1960 - 1969
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  • By the 1960s, fiberglass construction of skis had been improved to equal the performance
    of metal skis, but were more expensive and not yet as durable.  For advantages and
    details on plastics and construction, see Nine Thousand Years of Skis.   Even with high-
    tech materials, skis retained their basic Telemark shape.

  • January 1, 1960 - Ski Broadmoor is dedicated and becomes the first area in the state to
    show the value of artificial snow.  The area buys snowmaking equipment from the defunct
    Magic Mountain. A new Larchmont snowmaker  is dubbed "The Phenomenal Snowman.”
    (Jan. 1, 1960 Rocky Mt. News.)

  • The Winter Olympic Games are held at Squaw Valley, CA.  Many Coloradoans help plan
    and run events.  Penny Pitou wins silver in downhill and giant slalom; Betsy Snite wins
    silver in slalom.

  • The  Wolf Creek Ski Area is sold to an investment group from Dallas, but is foreclosed in
    1963 and Wolf Creek Ski Development Corporation regains ownership.  Ed Sharp
    resumes managing the area.  

  • Skiing at Climax ends in 1960 when the Climax Moly mine removes employee housing.  
    (Tape, **Jack Gorsuch)


  • Crested Butte opens on Thanksgiving Day, 1961, with a 2300-foot Doppelmayr
T-Bar and a rope tow on the northern flank of Mt. Crested Butte.

  • **Pete Siebert sells limited partnerships in the proposed Vail development.    By
    December of 1961, Vail is fully financed. (See VAIL- Story of a Colorado Mountain
    Valley by June Simonton)  

  • Indianhead Mountain Ski Area, later named Geneva Basin, opens in  mid-December after
    two years of preparation.  The runs are engineered by Sel Hannah.  General Manager is
    Bob Gebhardt.  The area is owned by Indianhead Mountain Corporation.  The area buys
    two rope tows from the defunct Magic Mountain area  and also installs a Heron double
    chair and Constam J-Bar.  (Cervis Journal Oct. 18, 1961)
  • The Summit County Development Corporation opens Peak Eight at Breckenridge on
    December 15, 1961. The new area has one Heron double chairlift, a short T-Bar, and
    base shelter.  ( Hauk Report)

  • Steamboat Springs Corporation organizes with partners **John Fetcher, **Marvin
    Crawford, **Gerald Groswold, **Bud Werner, William Sayre and Sam Huddleston to
    develop Storm Mountain as a major downhill ski area.  Common stock is sold. The area
    opens on December 22, 1961 with one lift - a beginner's Poma.  **John Fetcher
    spearheads the Steamboat Partnership responsible for refinancing the plan. The new
    expanded  ski area officially opens in 1963.  (The History of Skiing at Steamboat Springs
    by Sureva Towler)

  • ** Bob Beattie, University of Colorado ski coach, is named head coach of the U. S.
    Alpine Team for the 1962 FIS World Championships.  He will go on to coach the 1964
    and 1968 alpine Olympic teams.


  • 1962 is a watershed year for Colorado skiing.  Millions of investment dollars pour into the
    state.  During the next decade nine destination resorts will be built.

  • The Head metal ski is beginning to catch on. Safety bindings are being marketed. Clothing
    is more functional; condo ownership starts to be profitable;  jet air service is improved;

  • Vail Mountain opens December 15, 1962 with a Bell gondola lift- the first gondola  in

  • In January of 1963  Crested Butte celebrates its 7500-foot Telecar gondola installation.
    The rope tow has been replaced by a J-bar. (Rocky Mt. News, February 1, 1963)

  • Snowmass –at-Aspen opens with guided ski-touring.  "Trackmaster" snowcats take skiers
    to the 12,000 foot elevation.

  • Dillon Reservoir is completed and starts filling with water. Earlier, the little town of Dillon
    had been moved to higher ground.

