The Taylors – one of Vail’s foremost couples
Moose carried on and enhanced the successful oil and agricultural enterprises of his father. Ann, from New England, had a skiing background with Olympic aspirations. One of Stowe, Vermont’s famous runs – Nose Dive Annie – is named after her because of her expert skiing.
Ann Taylor also was an alternate on the 1940 ski team. She also gained a reputation as a fashion designer, aviatrix, equestrienne and hostess nonpareil . Together they were one of Vail’s foremost couples.
During Vail’s second year, inspired by Gary Cooper’s house in Aspen, the Taylors built a magnificent French Manor house on Rock Ledge Road, which is still one of the finest homes today. Paneling shipped from a country home in France, Aubusson rugs and beautiful artwork all made the Taylors’ home a target for architectural and social magazines. The Taylors entertained with elegant parties and had a constant flow of prominent house guests.
One time, Moose Taylor said, “We had Lew Preston, then head of J.P. Morgan in New York, and his wife, come out with two other couples. They rented a tiny house on Mill Creek Circle. All the men were important businessmen. They came home after skiing and the heat had gone out, so they decided to build a fire. They burned papers out of their briefcases to start the fire.”
Ann Taylor, when asked why they were so fond of Vail, replied, “There are elite clubs all over Europe, but there is resentment on the part of the people who are not members or cannot get into those clubs. Here it is different. We have so many great things everyone can enjoy. Looking back, who would have known what direction this place would take? Could anybody have predicted snowboarders or high-speed quads? We are among the few resorts with a town – Sun Valley, Mont Tremblant, Vail. Look at Keystone – great mountain, no town.”
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Through Ann Taylor’s connections, the leading social magazines continued to promote Vail with lavish articles.
Moose Taylor, meanwhile, was one of the prominent influential men behind the inventors of Vail. He was asked many times to come on the board but felt he could better serve by staying in the background. He loved Vail and was always there to help out in times of crisis, when his advice and generosity helped during financial crunches.
The Vernon Taylors did much to help invent Vail.
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 65th installment, an excerpt from chapter 10, “The VIPs and the Notables.” 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.