Dick Hauserman - Sport Builder - 2005

Dick Hauserman’s enthusiasm and love of skiing is best captured in his never-ending efforts to promote Colorado skiing. Dick closely participated not only in the creation of a world-class ski resort, but a town as well. One of Vail’s founding fathers, Dick served on the first Board of Directors of Vail Associates and had a profound impact on the development of early Vail.   With the home movie flickering on a small screen in a living room in Cleveland, Ohio in 1959, Dick Hauserman got his first look at raw land at the base of Vail Mountain. The rest is the story of the making of a visionary legend. In that living room, Pete Seibert convinced Dick to invest in a new ski resort being built in Colorado. In the spring of 1960, Dick and his wife, Blanche, made the arduous trek to the Gore Creek Valley, covering mountain passes and narrow valleys. When they arrived, they only saw a few cabins and no vast bowls as described by Pete Seibert. However, once Dick rode in Earl Eaton’s Kristi Kat to the top of the mountain, he was hooked.  When Dick first came to Vail in 1960, there was not much more then a few scattered homes, a cattle ranch and some of the best skiing in the world. Dick served as chairman of the architecture committee that designed and developed Vail. He built and funded Vail’s first commercial building and opened the town’s first ski shop. He was a general partner on the Lodge at Vail, and built the Plaza Building. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Dick not only helped build a town, but he also helped develop a world-class ski resort.  After being invited to be a consultant to the First Board of Directors of Vail Associates, Dick began his life dedication to promote Colorado skiing. He served as chairman of the architecture committee that designed and developed Vail. He built and funded Vail’s first commercial building and opened the town’s first ski shop. He and Blanche were Vail’s first residents. As a general partner in the Lodge of Vail, Dick was instrumental in seeing the building finished on time. He also built the Plaza Building.  As a director, Dick was very active in the marketing department and played a vital role in promoting the fledgling resort. In order for Vail to blossom into a world-class ski destination, Dick realized, the resort would need an image. He created Vail’s first logo, which is still in use today. Dick was instrumental in the design of the original ski school parka that became internationally recognized until recently. He recruited world famous ski racer Pepi Gramshammer from Sun Valley to work in the ski school. In the summertime Dick also brought the Arnold Palmer Golf School to the Vail Valley, long before ski areas were even thinking about golf. This work laid the foundation for the future success of Vail as one of the premier vacation destinations in Colorado.  With the future of Vail firmly established, Dick moved on to other interests. Steamboat Ski Area needed help as the resort began to grow. In 1969 Dick stepped in and helped create the resort’s identity. Working for the owners at the time, Dick served as a consultant on many projects involving the ski area. When shown the terrain, Dick knew right away it was not skier friendly. He showed them how to widen the trails to covert difficult terrain to more intermediate and beginner friendly terrain.  When the Werner family approved the change of name from Mount Werner ski area to Steamboat, Dick went to work on the logo and came up with a winning design.  Next, Dick convinced the owners that they needed a spokesperson, one who amplified the West. Thus, Billy Kidd was hired to serve as the official spokesperson and director of skiing for Steamboat. Through Dick’s vision, Steamboat became a lasting image.  In a testament to Dick’s passion for promotion and telling a good story, he has written two books, including “Inventors of Vail,” which documents the early days of Vail and the people who made not only a resort but a town as well. This book captures the spirit and images of the early days of Vail. Dick’s other book, “On the Road to Vail and Beyond,” explores the history and landmarks of one of Colorado’s most traveled roads, Interstate 70. A man with a vision. A man who could get things done. A man who loves to ski. To think it all started by a home movie in his very own living room.  (Deceased)