Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame announces class of 2021
The five honorees will be officially inducted Aug. 22 at the Hall of Fame Celebration, a community event that is open to the public and will take place at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
The Colorado Snowsports Museum has recently announced the Hall of Fame Class of 2021, a group of industry pioneers and world-class athletes who will be formally inducted Aug. 22 at the Hall of Fame Celebration at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. This year’s celebration has been reshaped from a gala into a community event, with tickets for lawn seating available at $50 for adults, $25 for children ages 13-17 and free for children 12 and younger who accompany a paying adult.
Jennifer Mason is the executive director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum and the Hall of Fame, and she said that while the gala was always open to the public, the entry price had been restrictive for many would-be attendees. With the new venue and affordable pricing options, she hopes that more community members will be able to join in the celebration.
“We’re so excited for this year’s celebration, which has been redesigned with the single goal of making it more inclusive, fun and welcoming,” Mason said. “We want more people to witness these incredible stories and these people that have done so much for this industry.”
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame honors people who have contributed to the snowsports industry in Colorado in a significant way, and has inducted over 200 honorees since the first class in 1977. The class of 2021 will add five new names to that legacy, spanning a variety of roles in the industry.
Ellen Post Foster is a former world-class international freestyle competitor who has spent her life studying skiing and sharing her lessons. Foster is being recognized for helping to create the current foundation of knowledge in the snow sports education field.
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Pam Conklin Pettee was a ski industry lobbyist, accomplished public relations consultant and freelance ski writer in both Vail and Telluride, and is being recognized for blazing a trail in the promotion and media relations arenas for the Colorado ski industry.
Scott Rawles is the former U.S. Ski Team Moguls coach who led the team to five freestyle world championships, resulting in 20 medals and four different world champions in moguls and dual moguls. Under his direction, the U.S. Freestyle Team won the Nations Cup in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and he is a three-time USSA International Coach of the Year.
Dave Stapleton Jr. is a former U.S. Ski Team and professional racer who has dedicated his career to strengthening the Aspen Valley Ski Club. Through his efforts and fundraising work, Stapleton Jr. has given back to the sport at a level beyond most, benefiting many future generations of ski racers.
Finally, Colorado native and iconic ski resort trail map artist James Niehues is being recognized for painting more than 200 stunning ski resort trail maps that skiers and snowboarders have used to navigate Colorado and other resorts worldwide. Niehues crafted original paintings for each of the maps that he has made over his 33-year career, Vail included, which he has collected in a book called “The Man Behind the Maps.” No other artist has had a more lasting and significant impact on the enjoyment of skiing.
Last year, instead of holding a virtual induction ceremony, the organization decided to skip the class of 2020 so that these inductees could be properly celebrated in an atmosphere befitting of their lifetime contributions to the snowsport industry. Mason said the idea to postpone the induction was largely inspired by Niehues, who encouraged patience in the face of uncertainty.
“Think of him painting those trail maps, and how much patience he has,” Mason said. “He touches every tree three times with his paintbrush, each tree, so when he said that patience is a virtue and we’d better wait until we could do it in person, I couldn’t have agreed more.”
The Induction Ceremony will also include the Annual Recognition Awards, honoring nine additional individuals who have excelled in 2020 and 2021.
As part of their mission to involve the community, the Colorado Snowsports Museum is inviting children from Vail’s Ski and Snowboard Club to participate in the ceremony.
“We’re trying to include the younger generation because they need to know who is paving the way before them,” Mason said. “This is the industry that has made our community. At one point or another, this is probably why we all moved here, right? We want this to be a community celebration of skiing, and everyone’s invited.”
Pavilion seating is also available for purchase starting at $175 a ticket, and includes access to the Bavarian-themed food stations that will be present at the amphitheater. People also have the option to purchase Reserved Pavilion Seating and be seated next to the inductee of their choice. Attendees are encouraged to wear lederhosen and dirndls to reflect the theme of the evening.
The event starts at 3 p.m. Aug. 22. In addition to the main event, there will be live music and a silent auction offering a variety of mountain-town items. Following the ceremony, an after-party will be held at Pepi’s Restaurant and Bar in Vail Village.
All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to support the Colorado Snowsports Museum. For more information and ticket purchases, visit SnowsportsMuseum.org.