The Hall of Fame Golf Invitational is a fundraiser for the Vail-based Colorado Ski Museum/Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, a public, nonprofit, historical organization dedicated to celebrating the spirit and history of skiing in Colorado. Coincidentally, one of Telluride's very own ski area history luminaries, Johnnie Stevens, will be inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame this year. Stevens will become the second Telluride local to be awarded the honor of induction into the Ski Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of Bill "Senior" Mahoney who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.
Telluride's Stevens will chair the event, which features a welcome reception on Friday at the Mountain Lodge at Telluride, the tournament at the Telluride Golf Club on Saturday, and a Country Western BBQ awards party at the Elks Lodge Saturday evening.
"There will be a fair amount of Hall of Famers coming to the tournament," Stevens says. "It is looking like we'll have a good cross section of famous athletes and ski industry pioneers, with a large percentage of participants coming from other Colorado resorts."
Twenty-two four-player teams are already registered to play in the shotgun start, "best ball" format golf tournament; a good pre-event turnout, considering the event's maximum number of teams is 24. This annual tournament is a traveling event that is hosted by different Colorado ski resort golf courses each year. Despite concerns that this year's choice of location, in hard-to-get-to Telluride, would deter potential players, Stevens says that the Colorado Ski Museum staff has been surprised at the interest so far.
"It's the biggest turnout the tournament has ever had," Stevens says.
Proceeds from the event will go directly to fund projects and programs of the Colorado Ski Museum. Justin Henderson, curator at the Ski Museum, explains that all monies raised at the annual Hall of Fame Golf Invitational help implement the museum's mission, which is "to preserve the history and legacy of snow sports in the state and beyond."
Part of preserving that "legacy" comes in the form of funding the Museum's gallery space in Vail, education and outreach programs at regional schools, maintaining a Resource Center in Golden for research purposes, as well as setting up satellite exhibits at different ski areas around the state.
The local sponsors of the event include the Telluride Ski and Golf Company, who will be showcasing two local teams for the tournament, as well as the Mountain Lodge at Telluride and WestStar Bank. For more information about this weekend's event, contact the Colorado Ski Museum at 970/ 476-1876 or 800/950-7410.