Vail Daily shutters Vail’s first newspaper, the venerable Vail Trail

In yet another sign of just how tough things are in the newspaper industry these days, even community publications — once nearly unassailable in terms of financial viability — are getting the axe.

Colorado Mountain News Media (CMNM) Wednesday announced it’s shutting down the venerable Vail Trail — Vail’s first newspaper and a weekly that had published continuously since soon after the ski area opened in the mid 1960s.

CMNN purchased the paper from the founding Knox family in 2004, but in a column Wednesday, Vail Daily and Vail Trail editor and associate publisher Don Rogers cited the economic downturn and an inability to return the publication to the former glory days it enjoyed under independent ownership.

“The publication was a worthy foe, a great challenge to take on, and now painful to shutter as a stand-alone weekly newspaper,” Rogers wrote. The Vail Daily is also now facing daily competition from the new Vail Mountaineer. The Vail Trail briefly published a competing daily called the Daily Trail in the early 1990s.

In its final edition, The Vail Trail’s cover story posed the pressing question: “How much snow will we get?” And that, after all, is often the most burning issue of the day in a ski town.

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail and Real Aspen.