Jerry Gart - Sport Builder - 2012
Recognizing the need to make learning to ski easier, more accessible, and affordable, Jerry Gart opened up the sport of skiing to countless people. When Gart joined the family business, Gart Brothers Sporting Goods Company, he pioneered the large sporting goods retail store concept, eventually building the company up to a 75-store chain in five western states. His idea of an annual SNIAGRAB – “bargains” spelled backwards – became one of the largest retail sales of any kind in the country, and still unofficially marks the beginning of the season. On a mission to introduce as many people as possible to skiing, Gart gave guests the experience of skiing with an indoor ski machine, developed the annual Denver Post/Gart Bros. Ski School to teach skiing at discounted rates, hosted the annual Gart Bros. Ski Fest to allow skiers to test the latest equipment, and, in an effort to reduce traffic and pollution, founded the Colorado Ski Country USA Ski Lift Program, a scheduled bus service to several Colorado ski areas. A true retail and ski industry pioneer, Gart contributed immeasurably to the growth and popularity of skiing, particularly in Colorado. He passed away in 1996 at the age of 62.