Pope family’s send-off from Vail Valley bittersweet | VailDaily.com

Pope family’s send-off from Vail Valley bittersweet

Annah Scully
Vail, CO Colorado
Annah Scully/Vail DailyCarolyn and Steve Pope, former publisher of the Vail Daily, have moved to Colorado Springs
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VAIL, Colorado ” The Vail Valley held a hello-goodbye party for the iconic Pope family at Vista in Arrowhead last Saturday.

The “goodbye” part comes from the departure of the Popes to Colorado Springs, where Steve Pope has traded his role as publisher of the Vail Daily and general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media for his new role as president of the Colorado Springs Gazette, the second-largest paper in the state.

His effervescent and always dazzling wife, Carolyn Pope, will retain her super mom, top-gun flight attendant, vital volunteer and ultra-social butterfly roles, albeit in a new location.

The “hello” part comes from the fact that they, as Arnold as the Terminator would say, will be baack. The Popes have a second home here and will continue to visit and be Vailites as much as they can from a distance.

This is great news for their large fleet of friends who gathered to reminisce and to wish them well.

Heather Campbell will always remember spending the fateful day of 9/11 with Carolyn Pope.

“We were stunned,” Campbell said. “We went to Singletree park with our children. It helped to watch them playing.”

On the lighter side, Debbie Heuga recalled attending Carolyn’s birthday party and leaving early because she had a secret date. This was juicy stuff, but when I asked who the date was, Debbie replied, “I don’t remember.” To which I say … baloney! Whoever has the inside info on this needs to call me so we can dish!

Don Rogers is the new publisher at the Vail Daily and has held the wheel of the editor in chief for the past decade. He spoke of his professional relationship with Steve.

“I will miss walking into Steve’s office and seeing how fast I can get thrown out,” Rogers joked. “I got it down to three seconds. It always ends with him saying, “Get the hell out,” and starts with me and a great idea that I have.”

Julia Wallace told me that when she first met Steve, “it was love at first site.” She added, “He bought me champagne.” Again, anyone with more dishy gossip on this?

Barbara Benson remembers the Popes’ many charitable contributions.

“Carolyn started the Good Samaritan Center,” Benson said. “She’s a whirlwind.”

Donna Caynoski said she will also miss the Pope’s young son, Andrew, “and his special talents at the Eagle County Charter School spelling bee.”

Fortunately, the Popes will remain connected to our community. According to Carolyn, “We will still support the community. It’s bittersweet. You cannot replace the people here, especially the women. It’s special because people here choose to be here.”

She added, emphatically, “I will always be a Vailite.”

Annah Scully, a local since 1980, is the founder and executive director of the Vail Performing Arts Academy. Contact her at 970-926 2370 or annah.scully@comcast.net. Visit http://www.vailperformingarts.com