Gerald Ford Highway in the works
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL ” The late and former President Gerald Ford Tuesday could come a step closer to becoming memorialized ” in one of several places ” in Eagle County.
County commissioners will discuss naming after Ford the stretch of I-70 through Eagle County Tuesday, though I-70 is just one out of several locations in Eagle County where someone wants to name something after Ford, the former Beaver Creek resident who was active throughout the Vail Valley.
Others include renaming Village Road in Beaver Creek, a run at Vail and Beaver Creek and a post office in Vail.
Dan Gibbs, Eagle County’s state representative, is pushing to name the stretch of I-70 after Ford. The idea came from conversations with other elected officials, he said.
“President Ford had a positive effect on the Vail Valley,” Gibbs said. “Numerous people from the valley attended President Ford’s funeral. I know he’s beloved in Eagle County.”
Beloved, indeed. More than 2,500 people gathered at the base of Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak the evening Dec. 30 to honor Ford, who died five days earlier at 93.
The U.S. House Jan. 29 approved Eagle County Congressman Mark Udall’s bill to name the Vail Post Office after President Ford. The U.S. Senate is waiting to vote on the Democrat’s bill.
Tony O’Rourke, executive director of Beaver Creek Resort, sent a list of “four or five” possible Beaver Creek locations to President Ford’s family, who would decide which locations they approve of, he said.
“President Ford was a very modest man and we want to reflect that in our recognition,” O’Rourke said.
After Ford’s death, Vail Mountain said it may name a run after Ford. A company spokeswoman said more details may be released next week.
Renaming Village Road in Beaver Creek is a possibility, even if I-70 is named after Ford, he said. O’Rourke said he hoped to receive a response from the family in a couple weeks.
Ford started coming to Vail in 1968, when he was a Congressman from Michigan and continued visiting when he became vice president and then president.
Ford played a large role in keeping Vail growing in the 1970s, then helping Beaver Creek lift off in the 1980s.
Sara Fisher, Eagle county commissioner, said that commissioners respected Ford and wanted to do something to honor him.
In 2001, a stretch of I-25 through El Paso County was named the Ronald Reagan Highway.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or email@example.com.