I am writing in support of and asking the Vail Town Council to consider adding Ben Krueger’s name to Dobson Ice Arena.
In the winter of 1969, Krueger brought ice skating to our small community of Vail. He made and created an ice rink on the old Golden Peak tennis courts and we had this rink for two winter seasons, but at the same time, Krueger also made us a small rink on a small pond behind Vail Interfaith Chapel for our first ice skating show. Two years later, our dream of a bigger rink at the base of Golden Peak next to the racing hut became our first official skating rink.
Krueger built it all, using a garden hose to fill the rink in frigid winter weather. Then with his hockey skates on, he would smooth out the ice with a large push squeegee. He built the warming hut, we had music and an outdoor speaker, playing all three 8 track tapes (this was before we had FM radio), we could skate, figure skate, play hockey, broom hockey, and often Krueger was on the ice with us.
Krueger created, built, and cultivated something for early Vail families (and also our visitors), so we could have another winter activity. Many of us came off the mountain and then straight onto the ice rink. Krueger’s dedication and love for Vail showed in his smile, spirit, kindness and energy. His patience with all of us early Vail kids, whether it be on the race course, Buddy Werner League, the race hut, the ice rink in the winter and the golf course in the summer, Krueger built friendships with all, but most endearingly were the friendships he built with us kids. He, like many others in those early years, watched over us. I recently said to my sisters; “What would us kids have done without the watchful eye of Mr. Krueger and Sarge Brown?”
Your thoughtful consideration of the addition of Krueger’s name to Dobson Ice Arena (Dobson Krueger Ice Arena) would be greatly appreciated to honor a man with true Vail pioneer spirit, his legacy, and his beautiful family. It took a village to create Vail, and many are, sadly, unsung heroes.
Josette R. Elias