Ski New Mexico announces the grand opening of the New Mexico Ski Museum and the dedication of a commemorative plaque honoring the late New Mexico ski pioneer Robert J. Nordhaus on Thursday (August 7, 2008), beginning at 10 a.m. at the Museum’s location at the base terminal of the Sandia Peak Tramway.
Robert Nordhaus is being recognized by his fellow 10th Mountain Division comrades for his work in the development of skiing in New Mexico. Nordhaus, who served in the famed unit during World War II (from 1942 to 1944), developed Sandia Peak Ski Area and was the co-founder of the Sandia Peak Tramway. Fellow WW II 10th Mountain Division Veteran Bob Parker, who lent his talents to the Aspen and Vail ski areas and was as an editor at Ski Magazine, is among the surviving members of the Road Runner Chapter of the 10th Mountain Division. He will present the plaque to Nordhaus family members and Sandia Peak Tramway officials.
A trip to Europe by Robert Nordhaus inspired construction of the Tram. Nordhaus came back with the idea of a tram similar to those he rode in Europe, and with partner Ben Abruzzo made the idea a reality. It would connect Albuquerque to the top of Sandia Peak, combining first-rate views with efficient transportation for skiers.
The dedication will be followed at 11 a.m. by the grand opening of the New Mexico Ski Museum, created to document the history and development of skiing in New Mexico. The museum also honors individuals who have made a significant impact to the ski industry in New Mexico in the Ski Hall of Fame. Currently there are 15 members in the Hall of Fame. Pictures and artifacts from the early days of skiing in New Mexico are on exhibit.
“More than 250,000 visitors from around the world visit the Tram every year and having the museum located there is an impressive way to tell the story of skiing in New Mexico,” said President W. Paul Waters. “The museum is open year round, and since admission is free it’s a perfect place to visit before riding the tram or visiting Sandiago’s Mexican Grill, which is upstairs.”
“The revenues generated and dispersed by the ski industry in New Mexico go a long way toward sustaining the state’s winter economy,” said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “Thousands of jobs in New Mexico are directly and indirectly influenced by how the ski season fares, with the ski industry contributing a significant amount to New Mexico’s annual tourism economy. We have people like Robert Nordhaus and his peers to thank for the success this industry enjoys today. I hope all New Mexicans will visit this new museum, which recognizes their efforts on behalf of us all.”
The New Mexico Ski Hall of Fame is organized and operated as an exempt 501(c) (3) charitable organization.