  • January 12, 1963 - Storm Mountain at Steamboat Springs officially opens with one
    chairlift.  (The History of Skiing at Steamboat Springs by Sureva Towler)

  • The National Ski Jumping Championships are held at Howelsen Hill.  Gene Kotlarek
    breaks the national jumping records twice with jumps of 318 and 322 feet.  ABC Wide
    World of Sports televises the event.  (The History of Skiing at Steamboat Springs by
    Sureva Towler)

  • Lake Eldora opens - George Sweeney is President of  the Lake Eldora Corporation.  Sel
    Hannah of Franconia N.H. laid out the course with the help of Gabor Cseh and **Bob
    Beattie, ski coach at C.U. and new coach of the U.S. Olympic ski team.  (Hauk Report)

  • Telluride explores the  feasibility of a ski lift project on a shady mountainside just south of
    city.  (Telluride Times, Dec. 21, 1962). The  Ball Park run is a beehive of activity
    (Telluride Times, Feb. 8, 1963.)  "Telluride Ski, Inc. will explore new avenues leading to
    development of Telluride as a ski resort.” The organization was formed in 1961. (Telluride
    Times, April 5, 1963)

  • Aspen Ski Corporation acquires Buttermilk Mountain  by exchange of stock. (Hauk

  • Colorado Ski Country USA is  formed.  It uncorks the "Ski Country USA" ad campaign.

  • In October 1963, Aspen’s streets are paved.

19 64

  • In January of  1964  the Kendall Ski Hill  in the town of  Silverton opens with a 1,000-
    foot  rope tow from Camp Hale. Called the Bingle Tow, it would be replaced in 1998
    with a Tramway Board approved Handle Tow (rope) that operates on weekends and

  • **Bill Marolt, **Billy Kidd and **Jimmie Heuga are members of the 1964 U.S. Olympic
    Alpine team coached by ** Bob Beattie.  **Kidd and   **Heuga place second and third
    in slalom, becoming the first American men to win alpine Olympic medals.

  • In the summer of  1964, Geneva Ski Corporation headed by Walter Burke buys
    Indianhead Mountain Ski Area at auction from the Small Business Administration.  
    (Denver Post, March 24, 1965)

  • The town of Telluride is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

  • The Wilderness Act of 1964: is enacted.   "Wilderness is hereby recognized as an area
    where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a
    visitor who does not remain" and "which is protected and managed so as to preserve its
    natural conditions."  The Wilderness  Lands are a part of the National Forest System and
    are to be designated by the U.S. Congress.  

  • **Buddy Werner is killed in an avalanche in Switzerland.

  • The National Ski Areas Association creates the Uniform Trail Ratings System.

  • **Fred Iselin becomes director of Aspen Highlands Ski School after **Stein Eriksen

  • President of  the Durango Ski Corp, **Raymond T. Duncan,  announces the first phase of
    the multi-million $ ski development of Purgatory to be completed by December  1965.  
    The San Juan Development Corp is being formed to finance. (D. Post, Jan. 25, 1965, p.
    14)  Purgatory opens as scheduled (Dec. 4, 1965 Gazette-Telegraph.)

  • In February of  1965, the name of Storm Mountain at Steamboat Springs is officially
    changed to Mt. Werner in memory of **Buddy Werner.

  • The cross-country skiing movement quietly begins during the mid- 1960s.

  • July 4, 1965:  Pando, where the 10th Mountain Division troops trained during WWII, is
    officially closed as an Army base.  The 10th Mt veterans hold memorial   services at the
    top of Tennessee Pass where a granite monument is dedicated to fallen comrades.


  • On May 17, 1966 ,a special use permit is  issued to Sunlight Ski Corporation by the
    Forest Service. John Higgs of Chicago, along with 23 stockholders, own the operation.
    Higgs had  bought land in the area, including the small  Holiday Hills ski area dating from
    the 1940s. The Vanderhoof family is actively involved in the development of Sunlight.  The
    new ski  area  formally opens on Dec. 16, 1966.  

