Vail to celebrate ‘Sarge Brown’ |

Vail to celebrate ‘Sarge Brown’

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily/Vail ResortsBill "Sarge" Brown was the mountain manager at Vail for more almost 20 years. A retired Army senior sergeant major, Brown demanded that his Vail employees be on time, well groomed and dressed neatly.

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Resorts announced today that it will celebrate the life and legacy of William R. “Sarge” Brown on June 20 at 11:30 a.m. at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado. The service is open to the public.

Brown, who passed away at his home on Sept. 14 at the age of 85, was mountain manager at Vail Mountain from 1970 through 1989. He helped develop Vail into one of the nation’s best ski resorts with advancements in snowmaking, grooming and trail-cutting that were considered cutting edge.

Brown fought in World War II and the Korean War and left the Army a a senior sergeant major ” the highest rank for a noncommissioned soldier. He earned five Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars. He also trained soldiers at Camp Hale.

Brown installed the first snowmaking equipment on Vail Mountain ” on Golden Peak ” and he favored cutting wide trails that could accommodate lots of skiers and a luxurious skiing surface.

He started overnight grooming, making sure slopes were smooth first thing in the morning.

And he helped secure the 1989 World Alpine Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek, and then ensured the mountains were ready to host the landmark races.

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