Max Dercum received his first pair of skis when he was six years old. He fell in love with the sport of skiing and eventually hightailed it to Colorado. That’s where he discovered Arapahoe Basin with a group of seven others, who then started the resort in 1946, with lift tickets at a price of $1.25 each. The champion skier got some help from his wife, Edna, to whom he was married 71 years, and who died in 2008. They later started Keystone in 1970.

In late September, the skiing legend passed away at age 98, just a few days shy of his 99th birthday. He will be fondly remembered according to Arapahoe Basin COO, Alan Henceroth.

“As members of the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, he and his wife, Edna, have been fixtures in Colorado skiing since the 1940s," Henceroth said. "Together, they founded Ski Tip Lodge, were part of the original Board of Directors at Arapahoe Basin, and laid the groundwork for Keystone Resort. Max was always a visionary and imagined just how great skiing in the Snake River Valley could be. Our hearts and prayers are with the Dercum family today. We'll miss you Max.”

Max had moved from Summit County to a retirement home in Evergreen where he died of natural causes. His life focused on fun on the snow. He worked as a lift operator, ski instructor and patroller, skiing well into his 80s.

Click here to read a piece written by Dercum's granddaughter.