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The Vail Trail


Welcome back to the mountain track!


I wish I was a headlight, on a north bound train;
I wish I was a headlight, on a north bound train;
I'd shine my light through cool Colorado rain.

(Grateful Dead)

Good morning and welcome back the mountain track. I'm gonna tell you a little story, one that involves Minyans, Mountains and a wealth of human capital. Some of you know this genesis and evolution already but, for those who don't, join me as we stroll down memory lane and prepare for an exciting new experience. Yes, with a mindful appreciation that the purpose of the journey is the journey itself, I'm gonna share the tale of Minyans in the Mountains.

While 2003 was a banner year for the Matador Crowd, it was a difficult navigation through one of the more humble chapters in my life. I was balancing alotta professional obligations and wasn't particularly proud of any of my efforts. During that spring, I got a call from Scott Reamer, a close friend and fellow professor in Minyanville. His son, Jackson, was suffering from an undiagnosed ailment, a heartbreaking hardship that is too disturbing for most to imagine.

Scott bravely balanced the frustration of a sick son with a steady eye on his professional obligations. When we spoke that particular morning, he offhandedly offered to host a gathering of Minyans near his home in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was the first time that I could remember detecting a hint of enthusiasm in his voice and immediately embraced the idea. "That's done, Scotto," I remember saying, "We'll fly out the professors, have a mountain retreat and, if anyone decides to join us, all the more better!"

We didn't have much time to prepare--the summer was quickly approaching and Crested Butte isn't exactly the easiest place to get to. The Minyanville professors, one by one, supported the cause and a few months later, 80 people descended on this small town for an outstanding event. We showcased our content in the morning, opened up the afternoons for softball, golf, hiking, biking, rafting or relaxing and enjoyed tremendous food, drink and friendships late into the night. It wasn't easy, for some, but it was well worth it as the hugs and handshakes have lasted to this day.

And a tradition was born...

Last year, after digesting the incredible feedback received after the ' Butte , we decided to double dip the mountain shtick. We chose Ojai Valley Inn & Spa near Santa Barbara and brought in Queen Vanessa to run the show. And run she did. In a marathon that would put Forrest Gump to shame, she led our team to the mountains with muscle, moxie and motivation. Our most excellent editorial squad, along with our outstanding stable of Minyanville professors, stepped up huge and structured a seamless content proposition that educated, informed and enlightened 175 of our closest friends. And, with Minyans such as Jeff Saut, Michael Santoli, Steve Shobin, Tom DeMark, Michael Thompson and Tony Dwyer feasting alongside us in the foothills, we held a financial festival that is difficult to put into words.

Minyans in the Mountains is not your father's financial seminar. We're all about balance and, while we know that you're there (and here) to learn, we won't confine our experience to panels, presentations and break-outs. Constant activities such as Minyan Golf, Minyan Softball, spa services, barn parties and cook-outs (S'mores anyone?) allow Minyans to mingle without phones, cars, stress or flickering ticks. And yes, we want you to bring your family. That's what we are and that's how we like to roll.

And now, it's time to take this puppy to an entirely new level...

Minyans in the Mountains III will be held at Vail Cascade on August 10-13. We made a painstaking effort to find a venue that was consistent with our high standards while staying true to our mission. We thought we had a winner in The Peaks at Telluride but, alas, some found it difficult to get to. We seriously considered Napa Silverado--Minyans in the Vineyard?--but it didn't quite fit. We arrived in Vail and immediately knew that we found a home. It is, in a word, Minyanesque!

While our content will continue to root the experience--Michael Santoli will again moderate the Minyans and we have a slew of new breakouts planned--we've added a few surprises and some new faces for this particular hat trick. There will be Minyan Golf, Minyan Softball, Snazzy Spa services, fly fishing, horseback riding, white water rafting, bench sitting and a whole lot more. The conference theme? Reading and Heeding the Message of the Markets, a particularly apt commonality that will serve us all in good stead. And when you see the collection of human capital assembled at this year's "Sundance of Finance," you'll wanna circle those dates and lace up your kicks!

We'll have details in the days and weeks to follow--including the registration process, travel details (it's not so bad!) and updates as they unfold. But be excited, Minyans, be very, very excited. Our community continues to grow each day, filled with folks who are very good at what they do but who are even better at who they are. Our annual pilgrimage is the truest encapsulation of the Minyanville experience, an opportunity to step out from behind the screens and spend some quality time with your fellow faithful.

Good luck today.


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