Former Steamboat executive to be inducted into Snowsports Hall of Fame
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. wouldn’t be what it is without Martin Hart.
Hart, of Northwest Colorado Ski Corps., renamed Steamboat Ski Resort, helped turn the mountain into a year-round resort and brought in the eight-passenger Silver Bullet gondola that brought skiers to Thunderhead Lodge.
Hart, along with three other Colorado residents, will be inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Induction Gala at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort.
As chairman of Northwest Colorado Ski Corps., Hart brought in the first ever snowmaking machines to Steamboat, ensuring a Thanksgiving opening. He helped the growing resort town as a whole, pushing for direct flights into the expanding Yampa Valley Regional Airport. Hart spearheaded the addition of the Sunshine bowl, which opened up in 1984 with acres of intermediate skiing. On that section of slope, he opened what is now the Rendezvous Lodge.
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Even after the resort sold to Kimihito Kamori in 1989, Hart stayed on as chairman of the board until 1991.
Later in his career, Hart was a proponent for the Catamount ski area on Mount Baldy, south of town. Arguing that Steamboat needed a second ski resort to compete with Aspen and Vail, he became the face of the campaign. He drew tons of criticism from locals who were worried the second resort would ruin the rural feel of the town.
In 2014, Hart passed away, but will always be known for his role in the Catamount and Steamboat ski areas.
One of five to be honored
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame honors people and organizations that have aided in the development of the ski and snowboarding culture in Colorado. According to its website, the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame has inducted over 200 athletes, coaches and supporters of snow sports since its first class in 1977.
Joining Hart in the class of 2019 is Aspen snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler. The Olympic medalist is Colorado’s most successful snowboard athlete. She won silver in the women’s halfpipe at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games.
Jeff Gorsuch, an Aspen ski retailer and philanthropist with a focus on kids in skiing, will be inducted, as well as Steve Raymond, co-founder of Adaptive Spirit program and a major fundraiser for the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team.
Additionally, Pioneer Hall of Fame selection Jake Hoeschler of Winter Park will be inducted. Hoeschler began a revolutionary ski liability insurance program.
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