Aspen legend Klaus Obermeyer to be inducted into Colorado Business Hall of Fame |

Aspen legend Klaus Obermeyer to be inducted into Colorado Business Hall of Fame

Klaus Obermeyer shows a recent line of skiwear. He founded the company that became Sport Obermeyer in 1947.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times |

Aspen icon and ski-clothing pioneer Klaus Obermeyer will get statewide recognition tonight for his accomplishments in the ski industry for almost 70 years.

Obermeyer will be inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame at a ceremony and dinner at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. It’s an annual black-tie event sponsored by Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain Inc.

Obermeyer, 95, began his career in the ski-clothing industry in 1947, founding what would become Sport Obermeyer. The story of his business’ roots is an Aspen legend. Obermeyer, a native of Germany, was struggling to make a living in the Aspen Mountain ski school in the late 1940s. His students didn’t have warm enough clothing so they wouldn’t remain in lessons. Obermeyer used some quilts he brought from Bavaria to make jackets, the precursors to the down-filled parka.

Obermeyer is credited with being the innovator of such items as high-altitude suntan lotion, nylon wind shirts and mirrored sunglasses. His company was among the first to use waterproof, breathable fabrics and create soft-shell jackets.

Obermeyer calls the ski areas and mountains throughout Aspen the laboratory for his company. He remains an active skier and swimmer. His company’s trademark slogan is “Technical clothing from the heart of the mountains.”

“Obermeyer’s commitment to producing high-quality, performance-oriented skiwear at a fair price was fueled by Klaus’ personal commitment to excellence,” says his biography prepared for the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. “His true passion for skiing and an impeccable reputation in the industry for continued customer satisfaction demonstrates that Klaus Obermeyer embodies the necessary requisites for long-term success in the sport.”

The other inductees include Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos for more than 30 years, H. Brown Cannon and his sons Brown W. Cannon and George R. Cannon, who were giants in agribusiness and real estate in the Front Range, banking and oil-industry executive Thomas Petrie, and farmers Bob and Joanna Sakata.

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