1962 – "Dr. Zhivago’ inspires Gorsuches to cove to Vail
Gorsuch was in Vail for the opening in December 1962 as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. There was very little snow. Shortly afterward, Pete Seibert asked Gorsuch to serve on the committee to promote Vail as a host candidate for the Winter Olympics.
Renie and Dave’s lives were about to change. Fate made an impact that would send them on their way. While attending the ski show in Denver, they went to see the movie “Dr. Zhivago.” They started talking to the people in front of them, who happened to be Laurie and John McBride. John McBride had built the Clock Tower Building. After the film, they had a friendly conversation and John McBride asked Dave Gorsuch if he and his wife would like to buy a ski shop.
“We are broke,” Gorsuch recalls, laughing. “I think if we stayed in Gunnison one more year we really would have gone broke, too.”
Dave Gorsuch was mountain manager at Crested Butte by then.
“After the show, we drove back through Vail,” Renie said. “It was a beautiful spring day in April. We sat on the benches at The Deli and tried to imagine living in such a beautiful town. Thirty days later, after wondering who would want our store, we finally found a buyer and moved to Vail.
The shop in Vail was called Sport Haus Vail. It was owned principally by Dick Bohr, who had been vice president of Vail Associates. His partners were Clay Freeman, John McBride, Dick Brown and Bob Tucker. But the shop was in financial trouble and the owners wanted out. They owed $80,000.
“To make the move, we sold everything we had – our house, the stores,” said Renie. “We put $40,000 down and borrowed the rest from United Bank of Denver. We put $2,000 down to purchase a house, but after a year we couldn’t afford to live in it, so we sold it for $29,000 – $2,000 more than we paid.”
A rented apartment in what is now Lionshead then became their home.
“It was for us the start of capitalism in the United States, derived from watching the movie “Dr. Zhivago’ about the start of communism in the world,” Renie theorized. “We were so lucky to come to Vail.”
Editor’s Note: In a continued effort to help the community understand its roots, the Vail Daily for a second time is serializing Dick Hauserman’s “The Inventors of Vail.” This is the 108th installment, an excerpt from chapter 12, “The Ever-Increasing “New Locals.” The book is available at Verbatim Booksellers, The Bookworm of Edwards, Pepi’s Sports, Gorsuch Ltd. and The Rucksack, as well as other retailers throughout the valley. Hauserman can be contacted by phone at 926-2895 or by mail at P.O. Box 1410, Edwards CO, 81632.