Vails latest hall of famers
DENVER In the ski and snowboard world, theres not much one can be acknowledged for, short of an Olympic medal.
Unlike the superstars in Europe where Olympians in snow sports are held at the same level as our NFL quarterbacks, public adoration is hard to come by.Owning a ski area is a glamorous feather in the cap of many a wealthy person, right up there with owning an airline. It looks good in the paper, but not necessarily on paper. If youre involved in the world of winter sports in the U.S., you do it for the same joy and passion as you ski Genghis Khan on a powder day. Nothing more.On Oct. 22, several new members were inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. Two of the inductees are from our valley, Dick Hauserman and George Gillett. The other inductees were Lou Dawson, Dick Eflin and Ed Lucks.
The event, held at the Denver Marriott City Center, brought in the crme de la crme of the snow world. From those who continue to uphold the honorable tradition of teaching skiing or riding to those who start new ski areas, uphold the winter lifestyle or bring fame to the sport in their own way, the annual event is a time for the new guard and the old guard to come together. Hauserman was the first inductee.Dick is one of the worlds best salesmen, said Sheika Gramshammer in a video dedicated to him. He was the valleys first full-time resident. One word resonated through the evening in relation to Dick enthusiastic. Even as a gentleman in his 80s, Dick still exudes that same youthful enthusiasm. Dick was on Vails first board of directors and was one of the primary developers of Vail. He worked on the Lodge at Vail, the Hill Building, and the Plaza Building; he created Vails logo and helped design the signature ski school parka. Dick also brought in Pepi Gramshammer from Sun Valley to work in the ski school. In 1969, Dick helped out Steamboat Ski Area by widening the trails, creating the Steamboat Springs logo, and bringing on Billy Kidd as the resorts spokesperson.
He has written two books: Inventors of Vail and On the Road to Vail and Beyond. Dicks tables were filled at the event with a herd of relatives and friends.Customer serviceOne of Vails favorite leaders, George Gillett, had a doubly good evening. Not only was he in the freshman class of the Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, he also celebrated a birthday. George bought Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts in 1985 and with his pioneering focus on customer service, he redefined the ski experience and what it meant to be a world-class. You were just as likely to see George riding the chairlifts and greeting guests as you were to catch him in the board room, and he kick-started the growth that would put Vail on the map as Americas No. 1 ski destination. Under his reign, Vail hosted the 1989 and 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships, proving to the world that Colorado could host major international ski races. In 1999 SKI magazine voted George as one of the 100 Most Influential Skiers of All Time. George and his wife, Rose say the decision to buy Vail was not actually Georges it was Roses and his sons idea. When the final hours were coming close to make a decision on the area, Rose and the boys simply told him it was the decision they wanted. And he did it.
His unwavering commitment to his family and his friends is evident in every move. He also has phoenix-like history, always rising from the ashes. Its exciting to consider what George might do next.The museumThe Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame was established in 1976. The mission of the museum is to preserve and appreciate the legacy of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. The museum is a private, nonprofit organization funded primarily by memberships and special events. Dave Gorsuch, chairman of the hall of fames board of directors, summed it up best: The older you get, the more you enjoy it. Because of the group, the dearer it becomes. Aint that the truth, Dave.Visit the Ski Museum in the parking structure in Vail Village or on-line at http://www.skimuseum.net.
Heard at high altitudeStephanie Feldhaus and Emily Sargent, who have been great friends since first grade at Red Sandstone Elementary School, participated in their first Breast Cancer 3-Day in San Diego two weeks ago. The young ladies walked 60 miles in three days to raise awareness and to help find a cure to breast cancer. Way to go!On the social radar The first annual Snow Stampede for the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail will be at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek, Nov. 11. This is a casual alternative (or addition) to the annual Glitter, Gates and Rails. Mountain Catering is providing the munchies, and theres beer tasting from Stone Brewery. Tickets are $45 in advance. Call 476-5119 for tickets. The following evening, Nov. 12, is Glitter, Gates and Rails, the big fundraiser for the Ski and Snowboard Club of Vail at Larkspur. For information, call Brad Ghent at 376-7446 or Jennifer Vance at 476-5119 Ext. 102.Vail, Colorado