Vail Pioneer Byron Brown passes away |

Vail Pioneer Byron Brown passes away

Vail Pioneer Byron Brown has passed away. Information on a celebration of life will be published as soon as it's available.
Special to the Daily |

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily will publish a more complete story in the Friday edition.

VAIL — Byron Brown’s legacy will last as long as there are kids who strap on skis in Vail.

The Vail original died on Wednesday at the age of 86.

Brown helped build Vail, both literally and metaphorically.

He had the very good sense to marry Vi. They loved to ski, but got tired of driving up and down the mountains to Denver, so they decided to give Vail a try.

That was 1964. Vail was a rough and tumble mountain town with dirt streets and was home to 100 hearty souls.

Byron Brown formed a real estate development company and built the first house in West Vail, home to the family and three children: Mike, Todd and Cindy.

Byron Brown served more than 30 years on the board of the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District and doubled as a ski patroller.

Byron and Vi started the Buddy Werner League with Marge Chandler and several others and helped found Ski Club Vail because youth skiing was getting more serious — and it was fun.

The ski company donated an acre at the bottom of Golden Peak. The only problem was that the Northwoods condominium association had a deal that nothing would be built on that acre that would block their view. Byron Brown, Ben Krueger and some others dug the foundation and built 3,000 square feet underground.

One of the Brown’s sons, Mike Brown, started with Buddy Werner League and eventually became Vail’s first member of the U.S. Ski Team in 1981.

Byron and Vi ran the Eagle Valley Community Rummage Sale for 50 years. OK, mostly Vi ran it, while Byron ran around picking up all kinds of stuff and hauling it to the Maloit Park site near Minturn. He sometimes said he was living a life of leisure when they got a Tommy lift for the back of his pickup truck, to lift loads so he wouldn’t have to do so.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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