History of Vail

Vail Resort has been called “An Alpine Village in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.” It is North America’s largest and most popular ski resort known to professional skiers, celebrities and tourists. Vail Resorts offers more than 5,000 acres of pristine snow for skiing.
Although it is most associated with Colorado, Vail Resorts has locations in Lake Tahoe, Utah, Minnesota, Michigan and Australia. It also owns luxury resort hotels around the world.
Vail Resorts is one of the most popular winter vacation destinations with many activities for the serious skier as well as families with children. Vail offers many events, activities, quaint shops and upscale boutiques as well as a wide choice of dining and lodging.
Vail was founded in 1962 by Pete Siebert and Earl Eaton. Eaton grew up in Colorado and was an avid skier from a young age. Pete Siebert, was a member of the 10th mountain division ski troopers, a team trained for Alpine combat in WWII. The two met Siebert at a ski competition and soon became friends. In 1957 they climbed Vail Mountain and agreed that this would be the perfect spot for a ski resort.
The early founders were long on passion but short on finances for their venture. Their vision was to create a ski slope and surrounding resort. They needed $1 million to purchase Vail Mountain which was owned by the United States Forest Service. They came up with a plan to offer condos for $10,000 each along with a lifetime season pass at the resort.
The plan was a success and Siebert and Eaton went on to secure the land and complete the resort for a grand opening in 1962. If you were lucky enough to be around at that time you could get a gondola, two chairs, access to eight ski instructors and nine ski runs—all for only five dollars!
Vail Resorts was a forerunner in the freestyle skiing movement. Young skiers swarmed the slopes to perform daredevil stunts on skis like somersaults, backflips and other fancy movements. This attracted attention to skiing and to Vail Resorts in particular. In time, Vail Resorts became the venue for the prestigious World Alpine Ski Championships.
Former President Gerald Ford visited Vail in the late 60s and was so impressed that he began annual visits and eventually purchased property at Vail.