VAIL — A lot of people who call Vail home, or even home away from home, want to be remembered in Vail, too.
The town has never had a cemetery — there isn’t really room for one, and town residents for years disagreed about what an actual cemetery might mean for Vail’s image — but the memorial park was dedicated on town-owned open space in 2004.
Vail Memorial Park isn’t a cemetery — people can purchase memorial stones, and the park accommodates cremated remains. And the park has been popular over its first few years — facility manager Farnum St. John said the first two phases of the park are about 70 percent occupied or reserved. Future phases of the 11-acre, town-owned park are expected to meet the town’s needs for 100 years or more.
While the park is a place for quiet contemplation, it has received some improvements over its first few years. There are new culverts in place, to help cut down on flooding in wet years, and St. John said the wildflowers are nicer than they’ve been in past years. New boulders added earlier this year, too.
St. John, who also hand-engraves the memorial stones, said the park has proven popular, and not just for those who want to be remembered there. He regularly leads tours through the park, both to show it off and to provide people a chance to spot names of friends from the resort’s early days.
But there’s a younger group of visitors, too.
“We have mountain bikers ride through almost every day,” St. John said. “The park does a nice job of tying in the past — giving (the cyclists) a reminder of who’s come before.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.