENTH MOUNTAIN DIVISION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A MODERN SKI INDUSTRY IN COLORADO AND VERMONT: 1930-1965”; “FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN,” FIRST RUN FEATURES/GAGE & GAGE PRODUCTIONS, 1995; COLORADO SKI & SNOWBOARD MUSEUM.

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2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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MODERN. ALPINE. INSPIRED.

The 10TH is open for lunch this Saturday and Sunday. Ski, ride or take the gondola to The 10TH, situated at the heart of Vail mountain, where the ambiance and cuisine are superlative interpretations of Modern Alpine Inspiration. Advance reservations highly recommended.

CALL (970) 754 1010 or VISIT VAIL.COM/the10th

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

INSIDER ACCESS TO OuR fAvORITE RESTAuRANTS, EATERIES & fOODIE hAvENS— All IN ONE CONvENIENT plACE!

ACCESS CuRRENT MENuS AND lEARN MORE ABOuT ThE EAT DINING DISTRICT AT

• EDWARDS •

• VAIL VILLAGE •

creative american cuisine.

ca sua l w ester n fa r e .

balata restaurant

bully ranch

T

his delicious Sonnenalp Golf Club favorite hits the spot with gorgeous views that stretch over the golf course and up the valley. The expansive restaurant offers a distinctive setting perfect for dinner or a private event.

A

casual, western-style atmosphere with a Southwestern and American menu this is the ideal place to meet friends for lunch or dinner. The Bully is famous for its hamburgers and mudslides.

(970) 477-5353 || balatarestaurant.com 1265 berry creek road, edwards

(970) 477-5353 || bullyranchrestaurant.com 20 Vail road, Vail

• VAIL VILLAGE •

• BEAVER CREEK •

steakhouse.

upscale comfort food.

elway’s

the golden eagle inn restaurant

A

ged, USDA Prime Beef is the star at Elway’s. Chef Shawn Cubberley shops for seasonal ingredients then plans ever-changing menus, allowing options with limited seasonal availability — from the familiar to ethnic and contemporary. (970) 754-7818 || elways.com inside the lodge at Vail, Vail Village

Scan the code with a QR R eadeR on youR SmaRtphone

U

sing local ingredients such as elk, lamb and fish, the Golden Eagle’s upscale comfort food is delicious. From our hazelnut-encrusted trout to grilled elk loin, it’s mountain cuisine at its finest.

(970) 949-1940 || thegoldeneagleinn.com centrally located on the beaVer creek plaza

oR tablet and go diRectly 2 012to K EeEat P Sd Aining K E E Dd I TiStRict I O N G. com VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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INSIDER ACCESS TO OuR fAvORITE RESTAuRANTS, EATERIES & fOODIE hAvENS— All IN ONE CONvENIENT plACE!

• VAIL VILLAGE •

• VAIL VILLAGE •

french aMerIcan.

fresh seafood.

la touR ‘WHeRe cHeFs eat’

ludWig’s

L

a Tour is the heart work of Chef Paul and Lourdes Ferzacca. The simplicity of the French-inspired cuisine masks a deep richness of flavors and textures which delights the palette. Reservations are suggested.

S

onnenalp’s famed fresh seafood and wild game restaurant. Executive Chef Steve Topple uses 24-hour ocean-to-table freshness to create unique dishes. Light and healthy, artfully prepared. Top off dinner with Ludwig’s award-winning wine selection.

(970) 476-4403 || latouR-Vail.com 122 east meadoW dRiVe, Vail

(970) 479-5429 || sonnenalp.com 20 Vail Road, Vail

• VAIL VILLAGE •

• mInturn •

c o c k ta I l s & l I v e e n t e rta I n M e n t.

steakhouse.

king’s club

mintuRn countRy club

A

sophisticated atmosphere with live music and a menu ranging from burgers to caviar. Take off your boots after a day on the mountain and enjoy Vail’s best après ski and après dinner gathering spot. (970) 479-5429 || kingsclubVail.com 20 Vail Road, Vail

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ACCESS CuRRENT MENuS AND lEARN MORE ABOuT ThE EAT DINING DISTRICT AT

Scan the QR VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2code 012 Kwith E E P S aA K E ER DeadeR I T I O N on youR SmaRtphone

B

elly up to the butcher shop and choose from a variety of dry-aged steaks, chicken and seafood. You’ll season it yourself and grill it to perfection on our special lava rock grill. Enjoy our salad bar and fire up some garlicky Texas Toast. (970) 827-4114 || mintuRn-countRy-club.com main stReet, mintuRn

oR tablet and go diRectly to e atd ining d iStRict. com

INSIDER ACCESS TO OuR fAvORITE RESTAuRANTS, EATERIES & fOODIE hAvENS— All IN ONE CONvENIENT plACE!

