‘There is no Vail Valley,’ purists say
VAIL ” There’s no Vail River and there’s no Vail Creek. So there shouldn’t be a Vail Valley, said Sally Metcalf, a lifelong resident of Eagle.
“They need to rename the Gore Creek Vail Creek, and then they could call it the Vail Valley,” she said.
And the towns along the Eagle River “Avon, Edwards, Eagle and Gypsum ” that is the Eagle Valley, Metcalf said.
But even if it irks traditionalists, “Vail Valley” has become a popular moniker for not only Vail but all of Eagle County, from Vail to Minturn to Gypsum.
The Vail Valley Jet Center is in Gypsum, and the Vail Valley Partnership is a chamber of commerce with businesses from all over the county. A few years ago, there was even a proposal in Dotsero for the “Vail Valley RV Resort.”
Vail Pass didn’t exist until the 1930s ” it was named after its engineer ” and the ski mountain didn’t open until 1962. But the popularity of Vail ski resort has brought worldwide recognition and visitors ” and lots of growth ” to this county.
Harry Frampton was president of Vail Associates in the early 1980s when the ski company started using the name “Vail Valley” to market other towns in the county besides Vail. It wasn’t any kind of grand strategy, he said.
“We just kind of went out one day and did it,” he said.
The company wanted to unite the different communities under one name ” Vail, with its successful ski resort, was naturally part of the name, Frampton said.
“We were not going to call it the ‘Edwards Valley,'” he said.
John Horan-Kates, Frampton’s marketing guru, came up with the term.
“I said, ‘Well, John, it’s not a valley, it’s a series of valleys,’ Frampton said. “He said, ‘We’ll call it that. It doesn’t make a difference.'”
They didn’t even think about the name applying to as far away as Eagle at the time, he said.
Frampton said he can understand traditionalists who object to the name, but residents here associate themselves with Vail, even if they live in the Eagle River Valley.
“If you were living in Avon, Edwards, Eagle-Vail, Cordillera, both in 1982 and now, and went back home to upstate New York and someone asked you, ‘Where do you live?’ what do you think 95 percent of people say?” he said.
The Vail Valley Foundation was previously called the Vail Foundation, but added “Valley” to widen its scope to all of Eagle County. The foundation runs programs across the county, such as educational programs that extend from Vail to Gypsum.
John Dakin, vice president of communications for the foundation, said having “Vail” in its name gives the foundation more recognition “from a global perspective.” The Vail Valley Foundation helps Eagle County get international events such as World Cup skiing.
“I would certainly not argue with the purists and people who have spent their entire lives here and prefer to refer to it as the Eagle Valley,” Dakin said.
Virginia Rose, who has lived in Eagle for 30 years, is one of those purists.
“There is no Vail Valley,” she said.
That place near the big ski mountain, that is the Gore Valley, she said. And the Vail Valley certainly doesn’t refer to Eagle, she said.
“For this lower part, I say ‘Eagle Valley,'” she said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or email@example.com.
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