2018 Snowsports Hall of Fame: For 37 years, Bob Dart was Winter Park’s North Star
In the course of nearly four decades at Winter Park, the late Bob Dart was known to be passionate, stubborn, generous, ornery, kind and brilliant, often simultaneously. In 37 years as a Winter Park Resort employee, he served as a member of the race crew, snowmaker, competition center director and, finally, director of mountain maintenance and lift maintenance.
Arriving in the Fraser Valley from his native California in 1977, it was a love of hang gliding that actually brought Dart to Colorado. After working for a hang gliding manufacturer in Southern California, Dart was convinced to come flying and it wasn’t long before the lure of the mountains had him hooked.
He began working for Winter Park in 1978, and his many accomplishments are dwarfed by the affection held for him by every coworker, athlete and person in Grand County.
His vast knowledge of the ski industry was only possible because it sprang from a deep love of skiing and, specifically, skiing Winter Park. Through Dart’s work with the Winter Park Competition Center, he became immersed in the U.S. Ski Association, becoming a highly respected voice in the world of ski competition.
In 1989, Dart began a long career as an FIS Technical Delegate, serving in that capacity for the 2005 Alpine World Ski Championships in Bormio, Italy, as well as the 2011 Hahnenkamm World Cup Downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria, among many other assignments.
Dart’s influence within USSA is exemplified by the many honors he received from the organization, including the 1992 Paul Bacon Award, the 2006 Westhaven Award, the 2007 Bud and Mary Little Award and the 2011 John Clair Award.
While his work with USSA allowed him to travel to all corners of the globe, Winter Park was always home, and Dart was a valuable member of the community, serving on the board of the Winter Park Ranch and Sanitation District.
The joke that Dart had forgotten more about the ski industry than most people ever learned was humorous, only in its absurdity, because he never forgot anything. His knowledge of the ski industry and his ability to recall details made him like the North Star, a fixed reference point for nearly any scenario one might encounter. There was never a need for manuals or instruction books with Dart in the room.
Dart passed away in November 2015 while working on the mountain he loved. As every person who works at Winter Park can attest, he wanted everyone to have the best season possible and to keep flying.
Copy courtesy of the Sky-Hi News.
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