ACCESS CuRRENT MENuS AND lEARN MORE ABOuT ThE EAT DINING DISTRICT AT

• LIOnSHEAD •

• VAIL VILLAGE •

seaFood grill.

tr a ditiona l europea n.

montaUK

swiss chalet

S

ince 1987, Montauk Seafood Grill has been bringing high quality seafood and meats to the mountains. It is flown in fresh, never frozen, from all corners of the globe. We combine a fine dining experience with a casual and fun atmosphere.

F

ondue, Raclette and authentic alpine cuisine reflecting the various regions of the Alps positions the Swiss Chalet as a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Vail. Delicious fondues make the Swiss Chalet a delectable dining experience.

(970) 476-2601 || montaUKseafoodgRill.com 48 east BeaVeR cReeK BoUleVaRd, aVon

(970) 479-5429 || sonnenalp.com 20 Vail Road, Vail

• AVOn •

• EDWARDS/ARROWHEAD •

conteMpor a rY a Merica n.

tuscan grill.

Vin48 RestaURant wine BaR

Vista at aRRowhead

P

B

oasting views of Beaver Creek from Avon’s iconic Boat Building, Vin48 offers creative cuisine for discriminating palates and over 40 wines by the glass. Nightly happy hour with $8 small plates, $5 glasses of wine and $3 premium drafts. (970) 748-9463 || Vin48.com 48 east BeaVeR cReeK BoUleVaRd, aVon

Scan the code with a QR R eadeR on youR SmaRtphone

erched on Arrowhead’s mountain side, Vista is open to the public with a grand fireplace and Vail’s Piano Man, Micky, 6-9 p.m. Try Chef’s favorite Lamb Osso Buco or Rocky Mtn Trout. Don’t hesitate because of Arrowhead’s gate!

(970) 926-2111 || Vista-aRRowhead.com 676 sawatch dRiVe, edwaRds

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C e l e b r a t i n g

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v VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

A i l p o s t e r s . c o m

Very rare and highly collectible 1940 Edward H. Bohlin sterling silver parade saddle, including bridle, reins and breast collar. A stunning piece of fine Western Americana available only at The Shelton Smith Collection.

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The Sam Houston Collection. Original Lajos Markos oil portrait of General Sam Houston and one of only two castings of Larry Ludtke’s bronze, “Sam Houston at San Jacinto.” Made especially for the Texas Governor’s Mansion. Museum quality collection available only at The Shelton Smith Collection.

1639 King James version of The Holy Bible printed at Cambridge University. Extremely rare and seldom seen outside of a museum. An almost 400 year old treasure in excellent condition. Available at The Shelton Smith Collection.

FINE ART OF THE AMERICAN WEST AMERICAN ANTIQUES - WESTERN AMERICANA 227 Bridge St. • Vail, Colorado 81657 (970) 476-0100 • www.sheltonsmith.com

LOCATED ON THE BANKS OF GORE CREEK AT THE COVERED BRIDGE IN VAIL VILLAGE

2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N G VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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Parting Shot

W INTER WONDERLAND Before mountaintop trailmaps were electronic and gave grooming and lift-line status, it was as simple as open and closed. And in good snow years, that meant always open. Photography courtesy Mount-N-Frame

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VAIL 50TH ANNIVERSARY G 2 012 K E E P S A K E E D I T I O N

She’s a whiz at having all the answers... and armed with sufficient gadgetry if ever stumped.

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While its size changes with the times, her bag magically carries anything requested.

[Congratulations Vail

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Special 50th Magazine Keepsake Edition