Museums abound in Colorado as they do in any state. Halls of Fame, however, are not as prevalent in the Centennial State.
The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in Denver and the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in Morrison serve the metro community while the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs are easily accessible. It is the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame, however, that provides a glimpse into what Colorado is best known for around the globe - its mountains.
One of the biggest draws at the museum is its presentation of the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale through the lens of 10th Mountain Veteran Sandy Treat and the Warren Miller produced film based on the mountain division’s legacy “Climb To Glory.”
The 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers championed the U.S. Ski Industry following World War II. They trained at 9,200 feet in the Rockies at the Army base Camp Hale and honed their skills. After the war they returned home and turned skiing into the lifestyle sport it is today while aiding in resort development, product innovation and instruction.
“The film on the 10th Division is outstanding,” wrote a visitor from Texas. “After the film ended, we were treated to a lecture by a 95-year-old veteran Sandy Treat. It was a treat indeed.”
Climb To Glory is only one of the main exhibits at the museum that, though not known for its size, still provides a variety of exhibits to keep visitors entertained.
The Hall of Fame wing pays tribute to to the state’s ski and snowboard industry icons. The exhibit now features and interactive touchscreen monitor that allow guests to learn about the men and women that crated and built Colorado snowsports from the ground up.
Also featured at the museum is an exhibit dedicated to Vail and Colorado’s ski resorts. The exhibit provides an in-depth look at the state’s 26 active ski areas as well as a glimpse at the state’s 30 “lost resorts.” For those interested in how Vail came to be, the exhibit offers a “Vail’s DNA” component through which visitors can learn the story of the Vail Valley from the beginning.
Other fun and mentionable exhibits for visitors include “Out There”, which provides a glimpse at the history of snowboarding and “100 Years of Ski Fashion and Function” which provides a fun take on the other competitive side of snowsports - standing out on the slopes.
The display highlights the design of Vail pioneer Ann Bonfoey Taylor, while also showcasing a video that provides a look of slope fashion from 1915 to 2015.
For those interested in Colorado’s place in snowsports, the “Colorado Competition Timeline” provides visitors with in-depth information dating back to the Olympic Winter Games and the four Alpine World Ski Championships the state has hosted.
A recent remodel has also helped to embellish the exhibits on display and provide visitors with more interactive experiences.
“We were lucky to visit the ski museum the first day after renovations,” said a visitor from New Jersey. “If you like skiing, the outdoors or history, you have to spend some time at the museum. You can learn about the history of the area and … about the history of the sport including gear and clogging and the people who influenced skiing in Vail and the U.S.”
For those who have the opportunity to visit frequently, the museum offers their monthly “Through the Lens” series. January’s event on January 19th will feature a documentary film about Colorado’s lost ski resorts, while February 20th will feature Dr. John Kedrowski’s presentation on weather and climate change.
For more information on the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame including regular hours and pricing for special events visit snowsportsmuseum.org.