Here's a ski house built on inspiration. This residence was the brainchild of (and bears the name of) Klaus Obermeyer, the father of the now ubiquitous down ski jacket. So, today, on Klaus Obermeyer's 93rd birthday, the Ski House of the Day is the beautiful Obermeyer Place Penthouse in Aspen, Colorado:
Just a few blocks (or short shuttle ride) from the ski slopes, the 2-bedroom penthouse condo has gorgeous contemporary styling, and a bit of that sleek European feel...
...I love the hardwood floors and the modern gourmet kitchen:
The condo is beautiful, and Aspen (the skiing as well as the lifestyle) is in a class by itself. But the namesake of this ski house is what most intrigues and inspires me. Obermeyer Place was Klaus Obermeyer's idea as the revitalization of an area in need of redevelopment. After having achieved extreme success in Aspen, he wanted to give back by creating a mixed-use complex in which there would be an affordable place for local businesses to create their own success stories, just as he had done here (according to privateresidenceresorts.com). The deluxe residences in this development are the basis of that opportunity, surely a win-win. (According to an interview in Huffington Post, one of the things Obermeyer admires most is people creating win-win situations). Inspiring indeed! Obermeyer Place is even built on the site of Obermeyer's first factory...and how that factory came to be is a legendary part of ski history.
Born in the Bavarian Alps of Germany in 1919, Klaus Obermeyer learned to ski almost as soon as he learned to walk; and as a child made his own first pair of skis out of a wooden crate! He spent his early adulthood as an aeronautical engineer; but after WWII he immigrated to the US and in 1947 ended up in Aspen as a ski instructor. As Obermeyer has told it, he would only be paid if his ski students completed their ski lessons...so it was in his best interest to keep them on the slopes. Skiing in Aspen in the 1940's was an extremely cold activity....and students got so uncomfortable that they would leave class (or leave town altogether). So with his ulterior motive of keeping his students (and himself) out on the slopes, and equipped with few resources...he fashioned an unusually warm "ski coat" out of the goose-down comforter that his mother had insisted he take to "North" America when he left Germany! This new ski jacket innovation was huge success...and the rest, as they say, is skiing history.
In addition to introducing the first ski parka, Obermeyer went on to introduce numerous other "firsts" to improve skiers' comfort, including: the first plastic ski boot, dual-layer ski boot, "flow" boot (from a viscous liquid car grease), ski turtleneck, nylon wind-shirt, high-altitude sunscreen, mirrored sunglasses, and more! With the slopes of Aspen as a constant real-life testing lab, Sport Obermeyer has grown into a company with about $30 million in annual sales, according to the Aspen Times.
Inspiring: because an Aspen ski instructor turned his blanket into a fortune and created a new industry in the process. (What might today's ski bums be "sewing up" as the next generation of innovators?).
Take an Aspen lift ride with him and hear Klaus Obermeyer in his own words.
Inspiring: because even with his enormous financial and innovative success, he has said that his biggest achievement is the fun they have in their company!
Here's Klaus in a birthday interview at the base of Aspen three years ago.
Inspiring: because a 93 year old businessman is still skiing (nearly every day!) - faster than you'd expect and having a blast doing it!
In addition to all those positive vibes, Obermeyer is also inspirational in that he is a responsible steward of our environment. On Obermeyer.com he is quoted as saying: "The Earth and its natural beauty is a gift. It allows us to celebrate life and to experience the magic of nature...We must step lightly on the planet, we are here for only a very short time, and it is not right to destroy something that gives us such great beauty..." Obermeyer's business practices reflect that inspiring philosophy.
According to Obermeyer.com , Klaus is an inspiration to those around him because of his boundless energy, enthusiasm and optimism. So, for all of these many reasons, I think Klaus Obermeyer is an inspiration to all of us (...and the next time I put on that Obermeyer ski-wear in my closet, I'll have some new-found inspiration on the slopes for sure!).
Literally and figuratively built on the success of that legendary comforter-turned-ski parka in Aspen, the ski house called Obermeyer Place, like the man himself, and more importantly because of the man himself, is truly inspiring!
Happy Birthday to the uber-inspiring Klaus Obermeyer...and thanks for the inspiration!