Ski Museum at Lift One

Aspen Mountain from Durant Street in 1957, with Dean Street, the Skier’s Chalet, Lift One chair lift, Holland House and Norway Lodge visible.

ABOUT:
Aspen Historical Society supports the revitalization of the historic portal to Aspen Mountain, which includes a ski history museum, created and operated by AHS in the historical Skiers Chalet Lodge building. AHS has collaborated with project stakeholders for many months on the Lift One Corridor redevelopment plan, which will go to vote as a single ballot question in the City of Aspen general election on March 5, 2019. The plan, which will be considered as a whole in one ballot question, features myriad public amenities including a new park, public parking, convenient chairlift access, restoration of historical assets, and the ski museum. At the site where lift-served skiing began, the museum will honor the history of Aspen Mountain and its unique role in the origins of skiing while serving the community as part of an activated and lively base area. The community has voted for and approved a ski museum at the site twice before. The Lift One Corridor redevelopment plan is the best opportunity to make it a reality while reinvigorating Aspen Mountain’s historic ski corridor.

HISTORY:
Aspen Mountain’s western base area was home to Aspen’s first true chairlift and the site remains integral to the origins and legacy of lift-served skiing in the community and in the country. The original Lift One, combined with Lift Two, was the longest and fastest chairlift in the world when it was dedicated in 1947. In 1950, the chairlift hosted the first FIS World Championship alpine ski races ever held outside of Europe. In 1968, Aspen began a long tradition of hosting FIS World Cup races, a tradition that remained strong though 2017 when Lift 1A hosted the men’s and women’s World Cup Finals.

The redevelopment project will put Aspen’s history front and center and will reinstate the historical ski corridor into town with the two historical Skiers Chalet buildings serving as the area portal; a new chairlift that loads in the same spot as the original Lift One chairlift; and the restoration and preservation of the Lift One lower terminal and remaining lift towers. The museum will showcase the site itself, as well as house permanent and temporary exhibits that tell the stories of Aspen’s rich ski history. AHS maintains one of the largest archives in the region, with more than 11,000 artifacts, historical images and records in the Collection related to the area’s rich ski history. The ski museum will enable AHS to display many of these treasured objects from Aspen’s past, including the original Aspen Mountain boat tow, chairs and canvas covers from the original Lift One, 10th Mountain Division artifacts, ski fashion pieces, a comprehensive collection of ski models, and much more.

FUNDING:
The project developers are responsible for moving and renovating the Skiers Chalet Lodge building to “white box” condition. AHS will then undertake a capital campaign to complete the museum and create exhibits and programs. The City of Aspen is not contributing any funds to AHS to create the museum. AHS will be sharing the Skiers Chalet Lodge building with Aspen Skiing Company for skier services and patrol functions within the building.

MORE INFORMATION:
Lift One Corridor website
City of Aspen election ballot information, fact sheet and pro/con voter statements
Aspen Mountain Timeline: The Origins & Legacy of Skiing
For questions about the museum and AHS’s role in the redevelopment project, email the AHS CEO at kelly@aspenhistory.org or call 970.925.3721

VOTE:
The election is March 5, 2019. Voters registered in the City of Aspen are eligible to vote. A “yes” vote brings a new chairlift closer to town and adds multiple public amenities including a ski museum that ensures Aspen’s storied past is preserved and shared for generations to come.

Project Renderings