Vail, Colorado Visitor Information
Vail's lifestyle combines one of the best alpine resorts in the world with a friendly, small-town feel. Visitors enjoy bountiful year-round recreational and cultural opportunities. Vail visitors and residents enjoy more than a thousand acres of open space, accounting for 30 percent of town-owned land.Vail is surrounded by 350,000 acres of national forest crowned by more than 5,000 skiable acres on the largest ski mountain in North America. At the foot of the ski mountain is the Town of Vail, a community bathed in charm. With the nation's largest free bus system, the town is filled with shops, restaurants and year-round activities in a pedestrian-friendly environment bustling with foot traffic.
Vail is a central access point for all kinds of year round activities. Named after state highway engineer Charlie Vail, who built the first highway through the area, the mountain wasn't "discovered" until the mid-1950s by 10th Mountain Division trooper Peter Seibert and local rancher Earl Eaton. When Seibert and Eaton hiked to the top of the mountain they looked out upon the vast open bowls and realized it was the perfect spot for ski slopes. In January 1962, their dream came alive and the U.S. Forest Service granted the final permit to Seibert and Eaton. Vail Mountain opened in December of the same year. Today Vail Mountain is North America's largest ski area.
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