Vail Valley ski instructors celebrate scholarships |

Vail Valley ski instructors celebrate scholarships

Carolyn PopeVail, CO Colorado
Carolyn Pope/Special to the DailyAi Terakado, Vanina Schindelheim and Betsy Lewis.

VAIL, Colorado Back in 1962, the mountain Vail opened to the public. Not that many people were adept skiers, and those who needed improvement turned to the Vail Ski School to teach them the techniques to make each day on the hill more fun. In those first few years, many people donned a blue jacket and spent their days teaching skiing. Some of those people included Rod Slifer, Pepi Gramshammer, Bob Gagne, Erich Windisch and Roger Staub, among others. Today, the ski school has over 1,000 instructors between Vail and Beaver Creek, but the philosophy hasnt changed to help people become better skiers so they have more fun and become lifelong supporters of the sport.People like Vicki and Kent Logan understand that concept. The ski and snowboard instructors are the face of the mountain, the ones who ensure that the future for Vail, Beaver Creek and the sport as a whole flourish. The Logans also know how to say thank you in a big way to the snow sports instructors, by providing scholarships for selected instructors to attend the Professional Ski Instructors of America National Academy in Snowboard, Utah.Its important to remember, as Vail gets bigger, that this operation is the most important ski area in the nation, possibly the world, and our ski instructors are the heart and soul of the operation, Kent Logan said. The cornerstone of this town and ski area was built on the ski school.

The national academy is April 18 to April 24. Its an opportunity for instructors and trainers to come together from all over the country and talk about what is important and new in the industry. Instructors have the chance to share ideas, practice new techniques and go out and ski.Professional improvement and camaraderie seemed to be the key words when the instructors selected to receive a scholarship from the Logans spoke on the importance of attending the academy.Ski and Snowboard instructors attending the National Academy with a Logan Scholarship include Joel Fritz, A.J. Jones, Jeff Koch, Scott Mattice, Randy Pelton, Eric Prouty, Vanina Schindelheim, John Schneider, Larry Simpson and Ai Terakado.This will be Peltons second trip to the academy. On his first visit, he became a better skier and learn techniques to become a better teacher, he said. This season Ive been giving up teaching days to bring my skiing to a new level, he said. Im hoping that Ill have another breakthrough.Fritz, who has been with the ski school since its inception, has also been friends of the Logans and hosted the party at his restaurant, Sapphire, to say thanks.Ive been skiing and associated with the Logans for more than 15 years, he said. They bring their friends along and include them in who they are and what they do. They lend an air of sophistication to Vail that wasnt here before they arrived. They promote our community, and want it to be a better place. They dont leave anything the way they found it.Mattice summed up all of the instructors thoughts: Im honored. Its a great opportunity to increase my professional development and to have fun.

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