Former Winter Park Resort skiing director inducted into Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame
Winter Park inductee praised for 'revolutionizing' the retail ski industry
VAIL — The votes have been cast and counted and now the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame will begin preparations to welcome its Class of 2019. The five newly-elected members will be formally inducted Oct. 26.
Heading the list of new Hall of Fame members is Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler, Olympic medalist and Colorado’s most successful snowboard athlete. She will be joined by Jeff Gorsuch, an Aspen ski retailer and philanthropist with a focus on kids and skiing; the late Martin Hart, who helped transform Steamboat Springs into one of the foremost ski resorts in the nation; and Steve Raymond, co-founder of the Adaptive Spirit program and a major fundraiser for the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team.
These four new inductees will be joined by the 2019 Pioneer Hall of Fame selection, Jake Hoeschler of Winter Park, who revolutionized the retail ski industry with his exclusive ski liability insurance program, which now includes millions of dollars of coverage.
Hoeschler served as director of skiing at Winter Park Resort from 1974 to 1977.
“We are extremely excited about our incoming Hall of Fame Class,” offered Jennifer Mason, Executive Director of the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. “We have all aspects of snowsports represented, with athletes, sport builders and inspirational inductees.”
Hoeschler revolutionized the ski retail industry with his exclusive ski liability insurance program, which now includes millions of dollars of coverages. While racing on the World Cup and Pro Race Circuits throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Hoeschler noticed how ski shops were struggling to stay in business because of their liability exposure to the threat of frivolous lawsuits.
In 1988, Hoeschler founded the National Ski Insurance Program to make skiing a safer sport while also protecting the retailer from an onslaught of unsubstantiated insurance claims. Hoeschler used his insurance and law background to bring together the Risk Managers from top binding companies to implement the indemnification program that exists today.
The program now has its own attorneys, adjusters, claims handlers and expert witnesses. The shop personnel are trained and certified through a series of videos, webinars, risk management manuals and certification testing. Many shops owners say they would not be in business today if it weren’t for this program. Most every shop in the U.S. is part of this program.
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