Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 2005
Dick’s enthusiasm and love of skiing is best captured in his never ending efforts to promote Colorado skiing. Dick closely participated not only in the creation of a world class ski resort but a town as well. One of Vail’s founding fathers, Dick served on the First Board of Directors of Vail Associates and had a profound impact on the development of early Vail.
When Dick first came to Vail in 1960 there was not much more then a few scattered homes, a cattle ranch and some of the best skiing in the world. Dick served as chairman of the architecture committee that designed and developed Vail. He built and funded Vail’s first commercial building and opened the town’s first ski shop. He was a general partner on the Lodge at Vail, and built the Plaza Building. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Dick not only helped build a town, but he also helped develop a world class ski resort.
As a director, Dick was very active in the marketing department and played a vital role in promoting the fledgling resort. In order for Vail to blossom into a world class ski destination, Dick realized, the resort would need an image. He created Vail’s first logo, which is still in use today. Dick was instrumental in the design of the original ski school parka that became internationally recognized until recently. He recruited world famous ski racer Pepi Gramshammer from Sun Valley to work in the ski school. In the summertime Dick also brought the Arnold Palmer Golf School to the Vail Valley, long before ski areas were even thinking about golf. This work laid the foundation for the future success of Vail as one of the premier vacation destinations in Colorado.
In 1969 Dick lent his talents to the Steamboat Ski Area and helped create the resort’s identity. Working for LTV-RDI, the owners of Steamboat Ski Resort at the time, Dick served as a consultant on many projects involving the ski area. He advised them to widen the trails to create more intermediate and beginner friendly terrain. With the approval of the Werner family the ski area’s name was changed from Mount Werner ski area to Steamboat, as a result Dick designed the Steamboat logo. But probably his biggest contribution to the ski area was suggesting and arranging for the hiring of American ski racing legend Billy Kidd to serve as the official spokesperson and director of skiing for Steamboat. Although his tenure at Steamboat was short, Dick’s ideas and vision created a lasting image.
In a testament to Dick’s passion for promotion and telling a good story, he has written two books. Inventors of Vail documenting the early days of Vail and the people who made not only a resort but a town as well. This book captures the spirit and images of the early days of Vail. Dick’s other book, On the Road to Vail and Beyond, explores the history and landmarks of one of Colorado’s most traveled roads, Interstate 70. With more books in the works, Dick continues to write Colorado ski history.