The founding of the Ancient Skiers in the mid 1980’s by the late Irv Pratt led to the formation of a 501 (c) 3 in March of 1994 named Northwest Ski Museum and Hall of Fame. Currently John Hansen is the President of the Ancient Skiers. To date the activities of the NW Ski Museum and Hall of Fame, led by Dave Gossard, have focused on the biennial selection of Hall of Fame members. Starting in 1987 with four inductees, the Hall of Fame list has now grown to 70.
Irv always had a vision for a museum and in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the U. S. Forest Service building on Snoqualmie Pass served this purpose. There also has been interest for a ski museum in Leavenworth. Recently some displays have been staged at Crystal Mountain. The selection of a location and the raising of funds have been major obstacles to the creation of a permanent home for a ski museum.
Site on Snoqualmie Pass
Snoqualmie Pass has a number of distinct advantages for the location of a ski museum. The Summit at Snoqualmie is Washington’s most visited ski resort, the location is convenient to reach by the largest population center in the state and I-90 is one of the most heavily travelled east-west freeway in the United States.
Fortunately a new development at the top of Snoqualmie Pass is underway by The Pass, LLC, led by Bryce Phillips of evo and evolution projects. Utilities have been completed in the summer of 2012 for this 5 acre parcel of land directly opposite The Summit Inn, a prime location at the top of the Pass. The 1,200 square foot museum space plus a 400 SF mezzanine will be leased from The Pass, LLC eliminating any large capital costs. The museum space is between and connected to a restaurant and a brew-pub and thus many of the customers of these two facilities will enjoy the museum.
In addition to the restaurant, brew-pub and the museum, the 5 acres will initially have 12 townhomes. Commercial construction will be completed by January 2014. Full build-out of the property will include up to 108 residential units and around 15,000 square feet of commercial space.
Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum
Dave Moffett and Dollie & Hugh Armstrong have led the initial work on this exciting project.A new 501 (c) 3 non-profit has been formed— the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum (WSSSM). The Ancient Skiers and the NW Ski Museum and Hall of Fame non-profit have both been very supportive of WSSSM and its location on Snoqualmie Pass.
WSSSM will be “story-telling” oriented combined with artifacts to support these stories. With advances in technologies, this is the trend in many new museums around the country (check out Seattle’s MOHAI). Attached to this summary is a description of the Exhibits, with their associated videos, artifacts and photographs. Note that a fully secure display will have Phil Mahre’s World Cup trophy (on loan, one of his 3 such trophies), Debbie Armstrong’s gold medal (on loan), various current items from Olympian Patrick Deneen and more! And, of course, many artifacts relating to the history of snow sports in Washington will be in the museum. We don’t plan, at this time, to have a large storage facility for ski artifacts such as the Ketchum Sun Valley Ski Museum and the New England Ski Museum in New Hampshire.
Two highly regarded museum vendors have been retained to assist WSSSM: Edquist Davis Exhibits-EDX (designer) and Turner Exhibits (fabricator plus design-build). Photos of projects completed by these two companies are attached—clearly they have completed some very high profile projects. Their processes are very thorough—the six phases are as follows:
1. Planning & Pre-Design—Report from kick-off/charette meeting in April is available upon request.
2. Schematic Design Phase—Schematic Design dated June 13, 2013 is attached.
3. Design Development Phase
4. Final Design Phase
5. Fabrication Phase
6. Installation Phase
Our Steering Committee is working diligently to provide input to EDX/Turner and to procure artifacts, prepare PowerPoint presentations and produce content videos for showing on the monitors. In addition, the Committee is talking with donors regarding contributing to WSSSM.
The financial obligations of WSSSM will include a 5 year lease (with two 5 year options) for the 1,600 SF of space. Total annual operating expenses are estimated at $60,000-$75,000. The financing plan is to raise $500,000—over 75% of this has been raised or committed. Funds exceeding the build-out will be set aside to help cover future operating costs. The initial funds from the Founding Donors and annual fund raising events will be key to the long term success of the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum.
The Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum will be a centrally located show case to honor Washington’s ski legends, preserve the state’s ski history,inform guests about this rich sports story and inspire future participation in Washington’s ski and snowboard opportunities by these guests, their families, friends and communities.