VAIL, COLORADO CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
It is going to be a momentous season this year in Vail, Colorado for a couple of different reasons. We are hopefully expecting winter to return with a vengeance after taking a hiatus in 2011-2012, with respectable amounts of blissful powder to rejuvenate our water supply and our spirits. And it’s perfect timing, as this year also marks the half-century celebration of the Town of Vail and Vail Mountain.
How does a world-class resort such as Vail take root? Just around the corner from Vail, in Camp Hale, the specialized 10th Mountain Division trained for mountain combat in WWII. After the war, a handful of these veterans returned to the beautiful Colorado Rockies they had fallen in love with and settled here. One of these vets, Pete Seibert, along with friend and c-veteran Earl Eaton, spent time working at Aspen and Loveland ski areas while percolating on plans to develop their own ski area. The men first explored the fabulous powder-friendly terrain of the Vail area in 1957, and decided this would be the perfect place to develop a ski area. Original investors gave $10,000 in return for a lifetime ski pass and a condo unit (oh how times have changed!) A rapid 5 years of development and planning allowed Vail to open officially in 1962, and it has touched the lives of many happy skiers ever since.
The colorful 50-year history, from 1962-2012, is being documented on film by local filmmaker Roger Brown of Gypsum. Brown has been in the Vail area since the early days, and is collaborating on the script with friend and one-time Vail marketing master Bob Parker. They already have hours of footage telling the 50-year story, and some teasers can be previewed on Vail.com. Brown plans to produce two versions of the documentary: a longer version to be used locally, and a one-hour version suitable for TV. Don’t miss the mountain-friendly red carpet world premier slated for December 15 at Dobson Arena, as part of Vail’s 50th Birthday Bash and Snow Daze.
Both the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts are proudly supporting this seven-figure, year- long celebration of the 50th. Here is an overview of the various events scheduled to commemorate this half-century milestone. Earlier this year, On July 4th, the town celebrated this exciting milestone with a Vail’s 50th float in the Independence Day parade. Ongoing until September 1st is a poster contest that invites designers to submit an original work to be used as the official poster commemorating the 50th. The winner will receive 2 Epic Passes for the 2012-2013 ski season, dinner for 2 at Game Creek Club and $500 in Mountain Money. For more information visit vail.com/postercontest. Also in September on the 21-23, is the 3rd ever Vail Pioneer Days, which honors long-time current and past residents and founders of Vail in a weekend-long nostalgic celebration. Anyone who lived and worked in Vail between 1962-1980 is invited to this event (the first two drew over 1000 participants).
Events include live music, a memorial service for late pioneers, and dinner and dancing at Dobson Arena on Saturday night. The new Vail Village gondola, to replace the Vista Bahn, will open on November 16 on Vail Mountain’s opening Day. December 10-16 brings an over the top version of early-season celebration Snow Daze, with a week of concerts, family events and of course the documentary film’s world premier. Events will continue to pop up throughout the ski season, and will close with a bang during Spring Back to Vail week April 8-16, 2013. It’s official- Vail will now be “over the hill”!!
Ski Season Timeline for 50th Anniversary
Nov 15, 2012: US Ski Team Announcement ceremony and Gondola Rides for public
Opening Day, Nov 16, 2012: New Gondola opens to skiers and snowboarders for the first time
Dec 10-16, 2012: Special 50th Anniversary Snow Daze celebrations, including concerts and kids events
Dec 15, 2012: Vail’s 50th Birthday Bash! Celebrations include Gondola dedication ceremony, fireworks, and concert at Ford Park
Apr 1-7, 2013: Reunion Week! Plan your Ski School, Patrol, or any other group in Vail reunion during this week. Watch for activities and special group lodging rates
Apr 8-16, 2013: National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and Film Fest
Apr 8-16, 2013: Spring Back to Vail, 50th Anniversary style: The same great Spring Back to Vail you’ve come to love, with a 50th Anniversary twist
All Season: Lionshead and Vail Village 50th Anniversary Headquarters at Welcome Centers – photo’s guest books, stickers, and more!
Simba Run Vail Condominiums – Vail, Colorado’s Official Headquarters for Family Fun. Book your 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo rentals at Colorado’s favorite ski resort. Call 1-800-746-2278 or book online today.