Vail’s million-skier milestone, revisited
VAIL, Colorado ” The way Dave Warren tells it ” 40 years later ” he was Vail’s real millionth skier.
“But she looked better in stretch pants,” he said, gesturing to his wife, Sally.
Sally Warren tells it like this: It was around noon on April 6, 1968 ” they had gotten a late start ” when they walked up to Vail’s ticket booth. Well, it wasn’t as much a booth as a shed.
“They just stopped me at the shed where they had the tickets, and they said I was the millionth skier,” Warren said.
She got a pair of skis. She got a key to the town. She got a ski pass for the next year. Photos ensued with Vail founder Peter Seibert and Vail Mayor Ted Kindel.
The skis ” Head 360s, 195 centimeters ” were inscribed: “Presented to Vail’s One-Millionth Skier, Sally Warren.”
“I used them for years,” Sally said.
Now, Vail sees a million skiers every single season. But the first million was a big deal at the time for Vail, which opened in 1962.
“Pretty Denver Skier is Lucky One-Millionth” was headline of the Vail Trail.
“It took only five years, from nothing,” Dave said.
In 40 years, the Warrens have raised two sons. They now live in Castle Rock, a suburb of Denver. Sally has stopped skiing, and Dave hasn’t skied Vail for 15 years.
This week, they were back. On Wednesday, they were in the lobby of the Vail Marriott telling the staff that Sally was, indeed, Vail’s millionth skier. They had pictures for proof.
They were back so Dave could ski on his 70th birthday. They brought their wrought-iron key to the town that doesn’t really open anything.
“Just ceremonial,” Dave said.
Dave and Sally actually met in Mid-Vail, in 1965, when they were introduced by friends. Later, the two of them would come up to ski just about every weekend.
There was no interstate then. Vail was much smaller, of course, too. They remember partying with Sheika Gramshammer when Vail Village was little more than the Gramshammers’ lodge.
Still, there was just one problem with Sally’s title as Vail’s one-millionth skier. They can’t recall actually skiing that day after the title was bestowed on her.
“I don’t think we skied,” Dave said. “We drank.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or email@example.com.