Lost ring found in Vail reunited with its owner | VailDaily.com
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Lost ring found in Vail reunited with its owner

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Sue Brenner smiles as her husband David holds their recently-found wedding ring that had been lost for five years. The ring was lost on Vail Mountain in 2009 and found by lift maintenance worker Ryan Portz under the Sourdough Lift in July.
Anthony Thornton | athornton@vaildaily.com |

VAIL — David Brenner had given up hope that he would ever find his lost wedding ring.

The Littleton resident had lost his gold wedding band while skiing in 2009, and the incident was so long ago that he had forgotten he’d lost it, much less on which ski resort. That is, until a client mentioned he’d seen a ring on the news that was found on Vail Mountain a few weeks earlier. The simple gold ring bore an inscription — “All my love, Sue.”

Lift maintenance worker Ryan Portz found the ring under the Sourdough Lift in July, and Vail Resorts posted the found item on their website and through all their social media networks. Within just a few days, the news reached more than a million people.

Incidentally, David and Sue Brenner were not among those people — they were in Alaska on vacation, but when David Brenner heard about the ring from his client, he called his wife to ask which resort he’d lost the ring on.

“It bothered me that he had lost it. I saw it as a bad omen. I’m really into tradition, so after a year I wanted to go ring shopping and get him another ring that was similar with the same inscription. The people at the jewelry store laughed, saying that style and inscriptions were so 30 years ago.”
Sue Brenner
Littleton resident

“I said, ‘Vail,’ without a moment’s hesitation,” said Sue Brenner.

Lost and found

On Saturday, the Brenners were united with the lost ring at the base of Vail Mountain, where Portz and his wife presented the cherished item to its original owners, in front of no less than five cameras and a gaggle of reporters.

The Brenners thanked them, presenting them with a reward, thank you note and a copy of a news article about the ring. Sue Brenner showed them wedding photos of the Brenners looking at the ring, and a display case they had made where they planned to display the found wedding band. The Brenners have been married 32 years, and Sue Brenner said she had been very sad when the ring didn’t turn up after awhile.

“If you hadn’t found it, and been honest enough to return it, we never would have seen it again,” said Sue Brenner to the couple. “Sometimes when you do the right thing it comes back to you. I hope you two have as good of luck as we had.”

After David Brenner heard about the ring, he called up Vail Resorts and was able to identify the ring by another marker — the wedding date that was also inscribed on the inside.

He said he remembered skiing on the day he lost his ring, and taking his gloves on and off throughout the day to look at his phone. When he realized it was gone at the end of the day, he had no idea where on the mountain he’d lost it, and told his wife.

After it didn’t turn up at the end of the ski season, they couple decided to get new rings together.

‘So 30 Years Ago’

“It bothered me that he had lost it. I saw it as a bad omen,” said Sue Brenner. “I’m really into tradition, so after a year I wanted to go ring shopping and get him another ring that was similar with the same inscription. The people at the jewelry store laughed, saying that style and inscriptions were so 30 years ago.”

He ended up with a more contemporary — and much tighter fitting — new band.

Now the long-lost ring will be a conversational piece at their home, which David Brenner joked would be the most famous piece of art in their house.

Compliments of Vail Resort, the couple also are enjoying a weekend getaway in Vail. They’ll stay at the Arrabelle in Lionshead Village, zip line, have lunch on the mountain and relax with a couples spa appointment.

Even better, Sue Brenner said the news coverage has given her a chance to reconnect with many old friends who attended their wedding.

“I haven’t seen some of these people for more than 30 years, so it’s great to have all these old friends calling us and telling us they saw it on the news,” she said.

Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at mwong@vaildaily.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.


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