Dick Hauserman, man who gave us Vail, has died

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 3, 2009 6:19 am



RIP Dick Hauserman. One of the primary investors and “founders” of what we know today as Vail, Colorado, died yesterday, December 2nd, at Cornell Hospital in New York City. He was 93 years old.

If there was ever a spirit of the town, it lived within Mr. Hauserman. He arrived in Vail in the 1950′s, and was able to take the magic he saw in the town, and spread it to everyone he met. When he would spot a tourist walking the streets, he’d run up, stick out his hand and say “I’m Dick Hauserman. I live here. Can I show you around?”

That’s the Vail spirit. The desire to say, “Hey, this land is beautiful and I’m in love with it. If you give me 10 minutes to show you some things and talk to you about it, you’ll fall in love with it too.”

Tom Steinberg was Vail’s first full-time doctor, and he was one of the recipients of the famed “Dick Hauserman hand shake”. Here are some reflections from Dr. Steinberg: “He introduced himself, told me about his background and asked about mine,” Steinberg said. “He gave us our introduction to Vail. Everybody was working together to make it survive. Whether it was a ski patrolman, or somebody like Hauserman or a lift operator, we’d get together and talk and have a beer and we’d get things done.”

Mr. Hauserman will also be remembered for creating the Vail logo. “He caused us to use that logo,” original Vail investor Harley Higbie said. “It was one of the little things that we did that turned out to be successful.”

It seems every ‘little thing’ in Dick Hauserman’s head with regards to Vail turned out to be sucessful. Brad Tjossem, one of the founders of the Beaver Creek Club (to which Hauserman was an early VIP member), reflects: “He was such a visionary.” Regarding a group of New York investors that Hauserman brought to Beaver Creek, “On his word they invested,” Tjossem said. “They set up second homes here and now they’re raising their grandkids here. He influenced so many people.”

As you can see from the video, Dick Hauserman loved Vail right up to the end. He loved it with all his mind, spirit and body. We thank Mr. Hauserman for his contributions to our ski and snowboard community, and we offer our condolences to his family and friends.

The spirit of Vail lives on, Mr. Hauserman. Your legacy remains.