Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Vernon Joseph "VJ" Robinson 1880-1960
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1989
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VJ, as he is known, was born on a farm in Salina, Kansas. In 1892, his mother moved the entire family to a Silver Cliff, Colorado ranch belonging to an aunt. In 1895 the family again moved, this time to the booming mining community of Cripple Creek. Working in the mines, VJ left Cripple Creek to avoid labor problems in the strike of 1903 and moved on to another mining town, Bonanza.
The chief winter sport in Bonanza was bobsledding, but about the time of Robinson's next move, to Denver in 1909, he took up the "new" sport of skiing and became very accomplished.
In 1916, the Rocky Mountain Ski Club was formed to promote skiing as a competitive and recreational sport. In 1920 the Club held an exhibition jumping tournament at Inspiration Point, then the outskirts of Denver; and 30,000 people attended. In 1921, Denver and the club hosted the National Championship with a reported 35,000 crowd of spectators.
The club had, however, fallen on hard financial times. VJ, by then a successful businessman, joined in 1923 and immediately took over the financial aspects of the organization and solved the problems, remaining as an active member for 15 years. During that time, VJ proved to be a dynamic member and took on all jobs, from ticket taker, to judge at events, to the club President. He was all times an officer or director, and he brought the 1927 National Tournament to Colorado. He was also active in the popular July 4th Jumping Meets held annually at St. Mary's Glacier.
During his skiing career, VJ kept the Rocky Mountain Ski Club, the predecessor of five more front range ski organizations, including the Denver Ski Club, going by doing anything necessary.