"The Inventors of Vail’ back for another run
His book, “The Inventors of Vail,” details how today’s world-class ski resort and town started as a vision in the minds of some hardy, optimistic souls.
“I wrote the book at the urging of many of the early people who weren’t necessarily involved in the board. They said I was in a position to know,” says Hauserman, 86, one of the original members of Vail’s board of directors.
A successful businessman from Cleveland who built Vail’s first commercial building in 1961, Hauserman now lives in Edwards. He spent three years interviewing more than 80 people and gathering hundreds of photographs, which are distributed liberally throughout the book’s 286 pages. The recorded conversations and dictated notes ultimately became more than 70,000 carefully crafted words about the people who envisioned, built, marketed, promoted – and partied in – Vail during its early years.
“I wanted to record the history correctly and give credit where credit was due,” says Hauserman.
“The most important thing is that it’s all-inclusive,” adds Keith Brown, another of Vail’s original board members. “Dick made a point of going out and talking to everybody.”
Hauserman details the formation and the breakup of the original board, re-emphasizing often the original vision held by two men – Earl Eaton and Peter Seibert – even though, in the end, they both got fired from the company they helped create.
“I think Dick did a good job. He interviewed a lot of people, including me several times,” says Eaton, who now lives in Gypsum. “It was good somebody did something. And putting it all in the paper was a great idea.”
Even so, Hauserman offers a touching dedication to un “unsung” hero without whom the author believes the invention of Vail never would have happened.
“There were many people who helped make Vail possible,” Hauserman writes. “This book in general is dedicated to them. There were the ones who worked hard to make thheir dreams a reality, to give all of us what we enjoy together.
“There is, however, one unsung person and his who above almost all others was there when the inventors of Vail needed him. He shunned the spotlight, but his sound advice and financial support helped Vail survive many narrow escapes in the founding years. As you wend you way through the book, you will understand how important he and his wife were to the success of the community.
“I’m referring to John and Lupe Murchison.”
Last year, the Vail Daily serialized “The Inventors of Vail” in a 165-part, daily series. Beginning in March and ending in August, the series greatly exposed the book in its core market, helping sell more than 4,400 copies to date.
Hauserman is interviewed monthly on Vail’s Channel 8 TV, and he continues to conduct regular book-signing sessions at local bookstores and special occasions, as well as the Minturn Market, where he sits most summer Saturdays in the shade, ever-ready to discuss and sign his book.
“Young people especially enjoy reading about the people who started it all,” Hauserman says. “The only problem now is that I’ve become very depressed. It seems that we’re running out of coffee tables in the valley to put my book on.”
Now, in a continued effort to help the community understand its roots – as well as the people who pioneered one of the world’s foremost ski areas – the Daily is republishing daily segments of “The Inventors of Vail” in its entirety.