  • The new Powderhorn Ski  Area opens on Thanksgiving with a double chair, two Pomas,
    and a two-story lodge.   The area is 45 miles east of Grand Junction, set in a bowl on the
    north side of Grand Mesa.  (Denver .Post, Oct. 10, 1966, p.46)
  • The small ski area of Hesperus, west of Durango, has a T-Bar and 2 rope tows. Hesperus
    Ski Area extends its cross-country run to accommodate the U. S. National X-C


  • February 6, 1967 – The  Forest Service  issues a special use permit to Ski Valley USA,
    Inc. (KEYSTONE) .  **Max Dercum and his son, Rolf, are the

  • Denver is  the U. S. Olympic Committee’s  choice for the winter Olympics of 1976  
    (RMNEWS, 12/18/67.)  In 1970 the IOC chooses Denver to host the Olympic Winter
    Games of 1976. (See CSSM Special Collection on the Turn-down of the Denver

  • The World Cup of alpine ski racing debuts to determine the  best alpine skier in the world.
    Serge Lang is credited with the idea.**Bob Beattie is  instrumental in structuring the
    competition and point system.  (Ski, Oct. 1985)

  • Elmo Bevington purchases the Monarch Ski Area.  Adds lifts, cuts new trails, and builds  
    a new lodge. (Winter Fun 1988-89)

  • Summer/1967 - portable Pony tow put in the 13,000 foot Montezuma Basin on north side
    of  Castle Peak  southwest  of Ashcroft.  **Max Marolt of Aspen and Dick Milstein of
    Sunlight area used mining claims.  Tow operated through October. ( See Hauk Report)

  • Snowmass-at-Aspen officially opens on December 17, 1967.    Bill Janss is developer.  
    Approx $10 million is invested in the West Village. In October of 1968  Janss Investment
    Corp sells to American Cement Corp (ACC owned 50% of the stock.)  (For beginning
    studies by Forest Service in late '50s and on, see Hauk Report.)


  • NASTAR, (National Standard Race) is inaugurated at eight ski areas.  John Fry of Skiing
    Mag is the brainchild. **Bob Beattie becomes commissioner of NASTAR in 1969  when
    27,000 participants at 39 ski areas take part.  The race provides a national standard so
    that  recreational skiers can rate themselves by a handicap system.  ( Colorful Colorado,
    Jan/Feb 1971)

  • In December of 1968, Joe Zoline arrives in Telluride to investigate the possibility of
    developing a major ski area.  (**Billy Mahoney tape).

  • Arapahoe Ski Area inaugurates ski instruction for amputees in January of 1968 along with
    a pilot project for disabled children from Children’s Hospital in Denver.  **Willy
    Schaeffler offers free skiing and instruction.  The children’s program is switched to Winter
    Park the following year. (Stethoscope, Feb. 14, 1969)


  • The Federal Environmental Protection Act is passed obligating the Forest Service to
    require ecological, economic, and social impact statements to  be drawn up as well as
    procedures for mitigating any  impact to the use of  federal lands.

  • Ralston Purina forms Keystone International, Inc., merging with and acquiring all of the
    outstanding stock of Ski Valley USA. The firm draws up a comprehensive master plan for
    the ski area.  (Colorful Colorado. Vol. 6 – Jan/Feb 1971)

  • Sunlight  Ski Area is  in financial trouble.  Sunlight Ranch Company becomes the legal
    permittee and the area continues to operate.  Aspen Ski Corp becomes involved briefly.  (
    Hauk Report)

  • VAIL Associates, Ltd. becomes Vail Associates, Inc.  The resort begins a $3 million  
    expansion of Lionshead, including installation of a  6-passenger Bell gondola.  At
    dedication, Simba the lion adds a lively spark to the ceremony. (Vail, Triumph of a Dream
    by Peter W. Seibert)

  • LTV Aerospace Corp, a subsidiary of Ling-Temco-Vought of Dallas, purchases the
    Werner Mountain  Ski Area at Steamboat Springs for $4 million in September of 1969.
    The master plan includes a village, 18-hole golf course, and convention center. (The
    History of Skiing at Steamboat Springs by Sureva Towler)

     **Colorado Ski Hall of Fame member

(Compiled by Patricia Pfeiffer, Chair, Colorado Ski Museum History Committee)