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Damning words prove ironic

Dick Hauserman
Daily file photoSports Illustrated, in the summer of 1962, ran a story quoting Willy Schaeffler, a renowned and respected ski coach, saying Vail would never make it as a world-class ski resort. His words, ironically, proved to be a boon for Vail. Years later, Schaeffler became more familiar with the mountain - and an enthusiastic supporter.
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This alarmed quite a few directors, but Pete Seibert said, “Willy couldn’t have said a better thing. Wait until the phones start ringing.”

And they did. People called and asked, “Is it true the whole family will be able to ski at Vail and that there are easy and open slopes so we can ski together as a family?”

Seibert’s theory was correct. The market was really the 30- to 40-year old parents just learning to ski. What we all knew, and what Willy missed, was that there was a lot of challenging terrain – but the first year, all that was developed were the Back Bowls and the easy front-side runs.



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 40th installment, an excerpt from chapter 5, “Creating a Plan to Make it Work.” 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.


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