Monica Brown brought Vail glamour
Monica Schultz-Lidl, who later became Monica Brown, grew up in Salasia, East Germany, a ski resort that became lost during the war. In 1960, she came to the United States and worked at the ski school in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“I met Dick Hauserman, who was president of the Sun Valley Ski Club, and he invited me to come and see the new ski area in Colorado in which he was involved,” she says.
A model, she also worked for the Bogner Company, which took her to many places – Maine, Taos, Stowe, Sun Valley, and finally, Vail. Once she arrived in Vail, I persuaded her to work for Vail Blanche Sport Shop. She was a natural for Vail with her beauty, ski-instructing experience, fashion sense, and ease with the customers and guests. The Murchisons, the Taylors and many others wanted her to ski with them. She was largely in charge of the shop, which was a relief to Blanche and Bunny, the owners of Vail Blanche, because they no longer wanted to be so active.
Incidentally, Bogner jackets were selling for $65 to $75.
In 1967, Monica married Roger Brown, the producer of many ski films and owner of Summit Films. When her son, Nicolas, was born, she stopped working for awhile, but she added glamour to those early days.
When asked recently what she thought about those early days she recalls:
“Can you imagine leaving your house open while you were in Denver for two days? Can you imagine your neighbors’ horse getting loose and looking into your bedroom window at 5 a.m.? Can you imagine a guest visiting you in one of the few homes yet built and saying, “What a pretty chalet – we have one, too, in the Swiss Alps. Where do you live?’ Can you imagine driving 45 minutes to pick up your packages at the railroad station in Minturn? Can you imagine having to shop that far away for groceries? Can you imagine being out of work for six months until the “season’ opened again in winter? Can you imagine it took four hours to drive to Denver? Can you imagine skiing was closed on the slopes facing the highway so that the conditions looked perfect? All this was Vail in the early 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 119th installment, an excerpt from chapter 13, “The Women of Vail.” 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.