The Colorado Ski Hall of Fame began in 1977 as part of the Colorado Ski Museum. The museum was a project for the Colorado State Centennial in 1976 and the induction of members into the Hall of Fame has been celebrated each year since 1977.
The mission of the Hall of Fame is to honor the pioneers, the competitors, the ski sport builders, and those inspirational individuals who have contributed to the development of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.
CATEGORIES OF NOMINATION
Athlete ‑ to qualify the nominee must have an outstanding record of accomplishment at divisional, national or international level of competition, resulting in a direct benefit to the State of Colorado. The athlete should have a record of continued involvement after the completion of their competitive years.
Ski Sport Builder‑ a nominee must have made major contributions in areas of organization, promotion or development of the skiing and snowboarding sport in Colorado. Normally a long period of demonstration is necessary for an individual to be recognized as a ski sport builder; however, there may be isolated instances of one action that dramatically and permanently changes the entire industry for the future that would qualify.
Inspirational ‑ a nominee must have provided inspiration in the sport, which has led to and enhanced the knowledge, pleasure or pursuit of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. This category may include filmmakers, authors, performers, area operators, or any individual who has performed an inspirational act. Normally a long period of demonstration is necessary for an individual to be recognized as an inspirational individual, however, there may be isolated instances of one action that is so inspirational in itself so as to qualify an individual for nomination.
Nomination - An individual may be nominated after the completion of his or her achievements, or at age 40, whichever comes first.
The Colorado Ski Museum / Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame preserves and interprets the history of skiing and snowboarding; honors those who have made significant contributions to the sport; and informs the public about Colorado's rich skiing heritage.
History of the Colorado Ski Museum/Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
In 1975, as Colorado’s Centennial and the nation’s Bicentennial approached, a group of Colorado ski pioneers decided to commemorate the dual anniversaries by founding a ski museum committed to the preservation and interpretation of the history of skiing and snowboarding in the state. As John Dobson, Mayor of Vail at that time would later write, “It has been felt for some time that there should be a ski museum somewhere in the state to commemorate Colorado’s fame as “Ski Country, U.S.A.”
Such pioneers as Dudley Abbott, Robert Parker, Rev. Don Simonton, Pat Finney, Pete Seibert, Bill Lucas, Lloyd Leger, Earl Clark, Lou Livingston, Todd Martin, John Dobson and others were involved in the project. Accordingly, the Centennial/Bicentennial Committee tapped into Bicentennial monies to establish a non-profit Skiing Museum. Realizing that skiing had strongly impacted the economic, cultural and social development of the entire state, the founders named their budding enterprise the “Colorado Ski Museum.”
The first Executive Director of the Museum was Rev. Don Simonton of Vail; J. Dudley Abbott was first President. Jack Gorsuch was an early Board member as was Tim Tyler.
Several other groups—the U.S. Forest Service, Vail Associates, Colorado Ski Country USA, and the Eagle County Historical Society voiced their approval of the concept and joined the efforts to develop an authentic and lasting historical record of the state’s vast skiing legacy.
One of the most important tasks was finding a suitable facility to house the artifacts they would be collecting. Eventually, with the help of the Town of Vail and members of the ski industry, the former Mountain Bell building at Vail and East Meadow Drives was purchased and the Colorado Ski Museum opened in 1977. The first Ski Hall of Fame induction banquet was held the following July.
The site served the Museum well for 15 years, but in the early 1990s, the Town of Vail planned to tear the building down. Accordingly, the Town presented the Ski Museum with larger and more visible space on the third level of the Vail Transportation Center in the heart of Vail Village. This 3,000 square foot facility enabled the Museum to expand by adding new exhibits and constructing a gift shop area.
During the next ten years, donations of artifacts, documents and other historical materials grew exponentially. Ten years later the Museum found itself desperately in need of adequate storage to house its rapidly expanding collection. With space in Vail scarce and prohibitively expensive, the Board of Directors decided to establish a Colorado Ski Museum Resource Center in Golden where all of the stored artifacts and the library and research facilities would be under one roof. The Museum in Vail will remain as a world-class Museum Gallery. The Center in Golden is now being organized by a number of volunteers who alternate working on weekdays. The facility will be open to the public in 2004.
Museum Resource Center
The Museum has plans for an outreach program of several traveling exhibits that will be shown at schools, ski areas and other museums. The Resource Center will continue to develop oral histories of the people that have been influential in the development of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado and to present slide show programs to various organizations and schools.
The Resource Center will allow the museum to improve the documentation and the preservation of the collection to better serve the public.
The Colorado Ski Museum Resource Center is located at 13401 West 43rd Drive Unit 9, Golden CO 80403-7264. It is located just north of I-70 and 44th Avenue in Golden and consists of 2325 square feet of office and storage. The first floor has 850 square feet of office space and 1025 square feet of storage area. The second floor has 450 square feet containing a library and files for research materials.
The first floor office space is used as a reception area, conference room, computer area, receiving area for new artifacts and for cataloging of artifacts. The storage area has racks and shelving for skis, boots and other artifacts in the Museum’s collection. A workbench is located under the stairs and worktables are available for work on the collection, for exhibit construction and for conservation of the artifacts. The new Resource Center has the space and facilities that are necessary to bring the collection to up museum standards.
The historical files, books, films, photographs, periodicals, videos and other resource items are kept on the second floor. This area has facilities for viewing films and videos and has file cabinets and bookcases for storage. All of the museum's resource materials will be located here for access by researchers and museum staff.
The Colorado Ski Museum will have its resources available to other museums and organizations around the State to assist them with research, exhibits and displays. A cooperative exchange of information about the history of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado in each locality will result in deeper understanding of the state’s rich skiing heritage.