Martin Hart, recently inducted into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame, was a visionary who laid the foundation for what the Steamboat Springs Ski Area is today. He was also a committed supporter of the Yampa Valley community.
As Chairman of the Northwest Colorado Ski Corporation, renamed the Steamboat Ski Corporation, Martin invested in several significant improvements to the ski area. These improvements include bringing the first snowmaking machines in 1981, expanding 400 acres of Sunshine Bowl terrain in 1984, and replacing the old gondola with a high-speed eight-passenger gondola to the Thunderhead Lodge in 1986. Martin’s collaboration with Routt County Commissioner Bill Haight to expand the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport laid the groundwork for direct flights and increased skier tourism dollars for the local economy.
Martin believed that the strength of the ski area and the strength of Steamboat’s community were interrelated. To advance and encourage local philanthropy, Martin became a founding member of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation and was instrumental in establishing the YVCF Passport Club. Funds generated by the Passport Club contribute to the general operations of YVCF and enable the Ski Resort to make contributions to the community via YVCF. Passport Club membership provides a way for philanthropists to support our community and enjoy the benefits of the ski area. It is a true win-win collaboration.
Martin will be remembered as a forefather who shaped not just the Steamboat Ski Area but who left a legacy of philanthropy in Yampa Valley. His impact upon the community was far-reaching and lives on today.