Klaus Obermeyer still skiing, yodeling & making snow wear
He laughs. He yodels. He talks to everyone from the new kids just getting started to industry kingpins. At age 93, Klaus Obermeyer is a snowsports veteran with no thoughts of retiring.An estimated 19,000 people filed through the Colorado Convention Center over the weekend buying and selling ski parkas and snowboards, boots and poles at the annual SnowSports Industries America trade show, and many of them made a point of stopping by Sport Obermeyer’s showroom to show their respect.While a brigade of sales reps shows the brand’s collections, Obermeyer acts as the company’s genial ambassador, greeting buyers with a hearty handshake or hug and honest interest in finding out what’s on their minds. Sometimes he’ll wear lederhosen or an embroidered shirt as a nod to his native Germany, where he learned to ski as a child in the Bavarian village of Oberstaufen.Obermeyer’s now-legendary story goes like this: He was teaching skiing in Aspen in 1947 when he got tired of being cold during long days on the slopes. In those days, people skied in wool coats and suits. Looking for a solution, Obermeyer cut up a down comforter his mother had insisted he bring with him when he moved to America, and fashioned part of it into a crude parka.”I looked like the Michelin Man and had feathers in my cereal for weeks,” he said with a laugh. But the jacket was warm. And one of his students paid the unheard-of sum of $250 to buy it off his back. “A new Buick was $1,250 in those days!”Next, he had to design a better prototype and figure out how to manufacture it. Obermeyer persuaded a friend in Bavaria to do so. “But he told me I’d have to supply the zippers and knit cuffs,” Obermeyer recalled.To read this article in its entirety, go to http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_22503203/klaus-obermeyer-still-skiing-yodeling-and-making-snow?IADID=Search-www.denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com
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