Warren Miller Day will celebrate Vail’s history in films, says son Kurt Miller
WARREN MILLER DAY
Saturday, April 7
3 p.m. — Commemorative ski down Vail Mountain from the top of Mountain Top Express (Chair No. 4) to Mid-Vail.
4 to 6 p.m. — Legacy Celebration at Sarge’s Mid-Vail, with live music and guest speakers and cash bar and appetizers for sale. All guests must download Gondola One to Vail Village at 6 p.m.
3 p.m. to close — Legacy After Party Celebrations at Bridge Street Bar, Pepi’s and Vendetta’s in Vail Village; Tavern on the Square and the Vail Chophouse in Lionshead Village; and Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek.
VAIL — Warren Miller Day is being held in Vail for several reasons, but the most obvious, said Miller’s son Kurt, is the skiing.
“What better place to slide on the side of the hill?” Kurt Miller said.
When Vail Mountain hosts the Warren Miller Day celebration and ski down on Saturday, April 7, Kurt Miller said it will also be a celebration of the history Vail has always had with his father.
“I chose Vail to do our family celebration because that’s where my dad lived for 20 years, but also because Vail, in the very beginning, helped put my dad on the map and helped us so tremendously to grow the company,” Kurt Miller said. “Warren Miller films are seen by millions of people around the world every year, and Vail has been featured in those films since the very beginning.”
The year Vail opened in 1962, Warren Miller was in Vail filming skiers.
At this point, Miller had already been shooting, editing and touring with his movies for more than a decade.
“I don’t know how he did it,” Kurt Miller said. “He traveled 250 days a year, and when he was home, he was making that movie.”
Kurt Miller started working for his father when he was in junior high school and continued working for him until 1989, when he bought half of the company with a business partner.
“Basically it went from working for my dad for 20 years to him working for me for the next 20 years,” Kurt Miller said.
In that time, the Millers heard countless stories of the films inspiring people to pursue a life in the mountains. Miller expects to hear more on April 7.
“Next year will be the 70th anniversary of my father, myself or the film company that exists today producing an annual ski film — 70 years,” he said. “So if your grandmother saw a Warren Miller film in Milwaukee in the ’60s, if I knew the year I could tell you where she saw it. I have a book that tells me every theater, the date and place.”
MID VAIL VENUE
The April 7 celebration will start at the top of Chair 4 at 3 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. group ski down to Mid Vail.
“If you don’t want to do the ski down, just go straight to Mid Vail,” Kurt Miller said. “Sarge’s will be completely opened up, there will be videos playing, food and drinks for everybody, a band; the party will go until 6 p.m., and we’ll all ride down the gondola and the party will continue in the village.”
Kurt Miller wants to stress that the event will not be a memorial.
“This is really about the films that have motivated millions of people to enjoy the mountains,” he said.
Facing traffic woes and oncoming growth, officials are looking at road improvements.