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Touring for tuition

by Carolyn Pope Special to the Daily
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No matter what you’re in the market for, there was beauty to behold at the 32nd Annual Vail Mountain School Home Tour.

Whether your heart’s desire is square footage, functionality, quality or location – you name it, you could find it. But if you want to buy, you’d better have a healthy bank account – with lots of zeros behind that first number.

The tour this year encouraged around 1,000 visitors to descend upon eight residences located within the town of Vail. Folks from Denver headed up the hill, with some encouragement from the Denver Post’s Bill Husted, who had a blurb about the tour in his column. Three in-town residences were open: penthouses at the Christiana, Hanson Ranch and Plaza Lodge.

On the hill were an additional five residences, with the highlight being, undoubtedly, Chalet Rustique on Rockledge Road constructed by George Shaeffer.

The interior was finished with reclaimed barn timbers and the home is valued around $28 million. From the exquisite and enormous 17th century Murano glass chandelier to the remote controlled hot tub in the master bedroom – which can be bubbling and hot when you’re through with your ski day (just call in by cell phone, and it fills automatically) – the house is truly one of the most exquisite in the county, possibly in the country.

The event this year was chaired by Susie Wilhelm, assisted by Mary Anne Baker, Tracy Bossow, Lynn Fritzlen, Joni Taylor, Andrea Johnson, Vidette Gehl, Jill Harty, Bobbi-Ann Houtsma and many other volunteers.

Ticket sales from the event are earmarked specifically for Vail Mountain School’s scholarship fund for need-based tuition.

“This program is something the school couldn’t do without,” said co-chairman Mary Anne Baker. Twenty percent of the student body utilizes the scholarships, which dole out over $400,000 to those in need of assistance.

The entire school population, from students and their parents to teachers and headmaster Peter Abuisi, join in to help out at the event. Students aid at the bake sale and luncheon, and assist patrons in and out of the vans as they arrive at each house.

“The whole school community gets together, and the students get involved,” said Baker. “There are some amazing and talented people you get to know, and some fabulous properties.”

If the “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” at each home were an indication, the tour was a great success.

Vail Mountain School’s next fund-raising event will be the annual Dinner Dance and Auction, “Catch the Fever,” on Nov. 29. For more information call Vail Mountain School at 970-476-3850.


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