Meet the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Class of 2019: Jeff Gorsuch
Editor’s note: The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Induction Gala is one of the most important annual celebrations of the state’s snowsports industry and a unique opportunity to meet, mix and mingle with the men and women who have shaped the industry. Leading up to the event on Saturday, Oct. 26, the Colorado Snowsports Museum will profile the five members of the Class of 2019.
Every year in early December, kids from all over the Roaring Fork Valley look forward to one very special night. That evening, every child in the valley that needs ski gear gets it, courtesy of a grassroots program known as Aspen Supports Kids. The program is facilitated by Jeff Gorsuch and Gorsuch Limited, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, Aspen Ski Company, and D&E/Four Mountain Sports — which provides snowboards.
Most of these children would not have ski gear if it were not for the generosity of Gorsuch and the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. Originally established by the late Bob Beattie, Aspen Supports Kids allows about 400 children a year to gear up. It’s not new gear, but it’s new to them, and it’s free and properly fitted.
A third-generation member of Colorado’s iconic Gorsuch family, Jeff was exposed to the ski racing and retail sides of the ski industry ever since he could crawl. He grew up in Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, being raised in the mountains among fellow Vail athletes such as Johnny Buxman, Mike Brown, Karen Lancaster, Amy Livran and David Viele. Together, they discovered the brilliance of sport through training at the club, a place that gave children a chance to chase their dreams.
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Jeff was named to the U.S. Ski Team as a downhiller for the 1983-84 season and was selected to compete in the Europa Cup circuit. He was also a racer representative on the Ski Club Vail board.
Growing up Gorsuch, Jeff inherited a deep appreciation for the trailblazers of the ski industry and has devoted his spare time to giving back. He moved to Aspen after graduating from St. Lawrence University in New York and has run the family’s Aspen retail operation for the past 25 years.
From an Aspen community perspective, his philanthropic focus has been on children, working with local organizations like the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, the Aspen Educational Foundation and the Aspen Community School.
But back to Aspen Supports Kids Night. The beaming smiles of the children say it all as the line starts forming in front of the Gorsuch store at 4 p.m. sharp. Hundreds of pairs of boots, skis and poles are strewn about the store as semi-organized chaos ensues for the next three to four hours as every kid is outfitted with gear for the coming ski season. You can see the joy in Jeff’s face as he greets each and every little ripper with a huge smile and a larger-than-life welcome.
Jeff Gorsuch and his partners have made a pledge that no child in the Roaring Fork Valley that wishes to participate in skiing or riding should be held back by finances. The happiness on the faces of the children and their parents is something that you can’t buy in a store, but it most certainly can be given away.
Tickets for the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Induction Gala are on sale, with reserved individual tickets priced at $325 and tables of 10 at $3,750. A $250 general individual ticket is available but does not include seating preference. The gala takes place at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort in Lionshead Village.
To purchase tickets or for additional information, visit snowsportsmuseum.org or call 970-476-1876. All proceeds from the gala benefit the Colorado Snowsports Museum.
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.