5 Questions for Carl Eaton | VailDaily.com

5 Questions for Carl Eaton

Eaton is the son of Vail and Beaver Creek founder Earl Eaton

Carl Eaton, left and his father, Earl Eaton at Beaver Creek in 1999

How long have your worked for Beaver Creek?

37 years total with the company; 30 years at Beaver Creek and prior to joining Beaver Creek, seven years in Vail. I’ve always worked in the lift department and am currently the director of lift maintenance.

What was it like during the early days of Beaver Creek?

When we first opened, Beaver Creek was very quiet, and had very few crowds. We opened with just under 400 acres, and it was a great place to do high-speed groomers!

Your dad founded Vail with Pete Seibert. Is there anyone in particular who is credited as being the “founder” of Beaver Creek?

My dad and John Burke from the Forest Service originally came up with the idea for Beaver Creek in 1956. It was 18 years later when it was finally looked at more seriously by Vail Associates.

In your opinion, what makes Beaver Creek different that Vail and other ski areas?

It’s definitely more exclusive with a huge emphasis on guest service. In addition to our guest service, the annual Birds of Prey races as well as our Village-to-Village ski experience set us apart.

Can you share a fun story about growing up at Beaver Creek?

Dec. 15, 1980 was Beaver Creek’s VIP Grand opening day. I was lucky enough to be invited to ski with my father. After the ribbon cutting everyone headed up the hill to ski. After skiing up top in the Drinkwater Park area (now known as Red Buffalo Park) we decided to head down to Spruce Saddle for lunch. Apparently, I was going a little too fast down Cinch because a few minutes after arriving at Spruce Saddle, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was one of President Ford’s secret servicemen. He promptly told me that I almost ran the President off of the ski run! I slowed down after that.

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