Mix Beauvais, former Ski Corp. marketing exec, remembered as Mr. Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs lost a ski resort luminary June 7 when former director of sales and marketing Mix Beauvais died in hospice in Fort Collins after suffering a stroke in Steamboat on May 26. He was 85.
“It was very sudden,” Beauvais’ wife, Karen, said, this week. “The first three weeks in rehab he was doing well. He was learning to talk again, but he didn’t get his strength back and never recovered.”
Friends and colleagues said Beauvais personified Steamboat Resort in the early 1970s. It was during the era when the Dallas, Texas, aerospace company, Ling, Temco, Vaught, formed a subsidiary LTV-RDI. One of the parent company’s principals, Paul Thayer, set out to create a true vacation destination in Steamboat Springs.
“People called Mix, Mr. Steamboat back in those early LTV days,” long-time friend Scott Flower said.
Verne Lundquist, another longtime Steamboat resident and personal friend of the Beauvaises, agreed.
“He had such a bright face for representing Steamboat,” Lundquist said. “He was at ski shows all the time.”
Rod Hanna, a former Ski Corp. photographer who later climbed the company ladder to become vice president of marketing, explained the key role that Beauvais played in promoting Steamboat.
Hanna said ski resorts from Wyoming to Colorado and into Utah, in the early 1970s, were less intent on competing with one another, than they were focused on growing the overall number of destination ski vacations across the Rocky Mountains.
“The industry was not nearly as competitive as it is now,” Hanna explained. “It was much more a collaboration … we were really a much smaller industry back in those days. And Mix was a big dog in the ski industry. He was the most visible presence.”
Karen Beauvais explains how Maurice Beauvais, probably about 7 years old at the time, became “Mix.” One day in his hometown of Pueblo, Maurice and his brother were on their way to take in a matinee featuring the cowboy actor Tom Mix and his “Wonder Horse Goldie.” His brother decided his little brother needed a different name, and “Mix” just stuck.
That big personality showed up most in the “Ski the Rockies” campaign.
Karen recalls that, although her husband wasn’t charged with selling new ski condos at the Village Inn — now the Sheraton at Steamboat — as well as the West and the Rockies condominium projects, he played an oversight role for the new lodging properties.
In fact, it was just about 1971 when Karen, working as a Realtor in a Chicago firm, saw a promo film for Steamboat that led her to pack up and head for the Yampa Valley. It wasn’t too much later that she hung her Realtor’s shingle at the local brokerage, Rennels and Associates, where her colleagues repeatedly asked her if she’d met Mix Beauvais yet.
It couldn’t have been much later that she first encountered Mix, who, safe to say, made a good impression on her.
“He did a lot of TV interviews,” Karen recalled. “What a handsome devil he was and still is.”
The Beauvaises also made a good impression on Lundquist, the prominent CBS sportscaster, and his wife, Nancy. The two couples formed a fast friendship.
Verne Lundquist’s first trip to Steamboat began with a comped trip to Denver on Braniff Airlines, whose marketing office hoped he would mention his trip in public.
“I could not get away with that today,” Lundquist said a little sheepishly.
When Mix Beauvais eventually left Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., he and his wife, Karen, opened their own real estate brokerage, Silver Oak, which later became Coldwell Banker Silver Oak. Karen’s aptitude for the industry and Mix’s unmatched contacts helped the couple become very successful. Karen continues to work at the brokerage, now called Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties.
“Mix picked me up in an old station wagon that said ‘Steamboat Resort’ on the side,” Lundquist recalled. “This was in January, and we came over Rabbit Ears Pass in a whiteout. The Cave Inn (a lively barn at the corner of U.S. Highway 40 and Mount Werner Road) was our first pit stop of the night. I just fell in love with the place right away, and Mix and I became friends.”
Beauvais represented Steamboat in an era when ski instructors and supervisors wore cowboy hats, a tradition he embraced. He traveled two months of the year in late summer — one stop after the other to court ski clubs.
“Mix always wore his cowboy hat to every ski show — Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco,” Karen said. “He loved the whole western thing — he wore a cowboy hat just six weeks ago.”
Tom Ross retired from the Steamboat Pilot & Today in 2018 after 36 years in the newspaper business. He continues to write a regular column for the paper.
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Though the city of Steamboat Springs saw a slight decline in 2020 sales tax revenue as COVID-19 hit Routt County, the city is expected to catch up to its 2019 revenues.