Test your knowledge of Vail.

  • Vail was named after Charles Vail, the designer of the highway that passed through the Vail Valley.


  • On January 6th, 2009, a man got caught with his pants down…literally.  The chairlift’s fold-down seat was not in the correct lowered-down position, causing the man to partially fall through the resulting gap as he attempted to board the lift.  He was prevented from plummeting to the ground below by his right ski, which became jammed in the ascending lift.


  • To obtain a ski resort permit from the United States Forest Service, Vail needed to have one million dollars in the bank. George Caulkins of Denver was able to raise the money with a little persuasion: investors paid $10,000 for a condo unit and lifetime season pass.  Opening day was December 15th, 1962.  


  • RELAX: Vail is home to multiple world-class spas including: Aria, AllegriaSonnenalp and The Four Seasons.  Vail has more than 100 restaurants (you can even dine while riding on a sleigh) and the Vail Valley is a golfer’s dream, with thirteen golf courses to choose from (both public and private).


  • Attention single ladies: you have a 37% chance of running into a single guy in Vail, a 33.7% chance he has a job, and a 21.1% chance your bachelor has a bachelor’s (degree, that is).


  • Since 1965, Vail’s clock tower has been one of the most recognizable local landmarks for years — not to mention Vail’s most reliably inaccurate timepieces.  This clock tower is located in the center of town and was constructed to give Vail the quintessential flavor and architectural style of a Bavarian Village. 


  • On regrets, Vail founder Pete Seibert wishes two things: that Vail Associates (now Vail Resorts) had, in fact, been able to control more land, and that Interstate 70 had not come through the fledgling town in the early Seventies, forever altering its rural character. 


  • On 27 February 2010, a black trail (a steep slope for advanced skiers) called International was officially renamed Lindsey’s to honor Vail’s Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn.  With her Olympic gold and bronze medals, two World Championship gold medals in 2009 (plus three silver medals in 2007 / 2011), and three overall World Cup titles, Vonn has become the most successful American skier in ski racing history.


  • Vail’s lift ticket prices were set at $5 the first year.  They had one gondola, two chairlifts, eight ski instructors and nine ski runs.  Nowadays, the per-diem cost of a full price ski lift ticket can cost more than 20x as much.


  • Vail is a President’s dream!  Michelle Obama and her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, spent Presidents Day holiday weekend here in 2011.  President Gerald Ford was so impressed by Vail Valley that he began to make annual trips until he eventually purchased property, a ski-in, ski-out house of about 10,000 square feet with seven bedrooms.  Having his choice of lots when Beaver Creek was developed, his ski retreat (owned for more than 25 years) was listed in 2008 for a mere $14.9 million.


  • In 1976, four people died and eight were injured when two gondola cabins derailed off of the high towers. Vail installed a state-of-the-art monitoring system, preventing any further accidents.

  • Indulge in some of the ‘official’ brands of Vail Resorts: Maui Jim  sunglasses, SmartWool socks, Veuve Clicquot champagne, Zacapa rum, K2 Skis and Cadillac.

  • Denver won the Olympic bid in 1976 for the Winter Games. Vail was selected, along with the Beaver Creek site to host the downhill events, but Denver voters rejected the games (they denied funding by a 3:2 margin), which upset many in the ski industry.  Vail’s loss was Innsbruck’s gain.

  • Vail is the largest ski area in North America with over 5,289 skiable acres and 193 runs.  It averages 250 days of sunshine per year, and Ski Magazine ranked Vail as the 2nd best ski destination in their 2010-2011 North American report.  However, Vail does have the second highest cost of living in any ski town in the USA.  It is 10 miles long and a half mile wide, stretching from the base of Vail Pass to Dowd Junction, where Gore Creek meets the Eagle River. 

  • Vail is home to the Colorado Ski Museum, which preserves and interprets the history of skiing and snowboarding.  Many films run continuously at the Museum, and there are lots of exhibits to see. When you are in Vail, stop by and say hello. You’ll love the Museum; it’s an amazing trip through skiing’s past that you’ll never forget.

  • Vail has some weird laws: no one may keep junk close to someone else and it is illegal to crash into obstacles on a ski slope.

  • Vail’s sister city, Mt. Buller/Mansfield Shire, Australia, offers an opportunity for educational and cultural exchanges between the two regions.  The Mount Buller summit and faces are popular with ice climbers.



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