A Vail fixture moving on | VailDaily.com

A Vail fixture moving on

Cliff Thompson
Margaret Gamble has worked for Timberline Real Estate, in Vail, for 21 years. She retires at the end of the month and will move with her husband, Don, to Tulsa, Okla.

In a resort town, where job tenure typically can be measured in days and weeks, Margaret Gamble is an anomaly – she’s been on the job for 21 years.

Gamble, the office manager for Coldwell Banker, Timberline Properties in Vail and Beaver Creek, has had a nonpareil work ethic – she was always on time, never missing a day of work.

Equally important has been her calm demeanor. She’s not a person who gets ruffled.

On Wednesday, July 30, she’s going to say “goodbye” her job, the mountains and her home in Leadville … leaving a void.

“She’s just indispensable,” says Sue Rychel, managing broker and a partner in the firm. “I always felt I could leave the office and know that things would be taken care of. She was a steady voice and (has been) a very calming factor.”


Gamble, 71, and her husband, Don, will be heading to Tulsa, Okla., because he has developed a heart condition that is forcing him to live at lower elevation –and they want to be near their children.

“I’m pretty positive,” she says. “I just think about the good and forget the other. If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t, just work on the other side.”

She says her punctuality and work ethic are products of her generation and Midwestern upbringing. Things are a little different in Vail, she adds.

“They’re never on time and they always work on Vail time, she says. “It gets so you just laugh about it. When you’re at work you try to get along and do the best you can and don’t slack off.”

She says she has ridden the bus to work nearly every day.

“I’d take a blanket and pillow in the winter and sleep,” she says. “In summer I’d read a book.”

“Seen the whole scene’

In 1982, when she entered the industry, real estate in Vail was in the midst of a deep recession driven by hard times in the oil industry.

“Vail was going through a lot of foreclosures because of the Texas oil. Prices were at the bottom,” she says. “I’ve seen them go as high as they can get, so I’ve seen the whole scene. It’s better when it’s up.”

Broker Steve MacDonald, who has been with the company nearly as long as Gamble, says she was a “rock.”

“It’s really going to be hard (without her),” he says. “We all just run around here and sell real estate. It was nice to have someone here taking care of things.”

The Gambles moved to Colorado from the Flagstaff, Ariz., area after selling an insurance business there. While they’re excited about moving to Tulsa, they will miss the mountains.

“It’s a beautiful city that used to be the oil capital of the world,” she says. “It’s called the “Green City,’ but it does get hot. We’ll miss the cool.”

Margaret Gamble says she stayed at her job because she has enjoyed it, has been compensated well and treated well by her employer. Staying became easier the longer she was there, she says.

“It gets more difficult to land a job as you get older,” she says. “It’s easier for someone who is 25 to get a job.”

Refer to Margaret

The company, meanwhile, is not missing the opportunity to thank Margaret Gamble properly. It’s listing, advertising and helping to sell – with no commissions or fees – her 2,300-square-foot home in Leadville, and will then will refer her to a broker in Tulsa, donating the referral fee to her.

Friends who want to say their farewells are encouraged to stop by the office at 286 Bridge Street.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555 ext 450 or cthompson@vaildaily.com

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