Time machine: 30 years ago, Leon Black welcomed to Vail

Leon Black of Apollo Global Management, which took control of Vail Associates in 1992.
Art Seitz/Abaca Press, via AP

5 years ago

July 5, 2017

State officials issued an air quality warning as smoke from the Gultzer fire burning in a remote area in northern Eagle County created hazy conditions. A day later, stage 1 Fire Restrictions were enacted in the White River National Forest.

The announcement followed a series of successful July 4 fireworks displays in Eagle County, but weeks of dry, windy weather had been causing wildfires across the West.

10 years ago

June 28, 2012

A wildland fire in Eagle was sparked by lightning and quickly spread to 7 acres in the Castle Peak area.

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“Anxious Eagle residents watched from their homes as crews snuffed the 7-acre fire in almost the same spot as a fire 10 years ago,” the Vail Daily reported.

Two days later, President Barack Obama visited Colorado to view the devastation of wildfires which had been destroying neighborhoods around the drought-laden state, declaring a major disaster in Colorado and offering federal aid.

20 years ago

June 27–July 4, 2002

Dead trout were found in Colorado rivers and creeks as drought conditions battered the state.

“The Eagle River at Minturn has shrunk to 63 cfs, a little more than 20 percent of its average,” the Vail Trail reported. “Below Gypsum, the Eagle is running at only 230 cfs, 14 percent of its average flow of 1,600 cfs.”

30 years ago

July 3, 1992

The Vail Trail welcomed Apollo Global Management co-founder and CEO Leon Black to Vail in an editorial. The Apollo company, in 1992, became the majority shareholder of what is now Vail Resorts.

“As you have the controlling financial interest in Vail Associates, our valley’s biggest employer and most dominant business, we hope that you understand a lot about our valley,” Managing Editor Allen Best wrote in an editorial. “To be honest, our friendliness at this point is a bit restrained. We don’t know a lot about you, and what we do know makes us suspicious.”

Black relinquished all control of Apollo Global Management in 2021 in the wake of his controversial ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Vail Daily archive

40 years ago

June 29, 1982

The town of Eagle declared a temporary ban on some residential water uses because of a water shortage.

The town declared a Stage 1 water restriction which prohibited residents from washing down sidewalks, driveways and other paved areas; filling swimming pools; the non-commercial washing of vehicles; and watering lawns during the daytime.

50 years ago

June 30, 1972

National Forests and Grasslands in the Rocky Mountain Region were officially closed to the discharge of any type of fireworks, Regional Forester W. J. Lucas told the Vail Trail.

“In 1970, the most recent year national statistics are available, nearly 122,000 wildfires burned over 3 million acres in the United States. Eighty-nine percent of these were man-caused,” the Trail reported. “Fireworks discharged in dry grass, leaves or needles have a high potential for starting fires, accounting for the total ban on their use in the National Forests and Grasslands.”

60 years ago

June 30, 1962

A group of 14 Boy Scouts and their three adult advisors made an unsuccessful attempt to paddle the Eagle River all the way into Glenwood Canyon.

“They put their boats in from the highway bridge just west of Gypsum and 9:30,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

Throughout the day, “an assorted collection of boats, rafts’ and kayaks, one by one either capsized or smashed into the river banks,” the Enterprise reported.

Four of the boys were reported missing, and State Patrol organized a search party. The four boys were found “marooned on an island about 2:30 that afternoon,” the Enterprise reported.

70 years ago

June 26 to July 2, 1952

Two wildfires are reported in the Red Cliff area, both started by lightning.

“Continued hot weather and no rainfall in the high and the lower reaches of the Eagle county is resulting in an increasing fire hazard and a menace to valued grazing land and timber,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported. “Carelessness by humans in the recreational regions of the White River National Forest could be disastrous for stockmen as well as tragic in burning out the timber and destroying the county’s scenic beauty.”

80 years ago

July 4, 1942

A large Independence Day celebration took place in Gypsum.

“About 500 people were in town, including perhaps 30 visitors from Red Cliff, as many more from Minturn and more than 100 from Eagle,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported. “The crowd was inclined to be happy, and the people of Gypsum endeavored to make them so.”

The Minturn Baseball Club arrived to the party by train and defeated the Gypsum team 15-7. “An enthusiastic band of Minturn ‘rooters’ accompanied their team,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

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