Don Rogers: Trail’s path winds to Vail Daily
Vail, CO, Colorado
I have the Trail to thank for coming to Vail in the first place.
I have the Trail to thank for my kids being able to grow up here. For learning to snowboard. For living in a great, eccentric, fun and rich community in far more ways than the obvious. For having easily the best job in journalism.
So I’m going to miss the historic newspaper, too. Miss the daily competition with a strong news paper. Miss helping try to find the way back to its glory days after we bought the dying publication almost five years ago.
But I’ve been clear-eyed about the paper for a long time, even in the midst of the resuscitation efforts. Its demise was obvious when the Vail Daily’s parent company bought the Trail in February 2004. That it lasted nearly five years after that is a testament to this company’s patience and loyalty to the Trail brand, too.
The Trail would have ended nearly five years ago if we had not taken our chance to revive it. No shame in trying, and I know a lot of people put their best effort into the Trail, during its peak years and probably even more so during the decline.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
The market moved on. The readership and advertising over time migrated to the daily paper, and it turned out to be too late when the Trail finally went daily for a few years, too.
The paper reinvented itself several times in a bid to find a liveable niche while the Vail Daily served as the general audience paper. That came too late, too. But these moves had to be tried. You never know otherwise. None took, unfortunately.
Now, ironically, the effort that went into the Trail these past five years will have a wider readership in the Daily. Readers who passed over the Trail will finally see what they’ve been missing, though they may not realize it.
I expect to have more than one conversation in the months ahead about how the Daily has improved of late, gotten more interesting. I’ll credit the Trail for that, as I did when we were competitors and the Daily’s staff had to sharpen up.
We’ll shift, then, from the Daily struggling to keep the Trail alive as a stand-alone publication to the Trail’s spirit bringing more life to the Daily.
So we’re not quite to the end of the Trail, after all.
Don Rogers is the editor and associate publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at 748-2920 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He welcomes your comments.