Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Vail, Colo., will get a second free daily

What is it about Colorado and free daily newspapers? Maybe it's the altitude or Coors beer, but Aspen, Breckenridge, Boulder, Denver, Glenwood Springs, Granby, Grand Junction, Steamboat Springs and Telluride each have one. In fact, Aspen has two of them since the 1980s, which is quite a feat for a town of 5,900 people. And now it looks like Vail will get a second free daily as well.

The new Vail paper is being started by Jim Pavelich, who founded the free Vail Daily in 1981. He sold the paper in 1993 to Swift Newspapers of Reno, Nev. As part of the sale, Pavelich agreed to a non-compete clause which kept him out of the newspaper business in that area until the late 1990s. During that time, he and former Aspen Times editor Dave Price went to California where they built the Palo Alto Daily News, which went from a circulation of 3,000 to 60,000 over 10 years. In 2005, they sold the Palo Alto paper to Knight Ridder.

According to a report on the Web site, Pavelich decided to start the newspaper after becoming frustrated with how his old paper was covering the news in Vail, where he lives.

“It was the biggest tourist holiday of the year and the big headline on the front page, and I’m paraphrasing, said something like, ‘I hate living here,’ and although I don’t remember the details, I remember that the headline was so unbelievably negative about nothing,” Pavelich told “I understand this is a real town with real issues, but they’ve lost touch with why people come to Vail and why people live here.”

Pavelich will be going up against Swift, whose Steve Pope didn't want to comment on the idea of a new newspaper in Vail. Swift owns free dailies that are competing with other dailies in Aspen and Grand Junction.

Pavelich doesn't have a staff or a start date for the new paper. He's accepting resumes at