Happy Trails to you
We’ve come to the end of the Trail as a stand-alone publication. This will be the last edition.
Vail’s Greatest Newspaper began in 1965, shortly after Vail Mountain opened in 1962, and enjoyed a heyday with the ski hill and community until a little one-sheet paper called the Vail Daily began in 1981.
The two papers competed ” sometimes fiercely ” for the next two decades until the Vail Daily’s parent company, Swift Communications, bought the Trail from the Knox family in 2004.
Swift continued the struggle to keep the Trail going, first as a publication and staff entirely independent of the Vail Daily, and for the past year and a half as part of the Daily’s operation.
Neither approach worked as well as hoped, and the market forces that brought on a long decline for the Trail as a rival to the Daily continued after the purchase.
The economic downturn that hit the entire community this fall has forced the hard decision here to focus on the Daily, one of the most successful newspapers in the entire country, and to end the quest to bring the Trail back to its golden age.
The publication was a worthy foe, a great challenge to take on, and now painful to shutter as a stand-alone weekly newspaper.
Starting next week, the best of the Trail will continue in the pages of the Daily and assuredly help make the Daily stronger for the combination of efforts.
So we’re not quite at the end of the Trail for continuing the spirit of Vail’s Greatest so much as integrating it to get the best of both papers finally into one.
Don Rogers is editor and associate publisher of the Vail Daily, Vail Trail and Eagle Valley Enterprise.