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Tears sell Scotch on the Rockies

Connie Steiert

The Tear family is always looking for new adventures, ready to chart new waters of all sorts. Whether it’s sailing the high seas, trekking through the mountains or opening a unique store in Vail, they are always seeking challenges.The community recently bid the Tear family goodbye at a party in Singletree, as they head off to their latest adventure. After 28 years in the valley and years of running one of Vail’s favorite stores, Scotch on the Rockies the Tear family is ready to move on.Susan Tear says it is not because of any disenchantment with Vail the family has decided to relocate. &quotThere’s no sour grapes. We’re not leaving Vail. We are going to a new area that intrigues us.&quotThe Tear family is moving to Jackson Hole, Wyo. They have already sold their flourishing Vail Village business, Scotch on the Rockies on Bridge Street, which imports all sorts of beautiful goods from Scotland and Ireland, to Robb and Susan Swimm. (Susan Swimm grew up in Scotland, just two miles from where Hamish lived.)They have sold their home in Singletree and have a new home lined up in Wyoming.&quotWe are going to make a career change. We like challenges,&quot says Susan Tear. &quotBoth of us need to use our brains in different ways. We spent lots of time evaluating it, but I would love to live in a ruralarea.&quot&quotIt’s something different,&quot says Hamish. &quotNot necessarily better, just different. It’s just a change in lifestyle and work style and play style. You get to the point in life that you have been doing the same thing for so many years, it’s time to do something else.&quotTypically, it all started with an outdoor adventure three years ago when Hamish went for a hike on the Idaho side of the Tetons. There he found the steep side of the Teton Valley, the &quotquiet side,&quot held anirresistible quiet pocket of virtual wilderness in a remote valley outside of Driggs, Idaho, just 25 miles from Jackson Hole.&quotWe fell in love with it,&quot says Susan.The couple purchased property as an investment, but ended up getting involved with the area, traveling there two or more times each year. When the Tears decided to take the plunge and move north, however, they decided Driggs, Idaho, was not the most idealplace to raise two teenage boys especially boys used to Vail, Colo. Instead, they decided to move to Jackson Hole, which is still rural, but reportedly has good schools and more social life. The time is right for the move, because Cameron, who will turn 15 this fall, will be entering his first year of high school, and Frazer will be 12 and entering middle school.&quotSchools and their activities feature highly in our plans,&quot Hamish says.Susan and Hamish have long been turned to the wilderness and conservation issues. Sports enthusiasts all, the family has learned to prize its environment through avid hiking, kayaking, camping, river rafting and sailing. Hamish works part-time as a guide for Peregrine Guides, and was a ski instructor at Beaver Creek during the ’80s. He has sailed the ocean on tall ships and smaller boats, and climbed the Alps. The couple has been actively supportive of Colorado Wild, as well as Meet the Wilderness and open space programs in Eagle County.But in the Tetons, explains Hamish, there is a larger buffer of wilderness around development. &quotIt takes more driving there to get to any sort of population,&quot he says. &quotAround here, Colorado is one of the fastest growing states. As a state, it is becoming heavily influenced by growth. We are very much wilderness kind of people.&quot Hamish is also anxious to introduce his boys, avid skiers, to the steep slopes of Jackson Hole and the numerous (five) Nordic tracks in the area.Susan is particularly looking for ward to becoming involved with the Teton Conservation Alliance, Jackson Hole’s conservation district, which promotes land conservancy in the area.&quotIn many ways, they are way ahead of Eagle County,&quot says Susan. &quotThey have been working on conservation issues since the ’60s. There is so much more emphasis up there on wilderness and wildlife.&quotThe move to Jackson Hole is actually an interim one.After the boys are grown and out on their own, Hamish and Susan are eyeing their property near Driggs. &quotI’d like to move there,&quot says Hamish.It is not without regrets that the Tears will leave the valley. After nearly three decades in the valley they have made countless friends and connections.Their sons were born here. Susan and Hamish have both volunteered countless hours at their schools, and most Wednesdays found Hamish leading the students at the Eagle County Charter Academy on elective excursions mountain biking, skiing or kayaking. Susan spent her 21st birthday in Vail, and worked as a disc jockey for KVMT and a news broadcaster for a local TV station in her early years here.&quotVail has given us a tremendous life and we are tremendously grateful,&quot says Susan. &quotWe’ll be coming back for visits. This place will always be huge in my heart.&quot


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