Aspen Hall of Fame to celebrate 30 years |

Aspen Hall of Fame to celebrate 30 years

Staff report
Charlie and Fonda Paterson
Aspen Hall of Fame/Courtesy Photo |

On Jan. 21, the Aspen Hall of Fame is set to host its 30th anniversary banquet, honoring five inductees: John and Cynthia Callahan, Lt. Col Richard Merritt, and Charlie and Fonda Paterson. Invitations to the event have been mailed but if people didn’t receive one, they may sign up for banquet tickets at

The first Hall of Fame banquet, in January 1987, honored six of the most important contributors to modern-day Aspen: Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke, Friedl Pfeifer, Andre Roch, Ted Ryan and Herbert Bayer. In total, 96 leaders in Aspen and Snowmass have been inducted to date.

The Aspen Hall of Fame was established in the winter of 1986-1987 as part of Aspen Skiing Co.’s 40th anniversary celebration. Its purpose is to recognize and honor those individuals who have had a significant and lasting impact on the Aspen/Snowmass communities — economically, physically, spiritually or intellectually. Nominees must have demonstrated inspirational leadership and have made major contributions to cultural, sporting and/or civic activities.

“That first year was very exciting,” said Jeanette Darnauer, Aspen Hall of Fame founder and co-president of the board. “As we developed the ideas for the weeklong anniversary celebration, I thought it would be special to create an event that would be an ongoing reminder of our communities’ special people and their unique history in the progress of Aspen and Snowmass.”

There were hundreds of locals on the committees for Aspen Skiing Co.’s 40th anniversary that organized the on-mountain races, musical reviews, 10th Mountain Division reunion, and dedication of the gondola and first high-speed quad (which was at Fanny Hill in Snowmass), culminating in the Silver Queen Ball and the first Hall of Fame banquet. Themed “Celebrate the Magic,” the week of events took place exactly 40 years later to the day in January 1947 when the Aspen Skiing Corporation celebrated its first lift-served skiing on Aspen Mountain.

The highlight of every induction banquet is a video documentary that profiles the life of each inductee. These videos have become a tribute to the many men and women who have devoted their lives to the betterment of the Aspen and Snowmass communities since 1946. The legacy they leave behind is documented, often for the first time, through these videos. Honorees are selected by an 18-member board of directors.

To read about the 30th anniversary year inductees, visit


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