Time Machine: 40 years ago, Henry Kissinger visits Vail

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Vail on August 28, 1983. Kissinger was attending the AEI World Forum.
Vail Trail/Vail Daily archive

20 years ago

August 30, 2003

A restoration project got underway on the Eagle River in Minturn, the Vail Daily reported.

“Heavy equipment is now rearranging the stream channel of the Eagle River in Minturn, undoing nearly 100 years of abuse the river has endured at the hand of mankind,” the Daily reported. “The $1.1 million project is the first part of a river restoration effort funded by a $1.7 million fine levied by the EPA and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment against Viacom, owner of the Eagle Mine.”

The mine was responsible for leaking acidic, metals-laden wastewater into the river, killing a seven-mile stretch in Minturn to Dowd Junction.

“Furthermore, the river has been channelized by highways and railroads, diverted and plugged with sediment,” the Daily reported.

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30 years ago

September 3, 1993

Vail Associates officials announced an agreement to purchase the nearby ski area Arrowhead, which was estimated to be worth $l5 million to $20 million, the Vail Trail reported.

“Apollo Advisors of New York City, the majority owners of VA, recently raised $500 million from investors for the purpose of investing in real estate,” the Vail Trail reported. “The funds for the purchase of Arrowhead may have come from that money. According to sources, Apollo officials plan to split VA into two companies if the Arrowhead deal closes. One company will control ski operations, while the second controls real estate sales and development. The two companies would be part of a larger holding company, which would oversee both operations.”

40 years ago

August 28, 1983

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Vail for the AEI World Forum, an annual gathering of right-leaning politicians and business executives.

“His arrival was awaited by more than 20 reporters and photographers, and when he walked into view he quickly drew a crowd of other people from around the area,” the Vail Trail reported. “More passers-by were attracted when Kissinger’s distinctive voice began booming over the sound system set up for the session.”

Kissinger gave a press conference outside of the Lion Square Lodge in Vail, speaking about “his appointment to President Reagan’s special panel on Central American problems,” the Trail reported.

“Kissinger said the group will study plans to stabilize and develop the faltering economies of the countries in the region, and ways to handle the multi-billion dollar debts owed by Central and South American countries to U.S. banks,” the Trail reported. “Kissinger said the economic aid plans being discussed for the region are similar in ‘mood’ to the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt western Europe after World War II.”

50 years ago

August 31, 1973

The Vail Trail, in an editorial, spoke out against “further development by the Denver Water Board or any outside city or district in their plans to divert water from the western slope to other areas.”

The Trail made an economic case for the Western Slope’s water needs.

“We feel that, in addition to the ever-increasing demands to meet development trends for commercial water, we use our water constantly to help satisfy one of our most important sources of revenue,” the Trail wrote. “Tourist business requires wild rivers, fish, scenery, lakes, ponds, and local water supplies, and encroachment on these assets of the Western Slope can seriously cripple the economic status of this part of Colorado.”

60 years ago

August 29, 1963

The union at the Gilman mine, United Steelworkers Of America Local 5102, was selected to host the annual Sub-District Six Conference, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

The conference was held at the Union Hall in Red Cliff and over GO delegates from locals throughout District 39 were present, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported, including delegates from California.

70 years ago

August 31, 1953

A strike at the Gilman mine was called by the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers and its local union, Battle Mountain Miner’s Union 581, representing 350 production and maintenance employees.

“The company stated the strike followed negotiations for a new labor agreement, and replied to the union’s request for a wage increase and fringe items that it did not feel justified in increasing its costs at this time in view of the poor condition of the zinc business: adding the zinc industry has been in a depression for almost a year,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported on Sept. 3, 1953. “The last written labor agreement between the company and the unions expired last October … In justifying the strike, the spokesman stated that after 10 months of trying to reach a peaceful agreement, the company refused to offer any increase for either year and there was no other choice than to strike for a ‘decent’ standard of living.”

The union said that the mine at Gilman isn’t limited to zinc and can also produce copper, which was seeing rising prices.

“The impact of the work stoppage has hit the entire river valley,” the Enterprise reported. “Business is virtually at a standstill in Red Cliff and Gilman, and a heavy loss is taking place in Minturn. Reports are that families are moving to other areas where there is work to be had. The loss of the mine payroll is being felt in Eagle and Gvpsum indirectly and directly through the large numbers of men living in these two towns who have been employed at the mine, and who cannot be absorbed in other work.”

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