The Inventors of Vail – By Dick Hauserman
My good friend Howard Singer and I first visited Vail in the spring of 1963. I had heard and read about the development of this new ski area in my home state, and since we both had some spare time that spring, we decided to come and see what it was all about. Neither of us had skied for three or four years, and my gear was not in very good shape. I discovered early on our first day that my ski pants were badly in need of attention, so we repaired to Vail Blanche, which was the ski shop in town, in search of needle and thread. And who was the first person we saw and spoke to there? None other than the good Dick Hauserman. Dick not only helped us get properly ready for the slopes, but arranged for us to try out some new Lange boots and managed an expedition down China Bowl long before it was an official part of Vail. It was a marvelous experience which I’ll never forget.
Dick has an uncanny way of meeting almost everyone who visits Vail. He likes them all, they all like him, and he remembers the names of 99 percent of them. He has turned this social grace into a fine art and has had many years to polish it, since he was one of the very few who was in Vail in its beginning. He knows more Vail residents and visitors than any person around, and they all know him. I further believe that no one knows Vail, its history, and its people better than he does. Whenever I want to know anything about Vail, I just ask Dick.
Having been born and raised in Boulder, and having long-time family roots in Colorado, I didn’t need to be reminded much of the joys of skiing, but it was his friendship and charisma which made me realize at a certain time in my life that I had no choice but to return to my roots and take up residence in Vail. I did, and I’m eternally indebted to him for the inspiration. I have an idea, though, that he’s done that for more than just me.
It occurs to me now that this is a great place to say, “Thanks, Dick.”