Dart and Ghent: Snowsports Hall of Fame to induct former Winter Park Resort stalwarts
Luminaries of the state’s skiing and snowboarding worlds will come together on Saturday in Vail for the annual Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and this year’s list of inductees includes some familiar names.
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame Class of 2018 includes four individuals, all men, two of whom have close ties to Winter Park Resort, Bob Dart and Brad Ghent.
Dart’s name should be well-known to longtime Grand County residents and anyone who has called Winter Park Resort their home mountain over the past 30-plus years. Dart, who passed away at age 64 in November 2015, worked for Winter Park Resort for nearly four decades.
Initially hired as a snowmaker in 1978, Dart went on to hold a myriad of positions during his tenure including director of the resort’s competition center and director of mountain maintenance, where he oversaw nearly every aspect of mountain operations from snowmaking to lift maintenance.
“As a leader, a problem solver and an operational force within our organization, Bob was unparalleled,” C.A. Lane, vice president of operations and general manager of Winter Park Resort, told Sky-Hi News on Tuesday. “His vast amounts of knowledge were in many ways irreplaceable. His is a body of work that is unparalleled and I think it speaks to Bob’s involvement in the industry and to the great relationships he built in our organization, in ski racing and the worldwide ski industry.”
As competition center director, Dart helped establish Winter Park Resort’s competitive freestyle skiing and snowboarding programs. His abiding love of competitive skiing was also instrumental in the establishment of the Winter Park Resort Ski Education Foundation, which provides competition scholarships to young athletes.
Dart spent 20 years serving as president of the USSA’s Rocky Mountain Division Board of Directors representing the Colorado Ski Education Foundation. He also served as chairman of the USSA Alpine Sports Committee and was the alpine sports representative to the USSA Board of Directors. During his long career as one of Winter Park Resort’s key figures, as well as his lengthy advocacy of the sport of ski racing, Dart received a host of industry awards — and will now earn the distinction of being in the Snowsports Hall of Fame.
Officials from the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame said Dart became “one of the respected voices at the highest levels of ski racing” through his contributions and involvement with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
“We couldn’t be more proud or excited as an organization to have Bob being inducted as a sport builder,” Lane said. “This is our 30th individual with ties to Winter Park Resort and the community to be inducted. It speaks to Bob’s history, but also the long line of individuals who helped to shape the sport and its history.”
Ghent has had a long career in the world of competitive skiing and, while most of his time was spent beyond the boundaries of Grand County, his formative years occurred on the slopes of Winter Park Resort.
“I grew up skiing in Winter Park,” Ghent said from his home in Edwards. “I was from Fort Collins but my family drove up almost every weekend. We owned a place at Hideaway Village. We had so many fun times as kids on the mountain.”
After developing his ski skills in his youth at Winter Park, Ghent became a member of the University of Colorado ski team and helped the Buff’s on their march to eight consecutive national championships. Along the way, Ghent earned an All-American Honorable Mention nod in 1974.
In the late 1970s, shortly after graduating from the University of Colorado, Ghent served as head coach for the Winter Park Race Team and the Winter Park Ski Club.
He still looks back fondly on those earlier days in Winter Park, including treks up and down Lower Hughes with the Middle Park High School alpine skiers and the Purple Garter Races held between the resort’s ski instructors and ski patrollers.
His time in Grand County was a precursor to his years as Head Women’s Alpine Coach for the U.S. Ski Team in the 1980s.
“It is an amazing honor,” Ghent said of his coming induction into the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame. “It came completely unexpectedly for me. I am surprised and humbled by it.”
Ghent now oversees his family’s rental car business with locations in both Eagle and Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Also being inducted into the Snowsports Hall of Fame with the class of 2018 are Colorado native and Warren Miller film team athlete Chris Anthony and Steamboat Spring’s professional ski racer, Lonny Vanatta. This year’s induction ceremony will be held Oct. 6 at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort.
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After announcing his candidacy for Grand County Sheriff, former Kremmling police chief Jamie Lucas has taken a job in Nevada.