Film helps mark Vail’s golden anniversary |

Film helps mark Vail’s golden anniversary

VAIL, Colorado – This is going to be a big, long, occasionally noisy party.

As the 50th anniversary of Vail Mountain’s opening approaches, plans are being finalized for nearly a year’s worth of celebrations. Vail Mountain marketing chief Adam Sutner Tuesday provided the Vail Town Council with a rundown of the events and some of the costs. While the town of Vail will put more than $400,000 worth of money and in-kind services toward the party, Vail Resorts is putting up most of the cash.

Since Vail Resorts is a publicly held company, and not in the business of revealing financial information outside of quarterly and annual reports, Sutner didn’t provide the exact amount Vail Resorts is putting into the project. But, based on the figures X’d out during a Powerpoint presentation, the resort company is putting a good bit of money into the celebration. The bottom line had seven X’s and no decimal points, so there’s a lot of money involved.

A good bit of that outlay is going toward a new film about Vail, done by Gypsum-based filmmaker Roger Brown, who’s been in the valley since Vail’s earliest days. Bob Parker, Vail’s first marketing guru, has also been involved in writing the script.

Sutner said the film will come in two versions – a longer one to show locally, and an edited version suitable for a one-hour slot on cable TV.

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Some short snippets of the film have already made it to Vail Resorts’ website, and Sutner said, and good progress is being made.

“It’ll be done, and we feel good about it right now,” Sutner said.

Anniversary planners anticipate the film will premier around Dec. 15, at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail. Sutner said he expects a “non-snobbish” event that still has red carpets and bright lights.

Bright lights will also feature prominently in a series of December and April concerts planned for the anniversary celebration. Those concerts and other activities won’t take the place of Snow Daze, Vail Holidaze and Spring Back to Vail, but all those events will have an anniversary theme.

“We plan to have bands from each of Vail’s decades,” Sutner said.

Beyond the events, there will also be licensed merchandise with the 50th anniversary logo. That stuff, which ranges from hats to sweaters and, possibly, skis and snowboards, will be sold online, as well as at a handful of outlets in Vail. Profits will be put back into the anniversary project.

Other ideas even involve national sponsors. Working with Anhueser Busch brewing might result in a special anniversary beer.

And, Sutner said, he’d like to have some space at the new “welcome center” at the Lionshead parking structure for a multi-media display of Vail’s history.

“That sounds like the ski museum,” said council member Susie Tjossem, who runs the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum in Vail.

“This will be Vail specific,” Sutner said.

The plans for the celebration stretch across the 50th anniversary of Vail’s first full season, and end with a special parade in July.

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