Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weekly Vail paper folds after 40-plus years of publication

For those of us who have been around long enough to remember the heyday of the Vail Trail, it was sad news last week when the newspaper published for the last time as a stand-alone publication. But it wasn’t unexpected news.

No doubt readers are wondering if that decision is a harbinger for the future of newspapers in the valley.

The Trail has been a presence in this valley since 1965.

That newspaper grew up with the Vail ski resort. Its founder, George “the Skipper” Knox, was an unabashed cheerleader for the resort town. He was a booster sort of publisher, who tirelessly promoted everything good about the community that he loved. (In fact, the front page banner tended to have the word “great” and a lot of exclamation points in it (“Weather: Great!; Skiing: Great!; Vail’s greatest newspaper!”)
What started out as a public relations sort of rag ended up being a highly respected newspaper. During the peak of the ski season, the paper would swell up to more than 100 pages. No doubt all that ad revenue was the envy of every weekly newspaper publisher in the state. The Trail had the biggest editorial staff in the valley. It was the Cadillac of local newspapers.

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