Hauserman instrumental in Vail’s success, too
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, as the middle child of a family of nine (eight boys and one girl), he was privileged to have a good education and a successful business career. As a member of the first board of directors of Vail, he was pleased to participate in its planning and development.
The big turn in his life came on Feb. 4, 1961, when, at a directors’ meeting, it became apparent that although Vail could get people to build homes the first year, they couldn’t get anyone interested in commercial buildings. You can imagine at that early stage what a risky investment it was. Without thinking about it for one second, Hauserman raised his hand and said he would build the first commercial structure. That statement changed his life. As he said,
“My next thought was to put in a sports shop, but if I was to do that, I wanted protection from competition, so they gave me a three-year exclusive. Not being a developer, I had to pick the location, hire an architect, and get involved in the process of constructing the first commercial building. It was called the Hauserman Building, and it was at the head of Bridge Street. Today it is the Hill Building.
“The following year, I built the Plaza Building opposite the Red Lion. Because I had to spend much more time on the project and be in the Vail area, like many of the other directors, I became very active in all of the things that were going on – joining committees and helping set up the first private school, the Vail Country Day School; establishing a ski club and a fire department; and sitting in on many sessions that involved major decisions in how the resort was to proceed.
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“Being involved and responsible for the design of both the internationally known Vail logo and the ski-school parka, that have endured through the years, is a source of personal gratification. Before Vail, I used to ski at Sun Valley, Idaho, where I served as president of the Sun Valley Ski Club for one year.
“After I left Vail in 1970, John Murchison asked me to work with the LTV Corporation of Dallas, which had just purchased the Mount Werner ski area in Steamboat Springs. For two years I helped with their marketing programs, changed the name to Steamboat, designed the Steamboat logo, suggested America’s red, white, and blue colors, put cowboy hats on the instructors, arranged for the hiring of Billy Kidd, and was instrumental in redesigning many ski runs to make the skiing easier for intermediates. It was a busy but fun two years.”
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 19th installment, an excerpt from chapter 4, “The First Directors Meeting.” 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.