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Vail History, Colorado

As most of Colorado’s towns, Vail’s history dates back to ancient times, when the Native American tribe known as Ute came in the area during summer, looking for fish and game. The first settlers came in the valley, known back then as Gore Creek Valley around 1874. Some were looking for precious metals; some were searching for a decent living and started ranches and farms. As the silver rush passed as fast as it started, it was farmers who continued to make a living in the area until the 50’s, when new opportunities suddenly emerged. The town of Vail actually succeeded founding the ski resort. When US highway 6 was constructed in 1940, the area near Gore Creek was named Vail Pass, after road engineer Charles Vail. Only four years after Vail’s inauguration as a ski resort was the town of Vail incorporated.

Vail History – Vail’s Founding Fathers

World War II veteran Pete Seibert is unanimously considered the town’s all time hero, not for his courage on the battlefield, but for his entrepreneurial spirit. Trained around Vail before the war, Seibert associated with a local farmer named Earl Eaton and they officially opened Vail Ski Resort on December 15, 1962. Recovering after serious injuries suffered on the Italian front line, Seibert became a professional skier and therefore foresaw the potential of Vail Mountain. Eaton was himself a ski addict, and had worked in Aspen for 10 years, building ski installations and doing ski patrolling. The inauguration year was critical in Vail’s history: there wasn’t too much snow and the ticket was only five dollars. There was one gondola and there were only two chairs. Yet, due to its proximity to Denver, Vail began to flourish. In the 70’s, Vail became the most popular ski resort all across the United States.

Vail History – Beaver Creek Resort

But Seibert’s and Eaton’s ambition didn’t stop here. Only eight miles east of Vail they founded the Beaver Creek Resort, acquiring the 2200 acres of land that would make some of the steepest and fastest slopes in Colorado. It was their hope that Beaver Creek would make its glorious entrance at the Winter Olympics in 1976. As Denver didn’t get to host the Olympics, the resort opened only four years later. Today both Vail and Beaver Creek have become top rated destinations, a part of the posh resorts that are unofficially known as “the Beverly Hills of the mountains”.

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Read our members' reviews about Vail

  • lindamuraSnowboard and ski in Vail, CO
    review by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    Vail is a very popular ski resort located at 109 miles West of Denver. Lots of Europeans and Americans love it not only for its natural beauty but also for its restaurants, shops and lodgings. The sensational mountain and the endless possibilities of having fun are also to be noted. It...
  • lindamuraWhite snow and stunning views in Ski Cooper, CO
    review by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    Ski Cooper also referred to as “the Coop” by the connoisseurs is situated about 20 miles south of Vail, close to Copper Mountain, in the San Isabel National Forest. How to get there? If you are in Denver, just take I-70 west to Exit 195 at Copper Mountain Resort then go south on...
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