Crowley, Fricke – two early Vail entrepreneurs
Can you imagine arriving in Vail at the Vail Village Inn on New Year’s Eve 1963 and running into a sorority sister, Diane Lazier, from Minnesota, who was a waitress there?
Ginny Crowley couldn’t. This was the beginning of a long and illustrious career. Ginny Crowley was a pioneer. As a schoolteacher, she started teaching seventh, eighth and 11th grades in Red Cliff, and then in the Vail Country Day School through locations at Meadow Mountain, the Fire House, and finally at its present location. She was headmistress of the Vail Mountain School for two years.
Crowley was instrumental in changing the original Calvert System – a popular teaching method – to a regular curriculum. School was out at 1 p.m. and the kids went skiing. But, because all attention was paid to winter activities, they were terrible softball players.
In 1967, Crowley, too, became an entrepreneur and opened the Gaslight Candle Shop. Because of her many contributions in helping the growth and quality of education in the valley, she was awarded a seat on the Eagle County School Board.
Edie Norton Fricke
In 1964, Vail was ready for its first beauty parlor. After several interviews, I chose Edie and she opened the Plaza Salon in the basement of the Plaza Building, but not until after a battle with Bill Whiteford, who, at the same time, wanted to open one in the Casino Building. He was finally persuaded that Vail was not yet ready for two.
Two years later, Edie moved to the Golden Peak Building and called her salon Lady Vail. Edie became popular with the locals and guests, filling an overdue need. A few years later she and her husband, Claus, opened the Alpenrose Restaurant, one of Vail’s premier eateries.
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 118th installment, an excerpt from chapter 13, “The Women of Vail.” 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.