Boots, globes and pink from the creative mind of Eagle’s Holli Snyder
Rocky mOuntain Golf Card
Colorado Mountain News Media’s new events division, headed up by Holli Snyder, has launched sales for the Rocky Mountain Golf Card.
The card costs $99 and can save up to $950 in greens fees if you play all 13 courses. The Rocky Mountain Golf Card is good at the following courses:
• Eagle Ranch Golf Club, Eagle
• Vail Golf Club, Vail
• Haymaker Golf Course, Steamboat Springs
• Glenwood Springs Golf Club, Glenwood Springs
• Ironbridge Golf Club, Glenwood Springs
• Lincoln Park Golf Course, Grand Junction
• Tiara Rado Golf Course, Grand Junction
• Mount Massive Golf Course, Leadville
• Raven at Three Peaks, Silverthorne
• Eagle Vail Golf Club, Avon
• Ranch at Roaring Fork Golf Course, Carbondale
• Yampa Valley Golf, Craig
• Meeker Golf Course, Meeker
For more information and to purchase your card, log onto rockymountaingolfcard.com.
EAGLE — Even if they have never met her, chances are downvalley residents have seen Holli Snyder’s creativity in action.
Maybe they have seen one of the 6-foot-tall decorated cowboy boots or massive globes stationed around town. Perhaps they have noticed some large-scale banners that boast a hint of pink. These visual reminders are a glimpse into Snyder’s imaginative thinking and a promise of what’s to come when she begins a new job with a whole slew of new opportunities.
‘Tried and true Jayhawk’
While she has called Eagle County home for a couple of decades now, Snyder still calls herself a “tried and true Jayhawk.” She was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, where her dad was an attorney who had fourth-row University of Kansas basketball tickets. She grew up attending games.
“I learned to really appreciated it. It was awesome,” Snyder said.
Her mother was a musician, which meant she taught vocal lessons, served as the choir director at church and sang with the Topeka Symphony.
“She was the person you came to in town if you wanted to learn how to sing,” Snyder said.
Because of her mother’s influence, Snyder grew up singing, as well — in church choirs and at school. Music was a whole family commitment that took up every Sunday morning, as Snyder and her two sisters sang at two church services, arriving at 7:30 a.m. and leaving after noon.
Snyder also rode and showed horses as a girl and was an avid 4-H Club member.
“I was involved in everything — just like I am now. Things never change,” Snyder said.
When it came time to go to college, Snyder naturally gravitated to KU, where she majored in sales and advertising through the journalism school. She got a job at a local radio station and that career ultimately brought her to this valley.
Landing in Vail
“I had a friend whose parents owned The Red Lion who asked me to move to Vail with her. I said ‘no,’” Snyder said. “Then she said ‘What about if I find you an advertising job?’”
Her friend made good on that promise and found Snyder a job with the company that owned some local radio stations. Snyder started doing traffic — scheduling advertising and programing for the company. Ultimately she became a sales representative and then moved into station management. For 23 years and eight different ownership groups, she remained a constant in the Eagle County radio scene.
As the radio business evolved, so did Snyder’s focus, and she found herself envisioning and planning special events. She christened several of them — the Holiday Fair and Craft Market, the Free Family Fun Fair, the Eagle Valley Home Show and Reds Whites & Brews.
In 2007, after inaugurating a number of successful events, Snyder’s creative impulses kicked in and she proposed her first large-scale public art project. That summer, the radio company teamed with the town of Eagle and various local artists to present Boots on Broadway.
Boots, globes and pink
The 12 decorated, 6-foot-tall boots were wildly popular among Eagle residents and visitors. They were stationed in downtown Eagle for the summer and ultimately auctioned off for charity. Some of boots remain on display — one at Eagle Town Hall and one outside Eagle Ranch Wine and Spirits.
The next year, Snyder presented the Mother Earth Exhibition. Artists decorated huge globes and their artwork was spread out across town. A few of those creations also can still be spotted.
Then in 2011, Snyder planned her biggest and most personal exhibit ever — Pink Colorado. The exhibit featured large-scale photographs, printed on huge banners, hung in locations all around Eagle. Each photograph featured an element of pink, and the exhibit was dedicated as a breast cancer awareness campaign.
Pink Colorado was personal for Snyder because the year before the exhibit and at just 44 years old, she was diagnosed with the disease. Because of early detection, she successfully beat breast cancer.
Snyder acknowledges that special events and big community art exhibits take a lot of time and energy.
“But once you do one, you get kind of hooked,” she said. “It is really fun to be able to hand over a $50,000 check to the Shaw Cancer Center.”
In May, Snyder began a new job as the events manager for Colorado Mountain News Media. She has been tasked with creating a whole new division for the communications company.
“There is so much potential here,” she said. “I like to see a need and fill it.”
Her first effort for the company is the Rocky Mountain Golf Card. The promotion features buy-on-get-one-free golf specials at 13 resort regional courses. There are similar cards available for Front Range courses, but this is the first of its kind for high country and Western Slope facilities.
In the spring of 2018, Snyder will debut her second effort — an outdoor expo at the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds planned April 6 to 8.
“It’s an event for the hooks and bullets crowd,” she said, “and it brings in anything that has to do with the outdoors.”
Vendor booths, education stations and more will be on display, and the event will tap into Colorado Mountain News Media’s extensive network of newspapers, magazines and online resources.
“Hunting and fishing is a big part of our economy here,” Snyder said. “We need to celebrate that and bring attention to it.”
She noted that while there are other outdoor shows in the state, those events are held in Denver, instead of in the heart of the Rockies.
“Everything that people want to do, they have to come here to do it,” she said.
Snyder is also hatching plans for a whimsical event in Avon this summer. Her proposal for The Playhouse Project will reach out to local builders to construct custom playhouses that will be set up around Nottingham Park this summer. The public will get to vote for their favorite structure, and all the houses will be auctioned off to benefit St. Jude’s Hospital. Snyder visited St. Jude’s back in her radio days.
“That was the best part of that job, getting to see that hospital and all they do for families and kids,” Snyder said.
While The Playhouse Project is still in the planning stage, it is a classic Snyder idea. It combines fun with local resources to benefit a wonderful cause.
“I always want to have an element of giving back, whatever I do,” she said. “Doing well by doing good — if I can I try to live by that motto.”
When she isn’t envisioning a large new event or a big public art project, Snyder makes her home in Eagle. She and her husband, Jerry Wetzel, have been married for 19 years and are parents to daughters Evan, 17, and Eliza, 13. These days, their “free” time is spent following their girls’ competitive volleyball schedules and other activities.
Snyder feels fortunate to have been able to raise kids in Eagle.
“My kids got to ride their bikes everywhere and they have had a lot of freedom,” she said. “They have also had so many opportunities and, of course, being who I am, I made them try everything.”
Snyder admits that sometimes life is hectic between a busy family and her community efforts. But she wouldn’t change a thing.
“I want to be involved, that’s what I thrive on,” she said.
Paul Cuthbertson, a lifelong local of Eagle and Summit counties, died while skiing up to the Polar Star Inn to meet some friends for a celebration of his 21st birthday on Friday night.