The Town of Vail's Pandemic Photo Project

When the pandemic arrived in the valley, the Town of Vail put a local photojournalist to work. Here's a snapshot of how, and why, the resort town's is documenting history as it's being made.

By Staff July 2, 2020

After Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered a closure of all ski resorts on March 14 at the onset of the pandemic, the Town of Vail hired photojournalist Dominique Taylor to document what life in the streets looked like the day after the lifts stopped turning at one of North America’s largest ski resorts. On March 15, Taylor snapped this image of resort workers who normally would’ve been toiling on the mountain whiling away a Sunday afternoon on socially-distant balconies in East Vail, quaffing Coronas.

That initial daylong assignment stretched into weeks, then months, as the situation evolved. Taylor’s work, a trove of images documenting the emergence of the crisis to the town’s reopening, is now history, part of the visual archive dating to Vail’s founding.

“Those early photographs and videos have been priceless in connecting everyone, showing them the passion from the early days, celebrating the love of this place and how everyone worked together to put the pieces in place to build the resort,” says Town of Vail Communications Director Suzanne Silverthorn. “I see this as a little bit of a parallel. We’re known for leadership, we’re known for risk-taking, we’re known for resiliency. Those are the tenets that defined Vail in the early days. And I think those are the tenets that are going to pull us through Covid-19.”

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