The Goodells – Vail’s first accountants
When The Lodge at Vail opened, Vail Associates moved its executive offices from the Bridge Chalet to two of the bedrooms just west of the lobby. Loyette and John Goodell were a popular couple and were involved in many facets of the operations.
“After a hectic first winter, John, Dick Bohr and I tried to reconstruct the records,” said Loyette Goodell. “There was nothing written down about the payroll.”
Most of the problems stemmed from the fact that the controller hired to organize the financial end of the business never arrived. So John Goodell, who had some previous experience as a hotel accountant at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, had to take over. Loyette Goodell subbed as payroll and accounts-receivable clerk when needed. The following year, Vail Associates moved its offices to the expanded quarters in the Plaza Building, where Loyette Goodell worked for Pete Seibert.
John Goodell worked exactly four years for Vail Associates. He started the first day of 1963 and quit on the last day of 1966. During that time he and Loyette Goodell tried to put together a solid accounting and administrative system. They worked very closely with Dick Bohr for two years. When Chuck Lewis came in, they worked for him for a year and a half.
They said working for Seibert was fun.
“Peter had all the ideas, but some weaknesses, too. We always figured Dick Bohr and Chuck Lewis were brought in to ride herd on him. The first year, however, was frustrating. It wasn’t Peter, but the financial situation. The company didn’t have any money. It was tough holding people off who needed to get paid. As for Pete – he would go on a trip and come back with bits of paper. It was my job to scoop them up and try to make sense of them. He was not an administrator. He was an idea man.”
The Goodells were part of the growing pains of those first few years. They were very close to what was happening. They remember numerous stories about the frozen pipes in many of the buildings because insulation was left out in certain places. Laundry was taken to the Night Latch, but most of the time the dryer didn’t work and wet laundry had to be strung all over their apartment.
Then, too, there was no bank in Vail at the time. Most transactions were in cash. Credit cards were rare, and the money had to be taken to the bank in Eagle. One time Loyette Goodell confronted a man who didn’t have money for a ticket.
“Well, he came in,” she said. “It was spring break and he was from the University of Colorado. He wanted to ski. He had a half-pint of whiskey. traded it for a lift ticket, the put it on report.”
The Goodells left Vail in 1967 to take another promising job in Alaska.
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 85th installment, an excerpt from chapter 11, “The Corporate Team.” 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.