Vail Valley luminaries listed as most influential in skiing
VAIL , Colorado – The Ski Channel polled a lot of ski industry folks to come up with its first-ever list of the 250 Most Influential People in Snowbiz. Vail locals, businessmen, athletes and visionaries are featured throughout the list, with three familiar Vail names rounding up three out of the top four spots. The list, the SnowBiz 250, can be found at http://www.theskichannel.com. Here are Vail’s representatives on the list and a portion of the Ski Channel’s description: 1. Lindsey Vonn Lindsey Vonn is the light bulb of American skiing, and arguably the most recognizable skier after Hermann Maier to ever race the World Cup. Incredibly talented as an athlete, she is the most successful female skier in U.S. history. Vonn is already the winner of four World Championship medals, and a real threat to pull five medals out of the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Did we throw in there that she is stunningly beautiful to boot?3. Rob KatzAs chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz oversees some of the most popular and successful resorts in the world, counting Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly among the destinations that every skier knows. Whether it’s the annual thrill of the Birds of Prey World Cup Races at Beaver Creek, the green re-imagining of Vail’s Lionshead base, or the day-to-day of operating the sport’s most obvious empire, Katz stays remarkably on top of it all. 4. Bill JensenFrom Vail to Intrawest, Bill Jensen has been in love with North America’s biggest mountains, and its biggest ideas. The former chief operating officer at Vail Mountain and present chief executive officer of Intrawest, from Mont Tremblant to Whistler to Steamboat Springs, Jensen oversees a North American-wide network of A-resorts.15. Chris RymanPresident, chief operating officer and part owner of Booth Creek Resorts, Ryman’s is one of the biggest jobs in the ski industry. Besides owning Sierra-at-Tahoe, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Waterville, Cranmore and Snow Park Technologies, Booth Creek also operates far too many resorts to fit on this list. The former chief operating officer of Vail Resorts was one of the pioneers of Beaver Creek and led the expansion of Blue Sky Basin, which is one of the main reasons why Vail is Vail. Not too many people know the ski industry better than Ryman. 27.The Gart Family The scion and namesake of one of the most successful acts in outdoor sporting goods, The Gart Sports brand, the Garts were well-trained in the retail game. Now operating Sports Specialty Ventures, Ken, Tom and John under the Vail Resorts umbrella, Gart counts stores such as Colorado Ski & Golf, Boulder Ski Deals, Aspen Sports and Telluride among his many top-line retail brands. 36.Gillett FamilyThe Wisconsin-born George Gillett Jr. is just what the ski industry needs – billionaires. Besides investments in media, NASCAR, hockey and English Premiere League Soccer, Gillett has owned Vail and Beaver Creek and founded Booth Creek Ski Holdings.69.John Garnsey A true industry insider Garnsey gets to manage the Birds Of Prey facility, Beaver Creek, which means he also gets the most VIP passes for our only World Cup. For over 25 years, Garnsey has been in senior management positions in Vail Valley. 87.Dr. Richard Steadman To say that the clinic he founded in Vail is like an athletic Hall of Fame would be a vast understatement. The list of patients that have gone to the Steadman Hawkins Clinic spans from Joe Montana to Alex Rodriguez, and of course includes Olympic skiing medalists like Bode Miller, Picabo Street and Julia Mancuso. Steadman is a pioneer in microfracture surgery, and his clinic has saved the careers of hundreds of professional athletes.88. Christopher E. JarnotChris Jarnot’s talent for creating and staging events, his keen eye for targeted marketing opportunities and the overall knowledge of the industry has served him well along his way to becoming chief operating officer of perhaps the most recognizable resort brand in skiing at Vail. 173. Gorsuch Brothers From its original beautiful base in Vail, Gorsuch Sports has long set the benchmark for North American snow sports retail operation. Chic, welcoming, and oh-so-well-designed, this is where Europe’s finest outerwear meets the world’s finest skis meets a celebration of all things alpine and apres in the company’s now regular catalogs and expanding retail operations. With sons David and Jeff Gorsuch actively involved, this truly is a family affair of ski passion in Vail or Aspen.243. Ceil FolzThe president of Vail Valley Foundation started in 1989 coordinating the organization’s slate of events and working with their sponsors. In 1994 she was named vice president of operations and identified her ultimate goal of running the operations of the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships. Folz was named president of the Vail Valley Foundation in 1999, presiding over all Vail Valley Foundation programs in the areas of athletics, culture and education, including the annual Birds of Prey World Cup and American Ski Classic.
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